Depreciation does not factor into cost of ownership much if you own a car for 150k-200k miles. Times have changed. 100k now is considered a relatively new car. Any car can go 200k miles without much issue as long as is maintained. And assuming you don't buy any Cadillac, Chrysler or other clunkers that have multiple black spots on consumer report.
It makes no sense to keep a car for only 5 years 50k. Only reason to do that is to keep up with the jones. And if that is what you want to do, money is not an issue to you anyway.
Gas at $4.5/gal, between a 30mpg and 45mpg car over 200k would be 10k. Prius cost $25k. You effectively get the car for $15k over its life.
The unit discussed below operates on SLCNBF, stimulated liquid contained nano buble fusion princiable.
This WELL TESTED system being prepaired for market is called ****-*****. The system uses doped pure wated contained within a circulating vesel that generates and sustains power after being started. The power is AC & DC controlled and with selectable voltage values, (normally 220 VDC) and (220 VAC @ a lower crrrent). Engergy used to driver a 500kw to 2.5 Mega watt unit is 14,500 watts. Initial TBO is 5 to 6 years continous at below 50 deg.C operating temp. Cold Start to full load is 3 minutes. Design rebuild is 25 years. Total fuelload cost $10,000 dollars (at overhaul). Power selling price is 0.1 cent / kwh and the unit is modular and scaleable. NO EMISSIONS OR WASTE IS GENERATED ...PERIOD.
This is only one type of unit soon to hit the market and there are many more to come. Not only is this design affordable but it can eliminate the Grid mess built over past years. Peeking will in the future be local.
Yes, insurance is expensive, but nowhere close to the most costly expense of a vehicle. Recently, in consideration of purchasing a new car, I collected data on the ownership and operating costs of various vehicles, mostly compacts and midsize cars. The following table shows the average costs per category (on a % basis) for about 20 cars, 2010 and 2011 models. Assumptions: buy a new car, drive 10K miles/yr, and sell after 5 yrs. Also shown is that of a 2010 Prius for comparison.
Taxes & Fees
So while insurance is expensive, on average, it's about half that of depreciation and fuel. Also, compared to a 2010 Corolla LE, the cost of the 2010 Prius is $5600 (or 20%) more, so even the mature technology of the 2010 Prius is no match, economically, to a Corolla of the same year. The Prius is better on fuel, but more than makes up for it in depreciation and maintenance.
And, no, I don't drive an old clunker. My 09 economy car gets about 30mpg at around 75 mph. At 55, it would probably get mid to high 30's, a 20% improvement.
Obama is increasing the tax credit to $10k. (I'm not sure this applies to the Volt but I'm assuming it does.) I expect what we'll see is a move soon to Gen 2 of the Volt. It's got to come down in price a bit to be saleable. GM can't pull the plug on this technology, not in the wake of the bailout. The prob is, they've raised unrealistic sales expectations. So now they've got to split the difference: manage downward the expectations, while pushing the car forward so they can actually sell more. Maybe corporate fleets, like the sale to GE, is the way to go?
I agree with almost everything you have said. At the core of the issue is economics. Once all the hype and distortions are stripped away, what matters is that the free market deems the product worth the price paid.
If one looks at the following Wikipedia page, about halfway down in OPERATING COSTS, see comparisons of the LEAF, the VOLT and the PRIUS. Some simple calcualtions (using the reasonable assumptions therein), you'll see that to BREAK EVEN economically by buying a VOLT (used in EV mode only) vs. a PRIUS (assuming MSRP was paid for both vehicles) - it will take 350,000 miles before the VOLT breaks even with the PRIUS!!!
If the VOLT is also run in GAS mode (which is going to be a common occurance with most users) - the numbers look worse, of course. To add insult to injury - GM requires the VOLT to use 91 octane fuel, adding about 20 cents/gal for no good reason.
