Tag Archives: Selling

EV Advocacy

Those of us early adopters driving EVs tend to evangelize our cars just a little bit. How can you not? Just driving one around for a week or two makes you realize how nice an EV actually is. The quiet and smooth ride, the instant torque, etc. In lots of ways it really does feel like driving the future around (especially since I’ve noticed that the distinctive sound my Focus Electric makes is very similar to the “vehicle noise” you would hear for a car in all those 80s Sci-Fi shows–Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Quark, Logans Run, etc.).
Currently the biggest “minus” about driving an EV is the state of battery technology: To get an EV the range of a similar ICE vehicle much more volume of the car must be taken up by the battery (sometimes by several factors: 2X, 3X, etc.). Even the Tesla Model S devotes a significant portion of the bottom of the car to the batteries. This will change in the future rather quickly as there are a lot of people doing research into better, higher density, lighter, etc. batteries.
Moving on from the battery, what about the rest of the car? Well what if we compare the drive trains: On a conventional car you have an internal-combustion-engine with many moving parts. With the EPA ratings pushing higher and higher the gas engines of today will be getting more and more complex (adding direct injection, turbo chargers, variable valve timing, Urea injection–for Diesels, etc.). All of these added parts are just more points of failure waiting to happen. Think about it: as a car ages you put more and more effort ($) into the engine to keep it running. An EV’s drive train couldn’t be simpler: One or more electric motors either connected directly to the wheels or through a reduction gear and differential to the wheels. (In the FFE’s case the motor wraps around one of the half-shafts and is connected to a differential through some reduction gears–see this post–there isn’t even a clutch the motor is always turning!) In addition the electric motors used in EVs are either permanent magnet or synchronous motors without brushes–they won’t ever wear out! On an EV as the car ages you’ll find yourself repairing and/or replacing items that you’d never think to in an ICE car: Suspension arms, seats, HVAC fan motors, etc. I bet it will be common to hear about EVs with a million miles on them (with more than one battery swap out).