The Obscure Nature of Electric Vehicles
Every time a new technology makes its way to the market consumers are obviously ignorant about it and they normally go: ‘For the same price, the bigger and more powerful the better’. Speaking of EVs, common people like me are usually concerned about the range. When an electric vehicle is tested its range is normally exposed in the very first lines of the article if not in the subtitle. It makes sense after all, how far we can go is the key factor, the most critical factor to be considered when it comes to such cars (apart from price of course). This because it triggers our fear to be stranded on the road side miles away from home like sailors lost at sea and it’s perfectly understandable, people who owned a 2 stroke motorcycle with a fuel tank size inversely proportional to its gigantic appetite for gas know what I am talking about, boy you could skip leg day after pushing that thing to the closest station. Most customers want to know how many miles they can run without recharging which is correct but keep in mind that efficiency is important as well: both battery efficiency and powertrain efficiency. Big batteries add pounds, which leads to bigger brakes, frames, suspensions and tires. Big batteries store more energy but part of it is dissipated just because of their weight so the industry tackles the range problem both with more capacity and improving efficiency. Have you noticed that when comparing ICE vehicles we check MPGs while when it comes to EVs we mostly want to know the range? It’s like we are worried about gas price when filling but recharging is free. Let’s put it this way: a Hummer sure has a bigger tank than a Corolla but this doesn’t mean it goes farther or it’s cheaper to run. The same goes for EVs, big batteries-great range doesn’t means miles are free: How many miles per kW the car delivers matters, engineers and insiders know this very well, now it’s time to educate common people like the one writing that range and consumption are both important, before we all end up complaining about electricity bills. Wasting energy comes with a price in terms of pollution too as long as sources are not renewable. But even when it’s renewable energy, why would we waste it anyway?
Countless videos on YouTube showed for years Toyota Prius real consumption (it was a sort of challenge) but now that society is facing this huge shift in technology to EVs it seems consumption is not that relevant anymore to the average consumer, we have to avoid the approach ‘Just throw some more Duracells in the trunk cowboy’ because it is not cost effective.
Makers say that to extend range and cut costs every little enhancement helps, downsizing and lighter components do their part in the process. I suppose leaving home the 150 pounds of your mother-in-law seems a reasonable price to pay for the sake of economizing.