General Question

RayaHope's avatar

Do you think that electric cars are going to be the norm?

Asked by RayaHope (5117points) 1 month ago

Will gasoline-powered cars be a thing of the past in the near future? Should I think about investing in an E-car and will the industry continue to flourish? Can they plug into a regular home or do they need a special charging place?

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41 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I think that we will have very few cars, and almost everyone will be work at home.. Also most won’t work and there will be an universal basic income for most.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@RayaHope eventually, yes. But not for a good while – at least 15–20 years.

First the US (and the world) needs good enough batteries for EVs so that you can use them for a day or two before needing a recharge. Especially for highway driving. In the cities, they’ll be more accepted sooner, but on intercity drives, no.

Second, charging stations need to be everywhere – homes, malls, offices, everywhere. Since charging takes a minimum of 15 minutes and can go for hours, people have to be able to charge their EVs, in large numbers, anywhere they are. Not just 2–3 plugs in a parking lot, but 50–100 or more.

Third, the EV industry needs to decide on one charger technology. Not a half dozen. Think of a gas station today – the nozzle fits every car on the road. Not so with EVs.

And then you have the issue of recycling of batteries and materials in the EV. If it isn’t environmentally friendly, the EV industry won’t go anywhere.

And finally, changing the subject a little, it will take a generation or more for current gas powered vehicles to become obsolete. People aren’t going to move to EVs in large numbers if their current gas vehicles are in good shape. And that will take a while.

So…should you invest – yes, but intelligently. Because there will be plenty of losers before the best EV technologies evolve. Tesla may not be around in 15 years if something newer and better comes along.

So… eventually electronic vehicles will replace what we have now, but I don’t see it happening for 15–20 years.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

The largest issue I see is the need to scale up production of batteries. Lithium is going to be in short supply. That alone will push wide-scale EV rollout 15–20 years unless alternative battery tech is developed.

RayaHope's avatar

^^ Thanks guys this helped a lot! I have a better understanding of this subject now. I just didn’t want to latch on to something that may be replaced soon.

kritiper's avatar

Too soon to tell with the electrical problems/fires involved. But let’s hope so.
I see problems involving used electric cars and their resale value when they need expensive batteries replaced. Who wants to buy a used car that costs $30,000 ?

JLeslie's avatar

I think there will always be a mix of both gas and electric. We still have diesel too.

Maybe we get lucky and a completely new energy source gets developed that is better than all of them.

Hybrid cars make a lot of sense to me. Easier to deal with on long trips, no need to plug in, although there are hybrids that do plus on also.

As a married person I like the idea of one electric car and one gas if the couple can do it. That way on long trips you can just take the gas car and not worry about plugging in.

A few states have to solve some grid and off-grid problems to go all electric. I’d love to have solar panels to charge an electric car, but solar panels only work during the day, and often people need to charge at night. You can have back up batteries in the home, or sell the electricity to the power company, but then you still are depending on the grid.

I don’t think we can ever go all electric for transportation, but it’s a great option in some cases.

Where I live a lot of people use golf carts to get around which can be electric or gas. The gas gets a lot of miles per gallon (I think 40). More master planned communities could look into incorporating that. More communities with central shopping areas that are easy to walk and bicycle to would be good also. Electric buses.

RayaHope's avatar

^I’m surprised that golf carts are run by gas, I thought they all were electric. It would be so nice to just drive a golf cart everywhere (within reason of course)

JLeslie's avatar

Where I live it’s about 50/50. Half the people have gas and half have electric. There are 60,000 golf carts here, and many people do use it as their “daily driver.” Some couples have one car and two golf carts.

RocketGuy's avatar

@JLeslie – my ex-boss lives in The Villages. He has 1 electric golf cart and 1 gas car. He uses the golf cart most of the time. Almost everything he needs is within golf cart range.

