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I drove 6,000 miles in an EV. Here’s what I learned

Posted on 25 December 2023 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by David Carlson

When I set out from Montana on a cross-continent, 6,000-mile journey in my electric car, I had two goals. I wanted to visit family and friends in Wisconsin, Maine, Illinois, and Iowa. And I wanted to prove, to myself and others, the possibility of making such a journey by electric vehicle.

Before my trip, I absorbed plenty of warnings about EV travel and charging. I read stories of drivers navigating successfully along charger alleys — Chicago to Atlanta, for example — but rarely found reports of successful travel across the so-called charging deserts of Montana or Wyoming, which I hoped to cross in a vehicle with a nominal range of 250 miles.

Worse, I read plaudits for Tesla charging networks, but because I drive a Volkswagen ID.4, I depended instead on Combined Charging System, or CCS, chargers; I found few positive accounts of long-distance travel using CCS sites. I also heard complaints about the reliability of charging services. A recent Wall Street Journal report carried the headline, “Why Are Public EV Chargers So Unreliable?”

But the price of fuel for such a long trip via gas-powered vehicle seemed too high. I determined not to discard my EV travel aspirations.

How I planned a cross-country EV road trip

I used the EV travel apps PlugShare and A Better Routeplanner to plan my trip. I immediately ran into a problem: The apps showed no EV routes across Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota or across western Ontario from Sault Ste. Marie to Ottawa.

By applying slightly different filters and making slight route adjustments, including accepting slower Level 2 charging services where necessary, I eventually identified a plausible three-day trip to northern Wisconsin followed by an additional three days to coastal Maine.

PlugShare allowed me to easily check drivers’ reports of recent successful charging activity at any site. That information proved extremely helpful in selecting routes and sites. (I tried to always post my own ‘check-in’ reports following positive charging experiences; you could probably reconstruct my route from those records.)

What I learned from driving cross-country in an EV

I set out in late October 2023, driving alone and heading east. My journey would take more than two weeks, spanning 14 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces and requiring 54 vehicle charging sessions.

On a typical travel day, covering 400 to 450 miles, I needed successful connections at three or four different charging stations. Each day, I started with at least an 80% charge. I would calculate the distance to the next charging location in advance. Because the PlugShare app showed likely charging vendors at each location, I preloaded Electrify AmericaChargePointEVconnectFLO, and Ivy apps with credit card information and money. Once I connected at a charging station, I repeated the process, charging to 80% or greater and calculating how far to the next charging stop of the journey.

As expected, the western states of the U.S. and western stretches of Ontario had few charging options. Sheridan, Wyoming, and Blind River, Ontario, for example, offered only a single DC fast-charging, or DCFC, station each. As I approached the Mississippi River, charging stations grew common enough that I could often choose my preferred vendor.

I learned as I moved. I tried to keep moving eastward (later, westward) while also recognizing ever-present uncertainties about where to charge next. I found I could rely on Electrify America stops for ease of connection, reliability, and prominent locations. A westbound EV driver filled me in on new services available in Chamberlain, South Dakota. And I dealt with an unexpected problem in Quebec: Despite the apparent abundance of charging options, very few worked with U.S. credit cards, even though those same cards worked in motels, restaurants, and grocery stores.

As I drove, I monitored my car’s vehicle travel efficiency, displayed in units of miles per kilowatt-hour used. On average, the vehicle’s efficiency was better than three miles per kWh. But when I faced literal headwinds — westbound across southern Minnesota, for example, or traveling from Billings uphill toward Bozeman Pass in Montana — the efficiency sometimes dropped below 3 miles per kWh. When that happened, I as a driver (and the vehicle itself) recognized the possible need for additional charging to reach my intended destination.

In retrospect, by slowing somewhat, I could have crossed Bozeman Pass and returned home without stopping for a supplemental charge in Livingston, Montana. But I enjoyed the short stop and didn’t regret finishing at a battery charge of 18% rather than 8%.

What it was like to charge an EV on a road trip

At most charging stops, I encountered nearly empty sites hosting four to eight charging units. From connect to disconnect, it typically took 39 minutes to charge my car, though the total time varied from a low of 25 minutes to a high of 69 minutes.