Also, to Blogger ARCHITECT - you said "The conversation for the electric powered vehicle is well in place now and it's ultimate success is inevitable." I say - that the "ultimate success" is not much more"inevitable" now than it was in the 1920's (the first EV "bubble".). See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_electric_vehicle
In regards to getting off of fossil fuels - I agree that this urgently needs to be a top national priority, and getting off of foreign oil being the most urgent sub-issue. My studies have led me to have a different opinion on the best way to get there vs. most of the hype we are now hearing about EV's.
While EV's indeed get us off of oil, they primarily just shift our energy needs to Coal and Natural Gas and would over-tax the grid if mass-adopted. In short - with today's power grid, EV's are not really a very good solution. A more practical, phased strategy would be to convert our native COAL resources to gasoline as a stopgap (a known, economic process invented by the Germans in WWII that China, India and others are already doing to supply their fuel needs). Burn it directly in the cars, and continue improving the efficiency of cars, as hybrid technology does. Again...this is only a STOPGAP measure.
Then, when technologically possible replace this Coal-Based syn fuel with a renewable solar-synthesized fuel (either a biofuel or direct solar synthesized). This plan would allow us to transition first off of oil, then off of all fossil fuels - while not having to change to EV's (with their massive costs and user trade-offs) or rebuild the entire power grid.
The only thing that would dramatically change my view on this is if some kind of wonderful power generation technology breakthrough (fusion?) dramatically changed the landscape of how the power grid is fed. Then EV's would probably be a logical choice to leverage this breakthrough. Even then, it might be more practical to use the power to make a synthetic liquid or gas fuel for cars, to avoid the other convenience trade-offs that EV's have.
Just my 2c worth...but I've spent a lifetime researching all aspects of this stuff.
Personally I have been thinking it Gas gets over $6/gal the Tesla begins to look attractive. I can install about 4KW of Solar on my house and charge the car using solar. Plus sell back excess electricity to the grid. I have been looking at solar for awhile now and it have just about reached the price point that make is effective for me. Of course VW is supposed to come out with their diesel hybrid next year and currently rate it at about 126 mpg. So it is a cost effective alternative as well.
As someone said, the economics are not there yet. Many proponents spout outrageous MPG numbers while ignoring all the other operating and ownership costs. Vehicle costs can generally be put into two categories. Per mile costs, and per year costs. I don't really care what goes into these costs, whether it's electricity or fuel, oil or batteries, but any new technology is going to have to be competitive in these two expense areas, and the Volt isn't. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that none of the current hybrid vehicles (even the Prius) are cheaper over the lifetime of the vehicle, than their ICE counterparts. MPG is only one aspect of the lifetime cost of a vehicle. For the economics to be there for EV's or hybrids, battery prices are going to have to drop dramatically, and ICE operating costs are going to have to increase dramatically.
If we as a country are really serious about reducing our demands on foreign oil, we are going to have to accept that there are no magic technology bullets out there sufficient to do it. We are going to have to make sacrifices. As a "car guy", it pains me to say it, but we would need to bring back the 55 MPH speed limit, and we would need to start buying smaller cars. Nothing else will reduce fuel consumption as much. Technology magic bullets can only go so far. There's no way around the fact that it takes a lot of energy (whatever the source) to accelerate a 4000lb vehicle to highway speeds. It's just physics.
For those who decry government investments in the development of the Volt, keep in mind that gasoline is already heavily subsidized. So for ICE vehicles, the government is already continually investing for every mile you drive. As for letting "the free market decide on what's best in terms of energy usage"... great idea! If you REALLY want new technology, and public support for it, just allow gas prices to naturally attain their non-subsidized levels. When gas hits $10/gal, you'll see ALL kinds of support for EV's, alternative fuels, and maybe even smaller vehicles and lower speed limits.
Truthfully I believe that the Volt was not enough, when for a bit more money you can buy the all electic Tesla base model S for $49,900 you get a 160 mile range and a 8 year 100,000 mile battery warranty.
Look at the long term picture. The manufacturing will improve, costs will go down, new technology will enter the market, the market will build, and market competion will lead to lower prices. Not much changes in life if you wait long enough!
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.