Gareth Butterfield is a journalist with 16 years’ experience covering cars, consumers, football and weather in the UK. With experience across multiple sectors and having always driven electric vehicles, he understands the limitations of new vehicles from both a consumer and expert perspective. But at the same time he also expressed many such views regarding electric vehicles which are very wrong.
Butterfield said he is actually “addicted to gas”. He loves V8 engines, loves the smell of cars driving at full speed on the road. He is often present at classic car exhibitions.
But he is also very realistic about the future of cars and believes that “the huge demand for electric vehicles cannot be ignored”.
“It still needs to be fixed, but electric cars are great vehicles. They are fast and fun beyond imagination. I don’t mind using electric cars to travel long distances. When I think about electric “I get really angry when I see so many people confused. Shocked by the coverage of cars and these misunderstandings,” he wrote in the nearly 120-year-old daily newspaper. mirror His.
So, they decided to clear up some common misconceptions about electric vehicles.
Are the materials for electric car batteries not durable?
Gareth Butterfield admits that the current process of mining lithium to make batteries is not sustainable. But mining hard rock or evaporating lithium-rich groundwater aren’t the only ways to obtain lithium.
But there is a new production process that, when scaled up, can produce lithium with minimal environmental impact. This involves extracting lithium from geothermal brine sources, then pumping the water back underground so that it does not deplete the groundwater source (like traditional evaporation methods).
Another problem is rare metals such as cobalt used in the production of electric vehicle batteries. But there are also batteries that do not use cobalt, usually solid-state batteries, which are expected to replace lithium-ion batteries.
Even electric cars still use precious metals, Gareth Butterfield also said that many people forget that normal gasoline cars also have parts that use these metals.
Can electric cars catch fire easily?
“Absolute nonsense,” Butterfield wrote. He said that in fact the incidents of fire in electric vehicles are much less as compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines.
It’s just that information about a fire in an electric vehicle spreads more quickly, which easily leads to misconceptions about the possibility of this vehicle catching fire and exploding.
In fact, modern batteries are extremely safe and undergo rigorous testing. Meanwhile, carrying dozens of liters of gasoline also carries some risks.
Aren’t Electric Cars Really Eco-Friendly?
There are many issues that need to be resolved before any decisions can be made about the “greenness” of electric vehicles.
For example, power supply problems. Electric vehicles are “not green” when they use electricity from non-renewable energy (such as electricity from burning coal). In fact, people are becoming less and less dependent on this energy source.
The electric vehicle manufacturing process may not be completely clean, but “it is improving with each new vehicle launch”.
Operating range is too boring, charging takes a long time?
In fact, electric vehicles have developed at an incredible pace, to the point where it is now possible to “scoff” cars with a range of less than 300 km when fully charged. Butterfield believes that after just a few years, 640km cars will become popular, and even 1,000km cars will be on the road.
Currently, the normal operating range is about 400 km, which is already a respectable distance. Many people cannot run 400 km before stopping. Many people don’t need to go so far that they have to charge 2 times or more (one way) when they get a car with a 400km range. According to Butterfield, unless there is a specific program, most people run only about 50 km per day.
Butterfield believes one reason long-range electric vehicles will soon become popular is solid-state battery technology. These batteries offer longer range, faster charge times, better longevity and are safer. At that time, the situation of gasoline cars will be really shaken.
Is hydrogen a better solution?
Hydrogen fuel cells are good, but they have their own problems. One of them is that large-scale production is difficult, especially if production is sustainable. Not to mention infrastructure issues.
Additionally, hydrogen is also highly flammable. The Hindenburg disaster of 1937 is an example of this, killing 35 people and injuring many more.
Of course, today’s technology is much more modern. However, if electric cars are not easy to win over users, hydrogen fuel cells are even more difficult.
Does lack of electricity make it difficult to transition to a gasoline car?
To run an electric vehicle, a very large amount of electricity is required. Therefore, many people doubt whether the power grid can handle the load as more and more people use electric vehicles.
However, many places have assured that there is enough power to meet the demand. For example, the UK national electricity grid regulator stated: “The highest electricity demand ever recorded in the UK was in 2002. Since then, demand has fallen by about 16% due to improvements in energy efficiency.
Even if everyone started using electric cars tomorrow, electricity demand would increase only 10%, which is less than demand in 2002. Therefore, it is within the network’s ability to meet the demand. British National Electricity”.
Is it too expensive to replace batteries?
There have been several reports regarding the cost of battery replacement. For example, a Tesla electric car owner was quoted an amount equivalent to 500 million VND to replace the battery of an approximately 10-year-old car.
However, that’s exclusively Tesla. According to Butterfield, the average battery replacement cost in the market by March 2023 is equivalent to approximately VND160 million. The battery life is expected to be up to 20 years, so the chances of needing to replace the battery are also very low.
But it is still affecting the used car market. Butterfield does not deny this, but also notes that internal combustion engines can also be damaged and require repair and replacement, which is also very expensive. And statistically, internal combustion engines are less reliable than electric vehicles.
Real Problems of Electric Vehicles
While clearing up misconceptions about electric vehicles, the veteran journalist also acknowledged that there are some problems that really need to be addressed, and are unlikely to be solved overnight.
This also includes the unstable quality of charging stations. Electric cars are difficult to ignite, but when they do, the problem is huge. Car prices are still high. And electric vehicles should not be considered the only solution.
Butterfield says electric cars are good and the future, but they shouldn’t be considered the only future. He doesn’t know what types of engines the future may include, but internal combustion engines have their own unique advantages that electric vehicles can hardly do.
For example, when it comes to carrying “energy” with them for replenishment when needed, electric vehicles use stored energy. The car owner keeps the battery charged and keeps it in the car and recharges the car when needed. This type of intermediate energy transfer is often less efficient than pouring gasoline directly from the tank/can into the fuel tank.
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