Occasionally, I would accept longer wait times to charge to “safer” levels of 90% or even 100%. I proceeded cautiously, knowing that the range or efficiencies on my dashboard display might prove overly optimistic.

What did I do during 39 minutes of charging? I used bathrooms, dumped trash, and perused local stores. If I had extra time, I might take a picture, go for an exploratory walk, eat a snack, or read a few pages of my book. When possible, I compared notes with other EV drivers. Although I often visited charging stations at odd hours, I rarely felt hurried or unsafe.

Occasional problems connecting to chargers

Three times during this trip, I confronted situations in which I could not get the charging connection to work.

One short, promptly answered call, to Electrify America, related to failure by the app to close the prior charging session, so the app would not initiate the next charge. An agent fixed the problem quickly and effectively.

I called ChargePoint when their app would not recognize the DCFC station in Sheridan, Wyoming. The customer service agent initiated charging remotely while promising to address the particular barrier — and when I returned to the same station 18 days later, everything worked perfectly.

At another stop in Sioux Falls, charging wouldn’t start, but again, an agent solved the problem.

How much it cost to drive an EV cross-country compared to gas

Occasionally, during an EV drive, you encounter free charging. That happened to me when my accommodations or family members provided charging at no cost. When I did have to pay, I spent an average of $15 per charge, though the price varied widely: a low of $5 to a high of $24. In all, I estimate I would have spent $675 in charging costs for the trip. But thanks to a discount for VW owners at Electrify America charging sites, I actually spent only about $300 for 6,000 miles of travel.

The same trip in an internal combustion engine SUV getting 30 mpg at fuel costs of $4 per gallon might have cost about $800.

For this trip, driving an EV proved less expensive than driving a gas-fueled vehicle. In August 2023, the Washington Post published state-by-state modeled estimates of EVs vs. gas, with this conclusion: “For the everyday driver in the United States, it’s already cheaper to refuel an EV most of the time, and it’s expected to get cheaper as renewable capacity expands and vehicle efficiency improves.”

Reflections on the journey: Caution pays off

I, and those I visited, considered the trip a success: I traveled from Montana to Maine and back using an electric vehicle.

I had done above-average pre-trip homework to select favorable routes and set up charging apps. I never strayed far from major highways or major cities. That meant that in the event of a problem, I could stop somewhere overnight and resume problem-solving the next morning. I carried VW’s standard 110V charging cord so I could have arranged at least a slow charge in any situation.

Only in Quebec did I face significant obstacles — and, not incidentally, depleted the vehicle’s battery to its lowest-of-the-trip value. Even there, though, my cautious approach paid off. I tried to always reserve sufficient miles and know where to find a backup charging location if a stop failed.

Most people noticed no difference between my white VW EV and any other white SUV-sized vehicle. Those who knew about my EV seemed amazed at my successful arrival if somewhat confused about the effort required.

Several people regarded the charge port with curiosity but bewilderment. “You mean it doesn’t use gas?” “You charge it through that port?”

Would I recommend others to consider a similar trip? Yes. Charging my vehicle, largely an unknown factor before the trip, proved — for the most part — routine and easy.

That said, charging infrastructure for EVs remains under development in most places. EV drivers need better charging stations at more locations. And charging systems need stability, reliability, and better data products.

At the moment, many EV owners tolerate the chaos. We anticipate that improvements will emerge, soon.

David Carlson trained in oceanography, spent a decade supporting atmospheric science, and led large efforts in the tropics and polar regions. He finished his career as the director of the World Climate Research Programme. Now retired, he resides in Bozeman, Montana.  


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Comments 1 to 25:

  1. How lovely, a retired climate scientist with a perfect review for a EV manufacturer. I prefer a more Australian

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  2. PWAS @1... This article is not really a review, though. He's merely recounting his experience and strategy for completing a long cross country trip with an EV. 

    As for the video you posted, I'd like to hear exactly which points he made that you thought were convincing so we can discuss them here.

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  3. Prove we are smart. I tried to watch the EV video, but I gave up after five minutes. The video was a   nasty, patronising, empty, hate filled rant against EV's and people who drive them,  full of swearing and taking ages to get to anything useful. Not going to tolerate that and waste my time.  I already know the downsides of EVs, and I doubt some motor repair mechanic will add anything.  

