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'Revenge of the Electric Car' Gives Glimpse Into Minds of EV Faithful

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MIROX
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Platinum
Will there be #3 ?
MIROX   4/24/2012 3:12:03 AM
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I have seen the movie twice and it is already "outdated"

Is #3 in the works ?  It should be !!!

TESLA Roadster is no more and the would be replacement probably a vaporware.

Think!, AZD, Aptera, Bright, and more already Bankrupt

FORD Transit EV, Mistsubishi i, Wheego, SMART ED, and even Leaf and Volt sales are nowhere near the "already reserved" prior production numbers that were claimed by all just 2 years ago.

No stampede to EV retailers.

And in Europe where Fuel Cost of $9.00 per US Gallon is already a reality the EV sales are minimal.

So just like a "monster" in some cheap horror flicks the EV comes back to haunt us again and again, how many more times will it come "back" to life, before it finally turns to dust in bright sunshine ?

MIROX
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Platinum
Re: Yes - It is "Thin" on Realities and I do Not Mean Politics... Re: Less Hollywood
MIROX   4/24/2012 3:21:36 AM
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The FUTURE is indeed "bright" !

U.S. market share of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs
2008: 2.4%
2009: 2.8%
2010: 2.4%
2011: 2.2%
2012*: 3.3%
* First quarter
Source: Automotive News Data Center

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20120423/OEM06/304239948#ixzz1swLE0SGZ

Does anyone care that 96.7% of buyers DO NOT buy into hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs ?

Since when even in Politics do actions of 3% of any group REALLY mater ?

bwilson4web
User Rank
Gold
Hydrogen fool-cells
bwilson4web   4/24/2012 6:47:25 AM
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The movie I'd like to see would cover the abysmal failure of the hydrogen fuel cell nonsense and how it was sold. After a decade, hydrogen fuel cells remain a vast money pit. Sad to say, the budget that would have funded the Precept, GM's Volt predecessor, in 2001 was spent proving hydrogen fuel cells are not even close to being a transportation option.

There is an old saying, perfect is the enemy of good enough, and this pretty well sums up my view of EV technology today. IMHO, Toyota's conservative hybrid approach and expanding family puts them in the 'cat bird seat' when (or if) battery technology makes a breakthrough.

In the meanwhile, the 'Prius c' looks to be a game changer. A vehicle with a similar performance profile as the first 2001-03 Prius, it is lighter and more efficient. What is remarkable is the MSRP is about the same as the first Prius . . . a significant price-performance gain.

Bob Wilson

 

3drob
User Rank
Platinum
review
3drob   4/24/2012 9:37:38 AM
I saw the movie a few weeks ago (BTW, a good review of it).  It was an entertaining movie.  I was most impressed with Greg Abbott's business of converting classic cars to electric (at the time, he was the only one with a real product to sell).  I was also impressed with the Tesla customers that were getting fleeced and still not giving up.  Now that's TRUE LOVE.

It was interesting that Toyota and/or hybrids were not featured at all.  I guess hybrids are not pure enough for the anti-gas crowd (even though they are the driving force behind the enabling technology for electric cars).

We want electric cars SO BAD, we want to believe they are possible, that the only reason we don't have them is some evil conspiricy.  Ultimately, it becomes a religious or semantic rather than an engineering topic.

naperlou
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Blogger
Re: Looking for more balance in the story of EVs
naperlou   4/24/2012 9:37:48 AM
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One of the problems with all these "single use" vehicles is that they cannot "cross the chasm" as the product development types like to say.  You can sell a few of almost anything.  These will be bought by the early adopters.  These are people who have disposable wealth who will decide to try something new.  Nothjing wrong with that.  To make money, though, you have to cross the chasm to appeal to the general public.  To do this, you need to meet a need and do it better than the current available product. 

A good, relevant example of another vehicle that is not making it is the Smart Car.  You would not want to drive one on the highway.  On the other hand, a very small car can be great in an urban environment.  Sales of these cars are down.  The early adopters have them, and there is no real reason for anyone else to buy them.  Frankly, in the city it is better not to have a car at all.

ferd
User Rank
Silver
Re: Revenge of the Electric Car movie
ferd   4/24/2012 9:39:05 AM
I've seen this movie, and fully agree with this review.  Although I am involved with converting existing cars to electric, and designing new electric cars, I was disappointed in the movie's lack of reality concerning technical difficulties.  It was interesting to watch the drama of car executives, and I could relate somewhat via my own business experience.  But I believe that the approach that many pro-EV people take - that the technology is ready for prime time and the only thing holding it back is a conspiracy - is hurting the industry's credibility.  I do not want to win business by promising what I cannot deliver, or by shaming people.  So when asked about this movie I do not recommend it as a true snapshot of the EV industry, but only as documentation of the trials and tribulations of a few high profile industry executives.

solarsculptor
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Silver
Re: Yes - It is "Thin" on Realities and I do Not Mean Politics... Re: Less Hollywood
solarsculptor   4/24/2012 9:51:48 AM
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Where have you been in the universe? Far less than 1% of the population are calling the shots in our society! GM bought the trolly companies in LA and shut them down so people would have to buy cars forever, a small number of unelected corporate executives with enough money can make the rest of us do what they want. It's not a technical issue, it's a business decision based on the easiest path to wealth for a small number of people.

