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The Truth Behind Electric Vehicles

Whats behind the scenes of electric vehicle manufacturing?
Steven Loveday

With the push for “going green” in recent years being so prevalent, many people want to become educated on what it takes to “go green.” The main point within many of these campaigns is the need for electric vehicles (EV). These vehicles are designed to replace fossil fueled (FF) powered vehicles.

FF powered vehicles have more sustained power and are much easier to maintain than an EV. Most maintenance of today’s FF vehicles does not take much time, skill, or money. To even begin as a technician for Tesla, you must undergo their Tesla START program. These basic overview classes are designed to give you the opportunity to work on Tesla vehicles.

From ABC 13, this program costs “a little more than $2,700 for the 16-week(s).” Students are, however, paid about $15 an hour, and receive benefits. While this may seem like a good option, you possess an education valuable to working on less than 1% of the vehicles on the road (NY Times).

Lithium Mine (Bizclik Admin)

Other automotive repair students can go to Porter and Chester for instance, pay approximately $30,000 for a year of education, and be qualified to work on the other 99% (247,500,000) of cars on the road. This number does not include the number of commercial vehicles that are also a possibility to be worked on.

But, are EV really better for the environment?

The process to obtain lithium for EV batteries is extremely taxing on the environment. Manhattan Institute goes over the truth on how much damage lithium mining creates, and makes relevant comparisons with electric power versus traditional forms of energy. “500,000 Pounds: Total Materials Extracted and Processed per Electric Car Battery.” This is the amount of material to be moved, but what about the amount of FF burned to move it?

Cashman CAT (mining equipment dealership) goes over what type of machines are most typically used in surface mining, but just how much fuel are these machines burning? From Research Gate, the CAT D11R, a commonly used bulldozer in surface mining, consumes about 26 gallons of diesel fuel per hour.

CAT D11R (Hastings Deering)

This is just the beginning of consumption for these machines. The deeper you go, the worse it gets. There are about nine or ten other large machines to consider for fuel consumption, the maintenance and repairs of these machines also uses considerable amounts of FF, the manufacturing of these machines uses FF as well, not to mention the small equipment used at a quarry.

The more you look into the manufacturing of EV, the more you will see that the effort to “go green” is doing more damage than many people anticipated. While an EV may not produce emissions while driving, the sheer amount of FF used to produce the car is truly mind blowing.

The return on “investment” produced by an EV is also unfavorable compared to FF powered vehicles. From Lectron and Easterns, EV hold only about 40% of their original value after 3 years, or 36,000 miles of driving, whereas FF vehicles hold nearly 60% of their value. When spending over $40,000 on modern vehicles, most buyers want their car to be worth more in the coming years, and purchasing an EV does not fit that requirement well.

In the end, weigh your pros and cons, look at the overall purpose of your vehicle, and make an educated decision. Multiple sources in this article are extremely in depth, and I encourage possible EV buyers to read further into them.

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About the Contributor
William Sawicki
William Sawicki, Staff Reporter
My name is William, but I most often go by Will. I attend Sutton High School. I have lived in Sutton my whole life. I enjoy being outdoors and doing outdoor activities. I like to hike, fish, snowboard, water ski, and many other outdoor oriented things.

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