    Since you are so keen to "prove you are smart" what do you think we should do when we run out of oil? The point is electric cars in some form seem pretty much inevitable. The other alternative is running cars on artificially created electrofuels, but I don't find that very persuasive when you research that issue.

    Or do you think we should all give up on cars and ride bicycles? Is that a realistic solution?

    There is a group of people on the hard left of politics and academia who dislike EVs (and sometimes wind and solar power) because they are the product of the capitalist society and industrial society and because rich people drive them and profit from their manufacture. You see this in internet discussions sometimes.

    While unrestrained greed and laissez faire capitalism is not my thing, their reasoning seems shallow and emotive. It is a fallacy of perfectionism - where a perfect, implausible socio- economic utopia is prioritised,  and more realistic attainable compromise solutions  are discarded.

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  4. One thing is for sure, hate-filled rants are good for generating views on your monetized YouTube channel.

    You got further than I did, Nigelj. I got barely 60 secs in before I decided the piece was less about substantive discussion and more about driving clicks.

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  5. Ok, I believe in keeping an open mind with most things these days.

    RH@2, I agree, it wasn't a "review". You know, I will often just click on various parts of a video, to be sure I have the right tone of it- judging a book by its cover,I learnt long ago.

    Nigelj@3 Sorry you only lasted 4minutes longer, I suppose that was a lot considering you said " I already know the downsides of EVs, and I doubt some motor repair mechanic will add anything."

    By the way, the "you" in my moniker is for any replies I read on this blog site- I have learnt a lot following yourself and others replying to many with inaccurate info.

    I reckon at least you got the patronising, piss-taking, swearing and taking ages to get to point right with JC If you could have toughed it out,( I'm sure against your better judgement) we might have agreed with some of his observations and disagreed..

    I"m not agaist EV cars, far from it but a smart person can check out many sources of info and recheck again from others to get the big picture and not a green washed fervour towards the complicated issue of EV

    "We need more renewable wholesale electric to support clean electric cars. This is where some detractors have valid points when they argue that electric cars are shifting the problem."

    Every electric car is forcing these electricity generators to work harder. In Australia thats 68% worth from fossil fuels. There is a lot to do and time is running out-( a familiar comment) for us as we are already behind the 8 ball.

    These and a few other issues are mentioned by our smart arse mate Mr Codogan-don't ask him about EV fires..  In truth, I believe hybred cars are better during this transition, ask Mitsubishi and Toyota-at least for Australia,

    You wrote.."There is a group of people on the hard left of politics and academia who dislike EVs (and sometimes wind and solar power) because they are the product of the capitalist society and industrial society and because rich people drive them and profit from their manufacture. You see this in internet discussions sometimes.

    While unrestrained greed and laissez faire capitalism is not my thing, their reasoning seems shallow and emotive. It is a fallacy of perfectionism - where a perfect, implausible socio- economic utopia is prioritised, and more realistic attainable compromise solutions are discarded."

    Your talking to a guy who has worn many hats, and speaks simply because of all the fake people and their entitled behavior, here is another one, see if you can stomach the guy and tell me are his facts correct?

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  6. The OP is an interesting story.  My daily experience with a 2023 Tesla model 3 is very different.  My brother has a 3 year old Kia which is more similar to the OP.  Some bullet items:

    1) I rarely use public chargers, less than once a month.   I average 90 miles a day.  Going to a gas station is so 20th century!  If you live in a house you install a charger.  As electric cars become more common apartments will install chargers.

    2) My brother's 3 year old Kia takes twice as much time to charge as a new Kia.  At home that does not matter.  All new cars charge much faster than even a few years ago.  I expect in 5 years my 2023 Tesla will be slow.

    3) One big reason I bought a Tesla is the Tesla charging system is bigger than all other systems combined and has much faster chargers.  For driving anywhere in Florida I do not think about charging until I have less than 50 miles to go.  There are always superchargers about every 10 miles near major highways.  If you drive through the country you have to pay more attention.  The car warns me if I try to drive past the last charger on my GPS route.  I never use non-Tesla chargers, they are too slow.  The Tesla system is reported to be open to other cars next year.

      If I drive four hours I stop for food and charge while eating.  If I eat fast the car is full when I finish eating.

