Published on October 24, 2022
The article is available in podcast form here.
The interest of the electric car
Less dependence on fuels
The first criticism of the electric car comes from the batteries’ dependence on China and rare earths. We will see later that the use of rare earths is reduced thanks to industrialists. As for China, we already depend on it for a large part of our products, especially electronics, and it doesn’t seem to bother anyone…
But this criticism seems to forget the current situation.
We are daily dependent on a fuel that we do not produce. If a shortage of gasoline occurs, France will stop turning in a few days (see strikes). If more than one battery arrives in France, it affects production, but the whole fleet rolls on. The disadvantages will only become apparent after several months or even years.
Besides, France will never produce oil, and a petrol car will never run on anything but oil. We have no chance of ever becoming independent with a gasoline powered car.
While nothing prohibits France from producing batteries, or even batteries without rare earths. We are more likely to be independent in both design and consumption with an electric car.
Flexibility in fleet consumption
An internal combustion engine is a technological cathedral that cannot tolerate any kind of flexibility. The simple fact of changing fuel, such as switching from diesel to lead, renders it useless.
We are not talking about switching oil to gas or coal, just switching from one oil derivative to another. Fuel oil, diesel, petrol or kerosene are not interchangeable in engines. In terms of innovation, we are stuck with a fleet that is impossible to improve without changing everything.
A fleet of electric cars uses only electricity. However, this can come from multiple energy sources such as solar, nuclear or gas.
The car fleet can be recharged with coal-fired power stations and switched to nuclear power without changing a single car. For example, imagine a rotating fleet with gas power plants: fleet efficiency can be increased by switching from conventional power plants (30% efficiency) to combined power plants (+60% efficiency) without changing a single car.
In addition to achieving independence of the electric car’s consumables, we can distribute these consumables between many energy sources to avoid any shortage and very easily secure the fleet.
The headache of all-oil and its subjugation is reduced with the electric car. However, there is still the problem of autonomy and the availability of charging stations.
The problems with the terminals and batteries are minimal problems, which above all show the surrounding pessimism.
On the whole electric car, its only technological obstacle is autonomy. This is a small block, as the current batteries already allow 400 km of autonomy. It is therefore necessary to increase the capacity by a factor of 3.
All this is minimal. In the last century we tamed nuclear energy, sent men to the moon, created particle colliders, connected the whole world to the Internet. But designing a car battery three times more efficient would be impossible?
While society remains bleak, industrialists and scientists are moving forward.
Tesla has just released its cobalt-free battery. GMG begins manufacturing graphene batteries. Toyota releases its first hydrogen-powered Mirai car.
Again, France does not produce a drop of oil, but we have gas stations every 10 km. But when we produce our power and we already have a power grid, would it be impossible to install charging stations?
Fortunately, pessimism does not infect everyone. Tesla continues to mask the territory of its terminals. Switzerland has already masked its own.
It is annoying to see the current pessimism. Electric cars seem like a technological wall, whereas it is only a step, a minimal step, which the market has made sure to facilitate with a complete product range.
An offer available to everyone
There are already petrol cars that have reduced their consumption. Mercedes just wanted to add an electric motor since 2008 to help gain efficiency on the gasoline engine.
Toyota has offered hybrids for 20 years to switch between gas and electric driving, all without worrying about electric charging.
Then came plug-in hybrids like the Hyundai Ioniqs. We end up with two cars in one, capable of running and recharging both petrol and electricity.
We can remember the product BMW i3. It was an electric car with a small emergency gasoline engine to generate electricity in the event of a missing terminal…
And finally electric cars like those from Tesla or Renault.
Companies are actively removing technological blockages. And in the meantime, the market offers a wide range between 100% petrol and 100% electric.
The electric car is a clear improvement compared to petrol-powered cars. It is a vector for Europe’s liberation from the subjugation of oil. The market is already providing answers to the problems with batteries and terminals. It also offers a wide selection for a smooth transition.
Except that neither the state nor the ecologists are gentle. They impose their timetable with the end of gasoline cars in 2035, when neither consumers nor manufacturers are ready yet.
Armed with their ideological hammer, they see in the car only a nail to drive in, the muse of selfish and polluting individual freedoms to be struck down. Too bad, the state strategist could have an industrial vision that could revitalize France.