The Truth About Electric Cars Biggest Problem

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  • Published: 12 February 2020
  • Why Not All Transportation Can Go Electric Today - Energy Density
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    From a scientific standpoint, the largest challenge facing today's electric cars is the energy density of batteries used. The batteries are both massive and heavy, and as a result have significant impacts on electric transportation feasibility depending on the scenario. This video analyzes today's batteries energy density, as well as the efficiency differences associated between gasoline vehicles and electric vehicles. Even when accounting for efficiency, the gap between electric and gasoline energy densities is quite large.

    To further illustrate this point, we'll assess the feasibility of an electric powered semi-truck, and the weight of the battery required in order for the vehicle to have a range of 500 miles. The results will SHOCK you. Maybe not; that's just a bad joke. But you might learn something! Have a watch.

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Comments • 4 112

  • monstercolorfun co
    monstercolorfun co  54 minutes back

    The biggest problem of electric is that it doesnt enrich hostile oligarchies and empower countries hostile to everything the presenter stands for? ...Duh use your brain.

    • Raymond Razack
      Raymond Razack  8 hours back

      I think a fair comparison also would be the environmental effects making hybrid and ev batteries have compared to gasoline engines. From what i'm told and what I understand. What it takes to make these batteries effects the environment just as much, if not a little more than the effects an ICE has on the environment if properly maintained. It'd be cool if you could make a video on what it takes and the impact each vehicle has on the environment would be cool.

      • Pong Moua
        Pong Moua  9 hours back

        You should do a video on that 2020 Nissan Sentra.

        • JoleFin
          JoleFin  10 hours back

          With electric you need to spend some of the energy in to warming the car inside (air con, benches, possibly also the battery pack a bit) whereas in combustion part of the energy is turned into heat and part of that is useful for warming up the car. This winter has been sucky at zero temps but when it gets -30'C/-22'F it may have some drain on the battery too, along with needing extra energy for warming up the innards of the car.
          edit: never mind, just as I had posted, this topic got into discussion :D

          • Charlie K
            Charlie K  13 hours back

            Why are EV a big deal?

            • JC LaRue
              JC LaRue  14 hours back

              This video does a fine job of comparing the energy density of "finished fuel". Unfortunately, we are missing a critical component throughout this comparison: The amount of energy consumed to create that gallon of gasoline compared to the amount of energy consumed to manufacture, distribute and fill the batteries. The challenge in comparing one fuel source and it's related vehicle with another is extremely complex! Let me be more clear in this:

              When considering the amount of energy necessary to create a gallon of gasoline, we must take into consideration the costs to manufacture the drilling equipment, the lifting equipment, the transportation equipment, crude oil storage containers, crude oil shipping costs and the power consumed by the refinery to extract one gallon of gasoline from raw crude. But, the equation doesn't stop there! We need to take into consideration the energy consumed to transport the gasoline, store the gasoline and then pump the gasoline into the tank of the vehicle. Unfortunately, the complexity in this comparison doesn't stop there either! We need to take into consideration the amount of energy consumed to develop, design and build an internal combustion engine to consume that one gallon of gasoline. But wait! There's more! What are the long-term costs (and energy consumed) for maintaining and repairing an internal combustion engine vs. an electrical motor?

              Summary: We don't need a PhD to know that there is much more to this story than just energy density. What we do need, is a fleet of bots (or bored techies) to invest time and effort determining the total cost and total energy consumed in a pure-electrical vs. fossil fuel environment. Let's keep looking!

              • Santosh Bannur
                Santosh Bannur  14 hours back

                The battery technology is yet to mature,compared to gasoline technology...

                • Sheff A
                  Sheff A  17 hours back

                  What you said about volume didn't take in to account the fact that the electric motors are much smaller than the gasoline engine and all the stuff around it that are required to make it work. Oh, and an ICE engine also needs a battery and motor to start it.

                  If you want to be real about efficiency, you have to take in to account all of the energy that has gone in to making the gasoline in the first place.

