Good read but your characterization of the efficiency of electric motors versus internal combustion engines at steady speed is way off basis.
You stated the following.
“The real problem is the technology, which still poses its own limits. The first challenge comes from the electric motor. While it has many advantages over the classic combustion engine, its major drawback is its energy consumption at steady speeds. Unlike a traditional engine, which sucks up less fuel when you’re driving on a highway than when you’re in the city, an electric motor doesn’t like to maintain a steady speed for a long time. So at exactly the time when you’re wanting to use highways and go further, the autonomy of an electric car plummets.”
That’s not the issue at all. Electric motors are perfectly happy running at a steady speed. The difference in city vs highway driving for electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles comes down only to friction braking. In city traffic internal combustion engine vehicles throw away potential energy by converting momentum into heat through the use of friction brakes. While an electric vehicles is able to use its electric motor to slow the car by turning it as a generator and saves that energy in its battery for later use in a process called regenerative braking.
Yes an internal combustion engine vehicle can travel more miles per gallon when it’s driven on the highway versus the city and and electric vehicle gets a higher mile per gallon equivalent when driving in the city versus the highway. But if you take away regenerative braking on the electric car you’d see that it would also be more efficient to drive it on the highway the same as is true with an internal combustion engine vehicle.
None of this makes internal combustion vehicles more efficient on the highway vs electric vehicles. A gallon of gasoline contains 33.7kWh of energy and the most efficient gasoline car on the highway is the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage which is a compact 3 cylinder hatchback and is rated at 43 MPG. While on the other hand we have the Tesla Model X P100D, a 5,000 pound 7 passenger electric SUV that goes 92 miles on the highway on 33.7kWh of energy. The most efficient small gasoline car on the market is laughably inefficient when compared to the biggest, heaviest, least efficient electric SUV you can buy. Electric motors are clearly the most efficient way to propel a vehicle down the road today at any speed.
You made a lot of great points but you whiffed on this one by a metric mile.