23 January 2022

Electric Vehicle Technology racing ahead

There's buzz in the auto enthusiast world to the effect that sometime in this decade the "range anxiety" for electric cars is going to flip to "range envy" for non-EVs. And that it is Hyundai/Kia, not any of the American or Japanese or European manufacturers, who are on the cutting edge. Although I'm not entirely sure that includes Tesla, which is pretty secretive. Anyway, the rumors are that by around 2026 they will release electric cars with good road qualities (which they already have) and a 500 mile range on a full charge. Chinese manufacturers, of which there are at least ten seriously working on EVs, are not too far behind. Battery technology, and other systems technologies, are racing forward. 

It's sad to see America's technological supremacy being superseded, but it's a process that's already well underway, and we better get used to it. I have cautious optimism in this sense: it's been clear for some time that the real obstacles to Climate Change solutions are not technical but political. These developments are a sign that the technological developments that can lead to a carbon neutral future will happen anyway, regardless of politics. 

We somewhat reluctantly decided recently to buy a PHEV (plug in hybrid) as a second car to our EV (replacing a pure gasoline car), because the infrastructure for longer trips in EVs still just isn't there in this country. But the PHEV does drive far enough on pure electric to do most local trips. The estimated "combined average" is over 100 mpg. I am thinking with any luck we'll buy another EV to replace this car in 5 years or so, and never buy a gasoline engined car again. 

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