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Guard Rails don’t hold up to Electric vehicles. Same with crashing into regular cars.

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Guard Rails don’t hold up to Electric vehicles. Video from the crash tests show two models of electric vehicles — the Tesla Model 3 Sedan and the Rivian R1T pickup — smashing through guardrails that are meant to stop, deflect or absorb the impact of a crash and prevent vehicles from hitting dangerous objects on the other side.

Also what happens when a EV car is involved in a wreck with a regular car?

Michael Brooks, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, said he, too, is concerned about the weight of EVs because buyers seem to be demanding a range of 300 or more miles per charge, requiring heavy batteries.

The official, Jennifer Homendy, raised the issue in a speech in Washington to the Transportation Research Board. She noted, by way of example, that an electric GMC Hummer weighs about 9,000 pounds (4,000 kilograms), with a battery pack that alone is 2,900 pounds (1,300 kilograms) — roughly the entire weight of a typical Honda Civic.

Homendy noted that Ford’s F-150 Lightning EV pickup is 2,000 to 3,000 pounds (900 to 1,350 kilograms) heavier than the same model’s combustion version.

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Are EVs Actually Cheaper to Own? Maybe Not.

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Are EVs Actually Cheaper to Own? Maybe Not.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have undeniably entered the mainstream in the United States. According to estimates from Kelley Blue Book, more EVs were sold last year than were sold between 2011 and 2018. The roughly 1.2 million new EVs put into service in 2023 represented 7.6% of the total U.S. car market. Cox Automotive’s Economics and Industry Insights team boldly predicted that this share will climb to 10% in 2024.

EVs’ impressive growth has played out even though they remain significantly more expensive to purchase than gasoline-powered cars, with only a handful of options priced below $40,000. EV proponents counter this drawback by claiming that EVs are actually cheaper to own over the long term, with lower fuel and maintenance costs making up for the higher sticker price. Studies examining cars’ total cost of ownership back their assertions.

However, these studies (and there are many) are only as reliable as their completeness. After all, a wide variety of expenses factor into a vehicle’s lifetime cost, and excluding or miscalculating one could drastically skew the calculation. That’s why researchers at the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems reviewed the dozens of “total cost of ownership” studies to craft their own. Published on January 3rd in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, their analysis aimed to correct for the shortcomings of previous research.

A closer look at EV costs

Maxwell Woody, a research assistant pursuing Ph.Ds in resource policy and behavior and mechanical engineering, led the effort. He and his colleagues accounted for all the usual costs, such as purchase price, fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, annual fees, and financing. Unlike prior analyses, however, they also:

  • adjusted for the effect of temperature on fuel efficiency
  • tracked vehicles over 25-year lifetimes
  • categorized vehicles by size, range, and type
  • accounted for different EV charging behaviors, and explored the cost of ownership in 14 cities from across the U.S.

The findings broadly challenge the optimistic cost-of-ownership assessments frequently touted by EV enthusiasts. The researchers found that while small and low-range EVs capable of traveling around 200 miles are indeed less expensive to own than their gas-powered counterparts, larger, long-range EVs that can cover 400 miles are more expensive. Midsize SUV EVs — currently the top-selling models by far — only reach cost parity if government incentives are applied.

“EVs are more competitive in cities with high gasoline prices, low electricity prices, moderate climates, and direct purchase incentives, and for users with home charging access, time-of-use electricity pricing, and high annual mileage,” the researchers summarized.

Since EVs are broadly more expensive to purchase upfront than comparable gas vehicles, the best way to assess whether an EV will ultimately be cheaper to own over the long term is by looking at its break-even time: when its lower recurring costs make up for its higher upfront cost. Woody and his team found that 200-mile range compact and midsize electric sedans reach this point in 3 to 7 years, while 300-mile range variants take nine to 20 years to break even. Electric SUVs and trucks with 300 miles of range generally take more than 20 years, while 400-mile range EVs will never break even over their lifetimes.