    4). My brother has made several long trips like the OP and he plans like the op.  Every year it is easier.  When I have traveled in the rural West I had to watch the gas gauge all the time.

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  7. Prove we are smart @5. Thank's for the comments and links. Looks like useful information.

    "Nigelj@3 Sorry you only lasted 4minutes longer, I suppose that was a lot considering you said " I already know the downsides of EVs, and I doubt some motor repair mechanic will add anything."

    The entire first five minutes of the video (might have been a bit less, I wasnt timing it) was devoted to sarcastic, insulting, generalised comments about EVs and their drivers. There was not one specific factual claim about the actual technology. I decided I wasn't going to risk yet more of this.

    "We need more renewable wholesale electric to support clean electric cars. This is where some detractors have valid points when they argue that electric cars are shifting the problem..."

    Ok, but they are stating the obvious about needing more renewables. The same EV critics who say the problem is that renewables aren't expanding fast enough are sometimes the same people who criticise or oppose renewables. They contradict themselves. Their aim in most cases doesn't seem like true scepticism. It is just to throw mud at anything to mitigate the climate problem.

    "Every electric car is forcing these electricity generators to work harder. In Australia thats 68% worth from fossil fuels.

    Yes ok, but this is better than cars burning petrol which is 100% fossil fuels. The grid will also have to expand due to the extra demands, but thats obvious.

    IMO its also a logistical exercise like this: Would you deploy millions of EVs In Australia at day one when the grid is all fossil fuels? No this wouldn't make sense because it would put too much demand on the grid and there is no benefit.

    Do you wait until the grid is entirely renewables before deploying any EV's? No because you then have a long delay while Evs are scaled up and with climate change time is an issue and you miss out on some benefits of Evs.

    So you phase EV's in gradually while the grid gradually moves to renewables and gets larger (but preferably faster than it is) . So the critics dont have much of a point.

    Will get back to you on the video.

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  8. Prove we are smart @5

    Regarding the video:

    Its just more material from the same guy. Again I'm not going to tolerate that incessant stream of foul language and insults so I didn't watch it in full. I skipped though it very, very quickly stopping at a few random points:

    He talked about "entitled twats" driving Ev's. Its just an unsubstantiated, empty appeal to hate, emotion and envy. Plenty of ordinary people are driving EVs and who cares who drives them, since its reducing emissions that matters. The same entitled twats would be driving ICE cars.

    He stated that building smaller houses would reduce emissions more than taking an ICE car off the road. This is not good argument not to build EVs, because just building smaller homes wont fully solve the climate problem.

    He complained about extra tire wear due to the weight of EVs. But its is a trivial issue. "A Tesla Model 3 Performance with AWD weighs 4,065 pounds — 379 pounds more than a BMW 330i XDrive.". Yes the EV is heavier but not hugely so therefore extra tire wear is trivial and pollutants from the tire wear are trivial. Refer for weight comparisons:

    He mentioned that cars are only a small part of the transport fleet so why bother with Ev's. It's illogical reasoning along the same lines as his comments about houses. And we are starting to develop electric trucks etc,etc (eg Tesla)

    These sorts of talking points have been long since debunked, so Im not prepared to go through the entire video for probabaly more of the same in a giant gish gallop.

    I agreed with a couple of his criticisms of EV's and his factual statements about how much of the grid is renewables, etc,etc, seem correct, but his arguments agains't renewables and EV's I listed above lack basic logic and understanding.

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  9. Nigelj... "Its just more material from the same guy."

    I'm kind of curious if our PWAS is the same guy.

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  10. Rob H  @9  :

    Not the same guy, is my bet.  Tho' cannot be absolutely sure.

    I will still put in a good word for "JC" [John Cadogan]  and I've seen quite a number of his videos over the years.

    His humorous style is . . . as Americans would say . . . Down To Earth.  Definitely not recommended for your maiden aunt ~ nor for your local EV dealer.   May be he will be less anti-EV in future years, as costs & battery range & battery safety take giant strides for the better.  But for the present, he can make a good case for avoiding EV's until the charging availability improves greatly.  Review situation in 15 years !

    And if you can put up with all the chaff, you will find a goodly amount of wheat mixed in.  # Unique style ~ an acquired taste.

