Motor Junkie article spreads FUD: "20 Drawback Of Electric Vehicles Drivers Commonly Overlook"

EyeOnRivian

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An undated Motor Junkie article does it's best to spread FUD on EVs.

"20 Drawback Of Electric Vehicles Drivers Commonly Overlook"

The article mentions the Mustang Mach-E so I'm assuming the article can't be too old. Regardless, the lack of references and incorrect or exaggerated information peppered throughout the article makes this IMO a hit piece on EVs. Unfortunately the article does not have a Comment section, but FWIW there is a Contact Us section. ;) I'm working on my email.
 

Zeppelin

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Haha this article is complete garbage. It almost sounds like it could be a parody
 

electruck

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Was published Dec 17, 2019.

EDIT: Sites like Motor Junk... I mean Junkie.... that push out nothing but Top 20 (or 15, 25, 30, etc) lists with attention grabbing often inflammatory headlines are pure and simple click-bait. Not worth discussion IMHO.
 
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azbill

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Some of these points in the article are valid, but not all of them. I know this from owning a Bolt, but I am still getting a Rivian. Yes, some things are exaggerated in the article, but that does not mean that EVs do not have downsides.

The number one issue is for long range travel. There is no doubt it takes more planning and a longer time to travel the same distance as an ICE vehicle. Charging stations are not at every freeway exit like gas stations, and I can fill up in 5 minutes and be on my way. Also, I can take my ICE vehicle from Phoenix to LA with at most one gas stop, my Bolt needs two charges to get there without having range anxiety. I had one trip to LA where the only fast charger in Blythe was broken, and I had to charge for 2-3 hours on a level 2 to get to the next fast charger in Indio. Also, keep in mind that range estimates are NOT for highway range, the faster you are traveling the less range you will get.

I have not seen the cold weather issues, but know many people in Boston with electrics, and the range takes a huge hit in the winter. Hopefully the newer technologies will solve that issue, but it is a real problem today.

Acquisition costs for electric cars is significantly higher than for same size ICE vehicle and that puts them out of reach for many buyers.
 

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The good news of the Rivian vs Bolt is that the Rivian can fast charge more than 5 times as fast as the Bolt and is available with a 60% bump in range as well. It will certainly take more planning than an ICE for distance travel, but the day to day convenience far outweighs the additional planning for most that own EVs
 
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EyeOnRivian

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I probably should have made this clear, I was not implying EVs still don't have some challenges to overcome. Clearly there are differences between EVs and ICE vehicles, some of which EVs can and will improve upon and some that are just inherently different. Differences in any similar technologies, or similar products in general, are going to have their pros and cons where some of them are going to be dependent on an individuals needs for said product. It's the exaggerated, unbalanced and in some cases incorrect content (basically FUD) of the article that make it IMO an anit-EV / pro-ICE piece.

Was published Dec 17, 2019.
Thanks, I figured it couldn't have been not too long ago. I'm guessing it was displayed in some questionable format that got blocked by my ad blocker plug-ins/extensions.
 
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electruck

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Thanks, I figured it couldn't have been not too long ago. I'm guessing it was displayed in some questionable format that got blocked by my ad blocker plug-ins/extensions.
I didn't see the date in the piece itself, found it in their article index.
 

azbill

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The good news of the Rivian vs Bolt is that the Rivian can fast charge more than 5 times as fast as the Bolt and is available with a 60% bump in range as well. It will certainly take more planning than an ICE for distance travel, but the day to day convenience far outweighs the additional planning for most that own EVs
Actually the charge rate is only 70% higher than the Bolt, not 5X. The battery in the Rivian is 3X the KW of the Bolt, in order to get that range increase of 60%. The Bolt charges at 1C, if the 300KW charging is there in the beginning, then the Rivian charges at 1.7C. Otherwise, if the initial charging rates is only 160KW, then that is less than 1C for the 180KW battery. That would put the charging rates on par, but actually slightly better for the Bolt, depending on the taper of the charging curve. Also keep in mind, due to the efficiency of the vehicles the Bolt will get almost double the mile/Kwh than the Rivian. (4 verus 2.2 mile/Kwh).

The numbers do not really matter all that much. The fact is with today's electric vehicles, most people will plan for charging stops of at least 30 minutes when they are on long distance trips. That is still much longer than getting gas. The trick is to find a place to eat during the charging stops, but that does not always work out.
 

ajdelange

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What matters is the miles per hour you can charge. This, of course, has nothing to do with the size of the battery but only the vehicle's consumption and the capacity of the charger. My X uses about 300 Wh/mi in high speed freeway driving. If I have a 150 kW charger available that means I can add 150000/300 = 500 miles per hour of charging. If I need to go 250 mi to get to my destination then clearly I'll need to charge for half an hour. If the R1T uses 500 Wh/mi then a 150 kW charger will only load 300 miles per hour and I'll have to charge 250/300 = 5/6 of an hour = 50 minutes.