                  • TheYehat
                    TheYehat  19 hours back

                    The best outcome of this series is - whatever is BEST fit for purpose. I can give an example, well maybe far less common in US, but in Europe it is. It is called electric trains - not those in the metro/subway, tho, but the real railroad ones. It is an example of best fit for purpose combining efficiencies discussed in the series without the deficiencies. And its been in the field since many decades. Why not so in US - I can't tell.

                    • Jonny Lawrence
                      Jonny Lawrence  19 hours back

                      What do you do if a battery powered car runs out of battery power (flat battery)?

                      • obsolete professor
                        obsolete professor  1 days back

                        I freak my nephew when he visits me in his Tesla and I tell him to turn up the heat.

                        • Kira Rittberg
                          Kira Rittberg  1 days back

                          Good analysis. Regenerative braking is one reason that stop and go city driving with an electric is better than highway. Also transmission efficiency loss for ice vehicle is less on the highway. I suspect EV cars will become dominant in a very short time.

                          • Lasse knugen
                            Lasse knugen  1 days back

                            Since i live in Europe i will base this on europe numbers.
                            In europe your max allowed speed of a truck is 90km/h (56miles/h) and with a trailer on its 80km/h (50 miles/h) witch gives the calculation of battery needed alot better the your example.
                            And you are only allowed to drive for 4,5h in a row then take 45min break and then drive for another 4h and the 12h rest.
                            So if you can charge during you break with lets say a 350kw charger you can also reduce the battery needed with 1/3.
                            And all trucks dont load 40 tonnes (max in europe) i would say that a normal load is about 20 tonnes.
                            The benefit of having a EV truck is that you really use the battery, an EV car with an owner that drives 15000km/year witch is common in Sweden time will kill your battery witch is a bad thing since you havent used the capacity.
                            A truck drives alot more and therefore actually uses the battery and saves alot more on the enviroment.
                            I dont think its a bad idea with EV trucks you just have to start in the right end and not with the longest driving and heviest trucks.
                            In Netherlands alot of trucks carrying tulips witch whey almost nothing but they need alot of space, start in that corner and work your way up to trucks that carry timber.

                            • z katzingjammer
                              z katzingjammer  1 days back

                              he didn't factor in running the a/c in the summer

                              • Alejandro Ainek González Cortés

                                Your point is you love engines and engine cars 👏😅

                                • Alejandro Ainek González Cortés

                                  The most faire comparison is to acknowledge all the losses in efficiency due to distribution and storage. After all that's what you are paying for.

                                  • dragade101
                                    dragade101  1 days back

                                    The major problem is that people are not willing to make lifestyle changes. Having a plugin that only gets to charge about a max of 2.3kWh (without changing how the BMS works) actually makes sense. Meaning if you have point to point charging, you are getting about 100% driving distance for local areas. That is if you spend about 30 minutes at level 2 charging to regain ~15 km of driving distance.

                                    No that isnt a trip across the country or even extreme daily commutes but it actually makes sense in terms of a lifestyle if you are using your car for non-business uses.

                                    Thus imagine a battery that gives you at least 50 km of usable range. Level 2 charging. Now you actually have some wiggle room to refuel rather than ask can you drive in a straight line for 5 years nonstop (I mean 650 km).

                                    • dragade101
                                      dragade101  1 days back

                                      glad you covered the limitation of weight. Maybe there could be a conversation of train effectiveness and maybe railroads needs to be reconsidered (thus you can remove battery weight and power the train that travels over AB, based off of long hauls).

                                  • Electricity taster
                                    Electricity taster  1 days back

                                    It would be cheaper and more environmentally friendly to put an electrified net on top of all interstate roads, like on bumper cars. Keep the battery for detail driving.

                                    • Zachary Huffman
                                      Zachary Huffman  1 days back

                                      I think one of the biggest hurdles to EV proliferation is its own rapid advancement. Why buy a $50k car now when you can get one a few years later that's more than twice as good for half the price?

