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Would You Pay $30K for an Electric Car?

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GTOlover
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My answer!
GTOlover   5/12/2014 10:10:56 AM
No!

I probably would not pay 30k for an ICE car (unless it was a rare classic like a fully restored GTO). $20K for a 200 mile range electric car, that would be close to a yes.

Jim_E
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Re: My answer!
Jim_E   5/13/2014 9:14:21 AM
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As GTOlover said, "No!"

I doubt that I could even justify $30k for an ICE car, but we did buy a new Totoya Sienna last year....

My extended cab, 4x4 Chevy pickup truck is 14 years old now and starting to fall apart.  I went to look at a similar new Chevys and realized that they new cost around $40k.  Really?  $40k for a basic extended cab 4x4 pickup truck?  I guess that I'll be fixing mine up for a bit longer.

But, Tesla will sell a lot of these at $30k.  There are enough commuters who can recharge at home and this vehicle will make sense to them, since they would probably spend a similar amount for a normal car.  I'm just not one of those people.

J. Williams
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Re: My answer!
J. Williams   5/13/2014 9:49:33 AM
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Hell no.  If I'm going to pay $30k for a car, it had better be useful.  I don't want to have to buy another car "for the long trips".  As it is, my commute is 5 miles, if I really want to save gas, I'll ride my motorcycle or even my bicycle.

Reliabilityguru
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Re: My answer!
Reliabilityguru   5/13/2014 11:05:02 AM
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$30,000 is not an ecomnomy car and that is a lot of money to spend for what I consider a closer cousin to the golf cart than the modern ICE powered car. Apples to apples, comparable size and features, the EV is not going to save anyone money over an ICE unless one can charge the EV for free. Electricity is already expensive and when the coal plants go offline it is going to make the EV even less ecomonical. For some, there may be a host of other reasons to buy an EV but to save money is not a valid reason.

ChriSharek
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Re: My answer!
ChriSharek   5/13/2014 11:10:07 AM
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Reliabilityguru, for you to even make the "golf cart" comment shows your ignorance of EVs. Welcome to the forum.

Over the past 3 years, 47,000 miles, I have spent just over 3 cents per mile instead of 34 cents per mile in my previous car.  Electricity is cheaper, domestically created, and regulated by public service commissions (to prevent an overnight spike like fuel).  Maintenance?  I have yet to do an oil change in the Volt!

Reliability - didn't you read Charles's article just last week on Design News!?  EVs were getting exceptional reviews for reliability. 

Today, EVs make sense and CENTS!

J. Williams
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Re: My answer!
J. Williams   5/13/2014 12:04:26 PM
Fuel costs me 11 cents per mile to drive my VW Jetta.  I paid $15,500 out the door, taxes, title, and tag. For $15,000, the fuel cost differential of 8 cents per mile means you "break even" at 187,500 miles.  You save "CENTS" no matter what it costs.  Welcome to an engineering forum.

Reliabilityguru
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Re: My answer!
Reliabilityguru   5/13/2014 1:56:33 PM
3 cents per mile? Over how many miles do you plan to amortize that Volt? A serious assessment would find walking costs more than 3 cents per mile.

The case for EV reliability is still out. Simpler is better as long as the technology holds up. Right now the question is how reliable will the batteries be? Exchange/Cycling them like Tesla plans may be a great answer.

Others who have read me here know my pet peeve is that I think EVs are impractical especially in northern areas with long cold winters. And far from cutting edge technology, EVs are just a rehash of an idea obsoleted by gasoline standardization more than 100 years ago.

Good luck with the Volt.

Charles Murray
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Re: My answer!
Charles Murray   5/13/2014 6:13:09 PM
I'm the same, J Williams. If I bought a $30K electric car, I would need a separate car for long trips, and it wouldn't be a junker. The pricetag on an electric car would have to come down a long, long way for me to buy one. I can't afford that scenario.

Daniyal_Ali
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Charging Stations.
Daniyal_Ali   5/12/2014 10:23:45 AM
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If everyone pays $30K for an Electric Car, would you provide adequate charging stations?

weapon
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Re: Charging Stations.
weapon   5/13/2014 12:51:58 AM
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Most of the time, the charging is done at home. But since it is Tesla we are talking about, they will have free super charging stations covering the entire country.

a.saji
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Re: Charging Stations.
a.saji   5/13/2014 2:10:39 AM
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@Weapon: Are those open 24 * 7 ? If not then there will be issues

weapon
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Re: Charging Stations.
weapon   5/13/2014 2:46:36 AM
Yes, superchargers are open 24/7.

 

In your own home chargers depends on the mood of your spouse.

g-whiz
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Re: Charging Stations.
g-whiz   5/13/2014 10:10:24 AM
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Uh? Charging stations are NOT free. Somebody's paying for the electricity and maintainance.

weapon
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Re: Charging Stations.
weapon   5/13/2014 10:14:06 AM
The cost is built into the cost of the car. So using of superchargers is free for life.

Ralphy Boy
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Re: Charging Stations.
Ralphy Boy   5/16/2014 2:16:27 PM
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I'll have to start making note of all the ready and waiting (super) charging stations... I must be looking right past them. Either that or they are being blocked from sight by all the convenience store gas pumps.

So no, I wont be paying $30k for an EV at anytime from the way it looks right now.

weapon
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Re: Charging Stations.
weapon   5/16/2014 2:40:23 PM
I think you are misunderstanding the purpose of superchargers. The point of superchargers is that long distance travel that 0.1% of the time over 200 miles. By the time the Gen 3 comes out superchargers will cover 98% of the country.

For every day driving, you charge at home waking up every morning with 100% range. Can you find your home past all those convenience store gas pumps? If not you have bigger issues to worry about.

CharlesM
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Re: Charging Stations.
CharlesM   5/19/2014 10:04:25 AM
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Maybe Ralphy Boy would only own an EV if he could pay only $30k AND get free fuel for life. Yet doesn't mind spending $25-30k for an ICE, plus $2k per year to maintain the peer comfort of oil addiction.

kostya2012
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Re: Charging Stations.
kostya2012   9/3/2014 7:54:24 PM
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Sorry for late, but answer is Yes... As do not each other like mass lithium waste recycling as do not each other will like a  way for produce of electricity... Only one way right now - nuclear power, and we all know how danger it can be. If it will be in non-professional hands, especially (as it was at Ukrainian Chernobyl, or Fukusima).

