The Near Future Of Electric Vehicles In My Opinion As A User

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Electric vehicles have been around for a long time. Electric bumper cars have been around since I was a kid and one of my best friends grandmothers drove an electric car in the early part of the last century. The modern day popularity of electric only cars is mostly the doing of Tesla Motors. They produced their first cars in 2008 that was a small fast sports car. The first Tesla sedan the model S was sold in 2012. Elon Musk joined the company in 2014. The smaller Tesla model 3 was first shipped in 2017. Two years later the model Y smallish SUV came out. Tesla has gone from a small vehicle maker to a very big important one is a very short period of time.

Key to Tesla’s success is that from early on they have made a great effort to help solve electric cars biggest weakness, convenient, reliable charging stations when and where you need them. They are so far the only company that that I know of who has built and operates their own system of electric charging stations in the US and other countries on a large scale.

Tesla Charging Station

Lately several other car and truck makers have come out with electric vehicles, Ford, GMC, Rivian, VW, Porsche, and more. I have watched a number of the tests of those cars and trucks in the field and all of them have had to rely on public charging stations. Almost all of these testers had problems with finding working high speed chargers when they needed them. Almost every one of the testers said the same thing, public chargers are not as good as Teslas proprietary charging system. I charge our Tesla 95% of the time at home. This is very convenient and easy and low cost for me. When we have been on the road and not at home to charge Tesla superchargers were very reliable, easy to use, and convenient.

At some point in the future public chargers in the USA will be easy to use, reliable, and convenient, but not yet. Until that time comes I am only going to buy Tesla electric vehicles when I buy an electric. Tesla has hinted a few times they may open up their supercharger system for other car/truck makes than Tesla. If they do so I might be open to another maker than Tesla.

In my opinion the current government plans to only allow electric only cars in the future is unwise. If the goal is to reduce carbon emissions I would say that a logical, practical plan would include a general move towards more fuel efficient vehicles no matter if they are gas, diesel, electric, hybrid, or any other power system is the right way to go. And also you need to recognize that unless you are charging electric cars and trucks with low carbon emission electricity they are not no carbon emission cars or trucks.

There are other problems with all electric vehicles. If you want to tow a trailer, haul a heavy cargo, or go off-road electric only may be problematic. Using electric power when towing can cause a dramatic reduction in the ability to tow. Two years. ago I parked my motorhome in the KOA in Grants NM and saw a Tesla model S come in with a small approx 22′ trailer. I talked to the owner and asked about the range. He said at the time that his model S usually could get up towards 300 miles on a charge, but when he towed he got more like 80 miles. Last week when I watched a test of the new Ford F150 electric truck I saw a 300+ mile rated Ford F150 EV only get about 80 miles when towing a small trailer. I would say that until battery technology can get those towing miles per charge up that EV tow vehicles are not competitive with gas or diesel powered ones.

Using electric cars in the winter in cold climates has severe limitations. Low or very low temperatures can cause range to go down significantly. I have watched some testers who had 40% or more reduction in range at temperatures that are common in places like Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota.

When I charge my Tesla I program my garage charger to work when the rates are lowest. That would be midnight to 6am. I would suspect that very little power at that time of night is produced by solar power. So likely the bulk of the power I use is from gas or oil. That being the case I am not reducing carbon emissions by buying an electric car, but I am spending a lot more money to buy electric one. You can get a very good smallish SUV that uses little gas for $40,000 or less. A Tesla model Y can cost over $70,000. Electricity made at night by a gas generator just means that the carbon is produced somewhere other than my car. It does not mean that my Tesla is zero emissions.

Currently gas and diesel prices are very high. This will likely change soon and prices will go back to the usual range. The US has lots of oil and gas in this country. But currently these resources are not being used as they have been in the past.

My predictions.

  1. The happy period we are now in with regard to electric cars and trucks with all makers rushing out new electric vehicles will get hit by reality about the end of next year when thousands of new truck and car owners discover the limitations of electric trucks for towing and carrying and electric cars don’t run so well in Minnesota winters.
  2. Sales of Teslas will slow down considerably due to price increases. I would guess $75,000 model Ys may not do to well vs electric Chevy, VW, Ford, and Honda vehicles costing $20,000 less.
  3. People who can afford an electric car and almost always recharge at home will be very happy with their cars. For longer car trips they will likely take their gas car.
  4. Tesla’s Cybertruck will finally come out and be a success. The reason is because it will be more of a lifestyle vehicle and not by used frequently to tow trailers. Electric vehicles current poor ability to tow because of battery technology and get decent range will be less of a problem.
  5. Tesla’s new factories will drastically increase their production volume to be more like Fremont and Shanghai Tesla and prices will ease on Tesla vehicles to avoid a significant slowdown in sales of Teslas.
  6. Ford, GM, and Chrysler – Jeep will sell gas and electric versions of their cars and give the customers choice to pick what type of motor they prefer. That done the reliability of public charging stations will slowly get much better and the general advantages of electric power in cars will get a lot of people to go that way and not gas.
  7. Longer term unless batteries get a lot better I think most trucks will stay gas or diesel powered. On the other hand in warmer climates I think most cars may tend towards electric powered. In climates where the temperature frequently goes below 20 degrees F most cars will stay gas.
  8. Many of those gas cars and trucks will be gas hybrids or plug in hybrids.
  9. Tesla will stay the dominant EV producer World wide.

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