If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Phys Org2)   "Sitting around for eight hours waiting for your (Nissan) Leaf to charge up is not exactly a selling point. EVs have a sitting-on-your-ass factor that conventional cars do not"   (phys.org) divider line 180
    More: Fail, conventional car, J.D. Power, Center for Automotive Research, Rebecca Lindland, Fisker Automotive, plug-in electric car, Sergio Marchionne, government-backed loan  
•       •       •

3195 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 May 2013 at 10:41 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



180 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2013-05-12 09:24:53 AM  
<i>Lindland said her view that Americans "just don't see how an electric car can fit into their lifestyle. We continue to be risk-averse in investing in <a data-cke-saved-href="http://phys.org/tags/new+technology/" rel="tag" class="textTag">new technology in our cars." </i>

Let's see. Infrastructure isn't in place, nearest dealer to me is over 500 miles away, significantly higher cost than a standard internal combustion, lower range, no mechanics, proprietary designs with no access to blueprints or designs... oh and an 8 hour charge!

News flash! HALF of America doesn't live in urbania. If you want this, put real money into battery technology.
 
2013-05-12 09:25:57 AM  
... Wow, preview. You failed me entirely.
 
2013-05-12 10:02:31 AM  
Get a hybrid car, then. If you spend 90% of the time within 50 miles of your house, you'll still save a ton of gas.
 
2013-05-12 10:11:06 AM  
The technology exists for a specific subset of people. If you don't fit in that subset, don't buy the car.
 
2013-05-12 10:12:13 AM  
I have a different take on the lifestyle aspect:

The type of person who would buy this car is probably pretty active, out and about and wants to use it to save money/energy.

The type of person who wouldn't buy it probably likes their 12 mpg truck just fine and spends the evening on the sofa watching Duck Dynasty when it could be out there charging.

So it's just a mismatch to begin with.
 
2013-05-12 10:48:53 AM  
Everytime I hear some car 'expert' complain about the charge times for electrics I have to wonder if it isn't being written at Exxon HQ. It's just a BS argument and everyone should know better.

The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

In my case I work from home. So I get to keep my gas guzzling mid life crisis car. But the wife has an 80 mile plus commute everyday. We are seriously considering electric for her next daily commuter. If it's something that has a 300 mile range she is good to go every single day. That still leaves us with in range of the beach and mountains. As long as I have electricity on the other side I am good. In fact the only trip we do that would probably not work is the 500 mile trip we take once in a while to see her parents.

In short, no I will not be sitting around watching the car charge. It would have a full charge everytime I leave the driveway. If my destination is not in range I'm taking the hotrod.
 
2013-05-12 11:04:58 AM  
I drive about one hour a day. Rest of the time Car sits pretty much next to a electric socket. So eight hours doesn't sound too bad. Too bad it runs on gasoline and seems to like it a lot.
 
2013-05-12 11:06:40 AM  

sammyk: The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.


While I fully support the development of this technology, I would hate to find myself with a car low on charge and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).
 
2013-05-12 11:12:27 AM  

sammyk: Everytime I hear some car 'expert' complain about the charge times for electrics I have to wonder if it isn't being written at Exxon HQ. It's just a BS argument and everyone should know better.

The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

In my case I work from home. So I get to keep my gas guzzling mid life crisis car. But the wife has an 80 mile plus commute everyday. We are seriously considering electric for her next daily commuter. If it's something that has a 300 mile range she is good to go every single day. That still leaves us with in range of the beach and mountains. As long as I have electricity on the other side I am good. In fact the only trip we do that would probably not work is the 500 mile trip we take once in a while to see her parents.

In short, no I will not be sitting around watching the car charge. It would have a full charge everytime I leave the driveway. If my destination is not in range I'm taking the hotrod.


It is a BS argument:  my daily commute is about 30 miles combined.  That's a tenth of the Tesla's charge right there.  And if I'm heading out somewhere, I'm not topping 200 miles for that.  I would be a prime candidate for this if I wasn't moving closer to work in the next year or so.

Having electric cars would cut our oil intake significantly.  Big Oil is just freaking because now it's a distinct possibility.
 
2013-05-12 11:12:48 AM  
Pure electric is pretty awesome, right up until someone figures out how to compress hydrogen/gets a methanol fuel cell working/etc in an economical fashion.   After which the hydrogen fuel cell will pretty much destroy both gas and electric.  DMFCs are already starting to take off in some areas like forklifts.

The battery will always be a limiting factor in that you need to sit on your ass, swap batteries, or supercharge.  You can mitigate the pain in the ass with technology, but it still remains.  That said there are many electric cars on the road that mitigate those factors through a supercharger or having a backup gasoline engine, etc.

The big problem electric cars face is no one has really been able to get a mass market electric car out the door.  You either pay a premium with the MSRP for a long range vehicle or you pay a premium in your time due to limited range and recharge needs.  Which is fine, but it limits the electric vehicle to being a vehicle sought after by people whose values align with the product, just like how performance nuts only buy Corvettes, Mustangs, Challengers, etc.  The big question of course is will we see such a car or will fuel cells mature first.
 
2013-05-12 11:12:48 AM  

born_yesterday: sammyk: The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

While I fully support the development of this technology, I would hate to find myself with a car low on charge and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).


In the blackout of 2003 the power outage shut down gas stations (around here anyway), so either way, you'd be screwed.  I know one guy that had to run his brand new Honda Civic on fuel injector cleaner to limp home.
 
2013-05-12 11:13:06 AM  

sammyk: Everytime I hear some car 'expert' complain about the charge times for electrics I have to wonder if it isn't being written at Exxon HQ. It's just a BS argument and everyone should know better.

The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

In my case I work from home. So I get to keep my gas guzzling mid life crisis car. But the wife has an 80 mile plus commute everyday. We are seriously considering electric for her next daily commuter. If it's something that has a 300 mile range she is good to go every single day. That still leaves us with in range of the beach and mountains. As long as I have electricity on the other side I am good. In fact the only trip we do that would probably not work is the 500 mile trip we take once in a while to see her parents.

In short, no I will not be sitting around watching the car charge. It would have a full charge everytime I leave the driveway. If my destination is not in range I'm taking the hotrod.




Not that I'm going to tell you how to live your life,but if you work from home and wife has an 80-mile commute, isn't it the more environmentally friendly thing to move closer to where she works?
 
2013-05-12 11:13:52 AM  
I'll take it.

8 hours? So, I get home at night, maybe pop out again, then at 11pm, it's on charge, so by 7am, it's fully charged. I'll live with that.

Now, I know there's the whole "what about driving 500 miles?" Fine. I'll hire a car. Not enough charge occassionally? Fine, I'll pay for a cab those days.

The main downside at the moment is the damn cost of electric cars. Too expensive.
 
2013-05-12 11:16:39 AM  

born_yesterday: sammyk: The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

While I fully support the development of this technology, I would hate to find myself with a car low on charge and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).


You really think our power system is so unreliable that you would have an issue like that? Something like an ice storm or hurricane would give you advance warning. You would have time to make sure its fully charged.
 
2013-05-12 11:18:20 AM  
Nissan LEAF charge times, from zero:

110v = 21 hours
220v = 4 hours
480v = 25 minutes (to 80%)

With those options, here's how I use the charge stations near me: 110v= charging at home, overnight (typically I always have a 50% charge after driving home. With commuting 26 miles each way, it takes roughly 9 hours to recharge - which is perfect for charging at home and at work. 220v = charging while going on longer trips around town, especially if I'm going to see a movie at night. 480v = best while going on 100+ mile trips along the freeways.

