“Is Biden driving up gas prices to get you to buy an EV?” was a recently cited concern in an Associated Press release. It reported on a circulating rumor that, in a nimble feat of opportunism, the American President was possibly exploiting – or even encouraging – the Russian invasion of the Ukraine so we would switch to electric cars.

It seems it’s become fashionable to charge your political opponent with the exact bad thing you are likely to be charged with, either because you are planning to do it or because you did it and have no excuse. This sort of discourse has been effective with many voters. If that’s what’s going on here, might it follow that there’s an anti-EV conspiracy brewing right now?

We recently came across a few Facebook article re-posts listing all the drawbacks of electric vehicles. Around the same time, we saw a New York Times article about the backlash against an electric truck manufacturer building a plant in Georgia.

One of us jokingly hypothesized that perhaps there is an attempt by certain vested interests to discredit the entire electric car industry. Some days, nothing seems too far-fetched.

One of the Facebook re-posts was a 2019 article from Motor Junkie called “20 Drawbacks of Electric Vehicles Drivers Overlook.” (Worth noting is the unabashed self-identification “junkie,” which of course means “addict.”

Isn’t one of the cardinal signs of addiction the compulsion to justify one’s substance-related behavior against all evidence of harm and dependency? Yes.) The title would seem to imply that a driver might fall into buying an EV without knowing anything at all about them.

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For the normally informed, it is clear that right now, early in their consumer and engineering history, EVs are more expensive than the 100-year-old internal combustion cars. Also, most of us are aware that their range is something to calculate into our decision to buy one.

We also know both these factors are rapidly improving. The only possible-to-overlook issue out of 20 is the effect of cold weather on battery performance–something that cold climate drivers will have to worry about less and less as winters get shorter!

The following excerpt includes our involuntary reactions to Drawback 16: “Apparently, the process of making a big chunk of Lithium-Ion batteries as well as their disposal is polluting since they aren’t recyclable. [they are recyclable.] Also, electric vehicles demand more electricity [Wait– what, really?]. That comes from thermoelectric [made-up term] or nuclear power plants, [Electricity comes from many sources, and increasingly from green renewables] which are extremely dangerous because they’re choking the Earth [Who is?]. The rising demand for electric power will only raise the level of global pollution [but the rising demand for gasoline won’t?]. This is actually far beyond what internal combustion engines are doing now.” [let’s just say, “Citation needed.”]

As we have demonstrated in past articles, even if its electricity is generated from a coal plant, the EV is less polluting than an ICE car. In a life cycle analysis using electricity generated by a typical mix of sources, the ICE produces more than 20 times the CO2 of the EV, and even more if it is charged from renewables.

Another “hidden” drawback: EVs get worse highway mileage than city mileage, due to regenerative braking in city driving. OR you COULD call it a hidden ADVANTAGE that EVs get better mileage in cities….

Other drawbacks? They’re heavy [cars are heavy]. Their technology includes tracking software. (Do you have a cell phone? Maybe you have “OnStar” in your ICE vehicle? Trust me, you’re tracked.) They’re slow (top speeds of some models only 100 mph. Oh no.). And then the eye-opening, “most of them are just plain ugly.”

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Bold claims about how difficult and dangerous repairs are – but nothing acknowledging that there are far fewer repairs, far less routine maintenance (no oil changes, tune-ups, exhaust problems, stolen catalytic converters, transmission flushing, etc.), and that mechanics will be trained to work on them without electrocuting themselves.

In a different article elsewhere that we’ve lost track of, it was argued that EVs require more energy to manufacture, and that this extra energy would only be recouped after driving the EV 20,000 miles. That sounds pretty good to us, as the EV is expected to go at least 200,000 miles.

But we’ll close with Motor Junkie’s analysis of EVs and geopolitics: “Some economic experts fear that the mass production of electric vehicles and focus on this kind of technology will destroy the current economic model. That, in turn, will affect global politics and all the worldwide monetary systems as well. If the oil companies lose their monopoly on energy and the oil-rich nations lose their authority on the global political scene, the world could be heading to another crisis.”

We’re not sure what this is saying, but it sounds SCARY. Like, IMAGINE if Russia and Saudi Arabia lost their power over the world??

Honestly, let’s move forward with healing our collective oil-addicted brain, and then use it not to rationalize our problems, but to actually SOLVE them.

Paul Stancioff, PhD., is professor emeritus of physics at UMF. Cynthia Stancioff re-words everything he writes. Email: [email protected] or [email protected] Previous columns and links can be found at https://paulandcynthiaenergymatters.blogspot.com/.

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