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'EV Triumph' Needs More Perspective, Less Hype

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diskguy
User Rank
Silver
Re: I'm one of the nay-sayers
diskguy   1/11/2013 1:52:36 PM
NO RATINGS
I wish the cost of electricity was just the energy cost. My PG&E electric cost ranges from $0.04 to $0.54 based on the amount I use and the time of day, and results in an average cost of $0.18 for 800KWHr. The natural gas energy cost to make a KWHr is around $0.03 so balancing on energy cost alone doesn't reflect what the consumer pays from the pocket. Why electricity has to cost 5x to 10x of what the energy cost is complicated but when you remove the higher tiers of "time of use" electricity by using solar PV then the cost analysis changes. 

There have been disruptive technologies, the first one I remember was the HP35 calculator. It was costly to be an early adopter.  Then CDs for music, took way too long. Now will EV and PV solar be disruptive?  I don't think they are disruptive, but they do offer another path, or choice. And in some cases they work very well. But there will always be choices and using a slide rule or listening to vinyl is a preference but no longer the mainstream.  I'm looking forward to a true 'auto' mobile, one that drives itself, charges itself so I can do something besides dealing with traffic!  

melllowfelllow
User Rank
Gold
Thanks, Captain
melllowfelllow   1/11/2013 1:38:56 PM
Happy 2013!

One of the things that I love about the technical media is that there is usually a presentation and discussion of opinion using some form of rational logic [unlike the ancient media].  This does not, however, apply to the discussions about EVs.  For some reason, these discussions bring out the busy bodies, conspiracy theorists, purveyors of false logic, and much more.

Most of us have seen new product successes and failures. There have also been products that were clearly beneficial and advantageous but were extremely slow to be adopted.  A simple improvement, synthetic motor oil, was used in WWII, common in aircraft in the 1950s, available to consumers in the 1960s, and marketed by the conspiracy laden oil companies in the 1970s.  Synthetic oil required no major thought, paradigm shift, or infrastructure change - yet it was slow to be adopted as opposed to the iPhone.  The lesson here is that no matter how good a product might be or how beneficial it might be, it will not be adopted until folks WANT it.  Folks may want it for whimsical reasons [like a pet rock or a new ring tone] or they may want it for logical reasons [like a 'life alert' necklace] - but they still need to want it.

Oil company conspiracy theorists, 'stupid consumer' theorists, et al, should focus their energy on doing something that actually promotes the cause instead of feeling better by claiming that the boogey man is blocking EV acceptance.

The financial justification crew might as well hang it up.  Do you know how many automobiles [homes, TVs, smart phones, video games, etc.] are purchased using real financial logic??  Remember that SUV sales were at an all time high when lower cost alternatives were available - folks buy what they WANT to buy, often even when they cannot afford it.

BTW, I love EVs - especially when they are built to make gobs of torque.

6lz

CharlesM
User Rank
Silver
Re: EV's - You can't show me the money
CharlesM   1/11/2013 1:19:21 PM
I wasn't saying the total cradle to grave ownership costs yet favor EVs over ICEs; I stated otherwise that hasn't happened yet. But it will happen. Yes, your Marquis is a good choice for low overall ownership costs, but it's been discontinued. Most serious EVs (not Coda, Fisker, etc.) and plug-in hybrids are increasing in sales and popularity.

It's true we don't have much EV reliability data over many years, but any automotive engineer would confirm that there should be a lot more reliability inherent in an EV. I've not had to open the hood of my LEAF even once in 20,000 miles.

I also wasn't saying the Tesla S is affordable for most people. Just that it's practical at its price point, and both cheaper and higher performance than many highly coveted ICE cars that no one questions on viability in the marketplace.

Finally, if you think your Marquis is more powerful than a Tesla S, I hope you don't confuse that with performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvHTN0Yi1t4

eafpres
User Rank
Gold
Re: Perspective indeed
eafpres   1/11/2013 1:01:02 PM
@Elizabeth--Realism is good!!  There are comments here about needing government influence to get to the right end point.  I don't disagree, but there is a big question of when to start applying influence.  Perhaps it is too early to be picking winners and losers?  As another reader said, the world is nonlinear and constantly changing.  20 years ago we were racing to build LNG receiving ports in the Gulf so we could buy more natural gas.  Now, it looks like we will have a surplus and they are re-engineering the ports for export!!  I bring this up becuase a NG-hybrid of some design would be better than a gasoline-hybrid and better than a pure EV for the foreseeable future.  The problem is really infrastructure; it isn't too hard to optimize today's combustion engine technologies for NG, but there are very few places you can refuel.  Does that sound familiar?  So, some are racing to put charging stations in.  Initially they might be free, or government subsidized, but quickly will become pay, and guess what, that changes the equation even more.  So why aren't we racing to build NG refueling stations too?

