After spending billions on eco-friendly, all-electric cars that resulted in lackluster sales, automakers are shifting their target market from earthy environmentalists to gearheads and thrill seekers looking for speed.
I watched EV enthusiasts on Youtube gush over the latest EV offerings from <choose your car marker>. The new Ford mach-E will have a starting price around $44,000, which is not a car for the masses. I read elsewhere that 75% of new EVs coming to market in the next 3 years are forecast to be priced well above US $50,000.
Most EVs are targeted at the luxury or muscle car segments and not towards practical family and commute vehicles. Heh, here’s the new Audi for $80,000.
I watched many Youtube videos where enthusiasts drive their EV cross country – and after watching them, I concluded that EVs are not ready for my needs. For enthusiasts, the challenge of finding a suitable charging station along the route – and what to do when its not working as expected – is part of their game whereas the rest of us just want to go from point A to point B.
I watched one EV enthusiast pull into a charging station where none of the chargers worked (all were offline). He ended up pulling into a hotel, staying overnight, and connecting his car to a 110 v AC outlet, enabling only a modest charge. Which got worse when the small town lost all electrical power overnight.
Another pulled into a charging station at 10 mph as that was the fastest the car would drive as it enforced a strict eco-mode as battery power was down to 1%.
Another pulled into a 150 kwh fast charger – only to find that, probably due to cold temperatures and cold battery, it would only charge at about 70 kwh, and when it reached about 60% charge on the battery, dropped down to near 50 kwh. Thus, the charging time was substantially longer than expected.
Another pulled into an EV charging station and went to a nearby restaurant to eat lunch and pick up some coffee. He came back to find charging had automatically suspended – there was a 45 minute maximum charging allowed enforcement. So, an hour and half later he finds that during half of his time waiting for the charge up, the vehicle was getting no charge!
Undoubtedly these issues will get resolved or at least improved – but after watching many Youtube videos from EV enthusiasts, no less, I concluded these cars do not meet my needs at this time. I am seriously interested in EVs, which is why I’ve been reading and watching reviews. But not yet, I guess.
My ideal EV car would likely be similar to the size and features of a Honda Fit, with a range of 250 to 300 miles minimum. I know we have to de-rate that range by 20% to 30% in the winter, and I need to cross a high mountain pass to get to a destination 160 to 175 miles away. One pass has no charging opportunities for 2 and 1/2 hours of driving (130+ miles); the other has a couple of charging stations (each with just two chargers) on the far side – but charging means a good 1-2 hour delay. I wouldn’t mind driving the whole route and charging at the destination but only a few EVs available today are likely to do this, in all weather (Tesla, Bolt, maybe the Kona).