I am looking to retire at the end of the year in Florida so a short range (20-30 miles) EV is not a bad choice. But needs to get up to 45 mph or more to not be a hazard. A golf cart is not a choice where I live due to speed limits and legal restrictions. I could probably live with lead acid batteries, even. I thought there were vehicles available for $20K before the big automakers started offering full range $40K models. I already bought an electric bike but there would be times that would not be convenient or safe. Really like the idea of a hybrid and wi buy one for our main car if available as CUV.
The TESLA Wall Street bubble is deflating, but not bursted yet, but hey from $30 something to almost $130 per share price for company that never made profit, and never will is simply incredible!
As for their cars there are over 2,000 that have been made and sold since 2008, and on e-Bay there is at least one every day - typically 6,000 to 8,000 miles !!!
You would never find TOYOTA Camry after 5 years with mileage this low - i.e. they trully are rich kids toys of which they get tired rather fast and DO NOT DRIVE THEM.
Then when they collected dust for few years and the batteries ($50,000 to replace) barely charge they are on E-Bay for less than 1/2 their original cost, and usually ZERO bids, or "reserve not met" even at $35,000.
If TESLA would be really serious about selling cars and providing incredible owner experience they would run out and buy back EVERY not used and not wanter ROADSTER in the World, refurbish it and sell it again with 100% Warranty.
They will NEVER do this, not with ROADSTER and not with S, thus the environmentally correct ZERO polution at source car has ZERO value once it is few years old, just as disposable as you iPhone.
Now that said I do drive OKA NEV ZEV every day locally for few miles and average about 16 miles per day.
I would think that the cost of an EV should be lower then a Hybrid, or even a car with just a gasoline engine. EVs and Hybrids both have electric motors, batteries, drive train and a control system. Hybrids also need a fuel tank, gasoline engine, engine cooling system, engine exhaust system, a large generator or alternator to charge batteries and a much more complex control system and drivetrain. I've heard it said that the Lockheed Skunk works spent less money developing the F117 then Ford spent developing the Taurus. I suspect that the high cost of EV's is due to the high per unit cost of engineering and not due to the cost of larger electric motors, batteries and chargers.
Thanks for posting the IEEE Spectrum link! I recently read it and thought it quite well-written. I hope it takes some of the "shine" off the "green" image of EVs among those that can't (or won't) see the big picture. I'd like to think that the automakers are dropping prices in anticipation that the general population will soon get smart and leave automakers with inventory to dump. Of course, you can't really blame folks for wanting a bargain ... but I do blame automakers for being so anxious to take advantage of public perceptions, "trendiness" if you will, just to make a buck. Hybrids make so much more sense and don't require a total overhaul of our power utility infrastructure ... ever thought about what would happen if 75% of the population started plugging-in their vehicles every night? IMHO, pure EVs are nothing but techno-jewelry
I do remember in the late 90's a similar claim was being made about hybrids and that they would not pass the American test for price. I do think there is a place for electric vehicles. For myself I would like a limited range electric car for commuting or for across town trips. Ultimately there will be EVs. The dilemma for me is the amount of energy they consume. My goal is to be off grid completely by 2020 but the electric car will not get me there. A plug in hybrid would be a better option since I would only need to drain about 5 KW from my array and I could still drive in the winter months without drawing off my generator. For now though with the incentives and my tie in grid system, I could afford to buy the smart car EV or lease it option. A second car would give me flexibility and save me $600.00 a year in fuel costs. I could work on my present hybrid when it needs repair. So for me right now an electric car would be an option.
I share Warren's range concerns. Half of my mileage is daily commuting of 12 miles with another 10-20 miles for errands. About half is in 2 hour, 130 mile chunks, and a small percentage is for 250 mile trips which I expect to be able to make without an extended recharging stop. I drive an Expedition for all of this as perhaps 2-5% of my mileage is pulling a 5000 lb boat and I can't justify insurance, maintenance, and depreciation on separate vehicles for each need. I spend perhaps $5K per year on fuel and could save $2-4K/yr of that with a hybrid or pure electric. Purchasing a new $40K vehicle, even with $5-10K in incentives (get some of my tax dollars back), doesn't make much sense (adds >$600/yr insurance, maybe $500/yr maintenance, $3000/yr lease fee (acquisition / depreciation). If you buy it, you incur ~$20K/100K miles battery replacement = $0.20/mile = equivalent to gas at $4/gallon and 20 MPG. Cost of electricity to refuel is not free and for a Leaf which uses 34kwh/100miles would cost me $5/100 or $0.05/mile. I can use this for ~5K miles/yr, so added insurance / maintenance adds another ~$0.20/mile and Lease cost is $0.60/mile. Total cost then for lease, electricity, maintenance, and insurance is $0.85/mile or $4.2K/yr. If I drive my Expedition at 12 MPG and $4/gallon, I don't add more insurance and additional maintenance is less and its paid for. I'd pay $1.6K per year in gas and maybe $400/yr in added maintenance. So I'm saving $2.2K/yr by driving my "tank" for commuting rather than a "death-trap micro car" which will most likely be the loser in any accident...I guess I'll keep waiting.
Elizabeth... apparently you have a lot of discretionary money. That's OK, I am genuinely happy for you. The rest of us engage in "all of this financial talk" [as a means of survival] and cannot afford to spend our discretionary money to make a political or environmental statement, ESPECIALLY on larger purchases like homes and cars. I don't feel overly "good" when I do something nice [like recycling stuff] and I surely don't feel "bad" when I go roaring past a sickly Prius on the interstate. BTW, buying a good used car IS recycling.
If you experience those warm fuzzies when spending large amounts of money on things thought "green", good for you. If you feel really bad when you grill a steak using propane or charcoal... bummer. I just bought a $2700 used IC car in immaculate condition, it gets 29+mpg on gasoline at 70+mph, is American made, has a spotless interior, a few exterior scuffs, and a great Hp/wt ratio so handling and driving it is a pleasure. It does not consume engine oil other than 4000-mile changes, and is dependable... so much that I took it on a 1200 mile trip the first month I bought it.
Nothing in the EV market can top that smart use of money that is embodied in my used car. And, it cost me LESS than ONE EV battery. My biggest snicker is heard when people who drive a Prius [or other overpriced "green" car] pull up to their 3900 SQF energy-hog house and stick it in a heated and AC garage... wow.
I think the current EVs are still rather stupid cars for the average person. And the idea that I have to pay a subsidy for a car I can't even afford in the first place. Just like the Cash for Clunkers, I am paying a subsidy so people who can already afford the car are getting 7500 off the price.
Once again the market is telling us athere is a problem with these vehicles as a vehicle for everyone, and we try to deny this by fiddling with the marketplace to help people who can already afford the car to buy it.
Most electric vehicles won't get people to work and home in 1 charge. So should every employer be forced to add to their cost bey putting charging station in every parking space? Another tax on employers?
Same problem exists now that existed with the GM electric car - "Who Killed the Electric Car?" They are practical only under a very narrow set of constraints, and not many people live lives that fit within those constraints.
Tesla - WOW! $80 battery swap to go another 150 miles. I can go 480 miles for the same cost now. Where's the benefit? Or should we just run the cost of gasoline up so it forces people to buy a car they can't afford? Engineers and suchare in the upper middle class *or at least some of us are) and these cost numbers might not look all that bad. But there are a lot of people that are making way less and these prices are absurd.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
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