Go back

Battery advocates have two misconceptions. Misconception 1 is that charging infrastructure is cheap. People think, all I need for my BEV is a standard 15A or 20A 110V outlet. The reality is, fast charging requires higher voltage and higher current. According to Greg Blencoe, as many as half of the people who have cars do not have a place to plug in at night. Even if there was a place to plug in at every convenient stop, where does the electricity come from? Does it come from coal plants that emit CO2, sulfur, and other heavy metals?

Misconception 2, which is harder to challenge, is that battery technology will sufficiently improve to make BEVs and PHEVs a slam dunk solution to the OIL crisis. First off, the battery in the Volt is very expensive where the cars $40k estimated price tag is $17,600 above the price of a typical hybrid. For a $2500 premium when people buy fuel cell cars in 2015, it will be possible to build hydrogen refueling stations. Battery technology has been improving significantly since at least the 90s, although battery electric vehicles have been around since 1900.

Concerning misconception 2, an industry task force promoting plug-in vehicles estimates that there won't be significant adoption of BEVs and EREVs until 2030. See http://gm-volt.com/page/2. The article title is "Coalition of Industry Leaders Releases Roadmap to get 120 Million Electric Cars on US Roads by 2030." Considering that fuel cell cars will probably be market ready in 2015, that is not encouraging.

The lifetime of the batteries in BEVs and PHEVs should be a major concern. In the lab, it appears that 5-7 years is the max. The batteries are so expensive in the first place that getting the maximum life out of them is essential. If a PHEV is running the engine most of the time to top off or condition the batteries, what's the point?

Go back