I lay all this out not to promote a technological path, but to point out that any treatment that looks at one option and tries to paint it in the best light is intentionally misleading.  So keep asking for realistic reviews!  Thanks.

CharlesM
User Rank
Silver
Re: EV discussion that never ends - but consumers do not buy
CharlesM   1/11/2013 12:42:12 PM
NO RATINGS
CODA is almost out of business, Aptera gone, Bright atutomotive gone, Azure Dynamics gone, Fisker running out of money and their battery supplier A123 bankrupt, Think gone, Wheego ???

Did you ever buy a Computer Shopper only about 15 years ago? If you did you would have noticed how many PC companies there used to be--between dozens and thousands, depending on how they were counted. Now it's basically down to Dell and HP and they are both struggling to survive. Using your logic, personal computers were a passing fancy and will never take hold.

Your entire comment is utter nonsense.

gbergman
User Rank
Silver
Re: Perspective indeed
gbergman   1/11/2013 12:35:17 PM
akwaman, passing most motorist is easy, I do it all the time in my 48HP 1969 VW.  because you can pass motorists all the time does not mean the prius is not underpowered.  I'll take my 48HP Bug aginst your prius any day.  Please stay to the right where you belong.

akwaman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Perspective indeed
akwaman   1/11/2013 12:26:55 PM
Not really sure if Weldon has ever really driven a Prius.  I have absolutely no problem passing anyone in my Prius (even full of adults).  Underpower comments like this show that the writer has not really done the research they claim.

MIROX
User Rank
Platinum
Re: EV's - You can't show me the money
MIROX   1/11/2013 12:25:54 PM
Contrarian

I absolutely second your opinion based on real life experinece

 

EV costs more money per mile of use than EV with equal vehicle  size and equipment,

But that said I still drive OKA NEV for in town short drives in Burbank, CA and Las Vegas, NV.

When CHARGE POINT charging was FREE, it was "almost" economical, now they want $2.00 per hour, with the 2kW I can put in in that time that costs more to drive than a HUMMER at 7 MPG !!!

So no more public charging for me, and thus no trips that are more than 16 to 20 miles round trip from home.

PS: I have one OKA in CA and two in NV

http://www.okaauto.com/2013_OKA_NEV_ZEV.htm

Battery replacement costs add up to about 18 cents per mile, idential car with 2 cylinder gasoline engine gets 42 to 45 MPG in city so even at $4.00 per Gallon in CA that is at most 10 cents per mile !!!

FREE incentives, like registration cost for annual "tag" and FREE parking for EV in California are also now 100% Gone.

MIROX
User Rank
Platinum
EV discussion that never ends - but consumers do not buy
MIROX   1/11/2013 12:15:03 PM
Looks like every few weeks there is an article about this or that EV future, a future that since it;s announced hype in 2008/2009 has never happened !

 

And never will.

 

It is as simple as this, in PURE cost per mile driven or per hour of operation EV costs MORE to operate than conventional internal combustion engine.

Electric power is ONLY practical if you can have any equipment plugged in ALL THE TIME, that is why electric trains or Troley Busses are both viable and cost effective.

 

But once you include a battery that if Lead Acid you need 900 lbs of the lead to equate the energy storage that is in one Gallon of Gasoline, and where you haul all this weight with you at all times, the cost equation is almost EVEN.

 

But all EV proponents forget one seriosu thing, every batttery has limited useful lifetime, people with Golf Cars know this, and people with NISSAN LEAF are just finding out, while BMW with their EV Mini experiment already knows it.

Once you add the cost of battery to the cost per mile equation, the EV becomes a luxury - that is why BMW leased them at $800 per month, for which you can have a 7 series, with no "range anxiety" attached.

 

CODA is almost out of business, Aptera gone, Bright atutomotive gone, Azure Dynamics gone, Fisker running out of money and their battery supplier A123 bankrupt, Think gone, Wheego ???

The only few companies that are not 100% dependent on EV will survive the financial blow (like NISSAN) - but other will become extinct by 2020 if not much sooner like in 2013....

 

Remember the 2 billion California Hydrogen Highway Hyper of 10 years ago ?

 

Remember the almost as expensive Electric Chargers in California from 20 years ago ?  The signs on highways have not yet all been removed, but the chargers are long gone or inoperative.

 

Other than Golf Cars and NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles) there is no future for EV in USA !

 

www.okaauto.com

www.acgcars.com

 

Hey the prediction is that in 2016 in USA people will buy 45,000 or more electric golf carts - WOW

Even the total sales of TATA NANO (not electric) in India are less than that !!!

 

 

 

ecolamp
User Rank
Silver
Re: Wishing won't do it ! Commitment will
ecolamp   1/11/2013 11:59:29 AM
NO RATINGS
By the way did you know that all those push-on wire terminals in an automobile surrounding an ICE were developed by AMP inc. of harrisburg PA under government contract !

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