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Myths Regarding Electric Vehicles- #1 Batteries

(Joseph Gottlieb, CTO, Thursday, September 19, 2019)

There are a lot of myths regarding batteries for electric vehicle use, ranging from their price, lifespan, availability, to safety. Electric vehicle battery myths include:

  • Batteries are super expensive and will have to be replaced frequently- at considerable cost.

23% of consumers believe they will need a new electric vehicle car battery after five years. According to John Voelcker, Green Car Reports, “we will need hundreds of thousands to millions of electric cars over their full lives to have enough data to make definitive statements about battery life. Remember that manufacturers only design cars for lives of 10 to 12 years and 100,000 to 150,000 miles to start with, though Toyotas and a few other brands often last far longer. Thus far, data shows Tesla batteries have only lost about 10 percent of their energy capacity after 100,000 miles.” Electric vehicles are federally mandated to carry separate warranties for their battery packs for 8 years or 100,000 miles. Nissan Leaf models used as taxicabs still had 75% battery capacity after 200,000 miles of use.

  • There won’t be recycling facilities for EV batteries. They will fill the landfills.

China sells half the world’s EVs currently and have implemented rules to make the carmakers responsible for the expired batteries. A number of US automakers and renewable-energy storage suppliers are working on other market solutions to generate second revenue streams for batteries. The batteries are suitable for storing electricity from solar panels and wind turbines.

According to Hans Eric Melin, founder of Circular Energy Storage Research and Consulting, in the next few years as many as 75% of EV batteries will be reused and then recycled to remove raw materials, providing additional opportunities to profit from the same battery several times.  In fact, a 2019 analysis by McKinsey Center for Future Mobility found that reused electric car batteries could replace more expensive gas-powered turbines, allowing utilities more flexibility in how they sell their power.

  • The world will run out of lithium.

Lithium is so abundant that it literally blows across the plains of Peru as dust and is found on five continents. Most analysts suggest it is too plentiful to result in the shortages we have experienced with oil.

  • Lithium is dangerous and will explode.

Okay, sorry to tell you – this one is true. A battery can fail and can explode. Wait, what? Lithium-ion batteries are common in portable electronics like smartphones, laptops, handheld game systems and cameras, handheld power tools, electric vehicles and radio-controlled devices like drones. Battery standards help ensure safety. It is always big news when a battery fails- because it is so rare. We use these lithium products all day long, whether we drive an EV or not.

Rhombus Energy Solutions is a leader supplier of EV charging systems for both heavy EV manufacturers and operators. More info at rhombusenergysolutions.com.

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