Other side at Norvegian lands - community busses has own strip on the road, electrical car eligible to take it too, park w/o some limits for normal cars (or even do not pay for park) ~35000 of electrical and problem arised as they have 1 million of them. As we get some more then Zero of electricals, we have to drop stimulations for them, not less.

ck_02
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What does it take?
ck_02   5/12/2014 10:41:42 AM
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Thanks for the article Charles. I have found that the needs for many people are different when it comes to purchasing a vehicle of any kind, not just an EV. For me and many other people in states North of the Mason-Dixon and particularly in the Northern-most states, their vehicle needs to be reliable in any weather and road condition. For instance, if a consumer purchases a vehicle for their daily commute of the 30-50 mile round trip and something happens on the way to or from work that is out of the ordinary, such as slipping on the ice and sliding into a ditch or getting stuck in a snow bank. There are few all-wheel drive EVs and even fewer that are under that $30k magical number. Additionally, while the consumer calls a tow truck to drag them out of the snow bank or ditch, that 30-50 mile ticker is going down due to "idling" to keep the heater and whatever else running while the person waits to get back onto the road. Since, just about everyone I know in and around this area has been stuck in some winter condition at least once in their lives, there just isn't an EV made for people that drive outside of California, Florida, and the other few states in which snow doesn't tend to last more than a day or get deeper than an inch. As soon as an EV with all-wheel drive, decent ground clearance, at least a 150-mile range, and under $30k prior to or without any gov't incentives comes along, I'm in. I can bet there's more than one person that agrees with me out there too.

My 2 cents.

tekochip
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Re: What does it take?
tekochip   5/12/2014 12:22:02 PM
It could really only be a second vehicle, but for me, $30K would be the sweet spot.

weapon
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Re: What does it take?
weapon   5/13/2014 12:49:57 AM
A RWD electric car can sometimes even outperform an AWD ICE car. On top of that the low center gravity due to the battery being on the bottom reduces chance of slippage.

 

That said, if you are stuck, running the heater will not consume that much power, most of the power consumption on heat tends to be initial consumption, once the cabin is warm, keeping the temperature is much less energy intensive. It would actually be more devastating for a gasoline car as it keeps the engine on at all time to keep the heater going.

EVs actually do very well in cold climates. One of the owners of 7 Tesla cars lives in Narvik, Norway. 136 miles off the artic circle(That is pretty much equivelant to the most northorn part of Alaska) and he is very happy with them.

Though Tesla will probably offer AWD as an option on the Gen 3. According to them, they have created an AWD system that does not use up any extra power. So that would be another plus for cold climates.

naperlou
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Careful of those statistics
naperlou   5/12/2014 2:27:07 PM
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Cap'n, in general those average prices will not be useful for talking about the price that people typically pay.  A better statistic would be the median.  The number of cars at each price range (the histogram) should also be available.  Cars in the lower range sell in large numbers.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Careful of those statistics
Nancy Golden   5/12/2014 3:12:54 PM
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I agree naperlou - it seems like an apples to oranges comparison to me. There are also too many variables to consider that make this type of purchase undefined territiory. BTW for me - nope. I wouldn't even consider it. While our yearly salary would enable us to do so - it is more enticing for me to remain out of debt with a paid off much lower cost vehicle.

Charles Murray
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Re: Careful of those statistics
Charles Murray   5/12/2014 5:26:05 PM
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Regardless of the average price, naperlou, would you buy a 200-mile, $30K electric car?

naperlou
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Re: Careful of those statistics
naperlou   5/12/2014 11:00:25 PM
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If I were looking for an inexpensive car, no.  I can get a new ICE car for 20K or under and a slightly used one with a good warranty for $15K.  I can get a slightly older one for $10K.  Say you go the $20K route then that leaves $10K for gasoline.  At $4 per barrel that buys 2500 gallons, which at 35MPG would be 87.5K miles.  At 15K miles per year that is almost six years.  Considering that I am not spending that money up front, or financing it, the difference would cover normal maintenance.  I take the risk on the price, but I noticed that gasoline locally (good price) is at $3.57.  I am in the Chicago area, which has some of the highest prices in the nation.  I have seen it down to under $3.25 in recent memory (the last year).  If I go with the good used car, I save even more. 

Electricity is not free.  If I charge at home, it will cost a measureable amount.  That will be less than gasoline per mile, but not zero.  If there are subsidies for the car that could change the equation.  I am assuming this is a subsidized price or that there will be no subsidy. 

I hope that was not more than you expected.

jmr60
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$30k for what?
jmr60   5/13/2014 8:53:43 AM
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If you're offering me a Tesla Roadster for $30k, I'll move heaven and earth to try to come up with the funds. If you're offering a crippled, reduced capability Volt, no thanks.

mgauss
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Re: Careful of those statistics
mgauss   5/13/2014 9:12:13 AM
Every dollar sent to America hating Islamic Muslims costs $ 10 in defense.  We need a President that can stow that love for oil.  All cars should be electric, save a trillion dollars in defense when the Arabs go broke and oil is $ 0.10 a gallon.

ChriSharek
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Re: Careful of those statistics
ChriSharek   5/13/2014 11:21:16 AM
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@Mgauss - Amen!

Reliabilityguru
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Re: Careful of those statistics
Reliabilityguru   5/13/2014 3:32:24 PM
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North America has most of the worlds NG and more oil than the entire ME. All we need is a willingness to bring it to market.

patb2009
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Re: Careful of those statistics
patb2009   5/13/2014 1:11:43 AM
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If it had fast recharge,  Level 3 or better, that seems like a decent deal.

I rarely drive more then 200 miles and the times i do, i need a lunch break every 4 hours.

a.saji
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Re: Careful of those statistics
a.saji   5/13/2014 2:09:54 AM
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@patb: Wow every 4 hours ? You better get your system checked mate. Not good to eat much (if you are a light eater then no need)

patb2009
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Re: Careful of those statistics
patb2009   8/1/2014 1:38:21 PM
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it's an attractive price point.

 

you save a fortune on gas.

bobjengr
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$30 K FOR AND ELECTRIC CAR ?
bobjengr   5/12/2014 6:50:08 PM
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Several months ago you posted an article describing an automobile having an electric motor but a conventional gas ( or maybe natural gas ) engine as backup system.  A hybrid.    If that automobile were priced at $30K, I just might spring for the investment.  This morning I bought gas for $3.48 per gallon.  A 15 gallon tank and I'm on the hook for $52.20 with each fill-up. My problem is a 74 mile per day commute plus mileage during the day while calling on clients. Roughly 800 gallons per year, while averaging 16,000 miles per year with a MPG of approximately 20, I spend right at $2800 annually for gas. My maintenance runs about $600 per year, if I have no major mechanical issues.  I have not so far with this car. The real catch for me is reliability and maintenance on the $30K electric car.  I definitely will pay for reliability and that's why I have a Toyota, 4 cylinder vehicle--great reliability.  Over 257,000 + miles and I have only had one abnormal "event"-- a blown top manifold on my radiator.  Tires, batteries, spark plugs, spark plug cables, 3,000 mile fast lube,etc., that's just about it.   As the costs come down more and more you really get my attention.  Great post Charles.     

weapon
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Easily
weapon   5/13/2014 1:03:08 AM
I can guarantee Tesla will sell out of their Gen 3 cars, Even people aside, Taxi and Limo companies would buy them all out in a heart beat. Even a Tesla Model S is as affordable as a 25k gasoline car for a Taxi use.

