Not financial scams, in the sense that they aren't particularly profitable and end up being really expensive for everyone, but scams in the emotional/moral sense.
Government Subsidies - EVs are subsidized by the government at $7,500 per vehicle. That is equivalent to 1,899 gallons of gasoline at today's prices ($3.95). In a modern compact gasoline engine car (@ 40mpg) that would take you about 76,000 miles. Typical American cars are only expected to last 150,000 miles or 8 years. That means 50% of a typical vehicles lifetime operational costs are being subsidized by the government (potentially at the expensive of more effective technologies).
Cost - Even with government subsidies, in a highly comparable vehicle like the Ford Focus (40mpg gasoline car vs the EV counterpart). The EV vehicle costs $39,200 vs the $16,200 price tag for the standard version. This is *after* government subsidies. The consumer starts out negative $23,000. To even break even at this point over the Focus, the consumer would have to drive 233,000 miles. This is 150% the lifespan of a typical American vehicle. The consumer will never even make their money back - neither will the taxpayer.
eMPG - Electric vehicles get an "estimated MPG" of around 100 mpg. This is based on the cost of electricity to charge the vehicle vs the equivalent cost of gasoline. 100mpg vehicles were being built 28 years ago
. 100mpg vehicles could be built easily today (e.g. diesel) if safety regulations did not require extremely heavy vehicles so people who want to SMS while they drive don't hurt themselves. 100mpg motorcycles and scooters already exist and could be made more efficient if it was worthwhile for the manufacturers.
Environmentally - EV batteries require rare minerals that require a great deal of energy to extract from the ground. The batteries themselves may have a limited lifespan, and must be recycled properly to avoid harming the environment. In other words - we're just shifting the environmental impact and making a more expensive product, but it doesn't seem to be diminishing. In addition, electricity is generated via burning coal in many states - essentially negating the "environmentally saving" impact of electric vehicles over modern gasoline engines with cleaner exhaust emissions. Hopefuls believe someday we can generate all electricity via renewable methods, but this is still a long way off.
People drive extremely inefficiently - A much simpler strategy than EVs would be to simply drive better. Extremely efficient driving has achieved record results of over 80mpg in a diesel
. What if instead of battery tech, we simply used a cheap computer to steady steering, breaking and acceleration? GPS coordination and automated driving in congested areas has already been discussed, and automated vehicles are currently being worked on. Using technology to automate driving
has already been proven safe in testing. If not for the fear of lawsuits and complex bureaucratic dealings it could already be available to consumers. Using this technology in modern gasoline engines could easily create vehicles that already show how electric vehicles are a foolish, outdated, and wasteful government-sponsored technology.