RocketGuy's avatar

I drive a plug-in hybrid. Most of my driving is within battery range, but recently I had to drive to San Diego a few times. The hybrid portion gets 50 MPG, so I was able to drive down using only 1 tank of gas. My gas cost was half of what I would have spent if I had driven our VW.

gorillapaws's avatar

@elbanditoroso There’s just so much wrong with what you’ve said here.

“First the US (and the world) needs good enough batteries for EVs so that you can use them for a day or two before needing a recharge. Especially for highway driving. In the cities, they’ll be more accepted sooner, but on intercity drives, no.”

The current batteries are more than good enough for 9/10 drivers out there. I’ve had my Model 3 for over 4 years. I plug in every night at my house and wake up with more than enough juice to get me through any commutes/errands/whatever I need in a day with at least a hundred miles extra to spare.

I’ve been on a few road trips that are less than 500miles and the superchargers are perfectly adequate for any intercity needs I have ever had. If I were taking a 600+ mile roadtrip, I would almost certainly want to fly instead, but if I had to drive, that’s probably when I’d consider renting an ICE car for the journey. I’d also do so if my destination was to a remote cabin without electricity far away from other stuff.

@elbanditoroso “Second, charging stations need to be everywhere – homes, malls, offices, everywhere. Since charging takes a minimum of 15 minutes and can go for hours, people have to be able to charge their EVs, in large numbers, anywhere they are. Not just 2–3 plugs in a parking lot, but 50–100 or more.”

I agree that we need an increase in charging stations, but it’s mostly necessary in 2 places: home and work. If you don’t have access to a dedicated charging station at your home or work so you can plug in at night, then that would be a dealbreaker for owning an EV.

There is no minimum charging time. I’ve supercharged for 8 minutes once on a road trip. I had plenty of range to get home, but I wanted a little extra buffer, so I stopped and charged for a bit while taking a quick pit-stop at the convenience store. In the end, I could have made it home without the stop, but I had to pee and having a little extra range never hurts.

There are 3 levels of charging.

Level 1 is like plugging in your toaster to a standard wall socket. It’s possible to charge an EV this way in a pinch, but it’s slow to the point of being impractical. It might work if you wanted to get an extra 30 miles overnight or something like that It’s about 3miles of range per hour charging in my car.

Level 2 is like the plugs you see on a dryer in a home. This is what home charging stations use and most of the EV charging stations you see scattered around are. They charge about 10x faster than a normal wall plug—about 30miles per hour for my car. This is more than fast enough for daily use. You plug in every night just like you charge up your phone. You never have to think about charging or range, since you always have more than enough for your daily needs.

Level 3 supercharging is like a firehose of electricity. This is what you use for road trips. I’m familiar with Tesla’s supercharger network which are basically everywhere already (each pin is anywhere between 4–100 charging spots). These charge up to 1,000 miles per hour, but most commonly it’s more like several hundred miles per hour. It’s not great for the batteries to do this all of the time though. It’s really meant for the occasional road trip. If you time your lunch/bathroom breaks to coincide with charging, there really isn’t that much extra time spent waiting around for the car to charge. ICE cars still have an advantage over EVs here though, and likely will continue to have the advantage here for quite some time. It’s really not that big of a deal though and not having to leave early for work to fill up the tank, or wait around for an oil change is much more annoying to me.

@elbanditoroso “Third, the EV industry needs to decide on one charger technology. Not a half dozen.”

That’s would be nice and I agree. It’s also not that big of a deal to use an adaptor. I have a charging bag in my trunk with a few of them. I think I used an adaptor once.

@elbanditoroso “And then you have the issue of recycling of batteries and materials in the EV. If it isn’t environmentally friendly, the EV industry won’t go anywhere.”

This is a concern. Lithium and cobalt are important resources and we should be thinking about battery chemistries that minimize their use and can be recycled easily. That said, current EV batteries that are end of life are still extremely valuable for battery backup systems where they can be useful for many more years after their time on the road is done. Reusing is even better than recycling.

