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Dissecting Misinformation: A Counterargument to the FUD in The New Indian Express Article

We recently came across a article in 'The problem with EVs' in 'The New Indian Express' by Medha Dutta Yadav who as per her linkedin is a lifestyle journalist. It was written with a bias in most and absolutely wrong facts.


We will take a look at them one by one.


Charging times might be a valid concern, but overnight charging at home is often convenient, providing a full battery by morning. Wall box chargers significantly reduce charging times, and reaching full charge overnight meet daily commuting needs for majority of people. Thousands of owner wake up with a full charge everyday while same can't be said for ICE owners. Long distance travel is something that’s already possible in India. Below is a map of chargers in India. People have done thousands of km road trips already covering multiple states.

Last year TheEVTrip - Asheesh did 17000km in 52 days going all over India.

Sushil - SunPedal Ride recently did 7500km+ trip. Yes some planning might be required depending on routes, but long distance travel is indeed possible. With growing charging infra every week, the range anxiety will go away,

Just look at the tone. The comparison of the EV movement to historical fads and instances of medical malpractice is not only inaccurate but also undermines the legitimate concerns about the environmental impact of fossil fuels. Equating the shift towards sustainable transportation to past misguided practices is a disservice to the well-founded reasons behind the global push for electric vehicles. The transition to EVs is not a passing trend but a crucial response to the environmental challenges we face today. Labeling it as a mere craze oversimplifies the complex issues surrounding climate change, air pollution, and the need for sustainable energy solutions. Instead of dismissing this movement, we should recognize the urgency to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and embrace innovative technologies that contribute to a cleaner and healthier future. It's time to move beyond outdated comparisons and focus on the substantive reasons behind the growing support for electric vehicles.



It's understandable that the dynamics of the electric vehicle market and the stock market may not always align. While it's true that the market capitalization of some electric vehicle companies has experienced fluctuations, it's important to recognize that stock prices are influenced by a multitude of factors, including market sentiment, investor expectations, and broader economic trends.


Some companies will indeed fail, but that doesn't mean that EVs have failed. EV manufacturing is not a easy job and not for everyone.


The success of companies like Tesla is not solely determined by the number of new models launched but also by their ability to innovate, maintain market share, and adapt to changing conditions. Tesla's Model 3 & Y has indeed been a significant success, and the company's focus on quality and technology has contributed to its sustained appeal. Tesla is having record sales each quarter. Tesla also started delivering Cybertruck recently and has 2M+ pre-orders!


The evolving landscape of electric vehicles globally, including the promising projections for India's market, indicates the long-term viability and importance of sustainable transportation. While some companies may face challenges, the overarching trend towards electric mobility remains robust. It's essential to consider the broader context and the positive contributions that electric vehicles make toward environmental sustainability and the future of transportation.



It's disheartening to encounter such misinformation regarding electric vehicles. The assertion that EV batteries don't last longer than eight years lacks accuracy and demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of EV technology. Manufacturers, including Tata Motors, provide warranties for EV batteries that extend to eight years, accompanied by performance guarantees like maintaining a certain level of capacity retention(70-80%). Comparing an out-of-warranty EV battery to a dead battery is as misleading as suggesting that a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) should be replaced as soon as it goes out of warranty after, for instance, three years. 


It's essential to acknowledge that, like any emerging technology, EVs may encounter early challenges that require refinement. The notion that the first batch is prone to glitches is not unique to EVs; it's a common aspect of innovation across various industries. What's important to highlight is that as the technology matures, companies actively address and rectify these issues through continuous updates and improvements.


Range anxiety is a valid concern for many potential electric vehicle (EV) owners, and addressing this apprehension is crucial for widespread EV adoption. It's true that the difference between promised and real mileages can contribute to this anxiety. Additionally, educating consumers about factors that influence range, such as driving habits, weather conditions, and payload, is essential to managing expectations.

Stated mileage for ICE are not true too.


Labeling EVs as environmentally unfriendly due to the source of electricity is a misguided oversimplification. EVs play a crucial role in transitioning towards a sustainable future, even if the electricity comes from fossil fuels. They pave the way for cleaner energy sources and reduce direct emissions, contributing to improved air quality in urban areas.


Furthermore, the argument about increased pressure on power grids lacks nuance. The integration of smart grid technologies and the ongoing expansion of renewable energy sources are actively addressing these concerns. Rather than dismissing EVs, we should focus on supporting the development of cleaner energy grids and promoting the adoption of electric vehicles, which are pivotal in mitigating the environmental impact of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.