                                      • Electricity taster
                                        Electricity taster  1 days back

                                        well that was fast

                                        • 5OO846
                                          5OO846  1 days back

                                          How about doing an episode on the amount of electricity/ Energy is used to get that gallon of fuel into the fuel tank? You’ll drive much further on that energy than a fossil gobbler will travel on a gallon of fuel.

                                          • Angela Carlascio
                                            Angela Carlascio  1 days back

                                            I honestly think there is room for both EV and petrol because it is going to be awhile before EV comes up to where it is the only option. Also, when I wanted to pursue being a chemical engineer I wanted to work on another source of fuel for the combustion engine. Never know, someone may be working on a new source as well.

                                            • Will Jacobs
                                              Will Jacobs  1 days back

                                              @Angela Carlascio I'm merely stating facts and correcting your assumption that "just a few more years" will make EVs viable. Many EV fanboys don't realize how old the tech really is. I didn't know EV cars were already popular in the early twentieth century and still had many of the same issues they have today. Big tech can only do so much, they are not miracle workers.

                                            • Angela Carlascio
                                              Angela Carlascio  1 days back

                                              @Will Jacobs aww aren't you just so cute you little 5 year old with a keyboard.

                                            • Will Jacobs
                                              Will Jacobs  1 days back

                                              You know EVs are as old as the automobile itself, right?

                                          • Ordinaryavg.guy
                                            Ordinaryavg.guy  2 days back

                                            I can see it now. Someone crying, Lithium is a finite resource and we will run out in X amount of years. Or mining lithium is destroying the environment. We need to replace lithium with "insert material being pushed as the next best thing here".
                                            It will happen sooner or later, mark my words. It will probably come from some university professor and his patchouli oil scented students. ;)

                                            • Will Jacobs
                                              Will Jacobs  1 days back

                                              @Ordinaryavg.guy Are you slow?

                                            • Ordinaryavg.guy
                                              Ordinaryavg.guy  1 days back

                                              @Will Jacobs "Who" has been working on what?

                                            • Will Jacobs
                                              Will Jacobs  1 days back

                                              They've been working on this since the first car was invented, genius.

                                          • Anthony Guevara
                                            Anthony Guevara  2 days back

                                            Your welcome 👌🏼 however I'm not a designer so 🤷‍♂️🤣

                                            • Matthew Pohl
                                              Matthew Pohl  2 days back

                                              A plug in car wouldn't work for me, but I would consider an electric motorcycle. That is if it didn't look completely ridiculous.

                                              • pubcollize
                                                pubcollize  2 days back

                                                Energy density technology has come a long way in the past few decades, what's becoming a bigger problem now is housing this dense energy in a safe way. And unsurprisingly - you can't fill the cake with a nuclear reactor and keep it whole.

                                                • WillBill
                                                  WillBill  2 days back

                                                  Amazing video once again!

                                                  • C street
                                                    C street  2 days back

                                                    Le Croix tastes like somebody ate fruit salad and burped in your water bottle.

                                                    • sanjiv sharma
                                                      sanjiv sharma  2 days back

                                                      Plz make video on upshift gear without pressing clutch padel in new sports car.

                                                      • Link
                                                        Link  2 days back

                                                        If solid state batteries are as good as they've been rumored to be then the difference in energy density will be at least cut in half..

                                                        • Cris Pineda
                                                          Cris Pineda  2 days back

                                                          Me while watching whole video. "Is that a Hot-Wheels Subaru Crosstrek?!?!" at 5:33

                                                          • Candycane
                                                            Candycane  2 days back

                                                            This is why for now I am sticking with my Toyota Prius Prime. PHEV. I can plug it in daily. In warm weather it gets me to work and almost ( within 3 miles of my home) back on all electric. In summer I fill gas once. 3 months. In spring fall, every other month. Winter once a month, unless it is a mild winter.

                                                            • Martin Wibert
                                                              Martin Wibert  2 days back

                                                              Tesla should use the energy stored in the cars to partially power the hauler that is delivering them.

                                                              • david david
                                                                david david  2 days back

                                                                only left wing loonies think electric is the way to go.....unhinged thinking as usual

                                                                • Will Jacobs
                                                                  Will Jacobs  1 days back

                                                                  Going back to the EV-1, that has always been the case. They are so smug, they think they are smart enough to will it into happening.