A Taxi puts 70k miles per year. A lot of it is city driving too. So at 25mpg it will be 2800 gallons per year. If they pay 3.60 per gallon (average price now). That is 10,080$ per year not counting maintenance. So it is like driving a free car for 3 years.

As for people, based on statistics, 200 miles makes up 99.9% of all trips. For that 0.1% that is what superchargers are for. 

Al Klu
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Re: Easily
Al Klu   5/14/2014 8:39:16 AM
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I don't really understand how a taxi can use an electric car.  Even at a 200 mile best case range (actuality is probably 80% of that), a taxi will need to be recharged at least once, and often twice, per day.  (200 miles at an average of 30 miles per hour = 6.7 hours). 

I can't see a taxi operator losing an hour of work to recharge on a supercharger.  Even if he is chargng at lunchtime, so are all the other cabs, you will need dozens of superchargers for each cab.

weapon
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Re: Easily
weapon   5/14/2014 12:08:34 PM
Taxis are used in shifts, the taxi company will use level 3 chargers, not level 2 chargers.

Level 3 chargers recharge at speeds of 75 - 400 miles per hour.

Which means only 30min - 1 hour of downtime. Hey you need to eat lucnh.

Steve Heckman
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Multiple cars
Steve Heckman   5/13/2014 8:17:23 AM
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My wife and I own three cars, and I bought a Honda Civic specifically for commuting to work. Most of her trips are in town as well. So we would be a perfect market for an EV.

 

But keep this in mind: there are literally 100's of cars to choose from these days. Just one sub- average cost EV is not going to "cut it", though it is a start.

Steve Heckman
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Multiple cars
Steve Heckman   5/13/2014 8:17:32 AM
My wife and I own three cars, and I bought a Honda Civic specifically for commuting to work. Most of her trips are in town as well. So we would be a perfect market for an EV.

 

But keep this in mind: there are literally 100's of cars to choose from these days. Just one sub- average cost EV is not going to "cut it", though it is a start.

RogueMoon
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cost is only part of the EV problem
RogueMoon   5/13/2014 9:29:38 AM
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Economy of scale may help battery production costs, but I'm wary that the business gamble may not pay off?  (I hope I'm wrong.)  Getting the unit cost of EV's at or below $30K is only half the solution.  The issue is simple, match ICE performance and you'll have a place in the competitive mass market for cars.   If you offer EV's that match only part of an ICE's performance and you'll get what you have today... lots of discussion and a few zealous customers.  It's not range anxiety, it's common sense.  The car market readily accepts 300 miles range and a recharge time in about 5 minutes from any city block corner or watering hole along the nation's highways.  There's the benchmark.  It hasn't changed.

weapon
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
weapon   5/13/2014 10:57:44 AM
The benchmark varies, there is no single benchmark to set to. For example, say it took 1 hour to fill up, but you had 20,000 miles range on 1 charge. It hits the benchmark of 300 miles but not 5 minutes. Impractical?

The benchmark like all things varies based on what you are looking at. For an EV, the benchmark is 200 miles and 30 minutes recharging on fast charging.

The reason why that is a good benchmark is simple, 200 miles covers 99.9% of trips. Unlike gasoline cars where you have no choice but to look for a gas station, the EV has the convenience of in-home charging. So you wake up every morning with 100% range never worrying about gas stations or range.

The only time you have to charge on a charger is long distance trips that 0.1% of the time. And 30 minutes is about the minimum for a meal, so while you eat the car recharges.

This discussion reminds me of the quote from the matrix where Neo asks "IF I am the one, can I dodge bullets?" and he is answered "You won't have to".



Will this work for everyone? of course not. There is no car in existance that works for everyone, hence why we all have different cars. But that will work fine for mass adoption.

ChriSharek
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
ChriSharek   5/13/2014 11:13:15 AM
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Weapon, 80% of Americans drive 40 miles or less each day.  You plug it in the wall, just like your cell phone every night, and it charges while you sleep.  You plug it in when you have lunch, breakfast, or watch your kid play soccer.  Electricity, the infrastructure for it, is already everywhere. 

But, what if your vehicle first got 50 miles on electricity and then burned gas to get you WHEREVERyou want to go?  That's what I call brilliant.  GM calls it the Volt. 

RogueMoon
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
RogueMoon   5/13/2014 5:54:12 PM
well "weapon" I think we agree on some things, but we differ on the extents. the 200 mile range for 99.9% of trips is debatable. I also disagree that the typical commute is 30 miles range or less. You show me your study and I'll show you mine. My point wasnt the numbers so much as the comparison. The ICE vehicle is the competition, like it or not. Consumers will make this comparison because they already own one. When recharge times are far less than 30 minutes from a commonly available device anywhere in America, the differences narrow. My point is price is only one factor but it becomes a moot point when the buyer gets less for the same money or worse has to rent an ICE when they could have kept their own. I agree to disagree. EV's arent there yet, not even close.

William K.
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
William K.   5/13/2014 9:20:34 PM
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I would never pay $30K for a vehicle that I know will need to have that expensive battery pack replaced. It makes no sense because of that, aside from the other problems. And that sub-30 minute recharge is just a dream, at leat never at home, because the service won;t support it.

Besides that, New cars ar5e already way to expensive as far as I am concerned. I buy a slightly used one for a third of the new price and then I drive it for ten years. Of course, I do a fair amount of the mantenance and repairs myself, just for fun,

timbalionguy
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
timbalionguy   5/13/2014 9:28:13 PM
If they can get the cost down to $22,000 or less, for the performance level described here, I'll bite. Hard.

weapon
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
weapon   5/13/2014 10:57:04 PM
The data is based on US Department of Tansportation's data.

I also never mentioned the length of the commute, but as far commuting goes the data can be found here:

http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/omnistats/volume_03_issue_04/pdf/entire.pdf


30 miles 2 way would account for 68% of commutes. And 30 miles 1 way would account for 90% of commutes.

So your going to now show me your study?

I don't disagree that consumers will make the comparison, consumers made comparisons between horses and horseless carriages as well. By horse standards, horseless carriages did not fare well either. Until people started to realize how it actually works and that it is a better A to B device. Same for EVs, as soon as people realize what EVs are and how they work, all you mentioned becomes a none issue.