It's exasperating to encounter such baseless claims without any substantiated evidence. Blanket statements like "most charging stations are operated with a diesel generator" not only lack factual accuracy but also undermine the significant efforts in expanding clean energy infrastructure for EVs.


The question that needs to be asked is: How many charging stations has the author visited and thoroughly investigated to make such a sweeping statement? Making assumptions without concrete evidence only perpetuates misinformation and hinders the progress toward sustainable transportation.


The claim that maintaining top speed is harder for EVs is simply inaccurate. In fact, modern electric vehicles exhibit impressive and consistent acceleration at various speeds, challenging the notion that they struggle to maintain top speeds. This misinformation only perpetuates outdated stereotypes about EV capabilities.


Absolutely, the development of the electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure is an ongoing process. Companies introducing EVs typically establish service centers, and as the market matures, the availability of trained personnel and maintenance facilities is likely to increase, contributing to a more robust support system for EV owners.


The impact of varying temperatures on battery performance is a valid consideration. Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can influence the efficiency and range of electric vehicle batteries. It's crucial for manufacturers and consumers alike to be aware of these effects and design or adapt usage patterns accordingly to optimize the performance of electric vehicles in diverse climate conditions. EVs in cold perform better than a ICE.



We see that Tata Spokesperson did their best to answer her claims, but alas.

It's important to approach such studies with a critical eye and consider the context of their findings. While the study labels lithium as an "emerging environmental contaminant," it's crucial to understand the specific mechanisms and pathways through which lithium pollution is occurring. The absence of context about how this contamination happens and the potential side effects raises questions about the broader implications.


Additionally, the mention of cobalt contamination of soil is confusing, as lithium-ion batteries typically contain lithium, cobalt, and other elements, but the process of battery use doesn't inherently involve the leaking of these materials into the environment. 


There are LFP batteries which use 0 cobalt. All Tata EVs sold as of today in India use LFP batteries. Use of cobalt in Nickel based batteries is decreasing every year with ongoing R&D. There will other batteries too in future like Sodium based, solid state and lot more to come.


Also ridiculous to say that in couple years batteries degrade by 50%. The said engineer clearly has no idea. We already earlier mentioned about battery warranty being 8yr.



There are Model 3s with lakhs of km on them, still going strong.





At end of the para author pushes for hydrogen, but simple math has shown that they are way less efficient than BEV, wasting resources. Hydrogen has it’s use in sustainable future, but not for road transport.



Now



-Most profound point to note: ICE cars burn gasoline less cleanly than it did when new. As engines age they inevitably begin to irreparably fall apart, become less efficient, and just plain become dirtier.

-Over time, electricity on the grid gets cleaner and cleaner. That's because of ever-tighter regulations requiring cleanup measures, and as old inefficient power plants are retired they're replaced with new efficient ones either solar or wind which are now cheaper than coal power plants in India.

-You can produce your own electricity at home using solar.


A recent study published by researcher Ryan Cornell of Harvard University shows that electric vehicles emit less carbon emissions than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles even when charged off a largely coal-powered grid.


Redo of 2017 study uses newer data on battery manufacturing.


There was a report in 'The Weekend Australian' titled - Extra Emissions are Dirty Little Secret of Electric Cars.


Well, worry not if you came across that. It's debunked by Dutch EV Expert Auke Hoekstra.


“There are lies, damned lies and statistics. I hate the quote but it applies to the newest column of statistician and merchant of doubt Bjorn Lomborg,” Hoekstra wrote.

You can either visit the article or directly go to his twitter thread linked below.




We will post another Debunking also.

Well we have listed enough reports to make one believe that EVs ARE CLEANER INCLUDING MANUFACTURING & BEING POWERED BY COAL.


Let's see one more, India Specific- This analysis from CEEWIndia shows that EVs are already cleaner than ICE cars, and will get even cleaner by 2030.

 

BTW those worried about manufacturing and coal emissions, have they ever asked questions on fuel generation, drilling, refining & transportation. ICE emissions you see don’t include these factors. When included EVs will be winning by more wide margin.



EV batteries are being recycled. Companies have start to end programs for EV batteries.



“We have current partner companies on every major continent where we have cars operating that we work with to do this today and, in addition, we’re developing internally more processes, we’re doing R&D on how we can improve this recycling process to get more of the active materials back.”