Keep in mind, however, that this assessment did not include the Federal EV tax credit, which reduces the purchase price of certain EVs by $3,750 or $7,500. When included, the affordability scale tips decidedly toward EVs.

“For 200-mile range BEVs, the breakeven time is under 2 years for compact vehicles and sedans, and under 5 years for small and midsize SUVs in each city,” the researchers reported. “Small 300-mile range vehicles break even in under 10 years in each city, and larger 300-mile range vehicles break even in under 10 years in many cities…there are a few cities in which 400-mile BEV compact and midsize sedans will break even with [gas-powered] counterparts after 15−20 years.”

Cost parity down the road

Still, there are numerous unknowns in the assessment, such as whether a substantial number of EVs will require battery replacements outside of their warranties, mandated to be a minimum of 8 years and 100,000 miles. Also unknown is how the costs of gasoline and electricity will change in the future. The study also didn’t compare vehicle costs in rural areas.

Overall, the greatest factor in determining whether an EV will be cheaper to own than a gas vehicle is the ability to charge at home, where electricity is cheapest. (In their analysis, the researchers assumed that EV owners charge at home 80% of the time and at public charging stations 20% of the time.) Without home charging, an EV will likely never be cheaper over its lifetime.

“Home charging access reduces the lifetime cost by approximately $10,000 on average, and up to $26,000,” Woody and his team reported.

The study is just a snapshot in time, the researchers noted. An EV’s battery constitutes a significant portion of its upfront cost. With battery prices predicted to continue steadily declining in the coming years, the math is likely to shift more in favor of EVs.

This article was first published at Big Think.

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Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs.

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Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs.

Story by James Gilboy 11/02/2023

The Case for Hybrids Over EVs

To illustrate, we’re going to compare the on-road carbon emissions of a few models that are available with internal combustion, hybrid/PHEV, and electric powertrains: the Ford F-150, the 2022 Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro (which use the same chassis) and the BMW 3 Series and i4 (which also share their bones). Again, this is the question we want to answer: What’s the best use of a limited battery supply? Do we spread those materials across a bunch of hybrids, or cram them into a few EVs and leave the remainder with straight gas or diesel engines?

We can answer this by dividing how much each vehicle reduces CO2 emissions over its ICE counterpart by its battery capacity in kilowatt-hours. That’s tricky to imagine, so don’t bother: just look at this equation instead.

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here's Why

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here’s Why© Provided by The Drive

Calculating battery use efficiency in electrified vehicles. The Drive

We need more data to fill that out, of course, and obtaining it is simple: The EPA’s FuelEconomy.gov publishes per-mile CO2 estimates, which also estimate the upstream emissions that come from gasoline production.

Things aren’t as straightforward for EVs, though, which the EPA lists as emitting no CO2. While true from an exhaust standpoint, making the electricity needed to charge them does generate CO2: an average of 386 grams of it per kWh in the United States, according to the Energy Information Administration. We can then estimate their hidden CO2 emissions with the equation illustrated below. (It’s the same formula we used to calculate the break-even point for EVs when it comes to charging and production emissions vs their on-road savings last year.)

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here's Why

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here’s Why© Provided by The Drive

Calculating the hidden emissions of EVs. The Drive

Armed with this data, we can then calculate how efficiently each electrified vehicle uses its battery. The equation we’ll use for that is shown above—remember, the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible with a limited supply of batteries. And when you do the math, it’s pretty clear what the best option is.

Made with LiveGap Charts

Consider just how much battery your typical mass-market EV uses. Operating an F-150 Lightning may generate less than a third of the CO2 emissions of a gas F-150, but each one hoards 98 kWh of battery, most of which will be used only on the rare prolonged drive. Meanwhile, an F-150 Powerboost hybrid battery is just 1.5 kWh. It doesn’t achieve nearly the emissions reduction the Lightning does, but Ford could make 65 of them with the batteries that go into a single Lightning.

