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The Price of Going Green…with Four Wheels

Big surprise here, the price of gas and diesel fuel has not been coming down at all. Last month we
chatted on these pages about the price of going green in reference to our favorite two wheeled types of
transportation. This month we are going to follow that up with some information about the four
wheeled electric vehicle counterparts. You know, the ones that they are trying to jam down our throats
at every angle of the media. Still a common theme prevails though with this series of articles, we are
asking that you do your own research from reliable sources and make informed decisions before you
purchase anything in the electric vehicle world, and most certainly before you cast your ballots in the
mid-term election.

I am generally the type that likes to research things before I buy them. It is not that I don’t make any
impulse buys, but things that cost more than one paycheck make me look a little deeper and become a
more educated consumer. With doing these articles, I had to actually look at the manufacturer’s
websites at electric vehicles, and I must say that on paper, they are pretty impressive. The 2022 Kia EV6
is an all-electric vehicle that boasts a 339-mile range on split city/highway routes. It also boasts power
that is faster than a Porsche Cayenne with under a five second 0-60 MPH timeframe. Both of those stats
are pretty impressive, but would venture to guess that if you utilized that electric motor and battery
power source, that the range will drop considerably, but we will tackle that later. This five-person rated
car has a starting price of almost $41,000, but after a $7500 Federal tax credit, base price is $33,400. I
don’t know about you, but I have never gotten a tax credit for buying any vehicle. Why are the feds
trying to save me money? Or are they just invested in the EV world heavily and using the power of good
ol’ DC to line their own pockets? I have no proof of that, but it does make me wonder why the policy to
throw that kind of tax credit came about.

While I was fake shopping, I decided to throw all the proverbial cash in the world at one of these
critters, and realized that I could get the GT-Line All Wheel Drive version for a mere $58,000. With this
version that is twenty grand-ish more, it now states UP TO 274 miles of EPA-Estimated Range. So, with
the AWD that would be nice in Iowa in the winter, or for sportier driving, it does take its toll on the
range between charges. With a full charge of 5-8 hours on about all of the Kia EV vehicles, a long-range
trip would take quite a bit of extra time over a gas- or diesel-powered trip I would say. I also had a chat
with a good friend Chris, who works on Kia vehicles for a living, and he relayed some interesting things
about the battery packs on Kia EVs. The weight of them can be upwards of one thousand pounds, and
are quite expensive to replace. On top of the excessive cost of the batteries themselves which can run
from 25%-50% of the cars initial cost, the labor involved to change them is horrendous. On top of those
costs, Chris stated that crashing one of these vehicles can effectively total the car due to the cost of the
battery replacement and labor. Jumping a curb and damaging the undercarriage can do the same thing.
These are all things to think about when going the way of the electric vehicle. If you know and
understand the answers to all of the following questions, and are at peace with the answers, then
maybe an EV is for you. If some of these following questions are still in the unknown range, do some
more digging for yourself. I would love to hear what you find as well! What is your initial electric
vehicle cost, how is the government funding the tax deduction subsidies for EV purchases, what is your
rated range of travel per full charge, what is your rated range of travel for a partial charge, how do you
know how to gauge that range rating, what factors such as ambient temperature and roadway
temperature effect the rated range, what is your actual range in real life driving conditions considering

speed and wind and such, what is the expected battery life cycle, what is the expected battery
replacement cost for materials and labor, where do the batteries and source components come from,
what happens to the batteries when they have hit their useful end of life, who is benefitting most from
the advances in this technology, what are the initial and extended insurance costs, how do electric
vehicles get charged for road usage tax to maintain the infrastructure, what does it cost to install home
charging devices, how do hybrid vehicle technologies compare to full electric vehicles in cost savings, do
electric vehicles actually pay for themselves over time, where do electric vehicles get their “clean”
power from to operate, what is the longevity of the current levels of fossil fuels to operate internal
combustion engines, how can the current power grid handle plugging in thousands more electric
vehicles? To me that list has way more questions than answers, and as such, I am going to keep doing
my research to figure out and try to share my results with our readers.

It certainly appears that if a person is sold on the idea that electric vehicles will save the world, then
they are the best salesmen for these types of units. They will brag them up about their features and
speak on how great they feel about saving the environment, and regurgitate the talking points and
commercial lingo all day long. Others don’t seem to think that a seemingly higher priced vehicle with
limited range is necessarily the answer to our problems, and those people generally have some further
questions and want to do some research before claiming their “huge” tax break come April. I am in the
latter category and will continue to do my research on the EV craze, and hope that you do as well.

Article written on behalf of Thunder Roads Magazine of Iowa, Iowa Confederation of Clubs, and
Motorcycle Riders Foundation State of Iowa Representatives.
Vernon Schwarte
Editor/Owner Thunder Roads Magazine of Iowa
Owner Thunder Guns and Thunder Guns West
Iowa Motorcycle Dealers Association (IMDA) Board Member
Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) Assistant State Representative

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