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Challenges short circuit drive to all-electric vehicle world

Ron Walter looks at the practicality of the electric vehicle
Bizworld by Ron Walter

The electric vehicle is supposed to end the use of fossil fuel engines in autos.

So great is the drive for electric vehicles (EVs) that several auto makers plan to end production of internal combustion engines within years.

Ford, GM, Mercedes, Volvo and Jaguar/Rover are planning all-electric vehicles by 2035.             

This year some have taken their foot off the EV pedal. GM has retreated from building a $4 billion EV plant. Ford, which sold 41 per cent more EVs in the U.S. last quarter than a year ago, has delayed EV production goals by one year.

EVs sales are still strong with 2023 being the first year of one million sales in the U.S.A.

Consumer resistance has slowed adoption of EVs.

Residents in large cities are skeptical about EVs.

First and foremost is limited charging stations. When there are charging stations the time to recharge lithium batteries varies from one to four hours depending on electrical outlets and charger technology.

Condo and apartment dwellers don’t have enough charging capacity.

Hybrid vehicles — an EV with gasoline engine support — are becoming more popular.

Stellantis (formerly Chrysler) unveiled a new truck with a 690 mile range on a full tank. Available next year the truck runs on an EV battery with a gasoline engine.

The hybrid model appears favoured by consumers over EVs. The percentage of U.S. buyers migrating to hybrids has increased 61 per cent.

Hybrid vehicles overcome the low number of charging stations. The car runs on an electric battery but energy from a gasoline engine is converted to electricity. Mileage is excellent.        

Yours Truly drove a hybrid for 13 years and would still be driving it but for a tree that fell and broke the windshield. SGI wrote it off, paying me $5,600 for the old car.  

SGI likely recovered $4,000 from salvaging the lithium battery and pollution controls.    

The hybrid overcomes another EV challenge in cold northern weather

Some EV buyers have discovered their batteries run down quickly in severe cold. 

One example, an EV owner driving in sub-zero to Saskatoon from Regina had to stop for a four-hour long recharge in Davidson.

That challenge will be met by a technology that safely insulates the battery.

Until then and until charging stations become easily available, hybrids will be more practical.

Hybrid popularity will impact long term plans of auto makers.

Toyota appears to lead the race with all models available in gasoline or hybrid and some as plug-in hybrids. 

Plug-in hybrids are capable of 100 to 110 miles per gallon fuel equivalent use.

Most of the other automakers bet heavily on EV only vehicles. That business model could stall future growth.

Ron Walter can be reached at  


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication. 



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