Electric cars are not better for the environment. All petrol cars combined are only responsible for 7.9% of CO2 emissions. If your electric car is charged from a grid that is powered by a coal-burning power station, it contributes nothing to dealing with climate change. It only provides you with the false sense of security, and you can look cool telling your friends that “you know, I drive a Tesla, I’m environmentally conscious, your gas car is bad”.

Electric cars are lame. When I’m out of fuel, I can refuel fully in minutes. With electric car, I’ll have to wait at least five hours. Let’s be realistic, superchargers aren’t common, and will never be.

Gasoline is 46.4 MJ/kg, or 34.2 MJ/l. Li-Ion is 0.36–0.875. Let’s be generous and say it’s 0.9. To match 1 kg of petrol, I would need 51 kilos of batteries.

Average gas tank is 18 gallons, or 68 litres. To match that, my battery must have a weight of 2.5 metric tonnes. Bear in mind, empty battery and full battery has the same weight. Also, bear in mind, batteries perform worse in the winter.

As per energy density and practicality, things don’t get much better than petrol. Liquid hydrogen has higher energy density, but to store it, gas tank has to have very, very thick walls, to withstand the pressure. And, hydrogen is a bitch. It’s extremely dangerous. You can’t smell it until it’s too late. Hydrogen-air mixture will explode if you look at it the wrong way.

All that “electric cars good for climate” hype is merely Elon maintaining his stock bubble.

  • 12
    Ypu forget that electric carscan transform the energy more efficiently into movement than an petrol powered car..
  • 13
    Generating electricity can be made quite efficient and clean, and putting in place infrastructure to fuel electric cars is a big step forward. If the infrastructure is setup, and sales increase, then there is more market for electric cars and more funding to improve the technology
  • 10
    That's just one side of the story. How much co2 do hydroelectric or nuclear or PV powerplants produce? I know, renewables are still growing, but they are growING. Can't deny that. And if folks own PVs, they likely own them at home and charge EVs directly from the sun - not from the power network.

    There are so many environmental pros considering EVs. There are some cons too, the main one I see is energy storage. Lithium is scarse, expensive and dangerous.

    I'm looking forward for those electric fluids to improve [fluids accumulating energy by making molecular transformations when charged, and producing electricity by spontaneously reversing them when discharging]
  • 14
    Placing everything on the electric grid abstracts the energy source which is a precondition to any sort of sustainability. As a programmer, I'm disappointed that you bring up this stupid ass reason instead of the dozens of valid ones against the approach taken by Tesla specifically.
  • 12
    Public transport, even with outdated and pollusive vehicles, is even better because it abstracts the service itself; transportation. Of course sometimes the particulars of transportation make developing a good abstraction difficult. Energy is a very flexible abstraction.
  • 4
    To be fair, this is only true because our power grids suck. The moment we move to something clean and efficient like nuclear or better like high efficiency solar/wind (which is far away still I think) it will end up better for environment!

    but as the situation stands right now, you're right. People buying electric cars for the sole reason that they are "better" are just uninformed virtue signalers. currently it does jack shit environment-wise, though I like them because one thing Tesla and electric cars in general do, is move us forward technologically. The el. car industry really started pushing on the energy and battery industries and hopefully this will accelerate the progress to something better sooner
  • 6
    @Hazarth who are 'we'? Some countries already have very clean electricity.
  • 3
    @electrineer I did mean "we" as humanity in general. But you're right, it's probably already more viable in some countries compared to others.
  • 4
    That's a lot of assumptions.

    Who says, Super chargers will never be common? What speaks against it?

    Gatekeeping doesn't help. People are atleast trying to get away from petrol, because not only the cars themselves produce pollution, but the wars around the oil too. I know lithium is also not the best, but you can atleast follow developments of batteries (or even just capacitors) that don't need it

    What people have to stop is buying new stuff. You can transform almost any car into an electric one nowadays. But that's not convenient.

    Sometimes an electric car is not for you either, because the technology doesnt allow for great distances (yet), and that's okay.