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here's Why

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here’s Why© Provided by The Drive

That adds up, because if Ford sells one Lightning and 64 ICE F-150s, it’s cutting the on-road CO2 emissions of those trucks as a group by 370 g/mi. If it sold 65 hybrids—spreading the one Lightning’s battery supply across them all—it’d reduce aggregate emissions by 4,550 g/mi. Remember, this is using the exact same amount of batteries; the distribution is just different.

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here's Why

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here’s Why© Provided by The Drive

The pattern holds true for the Hyundai/Kia combo and the BMWs, too—going full hybrid lowers emissions far more than building a handful of EV and a ton of gas cars. Split up an i4’s battery, and you can make seven 330e PHEVs, cutting 560 g/mi to one i4’s 266. Divvy up a Kona EV’s, and you can make seven Niro PHEVs worth 1,085 g/mi in reductions (one EV’s worth 239), or 41 regular Niro hybrids, for 4,797 g/mi eliminated.  Like the Ford, they make better use of a fixed battery supply by spreading it across a large number of hybrids, rather than concentrating them all in a single EV.

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here's Why

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here’s Why© Provided by The Drive

Of course, EVs’ cases improve when they’re run exclusively on renewable energy. We can zero their per-mile CO2 emissions to simulate that, and it helps them out—but it doesn’t change the fact that their battery use is still inefficient. Powering a handful of EVs with renewables still just doesn’t have the immediate effect that a broader hybridization of new cars would.

It comes down to this: By using its limited battery supply on a small number of (expensive) EVs, the auto industry gets plaudits from investors and the public despite implementing an inefficient decarbonization scheme. It gets to greenwash itself with a handful of flashy products, while in fact not cutting CO2 emissions nearly as much as it could. The numbers strongly suggest that hybridizing as many new cars as possible is more effective, and to increasing degrees as battery technology evolves and supplies hopefully go up. That would allow hybrids to graduate to PHEVs, before being superseded by full EVs where appropriate.

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here's Why

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here’s Why© Toyota

Most of the benefits of a full EV transition, however, would present themselves with widespread PHEV adoption. They offer enough range to make short trips on electric power alone, often at comparable up-front cost to an EV, but also the flexibility and efficiency of a hybrid powertrain for longer journeys. This lets them sidestep most of the obstacles to EV adoption, namely battery supply and poor charging infrastructure.

That said, there are reasons why PHEVs haven’t taken off. They’re less efficient and more complicated to produce and service than EVs or regular hybrids, not to mention heavier and more expensive than regular hybrids. They’re also not helped by their confusing names, never mind the PHEV acronym.

2023 Toyota Prius. Peter Nelson

Hybrids as a whole have taken a long time to capture market share, accounting for just 5.5 percent of the light vehicle market in 2021, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That’s over a period of 24 years since the pioneering Toyota Prius entered production. EVs meanwhile achieved a similar market share in less than half that time, attaining 5.8 percent of the U.S. market in 2022 according to The Wall Street Journal. That’s only a decade since the paradigm-shifting Tesla Model S entered production.

But EV buyers benefited from more generous tax incentives than hybrid customers ever did, with the previous federal EV tax credit effectively conjuring the market out of thin air. Like it dictates the sizes and kinds of cars we buy, both directly via the Chicken Tax and indirectly a la CAFE regulations, government policy strongly influences which powertrains we choose.

So far, the government has favored the shiny, hype-driven solution of fast-tracking EV adoption, when the math suggests that’s suboptimal—at least for the short and medium term. If anything, it’s probably fair to say the over-emphasis on EVs is slowing the decarbonization of the auto industry for the time being. We can’t afford to overlook the role hybrids have to play here and now in favor of a far-flung future where every car on the road is pure electric.

Besides, when the 2023 Toyota Prius is one of the best-looking cars on sale today, it makes the pragmatic solution that much easier to choose.

Toyota Is Right: We Need More Hybrid Cars and Fewer EVs. Here’s Why (msn.com)

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