    IIRC,  Cadogan (an engineer) was initially somewhat in the AGW-denier camp ~ but in more recent years he seems to have swung over to the mainstream science camp.  And he does advocate EV's for their beneficial effect on city air quality & human health.  (And even now, he is often scathing about Volkswagen corporate deception with their past diesels.}

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  11. Rob Honeycutt, nigelj, and Eclectic,

    Thank-you for sharing your observations regarding John Cadogan. I am not inclined to spend time watching raging rants that are emotionally triggering but likely unjustified.

    prove we are smart @5,

    Thank-you for providing more relevant details in response to Rob’s request. That was more helpful than pointing to the video.

    Michael Sweet,

    Thank-you for adding your perspective. Where a person lives should be expected to influence their choice of the available options to help limit the harm done by fossil fuel use. About 10 years ago I evaluated the situation where I live (Alberta, Canada) and chose to buy the most efficient hybrid available. At that time it was likely that Alberta’s grid would be substantially powered by coal until 2030, maybe longer. An efficient hybrid was easy to prove to be less harmful than an EV powered by that grid (note that even though I could pay a premium to buy wind generated electricity that scheme was a scam. It would not increase the wind power generation and reduce the coal fired generation). I also continue to limit my driving because the hybrid still causes climate impacts. Decades ago I chose to live where I could walk or bike for necessities or enjoyment and where I had convenient access to public transit.

    Following up on Eclectic @10,

    Based on your helpful evaluation of JC it would appear that JC would responsibly be advocating for people to severely limit their driving until there is more renewable electricity and better EVs. He would also be advocating for people to ‘vote for’ better public transit, higher-density more walkable communities, and better infrastructure for bicycle and scooter commuting. If JC is not doing those things, then what is he doing other than pursuing popularity by unhelpfully complaining?

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  12. Personally, I'm still not getting much of what PWAS is trying to say. His longer post was brief on description and punctuated with links to chase. I tend only to chase links when I want to validate what someone is stating. If they aren't clear in what they're saying I merely skip the chase.

    I can easily see how an auto mechanic with a YouTube channel would get pissy about EV's, since wide adoption of EV's is a professional existential crisis. I'm also highly suspicious of the motivations of YouTube "creators" since their inherent monetary motivation is going to be to rile people up to the greatest extent possible. It's unfortunate that so many in the public use these kinds of videos to supposedly "inform" themselves.

    [Aside: The general aviation community recently has been beset with a number of incidents related to YouTube content creators in order to generate views and followers. One of the most egregious is the case of Trevor Jacobs, who staged an emergency engine out and bailed out of his aircraft over mountainous terrain, and now faces probably about 10 years in prison. Explained here.]

    Long term I don't worry too much about these kinds of squabbles because I think, ultimately, the better technologies are going to win. EV's, in their current iteration, are not perfect. ICEV's, as far as I can see, have reached their efficiency limits. In the meantime, you have universities around the world racing to develop new chemistries for cleaner, longer lasting, more energy dense battery technologies.

    What's exciting to me about EV's is more that the current limitations are spurring so much innovation. The complaints leveled against EV's are related to what was emerging technology 10-15 years ago and just getting to market and reaching economies of scale today.

    Think of it like solar panels. A few decades ago it would have seemed absurd that you could fully and competitively power a home with solar cells if you were only looking backward at the technology that had been developed over the previous decade. The scientists and engineers who blew the lid off that were the one's who bothered to eagerly look ahead to the challenges.

     In essence, these nay-sayers are driving their vehicle backward complaining about the road already gone by. My suggestion would be to, instead, turn around and look at where the car is going.  

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  13. Rob H  @ 12 :  Fair enough, and well-stated.

    Electric Vehicle technology is advancing at three times the pace I might have expected (from 20 years ago).   And battery tech is crucial.

    This electrification does add to the tendency for more electrification of the domestic house, where water-heating & space-heating are such a large segment of the total energy used.


    OPOF : the "JC"  [John Cadogan]  Youtuber is making a living by generating clicks  ~ his "channel" is for entertainment essentially, if that is what you are seeking.  His advice and assessments of vehicles and their engineering is reasonably informative.  I think he also enjoys crossing swords with that slice of his viewers who have bizarre and/or rather unscientific ideas (especially re engineering and basic Newtonian physics).