I go back to my matrix quote where he asks if he could dodge bullets and gets an answer of he won't have to.

You are so focused on the recharge time not realizing that people won't spend any time recharging at all. You drive home, plug in the car in 2 seconds and go do w\e you do. Next morining you come out and the car is fully charged. That means you waste 0 of your time charging. In comparison, you end up wasting hours throughout the year on gasoline stations. The convenience of every day driving from point A to B on EVs can't be beat.

The only time recharge time becomes an issue is for long distance trips that 0.1% of the time. And even then you recharge while you eat.

If consumers make a true comparison of an EV vs an ICE, the EV wins hands down.




William K.
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
William K.   5/14/2014 8:49:06 AM
The big challenge of recharging at home is that if everybody does it then the grid will be pushed toawrds it's maximum capabilities. And some areas would then be well into overload if it happened on a marm night when residential air conditioners were all at maximum. The generating capacity exists but the distribution is a bit limited. Daily recharging would be the preferred choice, no doubt, and doing it at home would be a bit less disruptive. But probably none of the folks living in apartments, condos, or other rental properties will have that option available, at least not at a reasonable cost.

One other thing that none have been willing to discuss is the largte reduction in available range that results from either heating or cooling the vehicle. That reduction may be enough to mandate a recharge during the workday, which will bring about additional complications.

So while EVs should definitely be encouraged they are certainly not the solution that some of our very short-sighted lawmakers believe that they are.

Charles Murray
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
Charles Murray   5/14/2014 10:21:50 AM
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The effect of heating and cooling the vehicle is something that will have to be dealt with, William K. And I believe that it will have an effect on mainstream purchases. See the link below for the experiences of a Wall Street Journal editor testing a Nissan Leaf in Detroit during December.

http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2010/12/20/nissan-leaf-a-road-test/

weapon
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
weapon   5/14/2014 12:24:17 PM
That is a pretty poor example, the first generation Nissan Leaf's heating system was one of the worst there is. Even the current Leaf is way way better then that.

willie92708
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
willie92708   5/14/2014 12:51:30 PM
My 2014 Leaf's A/C works quite well, and given that we have gone over 100F already this year, I'm not complaining that it does not keep me cool.  Sure it affects the range, but not enough to be any issues for my 44+ mile round trip daily commute and a side erand or two.

William K.
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
William K.   5/14/2014 4:20:02 PM
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Charles, you are correct about it having some effect, but only if the truth ever is explained.

I am still in favor of adding the stop-start function to cars, with the manual operation allowed as well as the automated option. That could reduce the fuel consumption, and thus the emissions, in city driving, by at least 50%. That is a very good return on a concept that needs no engineering breakthoughs at all, and would not add a lot to the cost of a vehicle. And best of all, it would be a system that would allow freedom from automation and reward the skillful individuals more than others. 

Charles Murray
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
Charles Murray   5/14/2014 8:36:50 PM
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I think start-stop will see widespread adoption for many of the reasons you mention, William K. It's already in 40%-50% of new cars in Europe.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
Cabe Atwell   5/14/2014 10:29:33 PM
$30,000 is an attractive price, however it would be impractical for me unless it could handle going off-road.

Charles Murray
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
Charles Murray   5/15/2014 5:29:42 PM
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Good decision, Cabe. Companies that locate their battery packs low would probably frown on the idea of off-roading.

fdos
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
fdos   5/15/2014 10:23:02 PM
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Is it purely because of the quality ? I think they do it just to make sure that you have things for each and every market. Maybe certain differentiations in quality but not in a major way, especially like the Chinese copies of all these smart phone 

CharlesM
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
CharlesM   5/15/2014 9:43:46 AM
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A 50% improvement of city MPG for stop-start is wildly over-optimistic. Some GM vehicles have this now.  Good idea, but only good for a little bit. It's acceleration that uses so much fuel. The best way to deal with that is to recapture kinetic energy that's otherwise lost to braking and use it to help when acceleration is required. That's what hybrids do and that aspect is commonly referred to as "regen." THAT is why hybrids improve MPG so much, though a storage device is needed. Big gains require more complex solutions.

willie92708
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
willie92708   5/15/2014 10:29:01 AM
Hybrids get some mileage improvement with regenerative braking, but they get much more improvement by having a much smaller ICE than a comparable non-hybrid car.  Most non-hybrid cars have roughly 10 times as much horse power as they need for cruising (constant speed on level terrain on the freeway).  That huge engine has a lot of waste that is there all the time.  GM and others cut cylinders which helps some, but there is still all the friction of reciprocating pistons, crank bearings, and air pumping.  Also larger gasoline engine cruise at high manifold vacuums levels which is inherently inefficient.  Diesel engine have no throttle, so they are superior in thermodynamic efficiency at lighter loads, and they are better overall because of the higher compression ratios.  Basically the modern 300 HP family sedan is a race car in disguise.  Lots of fun when driven hard, but seriously compromised in the MPG department.  Fuel efficient cross country semi-tractor trucks have only 300 HP turbo diesel and they get across the country with a total weight of 80,000 lbs.  How much power do you really need?

Willie

CharlesM
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
CharlesM   5/15/2014 10:41:10 AM
Not sure I agree with the relative contributions of regen vs. smaller engines, but we're on the same page and you make a great point. Let the high torque, instantaneous throttle, efficient motor (electric) work mostly during the low duty cycle periods when so much power is required. Then the big engine can be much smaller and tuned for better efficiency (Atkinson).

Still, unless the vehicle plugs in, the power to that electric motor comes solely from the ICE, only it's time/duty shifted. That means a storage device (battery).

Also, to my original point, for cars that can display instantaneous MPG, monitoring it during acceleration can be an eye-opening experience.

willie92708
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
willie92708   5/15/2014 11:34:35 AM
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Yes, instantaneous MPG can seem to be "eye opening" during acceleration, but if you look at the physics, it does not really matter how quickly you get a mass moving it still has the same kinetic energy (1/2mv^2).  The issue is the efficiency of the engine (or battery motor system) when accelerating hard vs. easy.  Gasoline engines are actually most efficient at wide open throttle with no fuel enrichment (IE running at stoichiometric) but at low RPM's, typically around 1000 for a V8, 1500 for a V6 and 2000 for a L4.  That allows a manual transmission driver to mash the throttle most of the way (not to hit the fuel enrichment of WOT), and short shift the engine and get excellent fuel economy.  For electric vehicles, it's mostly the resistive losses (I^2R in the motor, controller, and effective in the battery) that dictates the efficiency.  Thus for pure EV's, a reasonable acceleration at say 1/3 maximum current yields most all the possible benefit, since the resistive loses would be roughly 1/10 that of full current, thus in the noise for MJ/mile.

