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Captain Hybrid

How Much Would You Pay for an EV?

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Jim_E
User Rank
Platinum
At what cost?
Jim_E   7/17/2013 8:53:53 AM
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I'm really not sure that they could sell me an EV.  I love technology, but to pay that much for a range limited vehicle is just silly in my opinion.

I have a short commute, so I suppose I could use an EV for a commuter car, but I can't imagine it being cost effective for me to buy a dedicated vehicle just for my short commute.  Even when my commute was longer, the cost to purchase a more fuel efficient car just didn't add up for me.

I'd much rather just buy a new motorcycle!

Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Economy
Battar   7/17/2013 9:00:04 AM
Before considering buying an EV, heres another question to answer - would you be willing to give up your gas-guzzling SUV/truck/super-sized saloon and drive a conventional, 1.6 liter, 100hp Fiat 500 or Ford Focus ? If your asnwer is "no", despite the obvious savings in fuel, then you are not ready for the EV market. EU residents who drive smaller, fuel efficient cars on a regular basis and would not be seen dead in a Ford F350 are exempt from answering.

Zippy
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Incentives a trap
Zippy   7/17/2013 9:04:26 AM
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Jerry, you are on the vanguard of the economics-driven argument, and Elizabeth is on the vanguard of the environmental one.  Transportation in the US is a complex problem of economic, social, and environmental issues largely driven by the infrastructure built up over time to support it.  Recall that it was 1999 when Honda introduced the first US hybrid, the Insight.  That provoked all kinds of discussions about how impractical it was, and how hybrids would never be a viable alternative to IC cars.  Now we have moved past hybrids, and the same discussion is happening around EVs.  People can have difficulty seeing how the future can be different from the present sometimes, but I think the forces at work are all going in your direction.  Time will tell.

bpenfold
User Rank
Gold
iMiev
bpenfold   7/17/2013 9:24:33 AM
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"If the prices were comparable with those for gasoline-based vehicles, would you make the jump? "

Oh yea. And I did. And I wasn't planning on it. No more oil changes, catalytic converters, spark plugs, motor starters, maintenance schedules, etc.,
I went with the Mitsibushi iMiev. It's $30K. Until July 31st they're knocking off $10K (so it's $20K). And then the Feds give you a $7500 tax credit. That puts it at the cheap gas car price. From plug to wheels I consume about 250W/mile on average. So this electric car is way cheaper to drive than gas. I get about 75 miles/charge in the summer. I do have a Prius for those cross-country trips. I'm ending up putting more miles per month on my iMiev anyway. It also helped that Mitsubishi offers a 100,000 mile battery warranty. Driving all electric is extremely addictive.

BTW, I'm not a green lover. I just love the cost savings and never stopping at a gas station again. People may be surprised how their commuter car collects more miles than their cross-country cars.

JoeS2
User Rank
Iron
Re: At what cost?
JoeS2   7/17/2013 9:27:29 AM
This article mentioned the Volt, which does not suffer from the "limited range" problem.  It can use gasoline to drive a generator, and it uses that electricity to maintain battery charge.  

I really considered a Volt.  I wanted a Volt.  Whan the time came to buy a car, the Chevy Cruze was half the price of a Volt: about 19K instead of 38K.  So, based on personal experience, I can say that an extra $19,000 dollars was too much.

if the Volt had been $25K I would almost certainly have bought a Volt instead of a Cruze. $28K?  Still possibliy, would have to discuss it with my wife. Higher than $30K? extra cost over $10,000 to get a car with one less seat (due to the battery hump)?  Too much.

So the lower price with incentives, now bring it into possibly acceptable price range. 

gafisher
User Rank
Gold
Start by taking "EV" out of the equation ...
gafisher   7/17/2013 9:39:16 AM
Fiat's got what may be the most revealing plan -- buy one of their EVs and get up to twelve days' use of a real car.  The bottom line has to be, would you buy a car offering similar performance if it were NOT an EV?

Both the economic and the environmental arguments break down under even slight examination.  Environmentally, the electricity which powers an EV doesn't come out of thin air; unless your power comes from a nuclear or solar plant*, every mile you drive creates air and water pollution somewhere.  There's a reason EV's are called "Coal-Powered Cars."  The economic arguments fall flat as new tax schemes such as "Well-To-Wheel" (WTW) and EV Road Taxes come on line, removing any cost savings expected from abandoning gasoline.  Tax subsidies -- A.K.A. "making your neighbors help pay for your car" -- have been attractive to those who don't mind looting the public treasury, but those programs are (thankfully!) winding down.