I've gotten close to taking my car to zero, but haven't had any issues yet. I'm about to rollover 5,000 miles since buying it in January.
 
2013-05-12 11:20:55 AM  

Adolf Oliver Nipples: The technology exists for a specific subset of people. If you don't fit in that subset, don't buy the car.


It seems like many people look at if from the other side: If it doesn't work for EVERYONE, don't sell it.

Can I get a full size car with a 60 mile range for a reasonable price yet? We already have the minivan for hauling the kids and vacations, and I'm in the process of buying a hotrod, so I just need something for the 4 mile commute that won't get punted off the road by every stupid soccer mom in an Escalade or gardener with an overloaded trailer.
 
2013-05-12 11:21:43 AM  

pivazena: Not that I'm going to tell you how to live your life,but if you work from home and wife has an 80-mile commute, isn't it the more environmentally friendly thing to move closer to where she works?


yeah yeah yeah, we are house hunting closer to her work.
 
2013-05-12 11:21:58 AM  
At the same time, the analyst said, gasoline-powered cars "are improving enough to meet the needs of the consumer," without the price tag of electric cars.

This right here. I just bought a 2011 Toyota Corolla that routinely gets 35 MPG with snow tires on it. It was much, much, cheaper than the Prius we bought brand-new a few years back, and the mileage is comparable. (The Prius averaged around 45 - most of my driving is on the highway in a mountainous area.)
 
2013-05-12 11:23:23 AM  
I think many here will agree that no matter what you think of EV vs regular vehicle I think the real problem is how far a lot of people have to drive to and from work every day and that mistakes were made along the way with the development of suburbia.
 
2013-05-12 11:24:50 AM  

MrSteve007: Nissan LEAF charge times, from zero:

110v = 21 hours
220v = 4 hours
480v = 25 minutes (to 80%)

With those options, here's how I use the charge stations near me: 110v= charging at home, overnight (typically I always have a 50% charge after driving home. With commuting 26 miles each way, it takes roughly 9 hours to recharge - which is perfect for charging at home and at work. 220v = charging while going on longer trips around town, especially if I'm going to see a movie at night. 480v = best while going on 100+ mile trips along the freeways.

I've gotten close to taking my car to zero, but haven't had any issues yet. I'm about to rollover 5,000 miles since buying it in January.


Any plans to get a 220v plug available for it at home?
 
2013-05-12 11:25:45 AM  

sammyk: born_yesterday: sammyk: The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

While I fully support the development of this technology, I would hate to find myself with a car low on charge and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).

You really think our power system is so unreliable that you would have an issue like that? Something like an ice storm or hurricane would give you advance warning. You would have time to make sure its fully charged.


You weren't affected by the blackout of 2003 I guess.  No warning, the lights just went off and stayed off for several days (depending on where you lived).  Gas cars didn't fare any better though when the power to pumps went out.

That being said, it's easy enough to put solar panels up to charge up an EV if you're worried about the inevitable zombie apocalypse.  It's pretty hard to set up a oil well and refinery in your backyard without the neighbours complaining.
 
2013-05-12 11:26:08 AM  

Adolf Oliver Nipples: The technology exists for a specific subset of people. If you don't fit in that subset, don't buy the car.


The free market at work, in other words.
 
2013-05-12 11:33:46 AM  

sammyk: Everytime I hear some car 'expert' complain about the charge times for electrics I have to wonder if it isn't being written at Exxon HQ. It's just a BS argument and everyone should know better.

The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

In my case I work from home. So I get to keep my gas guzzling mid life crisis car. But the wife has an 80 mile plus commute everyday. We are seriously considering electric for her next daily commuter. If it's something that has a 300 mile range she is good to go every single day. That still leaves us with in range of the beach and mountains. As long as I have electricity on the other side I am good. In fact the only trip we do that would probably not work is the 500 mile trip we take once in a while to see her parents.

In short, no I will not be sitting around watching the car charge. It would have a full charge everytime I leave the driveway. If my destination is not in range I'm taking the hotrod.


Pretty much what I did, I work from home and have a gas guzzling convertible, my soon to be wife has a plug-in hybid for her 50 mile daily commute, and we have a minivan for long trips, hauling etc.  We looked at the Leaf when buying her car, but I found it uncomfortable and she did not like how it drove.
 
2013-05-12 11:35:40 AM  

sammyk: Everytime I hear some car 'expert' complain about the charge times for electrics I have to wonder if it isn't being written at Exxon HQ. It's just a BS argument and everyone should know better.

The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.


You're using Tesla's 300-mile range as your benchmark.  There's nothing wring with that but the Model S needs the 85kWh battery pack to achieve that so the base price is $72,400 before adding options and tax breaks.  That's a lot of cash to lay out for a daily commuter, even with tax breaks.
 
2013-05-12 11:36:42 AM  
All they need is interchangeable battery packs. Like the Blue Rhino propane tanks. Pull into a station and swap the battery pack. Faster than pumping gas.
 
2013-05-12 11:38:15 AM  
Eight hours from the comfort of my own home when I'm not planning to leave anyway, versus having to go out of my way to drive to a gas station?  I'll take the eight hours.

This is like complaining about a phone with a rechargeable battery, instead of just buying disposable batteries and burning through them at your "convenience".
 
2013-05-12 11:45:14 AM  

dobro: All they need is interchangeable battery packs. Like the Blue Rhino propane tanks. Pull into a station and swap the battery pack. Faster than pumping gas.


The Nissan Leaf battery pack weighs 660lbs.  The Tesla S would likely run about 150lbs more than that based on the type of batteries they use.  You're not going to be swapping them out without a forklift and other heavy equipment.
 
2013-05-12 11:46:55 AM  

dobro: All they need is interchangeable battery packs. Like the Blue Rhino propane tanks. Pull into a station and swap the battery pack. Faster than pumping gas.


Scaling aside,that's not as easy as you'd think. Those batteries are several thousand apiece, not many gas stations would be willing to put that kind of money up front for someone's convenience.

480V is a reasonable option, but not many homes have that option.
 
2013-05-12 11:53:11 AM  

arcas: sammyk: Everytime I hear some car 'expert' complain about the charge times for electrics I have to wonder if it isn't being written at Exxon HQ. It's just a BS argument and everyone should know better.

The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

You're using Tesla's 300-mile range as your benchmark.  There's nothing wring with that but the Model S needs the 85kWh battery pack to achieve that so the base price is $72,400 before adding options and tax breaks.  That's a lot of cash to lay out for a daily commuter, even with tax breaks.


A Model S is probably a really bad example for this thread. It's built to compete with the luxury sedans. The leaf is out there for the poors people on a limited budget.
 
2013-05-12 11:55:31 AM  

ajgeek: Those batteries are several thousand apiece, not many gas stations would be willing to put that kind of money up front for someone's convenience.


Also, then suddenly you have a security problem. Think a padlock will keep the tweakers out of the battery cage? Padlocks don't keep anyone serious out of anything, but at least propane tanks aren't so valuable. So you'd need a safe, and ... yeah, fark it.
 
2013-05-12 12:09:34 PM  
I tried to get into a Smart. I almost broke the steering wheel when I closed the door and wedged my knee.

I can only imagine what the other "efficient" cars are like. I am a titan, and not a Nissan titan. I am too large for your world.
 