Willie

 

Bunter
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
Bunter   5/15/2014 10:35:27 AM
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You're right on the Start/Stop systems.  THe system GM used a few years back only netted about 1-2 mpg in the real world.  Probably get a touch more in pure city driving.

As you note, acceleration and the massive energy needs there (and recovering braking energy) are the big areas.  Hence hybrids are not terribly remarkable in highway mileage.

Cheerio,

Dennis

William K.
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
William K.   5/15/2014 11:39:55 PM
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CM, under the best of conditions all that the engine would do would be to accelerate the vehicle. That is the type of driving that I amin favor of, which is to say that the traffic would roll right along. This is far more than what is being touted, which is only stopping the engine fo long delaiys, typically traffic lights. There would not be much savings over open road conditions, but in the city traffic  at it's worst it could add value.

CharlesM
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
CharlesM   5/16/2014 10:08:37 AM
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I'm not sure it's smart to shut down an engine during coasting, if that's what you're talking about. In fact it used to be illegal to do so and AFAIK it still is. There are engines that shut down cylinders under light loads, but they don't make huge gains in MPG either. And certainly not compared to a real hybrid.

weapon
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Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
weapon   5/14/2014 12:20:00 PM
The utilities already addressed this as a non-issue. They said air conditioners were more of a problem then EVs.

I mean realistically speaking, in the modern age of internet of things there is no reason that cars can't act like a minature smart grid with each other and balance loads. Fairly simple to do.

That said, with the cost of the batteries dropping, people might actually find themselves moving away from using the grid for solar + battery.

As far as heating or cooling, it is not significant enough to force anyone to recharge during the day during their commute. Though if they for w\e reason do recharge at a supercharger, it will be 100% solar powered.

I don't think politicians know anything at all, they just vote what lobbies tell them to vote. That said what issue specifically are you refering to?

Reliabilityguru
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Platinum
Re: cost is only part of the EV problem
Reliabilityguru   5/13/2014 2:13:36 PM
It seems very few of us are not infatuated.

If people want to spend their treasure on an EV or a yellow submarine I'll be the last to object. 

greenewr
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That's the sweet spot...
greenewr   5/13/2014 9:34:16 AM
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I have a 15 mile commute each way every day, with about 20 miles during lunch.  Total mileage for the day ~50 miles.  I would buy an electric car for this activity if the basic performance ~100 mile range and price point were $30K.  The Nissan Leaf meets the performance and quality requirements but not the price >$40K.  I have solar panels on my roof and would like nothing better than to produce the electricity my car would need to get me back and forth.  My system isn't quite big enough for that, but it would make a significant dent (The panels average 12 KWh per day).

Zippy
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Set the "Way Back" machine, Sherman!
Zippy   5/13/2014 9:42:39 AM
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I am struck by the similarities between this thread on EVs and the discussions of just a few years ago on hybrids.  No single car model suited everyone then, and they still don't.  Now there are 1.5 million Prius's on the road, and nobody gives them a second thought.  They don't suit everyone, but there are more than enough buyers to make it a good business.

 

I can imagine the equivalent of Design News in 1905, with readers (and they would be readers then) writing in (paper, ink, stamps) "Get an automobile instead of a horse?  But what if I run out of gas?"

 

"The future has already arrived.  It's just not evenly distributed yet." - William Gibson

GTOlover
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Re: Set the "Way Back" machine, Sherman!
GTOlover   5/13/2014 9:55:56 AM
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If I run out of gas, I get a gas can and fill up. If the battery is dead, I get an extension cord and then go watch a movie, or two, or three?

We keep harping on range (and this is important), but it is convienence. I think Elon's idea of battery exchange is the closest model to the gas can senerio.

ChriSharek
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Re: Set the "Way Back" machine, Sherman!
ChriSharek   5/13/2014 11:15:44 AM
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GTO lover, I agree with you about the waiting for the charge.  But, again, the Volt simply gets you wherever you want to go - without the wait.  Charge it whenever you have the time to kill (while you sleep or eat). 

If you named your login after a GM Product, you've got to give them some props for this brilliant extended range EV design! 

patb2009
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Re: Set the "Way Back" machine, Sherman!
patb2009   5/13/2014 11:44:52 AM
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no system is ideal.   

 

i'd say we sell 16 million cars per year in the US  

any car that hits 5% of that market is pretty good.

 

how you get those 5% are up to the marketing people

Charles Murray
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Re: Set the "Way Back" machine, Sherman!
Charles Murray   5/13/2014 12:05:56 PM
Excellent point, GTOlover. If the charge time were much shorter, range wouldn't be as big an issue. The challenge will be bringing 440V charging stations out greater numbers, so a fast recharge isn't as big an issue.

Charles Murray
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Re: Set the "Way Back" machine, Sherman!
Charles Murray   5/13/2014 6:03:24 PM
Zippy, I might have been one of those horse owners in 1905. If it didn't make financial sense for me back then, I wouldn't have bought a car.

rosek
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My Answer
rosek   5/13/2014 9:47:21 AM
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Yes, indeed! I seriously looked at the Ford Electric Focus and the Chevy Volt but choked on the price >40k.  All my driving per day is well under 100 miles (usually less than 40), so a 200 mile range would definitely fit my needs.

ChriSharek
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Re: My Answer
ChriSharek   5/13/2014 11:20:01 AM
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The standard Volt is $35k - then there's a $7,500 federal tax credit - you pay that in taxes, you get back.  It's already under $30k now! 

then, there are other states like California and Georgia that provide additional tax incentives to reduce the cost even further.  ($5k in Georgia)

GRXTN
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Electric cars
GRXTN   5/13/2014 9:52:48 AM
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Electric, electric, electric! - Maybe we should consider another source of energy that would be more sustainable. What happens when battery wears out after few years and they will have to be replaced? Expensive proposition, even with Musk's new technology. Recycling and disposing are another environmental hazard. Electric energy is not coming free from another planet, either. They also don't fare well in accidental crashes etc. I assume that electric cars would have to have some sound emitting systems as well, to warn pedestrians and give those performance oriented drivers some kind of acoustic pleasure. The biggest problem would be charging itself; takes very long to do it and where are we going to get all that electric energy (at night mostly) when population of electric cars will reach let say a 50% of all vehicles. Power grid will have to be reworked and a lot more nuclear plants build as well to accommodate that demand. Think: "new sources of energy" for the future: hydrogen, solar... Let's put our brains to work and think out-of-the box. GR

ChriSharek
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Re: Electric cars
ChriSharek   5/13/2014 11:18:14 AM
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GRXTN, are you kidding!?  What could be more sustainable than electricity!?  Holy crap!  There's wind, solar, geothermal, wave, and then we can start eating the world's coal, oil and all that other stuff while we let the renewables catch up!  Really? 

