Ev’s The band wagon Lets face facts the EV’s are coming and are already here. The band wagon say’s lets buy an all Electric vehicle to save the environment.
I say let’s take a closer look?
Pro’s: To buying the all electric vehicle. No gas, charging cost is about 1/3 of the cost of gasoline. No tail pipe emissions and way less maintenance. This is a really a good idea if your in the smog capital of Los Angles, CA. Where the smog is bad; because the mountains hold the environmental air in. There is definitely a need to reduce exhaust from all industry's, In that part of California, that is were the feel good environment stuff ends.
Con’s: Where do we start ? There is so much, lets start with the cost, of the vehicle. Full electric vehicles are out of the price range of most new vehicle buyer’s, about 1/3 higher then the price of a gas engine vehicle. Plus the cost of setting up a fast home charger, the a cost nobody talks about. This is a big variable and it can cost $800 to $3000 extra for the set up depending the way your house electrical is set up. A 2023 Tesla model Y SUV priced at about $56k compared to Ford Escape gas for about $29K. That's about a $27K difference not to mention the cost of the fast Charging Station set up. I did some quick math but you are looking at about 8 years of ownership if you drive 15k miles a year at $4 per gallon of gas to equal out, in price. Cold/Hot weather range, in your Tesla model Y is about150-200 miles when running the heat or the A/C perfect conditions up to 330 miles in the long range version max . The charging stations are getting to be better, but a fast charge will get you about an extra 60-80 miles of range in about 30 min. A full charge takes 11 to 12 hours, with a fast charger. Lets talk about the battery why is lithium extraction bad for the environment. Any type of resource extraction is harmful to the planet. This is because removing these raw materials can result in soil degradation, water shortages, biodiversity loss, damage to ecosystem functions and an increased global warming. But when we think of extraction, we think of fossil fuels like coal and gas. Unfortunately, lithium also falls under the same umbrella, and looks to be worse, despite paving the way for an electric future. Lithium can be described as the non-renewable mineral that makes renewable energy possible - often touted as the next oil.
Lithium extraction inevitably harms the soil and causes air contamination. According to a report by Friends of the Earth(FoE), lithium extraction inevitably harms the soil and causes
air contamination. As demand rises, the mining impacts are “increasingly affecting communities where this harmful extraction takes place, jeopardizing their access to water,” says the
report. Although it's true that electric car batteries weigh about 1,000 pounds and creating one requires digging up, moving and processing tons of raw materials, evaluating the
batteries' impact on the environment is more complex thenthat.
EVs have lithium-ion batteries that can store energy and recharge once it’s spent. The problems arise when those batteries become so used that they can no longer provide an adequate range
for EVs. The big, heavy batteries present a clear danger to the environment, so recycling has become a popular goal in the industry.
At the same time, recycling batteries is not cheap, efficient, nor quick. That will change in time, but for now, there’s work to do. Costs should eventually fall once there are enough EVs on the
road to create benefits of scale, and there are uses for batteries once their lives powering come to an end, hopefully...
Tesla claims it can recycle up to 92% of the materials inside its batteriesand has said that none will end up in landfills ? While that may or may not be entirely accurate, companies are working
to reduce costs and increase the number of materials that can be safely reused I’ve been told. Currently, a battery takes a few main avenues once it reaches the end of its useful life. Three of the most prominent are included below. EV battery recycling, currently, the only EV battery material worth recycling is cobalt. That leaves lithium, manganese, and nickel, among a host of other materials that may not be economically recyclable or require additional processing that drives cost. That’s not only bad for the environment since there is a ton of leftover material, it’s also bad for recycler’s because unless there’s a buyer lined up for lithium and manganese, they could be out of luck, so means there is a good chance your battery end up in a land fill and this can cause much more contamination to the drinking water supply.
The two main methods for recycling batteries involve either extreme temperatures or acid. Both processes generatesemissions and creates waste, which can end up in the environment. Then there’s the matter of economics, as many battery companies look to use less cobalt. If that ends up being the case, recycler’s already meager profit margins will take a beating. There is a method known as direct recycling, which leaves the cathode mixture intact, but it’s not yet ready for prime-time.
In closing, yes EV’s have there place and should be used in places like California where there is a bad smog problem. They may work well for some drivers that don’t take road trips but should
they replace gas engine’s 100% I say no, the con’s out-way the benefits for most people and the environment.
A technology to watch for is hydrogen fuel as it burn’s out water as an emission by product.
By Aaron Strand