Renault Scénic Vision’s battery is small for an electric car
How did this position come about? Who thinks 40 kWh is small and why is it found?
I think it’s a relatively unhealthy way of looking at cars and transportation, and it’s part of the way we think about fossil fuel cars. After all, for those vehicles you have to make an effort to get fuel – you have to look for a special point, go there and then interrupt your trip to buy fuel.
Charging an electric car usually takes zero time: your car is charged while you are not working on it, such as at home, visiting family, at work or in the supermarket. You arrive at your destination, drop in your car and do whatever you want to do there. When you need the car again, it is always full of fuel, so it can go the distance that the fuel capacity allows immediately.
In practice, a 40 kWh battery can easily reach 250 km with efficient and modern cars. I live in Zwolle, so I can draw a circle around Zwolle with a radius of 250 km. This way I can easily get to wherever I use the car. And if I want to go somewhere from work or family, the car is also charged there of course, so I can drive 250 kilometers from there without having to spend time charging.
Let’s say I want to go on vacation once or twice a year. Then I might want to go by car, because I don’t want to bother going by train, or because I want to take a tent with me and a lot of luggage. Well, even if I want to go more than 250 kilometers. Then of course I just use the (rightfully) expensive fast charger, and take a 30-minute break every two and a half hours, which is very healthy and safe. Can I go to Berlin after half a day or to the south of France on a long day?
Sounds like a very useful, cool, and practical means of transportation in my head. Now, do we want a bigger battery, say 80 kWh? Let’s look at the pros and cons:
- Two vacations a year I spend a few hours less on the round trip. In other words, I have six fewer hours a year to entertain myself in a roadside restaurant with good coffee and the newspaper. OK, but is that really an advantage?
- – Twice as much raw materials must be used in the production of my car battery – so I allocate to myself more scarce resources, which may also have been obtained through slavery and indentured servitude. As a result, there is also less raw material for other batteries that the world needs.
- – Probably twice as much carbon dioxide as my car. So this car might be better than a petrol car after 100,000 miles, rather than say 50,000 miles if I had a smaller battery.
- – I may pay 10,000 to 20,000 euros to buy the car, and the depreciation increases too.
- A car is heavier and therefore probably more dangerous than a car, as the roads wear out faster and take more energy to propel themselves. The more healthcare costs and the costs of maintaining the infrastructure and the entire vehicle will likely become more expensive to use stronger and more powerful parts.
Well, to save myself six hours less per year on a fast charger, might I have to pay an extra 20,000 euros, use more energy, cost society more, produce significantly more climate pollution, and take raw materials for myself that others can use as well?
This seems illogical.
40 kWh is a very good battery capacity for the majority of the Dutch. Sure, you may have to drive long distances every day to go to work, you may not have a home loading facility, and you may want a truck that can carry more goods or people. Well, find a solution to that, but remember that perhaps 90% of Dutch households are in fact totally unwise economically, costly, unfriendly climate and morally wrong to have batteries of more than 40 kWh in your car. If you were aware of it, maybe it wouldn’t be the case to get another car with a big battery?
There are always exceptions, but if we really want to do something about climate change with electric personal transportation, and we want to be able to pay for it and find the same amount of comfort, we certainly shouldn’t see 40 kWh batteries as “small” “.
Thanks for reading my article
[Reactie gewijzigd door Helium-3 op 19 mei 2022 14:16]
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