The number one claim of the truly pious is how convenient plugging in at home is compared to having to go to visit a gas station. Indeed, legion are the comments celebrating never having to use a “smelly” gas pump again.
Now, of course, said convenience is not available for anyone using street parking, nor for many in multi-dwelling homes and even a few townhouse complexes — like mine! — that won’t allow outside charging points. Nonetheless, for at least those with the space and wherewithal to afford it, charging at home would seem to be very convenient.
Or maybe not. At the very least, there would be some who would beg to differ. Indeed, one of the anomalies of EV prognostication is that owners of fully battery-powered automobiles seem to really hate plug-in hybrids. Now, some of that is just what Wall Steet Journal writer Gerard Baker calls the “quasi-biblical belief in climate catastrophism.”
Fuelly reporting that they consume between 42 and 67 per cent more fuel than the U.S. EPA estimates they would if they optimized their charging cycles.
Actually, the numbers get worse. The typical daily commute is often listed as somewhere between 20 and 40 klicks (an official 2019 StatsCan study says we drive, on average, 8.9 kilometres each way to work). In other words, if the whole home-charging mantra were true, a diligent Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e owner — as well as those who drive Toyota RAV4 Primes — would actually only have to plug in every second night. And still a significant number of them find it more convenient to fill up at a gas station. That’s not hardly a resounding affirmation of the superiority of home-charging, is it?
Is it wrong? Is it stupid? Is it, considering the premium prices PHEVs demand compared with gas-only powered vehicles, a waste of money? Damned straight it is.
To wit: If plugging in is so convenient and so few people take long-distance road trips, why do we need fully battery-powered electric vehicles at all?
t is an accepted truth — for the time being and probably for the foreseeable future — that the production of battery-powered EVs causes more CO2 to be released into the atmosphere than the manufacture of an equivalent ICE-powered vehicle. In other words, it takes some driving before a BEV truly reduces emissions compared with a gasoline-fuelled car.
Of course, there is much disagreement over how far you have to drive before an EV is truly cleaner than internal combustion.
But, even an optimistic estimation of, say, 25,000 kilometres would see a Model S needing seven or eight years to catch up with my PHEV’ed Mercedes.