The reason Advertising is a multibillion dollar industry is because it works. An army of scientists and psycologists are working together every day to study human behavior and develop better ways to manipulate those 97% and make sure they buy the same old thing all the while pulling the green wool over our eyes with hydrogen fuel cells that never get produced (because they are not practical as nobody will ever want liguid hydrogen in any quantity trucked all over the country anyway or allwed at self serve stations). If you think you are making a choice in your best interest next time you buy a car, it is highly unlikely as that choice has been made for you by someone in the advertising industry who knopws exactly who you are!

A new car cost about one billion dollars to bring to production, and that's making the same car that we have had since the model "T". (gasoline, gearbox, piston engine). The cheapest way to get customers to pay more for the same old thing has been to sell them on the candy of more power(even though cars have had more than adequate power to legally function since the 1940's) and gadgets. The paradigm of efficency and smaller environmental foot print has never appeared on the radar of the auto execs, and thats why the 97% buy what they do.

The best thing that has happened to transportation in the last 20 years (and should have happened 20 years ago) is the new mandate for 50mpg average mileage. This might bring about the electric car at last!

ChasChas
User Rank
Platinum
Hype and Hoopla
ChasChas   4/24/2012 10:04:20 AM
 

All the "hype and hoopla" is for nothing. The market forces will prevail. It is best to work with the market forces than to fight them. And our Government officials never learn either - they think they can change the very laws of nature as if they were man-made laws. They can sure mess them up for awhile, but they cannot change them.

 

ab3a
User Rank
Platinum
Electric with what?
ab3a   4/24/2012 10:30:27 AM
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The beauty of an electric car is that the transmission itself can be electric and it can also be very efficient. Whether we use gasoline, Biodiesel, fuel cells, chemical batteries, or that mythical Mr. Fusion from Back to the Future, the transmission system remains the same. Perhaps we can even find some way to swap the electric generation system to meet the local environmental needs.

There is tremendous potential here to improve designs. A diesel engine can work wonders in this capacity and could probably yield significant performance improvements working through an electrical system.

Side note: a young friend of mine is currently making biodiesel for about $1.75 per gallon. I'm almost certain that he has not accounted for all expenses there, but nevertheless, he's doing this on a small scale (around 30 to 40 gallons per batch) and producing useful product. He's looking for algae growing systems next. I see some interesting developments in his future.

I'm not dogmatic about the totally electric car.  I want a car that does not depend upon some unobtanium such as palladium electrodes, or difficult to contain gasses such as hydrogen. Furthermore, one has to remember that the electricity itself has to come from somewhere. In most countries the majority source is from fossil fuels.

Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves whether the electric car will be less expensive and better for our planet's eco-system.

As for those who make movies, well, I have very low expectations of them actually getting their facts right, never mind the reality of the situation. Anything in movie form is pure entertainment as far as I'm concerned. 

Jake Brodsky

Bunter
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Platinum
A perspective on battery development.
Bunter   4/24/2012 10:30:41 AM
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Haven't seen the movie but "Who Killed..etc" was amazingly naive.

One thing that is rarely noted is that electrical storage is a very mature industry/science.  200 years of widespread, intense investigation has gone into this and I'm a bit skeptical that we will see a revolutionary breakthrough overnight.  Could happen-but betting on it would be poor policy.

I've noticed that when discussing the current EVs many talk about "when their prices come down".  But come down to what?  The retail prices are a money losing fiction-which is OK.  Progress costs at first.

However Toyota, the car company with the greatest experience in advanced automotive batteries in commercially viable, profitable applications put the cost of batteries at $500/mile of travel on electrical power.

Let's apply that to the Volt.  $500/mi X 40mi range=$20,000. Build a car around that with an auxiliary powertrain and you can easily have another $20k.

I don't think GM picked the retail price out of the air-$40k is probably the likely price for the car at significant commercial volumes.

My conclusion: Don't expect huge volumes for EVs anytime soon-they will be too expensive for quite some time.

Just some thoughts.

Enjoy.

Dennis

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