In actual practice I see little or no difference in a long trip in a BEV relative to one in an ICE. In our 600 mile biannual migration we stop twice for fueling, stretching the legs, hitting the loo, grabbing a bite etc and take about 20 minutes for each. It's pretty much the same in the BEV - perhaps 10 minutes more at each stop max. On the couple of occasions where we decided to sit down for dinner while the car was charging I wound up having to interrupt the meal to move the car as charging completed well before we were finished.
 
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DucRider

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Actually the charge rate is only 70% higher than the Bolt, not 5X.
55 kW vs 300 kW = 5.45X. The size of the battery (and hence C rate) is irrelevant. The Bolt also has a steep and early taper that adversely affects the charge time. The number for the Rivian are pure guesswork and we have no info on taper, etc. but it will without a doubt be a better road vehicle than the Bolt (or any of the other BEVs with 50 - 75 kW DCFC rates)
We don't know the efficiency of the Rivian, particularly at high speed, but it is safe to assume it will be less than the Bolt's. Net miles/hr is likely only 4X, but with the need to stop only once and the increased charge rate a Phoenix to LA trip will be much faster and give the flexibility to plan for alternative DCFC options without the need to resort to L2.
 

ajdelange

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Some of these points in the article are valid, but not all of them. I know this from owning a Bolt, but I am still getting a Rivian. Yes, some things are exaggerated in the article, but that does not mean that EVs do not have downsides.
I suppose when the perfect car, the one with no down sides, is developed I'll get rid of the BEVs.

The number one issue is for long range travel. There is no doubt it takes more planning and a longer time to travel the same distance as an ICE vehicle.
Not really in my experience. At first, yes. And if venturing into territory you have never visited before you need to be aware but in general, get into the the reasonably fully charged car and go seems to work.

The RIvians are sold as adventure vehicles. When undertaking an adventure planning is advisable,

Charging stations are not at every freeway exit like gas stations, and I can fill up in 5 minutes and be on my way.
The difference between ICE and BEV with its limitations on number of places to fill up is that you must be more aware of your "fuel condition" (as pilots call it) at all times while en route than you need to be in an ICE vehicle (I do feel that past pilot training was a big benefit to me in this regard). The new BEVs present lots of information to help with this.


Also, I can take my ICE vehicle from Phoenix to LA with at most one gas stop, my Bolt needs two charges to get there without having range anxiety.
But we aren't talking Bolt here. We are talking Rivian.

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Now I said above that I usually make myself aware of what's along the route and just get in the car and go. I would not do that so much in a Rivian as I would with a Tesla as there are a half dozen Tesla SCs along this route and many fewer CCS high power chargers at this point in time but more are coming on line. Note that with the TriMotor CT the trip could be made without stopping to charge at all.


I had one trip to LA where the only fast charger in Blythe was broken, and I had to charge for 2-3 hours on a level 2 to get to the next fast charger in Indio.
Sure and I once arrived in a town on fumes in an ICE vehicle where a freak, unseasonal, snowstorm had knocked out power and none of the gas stations could pump gas.

Also, keep in mind that range estimates are NOT for highway range, the faster you are traveling the less range you will get.
ABRP (if you don't have it get it) that I used to make the picture above takes speed into account.


I have not seen the cold weather issues, but know many people in Boston with electrics, and the range takes a huge hit in the winter. Hopefully the newer technologies will solve that issue, but it is a real problem today.
Actually it isn't. At least it has not been for me and I live in a place where it gets reasonably cold in the winter. Recent BEVs (the Y in particular) have heat pumps which pull heat from air at temperatures below freezing both for the cabin and the battery which you can pre-warm by judicious charging. Cold air is denser (but not by much) and roads are more likely to be covered with "stuff" in winter, true, but I think the huge drops in range are a thing of the past unless you live way up in Saskatchewan or Alaska.

Acquisition costs for electric cars is significantly higher than for same size ICE vehicle and that puts them out of reach for many buyers.
With every passing day the BEVs come closer to parity with ICE vehicles. Sept 22 is going to be a big day with respect to this as everyone, rightly or wrongly, is expecting Tesla to announce new battery technology which will bring BEV to or below parity WRT ICE.
 