BTW, look both ways before you cross the street - don't listen both ways for EVs. . 

weapon
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Re: Electric cars
weapon   5/13/2014 11:24:36 AM
Batteries are the most sustainable option we have now. In the future we might have super capacitors going or solid state batteries but elictirication will make the transisition to it smoother.

The battery will last generally the lifespan of most cars. That said, engine and transmission replacement of gasoline cars are not cheap either. If your not out to buy a new car by the time the battery is used up, the replacement battery will be cheap. If say you buy a battery made in the gigafactory, by the time you need to replace the battery, it would be half the cost (at the rate battery costs are dropping).

After the battery is used up for automotive use, it can be used for another decade as grid storage. Afterwards it can be recycled at a profit so I don't understand why you'd want to dispose of it. 98% of automotive batteries are recycled. Even if fo some reason they are going to end up part of the 2% disposed of for w\e reason. Lithium Ion batteries are non-toxic and pose no hazard when disposed of.

"Electric energy is not coming free from another planet, either"

Well, depends. If you use solar power would that count from another planet? (and yes I know the sun is technically not a planet)

"They also don't fare well in accidental crashes etc."

Actually, they do much better in crashes then most cars. The Tesla Model S for example got the highest safety rating of any car. Just a week ago, a Tesla Model S was rear ended by an 18 wheel truck, it drove away fine, the truck broke down. The advantage of EVs is that since you don't have an engine, you can build in crumple zones making the cars safer.


Even if EVs make up 50% of the cars. It won't be too much of an issue, we won't need any new powerplants even. I mean look at it this way, average driver drives 36 miles per day. If we assume say 3 miles per kwh that will be 12kwh per car per day. 250 million cars on the road (obviously all of them are not going to be driven every day but lets just use it as a base). So 50% is 125 million.

So 125 million * 12kwh = 1,500,000,000kwh = 1,500,000 mwh = 1,500 gwh = 1.5twh.

In 2008 we consumed 4,369 twh in the year 4,369 / 365 = 11.97twh per day.

You think a ~10% increase in electricity use is going to make that much difference?

ervin0072002
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Midsize and 200+ miles
ervin0072002   5/13/2014 10:10:10 AM
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For me to consider this a possibility it has to be a midsize vehicle (no smart sized cars that's just not smart) with at least 200mi range. Otherwise I will not buy in. Also an influx of electric cars will increase demand for electricity and will affect the market in ways we cannot predict. Also take into consideration an aging grid that may be too slow to adapt to an influx of such vehicles. Not looking forward to paying surcharges for peak hours and having the peak hours extend to night time.

Uncreative
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Cost savings and Generational tendencies.
Uncreative   5/13/2014 11:34:23 AM
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Two factors at play here:

1- Can the miles driven on current vehicle (poor gas mileage) be offset by the fuel savings costs on EV every month. Using monthly as basis is key since it would be used for monthly payment affordability.

2- It's simply a generational tendency whereby younger generations (the coveted millenials) would be easily swayed simply out of principle to go with cleaner alternatives.

I have yet to determine why it is that older generations simply LOVE burning fossil fuels. In many cases, its obsessive... it never seizes to amaze me.

 


Charles Murray
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Re: Cost savings and Generational tendencies.
Charles Murray   5/13/2014 12:15:18 PM
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There's definitely a generational issue at work here, Uncreative, but right now the cost is determining who actually buys the cars. Right now, 66.8% of Model S buyers are in the 50-plus age range, according to CNBC.com. For the Chevy Volt (which is really a plug-in hybrid and not a pure EV), age ranges look like this 21-29 (7.3%), 30-39 (23.6%), 40-49 (24.0%), 50-59 (24.40%), 60+ (19.7%), according to gm-volt.com. In other words, about two-thirds of Volt buyers are 40+. Also...according to AOL autos, the average income of a Volt buyer in 2011 was $175,000 a year. That dropped to $170,000 in 2012. I'm sure there are more up to date statistics,but I think this gives us a pretty good snapshot.

Uncreative
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Re: Cost savings and Generational tendencies.
Uncreative   5/13/2014 1:13:16 PM
Which is precisely why getting the price point right on EV's is the most important factor - Elon Musk is very aware of this fact. Unfortunately, millenials have had a very rough time economically and getting them to buy new cars is something all the car manufacturers have been working on furioulsy. Eventually if and when they get more financially stable, will drive revolutionize the clean energy industry in to the stratosphere. Unlike their predecessors they are NOT in to burning fossil fuels just for the sake of it.

MIROX
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Re: Cost savings and Generational tendencies.
MIROX   5/13/2014 1:43:27 PM
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The problem with $30,000 EV is that they are not the average $32,000 car that just happens to be electric, but that they are the average $16,000 to $18,000 car that is electric and therefore $30,000.

When you look at identical cars one of which is ICE and the other EV like some past and present models (FIAT, GM mini cars, HONDA) the identical EV version is thousands more, thus does not sell.

I bet that if TESLA offered model S with V8 for $40,000 they would sell them much faster than the EV version.

Charles Murray
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Re: Cost savings and Generational tendencies.
Charles Murray   5/13/2014 6:06:37 PM
Excellent point, MIROX. We don't yet know the exact size of a Tsla Gen III, but it's possible that it could be comparable to a Chevy Cruze. In that case, the comparison would be $30K for the electric car to $20K for the gas-burner.

weapon
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Re: Cost savings and Generational tendencies.
weapon   5/13/2014 11:09:01 PM
I will disagree with you. If Tesla offered a Model S for 40k with a V8, it would never have the performance of the current Tesla Model S. So if it would make as many sales or not is questionable.

If you want good performance on an ICE, you would already be in BMW M5 price ranges. Which is comparable to the Tesla Model S in price.

j-allen
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Electric cars "green"?
j-allen   5/13/2014 11:42:56 AM
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While electric vehicles are inherently more efficient than comparable gas cars, one still has to consider the source of the electricity to charge the battery.  If it's a conventional power plant you are actually driving a coal-fired steam car.  (The boiler and steam engine are at the power house.)  If, however, the charging station uses renewable power such as solar or wind, then the electric truly is green. 

