Electric Vehicles

EVs may be fast, but do they prevent cancer?

Published 4.27.2017
Electric vehicles (EVs) are on ongoing area of interest for TTj.

The Chevy Bolt will not have a built-in navigation system. Given that most people use their phones first anyway, this makes sense. And it solves the tech development time lag problem. It does, however, make one wonder about the future of Onstar.

Built-in navigation systems have advantages. Because they use a GPS module and software wired into the car, they don’t rely on a wireless connection. That eliminates the risk of losing access if a signal drops, and minimizes the need to drain smartphone data plans by using a navigation app.

Recent personal experience can attest to that. Although cellular coverage has increased and improved, it is not ubiquitous. However, the answer isn't an embedded GPS system, it's a dedicated after market GPS device to stand-on or take over when the phone has no signal.

GPS manufacturers are certainly upping their game with new units including automatic map updates, distance sensing, lane keeping and dash cams. Built-in navigation systems are still offered, but now they are part of a larger bundles. Is OnStar offered with the built-in navigation? The few times I've observed its operation, it was not an impressive system.

The Chevy Volt heads to China… as a Buick. Buicks sell well in China.

A niche brand in the U.S., Buick is a big seller in China. It sold more than 1 million vehicles in China last year, No. 2 in the market behind Volkswagen ’s namesake brand.

EV utility fleets are slowly gaining ground. The speed of uptake would be higher is the infrastructure to charge the vehicles was more prevalent.

Could EVs lower death rates from heart disease and cancer? Evidence that pollution has health effects for humans continues to mount, and emissions from transportation sources now exceeds that of power generation.

There are only 50,000 charging stations nationwide and only about 10 percent of charging is done publicly, McCool told Product Design & Development. The rest, McCool says, is done at home or work because there’s no well-developed system for public charging. Public charging stations pose another problem altogether. Plugs are often damaged and others don’t connect well with certain vehicles.

Maintenance is also an issue. EV maintenance requires different skills from internal combustion engine vehicles.

For a study reported in 2017, researchers examined the mammogram scans of 279,967 women and found that for every one unit increase in the fine particles typically emitted by diesel engines - known as PM2.5 - a woman's chance of having dense breasts, correlating with breast cancer risk, went up 4 per cent. The results of this latest study, published in the journal Breast Cancer Research, found that women with high breast density were 19 per cent more likely to live in areas with high levels of fine particle air pollution, which is a particular problem in the emissions of diesel cars.

Granted, the linked site advocates for alternate energy technology, but they might be a tad overstating the evidence. The low price of gasoline is likely to affect EV sales negatively, and if the Trump administration gives carmakers the waiver they seek on meeting gas mileage and emission standards, EV sales will be hurt further.

Carmakers are producing EV models to lower the emission average fro their fleets, not in response to consumer demand. Consumers do not choose cars to avoid cancer, they choose cars by prince and performance— the order of those attributes will vary with different drivers, but those are the biggies.

Speed is a better bet to gain attention for EVs.

With the January software upgrade of the $135,700 version of the all-electric Model S P100D sedan, Elon Musk ’s Silicon Valley auto maker Tesla Inc. has claimed bragging rights in an intensifying competition that has become the new obsession—and marketing strategy—among makers of high-end electric cars. Never mind saving the environment, perfecting the lithium-ion battery, or reducing global dependency on fossil fuels. The goal here is gut-busting acceleration.

Electric cars should be faster than ICE cars— at least over short distances.

Electric cars have one major advantage over cars with internal combustion engines. Because the delivery of juice to the motor is instantaneous, and the motor reaches maximum power immediately, they have loads of torque and jump off the line with surprising violence—and without making a sound.

EVs advantage dies before its batteries though.

There is one small problem with marketing electric cars as speed machines, however. Short bursts of acceleration are the thing these cars excel at. As speeds increase, a powerful gas-fueled car will surge ahead. Motor Trend noted that the Ferrari LaFerrari was slower to 60 mph, but hit 70 mph a 10th of a second quicker than the Tesla.

This is "wealthy boys (and girls) and their toys" stuff. Most EV makers tout the increased mileage and energy efficiency aspect of the vehicles.