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User Rank
More conspiracy...
JRoque   6/19/2012 11:12:18 AM
Hello. Here's another "conspiracy theory" for your list

I can make an EV for the same or lower cost than OEMs. I can purchase a 2012 Nissan Versa - coincidentally, the same platform as the Nissan Leaf - an electric drive and battery pack for a ~80 mile range.

Nissan Versa, $11K: http://www.edmunds.com/nissan/versa/2012/options.html?sub=sedan&style=101384759
Motor/Controller: $4.5K: http://www.grassrootsev.com/motorsac.htm
Battery pack, $10k:  http://www.calibpower.com/ProductDetails.aspx?p=2&id=5
Conversion cost and misc, $5K

Total:  $30.5K

All of these are quantity 1, full retail price, including shipping charges. It obviously costs Nissan a lot less to buy one of their own Versas. It will cost them a lot less if they buy battery backs by the thousands and build their own or buy motors and controllers in bulk. I'm not even counting the cost recovery of selling the ICE components that are no longer needed (engine, muffler, gas tank, etc, etc, etc).

Nissan sells their Leaf for ~$38k. But then some magic happens.... Gov gives us $7.5K in "incentives" and won't you know it.. the Nissan Leaf price drops to $30.5k... well, isn't that special?  But no, they're not jacking up the price just because they know the Gov will cover it, no. This is just pure conspiracy theory of mine, right?

Full disclosure, I love the Nissan Leaf. I think Nissan has gone way out of their comfort zone to give us the first modern mass produced EV and they deserve credit for that. It's just their overpricing it just because they can and falsely claiming it's because the batteries are too expensive. Baloney. 

User Rank
I love conspiracy theories!
Icarus1900   6/19/2012 10:47:38 AM
I love conspiracy theories! (Especially the ones that involve thousands of people being manipulated a handful of puppetmasters)

The common theme is that some evil genious is able to silence thousands of automatons who are uniformly willing ignore their personal principles for a paycheck. The grand intelligence required to contain every single loose thread and prevent a mass defection is simply awe inspiring! To do it over decades is worthy of a new religion...

Problem: No one is that smart or that powerful. Our history is full of "smart" people who engineer their own destruction through hubris. "Little" people do not uniformly bow to paychecks and certainly not over decades. Add in the prospect of competition with other "smart" people and your conspiracy needs to be balanced on the head of a pin.

If anyone wants to understand why conspiracies fail, read Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Suess.

User Rank
Big smile.
Bunter   6/19/2012 10:26:16 AM
Charles you stinker.  I had to grin when I saw the title of this article.

Still waiting for some of the "usual suspects" to chime in.

The comments have been fun to read.


Ralphy Boy
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Proud Conspiracy Skeptic
Ralphy Boy   6/19/2012 10:10:22 AM
Funny thing, I guy I work with at the lithium battery factory that we've both been at for 15 plus years fully believed that the oil industry, and Bush in particular had been suppressing gas mileage as a way of selling more gas... and of also secreting away the real answers to competitive EVs to maintain high gas prices/sales.

Within months of Obama being sworn in, this guy out of the blue announces to me that 'how about that... there is only so much energy in a gallon of gas, and getting even a little more mileage out of it is really hard'. And he also said refering to EVs... 'I guess that this is the best they can do with battery tech without a major break through'. My guess is that he had to adjust his world view or believe that Obama was in on the scam.  

Sorry to go all political on you but I think that certain people are very susceptible to conspiracies... based on who is in the WH and this was the best example of that theory of mine that I have ever seen.

Personally, I have become more skeptical of conspiracy theories than ever. Show me. If you are just making it up, even a little and I catch you... Nice try, now go away.

As for EV prices... car companies are in business to make money. When the stars align for EVs to sell at a competitive price, and the infrastructure is there, and the demand hits a critical mass... Horsey Power will once again go the way of the buggy whip, and KWs will rule the road.


User Rank
EV Conspiracy? What about the Smart Phone Conspiracy?
jhess169   6/19/2012 10:03:53 AM
While it is obvious that big oil is supressing all the technology necessary to make an affordable, reliable, pure electric vehicle that equals current internal combustion models, I am trying to determine what shadowy entity is suppressing the technology necessary to make my smart phone work more than a half day without recharging.  

Common sense
User Rank
Re: Market research vs positioning ?
Common sense   6/19/2012 10:03:18 AM
The main problem with EVs, for now and the forseeable future, is that they are impractical.  They are basically nothing but a toy for those that can afford to have one, much like a boat, or that sunny day sportscar.  If that is your market, then you might as well price it accordingly and try to make a little bit of money on it.  An EV is a totally different aninmal than a Prius, there is no comparison.  The Prius is really nothing but a modern day Volkswagen Beetle, a small car that gets good gas milage, it is still a gas powered car.  The EV will never be practical as someone's only car until it can go as long as the driver can in a day, which means charging in about 15-30 min, and having recharging available whenever needed.  We are talking a 1000 mi range or so in a 24 hour period.  Otherwise it is just a city car, a scooter of sorts.  My kids could never afford to get one, no matter how cheap it was, just because it would be their only car, and not usable for driving more than 1 hr from home.  EVs will remain a very small niche market, doomed by economic realities.  If I were the CEO of an automoblie conpany, we would not be wasting resourses on EVs. 

User Rank
Re: There is a conspiracy
jhess169   6/19/2012 9:58:16 AM
Some of the issue is related to human behavior.  Even if you never drive more than 40 miles per day, most people will not accept having to depend on a vehicle that will only go 40 miles.  Mainstream automobiles have developed along with our perceptions and expectations of what reliable transportation should be.  They are largely self contained and self sustained systems.  You get in your car, turn the key and go.  Maybe you put gas in every couple of weeks and have some maintenance done every 6 months - but for the most part, your transportation is as reliable as the water or the electricity.

Most people will not accept having to plug in the car every night to be able to get to work the next day anymore than they would accept having to fill the gas generator every night to have electricity to run the coffee maker and toaster the next morning.

User Rank
Re: Conspiracy? What Conspiracy
jljarvis   6/19/2012 9:58:01 AM
For there to be a massive conspiracy assumes that there is massive coordination, and there is no evidence of any such thing in the free market.

On the other hand, conspiracies aside, one DOES wonder why a hybrid which is charged from a Wankel Diesel hasn't come up again.  Substantially more efficient than contemporary internal combustion engines, particularly if running at its most efficient speed. 

One other caution, lest irrational exuberance overtake you:  to contemplate the 'green-ness' of an EV, you MUST consider full life cycle costing of the battery's manufacture and disposal.  The technology may clean the air, locally, but not be as clean as one might hope.



rick oleson
User Rank
Re: Conspiracy destraction
rick oleson   6/19/2012 9:52:21 AM
Of course, it's OBVIOUSLY a conspiracy.  The 'cognoscenti' well know that research and development is free, production volumes have no effect on costs and batteries suitable for shoving a ton and a half of iron down the road for 300 miles at 70 miles an hour have been around at bargain prices for a century.

This is why the first laptop computers hit the market at $300 and iPhones only cost 5 bucks.

User Rank
Conspiracy theories are just for entertaiment
drcharlesclarke   6/19/2012 9:42:15 AM
It's basic Adam Smith economics -- they don't sell that many and they are an expensive variation on the standard model. We have got used to cheap cars because of the scale of the mass production -- that's why Fords are cheaper than Bentleys. Conspiracy theories are just for entertaiment. Diesel hybrids and hydrogen vehicles are a much better solutions anyway.

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