Main, food, history, music, tech, money, flora-fauna

Electric cars are expensive because of the new tech, batteries, and other lies

: tech, September 14 2020

If you are not living under a rock, you already know, that all big car brands are now switching to electric vehicles. Although too late, it is generally a good thing, but the way it is presented to the public, is rather disgusting. All new electric cars share 3 distinct issues. First and foremost they are EXTREMELY expensive (something this articles is stressing on). Second, everybody is lying about the range of their cars. Third - charging time and lack of infrastructure portray the them even less attractive.
No, I am absolutely "FOR" the electric cars. Internal combustion engine is an engineering nonsense, pushed by the petrol moguls in the late 19th century. It is dirty, inefficient, expensive, fragile and difficult to maintain, but now we are getting the same cheesy-money-grab, they got away 100 years ago.
And we reach "the price" topic. So all EVs, despite manufacturer's claims, that all efforts go to environmental protection, are waaaaaaay more expensive, than their ICE counterparts. I am sorry, big CEOs - even the dumbest people realize this hypocrisy and despise you and your brands for this. If you really care about the environment, slash the price in half (working "only" at ~20% profit). No? Why? Ohh, the other cars will become unsellable and obsolete, yeah, that's right!
The usual excuse is:

All new EVs use expensive batteries, made from rare metals, plus all the new technology on top of it ...

Waaait a minute, dear Mr.Salesman! What you see on the picture above, is called "Detroit Electric Modell C" and was built between 1907 and 1939 from the "Anderson Carriage Company" (yes, "carriage", like "horse pulling a big wooden box") in Port Huron and later, Detroit. It looks extremely luxurious, especially from the inside. The car was advertised with a maximum range of 130km/charge, but in test conditions it managed to reach 340km/charge. Top speed 32km/h - which, for the time, is just right.
Yes people! You are reading correctly! This 100-year-old tin can, with the drag coefficient of a house, zero electronics, lack of any advanced gearbox or suspension, modern lubricants and whatever they put nowadays, outperforms most of the brand-new EVs?! How is this possible? Probably because of the electric motor? Oh wait, it is the same! In its core, the electric motors did not change much for the past 100 years, so somebody blaming it for the cost is flat-out insolent. So which "new, expensive technology" we are talking about? Is it the Android tablet in the middle of the vehicle? Or the $50 sensors? Yes, batteries may (still) be expensive, but the cost of an electric motor is a fraction of the cost for an internal combustion engine, so, to a certain degree, it should balance it.
The price of the "Detroit Electric Modell C" car varied between $2500 and $3000 for the highest trim. They produced around 13 000 DE cars, so it did not lack popularity. Adjusted with the inflation it is $75K, and you may say it is comparable to its contemporaries ... well not really. Back then this was THE peak of the technology, as now, excluding the software, there is nothing revolutionary in any EV. Cheapest "Tesla Model S" starts at 80K. The modern equivalent of the Detroit Electric would be closer to a Porshe Taycan EV (reasonably spec-ed ~150K).
Let's get back to the main perpetrator - the batteries (Li-ion ca.1991). How often have you read about "new revolutionary type of battery" and you secretly hope that "yes, this is it!"? And they all disappear. No trace, no further development, despite all promising initial results. Are you telling me, that all these projects fail due to unforeseen tech limitations? Or there is not enough funding/interest? Batteries, that are dirt-cheap. Batteries, that charge in minutes. Batteries, that are stable and last forever. So all of their researchers are stupid or slow? Think again!
I do not even want to start the topic with the government tax benefits and purchase incentives for the EVs - money, that come straight from the tax payer and goes straight in the car manufacturer's pocket. If these incentives are cut, the prices will just fall down with the same amount. Now they are taken for granted as a pure profit.
To wrap it up: nothing, but corporate greed, is stalling the inevitable success of the EVs and there is no reason to justify the current insane prices!