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Electric cars - to buy or not to buy?

(108 Posts)
Mollygo Sun 03-Dec-23 08:20:50

We were thinking of getting one, well a hybrid at least, out of respect for the planet. I already feel guilty about the stuff in my mobile phone, that I wouldn’t be without. I knew little about the mining and toxicity of cobalt and but then I read this.
This is a Tesla battery.
To manufacture it you need:
12 tonnes of rock for Lithium
5 tons of Cobalt minerals
3 tons of mineral for nickel
12 tons of copper ore
Move 250 tons of soil to obtain:
12 kg of Lithium
30 pounds of nickels
22 kg of manganese
15 pounds of Cobalt
100 Kg of rams
200 kg of aluminum, steel or and plastic
The Caterpillar 994A used for earthmoving consumes 1000 liters of diesel in 12 hours.
Oh, and then you have to build the car.
Finally you get a “zero emissions” car.

I can’t argue with the damage caused by fossil fuel emissions, but . . . how much would this bother you?

GrannyGravy13 Sun 03-Dec-23 08:26:25

Very much so.

karmalady Sun 03-Dec-23 08:39:43

Lithium battery production bothers me a lot. All those people who got solar panels plus heavy lithium batteries, my neighbour did just that, to `save` the planet. I kept my mouth zipped.

sodapop Sun 03-Dec-23 08:52:39

Same here karmalady the lithium battery is a real contra indication for me. Hydrogen is the way to go.

TerriBull Sun 03-Dec-23 08:57:53

Not to mention the youngsters in the Democratic Republic of Congo who mine the cobalt detrimentally affecting their health.

nanna8 Sun 03-Dec-23 08:58:00

I’ve just got a hybrid ,mainly because we really aren’t ready for totally electric cars here yet. Very few places to charge them and vast distances don’t quite match! The fuel economy is great and it seems to run on electricity more often than not. It does about 1,000 kms for a tankful.

kittylester Sun 03-Dec-23 09:03:34

And electric cars are often heavier than 'ordinary' cars so cause more damage to the roads.

Jaxjacky Sun 03-Dec-23 09:04:48

Lithium battery manufacture is the heftiest environmental damage from building an electric car. But over the life cycle of the vehicle the environmental damage from burning oil in a fossil fuel car far outweighs it.

MerylStreep Sun 03-Dec-23 09:12:50

Added to what the OP has posted there is the tyre problem.
Particles from the rubber tyres.

www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/05/time-to-worry-about-car-tyre-pollution-chris-whitty-tells-mps

Sago Sun 03-Dec-23 09:22:12

One of our cars had to go in for a service last week.
The garage gave us an electric courtesy car.
It was beautiful, however the retail price was over £100,00 and as the OP states what is the true carbon footprint of the car?

I think we are being scammed regarding electric vehicles.

Mamie Sun 03-Dec-23 09:24:22

The Guardian is finally tackling some of the myths around electric cars.
www.theguardian.com/business/2023/dec/01/do-electric-cars-have-problem-mining-for-minerals
Those who don't have time to read it might be interested by this extract:
"Overall the mineral use for electric cars is much, much lower than petrol and diesel as soon as oil enters the equation. Transport & Environment (T&E), a Brussels-based thinktank, found that a petrol car will burn an average of 17,000 litres of oil in its lifetime – about 12.5 tonnes.p
And most criticisms of electric cars’ mineral use miss a hugely important point: the majority of battery materials used in cars are likely to be recycled. That will drastically cut down the amount of wasted material compared with fossil fuels which disappear invisibly, but harmfully to heat the planet".
Electric cars are heavier but a small to medium sized car is far lighter than a Chelsea Tractor or large SUV.
Before anyone says it, the brake dust does not pollute the environment because 90% of braking is regenerative and the brakes are not used.
Electric cars are around 10 times less likely to catch fire than petrol and hybrids.
Once on the road electric cars do not pollute the air our grandchildren breathe.
If you cannot charge at home it is more difficult but the charging network is improving all the time.
Anti EV FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) propaganda is widespread and has serious money behind it.
Most of it does not stand up to scrutiny.
We love our electric car. Cheap to run, quiet and a joy to drive.

Mamie Sun 03-Dec-23 09:29:46

MerylStreep

Added to what the OP has posted there is the tyre problem.
Particles from the rubber tyres.

www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/05/time-to-worry-about-car-tyre-pollution-chris-whitty-tells-mps

The tyres are manufactured to a different standard.
www.rac.co.uk/drive/electric-cars/running/do-electric-vehicles-produce-more-tyre-and-brake-pollution-than-petrol-and/

karmalady Sun 03-Dec-23 09:31:13

there is the added distance stress, I have 2 relatives with electric cars btw. Having to drive in winter with minimal heating because the lights need to be on and no-where near a quick charging point.

karmalady Sun 03-Dec-23 09:32:37

also second hand values have plummeted so overall annual cost is massive over the life of the car

Mollygo Sun 03-Dec-23 09:33:38

Electric cars are around 10 times less likely to catch fire than petrol and hybrids.