    A mix of entertainment and education, in an idiosyncratic style.  Aimed at car enthusiasts.

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  14. Rob Honeycutt @12

    "What's exciting to me about EV's is more that the current limitations are spurring so much innovation."

     History shows humanity is ingenious at solving technical challenges. Its almost spooky how such problems all seem to have solutions and how technology just keeps improving. Its like its pre-ordained somehow. Moores law is another example.

    So it seems plausible that batteries will improve further and very substantially, until hard limits are eventually reached. Even moores laws has ultimate limits. Agree with your other points as well.

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  15. Just had another thought. It might be interesting (mildly) to map arguments made against the transition from horses to automobiles in the early 1900's, to the arguments made against the transition from ICEV's to EV's today. 

    In particular, I believe there was a serious problem in the early 1900's with available fueling infrastructure and general availabibity of auto fuel, whereas hay for horses was available, quite literally, everywhere. That maps well to the grid and recharging issues of today.

    I mean, how the heck did people ever solve those near insurmountable problems of the day? (sarc)

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  16. Rob H  @ 15 :

    a discursive note : I recall my father's old road maps of the country ~ in the remoter regions, some towns had the notation "Motor Spirit" . . . and presumably the other towns/settlements were spiritless, and had none of that new-fangled gasoline.

    Myself, I've encountered one small town [ 40 years ago ] where I had to hand-pump the Spirit up into a high glass bulb marked with gallon levels, before releasing it down the hose into my tank.  Them were the good old days.  No worrying about the electric power being out, for those pumps.

    Perhaps the new electronic maps today should show: "Rapid DC Charging with All Credit Cards" versus "Good Luck Finding Anything Wot Works For Ya" .

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  17. Ah, yes... 

    This makes me want (as a joke) to install a hand pumped EV charging station that looks similar. :-)

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  18. Rob H @ 17 :

    Actually, for emergency use, a hand-pumped EV charging station might come in useful (especially in cold climates).

    The muscular gentleman in your photo could well achieve 0.05 KW of DC charging . . . which would take yer average Tesla battery from 20% to 80% in around, ahh, six weeks?  A tad longer, if a few hours of nightly sleep were included . . . and also ignoring any parasitic drain in the car's electrics.

    OTOH, might be quicker & easier simply to push the Tesla to the next town.  On a sealed flat road, that is.

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  19. I agree with, and I am entertained by, the comments.

    I am adding what I hope is educationally entertaining.

    In my travels through developing regions of Asia decades ago I saw workers at 'fuelling stations' pedalling a stationary bike to pump fuel.

    Pedalling a stationary bike to 'fuel up an EV' would be more effective than a hand pump. However, it likely would take significantly less pedalling energy to pedal-power a smaller lighter vehicle than pedalling to 'refuel an EV'.

    A key 'efficiency' consideration is the 'reduction of energy demand'. Delving into that thought process leads to appreciating that 'less technology use is often more efficient, no matter how efficient the technology becomes'. The obvious easy way to limit climate change harm is to get people to significantly reduce unnecessary energy use.

    Technology that helps people sustainably be less harmful and more helpful to others can and should be developed. But the developed marketplace systems of competition for perceptions of status (perceptions of living and being better than others) clearly motivates a focus on 'meeting the wishes and interests of those perceived to have higher status’ to the detriment of 'the needs of people who live less than basic decent lives'.

    I agree that things like battery technology needs to be improved, in addition to promoting the understanding that less personal vehicle driving is an important part of the transition to a sustainable improving future for humanity. The following CBC article highlights aspects of the 'Battery problem' "The environmental costs of EV batteries that politicians don't tend to talk about"

    The article mentions the following problems:

    • the lack of plans for recycling of batteries, the harm of waste rather than recycling
    • the environmental impacts of obtaining raw materials
    • the ways that some indigenous populations impacted by mining may be tempted to support the environmental damage if they get to have perceptions of higher status (the common harmful developed affliction and addiction among people immersed in competition for perceptions of status)

    An issue that is not mentioned is the benefit of developing less demand for batteries. In addition to the need for full recycling of batteries to be developed now with the cost of recycling being fully paid up-front by the buyer and user of a battery (and the understanding that less demand makes it easier to achieve full recycling of the used batteries). In addition, the full costs of truly neutralizing all other impacts associated with batteries, like obtaining raw materials to make batteries, should be paid up-front by the buyer and user.

