With all the talk about green technology and the proliferation of electric cars, let’s look at some realities. While I do own stock in Tesla, Nikola, Nio and other green technology corporations like Plug Power (http://therepublic1776.com/2021/01/20/save-capitalism) ,it is wise to examine the obstacles expansion in these fields will face.
Unlike countries like the U.K. and Japan, America is an expansive country with 4.8 million miles of roads according to the Federal Highway Administration. Compare that with 347,000 for Japan and it is clear to see how costly a network of charging stations will be to create.
There are almost 274 million cars registered on the road in America and approximately 1.5 million of those are electric. With companies like G.M. planning to end production of the internal combustion engine by 2035 and collaborations with Apple and Kia, Ford and Volkswagen underway, the future is clear. Or is it?
Many current electric car owners report “range anxiety” – the constant fear of running out of battery life before finding a charging station. As a result, many owner avoid long trips with their electric cars. Forget the American road trip where hundreds of thousands of miles are desolate stretches without gas stations (to be converted?) and / or power lines.
Fortunately, many of the nation’s interstate systems, especially in busy intercity corridors already have charging stations installed or planned. Refuel costs are less than gasoline, especially with oil prices on the rise (connection to green push is likely). However, charging times are lengthy using standard chargers and supercharging stations take 30 minutes to get up to an 80% charge on average according to Tesla.
Cold climate-residents are likely aware that cold temperatures saps battery capability. Wired magazine reports that cold weather reduces electric car tange by 20%. Cabin heating is derived from a heat pump system that drains the battery more than any other system.
Another option is what Toyota sees as a modern high-tech Delorean though not powered powered by plutonium or garbage, but rather, hydrogen. Their second generation Mirai fuel cell vehicle is due out this year, although hydrogen refueling stations are not growing at the same pace as electric.
The unknowns are events like snowstorms, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters that cut power sources and create long traffic lines.
Will electric outages like California experienced last summer or threats to the national grids impede the rollout of transformative change?
Will people trust the electric car to be their sole conveyance or will they not even have a choice if lawmakers and corporations continue down the path to redefine transportation in America.
Americans should have a choice and let the free market decide the degree to which new technology will shape the country. Until then, we should choose to purchase, invest and travel FREELY.