Electric Press Car Travails

I probably won’t be getting many new electric cars to test drive and the reasons for that may be of interest, if you’re thinking of buying an electric car – or think it’s a fine idea that the car industry just promised Joe Biden to abandon the not-electric car, so as to make sure you’ll have to buy an electric car.

The last electric car I was sent to test drive arrived on a flatbed truck. It returned the same way. This being a function of the fact that I live roughly 220 highway miles away from the press pool for my region (southeast) which is located in the DC area. I am located not far from the North Carolina border, about 30 miles away from Roanoke, VA.

This distance is easily traversed by any not-electric car, even a car like the Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye I recently test drove and reviewed. It doesn’t need to be trailered because even though it only gets 21 miles per gallon on the highway (pretty spectacular mileage for a 797 horsepower air-conditioned Nextel Cup stock car) it can still travel more than 300 miles before it runs out of range and – more relevant – the driver who delivers it can fill it up in a few minutes – at the gas station just down the road – before he drops it off at my place, leaving it ready for me to drive.

An electric car – even one that can make the 220 mile trip on a single charge and not many can – will be close to discharged when it arrives at my place. There are – as yet – no Joe Biden “Fast” charging stations within 30 miles of me and aren’t likely to be, either – given the logistics and the expense, even though Uncle Joe and the Republicans have committed to making us pay for as many of them as can be built.

But this will take time as well as money.

Electric “fast” chargers are not like gas stations, which can be built anywhere, economically and easily – because all you have to do is bury some tanks and then fill them up occasionally via tanker trucks, which easily and economically traverse the distance between the refinery/fuel depot and the station.

With “fast” chargers, you need wiring – lots of very heavy cabling – to physically connect the “fast” charger to the source of the electricity, which must be transmitted directly and continuously. Unless you have a way to generate the enormous current needed on site. Solar panels don’t cut it for that. Not unless you have a lot of them. As in fields of them. This is hard to fit on a lot the size of a typical gas station.

So absent Mr. Fusion . . .

And you cannot store electricity in underground tanks and then pump it into batteries.

So, the “fast” chargers promised by Joe and the Democrats (some of whom identify as Republicans) will have to be located close enough to the heavy cabling that delivers the power necessary to “fast” charge 400-800 volt electric car battery packs.

As in, plural.

As in urban.

As in, where the infrastructure – as Joe and the Republicans like to say – exists. It doesn’t, out in the sticks.

As for plural:

It is one thing to “fast” charge one electric car battery pack. It is another thing to “fast” charge several of them at once – as multiple not-electric cars are refueled, much faster, at gas stations. It is no great technological challenge to pump fuel into a half dozen vehicles at the same time. Pumping electricity into a half dozen EVs at once, is.

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