Op-Ed by the Editor
Previous we’ve talked about whether or not Tesla vehicles are really maintenance free as they claim. We also covered how Tesla cars sits near the bottom of a list of 300,000 cars evaluated for reliability. And we’ve covered the bright side where Tesla sells one of every 5 EV’s world wide.
We’ve tried in all this to cover both sides of the story, but it may be time to give an honest review of Electric Car ownership in general. Government and the Green Movement seem to have put all their eggs in one basket with Electric Vehicles, citing two basic facts as the justification for what has become a pretty heavy-handed push.
Side Note: Joe Biden wants half of all vehicles sold to be EV’s by 2030. Not radical enough for Governor Newsom who has announced that they will no longer allow new cars to be sold in California starting in 2030 unless said car was an EV. Which has caused Jay Insley to follow suit for Washington State.
Fact #1: Electric Cars put out zero emissions so they must be environmentally better than internal combustion engines that emit carbon.
Fact #2: The only way to make EV’s affordable and build infrastructure, the government must mandate that everyone buy them so manufacturers can use economy of scale to make them affordable. Sort chicken-and-egg, if you build it they will come sort of thing.
Of course there is a ton of missing nuance in this topic. For one thing, emission at the place of use is not the only consideration that makes something environmentally sound. A lot of environmental damage occurs when the materials are mined to make batteries. For another thing, a lot of emissions occur when the electricity is generated to power a vehicle. There is potential environmental issues in that the batteries aren’t very recyclable. Then too, EV’s weigh one thousand pounds more than their ICE equivalent which just has to impact fuel economy.
It’s also possible that industry could have developed affordable cars without half billion dollar grants from the government.
One of the big questions is, if technology has grown to a point to make EV’s practical. To start, recharge stations need put in around the country, which Tesla is doing, but the grids’ ability to service those needs is highly questionable, especially when you factor in at home charging.
Also, and it’s not a small thing, is the tiny range on a battery charge. This is a more complicated issue than we consumers were lead to believe at first. The best way we can address this is the personal testimony/review by a real estate agent and his wife, who leased a Tesla each. We’ll insert a copy of that below.
So the Tesla experiment ��has come to an end.
Heather and I each had one for the past 3 months and here are some things from our experience. When gas prices were $5 per gallon it seemed like a good thing to try.
Here are some Pro’s & Cons’s!
- 1. Watching netflix on the huge screen looked and sounded like a movie ��theater!! Amazing actually ! Using the internet to listen to radio stations on line was so cool.
- 2. These cars are really quick and very fast! Felt almost as fast ��as the Corvette !
- 3. High end speed was also fast. Easy to go over 100 mph. I always got to places quickly.
- 4. All kids were in awe of the Tesla!!!!
- 5. I had some warranty issues. I scheduled through the app and Tesla came to my house. This was cool other than I had to leave it there during that window of time. They fixed my issues at no charge and texted me what they did. Pretty cool!
- 1. My car said it would get 303 miles per charge. It really only get’s 200 miles in my opinion!!! These cars drain so fast! But when it gets to 80 miles left you need to be concerned. So it really only gets 160-170 true miles. This is not good !
- 2. Range anxiety is a real thing. This past weekend we took the car to New Jersey. Made it there with 60 miles left. Plenty to get us to a charging station. Went to the charging station I found In my phone and it was a mall!!! No charging station. Put the next one in my phone!!! Go to this station and had 6 miles left. I’m glad it was not another mall. So yes this creates unwanted anxiety ��. So I would not want to go below 100 miles ever again. So really this is a 120-140 mile car when its not winter.
- 3. I heard when winter comes the anxiety is worse. Imagine running electric heat. I heard the numbers go way down from normal usage from other Tesla owners. I can’t imagine what this will do?!?!
- 4. The tires on this car can easily get damaged. My wife had two flat tires In her 3 months. And flat tires are a pain! She had to schedule through the Tesla app. Only Tesla could fix the tire. She needed a new one the first time $412. The next time it was a hole and it was $150. They will only fix a tire one time so the next time on that tire it needs a new one. Not cool ��These tires cut like butter. Don’t drive off road at all and don’t nick a curb at all!! This tire situation was a deal breaker for Heather for sure because she hits curbs every day!!!
- 5. The car is too fast ��. I was bound to get a speeding ticket or in an accident. Heather said I drove way too fast everywhere! Driving a 100 mph in this car is not a good thing.
- 6. I charged this car on Sunday and it was $43 to charge it at a Tesla super station. This price to drive 170 miles is insane. The charging was free for me because of the rental program I was in. But I would never pay $72k for this car then pay that amount to charge it on trips!
- 7. My electric bill has gone so sky high at my house these past two months so its hard to actually know how much it is to charge a Tesla at home. My guess is its between $75-$100 for one car for a month. I had thought it would be closer to $50 month. I can only see this cost rising.
- 8. Running electric to my garage was not cheap. My brother did it for $1,000 in materials but it would have been much more if we hired it out. This prob would have been a $3,500 job.
- 9. Winter was coming and we show/look at a-lot of houses. We could not risk driving a Tesla based on charge or bad tires in this situation.
- 10. When going to a Tesla super charging station it will charge the car to 80% in 25 min. But it takes another 25 min to get to 100%. 50-55 min is too long for a full charge. They also dont like you to fully charge the car all the time. What the heck!
Overall I think ��electric cars are not ready for us. They really lack what you need if you really have to drive somewhere. And its risky getting a flat tire on any road.
So we turned in our leases and bought 2 – 2021 Dodge limited trucks with 30k miles on them.
The next new issue to be discovered is the fire risk…
….of Tesla’s bursting into flame after being submerged in salt water. You might be thinking, give pour Tesla a break, how often will a car be completely submerged in salt water. Enter Hurricane Ian, which is causing fire fighters a great deal of issue.
Note the Video of a Tesla Burning after being totaled in a car wreck.
We’d like to humbly suggest that the whole thing wasn’t thought through enough. There are good options that could be part of the solution if you don’t put all the eggs in one basket.
One option is to use all the alternate fuels alongside gasoline as a way to increase competition, lower prices and reduce total carbon emissions. The idea is that some fuel sources would be cheaper in some parts of the country though most of them could be made available anywhere in the country. So by not forcing uniformity the best, most efficient option could be found.
Another aspect of this, besides money, is that fuel could be made and used locally, reducing emissions created by moving fuel to gas stations states away from where it’s made.
Options include, Electricity, Biodiesel, Propane, Liquid Coal and more.
The other cool thing about using multiple alternative fuels is that each kind of fuel has its advantages and disadvantages. What is okay to one person and their lifestyle is intolerable to another. Just like we need to make trucks, commuter cars, and vans, EV’s might work fine for the commuter and sports car markets but not for delivery vehicles, rural dwellers, and the like. These drivers might need a practical option.
Perhaps the problem is not totally with EVs, but with a one-size-fits all, low creativity high government over-reach solution.