Blog: Electric Future Out Of Range?

i have a problem with electric cars, in fact a few and that is the practicality strikes me as being an issue. If like me you live in a house with a driveway then having a charge point fitted to the outside of your suburban home is not a problem, come home from work and plug the car in ready for the next day, no problem but what if I don’t?

Many years ago when I was in my early twenties I lived in a flat, a grand Victorian semi detached that had been converted into five separate flats with on street parking for your car (if you could find a space) .  Now for those people, how do you charge your car? Will we have charging points lining the street like soldiers stood in line on parade, councils have no money now so they certainly won’t have the funds to do this which means it is down to the owners to pay for it but for that to work you would need your own parking space, which is not practical if there is more than one car owner in one house. So maybe we will have really long charging cables to go from our parked car, usually 2 or 3 houses down because you can’t never find a space nearer home when you get in from work, all trailing along the street.

Not to mention the new games that this will encourage kids to play, instead of dodgeball we will see dodgecable or remember ‘knock a door run’, well the future will have ‘unplug a car run’?!

It seem’s to me as car manufacturers try to comply with governments pressure of cleaner cars to save our lives and the environment, which I am all for, the practicalities are not moving at the same pace. Could petrol stations be converted to charging stations in the future, eventually becoming like the corner shop with one on every street corner, unlikely. How long will it be until businesses start charging employees for charging their cars whilst at work, some city businesses already charge for using their parking spaces surely vehicle charging will be next?

The other problem is this range issue everybody keeps going on about, for this I side with the electric vehicle brigade because it’s all a load of nonsense. If I get in my car in the morning and the fuel gauge is low, start driving to work and the light comes on then it’s time to refuel how is this any different to having charged your car overnight, get in with it fully charged then after 150+ miles have to top it up? It isn’t, fact is we are used to having to top our mobile phones up during the day, usually more than once so topping your car up with power is no different.

Of course car manufacturers and the battery makers will tell you about topping up or adding more batteries to your car to make the range longer but in reality unless you are a long distance delivery driver I’m pretty sure that a range of 150+ miles is more than adequate for the daily routine of dropping kids at school then going to work and the return journey later, and whilst at work just like we do with mobile phones you also have the option of topping it up as well. So the whole range whinging is a nonsense argument.

My other issue with electric cars is this whole saving the planet stuff, this tag just doesn’t work. What about where the batteries come from, or more specifically where does lithium comes from. Lithium is a poorly concentrated mineral, so traditional hard-rock mining of lithium-bearing pegmatite and spodumene is a costly and time-intensive endeavor. The easiest and least expensive method of obtaining lithium is by the evaporation of highly concentrated lithium brine which all leaves an environmental footprint behind. Then of course there is the power source to charge your car, yes from the National Grid which comes from power plants which are powered by?

Electric cars have a future but I can’t help thinking that their future is only short term, much like the canal’s which seemed a good way of transporting goods then along came the steam train and it all changed.

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