President Obama announced a plan last week that calls for $2 billion in additional subsidies for buyers of electric cars. "We just can't rely on fossil fuels from the last century," he said. (Source: The White House)
David Cole, Chairman Emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research for President in 2012. "Everybody who's capable of engineering batteries is already working overtime. When it becomes economical, it will take off. But you can't force it to go any faster than it already is." "We can justify the concept of tax credits over a short period of time with the idea of helping create a bridge to a new technology. But any tax credit is always going to be temporary. You can't base a business case on a tax credit." -- be prepared to never hear from David Cole again... he has too much common sense.
I don't think that many people believe that electric vehicles will succeed overnight. It will take years. But I do believe that electric vehicle manufactures are missing out by not finding some way to lessen the upfront cost of the battery, which is responsible for much of the cost. There must be some way to "lease" the battery over it's expected lifetime.
I agree wholeheartedly, William. Dave Cole has a lot of common sense. I addition to that, he's the former head of the automotive engineering program at the University of Michigan and one of industry's most respected consultants. Our leaders would do well to listen carefully to him.
Given all the things we as Design Engineers know and have debated about the drawbacks of EVs (Primarily the shortened range and high cost) ,,, If the Fed offers a $10,000 point of sale rebate, I'm going to be very tempted! For the working stiffs like me who are forced to make daily commutes under 50 miles round trip, a $10,000 rebate and "never-again" gas are very attractive.
I want to wait and see what the total cost of ownership is before I get excited about never again gas, even with a $10k rebate. (If the rebate were on a $24k purchase, it would be more of a no-brainer.)
Even $10 per gallon gas might look cheap if you end up with $10k per year in battery maintenance/replacement costs. I think there are still a lot of uncertainties about the life cycle of EV's, and total cost of ownership, etc.
Batteries are a consumable (like gasoline!). They have a finite life, and that life is VERY subjective.
The marketing hype is just so much hot air until we see some realistic cost/mile numbers. Not MPG, please. What gallon goes into a plug-in vehicle? The subject is not worth discussing until car manufactuters can provide that number.
If they will provide a cost/mile, based on a national average cost of a kilowatt, we can begin to have some reasonable discussions.
Yes, ttemple, you make a good point about battery replacement costs.But that would be directly akin to a new engine replacement in a regular car.No-one mentions engine replacement costs in discussions surrounding new car purchases because engines are generally accepted to last at least 150,000 miles before they would need an extensive rebuild such as that.So, what is the typical industry warrantee offered on these EV batteries-? Do they need a full replacement after ~600 charge/discharge cycles, like mobile device (laptops & phones) LiIon batteries-?
I don't know much about what the expectations or warranties are on the batteries, but the lack of concrete information makes me hesitant. I would think that the Prius would give us some knowledge base, but I haven't looked for it or studied it.
With normal cars, it is pretty common to go several hundreds of thousands of miles on an engine, and normally by the time the engine gives out there are so many other worn out parts that I don't know if very many people do engine swaps to salvage vehicles.
I would expect that they might be able to get more life out of the body/chassis system on an EV, but I don't really know whether that is a fair expectation. There still has to be all of the suspension, steering, braking systems, etc. Also, interior components, door locks/hinges, etc. and all of the other trinkets that eventually drive you crazy on a typical automobile will probably be subject to the same wear patterns as current cars. Cracking vinyl, tears and stains in the upholstery, broken windshield wipers, visors that flop down in your face, and on and on.
I'm guessing you might just be trading battery cost for fuel cost in the long run, but who knows?
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