Funny how there is such anger at the EV. I suppose the political banter has gotten people thinking away from logic, reason, and facts. What is everyone scared of? Having more money in your pocket and cleaner air to breathe is a bad thing? Get over yourselves, the readers here are supposed to be engineers and designers. It is hard for me to believe that such educated people can have such closed minds. About the cost of EVs: I bought a Prius to replace my 6 cylinder Toyota Solara, and it actually costs me more than my Solara in payments (340.00/month vs. 350/month). In GAS MILAGE (Solara @18mpg vs. Prius @48mpg) alone, I save approximately 200.00/month. The Prius loan is $28,000, so with the extra 195.00/month I save, add that to my 410.00/month payment you get 575.00/month (depending on interest and term). My break even number is about $38,000 for an electric car to cost the same. Yes, the car costs more to buy, but far less to maintain. For those naysayers that think that EV technology is more complicated than internal combustion engines, go back to school, because EVs are way less complicated than ICEs, and cost less per year to maintain. There are no oil changes in a pure EV. There are a zillion (an industry term LOL) less parts on motors vs engines. Start thinking people... stop regurgitating political rhetoric and act like scientists and engineers, who evaluate FACTS to determine the answer.
The major point in the KARMA saga is that the car is designer's dream and engineers nightmare !
Fisker may have given it the looks that few love and few hate, and majority just do not care.
The engineering team, mostly novices, have no real clue in vehicle production much less production experience. So it is made in Finland by VALMAT
(They make PORSCHE Boxters)
GM cancelled the deal with FISKER years ago to supply the then used in SATURN Sky vehicles engines, so now Fisker has to built "generators" from left over parts themselves, they will be lucky to make few hundred of them. That is if GM really has that many parts left over in theri "obsolete, discontinued from production bin".
The OBD II system, which is legal requirement in USA from EPA and CARB has 14 defficiencies, which on that alone should have been refused Certification, till they get it working, but instead they elected to pay $4,400 FINE to California for each vehicle sold, gues they really do not expect to sell too many !!!
So not really surprise that the car just does not work and that it can be used only as a driveway decoration in Beverly Hills, just to show you are environmentally "correct" while you are out driving the 10 MPG Bentley........
Zero emissions? So you are willing to breathe from the Jetta tailpipe? Diesels have emissions - just different from gasoline engines - and very nasty (think carcinogenic), with particulates. True diesels have gotten way cleaner than in the past, but let's don't exaggerate in an engineering forum.
I'd put the number even lower, $13k to $16k. At that point people will consider pure EVs as a great second car to make the 25 mile commute to work every day while keeping the Humvee in the driveway for fun on weekends.
That the Karma "Bricked"? As a mechanic I saw a lot of vehicles brick when Detroit first came out with ECUs in the 80's. With time that has gotten better.
A high voltage event? Perhaps the driver threw it into park while it was rolling. From my experience with VFDs, a high voltage event can occur when trying to decelerate a motor too quickly. That may be a design issue or oversight or just operator error.
Government sponsorship of technology implementation? The government should be throwing money at basic research where the ability to make a profit from the research is slim to none and the research increases our understanding of science. Throwing money at a business that cannot otherwise make money is typical trillion dollar budget busting white collar welfare. At the stage where the Volt, Leaf or Fisker are, they should rise or fall on their ability to generate profit. If they can't generate profit or market share they should be left out to dry. And right now the numbes are not on the electric's side for anything but urban commuting for pure EVs and for hybrids.
The Karma, like the Volt takes the eye candy/performance/creature comfort tradeoff to range.
This technology will not be accepted until they build a car in the 20k to 25k range. The Chevy volt now lists for $48,000. As the middle class keeps dwindling, this is far out of their price range. Especially when you can buy a Diesel Jetta for 25k and get 50+ miles per gallon with zero emissions.
I agree that the current crop of EV offerings does not inspire me very much. For starters there is the unchallenged fact that they will be very hard to repair, or, more likely, impossible to service, at least the drive train. Parts that may be available will be single sourced and painfully expensive, we can be certain about that. DEaler service will be even worse than it is now, and even more expensive than it is presently.
So, given these realities, why should I be interested in owning one? And I have not even mentioned the cost and challenges of battery life and replacements.
Of course the situation will dive down the well-oiled , teflon-coated, slippery slope when the folks in our government decide that, because they are much smarter than us, current fuel driven vehicles will not be allowed. If we as a nation are fortunate, the results will be similar to the prohibition experiment, and the law would be rescinded.
The thing is that presently we have a government that believes it is much smarter than the individuals, and makes decisions based on both lobbyist input and on raw emotions. Unfortunately there is not an obvious engineering solution for that.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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