                                                              • Siłauderzenia
                                                                Siłauderzenia  2 days back

                                                                lotus do lotus evija do next episode about it its first production car which go under 10 and even 9 sec from 0 to 300 km/h thats impresive koenigseg one do this in 11,9 sec pathetic ;).

                                                                • Southern Wulf
                                                                  Southern Wulf  2 days back

                                                                  Dead ass my 96 ram 1500 truck gets the same mpg as that Bugatti..... except I can actually do work with my truck sooooo.

                                                                  • Antoine Vadnais
                                                                    Antoine Vadnais  2 days back

                                                                    Finally an engineering channel who’s not biased tho optimistic toward evs

                                                                    • viermidebutura
                                                                      viermidebutura  2 days back

                                                                      Creating power by burning coal is the worst thing for EV's

                                                                      • portargo
                                                                        portargo  2 days back

                                                                        That trailer (with a 1996 GM EV1 'loaded aboard!') was at the smaller end of things. (Some benefit from a fairly
                                                                        "aerodynamically Clean" enclosed trailer -- "drafting" the towing Audi eTron.) A claimed range reduction of only 50 percent. (Tulsa to Austin.)

                                                                        • Lexus LFA
                                                                          Lexus LFA  2 days back

                                                                          Paul Walker's Mitsubishi Eclipse !

                                                                          • matekochkoch
                                                                            matekochkoch  2 days back

                                                                            Perhaps we should leave the concept of all purpose vehicles.
                                                                            Electric trucks make perfectly sense on the last mile: Recuperation can be used, they keep pollution out of the cities, distances are short, the loading time is high and the driving time is low. Long and medium range or transports with a higher demand of energy will stick to petrol, over head wiring may solve some problems in designated areas, and i still woder why there are no hybrid trucks or electric with range extender.

                                                                            • Gavin Metzler
                                                                              Gavin Metzler  2 days back

                                                                              Batteries are for outer space - on earth, we can use the oxygen in the air (like all animals do).


                                                                              This is why gasoline is so energy dense - a huge portion of the energy is in the air.


                                                                              A super dense battery has a name - a bomb!


                                                                              The real future of electric vehicles is fuel cells - something like direct methanol fuel cells.

                                                                              • Alessandro Valzania
                                                                                Alessandro Valzania  2 days back

                                                                                Dude, I discover your Channel last night. I love the way you explain things from engineering point.

                                                                                • Nostalgia Catholic
                                                                                  Nostalgia Catholic  2 days back

                                                                                  Additional problem with electric powered truck: It will have to stop for time-consuming recharging which will seriously delay transport, which could be a serious consideration when transporting perishables, requiring additional refrigeration, etc.

                                                                                  • Uninvited Guest
                                                                                    Uninvited Guest  2 days back

                                                                                    The 80,000 lbs is max weight, and not typical of a haul, unless you are hauling grain or steel.

                                                                                    • Bryan Ferguson
                                                                                      Bryan Ferguson  2 days back

                                                                                      I predict initially that Tesla Semi’s will be total game changers getting freight through the hellish traffic of Los Angels from the ports to the Fontana/Ontario distribution centers, where everything will head out on diesels from there. Dry cell batteries may change that sooner than later.

                                                                                      • Patrick B.
                                                                                        Patrick B.  2 days back

                                                                                        How much heavier or lighter are the motors compared to the engine etc (I mean all the differences between ICE and electric vehicles combined except for the batteries)?

                                                                                      • 황석
                                                                                        황석  2 days back

                                                                                        Great video. Im a petrol guy who fixes car. I am a certified electric+hybrid vehicle technician as well. I do like the technology and changes. You know why, Not seeing thousands buses in Toronto having black smoke every time they take off will really put a smile on my face for my friends, children, neighbors. I will pay extra tax if I have to. I don't agree with passenger electric car due to battery related environmental issue. However, city transit should be full electric asap in my opinion