    Having to pay up-front for all of the costs of 'sustainable' battery use would powerfully motivate the 'sustainable' improvement of technology. Without that 'high and full cost up-front' the marketplace can be expected to develop 'more harmful - less sustainable' things that are perceived to be improvement because they win the competition for popularity and profit.

    Admittedly, that systemic change would result in a much higher cost for batteries. But that 'cost signal' (something that the economic-political systems failed to have, and continue to inadequately have, regarding fossil fuel use) would provide the added benefit of reducing the amount of battery demand. However, that systemic change would be a 'big win for the future of humanity’, admittedly to the detriment of people like JC (initially pointed to by prove we are smart) who have tragically been tempted to try to earn 'click bait money' by entertaining 'personal motorized vehicle enthusiasts'.

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  20. Celtic @16:

    my Tesla has a computer screen between the front seats that usually displays a road map.  If I press a button and say "show superchargers" it will show the ten closest Tesla suoerchargers.  It says how many are in use or free,  what the power of the station is and if I have enough charge to get to them.  A warning comes on screen if I try to drive with low charge.  If I go on a long trip the car will tell me where I need to stop to charge for the entire trip.

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  21. Eclectic,  sorry about the incorrect name, autocorrect spelling.

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  22. Michael @21 :  no problem at all, with the spelling mistake.  The classic term Eclectic often gets mangled by Autocorrects which were programmed without a Classics education !   Probably it's an Oxford English versus Merriam thing.

    Now, if the Autocorrect had substituted Celtic for Rangers . . . well, them thar would have been Fighting Words . . . in Glasgow.  (Excuse such a feeble football joke, which is only justified by today's date being on the cusp of Hogmanay.)

    Back on topic ~ For context, I am saddened that Santa didn't give me a Tesla Model Y with an LFP battery [the Long Range model with 4wd . . . when Elon gets around to that combo ].   Mind you, even that EV would fall a bit short of my "local" Supercharger non-network.  But I am hopeful things will be a lot better in 10 years.

    Meanwhile, I am trying to understand Santa's symbology in leaving a lump of coal on my mantelpiece.  Was it a hint?  An SkS insult?

    Happy New Year to all !

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  23. I have this notion of getting a VW ID.Buzz when they come to the US. I want to do a wrap on it with images from Hieronymus Bosch's paintings... therefore making it an "Hieronymus Bus." That, or a "VW Bosch."

    And I will end 2023 on that note. ;-)

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  24. I hope next year (or this year for those already there) continues to see sustainable improvements from leadership.

    I can wrap up this year with a positive perspective regarding the hoped for response to the growing need for direct air carbon capture.

    The segway to that positive perspective from my comment @19 will be the following NPR article: “The rules of the road are changing, but not fast enough for everyone”. The story is a tragic result of the systemic problems developed by competition for perceptions of status based on popularity and profit. The system developed to promote faster motorized personal vehicle use - contrary to the convenience and safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

    The developed dangerous and inadequate transportation infrastructure, from the perspective of cyclists and walkers, is the result of pragmatic politicians compromising the undeniable safety concerns of pedestrians and cyclists to appeal to the popular and profitable interests of ‘motorized personal vehicle enthusiasts’ wanting to go faster. A similar pragmatic political compromising has been delaying the reduction of harm from fossil fuels to the detriment of many current day people and the future generations of humanity.

    The positive perspective is that harmful compromising by leaders is becoming less excusable and harder to hide.

    The transition away from leadership that pragmatically harmfully compromises the development of sustainable improvements and corrections of harmful developments, including the development of direct air carbon capture and the reduction of need for that action by transitioning away from fossil fuel use, is happening slower than it should ... but it is happening.

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  25. I took about a couple of minutes of that video.

    The quantity of FUD regarding EVs is astonishing until you consider what is going to happen to the FF industries in just a few years and how much money is being pushed into the doubt industry.

    I've no real skin in the game - no children - but what looks like the future isn't pretty so my investment in an EV three years ago is probably altruistic!

    Take care, y'all and HNY!

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