Part 1 of this series outlined some of the costs related to the push by the Trudeau/Singh led government to eliminate the sale of ICE powered light-duty vehicles and replace them with electric vehicles (EV). Their plan aims to have EV represent 100% of new light -duty sales (2 million annually) by 2035. The goal appears to have been concocted without a cost/benefit analysis or consider other aspects that will have dire consequences. Let’s explore the latter!
Car Battery Replacement
We start with a short story out of St. Pete’s Florida where a father bought his daughter a used EV with only 60,000 miles on it for $11K for her to use to drive to school and back. After only six months the battery died on the Ford Focus and they were informed by the local dealership a new battery would cost $14K or $3K more than they paid for the car and the cost estimate didn’t include labour or installation costs. They were also told the batteries weren’t even available. Another story making the rounds was how a Tesla owner out of Norway found out it would cost him $22K for a replacement battery and repairs so he blew up his car rather than pay the price to repair it. Stories like these will certainly make people question the EV transition and cause them to simply keep and maintain their ICE vehicles as long as they can. Stories like the two aforementioned ones suggest EV have only scrap value once their batteries die and need replacement.
What happens to those Dead EV Batteries
So, one should wonder, what’s going to happen to those EV batteries once they they die? A recent article focused on the USA had this to say: “Due to electric vehicles’ rising popularity, it goes without saying that their battery waste will become a major issue. Experts estimate that 12 million tons of batteries will be thrown away by 2030, transportation and storage could prove a logistical nightmare.” It seems apparent EV batteries weighing 1,000 Lbs. after their 6-to-10-year life ends will have to be recycled. At present there are only four lithium-ion recycling centers in the USA so those batteries will need to be transported to those sites or tossed into waste sites where they will leak toxins. In respect to the foregoing the article also noted: “They are also a fire hazard if and when stored together. A report by the Environmental Protection Agency found that between 2013 and 2020, more than 240 lithium-ion battery fires broke out across 64 municipal waste facilities.” The above suggests recycling EV batteries will be much more complex and even dangerous then the process of recycling ICE motors raising the costs of dealing with the waste they create.
Looming problems for EV batteries
A fairly recent article titled:“Dark clouds on the horizon for electric vehicles” pointed out two potential problems associated with the continued production of EV. The first one was in respect to the probability the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is expected to classify lithium carbonate; a major component of EV batteries, as; “dangerous to human health”. Should that classification be endorsed by other countries or regions one should expect it will affect the processing and manufacture of their power supply, ie: batteries negatively? The second potential problem the article highlighted was in respect to the recent sinking of a cargo ship with 4,000 automobiles and many of them EV and noted, “from a fire where electric-vehicle batteries were part of the reason,”! The article went on to state: “Most of the EVs will be manufactured in foreign countries far removed from American ports” and evidenced it with the following chart:
Automobiles manufactured per year 1950/2019:
China None / 28 million
United States 8 million / 11 million
Japan 31 thousand / 9.8 million
India 15 thousand / 5 million
Germany 300 thousand / 5 million
South Korea None / 4 million
The cargo ship, the Felicity Ace was carrying Porsches, Bentleys, VWs and many were EV and the latter were apparently the cause of the fire. The ship was on its way from Europe to the US and the cargo was valued at US$500 million. Needless to say, it sank despite efforts to extinguish the fire and tow it back to port. The potential losses affected the principal insurance company, Allianz Insurance and they recently published their annual Safety and Shipping Review” and in it noted the following: “Car carriers have also been increasingly lost to fire, starting in cargo holds caused by malfunctions or electrical short circuits in vehicles before spreading quickly through open decks. AGCS noted that the growing numbers of electric vehicles transported by sea could complicate the matter further, as existing countermeasures may not respond effectively to an EV blaze. Loss expenses would be massive given the value of the car cargo, the cost of wreck removal, and pollution mitigation.”
Based on the foregoing one would expect insurance companies will raise their rates considerably; further adding to the costs of EV.
EV for police service
The concept of EV for the utilization of police service are popping up with Repentigny, Que., a town north of Montreal where City officials issued a release saying the project, which converted a Ford Mustang with a 300-kilometre battery range, into a police car, “will not only be eco-friendly but will also give the force a new visual identity.” In Ontario the City of Windsor has defined “its goal is to start replacing older unmarked police vehicles, sometimes used for administrative purposes, with fully electric cars.” Barry Horrobin, the director of planning and physical resources for Windsor Police stated: ”Record-breaking fuel prices didn’t prompt the change, as they’ve been looking toward electrifying their fleet for a few years.” One should wonder if the 40% drop in EV fuel efficiency during winter months in Canada will mean those police vehicles will use more electricity driving up the budgets of police forces. Surely those municipalities aiming to improve their “visual identity” or concerned about “record-breaking fuel prices” have done their homework so municipal taxes won’t have to increase? A story out of the UK suggests EV are not suitable for police response. The Gloucestershire Constabulary in the Southwest city of Gloucester “has the largest full electric fleet in the UK, making up 21% of their 435 vehicles” and Chris Nelson, the Police and Crime Commissioner said; the vehicles “run out of puff” and no doubt with electric prices so very high in the UK will cost local taxpayers for charging those EV to provide the “puff” they need.
We should be pretty sure running “out of puff” in Canadian winters will be the norm as we reach the point in 2035 where all sales of light-duty vehicles are mandated to be 100% EV which presumably includes police vehicles.
As researching the events leading to this series has disclosed more negative findings related to EV it appears Part 3 of this series is a necessity so stay tuned.