Opinion Article on EV Future - not rosy

Opinion Article on EV Future - not rosy

Here is an very defeatist article on why EV's won't survive.

I am certain this community will rally to debunk.

jat | April 22, 2013

It's on AOL -- what more do you need to know about clinging to ancient technology?

stimeygee | April 22, 2013

He doesn't mention Tesla. I agree with him that other current EV models won't survive, aside from Tesla.

djm12 | April 22, 2013

Leaf is doing pretty well. I wouldn't count it out for that price range.

olanmills | April 23, 2013

I posted some replies, but the article is from last week, so probably no one will read it anyway.

Anyway, this article starts of with the hypothesis that EVs won't catch on, but all of his supporting reasons have to do with why government efforts to spur EV adoption won't help EV adoption catch on.

That's not a good article because government support isn't the only possible way that EVs will catch on. As Elon Musk has stated, probably the best way to spur EV adoption is to, you know --and I know this sounds crazy and everything, but hear me out-- is to actually make EVs that people will want to buy! It's called capitalism or something like that. I dunno, maybe you've heard of it.

Hogfighter | April 23, 2013

I'm continually shocked at how illogical you can be and still get paid to be a journalist.

Vawlkus | April 23, 2013

Sensationalism sells. What other reason do you need to distrust news companies?

herkimer | April 23, 2013

While I think the author of this article is more pessimistic than need be (he doesn't seem to know of Tesla's existence for example), some of the points he makes are valid, and reinforced by the comments which follow the article. Currently in America, Ignorance is defiant and active, supported by a lot of money from the oil and gas industry and their cronies in the military/industrial/spy complex, along with the politicians they own. They are determined to undermine anyone who wants to support a paradigm shift in energy usage.

Yes, the anti-environmental lobby is powerful and well funded, and no, they don't care about the future of your or anyone else's children. They care, more than anything else, about continuing their obscene profits and world domination, and have no other loyalty, certainly not to fellow citizens.

It is a fight for the future, folks. And the stakes could not be higher! It is and will continue to be a battle, and ignorance has proven to be a very useful tool for those with entrenched interests.

pebell | April 23, 2013

The author, although making some valid points, doesn't know about Tesla. And because of that, he is not seeing the one reason that will cause Tesla to succeed to change the automotive world where all others have failed or will fail.

The Tesla Model S is the first car that makes it very clear to anyone who sees and drives it that actually, it is not EVs but ICE cars that are "conceptually compromised". They ONLY thing they've got going for them is that their tank can be filled quickly - virtually everything else about them is a compromise. Noisy, smelly, vibrating, limited torque range, space consuming, technically complex and therefore expensive to maintain, the list goes on and on.

Most of the EVs that the author is basing his opinion on, are in that sense "doubly compromised" cars, with dual drivetrains that merely add yet more complexity and take up yet more space. You would choose such a car only if you are willing to put up with more compromises, in order to "be green" (and let's just assume for argument's sake that these cars are indeed significantly better for the environment).

The Tesla Model S you choose because it feels so good to be rid of those typical ICE compromises. And in 25 years or so, when battery range will have at least doubled and charging infrastructure is vastly improved, I am convinced that (at least for consumer car) ICE vehicles are going to be a minority, if not a rarity.

MandL | April 23, 2013

You can't say he doesn't know about Tesla. He's "Editor-In-Chief, AOL Autos." Oh, and his byline is on this article from a week earlier:

That said, a lot of people discount the Model S as a rich guy's toy and ignore it in discussions of the state of the industry. Not defending it or anything.

holidayday | April 23, 2013

I read it as "Americans are too dumb to want EVs"

Brian H | April 23, 2013

He knows about Tesla, but just didn't mention it because it demolishes his argument.

craigi | April 23, 2013
pebell | April 24, 2013

I stand corrected on the assumption I made that he didn't know about Tesla. Now I will have to figure out which is worse: being an Editor-In-Chief and not knowing about Tesla, or knowing about it yet dismissing 100% electric cars as easily as he does without even mentioning it.

ghillair | April 24, 2013

Last time I checked there is no requirement in any journalism major to take either logic or statistics classes. Anyone smart enough to pass a logic or statistics class is smart enough to go into something other than journalism!

Winnie796 | April 24, 2013

"Experts" said similar things about the first mobile (cell) phones and home computers too.

Velo1 | April 24, 2013

I introduced a friend yesterday to my Model S. He's very old school and cannot think outside the box, IMO. First thing he said when he saw my S was "it looks like a real car and it is gorgeous!" Then he said "do they make them with gas engines, too?". After educating him on the EV basics, and TM specifically, we went for a test drive, and as you might expect, he was stunned at the performance. He left saying I bet the wife would like to see this. He is now convinced at least Tesla is head and shoulders above all cars. Yea!

He was a staunch Romney supporter, and as we ended our drive he said "WTF was Romney talking about that TM is a loser?!"

alcassfast | April 24, 2013

Yes, sadly, the media creates doubt, and even more sad if the fact that most people rely on the mainstream media for information and they will believe everything that they read, hear, and, see, presented there.

JaneW | April 24, 2013

" the mainstream media "

The mainstream media has mostly been very taken with the Model S and reviewed it well.
Don't let a few jerks make you forget all the good stories.

