one Electric vehicles do not harm the environment
The favorite argument of fans of electric traction that electric vehicles do not harm the environment is simply not true. Naturally, such machines themselves do not emit emissions, with the exception of abraded rubber and dust from brake pads. But we must not forget about the production of electricity needed for the “transport of the future.”
An electric vehicle is only as environmentally friendly as the electricity generated for it. As the results of research by the European consulting company Arthur D Little show, things are especially bad with this in China.
Depending on the source of energy generation (shares of coal and nuclear power plants, renewable energy sources, etc.) and the type of electric drive of each car, we get completely different CO2 emissions.
|Emission of carbon dioxide|
|BMW X5 xDrive 30d||225 g/km|
|BMW 316d||130 g/km|
|Tesla Model S||128 g/km|
|Audi A2 1.2 TDI||93 g/km|
|Electric vehicle in East China||167 g/km|
|Electric car in the USA||122 g/km|
|Electric car in Germany||91 g/km|
|Electric car in France||12 g/km|
Despite all these indicators, electric cars do have the potential to reduce the environmental damage caused by vehicles. First of all, this concerns the situation when nuclear power plants and renewable energy sources will take an increasing part in the generation of electricity. However, at the present time with such statements it is better to be careful.
2 If everyone switches to electric cars, the grid will collapse
This assertion by opponents of electric cars is also unfounded, as a 2016 European Energy Research Center report proves. Scientists have calculated that the total power consumption of simultaneously charging hypothetical 3.3 million electric cars will be 1.5 GW.
This seemingly colossal value should be compared with the total current load of electricity networks in Europe, which ranges from 60 to 80 GW. Thus, the power consumed by electric cars would be only about two percent of the total.
The situation is somewhat different with the so-called low voltage distribution: if all electric cars are charged at the end of the working day, then the load may be too large for local transformer stations.
To avoid such situations, automakers are already using so-called “smart” charging systems. They must dynamically manage the charging process depending on the current network load, and thus prevent overloads.
If this is done consistently, then electric vehicles can even help improve the efficiency of the entire energy system. In this case, the batteries could be used as a buffer for the power grid so that energy received during low load times could be returned to the grid at peak system loads.
3 Electric cars are more durable than ICE cars
This general statement is partly true, but it depends on how longevity is defined. If we consider this concept as the ratio of the time that has passed since the release of the car to the timing of its repair, then electric cars have a better chance of winning in this sense.
Currently, the average “life cycle” of a car in Europe is 18 years. It is too early to say what this indicator will be for electric cars. However, current tests nissan leafconducted by ADAC (General German Automobile Club) show that electric vehicles have good endurance.
In particular, although this Nissan model lost approximately 10% of battery capacity and range in the 5-year test, it was otherwise solid and reliable. Of course, electric cars, unlike cars that burn fuel, do not face premature engine overhaul.
However, a problem that cannot be taken lightly is the production of batteries for electric vehicles. As in the case of the carbon emissions mentioned above, the environmental impact of the entire production chain is clearly underestimated, as evidenced by the frightening results of studies conducted by the Swedes.
However, the statements of scientists are also not indisputable: in particular, they do not take into account either the costs of the full cycle of fuel production, or the spare parts that are needed for cars with internal combustion engines. Whether electric cars prove to be more durable when properly compared to conventional cars, only the future will tell.
four Electric cars are not worth the investment
Here, too, there is no single answer. Whether the purchase of an electric car is justified from a financial point of view initially depends on the profile of its use. According to data from the 2017 ADAC Automotive Cost Report, French diesels and hybrids are currently the cheapest vehicles.
In particular, with a five-year service life and an annual mileage of 15,000 kilometers, the cost of driving a plug-in hybrid Volkswagen Golf GT will be 48.9 euro cents per kilometer. Comparable diesel and petrol cars will cost more – 51.1 and 54.8 euro cents respectively.
