BRETT: Now shifting to electric cars — see what I did there? Millions of electric cars are coming. Now, what happens to all the dead batteries? When the battery comes to the end of its life, its green benefits fade. If it ends up in a landfill, the cells can release problematic toxins, including heavy metals. And recycling the battery can be hazardous business once a materials scientist Dana Thompson of the University of Leicester over in England cut too deep into a Tesla cell or in the wrong place, and it can short-circuit, combust, and release toxic fumes.
One in five electric vehicle owners in California actually are switching back to gas because charging their cars is a huge hassle. People are just wondering, what is the future of these electric cars? Look. Here’s how it works. Twenty percent of electric vehicle owners in California replaced their cars with gas once they realized that the amount of charging time was just not convenient. And roughly three minutes you can fill a tank of a Ford Mustang and have enough range for 300 miles with a V8 engine.
But for the Mustang Mach-E an hour plugged into a household outlet gave Bloomberg automotive analyst Kevin Tynan just three miles of range. Wow. Here’s the problem that nobody thinks about. It’s that electric car owners are starting to realize that their cars don’t work in cold weather.
RUSH: I love this next story, but don’t misunderstand why. I don’t revel in the suffering of others. I do not revel or have schadenfreude when other people encounters difficulty that I could have predicted — it’s not part of this. I have known because of my extensive tech background and knowledge that one of the worst things for batteries is cold weather. If you want to make a battery as inefficient as possible, you put it in the freezer for a while.
By the same token, exorbitantly high temperatures can do the same thing, but the problem there is the tendency to explode. But batteries, lithium ion batteries, the kind of batteries that are rechargeable in every device including electric cars, just cease to function when it gets cold. And this is something that electric car buyers are not often told. If there’s one thing electric vehicle owners are learning now, it’s that extremely cold temperatures are likely going to lead to frustration if they don’t take extra special care of their battery in their electric car.
Disgruntled owners of the Tesla Model 3 have been widespread on social media talking about numerous issues they’ve had with cold weather on their cars. People have complained about battery range draining, Model 3 door handles freezing up. The door handles pop up because of the battery if the battery’s not operating you can’t open the doors. The batteries don’t hold a charge. You can’t charge ’em they don’t hold a charge unless you’ve got a heated garage and if that happens then your range goes way down.
The battery doesn’t perform well in cold — you would think it would just be the exact opposite. You would think cold weather — in heat producing elements that is cold as it can be would be better because it dissipates the heat. But there are all kinds of moving parts inside lithium ion batteries including the ions. And it’s cold weather that freezes the cathode in there that makes it pretty much a solid rather than a jelly. And there’s no way for the ions to go and therefore you’ve got no electricity.
You know what else happens in cold weather? There’s no wind in winter. There’s no wind, you can’t power the power plant. So saving the world, you can’t get in your car and start it and drive it very far, and your electricity won’t be there anyway to charge a car because wind power doesn’t overcome cold.
BRETT: And what happens when you get rid of that battery-powered car? You dump it. Who knows what happens to that battery. And now you’re going back to driving a fossil fuel driven car. It’s incredible. Luanne is right on this in West Virginia. Luanne, Reedsville, West Virginia, welcome to the show.
CALLER: Thank you. Mega dittos for keeping Rush’s memory alive.
CALLER: The reason I called is because battery — electric cars are not gonna work here in West Virginia. For one thing we have two seasons, winter and road construction. The other thing — the other thing is, we live in the Appalachian mountains. We need high-powered gasoline vehicles to make it up and down these mountains and around these curves just to get where we’re going. And electric cars aren’t gonna do it.
BRETT: Yeah, see, it’s not practical for all these places. And that’s what’s — that’s what’s forgotten, because, you know, the progressives and the elites think one-size-fits-all. What goes on in New York City will work totally well in Appalachia. And that’s not the case, and you know it because you’ve seen the mountains and the hills around where you’re living, and you understand that that little Tesla trying to get up a hill is gonna be in really rough shape. That’s Luanne in Reedsville, West Virginia. Spot-on.