2013-05-12 12:09:36 PM  

Fuggin Bizzy: but at least propane tanks aren't so valuable


You don't live in area where people cook a lot of meth do you?
 
2013-05-12 12:24:15 PM  

mrlewish: I think many here will agree that no matter what you think of EV vs regular vehicle I think the real problem is how far a lot of people have to drive to and from work every day and that mistakes were made along the way with the development of suburbia.


THIS.

( Although older generations would consider such an opinion un-American..)
 
2013-05-12 12:25:04 PM  

MrSteve007: Nissan LEAF charge times, from zero:

110v = 21 hours
220v = 4 hours
480v = 25 minutes (to 80%)

With those options, here's how I use the charge stations near me: 110v= charging at home, overnight (typically I always have a 50% charge after driving home. With commuting 26 miles each way, it takes roughly 9 hours to recharge - which is perfect for charging at home and at work. 220v = charging while going on longer trips around town, especially if I'm going to see a movie at night. 480v = best while going on 100+ mile trips along the freeways.

I've gotten close to taking my car to zero, but haven't had any issues yet. I'm about to rollover 5,000 miles since buying it in January.


are you stealing power from your job
 
2013-05-12 12:37:15 PM  

haywatchthis: are you stealing power from your job


Many companies are providing EV charging stations free for employees.
 
2013-05-12 12:38:17 PM  

sammyk: Something like an ice storm or hurricane would give you advance warning. You would have time to make sure its fully charged.


You'd think so, but we had a derecho wind storm hit West Virginia in June 2012, power was out here for 10 days, some parts of the state even longer. If we'd had to rely on a car that needed charged, we would have been screwed. I have no problems with an electric vehicle, but it'll only ever be an addition, not a replacement for the family car unless you live somewhere uniquely suited to deal with EV quirks.
 
2013-05-12 12:42:57 PM  

Tom_Slick: Fuggin Bizzy: but at least propane tanks aren't so valuable

You don't live in area where people cook a lot of meth do you?


No, I am, but get this - I don't cook meth myself. Nor do I buy or sell propane, so I'm really not involved with propane in any way. Every gas station has a cage full of propane tanks, though, so the risk of theft must be acceptably low for it to be such a common item.

Still, propane tanks are nowhere near as valuable as battery packs for cars.
 
2013-05-12 12:43:57 PM  
Living in northern Canada, many businesses have plugs available so that you can use a block heater in the winter. Charging at work instead of at home would be a nice benefit.
Thing is, we also deal with lots of snow and ice. I'm not sure how the cold weather would affect range, but I do know that having an adequate winter vehicle is a major necessity. All of the electric vehicles are typically low clearance and non four wheel drive.
I wonder if a small pickup (think Ranger or Tacoma) would be successful. You've got more room for batteries, and the high torque would be nice as well.
 
2013-05-12 12:45:13 PM  

mrlewish: I think many here will agree that no matter what you think of EV vs regular vehicle I think the real problem is how far a lot of people have to drive to and from work every day and that mistakes were made along the way with the development of suburbia.



That's funny because statistically in most urban centers jobs are moving out to the burbs, thus negating this issue for many.  However being one of the lucky few going the other way that's exactly why I would want an EV\Hybrid.  I have a fairly regular and easy to predict schedule and distance to drive.
 
2013-05-12 12:48:25 PM  

sammyk: Everytime I hear some car 'expert' complain about the charge times for electrics I have to wonder if it isn't being written at Exxon HQ. It's just a BS argument and everyone should know better.

The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

In my case I work from home. So I get to keep my gas guzzling mid life crisis car. But the wife has an 80 mile plus commute everyday. We are seriously considering electric for her next daily commuter. If it's something that has a 300 mile range she is good to go every single day. That still leaves us with in range of the beach and mountains. As long as I have electricity on the other side I am good. In fact the only trip we do that would probably not work is the 500 mile trip we take once in a while to see her parents.

In short, no I will not be sitting around watching the car charge. It would have a full charge everytime I leave the driveway. If my destination is not in range I'm taking the hotrod.


Unfortunately, the Tesla Model S is $62,000.
 
2013-05-12 12:56:57 PM  

Fuggin Bizzy: At the same time, the analyst said, gasoline-powered cars "are improving enough to meet the needs of the consumer," without the price tag of electric cars.

This right here. I just bought a 2011 Toyota Corolla that routinely gets 35 MPG with snow tires on it. It was much, much, cheaper than the Prius we bought brand-new a few years back, and the mileage is comparable. (The Prius averaged around 45 - most of my driving is on the highway in a mountainous area.)


That said, why can't there be both?  I'm getting tired of people who think we just need one solution.  Why not have a variety of them?  That will work as well.

I'm a bit concerned about our national attitude.  We've gone from 'let'shiat the moon in X years' to 'but this will mean we have to update our power infrastructure (which needs to be done anyway), and it's sooooo haaaard.'  What the fark happened to Americans where we boast about paying for our shiat yet don't?
 
2013-05-12 01:00:00 PM  
I'd really like a cng civic. 250 mile range and less than 30k. not as green as an electric, but since we are burning the stuff off at the wellhead, might as well use it...

The problem is my 12 year old 4 cylinder sedan is paid for, only needs liability insurance and doesn't seem to want to die.

I'd like to see more cng filling stations, though there is one in the area.
 
2013-05-12 01:06:05 PM  

dobro: All they need is interchangeable battery packs. Like the Blue Rhino propane tanks. Pull into a station and swap the battery pack. Faster than pumping gas.


It is a different paradigm. With an EV, if you are "pulling into a station" more than twice a year, you're doing it wrong. Even with a relatively limited range, you would be surprised how having a full charge every morning all but eliminates the need to ever stop to charge when you are out and about.  When I bought my EV I expected to be stopping at public charging stations once a month or so. 6500 miles later, I have had to use one exactly once. And it was no big deal because I had stuff to do while it charged. And I wouldn't have ever needed one so far if I bothered to install a level 2 charger at home.  And it's not like I have a Model S.  My car has a range of 80-100 miles.

People who don't have EVs think about every time they have to stop for gas and then imagine how much it would suck if it took  several hours. But that isn't how it works. As longer ranges from 200-300 miles become more common in the next 2 or 3 years, the only time it will be necessary for anyone to charge on the go will b during cross country trips. And battery swap stations won't be necessary. If we really are going to build a bunch of new infrastructure, make chargers that can handle the capabilities of the batteries, which is 3C--fast enough to charge to 80 percent in about 15 minutes.

The only people who were supporting battery swap (Renault) have already realized that it is an unnecessary and undesirable non starter.
 
2013-05-12 01:09:24 PM  

Guntram Shatterhand: We've gone from 'let'shiat the moon in X years'


Oh, don't worry. We'll shiat the moon soon enough. We've already shiatted Mt. Everest, the oceans, etc. Just a matter of time.

/LOLfilter
 
2013-05-12 01:23:22 PM  

born_yesterday: sammyk: The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

While I fully support the development of this technology, I would hate to find myself with a car low on charge and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).


Of course, you are in the exact same situation if an you find yourself with a car low on gas and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).
 
2013-05-12 01:30:14 PM  

dobro: All they need is interchangeable battery packs. Like the Blue Rhino propane tanks. Pull into a station and swap the battery pack. Faster than pumping gas.


