Myths.

1. Don't electric vehicles have a very limited range?

It depends on how much you want to spend on battery technology;
* Cheap lead acid batteries will give around 20 to 100Km (per charge) and last you one to three years. This is fine for commuter vehicles, which is what most vehicles today spend most of their lives as.
* Very expensive NiMH will get you further - 100 to 200km and last a lot longer.
* New Lithium Ion batteries are moderately priced and will get you 100 to 300km and should last for many years.

See www.ilea.org/downloads/MazzaHammerschlag.pdf for more information on comparing these battery technologies.

 

2. Aren't electric vehicles slow?

No, my Electric Echo has no trouble keeping up with, or overtaking everyday traffic.

Fastest EV 1/4 mile = 8.8 seconds @ 220 km/h - www.nedra.com/record_holders.html .

Fastest EV top speed = 500+ km/h  - www.buckeyebullet.com

 

3. Aren't electric vehicles expensive?

My conversion cost less than AUD$14,000. (If it was mass produced it would have cost less than a petrol vehicle to manufacture.) Add the cost of the near new car (AUD$10,000) and the total cost is still much less than the current hybrids.

Batteries should be considered as consumables and included in the running costs, therefore most EV's are more expensive to run per kilometre, but saving the planet was never going to save you money as well! Think of it as "green money", wisely spent.

4. By using utility electricity aren't you just moving the source of pollution from your car to the power station?

In Australia the answer is definitely YES! This is because 90% of Australia's electricity is generated using very "dirty" coal. Fortunately most power companies can provide you with a green power alternative which costs a little more but it is very clean, helping to make EV's truly Zero Emission Vehicles.

See this study www.ilea.org/lcas/taharaetal2001.html confirming this. 

See www.greenpower.com.au for more information on green electricity suppliers in Australia.

 

5. Doesn't the manufacturing of the batteries cost more in CO2 emissions over the lifecycle of the vehicle?

No. The worst battery technology used in an EV, lead-acid, would create about 1 ton of CO2 to make using raw materials (www.eiolca.net). This equates to about 5,000km of driving, in a small petrol vehicle. Which is approx half to a quarter of the batteries life. 

98% of a lead-acid battery is recyclable.

(NB The total manufacturing process of a small petrol vehicle creates about 10 tons of CO2. - www.eiolca.net )

 

6. Aren't hybrid vehicles vastly superior to electric only vehicles?

Oh really? Where do they get all their energy from...petrol. Therefore hybrids can never approach zero emissions. 

On average, hybrids merely turn an 20% efficient petrol motor into a 25% efficient petrol motor. A step in the right direction but hardly ground-breaking. 

When hybrids have more batteries added to increase their electric-only range and they can be charged via an external source (i.e. a mains outlet) then they will be truly environmentally competitive with an EV. (And I'd be lining up to buy one.)

"If you can't plug it in it ain't electric."

 

7. Abnormal Global Warming is not yet proved. Nor is there any evidence that we'd be worse off because of it, is there?

I'm not sure who's to blame  for doing such a poor job of providing people with an up front, balanced view of global warming. The ignorance here in Australia is astounding, probably because our nations biggest export is coal, the dirtiest energy source of them all. People in the UK and Europe have a much better understanding of global warming and its probable impact because their governments are much more proactive with this issue.

Do some reading for yourself, get over the conspiracy theories and ignore the one-off "experts". The Earth is not flat!

Start with these sites;

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology - www.bom.gov.au/info/GreenhouseEffectAndClimateChange.pdf

The Australian Governments own Greenhouse Department - www.greenhouse.gov.au

The United Nations sponsored group, the International Panel of Climate Change  - www.ipcc.ch