EV's in South Africa: Myths and Legends

EV's in South Africa: Myths and Legends

EV's are much maligned by highly motivated, vociferous anti EV groups. The myriad of professionally presented youtube videos vilifying EV have mushroomed in the last 2 years. They are extremely convincing despite laughable claims such as  buildings collapsing due to EV's !

Why is this?

The disruption to the automotive industry is unprecedented. The first mass produced ICE cars were made 120 yrs ago and took decades to achieve the marvel that they are today. The first lithium ion mass produced model S appeared a scant 12 yrs ago. Today the model Y is the best-selling car in the world and EV sales are 30% of new cars in many countries. This disruption of vested interests of the legacy car makers and the oil industry is huge. If one adds the potential loss of tax on fuel on the fiscus, greedy Politicians will and are adding their negativity to the EV revolution. The rapidly advancing technology in an already superior product will win!

The anti lobby spews a constant stream of propaganda with these being the top 5 anti EV rants.

  1. EV's catch fire

EV's have a 0.0012% chance of catching fire compared to 0.1% of their ICE counterparts.

EV fires are more difficult to extinguish however this is being addressed by changing battery chemistry

(some new BYD EV models have sodium ion batteries) and by changing battery pack materials and packaging.

  1. EV's are too expensive

Perhaps this fact should be addressed to the greedy incompetent Politicians who have levied a 25% tax on EV's in South Africa.

Nevertheless the BMW X3 models have reached parity and the new BYD models launched this year offer equivalent value to their petrol counterparts. Battery prices have decreased significantly and it is inevitable that in a short time EV's will be cheaper than complex ICE cars. The negative perception of EV's has resulted in bargains in the growing second hand market, their values dropping by more than 50%.

There is no need for this fear as batteries have a guarantee of 8 years and a life of 20 years. The motors in EV's are like your hoover and don't need maintenance.

  1. EV's do not have enough range for SA and there is no charging infrastructure

This may have been true 5 years ago however a Nissan leaf cannot be compared to the new cars. The EV progress is akin  to the rapid advances  in desktop computers 30 years ago when there was a quantum jump every 3 years and the upgrade was significant.

An 80 to 90 Kw/hr battery in new models has a real world range of way over 450km . There are DC charges every 100km on all our major routes. This makes an 800km trip super easy. If one wanted to travel further surely it would be more effective to fly.

  1. EV's can't be charged due to power constraints and ESKOM

The anti-lobby posts memes of EVs attached to diesel generators, leads from Kusile, and stranded cars pulled by Toyotas. In South Africa just about every house has off street parking or a garage. If this is linked to a cookie cutter 5Kw solar system, ESKOM and blackouts are irrelevant. No battery is required and an 80k system will pay itself off in just over one year. Even if there is stage 4 load shedding the 6 hour hiatus in power will have little effect of a 11kw AC charging supply.

  1. EV's are terrible for the environment

The internet is full of polluting fossil power stations feeding hundreds of EVs, children dying in cobalt mines in the Congo, batteries polluting landfills etc.

Somehow the process of drilling for toxic oil, refining it, transporting it over vast distances, burning it and repeating the process ad infinitum is irrelevant!

Miraculously  suddenly there is now green efuel and tailpipe emissions have the scent of spring flowers! The cobalt argument is strange in that vast quantities are used in cellphones and ICE cars but this is conveniently ignored. Battery chemistry is moving away from cobalt nevertheless the anti-lobby will find some other chemical to complain about.

The argument always compares the entire manufacturing process of EV's and the supply of electricity  vs  only the environmental impact of tailpipe emissions.

If one believes EVs are more harmful to the environment than ICE cars perhaps the flat earth society is your next port of call.

 PV Amped

(source: Drive Electric)



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