    Ah and as others pointed out, the power mix per country is very different, speak for your own.
  • 2
    @stop you really think so even with hundreds of miles of voltage drop on the utility poles? and who really wants to live next to a power plant by the way? ive seen solar farms miles long that generate literally a drop in the ocean and then I see them build gas powered power plant right next to it - And They Openly Admit Its For Electric Cars. whatever country is it, Germany maybe, powered 100% renewable well thats an outright lie. one final note, Batteries Are As Scare As Gasoline.
  • 4
    @MegaLeetBro Batteries are a component, gasoline is fuel. Another extremely stupid argument. Why do you people feel the need to pad out good arguments with very obviously faulty ones?
  • 1
    @thebiochemic man, superchargers are tesla products. That’s it. Read my latest rant. When the bubble pops, no more superchargers
  • 2
    @lbfalvy I disagree with you about abstractions being good. Your frontend framework may be a very good abstraction, but when it breaks, well, shit. Ain’t gonna be fixing that easily.

    Not everything can be abstracted away. I don’t even build DSL anymore
  • 2
    @kiki Abstractions aren't good, that wasn't my point. The ability to improve the supporting infrastructure without modifying reliant components is the purpose of abstractions, but this also wasn't my point because this is also something every programmer knows.

    My point was that adapting all our energy consumption to the abstraction of the electric grid is a precondition to upgrading our sources of energy from fossil fuels. We could technically upgrade our cars directly to some better non-abstract energy source such as hydrogen, but it's a prohibitively large effort and needs multiple versions of the infrastructure to coexist. And developments around hydrogen don't benefit other industries as much as developments around electricity, so R&D costs would also be distributed less efficiently.
  • 2
    @lbfalvy so then what is your definition of component vs fuel? they burn through batteries extremely fast that is a FACT. and to all of the junk toxic waste tesla batteries that got shipped to poor countries when the power grids went down….lets see if that was worth it!
  • 1
    @MegaLeetBro can't agree more
  • 5
    Electric vehicles won't do much if the electricity is produced by fossil fuels. That's why both need to change. It's of course best if most trips are done by electric trains, but electric vehicles can be an improvement for undeveloped areas where roads are the only infrastructure there is. At least they improve air quality and reduce noise pollution where they drive regardless of how the electricity was generated.
  • 2
    Op is on an ev hate spree it seems.
  • 5
    Even on the dirtiest grids, like Poland, an EV is still cleaner than an ICE over its lifespan. But the thing is that ICE cars cannot be made more clean while EVs can when you move away from fossil fuels for electricity generation.
    EVs are also better for the local environments in cities.

    Also, yeah, superchargers are Tesla only, but I guess you live in the US?
    Because at least in Europe we standardized on a charging connector meaning that any car should be able to charge pretty much anywhere because the cables are compatible.

    For some reason the US doesn't want to standardize which causes this weird thing of having to build Tesla infrastructure and 'everybody else' infrastructure at the same time.

    But man, I'd love to drive an EV. Now I have to pay money to Shell and BP which is not great...
  • 0
    @Geoxion lol nooo 😂 I fled russia, now I live… not in a western country to say the least
    I can’t even get proper psychiatric help I need
  • 1
    @kiki im specifically not talking about tesla superchargers.
    if/when the bubble pops, other manufacturers will just replace them.
    There are enough manufacturers who have chargers with 50KW, which is slower than the tesla ones, but still quick enough for an emergent pattern of casually charging.

    There is no reason to hate the whole EV thing, because of my previously mentioned reasons.
  • 1
    @thebiochemic I don't hate EV
  • 1
    @kiki not hating evs is a hard position to reconcile with some of the stances put forth in the opening of this thread.

    Objectively, electric cars are better for the environment, there are searchable studies that show this from an emissions perspective, and from a wholistic perspective, they do not emit noxious gasses near people. The margins is not huge when you net everything out with mining an manufacturing and infrastructure, but EVs do have a slight edge.

    This is in the vein that no consumer product is actually good for the environment. I once heard the quote: “We can’t buy our way out of environmental problems because buying stuff is part of the problem.” However, that is not to say that having carbon scores on products or getting rid of excess packaging can just fall off the radar much like how EVs won’t save us so we cannot lose sight of reducing emissions for gas cars, but I digress.

    Drawing more power on a dirty gird is a failing of the grid and really a failure by governments not standing up to unfounded and uneven fears about nuclear power.

    EVs are being lame is an opinion. Certainly manual transmission ICE cars are more engaging, but if somebody’s definition of fun is push button go fast EVs do that. It’s subjective.

    And while it’s fast to fuel a gas car, your ev can charge for very little money while it’s sitting at your house or work doing nothing. What’s cooler than spending a little time at a gas station? Spending no time at a gas station. Yea, you might have to plan out your road trip a bit more, but there are lots of tools to help with that.
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