If COST per MILE traveled DOES NOT MATTER then you can get GREAT MPGe.
Same objections made against EV's can be made against LOTUS, FERRARI, BUGATTI, MASERATI, MAYBACH, SALEEN, etc. and hundreds of other rather expenisive cars that are seldom driven and make no business sense to be manufactured in the first place, they are generally non profitable, etc. etc.
Pure EV's are not the answer for anything other than the urban driver. Diesel and natural gas are the answer. The right is against diesel because it reduces gallons sold by about 20% vs gasoline. Natural gas is good for the republican right/big oil because it will increase demand for NG which has very depressed prices right now. Unfortunately the left/bunny huggers are against NG because it's a fossil fuel therefore it's bad.
I totally agree with the oil company conspiracy theory. I also believe in the government conspiracy theory as well. Too much money is made on fuel tax. Until there are more mileage taxes or other ways to extract money from the EV driver the government would much rather you bought more gasoline.
I think there is utility company conspiracy as well. They simply don't have the capacity to run a 30A 220V charger all night in a fraction of the homes in America. This goes back to the "use 3% less" and "buy energy star" type campaigns. Under the guise of environmental stewardship it's a thinly veiled ploy to reduce to electricity consumption to offset infrastructure repairs. It also makes for higher effective power rates since if I use less my per kw-h cost goes down but the 'basic service charge' and 'billing' fee and so forth stay the same. Widespread EV usage would increase kw-h consumption likely requiring billions in infrastructure.
So, in summary, why wouldn't there be a conspiracy against EVs when EVs are a detriment to the profitability of big oil and big utilities, and to federal state and local excise tax receipts?
Good points, JRoque. I think people have been expecting the EV world to develop the way the computer world developed. You give it a little push, consumers start buying, technology brings down the price, and we're off. Doesn't work that way with EVs.
I agree that it would take decades to come up with a universal battery pack. We are actually lucky that store bought batteries (A, AA, C etc.) are relatively standard sizes. The power tool industry has been making battery powered tools for many years and I do not know of any that use a standard pack.
@tluxon: I agree with your statement "I can appreciate that electricity is currently little cleaner than burning coal or gas, but I like that it's a platform that can accommodate numerous and future power generating technologies".
However....let's talk about timeframe for those FUTURE power generation technologies. Barring some unexpected huge breakthrough, it will be MANY DECADES, perhaps 50-100 years for the power grid to significantly shift away from fossil fuel (Coal + NG). You and I will probably be long gone, and any EV you buy today will also be gone by the time it might be a good match. So...while I concede that EV's may some day be viable, not only does the battery technology need to be cheaper / better by a huge factor - the power grid needs to be driven by primarily renewables to make EV's have much benefit. I'll send a time capsule to my (future) grandkids...EV's might make sense for them! For now, they are a novelty, a distraction, and not the best investment to get the nation off of fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions.
@Chris: You make a good point, but please don't assume I don't understand time-of-use electricity pricing. The utilities that I'm aware of only extend this benefit to businesses (not individuals)...and during summer months the off-peak (night) pricing can be ~25+% discounted. So I concede that EV's do indeed help with load-levelling (assuming you only charge at night, and not at work during the day). Another even better way to level the power is to install more solar power on the grid - which will produce power that is well-aligned with typical peak requirements. Germany has done this so effectively that they have almost constant time-of-use electricity pricing. see:
So I admit that I'm being a little hard on EV's when I say that they solve "almost nothing"...but stand behind the statement that they are far, far away from being a practical mass-market solution, and I think it is wrong for the USA Govt. to use my tax dollars to subsidize EV's when this money would be better spent researching / rolling-out renewable energy on the grid to replace Coal power plants and also to create a renewable replacement fuel to gasoline (not corn-based ethanol...but something that actually makes renewable sense).
Hi. There are some Eng. costs for sure. I calculated $5K to include some misc parts and labor. Perhaps that's a tad low but EEs at Nissan don't get paid by the amount of their effort or how creative they need to be.
How come the Versa didn't cost more on year 1 when it was first brought out? They surely had some EE Dev costs. But since that's the nature of business, they ate those costs in hopes to sell more cars and make up for the initial loss.
But for the Leaf, no, we the taxpayer are on the hook for their R&D costs so we pay them $7,500 per car. Why?
I don't remember paying anything more to go watch the movie Avatar, which cost millions to make and had extraordinary production technologies. I paid the same to watch the three stooges... go figure.
Yeah, I get that - but who's already decided that consumers wouldn't pay another $10k to double their range? Nobody asked me, and I know a lot of people who think the way I do on this subject and none of them have been asked, either.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
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