EXPLAINED: Why Electric Vehicles Will Never Work in Idaho
A story I read last week (and now I can’t find the link) explains that the cost to charge a battery is roughly 16 dollars in states with the highest power costs. The writer then explained you could get 100 miles on the charge, and pointed out it’s far more expensive to fill up right now with gasoline.
So, I did some calculations. It currently costs me 50 dollars and some change to fill up when I’m on gasoline fumes. I drive a midsize four-door sedan. I can drive to Boise and back on slightly less than one-half tank. It's about 25 dollars for 250 to 260 miles and I usually do some driving around downtown Boise as well.
Right Now, Gas is a Better Deal
Gas is still my cheaper alternative at the high end of the electric cost, which will go even higher as more EVs are sold and suck up more juice.
My drive to Boise doesn’t require multiple stops to refuel. Which, I gather, is a time-consuming process. My time could be a dollar amount. If I had a sales route, it certainly would.
You May Wait a Lifetime for Better Batteries
People keep telling me batteries will get better. A fellow I interviewed 30 years ago was the first with that story. One human generation is considered three decades. We haven’t made any battery progress.
EVs, I’m sure, are great for short trips around town. The same goes for hybrids. If I live within Twin Falls city limits I’ve got dozens of stores and restaurants a short distance from home. If I live in Dietrich, I’ve got some long drives for goods and services.
There are no Charging Stations in the Back Country
Demographers explain fewer Idahoans are living in rural areas but 100 years from today, there’ll still be a lot of people living in rural areas. The same in neighboring Wyoming and Montana. I’ve driven Route 15 after crossing into Montana from Idaho and there are some very isolated ranches. If you want to get anywhere, you need diesel or gasoline.
A few weeks ago a young man told me we could convert the American trucking fleet to solar. Which wouldn’t do much good on Routes 15, 80, or 84 on a snowy day. Backup batteries would require another trailer. Imagine how that works climbing peaks 7,000 feet high!
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