CFACT, a conservative nonprofit organization with a mission that is focused on prospering lives, promoting progress, protecting the Earth, and providing education has published an article that one would not expect from a supposedly environmentally oriented nonprofit — “Electric Cars Will Eventually Get Us Nowhere.” The article was published in June of this year, but someone shared it with me asking me to debunk some of the myths and fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) in the article.
Myth: EVs Can Never Be Produced At Scale
Although he didn’t use the term “at scale,” this is what the author of the article implied. The nonprofit called EVs one of “the most hyped up innovations of our lifetime today” and said that the internal combustion engine will never end and give up its leadership position in the industry. The supposed reason for this, according to the article, is that the cost of an EV will not allow the average American to own one. The alternative, it stated, will always be much cheaper and will transport you much farther.
“EVs can never be produced in the numbers the government wants because of a lack of necessary rare earth minerals held hostage in China.
“Availability of charging stations will not ever be adequate. The time required to recharge on a long trip will make you cancel the long trip.
“The cost of a battery replacement will be a turn-off.”
Just recently, Tesla reached a milestone of 30,000 Supercharging stations around the world. This does not include destination charging stations at various hotels nor the fact that most Tesla owners charge their vehicles at home — some even use solar and battery storage to power their homes and cars with 100% clean energy.
30k Superchargers around the world — and counting pic.twitter.com/Yw7m3cJ6HA
— Tesla Charging (@TeslaCharging) November 11, 2021
The myth that the average person will never be able to afford a Tesla is pretty common FUD and has been debunked numerous times.
Recall that Tesla’s current goal is to produce 20 million vehicles a year in 2030.
Myth: Tesla Is Only For The Rich
The article addresses Tesla and noted that although Tesla produced many cars in the $40,000 range and wants to keep expanding those numbers, Teslas will always be cars for the rich.
Tesla first started marketing its cars for the über rich, so that it could use that money to develop cheaper cars, and so on and so on. Elon Musk detailed all of this in his original “Secret Master Plan.”
Already today, the total cost of ownership of a Tesla Model 3 can be as low as a Toyota Camry or even Toyota Corolla.
As for Joe Biden and California Governor Newsom, the author noted that they are demanding a future of only EVs and that this can’t happen. Eventually, these officials will be out of public office and replaced by other political leaders before 2030. The author also wrote about the availability of electricity. The fear is that there isn’t enough electrical generation capacity to support the needed power that is coming from EVs, especially clean electricity.
“Where will the cars get their energy? The obvious answer for all liberals is wind and solar. […] Where and how will we build enough solar and wind installations to keep us all driving EVs. We have neither the economic resources nor land area to even consider this.”
Actually, we have plenty of resources and land for that. That mention of “liberals” tells me that the author seems to think that only liberals care about clean energy. Although I am left-leaning, I have friends who are conservatives who care deeply about our planet and are doing their part just as earnestly as liberals are.
Political affiliations shouldn’t be a flippant side note of a nonprofit that is focused on solving the environmental crisis and making our planet a better place. “Owning the libs” detracts from the goals and invalidates the entire argument being pitched. Of course, the FUD also invalidates that. Though, that comment does imply that the nonprofit is aligned with oil & gas interests.
Myth: Teslas Can Only Do 270 Miles On A Single Charge
The article also said that if going in a Tesla on a road trip of 270 miles, the trip would take around 4.5 hours, and that it would take around 6.5 hours to recharge the battery unless you are lucky enough to find a rare Tesla Supercharging station — the author’s wording, here.
This is incredibly wrong. He is right that higher-end Tesla’s with higher ranges are more expensive, but he has apparently never met Wade Anderson, who took an enormous road trip in his Tesla Model 3. Wade drove from Arizona to Florida, then to Maine, Canada, the Arctic Circle, down the West Coast, and back to Arizona in his Model 3. You do have to prepare for your trip, but this makes sense to do for any trip, whether in a gas car, taking a flight, or even walking to the store.
Not only was he wrong about Teslas not being suitable for road trips, but in 2020, the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus received an EPA rating of 402 miles.
Also, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, now renamed simply “Tesla Model 3” and listed in the rear-wheel category, does have a range of 267 miles, but the Long Range version has an EPA range of 353 miles, which is more suitable for longer trips.
In short, 270 miles on a single charge is the low end for a Tesla, but it’s still very easy to go on a road trip with that amount of range.
Gasoline vs. Batteries
The article also mentioned that gasoline holds 80 times more energy density than the modern lithium-ion battery and that a Tesla battery weighs 1,000 pounds. His argument provided no additional context about battery technology and seemed to favor gasoline over batteries because of this single, cherry-picked fact. What matters is not energy density or battery weight, but overall cost per mile traveled.
Some Final Thoughts
I find it rather disheartening for a nonprofit that is supposedly focused on helping the environment to spread misinformation about one of the key solutions that will help our planet. Electric vehicles are here to stay and are becoming more and more common.
The author hyped up the cheap costs of gasoline and gas cars but didn’t mention that in the long run, EV owners typically end up paying less overall due to not having to take their cars in for maintenance or buying fuel.
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