 

 

ChriSharek
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Re: Electric cars "green"?
ChriSharek   5/13/2014 1:01:19 PM
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j-allen, stationery, federally regulated coal-fired power plants are orders of magnitude cleaner than millions of mobile tailpipes that aren't even state-regulated any longer.  There are a ton of reports done on this - check it out for yourself.

www.beyondoil.org is one resource.

j-allen
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Re: Electric cars "green"?
j-allen   5/13/2014 1:58:12 PM
ChriSharek,

You are correct that large stationary plants are more efficient as well as cleaner with regard to the low concentration pollutants such as particulate matter, NOx SO2, etc.  As for CO2. the main emission and the one with the most serious global consequences,  they are not good, although, as I conceded, they are still usually better than a mobile gas engine. 

aliphatic
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Silver
Re: Electric cars "green"?
aliphatic   5/13/2014 1:17:29 PM
BTW, Hydropower is renewable also. One reason why those of us in WA, OR and ID would be ideal test markets.

Even if it is a bit long in the tooth, Hydro is still greener than burning hydrocarbon fuel.

bpenfold
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Gold
$30K for EV?
bpenfold   5/13/2014 11:53:03 AM
$30K for an EV? No. But I would easily pay $15K. And I thank the tax paying citizens here (myself included) for letting me get an iMiev at that price before the rebates dry up. At 6.25¢/KWHr (in Idaho) and 250Whr/mile (wall to wheels measurement) equates to 1.6¢/mile. That's pretty efficient for a 4-passenger car.  And the rear seats fold for a LOT of cargo capacity. And no more oil changes; or gas stations.

By the way, I loved my EV in winter conditions. And my battery should last longer in these cooler temps.

 Weapon +1 (taxi analysis)

 -Barry

-Praying for global warming for the last 15 years to no avail

-Went EV for gas and maintenance costs and definitely not for CO2. I love CO2 and my trees do too. I'm a tree lover.

tluxon
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Swappable batteries at 20-mile intervals - then "Yes".
tluxon   5/13/2014 12:50:53 PM
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I don't see myself putting that much money into a car that I have to wait longer for a charge than it takes now to run to the gas station and fill-r-up.


On the other hand, come up with a network of numerous battery charge/swap stations with the bays needed to make battery swapping a plug-n-play endeavor that's no more inconvenient that pumping a tank of gas and I'm in.

aliphatic
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Silver
Performance as selling point
aliphatic   5/13/2014 2:03:32 PM
The article's topic, getting people to "like" EVs, doesn't really touch on this point and neither do most of the posts here; however, I have to bring up the issue of performance.

I expect that many readers of this article have never driven a pure-EV. A true EV (whether auxiliary-backed or not) has some serious performance advantages over ICE vehicles.

When I was in college, our mechanical engineering department was converting vehicles to EVs (using old-school Pb-acid cells) in order to try to understand the technology and gauge its cogency. One of the most successful tests (well, the one the students seemd to go back to over and over again) was a converted VW beetle, where the engine+drivetrain were in the rear and the batteries in the front-loading trunk.

Some performance features of EVs:

1) Flat torque curve. A relatively small motor (80kW) still gave enough torque to make this bug a sub-10-second car - 0-60 in 6.7s. VERY fast pedal-response time - you had to be careful not to smoke the tires, and we had to make a three-tier system for responsiveness (econ, cruise and sport modes) to prevent wear-and-tear of this high-torque system from damaging the running gear every time someone started up at a green-light.

2) Braking (or lack thereof). Our aforementioned beetle performed best when using the regenerative braking, during simple deceleration (e.g., take one's foot off the accelerator but don't use the brakes). After some practice, it's possible to drive in traffic with one foot.

3) Simple gearing. Our bug had 1 gear (8:1). No shifting, no tranny to maintain - just make sure the gearbox was lubed properly.

3) Maintenance. Take care of your batteries. Keep lube points on the chassis and drivetrain oiled and make sure your tires & brakes are good. That's about it. The "Major Pain Point" maintenance schedules that you have at 30 and 60K miles are negligible on this type of car.

In short, there are LOTS of excellent usability features on an EV (even a primitive one like our repurposed VW) - and it seems that noone ever mentions them, just how "green" the car is or how short its range may be compared with ICE vehicles. The mfrs. need to spend some time on usability and performance features - that might help their sales.

Jerry dycus
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Re: Performance as selling point
Jerry dycus   5/13/2014 2:50:47 PM
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Well said aliphatic.  Facts are for performace EV's are hard to beat.

To prove it I just ordered 5 all composite 150+ mile range  '64' Vette EV's  built like the most expensive Farrari's, McLarens, etc though in better composites than CF.  All up weight 2x's as strong as a steel version, only weighs 1500lbs or so allowing great performance at a reasonable price.

It'll blow away the BMW i3 or the VW XL-1 in every way at less money.  And it's range extender will only weight 50 lbs, not 380lbs like in the i3.

The question is why don't we have these already?   The composite parts weight, cost less and less labor, safer  than a steel version yet only $250K cars are, why?

It's not like they don't know this as they have built them, the Toyota 1/x and GM ultraLite can do the same.

How much will I pay for an EV?  Since I get mine a fraction it won't be me.  Though I hope some buy my $40k EV Vettes!!  ;^P    Sadly as they have 4 wheels I can only build a few before the state, Feds get upset I'm building cars.

 

 

 

 

willie92708
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Silver
Nissan Leaf anyone?
willie92708   5/13/2014 2:31:03 PM
I recently leased a Nissan Leaf for $700 net due at signing, and $240 a month for 36 months for the base model (S) with the optional DC fast charging port and the onboard 6.6 KW charger.  If I had purchased it the window sticker price was $32K and I'd get the $7500 Fed rebate and $2500 state rebate, thus $22K net.  I chose a lease because even though the Leaf has been mass produced for 4 years now, it's still a new and evolving technology.

My cost analysis:  I pay $150 a month for gasoline for a 1997 Subaru which is getting old and in need of $1000's in repair.  With the Leaf it will cost me $25 of electricity a month, thus a fuel savings of $125 a month that can cut the net lease payment to $115.  That's pretty damn cheap for driving new wheels!  If I need to take a long trip, I can drive my old Subaru or take my wife's Prius.  Or if I sell the Subaru then I can always rent a car for the occasional need to go a long way.

 

I have PV solar on my house that handles nearly all my electricity usage, but I would need to add panels (which I can do; I have space) to be nearly a net zero on the grid with the charging the Leaf too.  And the power company enjoys getting most all my generation during the daylight when area A/C loads are high (and we are not at home; thus our A/C is off) and I can charge the Leaf from midnight to 3AM when the grid use is low.  This is a workable solution now, that reduces my use of fossil fuels, helps keep the air breathable in Southern California, reduces my carbon footprint on the planet, helps the power company, and overall is really inexpensive for me.