Here's a picture of the Tesla Model S platform:
static.ddmcdn.com

Basically, everything you see that isn't fenders or directly connected to wheels is part of the battery array.  There's no way that you could economically swap the batteries on that while taking a road trip.

What you could do, however, is stop at a supercharger station for 30-60 minutes and leave your car to fully recharge while you get something to eat at a nearby diner.  The battery lasts long enough that by the time I'd need to recharge it (4-5 hours for the 85kWh model), I know I'd need to recharge myself as well.
 
2013-05-12 01:33:48 PM  
The blackout argument ignores the fact that electrics and hybrids can also be set up to serve as home back-up generators/ storage cells to keep the fridge cold a few days, and enough juice for some lights and a TV or computer.
 
2013-05-12 01:37:07 PM  
If you're sitting on your ass at work for 8 hours a day, might as well use that time to let it charge.
 
2013-05-12 01:40:49 PM  

dywed88: born_yesterday: sammyk: The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

While I fully support the development of this technology, I would hate to find myself with a car low on charge and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).

Of course, you are in the exact same situation if an you find yourself with a car low on gas and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).


At least for me, with ample PV panels and battery backup at home and work, when there's another oil embargo, rapid increases in gasoline costs or prolonged power outages (earthquake, large storm, etc.), I'll still be zooming around, recharging from home and work, and watching everyone else suffer with being trapped with transportation that's entirely reliant on international shipping and corporations to supply it.
 
2013-05-12 01:44:05 PM  
Pure EVs won't make it here in most of Florida. We have this thing called Hurricane Season every year. We don't get bad ones every year, but when we do, you can't be sitting on your ass for 8 hours waiting for the car to charge just to drive 200 miles and then wait for ANOTHER 8 hours to recharge. And that's only if the power is still on. Even down in the Keys, you can fill up a standard car and toss a couple 5 gallon containers of gas in the back and be able to hit Georgia or South Carolina (depending on vehicle). You can bring 'extra charge' with you. For extended power outages, gas pumps (some) can be run from generator or, if need be, hand pump. Good luck recharging a dead EV car with a portable generator while a storm with 125 MPH winds approaches. Even having one of each doesn't sound so good if you are stuck leaving the $70k car behind to get eaten by the storm.

/yeah, yeah, I know... Florida People Problems
 
2013-05-12 01:51:09 PM  

germ78: If you're sitting on your ass at work for 8 hours a day, might as well use that time to let it charge.


Or sleeping.  Or buying groceries.  Or working out at the gym. Or going for a hike. Or any of the things you do when you are not driving.

Honestly, the most intolerable thing for me if I had to go back to a gas powered car would be stopping for gas. Sure it is only 5 minutes, but I hate that shiat. With a gas car, you refil when you are on your way somewhere. With an EV, you refill when you are staying somewhere.
 
2013-05-12 02:09:36 PM  
2 years ago, if you said you were buying an electric car, people would mostly laugh at you.
Now, some people laugh but many ask questions, as they are starting to enter the mainstream.
5 years from now electric will be a standard choice and will have a fair share of the market.
15 years from now almost nobody will make or sell internal combustion vehicles.
 
2013-05-12 02:11:02 PM  

ajgeek: dobro: All they need is interchangeable battery packs. Like the Blue Rhino propane tanks. Pull into a station and swap the battery pack. Faster than pumping gas.

Scaling aside,that's not as easy as you'd think. Those batteries are several thousand apiece, not many gas stations would be willing to put that kind of money up front for someone's convenience.

480V is a reasonable option, but not many homes have that option.


Gas stations would love that. You have nothing to do for 25 minutes except go in the store and get some food or coffee.
 
2013-05-12 02:12:22 PM  
Buy one or don't buy one, don't biatch about other people's personal decisions. Stop trying to use the government to force your ideology on everyone else
 
2013-05-12 02:18:55 PM  

edmo: I have a different take on the lifestyle aspect:

The type of person who would buy this car is probably pretty active, out and about and wants to use it to save money/energy.

The type of person who wouldn't buy it probably likes their 12 mpg truck just fine and spends the evening on the sofa watching Duck Dynasty when it could be out there charging.

So it's just a mismatch to begin with.


Huh, yeah, huh.
ALSO:

Lost Thought 00: Buy one or don't buy one, don't biatch about other people's personal decisions. Stop trying to use the government to force your ideology on everyone else


SO you're suggesting we end oil subsides?
 
2013-05-12 02:21:42 PM  

NutWrench: Get a hybrid car, then. If you spend 90% of the time within 50 miles of your house, you'll still save a ton of gas.


This.

Offer electric cars as electric-only or with the option of a turbine generator.  You can use CNG (maybe LNG eventually) for high pollution urban areas and diesel for elsewhere to extend range.
 
2013-05-12 02:22:27 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: 2 years ago, if you said you were buying an electric car, people would mostly laugh at you.
Now, some people laugh but many ask questions, as they are starting to enter the mainstream.
5 years from now electric will be a standard choice and will have a fair share of the market.
15 years from now almost nobody will make or sell internal combustion vehicles.


I don't know about that. people have been declaring the death of internal-combustion engines for longer than I've been alive, and if anything they're getting better. They're hardly in decline.

 For the near-total replacement of ICE-powered cars to happen on your timetable there will have to be a wholesale overhaul of the road infrastructure of the US. I wouldn't bet on that.
 
2013-05-12 02:24:02 PM  
The gas pumps seem to pump slower in the last decade anyway. Takes Damn near 8 hours to fill my truck... I think. I can't afford $150 fill ups.
 
2013-05-12 02:24:37 PM  

Lost Thought 00: Stop trying to use the government to force your ideology on everyone else


Then stop purchasing fuel on the public marketplace and expelling exhaust into the open atmosphere.  When you brew your own fuel from your land's own feedstock and suck your own fumes, then you can biatch about society trying to restrict you.
 
2013-05-12 02:25:23 PM  

Reverend Monkeypants: SO you're suggesting we end oil subsides?


End any subsidies that are given to companies specifically because they sell/process/mine oil. Do not end general subsidies to them simply because they sell/process/mine oil.
 
2013-05-12 02:31:43 PM  

Lost Thought 00: Buy one or don't buy one, don't biatch about other people's personal decisions. Stop trying to use the government to force your ideology on everyone else


Who you talkin' to, Willis? We're just talking cars here.
 
2013-05-12 02:34:09 PM  
I guess fast charging is imaginary.
 
2013-05-12 02:45:01 PM  

Dinjiin: NutWrench: Get a hybrid car, then. If you spend 90% of the time within 50 miles of your house, you'll still save a ton of gas.

This.

Offer electric cars as electric-only or with the option of a turbine generator.  You can use CNG (maybe LNG eventually) for high pollution urban areas and diesel for elsewhere to extend range.


My idea would be an electric sedan with a battery with the ability for modular extensions. Each extension would weigh about 50 pounds, and would be either extra batteries, or 2000 watt propane generators, or one of each. for perspective the very good Honda 2000i generator weighs 46 pounds
 
2013-05-12 03:00:05 PM  

Chevello: so I just need something for the 4 mile commute that won't get punted off the road by every stupid soccer mom in an Escalade or gardener with an overloaded trailer.


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-05-12 03:02:28 PM  
There are huge chunks of time.. at night.. where I'm just asleep. For hours. It's ridiculous.
 
