IF (note capitalization) I could afford a Rolls Royce I would buy the electric. 120 miles would exceed my daily in-town driving needs by a reasonable margin. I would, of course, have a Bentley GT for long trips. A Ford Focus electric with a 120 mile range would not do, of course, because the owner would probably not be able to afford a second car for longer excursions. The RR is a luxury car, so think luxury sized investment.
Someday, I predict, there will be electric-only zones in major cities where internal combustion engines will not be allowed. There will probably be some sort of electronic signal within that area that will prevent starting the IC engine, via a required bit of equipment built into the vehicle. When this happens, a 120 mile electric powered range may be a luxury.
One factor about electric and hybrid cars that is either concealed or quoted as some unrealistic figure is the cost per mile to recharge the batteries and the cost per mile for depreciation of the batteries.
I think we have to consider an electric car in the garage as a second car used only for in town travel. 90% of our driving is in town, and 90% of us rarely go out of town, so the electric should be everybody's second car or only car.
If youy drive 10 to 70 miles everyday then charge at home every night, that is perfect conditions for the electric battery in your car.
Who wants to fork over a 1/2 million for a car that will sit on the roadside dead if the battery runs out? No billionaire I know.
This is a prefect plug-in hybrid application. A small 10-20 kW generator would do a lot to eliminate the stranding fear, which is a distinct possibility, as who envisions the building of 10-20 kW recharging stations.
I would be very reluctant to even consider because of the probability of getting a battery that was not as good as the one exchanged.That is the fundamental flaw in any scheme of battery exchange, except for the case of owning two batteries and keeping one on charge at home, or elsewhere. Am I the only one who has received a worse exchanged item than the one I surrendered for exchange?
Of course, with an item such as an expensive RR battery pack, perhaps the record keeping and serial number registration would assure that such problems were avoided.
One other concern would be the simple mechanical concerns about changing out a battery that was that heavy. That would be a job needing something like a serious industrial robot with a quite high capacity, which would in turn add a great deal of extra cost to any "gas station" electing to perform such a service.
The term "lithium battery" covers a multitude of sins. It is true that lithium metal oxide batteries require thermal management. Lithium phosphate cells generally do not. In fact we generally avoid battery managment systems at all.
As to cost, we are running at $313 per kWh NOW in SMALL quantities - putting the 71 kWh pack at about $22,500 NOW.
The newer Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide cells have a greater density. And probably do require thermal management and are undoubtedly more expensive.
That said, the 71kWh pack in the Rolls Royce is not the largest pack in an electric vehicle. Our 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT conversion features a 76.38 kWh pack now.
I too wonder how long it would take to fill the tank. This can lead to the paranoia in regards to not having a long enough range. If I go 360 miles in my car I can stop and get gas and go another 360 miles. Until I can stop at a service station and swap out batteries for a new one I think the electric car will still have some drawbacks. If nothing else, the concept of freedom.
Remember Rob, money is no object for someone buying a $400K car so what's another $150K for a battery change every couple of years. I'm wondering if the set that can afford a Rolls Royce has any particular interest or slant towards electric vehicles or if this is just a pricey project where Rolls Royce can test the waters with its customer base.
Wow, a 1,400lb battery. My first car -- a Corvair -- weighed only slightly more than that. I also love the $35,000 to $70,000 cost for a replacement battery that will probably be needed at what, 150,000 miles?
Another question about EVs, Chuck. What happens when they run out of "gas." Are tow trucks companies equipping themselves with charge capabilities? And how long would it take to recharge a dead vehicle?
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