December 2021: the cost of Lithium (for electric batteries) surged more than 250% in one year—these rising material expenses are enriching China in the process.
Those telling us to buy electric vehicles at $55,000 per car will often claim that “Drivers Can Save Money” by not having to buy gas, is that reality? After reading some interesting facts you might discover Biden and Buttigieg are snake oil salesmen!
The average cost per gallon of gas has soared past $5.00 here in California the land of Fruit & Nuts with no end in sight—President Biden is pushing EVs as a cost-effective replacement for gas-powered cars that will “Save the Planet”…Imagine if you are on a fixed Social Security income or a $15.00 per hour employee and having to fork out $55,000 for an electric car? It’s possible if you cut down on rent, food, insurance, medical expense, and entertainment.
Many factors need to be included in the math to make a realistic electric car decision —
“According to the EPA, the national average for a kilowatt-hour of electricity is 13 cents in your home where most electric car owners charge their vehicles with 240-volt Level 2 charger typically taking eight hours or more to charge a battery.” Few in the Biden administration will tell you that to install the Level 2 charging unit in your home cost is at an average of $2,000 plus instillation. But, wait a second, that does not include having to upgrade your entire electrical system in your home…A “Level 3” charger that takes just 20 minutes to charge a car cost $50,000— again not including upgrading the electrical system in your house to power the damned thing.
“Many of these charging stations are become available in public settings like office and shopping center parking lots, where they are known as destination chargers.” Be prepared to pay $4.00 to $5.00 per charge…increasing as we speak! In other words the transportation secretary is talking about replacing the cost of gas for the cost to charge your car.
There are also a few facilities that offer what are known as “Level 3” charging stations, which can charge an EV in 20 minutes. Tesla, for instance, has rolled out Supercharger stations that can significantly cut down the charging time but it is not cheap!
An electric Ford Mustang Mach-E would cost an owner $2,100 annually for 15,000 miles of driving and charging at a Level 3 station, compared to a mere $650 for the Level 2 home charging system. This seems like a reasonable savings, and a major selling point for Biden’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg told Americans to “buy an EV, so they don’t have to worry about gas prices.” REALLY? WHAT ABOUT PRICE GOUGING CHARGE STATIONS? How about a persons housing costs, food, insurance, medical costs, electric and heating costs? Unless the trend is to sleep in this $65,000 Luxury Tesla?
Last month, Buttigieg announced a $5 billion investment to build 500,000 electric charging network across the nation…no mention that this will take a few years to accomplish.
Furthermore, repair costs are higher for EVs than for gas-powered cars. This is because the whole EV market is still in its early development stage, so new that parts are more costly, and so are labor costs. Add in the fact that only a select few mechanics are even trained to repair EVs, and drivers will find the selection of repair shops fewer and farther between, and the labor costs higher due to supply and demand. Presumably, this would even out in the coming years, maybe by 2035, when there are more than 2 million electric cars, but right now it is a costly concern.
Also, a major source of expense for EVs is “battery pack replacement.” Depending on the car, battery packs can last between 5 and 20 years, but the replacement costs might make keeping the car prohibitive. Some auto experts say that the average battery life is eight years or 100,000 miles, and depending on the model, battery packs cost between $5,000 and $20,000 to replace — not including labor. Please do not mention what these used batteries are going to do to our ecology and our landfill already filling up with windmill blades…also manufactured in China…
This high cost is also a warning to anyone buying a used Electric Vehicle. After all, if you buy a 10-year-old EV that still has its original battery, you might be forced to fork out another $10,000 to replace a dead battery pack shortly after putting as much as $25,000 toward the purchase of the used vehicle. Most Americans can’t afford these luxury cars.
Another issue is a geopolitical concern.
Many of the rare earth minerals — such as lithium — and the manufactured batteries and parts are made in China, and the costs for these materials are skyrocketing…in the old days when coal miners in West Virginia “Owed their souls to the company store” it appears we will all now owe our souls to the Communist Chinese.
Electric vehicles do have their selling points, that is true. But they simply are not yet practical for most Americans. If one thing is sure, they are not a panacea, and consumers should really take the time to review their options when considering the purchase…you may need to use your first born as collateral.