2013-05-12 03:09:35 PM  

dforkus: My idea would be an electric sedan with a battery with the ability for modular extensions. Each extension would weigh about 50 pounds, and would be either extra batteries, or 2000 watt propane generators, or one of each. for perspective the very good Honda 2000i generator weighs 46 pounds


That's not a bad idea.  It really isn't.  It would solve the problem fairly well.  But, all of the prospective solutions are going to be beaten to the punch by plain old fashioned battery technology.  The following combination:

100kWh battery packs (300 mile range)
3C batteries (charges to 80 percent in 15 minutes)
300kW chargers (3C) on the interstates and in the cities

Solves the range/charging issue completely, and far better than other solutions such as super capacitors, swapable batteries, hydrogen cars or range extenders.

And the technology is all there today.  Batteries can handle 3C charging.  It's "easy" to make a 300kW charger (far easier than building a battery swap station)  100kwH batteries fit in cars (the main limitation now is cost, but that is dropping very rapidly, and the massive lithium stores recently discovered in Wyoming will keep moving that along, though the big drop will be due to improvements in nano fabrication for the cathodes and anodes).

Even the "well how will you power those chargers in BFE when there isn't a massive substation handy" problem isn't too insurmountable.  All you need is 50kW array of solar panels, and a massive flow battery.  With those, just standard grid power would be fine to augment the solar array and keep the flow battery charged.  And the flow battery will pretty much never go bad.  Sure it would be super heavy but who gives a shiat.  Tesla could hide it in that massive obelisk they put at their super charger stations.
 
2013-05-12 03:15:48 PM  

Hollie Maea: 300kW chargers (3C) on the interstates and in the cities


Holy fark.  Even the Tesla Supercharger is only good for 90kW!
 
2013-05-12 03:18:52 PM  

born_yesterday: While I fully support the development of this technology, I would hate to find myself with a car low on charge and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).


Because those gasoline pumps will keep right on working with no electricity, right?
 
2013-05-12 03:20:42 PM  
If you were the ultimate bum, you'd recharge it at your job or wherever you can find an available plug.

Free transport! :)

It's quite common to see supermarkets with charging stations where I live btw. At high power you get a full charge in 25minutes, plus its free.
 
2013-05-12 03:22:50 PM  
Plug-in electric cars are a stepping stone. The future is hydrogen fuel cells.


img.photobucket.com
 
2013-05-12 03:25:08 PM  

trackerbri: The Nissan Leaf battery pack weighs 660lbs. The Tesla S would likely run about 150lbs more than that based on the type of batteries they use. You're not going to be swapping them out without a forklift and other heavy equipment.


So maybe we should look at making these modular - like 11 - 66lb. packs, or 22 - 33lbs. This would no doubt add to manufacturing costs, but it would likely extend battery lifespan (total use through years before failure) as smaller battery packs could be replaced far easier and cheaper than a large one as its cells die.

I'm not a design engineer at an electric car company, but I'm pretty sure those guys are really smart. I bet they have a reason for doing it all in one battery pack rather than making smaller ones, I just wish I knew what it was. It sounds counterintuitive to me.
 
2013-05-12 03:39:58 PM  

ox45tallboy: trackerbri: The Nissan Leaf battery pack weighs 660lbs. The Tesla S would likely run about 150lbs more than that based on the type of batteries they use. You're not going to be swapping them out without a forklift and other heavy equipment.

So maybe we should look at making these modular - like 11 - 66lb. packs, or 22 - 33lbs. This would no doubt add to manufacturing costs, but it would likely extend battery lifespan (total use through years before failure) as smaller battery packs could be replaced far easier and cheaper than a large one as its cells die.

I'm not a design engineer at an electric car company, but I'm pretty sure those guys are really smart. I bet they have a reason for doing it all in one battery pack rather than making smaller ones, I just wish I knew what it was. It sounds counterintuitive to me.


Evs don't have one giant battery. The battery pack is an array of thousands of small cells. If want more range you just add more batteries in parallel. I think the issue with making them modular is that it just be a pain to take on and off that much weight.
 
2013-05-12 03:52:34 PM  
The Nissan Leaf is the wrong car for me.  I live in DFW.  I live pretty much the same distance between Dallas and Fort Worth. That is enough distance for me to get from my home to Dallas or Ft Worth and have to plug the car in some where and wait for it to charge enough for me to get home.  I have friends in some places where I'd be unable to visit because once you factor in the road path to get to them, it would be over 40 miles.  With a gas engine you can drive you car in a way to slightly extend your gas mileage.  You can't do that with a battery car.  It says 40 miles, it's exactly 40 miles no coasting.  My mom is over 40 miles away from me.  In a Leaf she is too far away for me to visit.

Now, if you lived in a city like Chicago or New York and really wanted a car over the mass transit the city provides, then the Leaf would be a decent option.  That's assuming you never ever wanted to drive out of those cities.  For me, I still need a gas engine that gets more than 300 miles on a complete gas up.  Now, I would not mind a hybrid.  I test drove the Kia Optima hybrid last year and I loved it and I wouldn't mind driving it again.  But here's the thing with hybrids: are they really cheaper in the long run?  Right now between car payment and gas ups my car costs me $600/month with $400 of that being the car payment. My car pays off in October.  Last time I looked, a used 2012 Kia Optima hybrid was over $20,000.  That's going to cost me more than $600 a month even if I only had to gas up once a month.  Right now it's cheaper to me to stay with my car.  Especially after October when the car pays off.  Now, if some jackass rear ends me and totals out my car before October or after it pays off, then I may take the check for the car the insurance company would give me and go ahead and buy a used Kia Optima hybrid if the numbers worked out.
 
2013-05-12 03:55:08 PM  
MrSteve007: Nissan LEAF charge times, from zero:

110v = 21 hours
220v = 4 hours
480v = 25 minutes (to 80%)


21 hrs on 110 v, 4 hrs on 220 v. Yeah IF I was buying an electric I'd have to add a 220 socket in the garage, I mean it takes 21 hours to charge with a 110, and there is less than 16 hours from getting off work today and going into work tomorrow.
 
2013-05-12 04:31:43 PM  

ox45tallboy: trackerbri: The Nissan Leaf battery pack weighs 660lbs. The Tesla S would likely run about 150lbs more than that based on the type of batteries they use. You're not going to be swapping them out without a forklift and other heavy equipment.

So maybe we should look at making these modular - like 11 - 66lb. packs, or 22 - 33lbs. This would no doubt add to manufacturing costs, but it would likely extend battery lifespan (total use through years before failure) as smaller battery packs could be replaced far easier and cheaper than a large one as its cells die.

I'm not a design engineer at an electric car company, but I'm pretty sure those guys are really smart. I bet they have a reason for doing it all in one battery pack rather than making smaller ones, I just wish I knew what it was. It sounds counterintuitive to me.


A couple of reasons. Making batteries hot swappable adds bulk, weight, and expense (the same reason why iPhones don't have swappable batteries), also the Tesla design puts the batteries on the bottom of the car, not only giving the car a lower center of gravity but also giving you a front storage space in addition to the rear hatch.
 
2013-05-12 04:33:41 PM  

born_yesterday: sammyk: The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

While I fully support the development of this technology, I would hate to find myself with a car low on charge and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).


That tends to knock out the gas pumps too.

I'm assuming you have never actually been in such a situation. There are a lot of things that suck about a large scale power outage. I'd be more concerned about the local water being importable for several weeks.
 