“And ultimately what we want is a closed loop at the Gigafactories that reuses recycled materials. This isn’t impossible and we see a pathway to do it.”



Not only Tesla, CATL is also recycling batteries. And every battery/EV manufacturer will.


Apart from recycling, some companies are trying Second Life use of EV batteries. Use as powerpacks for home energy storage or large scale grid energy storage.



Redwood materials can extract 95% material from recycled cells.

In India, we have Attero recycling working on it.


You can forget about dumping batteries.


We have solution to everythings, they are being worked on already.


Tesla even prefers recycled materials.


Here are couple slides from Tata's Company Agratas which also includes plan for Recycling.




Even with manufacturing, EVs are cleaner



Even in China with higher fossil fuel fuel grid, EVs are cleaner



India is adding more Solar and Wind every year. One can install Solar at home too.

Our non-fossil installed capacity is already at 43%.


Now tires..


Following is a great thread about tire pollution

Read this RAC report too. ICE especially SUVs are as heavy as EVs now.


Maruti expressing concern about charging infrastructure raises questions – why not take the initiative? Thousands of charging stations are already in operation, with more popping up daily. A quick browse on the PlugShare app reveals the growing network. What's holding Maruti back from contributing to this electric revolution? A simple ABB 7/11kW home wall charger doesn't cost 1.5 lakh.




While incidents with EVs have grabbed headlines, it's important not to dismiss the entire idea based on isolated events. How many combustion engine fires go unreported or overlooked? The disparity in coverage highlights a bias, with EVs receiving disproportionate attention due to their novelty in the market. It's crucial to scrutinize incidents objectively and avoid undermining the broader positive impact of electric vehicles.


Data from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) has shown that EVs are 20 times less likely to catch fire than petrol and diesel cars.

The MSB says that during 2022 there were a total of 106 fires in various electrified modes of transport in Sweden, but that 38 of these were in electric scooters and 20 were electric bicycles.

Only 23 fires were reported in electric vehicles in 2022 making up just 0.004% of Sweden’s fleet of 611,000 EVs.


There's so much data regarding this which has shown that EVs are way way less likely to catch fires, one just has to look through it!


Look, hybrids! From our buddies at Suzuki and Toyota. We aren’t against them, but they shouldn’t be in focus now. Their time is gone. When world is shifting to Electric, we focusing on hybrids will be we losing another race.


Also seems that hybrids aren’t much better than ICE. Also as per owners, their maintenance is costly also.



A series of studies found the fuel consumption in the plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) was far greater on the road than claimed.


PHEVs are powered by a combination of battery-powered electric motor and a traditional combustion engine. But they only have a short range in electric mode - typically of between 15 and 25 miles - amid warnings motorists are neglecting to charge them and instead choosing to run them on petrol only.


Read our blog busting Toyota’s lie on Hybrids, Jobs and Infrastructure.


The hybrids we have in India are not even Plug-in Hybrids! They have a very tiny battery which just assists in very low speed driving.


For them, we can't delay our EV transition.


Regarding Cobalt-

Cobalt has gained significant attention due to its crucial role in electric cars, but its utility extends beyond the realm of electric vehicles.Cobalt's versatility transcends battery applications. It serves as a catalyst in the oil and gas industry and plays a role in the production of paints and various other chemical products. Thus, cobalt's significance is not confined solely to being in batteries; it also plays a substantial role in the fossil fuel industry.



It's truly fascinating to witness the journalistic acrobatics in this piece. Initially, we are bombarded with alarming statistics on air pollution's deadly toll, emphasizing the urgency to switch to electric vehicles (EVs) for emission remission. Yet, as we reach the conclusion, there's a sudden shift in tone, almost as if the author forgot the impassioned plea made earlier. Now, EVs are casually mentioned as having "by far the lowest lifetime GHG emissions," and the potential to achieve "near-zero greenhouse gas emissions." It's almost comical how the narrative pivots, acknowledging the environmental benefits of EVs while leaving the reader wondering what happened to the initial sense of urgency. Perhaps it's an unintentional exercise in irony, but it certainly underscores the need for consistency in presenting the case for cleaner transportation.


Here ends out rebuttal to the article. We will update in case we missed anything. Better is expected from media, but ultimately this is not surprising. 'Journalists' should do atleast basic research about the topic.


Team Tesla Club India

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