@elbanditoroso “People aren’t going to move to EVs in large numbers if their current gas vehicles are in good shape. And that will take a while.”

This is true. The transition won’t be instant, but I think EVs are already the best option for the vast majority of Americans. If you can charge at home or work, drive less than 200ish miles on a normal day, don’t need a truck bed or extreme off-roading/towing needs then I think an EV is probably the best choice if you can afford it because they’re much safer. The design of an EV allows for a rigid floor that prevents incursion into the passenger cabin. The lack of an engine block means you have much more room for a crumple zone to absorb impacts. The weight of the batteries in the floor drastically reduces the rollover risks. Saving a ton of money on gas and maintenance can really offset the sticker price difference, to the point that the total cost of ownership of a Model 3 is about the same as a new Toyota Camry over 5 years.

Also @kritiper is repeating nonsense that I’ve corrected for him multiple times. in the past.

“Too soon to tell with the electrical problems/fires involved.”

If you’re worried about your vehicle catching fire, you’d definitely want to get a Tesla because it’s about 10 times LESS likely to be in a fire per mile driven than the average car. Same with the battery degradation. If you’re worried about your vehicle lasting 500k miles, Teslas should still have about 80% of their maximum range after traveling that many miles. How many gas engines and transmissions last that long?

I’ve been going on about Tesla in particular here, but that’s mostly because it’s the brand I’m most familiar with. Other brands are starting to come around too.

kritiper's avatar

@gorillapaws I’m sure there are people who would agree with me that just because you said it doesn’t make what you say true.

RocketGuy's avatar

A fact check could easily clear that up.

gorillapaws's avatar

@kritiper “I’m sure there are people who would agree with me that just because you said it doesn’t make what you say true.”

Even I would agree with you that nobody should believe me just because I said something is true. That’s why I link to sources and data. If you’ve got data that contradicts the sources I’ve provided, I’m happy to take a look.

KRD's avatar

Electric cars are okay but I prefer gas or diesel.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@KRD Until you have experienced the acceleration of a performance electric, I would not rush to judgement. It’s honestly badass.

RayaHope's avatar

^ I think something too fast would scare me. I could never handle all that power.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@RayaHope You say that, but if you’re a sensation seeker like me, you need to experience it.

RayaHope's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Would it vibrate too much?

Blackwater_Park's avatar

It’s fast…and it’s smooth… I experienced that falling once, but you’re not terrified. You’re grinning from ear to ear.

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HP's avatar

It’s inevitable.

RocketGuy's avatar

@RayaHope – Teslas have Mellow mode where acceleration is generally mild. Some have Ludicrous and Plaid modes that will squish you in your seat. My Hyundai in D is fairly mild, but in S is pretty sporty for a little car.

RayaHope's avatar

^ My ex-bf had this car that vibrated too much, especially with the bass way up. It made me very…uncomfortable.

gorillapaws's avatar

I had the opportunity to test drive a Ludicrous Mode Model X, launching from a red light. It was kind of terrifying and yet so much fun at the same time. I can’t imagine what plaid feels like. Accelerating in an EV feels like those coasters that launch you instead of dropping you down a hill, except you know when it’s going to happen, so you’re not as scared of being surprised out of nowhere. @RayaHope You’re in VA according to you bio, so I’m not sure if you’ve ever rode the Outer Limits coaster at Kings Dominion, but it feels exactly like that. It’s just a constant smooth acceleration with no gear shifts.

This is Plaid Mode.

RocketGuy's avatar

@RayaHope – your ex-bf prob lowered the suspension but didn’t adjust the shocks to compensate for shorter springs. Modding a car gets pretty intricate. Cars straight from the factory are usually a lot smoother.

