The unbearable awkwardness of EVs - 2
Costs, chargers, and reality
At the parking lot of one of the supermarkets in town, there’s a two-charger EV station. On a board between the chargers, there’s a poster with what appears to be a squirrel with a message above its head. The message reads “Nature thanks you”.
I’ve always found the message — and the whole poster — as ridiculous as it is funny given the environmental footprint of mining and the energy intensity of metal and mineral processing. But as most of you know, that’s just the start of the EV industry’s troubles.
On Monday, I looked into the topic of insurance premiums for EVs and the possibility of these premiums turning into yet another, as it’s trendy to say these days, deterrent to mass adoption. In Human, it means higher insurance rates will probably make more people not want to buy an EV.
Today, let’s start with a story that made the rounds last month. The story involves a couple from Edinburgh who own a Tesla and who had the misfortune of having rain fall on — and pool underneath — the car and damage its battery. After towing the car away and diagnosing the situation, the company promptly sent them a 17,000-pound repairs bill.
Leaving aside Edinburgh Live’s decision to call rain in the Scottish capital an “extreme weather” event, which, I believe, is akin to calling scorching heat in Dubai an unheard of phenomenon, the report relates the couple’s shock at the bill even though the damage had nothing to do with them. It was simply a case of rainwater somehow entering the battery… whose warranty did not include such an occurrence.
Not a very good move on the part of the dominant player on the EV market but as we all know power corrupts. Let’s take a look at another part of Britain, namely the counties of Gloucestershire, Devon, Kent, Norfolk, West Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear.
Why do we care about these counties? Well, we don’t really but an interesting report about them appeared in that conservative, climate denialist rag the Daily Mail earlier this month. The report cited data from the Department for Transport showing that the number of public chargers in these six counties had declined recently.
“It is the first drop in most of these areas since 2019, and is most likely due to firms decommissioning financially unviable chargers,” the publication said. The very notion there can be financially unviable chargers anywhere in any of the countries with the most EV-eager governments must be horrible. What’s even more horrible is the fact that the charger problem is neither limited to financial unviability nor to the UK.
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