The bummer about the `conspiracy" chatter is that it takes away from some of the real progress and milestones that have made with EV technology. Sure, it's entertaining and a great way to get out frustrations at an industry that can't seem to solve what on the surface appears to be a pretty solvable problem. I agree with your statement, Chuck, that with all of the attention and focus on trying to crack the EV battery nut, some researcher, some where would have broken the code and `fessed up if there really was some magic bullet locked up somewhere.
Beth, it is distracting, isn't it. While the technology advances, it has been a slow advance. You have to wonder. Where are the hybrid battery/ultracapicator systems. The research done to date has been very uninspiring, in spite of all the hype. Energy storage is the most pressing national engineering/scientific problem we have today. Without it, wind and solar and host of other technologies remain too costly to survive without government subsidies. I don't think this is a conspiracy, but I do have to wonder about the way government prioroties are set.
The high price of electric, and hybrid, cars reflects the sales expectations as well as the cost of the components. Any complex product, like an automobile, has lots of fixed costs. A typical auto plant costs $1B or more to set up. That cost is amortized over the number of vehichles the manufacturer expects to sell and is used to set the price. The low utility of EVs limits their market. Thus, the cost is going to be high.
I remember the story of how Chrysler asked drivers what they wanted = small fuel efficient cars. What drivers bought were muscle cars = Mustangs, Camaro's etc. So Chrysler had to come out with the Charger and Challenger.
I think the Toyota Prius is now in its third generation in the U.S. When I first seriously considered the Prius, they all had high-end stereo's, Nav systems etc. And high prices to match. When models became available without all the 'bells and whistles', my wife bought one. My Aspen hybrid has all the 'bells and whistles'. The reviews that I have read postulate that Chrysler made a concious decision to build a high-end vehicle to cushion the hybid price shock.
If Toyota is targeting consumers that want a high-end, fully equipped vehicle, then that is their marketing strategy. And the standard logic is there is a lot of profit in high-end options. After Toyota sees what their market penetration is with these 'pricey' Rav-4's, they may bring out a less expensive version.
The simplest explanation is always the right one. Conspiraciy theories are just too complicated NASA didn't land spacecraft on the moon, there are aliens living in area 51, WTC fell down all by itself etc... and the only people who really know the truth are - lets just say you wouldn't invite them to dinner. Seriously, though, if I increase the energy density of a battery X2 or X4 then first of all I'd apply the technology to smaller products, like smartphones or flashlights, first, and more important for EV's, I'd have to increase the energy supply to the charger, (else charge time would be 24 hours or range would remain limited but with smaller batteries), and I'd soon reach the level marked "impractical".
Although I wasn't alive yet, I understand that when color televisions first came out, they were quite expensive -- well beyond the reach of the average family. Now, most people under 40 have never even seen a black and white tv. (My family had a black and white tv until the 1984 Olympics, but by that point, we were probably the last family in Chicago without a color tv). In fact, many new technologies debut as luxury goods before they make it into the mass market. Unless there was a conspiracy to suppress color tv, I strongly doubt that there is a conspiracy to suppress electric cars.
No, I don't believe there are black helicopters chasing us on this one, but the auto industry does carry some baggage on the issue. Don't forget that they did buy up the light rail lines in a few cities and make them obsolete so we'd all be forced to use their product.
I love a good conspiracy theory. They're better than anything on tv but Beth is right. It's a distraction.
As naperlou said, there is a lot of investment in the beginning for new cars. I think most manufacturers are trying to get a rapid return on investment. EVs may have to exist and evolve at a loss for years before things take off-kinda like hybrid cars.
I agree, the auto industry does have some baggage. They've fought CAFE tooth-and-nail since its inception, so I understand those who don't trust them. But here, a conspiracy isn't necessary. The battery just isn't ready yet. When it does arrive, the national labs and universities will know about it, and no conspiracy will stop it.
the economic origin of any consumer goods begans with a proper economic justification, because of the great costs of making the first car. Plugincars.com exposes the reality of americas lack of interest in going into the very expensive battery business, the calculation isn't too coplicated, you spend a little in energy for a hugh amount of money up front, and when you put in the miles and cost of gas, as opposed to the end value of yer car and the new cost of a battery which will be worth far more than the car, many people can see through the elon musk, barry soretoe claims to fame---its not happening---The criminal IPO's on the NYSE, are not new first the EV's, then FarceBuck, all for the unwary investor.
electric power is economocally justified in many items its all according to scale, or ebergy required. the laptop batteries heat up expand the teslas creep along too slow for the free way, or blvds, perhaps sometime in the future we will discover the right benerator frequency, amplitudes, energy source, it may not be a battery at all, but the evs are simply not passing the economical justification test to justify their continuation short of continued fraud
A half century ago, cars were still built by people, not robots. Even on some of the country’s longest assembly lines, human workers installed windows, doors, hoods, engines, windshields, and batteries, with no robotic aid.
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