2013-05-12 04:39:34 PM  
If there is any place where an EV could do well, it is in North American metro areas. With the exception of a few star players, mass transit in the US - even in some of the largest cities - is deplorable, so that is not a realistic option. In Canada transit is somewhat better in more of our larger cities, but in medium to small urban areas it is next to useless. And obviously those out in a rural setting would not benefit since besides the long distances, fossil fuels are most efficient at open road driving.

If you are in the built up area of any number of metropolitan areas however, an EV could be perfect.
 
2013-05-12 04:43:20 PM  

Kraftwerk Orange: Hollie Maea: 300kW chargers (3C) on the interstates and in the cities

Holy fark.  Even the Tesla Supercharger is only good for 90kW!


True, but there is no reason why we couldn't build 300kW chargers. One of the companies that makes EV conversion components makes a 1.2 MW controller (which from a power electronics standpoint is very similar to a charger) When Tesla started making the supercharger network, no one had done prolonged cycle tests on batteries above 1C charge rate, so that is what they built. Since then it has been discovered that they are good up to 3C charging rate. Don't be surprised if next week's big supercharger announcement includes higher power.
 
2013-05-12 04:47:14 PM  

Notabunny: Plug-in electric cars are a stepping stone. The future is hydrogen fuel cells.


[img.photobucket.com image 275x183]


Hydrogen is way behind EVs and falling behind every year.  In a couple of years when people finally realize that refilling speed is a non factor, no one will ever even think about hydrogen cars again.
 
2013-05-12 04:48:22 PM  

Great Janitor: The Nissan Leaf is the wrong car for me.  I live in DFW.  I live pretty much the same distance between Dallas and Fort Worth. That is enough distance for me to get from my home to Dallas or Ft Worth and have to plug the car in some where and wait for it to charge enough for me to get home.  I have friends in some places where I'd be unable to visit because once you factor in the road path to get to them, it would be over 40 miles.  With a gas engine you can drive you car in a way to slightly extend your gas mileage.  You can't do that with a battery car.  It says 40 miles, it's exactly 40 miles no coasting.  My mom is over 40 miles away from me.  In a Leaf she is too far away for me to visit.

Now, if you lived in a city like Chicago or New York and really wanted a car over the mass transit the city provides, then the Leaf would be a decent option.  That's assuming you never ever wanted to drive out of those cities.  For me, I still need a gas engine that gets more than 300 miles on a complete gas up.  Now, I would not mind a hybrid.  I test drove the Kia Optima hybrid last year and I loved it and I wouldn't mind driving it again.  But here's the thing with hybrids: are they really cheaper in the long run?  Right now between car payment and gas ups my car costs me $600/month with $400 of that being the car payment. My car pays off in October.  Last time I looked, a used 2012 Kia Optima hybrid was over $20,000.  That's going to cost me more than $600 a month even if I only had to gas up once a month.  Right now it's cheaper to me to stay with my car.  Especially after October when the car pays off.  Now, if some jackass rear ends me and totals out my car before October or after it pays off, then I may take the check for the car the insurance company would give me and go ahead and buy a used Kia Optima hybrid if the numbers worked out.


I just double checked the range of the Leaf on Wikipedia, and the EPA says it is about 73 miles. So ya, while it should get you into town (a rough distance measure on Google Maps says 30 miles between downtown Fort Worth and Dallas), it wouldn't be flexible enough for what you need it to do.

That said, the Tesla Model S has a 300 mile range. While expensive now, as the prices come down an EV could be a real option for you in the near future.

/EVs and hybrids also have lower maintenance costs, something to factor in when comparing costs as well
 
2013-05-12 04:56:48 PM  
The 2013 leaf has an EPA range of 84 miles that you can use when you need it.

http://green.autoblog.com/2013/02/21/2013-nissan-leaf-revealed-gets- 75 -mile-range-actually-84-in-n/
 
2013-05-12 05:06:30 PM  
Quick question: Why do so many Americans live so far away from work? Canada has plenty of sprawl as well, but even then a 30 mile commute each way is at the top end of our daily travel range, and many of those commutes are done by commuter train rather than car. Seriously, why the hell are people commuting 50, 80, even 100 miles each way? By this point you are well outside the metropolitan statistical area and approaching cross-state commuting!
 
2013-05-12 05:08:16 PM  

germ78: If you're sitting on your ass at work for 8 hours a day, might as well use that time to let it charge.


Where do you plug it in?
 
2013-05-12 05:09:10 PM  

edmo: I have a different take on the lifestyle aspect:

The type of person who would buy this car is probably pretty active, out and about and wants to use it to save money/energy.

The type of person who wouldn't buy it probably likes their 12 mpg truck just fine and spends the evening on the sofa watching Duck Dynasty when it could be out there charging.

So it's just a mismatch to begin with.


Using a higher quality bait might help you with your trolling
 
2013-05-12 05:10:58 PM  

Electrify: Quick question: Why do so many Americans live so far away from work? Canada has plenty of sprawl as well, but even then a 30 mile commute each way is at the top end of our daily travel range, and many of those commutes are done by commuter train rather than car. Seriously, why the hell are people commuting 50, 80, even 100 miles each way? By this point you are well outside the metropolitan statistical area and approaching cross-state commuting!


It is actually unusual to commute farther than 30 miles one way here too. But it makes a good talking point against EVs so people like to pretend that it is a widespread practice that EVs must somehow address before anyone will buy them.
 
2013-05-12 05:12:47 PM  

Waldo Pepper: germ78: If you're sitting on your ass at work for 8 hours a day, might as well use that time to let it charge.

Where do you plug it in?


Find a standard 110V outlet.  You will get 40 miles of range while you work. It will cost your employer 60 cents, so make sure you ask permission first!
 
2013-05-12 05:18:57 PM  

Hollie Maea: Electrify: Quick question: Why do so many Americans live so far away from work? Canada has plenty of sprawl as well, but even then a 30 mile commute each way is at the top end of our daily travel range, and many of those commutes are done by commuter train rather than car. Seriously, why the hell are people commuting 50, 80, even 100 miles each way? By this point you are well outside the metropolitan statistical area and approaching cross-state commuting!

It is actually unusual to commute farther than 30 miles one way here too. But it makes a good talking point against EVs so people like to pretend that it is a widespread practice that EVs must somehow address before anyone will buy them.


EV threads, where prefect is the enemy of the good.
 
Xai
2013-05-12 05:23:18 PM  
Have a look at the Tesla S - 300 miles of juice in 1hr (and rather than paying $100 for the privilege, this is free)
 
2013-05-12 05:30:10 PM  

flaminio: haywatchthis: are you stealing power from your job

Many companies are providing EV charging stations free for employees.


Yep. One of my employees has an electric, so I offered free charging as part of the package. He's a valuable worker, so I let him pull into the shop and plug in for the hour or so it takes to charge up. His commute isn't that long (~10 miles), so the cost is very modest.
 
2013-05-12 05:31:46 PM  
It is actually unusual to commute farther than 30 miles one way here too. But it makes a good talking point against EVs so people like to pretend that it is a widespread practice that EVs must somehow address before anyone will buy them.

It's a really common thing in a lot of metropolitan areas in the US, because property costs are so high that people have to live out in the suburbs. In the DC area, it's not uncommon for people to have to commute 50 miles, simply because they can't afford a 3 bedroom house any closer.

Right now the model S is the first electric car that I've seen that could actually be a practical car for a lot of Americans. It's just too expensive right now, but that's to be expected as Tesla is still a small company and is working with new technologies.

