I live within a major metro area, and drive a vehicle that drops from its highway 24MPG down to 16MPG in stop-and-go driving, the only kind I do most weeks I'd love an EV. I always know ahead of time if there's any chance I'll drive 80 miles in a day (it's rare), or even 40. A pure-electric car with 80 mile range would be perfect for me, 150 would be dragging around a heavier battery than I have any use for most of the time. My two kids and a spouse could also use an 80-mile range, as they all work and live near downtown. It couldn't be our only car, but it could be our daily-driver.
OTOH, if I forgot to charge the battery, it is possible that I'd get in the car and not have enough charge to use it that day. Would it be worth paying the money and mass for a bigger battery to dodge that problem? To prevent forgetting, I'd probably build a simple alarm that went off if the car entered the garage and wasn't plugged in within a short period of time, or if I could unobtrusively measure charge, sent me an email and text message if the car was in the garage and the charge was below some threshold (easy these days, with WiFi-capable Linux computers costing under $50).
It would be nice to have an inductive charger on the garage floor so you didn't have to plug it in. That'll come, but there'll be an energy loss associated with it (eddy losses), so it's not necessarily free. But if it's only a few percent, it might be worth the cost.
The one type of vehicle that uses a very small fuel tank is the serious high power dragster, but they usually load about 5 gallons, and burn half of it while starting and staging, and most of the rest during the quarter mile run. Of course, we are talking about an engine that may be delivering over 2000 horsepower and running so very rich that the exhaust is still burning for a few feet out of the pipes. But they don't carry much more fuel than they need. Of course, thier mileage works out to less than 0.125 miles per gallon. Not economy commuter cars.
Not a single company MUST be compliant in California, they have more than few options, like BUY ZEV credits (Honda bought them from TESLA) pay "fines" of $5,000 per missing each mandated credit (BMW, Daimler do just that) or sell NEV's at 0.3 credits for each (Ford and Chrysler used to do that).
So selling FIAT 500e at reported $16,000 loss per vehicle is just plain crazy, so either the Chrysler bean counters are not able to add things up, or Mr. Marchionne just plain puts out "false" information, or ???
Companies like ZAP, Wheego, Aptera, CODA, Miles, etc. are already out of business thrying to EV the world - Detroit Electric, Fisker, and even TESLA are doomed as they can never be profitable.
TESLA of course is great stock gamble achievemet, but all pyramid chema games eventually collapse, as current stock holders will run out of people willing to pay MORE for the stock that pays ZERO dividend for company that will never be profitable.
Only VOLT and LEAF may "survive" only because the big companies can afford to support them with conventional vehicle sales.
But the $199 FIAT lease ALMOST makes a financial sense, if you do not drive much and do not have to buy gasoline then as per TESLA "accounting" it is actually a FREE ride !!!
All you have to do is to live in California to be able to get one.....
Nadine, some days ago Ann posted a slide-show featuring selected EVs and hybrids from the Paris Auto Show. These were definitely "mean rides" as my grandkids would say. Beautiful futuristic cars with style. Also, some months ago Charles had a great slide show featuring the Tesla. I think in the long run, the EVs and hybrids that do not complete style-wise will be doomed. I have to agree with you with the Chrysler Roll-out. U-G-L-Y.
Who would buy a 60 mile range car? Many if the fuel price was $.01-.02/mile. Many seniors here in Fla already drive much slower, shorter range EV's very happily at very low cost.
Interestingly the first EV I ever saw was a Fiat 600 conversion back in 64.
Sadly this EV isn't designed to succeed using overpriced, overteched EV drives, batteries when much more cost effective, lighter, more EV subcars is what we really need at $10k they could be produced for if they wanted too.
But they don't and this one is just done as a compliance vehicle, not to succeed.
Charles... this ease/safety of charging is always at the top of my list as to why the average American driver will not be going big in the near future on anything that requires a plug-in to be cost and fuel efficient.
This is the infrastructure that will take longest and be the most expensive to put in place too by my accounting.
Current PEV charging technology is not going to lead to the same quick pull into Wawa for coffee and be fully charged by the time I get to the cashier as is the case with petroleum, but it does need to become convenient... and at least a little forgiving of those 'I forgot to fill up/charge' moments (what ever that means, the tow truck gas can replaced by a small rental battery pack I guess).
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.