RayaHope's avatar

^^ That is so good to know. he had an older car and was always working on it. In that video, Outer Limits the coaster was soooo freaking fast and all those twists & turns on the end, ugg I would have lost my lunch.

kritiper's avatar

@gorillapaws Lots of information is being made available about the benefits and drawbacks of electric cars on national television. I predict that in 5 to 10 years we will know so much more about the truths and fallacies of electric cars. Meanwhile, the jury is, obviously, still out.

KRD's avatar

@Blackwater_Park what is wrong with gas and diesel?

RocketGuy's avatar

@KRD – owners of gas/diesel cars need to pay for: gas (with wildly fluctuating cost), tune ups, oil changes, smog checks, even brake service. It is harder to control pollution from millions of individual vehicles vs a single utility generation plant, and the responsibility falls on the car owner. Plus, non-polluting utilities are coming online e.g. solar and wind. Do we really need to beg the Middle Eastern oil producers for their oil? Use our troops to defend their countries from riff raff?

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RayaHope's avatar

@RocketGuy If I had a EV and needed to charge it somewhere what do they charge to fill it?

gorillapaws's avatar

@RayaHope Generally you’re charging at home or work. You would only ever charge around the town if you were traveling or you ran so many errands in one day that you drove 200–300ish miles depending on the car. I’ve been driving less lately, but with my Model 3, over the past month it’s saying I’ve spent about $32 on electricity from my home charger. The gas equivalent for the same number of miles would have cost $120 dollars to go the same distance with gas. So that’s $88 in savings last month by using a home-charger. When I last used a Tesla Supercharger I got 37 kwh which is about 75% of my “tank” and rough 230ish miles for $11.84.

jca2's avatar

Today, 8/24/22, the NY Times reports that California is announcing a ban on new gasoline powered cars, starting in 2023. They said this will speed up the move to all electric vehicles, because other states will follow California’s lead.

RayaHope's avatar

@gorillapaws WOW that is a big savings, I think I’m gonna start saving for an EV. May be the only thing I will be able to drive soon if they get rid of gas cars.

RocketGuy's avatar

@RayaHope – when I went to my mom’s house, in a little town outside of San Diego, there was a charging station that costs $0.60 per hour. That’s about 6 cents per mile for my car. I was kind of surprised. Near my house, some company just put up a big bank of EV chargers in a strip mall where there are 6 restaurants. Not sure how much they are charging. There is also a trendy area that put a bunch of chargers in their parking structure. Those spaces are EV-only, which have good availability on busy days. They are charging a lot per hour. When I plug in, I set my car to refuse charging unless it is low.

RayaHope's avatar

^^ Definitely the future is EV so I think I’ll be getting “on board” with this asap. :)

KRD's avatar

@RocketGuy you have to pay for the electricity you charge the car with.

RocketGuy's avatar

It’s cheaper than gas. In my car, when I run out of battery it goes to gas. I get 50 MPG, so with $5.00 gas that costs $0.10 per mile. Charging near my mom’s house was $0.06 per mile. Charging from my house it’s $0.036 per mile.

If you car gets less than 50 MPG, you pay even more per mile.

Entropy's avatar

I think that in the very long term, we’re going to have a much smaller fleet of self-driving ride-shared cars. You’ll hail a car, it will show up, take you where you want to go, and then go pick someone else up take them somewhere.

And yes, I think these cars will probably be battery-electric. I have about a 5–10% holdout that hydrogen-electric might have a comeback. Toyota thinks strongly enough about them that it’s betting big on hydrogen. The problem is that hydrogen under current technology is far less efficient and it would require a large infrastructure change, whereas battery-electric would require a far smaller infrastructure adjustment.

I plan to have my next car be battery-electric. I haven’t decided what company. I’m undecided whether to get a charger upgrade for my house. But unless you drive long distances or for vacations (where you want to drive for speed), battery-electric is already a really good option. It may not be for much longer though. I think supply-chain issues with the rare earth inputs is going to cause prices to skyrocket. And that would impact my decision.

RayaHope's avatar

I know we are thinking about getting an EV but they are expensive. My mom says we maybe will lease one soon.

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