I think the problem is that right now the economic case just isn't there yet for electric vehicles.  However if Tesla can ramp up production, in perhaps 5 years we may have the first true mass-market electric car (wouldn't surprise me if Tesla calls it the Model T after the first mass market car). If this car can get 300+ miles per charge, charge in less than a half hour, and cost around 30k, it would be able to curb stomp any other commuter vehicle on the market.
 
2013-05-12 05:33:51 PM  

dobro: All they need is interchangeable battery packs. Like the Blue Rhino propane tanks. Pull into a station and swap the battery pack. Faster than pumping gas.


Doesn't work like that. Propane tanks are one size, with one type of thread . The battery center would have to carry every type of battery for every type of car, and have the machinery necessary to swap them out without taking the vehicle apart.

Ever try to replace the rechargeable batteries in a cellphone that had swappable batteries? Ever try to do that with one where you needed to open the case to get the battery?

For your plan to work, everyone would need to use the same type of battery or at least one of a few types ("ford truck battery" "nissan car battery" "GM type 1" "GM type2") and so on, or sales would need to be restricted to just a few types of cars.
 
2013-05-12 05:39:05 PM  

dobro: All they need is interchangeable battery packs. Like the Blue Rhino propane tanks. Pull into a station and swap the battery pack. Faster than pumping gas.


img200.imageshack.us

You mean like the Better Place robotic battery swap stations?
 
2013-05-12 05:40:45 PM  

Electrify: Quick question: Why do so many Americans live so far away from work? Canada has plenty of sprawl as well, but even then a 30 mile commute each way is at the top end of our daily travel range, and many of those commutes are done by commuter train rather than car. Seriously, why the hell are people commuting 50, 80, even 100 miles each way? By this point you are well outside the metropolitan statistical area and approaching cross-state commuting!


Cost.  A $300K house in the outer East Bay is $1.5 Million here in the Valley (hour without traffic, 3 with).  Same with DC, New York (Heck, some people commute from PA to DC and NYC), LA (which is actually a bunch of urban centers that ran together.), and a whole bunch of cities like that.

It's not common, but it's not unheard of.  Especially after 35 or so, where you can't afford anything closer and have bedrooms for the kids (or if you change jobs, find it easier to commute a long distance than uproot your entire life)
 
2013-05-12 05:42:41 PM  

Dommo: (wouldn't surprise me if Tesla calls it the Model T after the first mass market car).


Pretty sure it would be the Model E, for economical, and electric. It would go right in with the Models S and X.

/Ford Model T was *not* the first mass-market car.  Not even the first to be produced on an assembly line.  Also, it was available in colors other than black.
 
2013-05-12 05:53:27 PM  
Fuggin Bizzy:
Also, then suddenly you have a security problem. Think a padlock will keep the tweakers out of the battery cage? Padlocks don't keep anyone serious out of anything, but at least propane tanks aren't so valuable. So you'd need a safe, and ... yeah, fark it.

The battery and control module on a Nissan Leaf weigh about 300 kg (660 lbs). And it's under the floor of the car.
They ain't stealing that sh*t.
 
2013-05-12 06:00:28 PM  
Batteries become less efficient with each charging cycle. Your 300 mile charge will be a 50 mile charge by year 5. Resale market for electrics cars will suck - hopefully the companies have recycling plans in place.
 
2013-05-12 06:01:57 PM  

Electrify: Quick question: Why do so many Americans live so far away from work? Canada has plenty of sprawl as well, but even then a 30 mile commute each way is at the top end of our daily travel range, and many of those commutes are done by commuter train rather than car. Seriously, why the hell are people commuting 50, 80, even 100 miles each way? By this point you are well outside the metropolitan statistical area and approaching cross-state commuting!


I am assuming you aren't from Southern Ontario. Commuting from Kitchener or Barrie is quite common, Barrie in particular is known as a commuter city for Toronto. And people living further away aren't uncommon.
 
2013-05-12 06:25:29 PM  
Waldo Pepper (favorite: fundie troll): Using a higher quality bait might help you with your trolling

Says the troll himself.
 
2013-05-12 06:28:00 PM  
I know I personally cannot leave my house if the gas tank isn't topped off. And I stop to add gas at every gas station I go to. And I drive 300 miles a day, every day.

Just like everyone else.
 
2013-05-12 06:28:41 PM  

rewind2846: Fuggin Bizzy:
Also, then suddenly you have a security problem. Think a padlock will keep the tweakers out of the battery cage? Padlocks don't keep anyone serious out of anything, but at least propane tanks aren't so valuable. So you'd need a safe, and ... yeah, fark it.

The battery and control module on a Nissan Leaf weigh about 300 kg (660 lbs). And it's under the floor of the car.
They ain't stealing that sh*t.


Never underestimate a tweaker Jawa, when it comes to scrapping.
 
2013-05-12 06:31:02 PM  

Electrify: Quick question: Why do so many Americans live so far away from work? Canada has plenty of sprawl as well, but even then a 30 mile commute each way is at the top end of our daily travel range, and many of those commutes are done by commuter train rather than car. Seriously, why the hell are people commuting 50, 80, even 100 miles each way? By this point you are well outside the metropolitan statistical area and approaching cross-state commuting!


Because rent is cheap out there, and their time is totally worthless, and their only car maintenance expense is gas.

/In other words, they can't do math.
 
2013-05-12 06:51:02 PM  

Shaggy_C: Batteries become less efficient with each charging cycle. Your 300 mile charge will be a 50 mile charge by year 5. Resale market for electrics cars will suck - hopefully the companies have recycling plans in place.


These are not lead acid or nickel metal hydride batteries.  The batteries they are currently putting in electric vehicles are good for 2000-3000 cycles.  I assume that you are not very good at math, but for a car with a 100 mile range like the leaf, you are good for 200,000 to 300,000 miles. For the Tesla with its 250 mile range, you are good for 500,000 to 750,000 miles.  In other words, you could not possibly be more wrong.
 
2013-05-12 07:13:41 PM  

Kraftwerk Orange: Chevello: so I just need something for the 4 mile commute that won't get punted off the road by every stupid soccer mom in an Escalade or gardener with an overloaded trailer.

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 850x566]


While extremely badass, to me that thing is more terrifying to me than a roomful of Thai ladyboys on viagra.

If the road on that 4 miles was designed better, it would make sense to ride a bike; either motorized or non. I do keep thinking about building my own electric car. Unfortunately,  a pair of electric forklifts, and an Audi A8 with AWD and a blown engine haven't fallen out of the sky into my back yard yet, so... :(

I do enjoy looking at and reading about neat things though, so that was pretty cool
 
2013-05-12 07:14:23 PM  
What nobody seems to recognize is the sheer number of people that live in apartments ~25% of all americans.  I have no way to charge an electric car even though I should be in the perfect demographic.  My wife and I take a bus to work even though we have a car (because it is cheaper/easier than parking in Boston).  Even though we drive all weekend and often during the evenings we get gas once per month.  But the only way to charge an electric car would be to run an extension cord up to my second floor apartment and through a window.  It would even be difficult for my parents to charge an electric car because they don't have garages and would need to run an extension cord.
 
2013-05-12 07:16:04 PM  
I have been driving my LEAF for going on 3 years and have NEVER waited for 9 hours to get home. The most has been 1 hour at the local pub or local icecream shop enjoying an IPA or shake while I wait for charge.
 
