A Case for Electric Vehicles

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Unlike Ford-Trucks Enthusiast Editor Ed Tahaney, I happen to be a fan of the electric vehicle, so obviously I had to make a rebuttal case for Electrics. We’re not in fighting, it’s all in good fun and debate.

As Ed mentioned, electric cars make great power at low RPMs and can be very fast. The Tesla Model S, for example, has a 0 to 60 acceleration time of just 4.2-seconds yet has room for 5 people and weighs in at 4647-lbs.

It not only has a weight distribution of 48-percent front and 52-percent rear; a majority of the weight is below the center line of the axles as the battery is under the floor of the car.

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He first mentions that the mileage of the battery is still only 100-miles. However, even the smallest model of the Model S, a 60-kW/h battery pack, gets an EPA rated 208-miles. The bigger 85-kW/H pack gets 265-miles via the EPA standard driving model which equates to 85 city/90 highway MPGe. The worst that Car and Driver saw was 79 combined MPGe.

Charge time is reduced with Teslas as well; with a 240v, 80A dual charger, the total time for full charge is just over 5-hours from a fully depleted battery. That equates to 58-mile per charge hour.

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Using a Tesla Supercharger Network charger, you can get 130-miles from the 85-kW/H pack in just 30-minutes and is roughly half of the battery life.

Here’s something to keep in mind, if you don’t drive far to get to home and work, you’ll never deplete the battery and if you’re concerned with power costs, you can set the charger to turn on and off within a certain time frame to take advantage of lower cost energy during the night.

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If you’re concerned with running out of power while driving, well you do the same thing as you would plan for your gas car; plan around your fuel stops. There are maps for EV vehicles that show where you can charge and most major cities have areas that allow for recharging.

Tesla and many other full electric vehicles can be charged using a standard wall outlet. If you come to a point of running out of power, find a convenience store or a place with a wall outlet and charge. However, you do want to ask the owner before you do it. Also, much like a car, if you get down to quarter life, you recharge. Again, no different.

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Finally, Ed compares two different examples of Ford cars and the one in particular is the Ford Focus EV. There is something to keep in mind when he does compare it; it is a car that was designed as a gas vehicle first and electric vehicle at some other point in time.

It is going to be heavy, compromised, and won’t get the mileage it could because there is no room for a properly sized battery pack. It doesn’t take advantage of lighter materials and build techniques because it wasn’t designed for it in the first place.

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However, I won’t make an argument against wanting a hybrid. If your commute requires you to drive over 200-mile per day, and those commutes exist, it is a very smart choice. Even small commutes are an area that hybrids can make sense.

However, saying the technology isn’t coming that we could be driving EVs in 50 years is something I would bet against. We continue to find ways to make solar energy more efficient, lighter and stronger materials, drivetrains that reduce the stress on battery packs, and more.

It’s not just battery technology that’s going to get better; it’s going to be the entire package. In 50 years, we will be seeing far, far more electrics on the road. I also put my bet that most of those electrics will end up being Fords.

Join the debate in the forum.>>

Justin Banner is a regular contributor to LS1Tech and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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