Top 10 Reasons Electric Cars Will Make ICE Obsolete

BMW i | February 12th, 2015 by 9
electric cars ice 750x500

Top Ten reasons why the electric car will make the existing gasoline car obsolete.

“Breaking the Inertia of the Status Quo”

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.

To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

― Buckminster Fuller

In 2007 I began to drive a Gem e4 Neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) powered by roof top solar, It was a personal experiment connecting affordable solar PV “sunshine” to transportation.


In 2009 I began to drive the BMW MiniE, a full electric car capable of around 90 miles of driving between charges.

At that time, in 2009, there were just the MiniE and the Tesla Roadster drivers with no charging infrastructure, aiming at the goal of a better future for transportation.

That hopeful vision of the future was far from assured.

We had been down this road before, about a decade earlier with the GM EV1 and the Toyota Rav4EV and a few other smaller production run cars. That episode in the development of EVs ended in disaster, and potentially our era would follow, arriving at the the same destiny.

The inertia of the status quo is a powerful foe of change. Its strength and certainty comes from the common knowledge of today and yesteryear.

By 2011 Chevy, Nissan, Tesla and others were in the EV game for good. No longer an R&D exercise, billions of dollars of plant development were green lighted for full production of the electric car. The future of the EV was almost certainly going to go forward with no chance of the stalled effort of the GM EV1 and Toyota Rav4EV.

Today, in 2015, we are looking at dozens of manufacturers and an ever growing number of plug in cars. From those first days of 2009 and less than 1000 cars on the road, to now, just five years later and 300,000 cars with plugs on the road. Amazing exponential growth.

2017 looks to be the tipping point where the average electric car will improve to 150-200 miles per charge with both battery density and cycle duration increasing, with many manufacturers offering high volume electric cars. There ends the main obstacle of electric cars, range anxiety.

It’s possible, I would say predictable, that we will see a perfect storm in favor of EVs in this 2017-2020 time frame. Extremely high gas prices and several models of 150-200 mile EVs powered mostly by renewable energy.

It would not be surprising to see 30% of all cars sold being a hybrid or better with roughly 10% being pure electric by 2017. Exponential growth will continue. By 2020, a true revolution takes hold in transportation, the replacement of the gasoline vehicle feet will be underway en-masse.

Below is my view on why the electric vehicle will replace the gasoline powered car, and why it will do so very soon:

Top Ten reasons why the electric car will make the existing gasoline car obsolete.

1. They’re quicker.

2. They’re quieter.

3. They’re more fun to drive.

4. They’re connected to your home, instead of connected to oil.

5. You charge your car at home, not at the gas filling station. (just like your laundry is done at home and not at the Laundromat)

6. They’re up to 5 times more efficient and1/5th the cost to operate over the lifetime of the car. (energy conservation is wealth creation)

7. You can make your own fuel on the roof of your home.

8. They clean our air. Every EV that replaces a gasoline car makes every breath we take, cleaner and healthier.

9. They’re technologically superior, yet far simpler machines.

10. They will usher in a new transportation future including multiple mobility choices for our cities.

Bet on it!


9 responses to “Top 10 Reasons Electric Cars Will Make ICE Obsolete”

  1. Jesse says:

    Can someone do a write-up in turns of maintenance for the i3?

  2. Michael Duoba says:

    1. Quicker? It’s a push. Fast = expensive with electric or gas.
    2. Quieter? Maybe. Ok.
    3. More fun? Subjective. My uncle’s 1965 Porsche is more fun than any car i ever drove. And being an automotive research engineer, i have driven more than most folks.
    4. Connected to home? Yes. Which mostly runs on fossil fuels. Unless you have dumped a ton of money and sucked subsidy dollars on solar panels.
    5. Convenience of home charging? Yes, but only if you can fit all your driving between home charing events. Does no good if I drive to Detroit and out of range in Kalamazoo. Then you want that station refueling.
    6. 5 times more efficient? No. Plug in cars consume as much primary energy as hybrid cars. Go do your math. Take a class in thermodynamics. Do your research. You are wrong on this one.
    7. Home solar? What’s the unsubsidized cost per watt? Probably cheaper to hire a minimum wage worker to ride a generator connected to a stationary bike to charge your car for several years.
    8. Clean the air?. No. Only ICE with a hot catakyst cleans the air. They just don’t contribute to more smog. At pzev vehicles are super clean.
    9. Superior. Huh? (Throwaway comment)
    10. Future? Listen up, even in the Jetsons there were no electric cars.

    • Judy says:

      Nice collection of prejudices against electric mobility. I love how you try to use the Jetson as a proof. *lol*
      You obviously never drove an i3 nor any Tesla model, Mr. “automotive research engineer”.

  3. Russell says:

    They might be more popular than they are now, but they won’t make the ICE obsolete in the foreseeable future.
    If the ICE as we know it goes away, it won’t be for EVs – maybe fuel cells, or a new kind of turbine.
    Hey – it’s 2015, Mr Fusion powered flying DeLoreans are due this year.
    Quicker – within certain parameters. They’re not going to do the job on the autobahn. (A Tesla will for a short while, but at a staggering price premium)
    Quieter – yes, though I’d miss the sound.
    Fun – within very limited parameters. Comparing an i3 to a 120i or a PriusEV to a Corolla they are, but a $24,000 MX-5 is a lot more fun than a $42,000 i3.
    Home connection – (4,5 & 7) this makes them an ideal commuter car, but does not render the ICE obsolete. Not everyone only travels 50km from home.
    Cost – operating costs may be lower but you have to drive a LOT of miles to recover the capital cost. I’m guessing you don’t have the Nissan Micra there, but it is very similar to the Leaf.
    The Leaf costs 44,000 of our (deflated) dollars, but the Micra costs $12,000. So the Leaf will have saved the difference after only 685,670 miles, assuming you have free electricity.
    Clean – most Euro diesels now emit cleaner air than they induct. US fuel is so dirty it can’t be used, but changing US diesel in the same way leaded fuel was phased out would have the same impact.
    Tech -absolutely
    Future options – even more so – driverless and EV is a magic combination, but only in the city.
    In terms of rendering the ICE obsolete, you need to deal with trucks, long distance applications,towing boats & trailers, marine applications, specialist vehicles (snowploughs, fire trucks, military etc all need the independence that only hydrocarbons provide.

    I think the throb of the V8 and the snarl of a Turbo inline 6 will be with us for a while.

  4. Otto says:

    Top 4 reasons why this is BS:

    1. F
    2. C
    3. E
    4. V

  5. tesla fangirl says:

    Internal combustion engines will never ever become obsolete. This article is for ev trolls and fanboys who thinks that they are better people by actually producing more carbon footprints with their ev’s that’s powered by their dirty batteries. Tesla is hemmoraging money and BMW can’t sell their i3’s and is about to lower lease rates..

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