 

Willie

 

 

arielsoft
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test
arielsoft   5/13/2014 4:21:31 PM
test

arielsoft
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Bronze
Re: test
arielsoft   5/13/2014 4:24:55 PM
test

willie92708
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Size and Weight
willie92708   5/14/2014 10:26:44 AM
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In the USA we insist on driving huge and heavy motor vehicles for personal transport.  Since fossil fuels have been basically free, and just in the past ten years have become a significant cost of motoring, we still drive huge and heavy machines.  Whereas in Europe they have embraced much lighter and smaller personal transport long ago because of the high taxes on motor fuel.  Since EV's have to fit that USA mold, they are much larger and heavier than needed for the job, and thus vastly more expensive too.  In time as fossil fuels become more and more expensive and drive up the cost of making everything, we will slowly get pushed to drive more resource reasonable sized machines.  That will make the costs, charging and other issues of EV become much less of an issue.

I look at where personal transport could go, because I commute 2x a week 20 miles each way in class of machine that is the most efficient on the planet.  It's a Quest Velomobile (yellow teardrop in my avatar): http://www.bluevelo.com/quest_velomobile.html  It's requires a measly 25 KJ per mile traveled on average: http://www.strava.com/activities/134846995  whereas my new Nissan Leaf (rated at 114 MPGe or 30 KWh / 100 miles) use around 1 MJ per mile (less at lower speed, more at freeway speed).   Thus my Leaf uses 40 times as much energy as my Quest per mile and the Leaf is super-efficient by USA standards.   If the Quest had an electric drive train, a 1.0 KW motor would provide 53 MPH top speed, and a 2.2 KHw battery pack would provide about 100 miles of range at 53 MPH, 160 miles at 41 MPH, and 240 miles at 31 MPH.  That would be only a 18 Kg battery, that I could carry into my office or home as a "brief case" and recharge in 2 hours off a standard 120VAC 15 Amp outlet.  I'm not saying we need to go there, but that's what is possible, right now, using "off the shelf" components and a vehicle that has been made for many years now.

Willie

CharlesM
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Silver
Odd ethics
CharlesM   5/15/2014 10:02:56 AM
I can't figure out the purity of people who say they'll only consider vehicles that don't get government subsidies, but they don't seem to mind the billions of corporate welfare off the same government, much of which going to the windfall profit-reaping oil companies. And they don't mind continuing to use the atmosphere as a "free" but invisible sewer that their kids and grandkids will suffer for.

It's just baffling.

willie92708
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Silver
Re: Odd ethics
willie92708   5/15/2014 10:37:55 AM
They must not understand what actually happens with government subsidies. The government has heavily subsidized "big oil" for many decades and they still do.  The government is heavily subsidizing corn ethanol, yet it has a EROEI (energy return on energy investment) of about 1:1 (less or more depending on who's numbers you use).  But when the government subsidizes PV solar and EV's that not OK; it's just baffling!

Willie

CharlesM
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Silver
Re: Odd ethics
CharlesM   5/15/2014 2:24:35 PM
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It's interesting to compare corn ethanol subsidies with solar PV tax credits. I have a modest PV array that consumes less than 1/100th of an acre (33' by about 10'). Even if you ignore the noted energy inputs that go into producing ethanol, and the fact that a 0.01 acre PV array can use no net land at all by residing on the roof of a house, it's instructional to compare the energy produced.

1 acre of corn yields around 1 gallon of ethanol per day (330-424 gal/acre annually, Wikipedia).  That's with arable land, as well as after the energy inputs noted earlier, labor, fertilizers, pesticides, a distillery, etc.  Yet my tiny PV array produces an average daily output of about 6kWh, which is approximately equal to the energy of 1/4 gallon of ethanol.

So 4 of my little PV arrays can reside on less than 0.04 acres, but will produce the same energy as 1 acre of corn! And PV is virtually autonomous. Set it and forget it.

Why do we continue the craziness of biofuel subsidies and why aren't so-called fiscal conservatives as hostile toward them as they generally are toward solar energy that produces electricity directly?

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Odd ethics
William K.   5/15/2014 11:22:10 PM
Ethanol as an automotive fuel is simply a stupid idea. Aside form the inefficient use of resources already presented, it also takes food away from folks and bids up the price of corn. In addition it provides a means for our gasoline fuel to have water added, since ethanol will allow gasoline and water to mix quite well, up to almost 10%. AM I THE ONLY ONE TO KNOW ABOUT THAT?

CharlesM
User Rank
Silver
Re: Odd ethics
CharlesM   5/16/2014 10:02:00 AM
NO RATINGS
WilliamK, we are finally in agreement, except maybe for the last couple of statements. Are you alleging that alcohol is watered down prior to mixing it with gas, so that E10 is actually 90 parts gas, 9 parts alcohol, and 1 part water? That sounds just scandalous. Any links on this?

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Odd ethics
William K.   5/17/2014 4:51:15 PM
Charlews M. My assertion is that when 10% alcohol is added to standard gasoline that it then becomes possible to disolve up to about 10% water in the mixture. That is the principle behind products used to alleviate the gas line freezing that used to be a problem when water would separate from the gas and freeze in the line. That is fine if one intends to remove water from the fuel tank, but if one is purchasing gas then it is undesirable to be paying gasoline prices for water.

As an alternative explanation, the alcohol will allow water and gasoline to mix, up to about 10% water, when 10% alcohol has been added.

It is entirely possible that water is also found inn the E85 blend, since it contains alcohol as well.

CharlesM
User Rank
Silver
Re: Odd ethics
CharlesM   5/19/2014 9:52:25 AM
NO RATINGS
Sorry, I still don't follow. Where does the water come from that one is buying? I would presume the alcohol portion of the E10 fuel is pure, i.e., 200 proof. If you're not alleging otherwise, where is the water?

willie92708
User Rank
Silver
Re: Odd ethics
willie92708   5/19/2014 11:50:47 AM
The most likely reason for water in alcohol / gasoline blends is because ethanol is super hydoscopic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hygroscopy  It's impossilbe to keep ethanol pure unless the containers and transfer systems are air tight.  It will "suck" water right out of the air and quickly take on a few percent water.  Even Everclear is only 190 proof: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everclear_(alcohol)

Willie

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Odd ethics
William K.   5/17/2014 4:51:15 PM
NO RATINGS
Charlews M. My assertion is that when 10% alcohol is added to standard gasoline that it then becomes possible to disolve up to about 10% water in the mixture. That is the principle behind products used to alleviate the gas line freezing that used to be a problem when water would separate from the gas and freeze in the line. That is fine if one intends to remove water from the fuel tank, but if one is purchasing gas then it is undesirable to be paying gasoline prices for water.

As an alternative explanation, the alcohol will allow water and gasoline to mix, up to about 10% water, when 10% alcohol has been added.

It is entirely possible that water is also found inn the E85 blend, since it contains alcohol as well.

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