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azbill

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Sure and I once arrived in a town on fumes in an ICE vehicle where a freak, unseasonal, snowstorm had knocked out power and none of the gas stations could pump gas.
Yes, you had a bad experience once, but how long was the power out for? That broken charger in Blythe was down for an entire month, and caused great grief to all of the non-Tesla EVs that made that trip. That broken charger cost me 2-3 hours each way on my round trip, because even though I reported the problem to EV Connect, they did not fix it in a timely manner. And since EA has not even begun to install the new chargers in Quartzsite, this is still a situation where one station failure affects many drivers. Obviously I know that the Rivian will make this trip easily with it's increased range and that is why I will only get it with the 180KW battery. But, Rivian is still not delivering vehicles yet, nor is the CT out yet. The article I was commenting on was based on today's vehicles and today's non-Tesla charging infrastructure. I will provide yet another situation about charging infrastructure, there are no CCS chargers on the route from Phoenix to Las Vegas, making it extremely unlikely that any of today's non-Tesla EVs can make that trip.

Keep in mind that today there are only 3 non-Tesla EVs with a range close to 300 miles (i-Pace, Kona, Niro), most others are less than 250. The future has not yet arrived.
 

ajdelange

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I don't think anyone reading this forum would be terribly concerned about what might or might not happen to a Bolt owner or any other owner of one of todays' EVs be it Tesla or no assaying to travel between Phoenix and LA or Phoenix and Vegas. They are probably much more concerned about what their prospects will be in the (we hope) fairly near future when their Rivians start to be delivered. The CCS charging infrastructure is clearly sufficient to support a trip in a R1T from Phoenix to either LA or Vegas. The future is definitely here now in terms of the charging if not in terms of the truck.

Many here may be worried by your assertions. I'd like to make sure their worries are dispelled. Let's look at the Phoenix to Vegas route a bit further. It's about 305 miles. The fact that there are no CCS chargers along that route would be of no concern to the 180 kWh battery owner as he's got 400 miles in the tank and thus does not need to charge between Phoenix and Vegas. Or does he? If he want's to drive 30% above the speed limit he'll have to stop off at Anthem and leave there at 95% SoC. What happens if a big headwind comes up? The on board indicators would show the necessity to charge and he would go to one of the numerous camp grounds with NEMA 14-50R chargers available. Clearly another BEV with less range than the Rivian could make the trip using these stops for recharging (and evidently do from the logins shown on PlugShare).
 

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Any time you are driving a new long distance route, you need to consider where you would want to refuel. In an ICE car, it is a matter of learning where the inexpensive gas stations are along the route. This is where range anxiety in ICE cars happens. In a BEV, you will have few choices in refueling and would benefit from doing a bit of research before you drive that particular route.
 

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I don't think anyone reading this forum would be terribly concerned about what might or might not happen to a Bolt owner or any other owner of one of todays' EVs be it Tesla or no assaying to travel between Phoenix and LA or Phoenix and Vegas. They are probably much more concerned about what their prospects will be in the (we hope) fairly near future when their Rivians start to be delivered. The CCS charging infrastructure is clearly sufficient to support a trip in a R1T from Phoenix to either LA or Vegas. The future is definitely here now in terms of the charging if not in terms of the truck.

Many here may be worried by your assertions. I'd like to make sure their worries are dispelled. Let's look at the Phoenix to Vegas route a bit further. It's about 305 miles. The fact that there are no CCS chargers along that route would be of no concern to the 180 kWh battery owner as he's got 400 miles in the tank and thus does not need to charge between Phoenix and Vegas. Or does he? If he want's to drive 30% above the speed limit he'll have to stop off at Anthem and leave there at 95% SoC. What happens if a big headwind comes up? The on board indicators would show the necessity to charge and he would go to one of the numerous camp grounds with NEMA 14-50R chargers available. Clearly another BEV with less range than the Rivian could make the trip using these stops for recharging (and evidently do from the logins shown on PlugShare).
I agree that for people with a 180KW Rivian, this is not a concern. What if someone just wants the 105KW or the 135KW battery? I believe the infrastructure should be improved to allow those people to make that journey too. Using a campground NEMA plug provides only Level 2 charging, so that is in no way comparable to having CCS Level 3. Even the mid range Rivian, with EPA of about 300 miles, would likely not make that trip without having to charge once. The EPA rating is not for pure highway driving, it is for a combination of city and highway. EVs get better range in slower stop and go traffic than on the highway. I did a trip recently to Tucson from Phoenix at highway speed (75 MPH in AZ) and the headwind was 20-30 MPH. My range dropped to 170 miles. It was not an issue, because the fast charger in Tucson was 140 miles from my start point, no big deal. There was actually another CCS charging site halfway to Tucson, meaning I had no range anxiety at all.

Many people may not want to choose the larger battery, in particular if they will make only 1 long range trip a year. The low end battery is fine for driving around town. But if there were a CCS charger in Kingman, one could still make the Phoenix to Vegas trip without any issue with an EV with 240 mile range. I am sure there are many other city to city routes throughout the country with similar issues, it is just that this route is very popular in the southwest.
 

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