US News ranks it #1 out of 15 luxury sedans

LA Times reported on Tesla's success and profits -- and in their reader poll 94% believe T will keep growing

CNET favorable review

Chicago Tribune favorable review. Etc.

negarholger | April 24, 2013

JaneW - thanks for reminding us.

ChristianG | April 25, 2013

Well he's right in many ways. electric cars are not as practical as ICE cars, mainely due to the recharge time. If the recharge time would be 5 min. nobody would complain about 260mile range.

While I realy do admire tesla for their car and vision, after all I'm getting one, it's hard to tell if the battery-electric will really be the future of long distance driving. Actually I think a hydrogen car looks just as promising. You still get the energy locally, you still drive electric so the engine is still as efficient and maintenance free but you ca tank it as fast as an ice. Also you don't need to drag around 800kg of batteries. you'll also not need to change the battery pack after 8 years or so.

Of corse there are plusses for the battery side as well. I just want to say the future is not set in stone. Tesla did the impossble and did it well. But I'd be happy to see them make their first hydrogen car in 10 year too ;)

Sudre_ | April 25, 2013

Fuel cells for hydrogen cars are still so far away from what is needed that you could not make an S today with all the advantages the S currently has. How would you sell a hydrogen car with more draw backs than an electric car, fast fill up? People will just stick with what they know in that case.

pebell | April 25, 2013

Sudre_, I understand what you are saying, but since "fast fill up" is pretty much the only advantage ICE cars have over EVs like the Model S, and that at the cost of a huge list of drawbacks, I wouldn't underestimate how important the "fast fill up" argument is.

I think most ICE car drivers will be more tempted by a hydrogen EV that has "fast fill up" and many (but not all) EV advantages, than by a battery powered EV like the Model S.

I hope the huge amounts of research currently being done on battery technology will yield results before hydrogen technology becomes mature. I think if one could fully charge a Model S in 10-15 minutes, this would be good enough for hydrogen to be obsolete before it even arrives. Is that realistic? I dunno..

ChristianG | April 25, 2013

Everybody said that about electric cars too, only golf carts were driving around and one or two custom made sports car wich did cost 500'000 Euro like the Venturi Fetish. and now there is a Model S...

theoretically hydrogen makes a lot of sence. No change is without problems and yes we are confortable with the things we know, just like you are with tesla ;)

Brian H | April 25, 2013

overestimate, you mean?

DarrellH | May 24, 2013

pebell, I'm not sure if "fast fill up" is much of an advantage with hydrogen cars. I've heard that many hydrogen fill ups take 1/2 an hour or more. I'll keep my Roadster and S, thank you.

Tiebreaker | May 24, 2013

Recharge time for EVs is zero, most of the time. It is done while you are sleeping.

My wife absolutely hates gas stations, so I always have the honors. The fill-up is never 5 minutes. Getting off the road, waiting in line, pumping in rain or sweltering heat, or waiting for the attendant to pump, breathing charming fumes (I love the smell of the gasoline in the morning)...

DonS | May 24, 2013

Journalism is a dying business and every journalist tries to be interesting to justify his job. Whether an article is for or against Tesla, every article is a lot of opinion built around a few facts (and omissions) and the reporter's limited experience. Use your brain to filter and don't get too caught up because it is just one person's opinion. It may even be opposite of the reporter's opinion because they believe the slant will generate more interest.

risquared | May 24, 2013

Very superficial and poorly written article. It repeats old arguments that have been covered elsewhere much better. Also there are good arguments against his points. For example: yes, electricity production is not clean (unless it is hydro powered, like in Arizona, or solar generated like on my roof:-) However it is one thing burning gas in the fields, where the power plant is and another burning it in the center of Manhattan or LA. Also large turbines are much more efficient than the small ICE in the car. Or, let's talk how dirty is the metallurgical process of making all the bulk metal parts that make the ICE and the gear box, both eliminated in the EV.

EVs are here to stay and the future belongs to them paired with solar power generation.

Mark K | May 24, 2013

The best refutation is strong sales and happy drivers.

xoviat | May 24, 2013

"the power to recharge them comes largely from coal-fired or nuclear power plants, so what is the point?"

Nuclear power plants cause a fraction of the environmental destruction of coal-fired plants, have caused less human fatalities per unit of energy than any other source of energy, including hydroelectric, and emit no significant greenhouse gasses.

Then again, there is no point in reducing greenhouse emissions, reducing environmental impact, or reducing human fatalities, is there?


DerekCrosby | May 24, 2013

I don't know about you but to save a buck on gas, I've stood in Costco Lines that take 20+ minutes to fill up...

For me an ICE car is for a road trip, where the infrastructure of superchargers hasn't caught up to the demand (Overcrowding) or distances being to far.

For everything else I park my car, and plug in, I have a timer for 1am when it starts charging, and for my commute it should finish in about 1 to 1.5 Hours (34mi) Up and down a big mountain + some Tesla Grin = 40-60 Ideal miles gone / day... And I never worry about range anxiety... I even had a sub contract that I needed to go 126 mi. Round trip on, every day... the 60 did it without breaking a sweat.. I never had anything but confidence...

jbunn | May 24, 2013

The Teslas run on dirty coal argument just doesn't stand up. I just moved from Washington State. We were about 90% renewable. I now live in CA, and we are rolling out massive solar projects. My car gets cleaner every day.

That article is his opinion (and you know what they say about opinions). My FACT is parked in the garage, and I drive it every day. I'll bet my fact against his opinion any day.