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LETTER: Electric vehicles: 'Politically-driven nonsense'

'I regret buying them from both an economic and environment standpoint,' laments reader, who will be switching back to gas vehicle after driving a hybrid electric car
2022-05-17 typing pexels-donatello-trisolino-1375261
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I own a hybrid electric car and two Ecco electric bikes. I regret buying them from both an economic and environment standpoint. If you drive in the city only and charge at home you are going to save some money. If you do four-season highway driving in Canadian winters, forget it. At 20 below it can take an hour pre-warming the battery before it will even take a charge.

My hybrid electric Lexus has less performance and higher ownership costs than my previous otherwise identical plan gas vehicle. A 50 amp charging station can run 13 c/kWh to 52 c/kWh depending on how enterprising the owner of the charger is. On some cases the charging cost can be higher than the fuel cost. In my case the electric motors are always charging at highway speeds and even in stop-and-go traffic you get one-third electric to two-thirds charging. Did I mention that replacement batteries can be one-quarter to one-third the overall cost of the vehicle?

There is no payback on the extra cost of the electric vehicle. Eventually there will be better batteries that last longer and don’t catch fire as lithium ion batteries tend to do sometimes. Think Tesla solid state or Toyota's nuclear batteries that will eventually become mainstream.

I don’t charge my e-bike batteries in my home anymore. They are four years old and have changed colour from black to gold and only charge to about 50 per cent and I don’t trust them anymore, so I store them in a sealed metal container when not in use.

Lithium fires are a chemical reaction and hard to put out. Environmentally, it is difficult to recycle lithium ion batteries and 90 per cent are not recycled. Lithium mining, like copper, is strip mining and cobalt comes mostly from the Congo where every single mine has been independently audited and all are using child labour. If you think battery mineral mining is environment friendly, you are kidding yourself. They are not even culturally friendly batteries.

It’s all politically-driven nonsense. So for me, my next car will be back to gas.

Mark Coles