"Electric cars are here, they are Cool and ready to go. In order to be Green and stay Cool you do not have to sacrifice on design, power or experience "Range Anxiety", in couple of years down the road you will have plenty to chose from and they are coming on the roads already now. WSJ is taking the story to the investment mainstream and next idea will be how to capitalise on this Trend."
On this, a day when lots of kids will be playing with small electric cars that just showed up under the tree, we thought it would be a good time to raise the question of whether lots of us will be driving big, real ones soon as well.Plug In America, an advocacy group of electric-car fans, has twisted the 12 Days of Christmas into the 12 reasons why an electric-car society can work.
No partridge. No pear tree. No five golden rings. But here are what the group considers 12 often-voiced criticisms of EVs, and why the worries are unfounded:
CRITICISM: EVs don't have enough range. You'll be stranded when you run out of electricity.
RESPONSE: Americans drive an average of 40 miles per day, according to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. Most new pure electrics will have a range of at least double that and can be charged at any ordinary electrical outlet or publicly accessible station with a faster charge.
CRITICISM: EVs are good for short city trips only.
RESPONSE: Consumers have owned and driven EVs for seven years or more and regularly use them for trips of up to 120 miles.
CRITICISM: EVs just replace the tailpipe with a smokestack.
RESPONSE: Even today, with 52% of U.S. electricity generated by coal-fired power plants, plug-in cars reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and most other pollutants compared with conventional gas or hybrid vehicles.
CRITICISM: The charging infrastructure must be built before people will adopt EVs.
RESPONSE: Most charging will be done at home, so a public charging infrastructure isn't a prerequisite.
CRITICISM:: The grid will crash if millions of plug-ins charge at once.
RESPONSE: Off-peak electricity production and transmission capacity could fuel the daily commutes of 73% percent of all cars, light trucks, SUVs and vans on the road today if they were electrics, a 2007 study by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found.
CRITICISM:: Battery chemicals are bad for the environment and can't be recycled
RESPONSE: About 99% batteries in conventional cars are recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The metals in newer batteries are more valuable and recycling programs are already being developed for them.
CRITICISM: Batteries take too long to charge.
RESPONSE: The most convenient place and time to charge is at home while you sleep. Even using the slowest 120-volt outlet, the car can be left to charge overnight, producing about 40 miles of range.
CRITICISM: Plug-ins are too expensive for market penetration
RESPONSE: New technologies are typically costly. Remember when cell phones and DVDs were introduced? Also, the government stimulus package includes a $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit for EVs and PHEVs. Some states are considering additional incentives ($5,000 in California and Texas).
CRITICISM: Batteries will cost $15,000 to replace after only a few years
RESPONSE: The battery is the priciest part of a plug-in, but costs will drop as production increases and the auto industry is expected to be purchasing up to $25 billion in advanced batteries annually by 2015. Some car makers plan to lease their batteries, so replacement won't be an issue. The Chevy Volt PHEV will have a 10-year battery warranty that would cover battery replacement.
CRITICISM: There isn't enough lithium in the world to make all the new batteries.
RESPONSE: Even in a worst-case scenario of zero battery recycling, aggressive EV sales, no new mining methods or sites, existing lithium stores will be sufficient for projected EV production for the next 75 years. ion.
CRITICISM: Lithium batteries are dangerous and can explode.
RESPONSE: Among the many kinds of lithium-ion batteries, lithium-cobalt batteries found in consumer electronics can pose a fire risk in certain circumstances. These risks can be mitigated by the use of advanced-battery management systems and careful design that prevents "thermal runaway."
CRITICISM: Most of us will still be driving gas cars through 2050.
RESPONSE: Several irrefutable factors are driving the shift from gasoline to plug-in vehicles: ever-toughening federal fuel economy standards and state caps on greenhouse gas emissions; projected price hikes for petroleum products as demand increases and supply flattens or drops; broad agreement over the need for America to reduce its reliance on petroleum for economic and national security reasons; and climate change, which is occurring faster than previously thought, according to the journal Science and others.