I read that, but it doesn’t explain why we’re suddenly asked at the ferry port, whether our vehicle is electric.
Pro EV propaganda is widespread and has serious money behind it.
Incidentally I was grateful for the arrival of the heating repair man who was sent to us on a 70 mile trip late Friday afternoon but he had to wait for his van to recharge before he could do his 230 mile home run.

TerriBull Sun 03-Dec-23 09:34:09

kittylester

And electric cars are often heavier than 'ordinary' cars so cause more damage to the roads.

Yes and it has been mooted that some of the older multi storey constructed car parks eventually may not be able to support their weight.

MaizieD Sun 03-Dec-23 09:35:03

Thanks for that link, Mamie.

I was wondering where the OP got her information from. I might be entirely wrong but it looked like the sort of thing you see posted on facebook which isn't always quite accurate.

Mamie Sun 03-Dec-23 09:44:14

MaizieD

Thanks for that link, Mamie.

I was wondering where the OP got her information from. I might be entirely wrong but it looked like the sort of thing you see posted on facebook which isn't always quite accurate.

It is EV bingo. Like I said there is a powerful propaganda lobby at work.

Mamie Sun 03-Dec-23 10:21:45

On a practical note:
We lease our car, because we knew that evolving battery technology would mean a loss of value long-term. We pay the equivalent of £300 pounds a month which includes all servicing, repairs and tyres. Insurance is cheaper than our last petrol car. It costs us about £4 a week in electricity to run.
We charge at home 90% of the time and our range is (not the best available) 250 miles. For long journeys it does help to plan charging stops. Our daughter has just been to see us and they stopped for one 30 minute charging and meal break in 320 miles.
If you don't have home charging and need to make regular long journeys under extreme time pressure an EV is probably not for you at the moment.
No process for manufacturing cars is going to be perfect, but EV technology is improving all the time and once on the road they are nowhere near as polluting as petrol and diesel. And as I said before the responsiveness makes them a joy to drive.

Oldbat1 Sun 03-Dec-23 13:20:06

On a personal level i wont entertain having one. Far too expensive as we can only afford to buy older cars. Plus I cant hear them coming so i have to be extra extra careful crossing roads or when walking down country lanes with the dog none of which have pavements.

paddyann54 Sun 03-Dec-23 13:30:24

We'll wait until Hydrogen is launched,Its a much better alternative to fossil fuel than electricity,I have that from people who are working on hydrogen replacements already.Aberdeen has hydrogen powered buses and vans with none of the downsides of electric....and electric cars do catch fire and CANT be extinguished google the massive fires caused by them .
My OH and my SIL are very knowledgeable about this and I'd trust either of them over any government in the UK

Mamie Sun 03-Dec-23 13:47:25

paddyann54

We'll wait until Hydrogen is launched,Its a much better alternative to fossil fuel than electricity,I have that from people who are working on hydrogen replacements already.Aberdeen has hydrogen powered buses and vans with none of the downsides of electric....and electric cars do catch fire and CANT be extinguished google the massive fires caused by them .
My OH and my SIL are very knowledgeable about this and I'd trust either of them over any government in the UK

Another article for you!
www.theguardian.com/business/2023/nov/20/do-electric-cars-pose-a-greater-fire-risk-than-petrol-or-diesel-vehicles
The Luton airport fire reporting was classic. News bulletins all reporting "believed to be an electric car", until the Fire Brigade said it wasn't and video showed it was an elderly Range Rover. 🤔
As to hydrogen, I thought I had read that whilst it was good for large vehicles it is currently too inefficient for cars?

granfromafar Sun 03-Dec-23 16:26:34

Agree with Mamie and thanks for the links. There are so many myths and misconceptions surrounding evs, just as there were when petrol cars were first introduced, mainly through ignorance. We were pretty ignorant about them till we bought ours in March. Wouldn't ever go back to an ice (internal combustion engine) one now. Have done many road trips this year and never had problems with charging away from home. Lots of new charging hubs are being installed every week. Would recommend YouTube videos of 'Dave takes it on' and 'the fully charged show ' both very informative.

AreWeThereYet Sun 03-Dec-23 16:48:46

I loved our EV till yesterday. Driving home the 12v battery died and the car ground to a halt on a busy dual carriageway with no lights in the dark. We stood nearby for about three hours in the freezing cold. It was really scary watching all the idiots screaming up behind it and veering out into the other lane.

Had no problems charging it - usually at home but we just check for charging points wherever we are going. Charged it yesterday at the NEC while we were in the antiques fair.

granfromafar Sun 03-Dec-23 17:02:39

Oh no, AreWeThereYet! Wonder what caused that. Did you get a recovery vehicle OK?