So the real question is: would you accept the inconvenience, miniscule range, and discomfort of that car if it weren't an EV?  If so, great!  Buy it -- it's your right -- but please be sure to turn down any government incentives if you have a shred of honor.  And if not, well, that's great too: you'll be amazed at how good some of today's cars are, including many of the hybrids.

 


* Even if you have access to "clean" solar energy, the production of those solar cells is poisoning soil, water and air in China and elsewhere, and nuclear shares some of those problems.  Wind is a dead end with its own severe environmental problems.

gafisher
User Rank
Gold
Re: At what cost?
gafisher   7/17/2013 9:42:30 AM
Despite efforts by both GM and the government to deny it, the Volt is a Hybrid, not an EV.  Having driven both, I'd take a Prius over a Volt any day of the week.

Contrarian
User Rank
Gold
I would pay what it's worth to me
Contrarian   7/17/2013 9:45:13 AM
Mr. Dycus and I are on the same page with regards to these riduculously heavy, overly complex and commensurately expensive EV's that are being offered by the major players.  Possibly it is because nearly everything these manufacturers offer is overly complex and commensurately expensive - that's all they know how to build, or at least they believe that's all they can offer and make a worthwhile profit on.  They're building to the market and it's probably a fair statement that if they offered a spartan EV with bench seats, crank windows and no A/C it would be a colossal flop irrespective of fuel type.

I have a battery EV and when you have an EV, you don't need a second car - it *is* the second car.  In that role, it's actually very useful and in some cases fun and convenient.  Because you know you're not going on a cross country trip in it, the range issue is nearly irrelvant.  You fuel it at home, and it's always 100% ready to go when you leave.  Plugging it in to charge for the night is no different than topping off your cell phone.  In my mind an EV as a second car can be every bit as functional as its' ICE counterpart.  But that's about as good as it gets, meaning if equivalent is the best it can do, then for sure it should not cost any more either.  Otherwise, where's the value?  Saving the planet?  Not for most people.  If you're driving *any* kind of car thinking it's "green", you're somewhere in the range between ignorant and idiot.

Unless you have very limited driving requirements a contemporary EV will only be good as a second car.  As such, that's all it's ever going to be worth.  Not hard to justify a nominal expense on such a vehicle, as this expense would happen irrespective of the vehicle fuel source.  It would be safe to say not many people would want to spend more on a second car as they do their primary/trip car.  As it stands today, that pricing is upside down.  From my perspective as a long time EV owner there's no way in hell I'd spend upwards of a mortgage payment on a car I only drive to work and back in, and do errands on weekends.  Deduct for the range limit and guaranteed eventual pack replacement/devaluation and in my mind that price point must be put under that of a similarly featured ICE vehicle.  I'm here to tell you that after the novelty of charging your car instead of putting gas in it wears off, the cost to own and operate it will still be there. 

I can't afford a "luxury" EV anymore than a "luxury" ICE.  But I can afford a "working man's" ICE.  There are no "working man's" EV's.  Until that happens, no factory built EV's for me.

 

kf2qd
User Rank
Platinum
They are still a dumb purchase...
kf2qd   7/17/2013 9:50:41 AM
I think the current EVs are still rather stupid cars for the average person. And the idea that I have to pay a subsidy for a car I can't even afford in the first place. Just like the Cash for Clunkers, I am paying a subsidy so people who can already afford the car are getting 7500 off the price.

Once again the market is telling us athere is a problem with these vehicles as a vehicle for everyone, and we try to deny this by fiddling with the marketplace to help people who can already afford the car to buy it.

Most electric vehicles won't get people to work and home in 1 charge. So should every employer be forced to add to their cost bey putting charging station in every parking space? Another tax on employers?

Same problem exists now that existed with the GM electric car - "Who Killed the Electric Car?" They are practical only under a very narrow set of constraints, and not many people live lives that fit within those constraints.

Tesla - WOW! $80 battery swap to go another 150 miles. I can go 480 miles for the same cost now. Where's the benefit? Or should we just run the cost of gasoline up so it forces people to buy a car they can't afford? Engineers and suchare in the upper middle class *or at least some of us are) and these cost numbers might not look all that bad. But there are a lot of people that are making way less and these prices are absurd.

 

KenL
User Rank
Gold
EVs to save the planet?
KenL   7/17/2013 11:01:34 AM
NO RATINGS
Anyone who still thinks that EVs are good for the environment long term should read this article:

"Unclean at Any Speed - Electric cars don't solve the automobile's environmental problems"  http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/unclean-at-any-speed

Over their life cycle, EVs are no better for the environment. 

Part of the cost savings over gas is that electricity does not include road use taxes. 

Take away the subsidies (from other people's money) and add in the equivalent road use taxes, and see if the EV can still be made competitive with an IC car.

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