Dear Electric Vehicle Owners: You Don’t Need That Giant Battery

Dan Smith

"People just don't want to get stuck," Merrin says. It can be understood. In that case, those people have plenty of options for long-distance electric vehicles, if they're willing to pay. Some prefer to deliver low-carbon abundance messages instead. Clean energy technologies can do everything we do today, and so on. According to that theory, the electrification of America's best-selling car, the Ford F-150, is beyond criticism. (One analyst, who declined to be named, said he thought the track was "evil", electric or otherwise.)

But even trucks can be far more efficient in terms of materials if they don't commit to traveling far. As Tobias Brosch puts it, "Long distance travel is far too common in people's minds." A trick is a way to convince them otherwise. Information about where and how to charge remains confusingly abstract for those who have only used gas stations. They don't believe it will come in handy. One solution is careful counseling associated with the driver's individual behavior. Effectively simulates how EVs work in modern life.

The good news is that buyers are starting to get smarter this year. Tal, who conducts an annual survey of EV buyers, found himself savvier enough to buy a second EV of his or go on a trip in his cousin's car. They actually realized that these occasional trips weren't a deal breaker and that they could stop for a few minutes, use the restroom, get some froyo, and all would feel quite normal. They are confident that few trips require extensive planning and that the future will become easier as the charging infrastructure expands. They enter a new reality in which the rhythm of charging and discharging is regular and habitual.

At the same time, businesses, fueled by government policies and supply chain pressures, are slowing their quest for “more.” Volkswagen and Tesla are bringing to the United States lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries that have long been popular in China, where cars tend to be smaller and charging stations are plentiful. CATL, the world's largest battery maker, says it will soon include sodium-based cells in its cars, in addition to lithium cells. Both involve reducing demand for the most rare and destructive minerals – cobalt for LFPs and lithium for sodium batteries – leading to cost savings for consumers. They also usually promise shorter ranges.

These developments are important, says Riofrancos. Good for his smart EV buyers to keep an eye on their wallets and opt for smaller battery options. This will reduce the demand for materials. It's also a strong signal that "consumer tastes are not static," she says. It takes us away from that "no choice" paradigm.

However, there is a long way to go. There are many other things Americans can do to get more out of each EV battery, like sharing cars and adopting new technology that allows drivers to swap out different sized batteries based on their needs. . Both approaches are popular in China, Melin points out. And choosing a smaller battery isn't as big a deal as swapping out a truck for a car, or giving up car ownership entirely for a bus or e-bike. Despite localized experiments such as free public transport and tax incentives for not using cars, urban sprawl has grown and key public systems have been wrecked by the pandemic. Despite being trapped in the situation, this year's climate investments are finally tilting in favor of private cars. death spiral.Is it possible to have more electric cars on the road When Fewer cars at the same time? “It would be much harder to change this,” says Tal. "We are losing the battle."