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)
There has been extensive research even considering grid loss, battery loss, and any in between loss an EV is still more efficient. The problem is not CO2 footprint. It's heavy metal Footprint. The reason why EV's are not reasonable is expense of the entire lifecycle. It's still cheaper to use Gasoline. And with some key scientist putting their careers in the line saying that CO2 is not a problem. I will stick to old tech. So far there has been a panic driven economy mostly forced by key public speakers (al gore any one?).
Average car uses 50USD a week. for 52 Weeks it costs 2600 USD. Considering that your car was 20K USD more than average car then it will take you 7.69years to make back the money assuming u don't pay for a single penny. Now consider the 3Cents per mile. at 11000 miles per year average that is roughly 330USD. So in reality you only benefit 2270USD a year that is 8.8years to pay back that extra mark up. Will your battery pack survive that long? Will you need to spend another 5k to 10k on batteries? How long before major electrical circuits start breaking down because of the conditions that they operate under? How much will maintenance be? Don't forget to maintain a vehicle of this technological level requires people with some background in troubleshooting electrical systems. This group of techs is rare and in very short supply.
So to sum it up.... Yes being ignorant is good.
FYI my crappy old technology Toyota Corolla that spends 15Cents a mile only cost me 16k USD, have spent tops 500Dollars the last 8 years to maintain and I have a bill of roughly 1500USD a year on fuel. Let me know when you catch up to me. Also I own my car and I don't pay interest because it was cheap enough to purchase straight out.
I read recently in the NY Times that a Nissan Leaf emits 30% less carbon in its lifecycle than a Toyota Camry that provided 27MPG. Not mentioned in the article is that if you improve the mileage of the Camry above 30% its now the cleaner alternative. Can anyone substantiate this? Am I missing something? Wouldn't it be easier to improve the efficiency of the IC engine than to re-engineer 100s of billions of dollars worth of power generation plants and transmission lines to improve the EV efficiency?
Its funny with yo in the USA. You spend billions in flying to the moon, which as result delivered many technologies that changed the face of earth. What is this but an inefficient subsidy for technology development. So it is possible to name many similar case. The future after the oil age is multifacetic. An EV that charges its batteries using electrical energy froma carbon plant will have a CO2 print bigger than that of any modern engine as we have the in our BMWs, Volkswagen, just to name some. Yes, every engineer out there dealing with battery chemistry is reasearching, specially as rare earths are rare as their name says and China is one of the largest suppliers. Same applies for the market and the consumer. Most of you know the quadrant system that can be applied to many fields, like i.e. that of market maturity, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards.
To identify the best approach to the individual transportation challenge, those basic rules apply and the multifacetic character of the challenge too. Here in Germany we have ssen this with the alternative energy sources. Subsidy helped to get this market mature with the early adopters. This early market had grown so strong, that no China is producing the fotovoltaic systems. This "change of the rules", read the fantastic book from Andy grove about "Crossing the Chasm". Now this market has moved into the early majority phase, subsidy just recently has been cut in half. Bach to the multifacetic aspect of the challenge. having so many solar and wind power sources feeding their energy into the lectrical grid has forced us to make the startegic decision to develop a complete new High voltage DC Grid to transport the energy. It is evident, that, as Andy groves "Paranoia principle" says, the rules are changing once more. We have started project s to collect solar energy in the Sahara Desert south of the Mediterranean. The nuclerar disaster in Japan let to the decision to drop out of the nuclear enegry asap. The spot market for energy for the grids in the different european countries is starting so effects of those changes.
I have written those examples to have you look onto this "out of the box". Just to mention sidewise the costs of subsidizing the markets. remember this issue of EV is just one aspect of the multifacetic perspective a country or a group of countries like the EU has to have on its frame work for the industry and its people. The crazy changes germany has implemented in many of the multifacetics aspects of the economy of our country has let to German economy to boost, while everybody else is facing recession. Jobs you create, biz opportunities you generate, market leaderships you take lead to a booming industry that Germany faces. The USA have behaved similar in the past. The Marshall Plan for Germany after the Worldwar II, not only made us Germans your loyal, honest friends, but also helped the USA industry to sell billions into the booming markets after the war putting USA as a leader and as a promoter for the values of freedom, justice and the forces of the market. Your investment in military research, into space technologies have had as a result a change of the world, not the least, but just to mention it the revolutions in northern Afrika and still in Siria.
Bottom line, subsidizing EV alone is a lost investment. Developing a vision of an age after the oil, develop the mission to have the changes accelerate to go through this transition and implement an adaptive plan by setting a framework that helps the diverse forces to drive to that future finding the best compelling way to achieve leadership and as a consequence wealth to USA citizen and as a consequence to the whole world. Dont ask your country what it can do for you, ask yourself what you can contribute. The change we are going through in the world is full of opportunities and the capabilities and the strength of the USA can contribute and should!
Unfortunately the replacement battery deal is a logistical nightmare. We ran a factory with over 100 electric lift vehciles and the quick change battery station was the weak link. Drivers who got a weak battery - possibly through neglect on their own part - would come back and swap for another. So just like at the go cart track where there is only one or two cars that are actually fast, the battery stations would be left holding the bag on low performing batteries. Not to mention the EPA rules they would have to comply with. Charging time is not an issue, people's perception of it... is. Charging overnight is a perfect solution, the power company love a way to balance the night time load against the high day time capacity requirements.
Ignorance is bliss. EVs - especially the Volt - are the way of the future. Sustainable energy solutions including wind, solar, and wave can power a vehicle. Even if you're going to use the argument that to produce energy, you're just burning coal falls through. It is FAR easier to control the emissions at limited numbers of STATIONARY power plants instead of millions of MOBILE tailpipes.
I'm also Volt owner # 2445 and I'm paying less than 3 cents per mile now instead of about 30 cents per mile for my old car. While the upfront cost of the vehicle may be higher than an ICE, the costs for energy/fuel, operational costs (oil changes, PM, etc.) should all be factored into looking at the true lifecycle cost of the vehicle.
@Charles. The volt warranty covers every electrical component that makes the car move. So in addition to the battery (which cannot be unattended to), it covers the air conditioning, power stearing, power breaks, electric motors, inverters, etc. Perhaps abuse would be a better exclusion term. I have had a volt for a year now and it performs exactly as it did the day I got it (even in terms of range). We've driven it as a dedicated car (we have no backup for it) and we love it. Saves us about $200.00 per month in fuel based on 1000-1200 miles per month.
I've got to disagree with you. It isn't the government's job to take my hard-earned money (via taxes) and directly pay to have stagnating inventory be sold. The reason these EV's are not selling is BECAUSE they are not providing the solution needed...and the free market is voting with their dollars.
If you worry that EV's will disappear (and why shouldn't they, since they do not solve energy issues as they proport to) - imagine what will happen if we fill the market with marginal product that would not otherwise have had enough value to sell by its own merits.
If you start looking at where the money comes from for such an EV stimulus, it changes one's view from "let's have the Government help out the EV makers" to "the Government is taking my money and investing it for my best long-term interest". Well...in my opinion EV's are not in my best-term interest (at least not NOW at today's technology and today's power grid state).
Like many people, you may have become enamoured with EV's without really understanding the true balance of their merits or lack thereof.
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