In its calculations, ADAC takes into account, among other things, the price of the hybrid, its loss of value over time, operating costs, as well as related taxes and insurance costs. In the case of “clean” electric vehicles, the situation looks somewhat different. The final balance of costs is greatly raised by the high price of electric cars. However, in ADAC’s 27 comparison groups, electric vehicles were able to top the list in terms of transport costs 6 times.
For example, this concerns Kia Soul EV, which costs the owner 42.1 eurocents per kilometer. For comparison: the petrol version “spends” 42.3 euro cents, and the diesel version costs 43.1 euro cents. In the case of the rest of the electric cars, you will have to fork out a little more: for example, bmw i3 will require 47.8 euro cents, Renault Zoe will cost 46.4 euro cents, and nissan leaf – as much as 50.6 euro cents per kilometer of the distance covered. However, all these models are more expensive than comparable petrol versions.
However, this may change in the near future. In addition to declining prices for new electric cars, various regional benefits of using clean-electric vehicles are positively impacting the bottom line of “automobile costs”.
For example, in Europe, vehicles marked with an electric car sign can be parked for free at charging stations. In addition, driving bans for diesel cars, emission class restriction signs, and city-centre toll charges may elicit a condescending smile from EV owners.
5 Electric cars are cheaper to manufacture
Here, as an exception, we can agree without any reservations. Since electric vehicles are structurally much smaller than gasoline-powered vehicles, maintenance costs are significantly lower.
BMW Works Council Chairman Manfred Schoch explains the situation with a very impressive example: “An eight-cylinder internal combustion engine has 1200 parts that need to be connected together, and the electric motor has only 17 of them”. Similarly, things are with a transmission containing fewer parts, and with an exhaust system completely absent from electric cars – and where there are fewer parts, there is less chance of breakdowns.
Only tires on average in electric vehicles wear out faster than those with internal combustion engines. The reason: thin tires on electric cars have to withstand more torque and, as a result, need to be replaced after 25,000 kilometers. This corresponds to about half the life of gasoline car tires.
6 Electric cars are flammable
Not so long ago, a video with a burning Tesla Model S caused a wave of concern and brought the discussion about electric cars to a new level. Electric vehicles have been vociferously declared dangerous and flammable. In fact, such statements can be called true only in their basic sense.
Here is what Werner Tillmetz, a battery expert at the European Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, has to say about this: “If the battery is destroyed in an accident, it could lead to a fire or explosion. Therefore, battery cells in electric vehicles must be installed in a housing that is protected from damage. In conventional cars, the gas tank is protected in a similar way..
So is there a danger, and if so, how big is it? Still, there are many fatal accidents on the account of gasoline cars, in which the cars ignited after the accident. At the same time, such situations have become so commonplace that their coverage in most cases reaches the level of only regional media, but the burning Tesla quickly appeared on the main pages of publications.
In order to be able to realistically assess the actual risks of fires after an accident, it is necessary to consider the statistics in relation to the share of electric cars in the country’s fleet. Until now, separate statistics on such fires are not kept, so it is not possible to make any clear statements.
However, it is likely that soon the need for such discussions will disappear by itself. It won’t be long before solid-state lithium batteries appear on the market, which are liquid-free and able to operate even more reliably at higher temperatures. Toyota is a pioneer in this area – the company could start installing such batteries in its vehicles as early as 2020.
7 Electric vehicles are not designed for continuous full load
Our last myth for today is also not taken, as they say, out of thin air. For example, with electric vehicles, maximum performance cannot be obtained in a constant mode, unlike gasoline cars. This is due to electric motors, which, regardless of the load, operate with an efficiency above 90%.
The higher the speed of the machine becomes, the more the level of energy consumed increases. As a result, the engine and battery become very hot. Therefore, electric cars automatically reduce performance so that the components can cool down.
The situation is different with classic gasoline cars: for example, even at a speed of about 100 km/h, they drive with such little load that the efficiency is far from the theoretical optimum (about 35%). The faster the driver drives, the greater the load and the higher the efficiency.
Accordingly, power reduction, as in the case of an electric car, is not required here. At the same time, electric cars should not be completely discarded from “sports” accounts, as the example shows. NextEV Nio EP9.