The Problem With EV Battery Capacity Explained Using Soda Cans

Tesla owners say the internal combustion engine is bad, while people on the other side are blocking their charging stations. But we support free speech and the open examination of the advantage and limitations either technology has.
The Problem With EV Battery Capacity Explained Using Juice Cans 2 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot/Engineering Explained
The Problem With EV Battery Capacity Explained Using Soda Cans
On one hand, your internal combustion engine burns fuel, and that emits greenhouse gasses. However, technology has evolved over about a century, and despite what you may thing, modern cars are relatively good at delivering acceptable mpgs. On the other, EV batteries store electricity for the motors to run on. Their capacity is measured in kWh.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if somebody could make a visual comparison between the systems that we could all understand? That's precisely what Engineering Explained put together. Using cans of soda, he's able to visually represent how 1 gallon of gasoline is equivalent to 139 cans of juice... if that makes sense.

However, efficiency also needs to be taken into consideration, as EVs are better at using their "fuel." So what about the environment? Well, that's an entirely different discussion. Even though electric cars emit no greenhouse gasses, making those batteries is problematic.

Making an electric vehicle results in about eight to ten metric tons of CO2. But that's only the average, as big batteries for long-range EVs bump up that number to about 17 metric tons. The average combustion vehicle takes only seven metric tons to make but adds about 5 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Even if the electricity isn't sourced cleanly, the average EV will offset its initial emissions within a few years.

So is the ICE dead? Far from it. In a separate video, Engineering Explained points out that even if an automaker like Mazda, for instance, wants to low its fleet emissions, there's far more it can do with an average 2.5-liter than by developing a low-volume electric car.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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