2013-05-12 07:18:28 PM  

tzzhc4: I have been driving my LEAF for going on 3 years and have NEVER waited for 9 hours to get home. The most has been 1 hour at the local pub or local icecream shop enjoying an IPA or shake while I wait for charge.


And my daily commute is 70 miles daily. So I call shenanigans.
 
2013-05-12 07:19:14 PM  

tzzhc4: tzzhc4: I have been driving my LEAF for going on 3 years and have NEVER waited for 9 hours to get home. The most has been 1 hour at the local pub or local icecream shop enjoying an IPA or shake while I wait for charge.

And my daily commute is 70 miles daily. So I call shenanigans.


#redundant
 
2013-05-12 07:38:56 PM  

Hollie Maea: Waldo Pepper: germ78: If you're sitting on your ass at work for 8 hours a day, might as well use that time to let it charge.

Where do you plug it in?

Find a standard 110V outlet.  You will get 40 miles of range while you work. It will cost your employer 60 cents, so make sure you ask permission first!


After one of the other EV threads, I walked around the parking lot to find a 110V outlet.  Looks like I'd need a looooooooooong extension cord, plus cross the building's driveway to get to an outlet.  It would be pricey to set up and the daily traffic running over the cord means frequent replacement.

Is my suburban Atlanta office building behind the times or do most of them not have outlets in the parking lot?
 
2013-05-12 07:40:06 PM  

Dinjiin: Waldo Pepper (favorite: fundie troll): Using a higher quality bait might help you with your trolling

Says the troll himself.


I was teaching from experience ;-)
 
2013-05-12 07:49:27 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: 2 years ago, if you said you were buying an electric car, people would mostly laugh at you.
Now, some people laugh but many ask questions, as they are starting to enter the mainstream.
5 years from now electric will be a standard choice and will have a fair share of the market.
15 years from now almost nobody will make or sell internal combustion vehicles.


And I'll still be driving my 82 silverado pulling people to charging stations.
 
2013-05-12 07:50:39 PM  

wildlifer: And I'll still be driving my 82 silverado pulling people to charging stations.


Keep dreaming.
 
2013-05-12 07:52:39 PM  

RickN99: After one of the other EV threads, I walked around the parking lot to find a 110V outlet.  Looks like I'd need a looooooooooong extension cord, plus cross the building's driveway to get to an outlet.  It would be pricey to set up and the daily traffic running over the cord means frequent replacement.

Is my suburban Atlanta office building behind the times or do most of them not have outlets in the parking lot?


There are certainly buildings/parking lots that exist that don't have outdoor outlets, but far more often than not they do.  A lot of times there are outlets on lightpoles in parking lots.  Often several weatherproof outlets along the edge of buildings.  I think I am going to start taking pictures of them when I see them because this is nowhere near the last time we will have this thread.
 
2013-05-12 07:55:18 PM  

satanorsanta: What nobody seems to recognize is the sheer number of people that live in apartments ~25% of all americans.


And the sheer number of people that live in the sticks, and the number of soccer moms who swear by their minivans, and the number of people who would rather be tied to the local gas station than whether or not they remembered to plug in their car overnight, and and and...

I can get the practicality of an EV - for a certain segment of drivers. The evangelizing, however, has my head canted given that we're just not there yet to where EVs will be the next Model T, and I'm unsure if it ever will be. When you have an EV be the next F150, Caravan, or sport crossover, then we might be on to something.
 
2013-05-12 07:57:55 PM  

Hollie Maea: wildlifer: And I'll still be driving my 82 silverado pulling people to charging stations.

Keep dreaming.


332,000 miles and counting. I can fix it with a small set of tools. No computer required. Parts are even on deep discount on amazon.
 
2013-05-12 08:07:04 PM  
I wonder what the critical mass needs to be before the automobile associations put a few charging trucks online to their roadside assistance fleet?  That would give a little more comfort if you could have AAA/CAA come out and charge you up with a mobile DC fast charge system if you miscalculated your distances or were counting on topping up at a charger but found it was out of order.
 
2013-05-12 08:07:08 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: 15 years from now almost nobody will make or sell internal combustion vehicles.


The US has enough natural gas to last us 100+ years and its cheaper/emits less polution than oil.  Plus, I could gas up in my own garage.

I would so buy a CNG powered Honda Civic.  If they would only sell more than 2,000 a year in the US.
 
2013-05-12 08:09:38 PM  

Hollie Maea: Notabunny: Plug-in electric cars are a stepping stone. The future is hydrogen fuel cells.


[img.photobucket.com image 275x183]

Hydrogen is way behind EVs and falling behind every year.  In a couple of years when people finally realize that refilling speed is a non factor, no one will ever even think about hydrogen cars again.


How much carbon dioxide and fine particulate soot is put into the atmosphere when making electricity? How much for hydrogen? I don't think people are going to forget about wanting to breath clean air.
 
2013-05-12 08:09:42 PM  

Lost Thought 00: Reverend Monkeypants: SO you're suggesting we end oil subsides?

End any subsidies that are given to companies specifically because they sell/process/mine oil. Do not end general subsidies to them simply because they sell/process/mine oil.


So create subsidies for general development of future energy technology but not specific ones?
 
2013-05-12 08:16:37 PM  
Increase the federal tax credit to $15,000 and eliminate state sales tax for purchasing one of these, and see what happens.
 
2013-05-12 08:24:29 PM  
I want an electric car. Make it affordable and practical and I'll buy it.
 
2013-05-12 08:40:42 PM  

ox45tallboy: born_yesterday: While I fully support the development of this technology, I would hate to find myself with a car low on charge and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).

Because those gasoline pumps will keep right on working with no electricity, right?


Except that gas station pumps can be run by generators.  That's what they did during Sandy in NJ for areas with no power during gas rationing.  One generator will run a pump that can fuel hundreds of cars or charge one EV vehicle, maybe.
 
2013-05-12 08:53:09 PM  

Great Janitor: Now, if you lived in a city like Chicago or New York and really wanted a car over the mass transit the city provides, then the Leaf would be a decent option


You'd have to have better charging infrastructure available. A lot of people don't have garages or dedicated parking spaces so charging your car would be a challenge when you have to park down the block.
 
2013-05-12 08:58:08 PM  

trackerbri: I wonder what the critical mass needs to be before the automobile associations put a few charging trucks online to their roadside assistance fleet?  That would give a little more comfort if you could have AAA/CAA come out and charge you up with a mobile DC fast charge system if you miscalculated your distances or were counting on topping up at a charger but found it was out of order.


They already have that service here in the Portland area.
 
2013-05-12 09:03:38 PM  

satanorsanta: What nobody seems to recognize is the sheer number of people that live in apartments ~25% of all americans.  I have no way to charge an electric car even though I should be in the perfect demographic.  My wife and I take a bus to work even though we have a car (because it is cheaper/easier than parking in Boston).  Even though we drive all weekend and often during the evenings we get gas once per month.  But the only way to charge an electric car would be to run an extension cord up to my second floor apartment and through a window.  It would even be difficult for my parents to charge an electric car because they don't have garages and would need to run an extension cord.


Same here. It's only a five mile commute each way. But no outlets available at either end of the trip.
 
2013-05-12 09:03:52 PM  

Notabunny: How much carbon dioxide and fine particulate soot is put into the atmosphere when making electricity? How much for hydrogen? I don't think people are going to forget about wanting to breath clean air.


More for hydrogen.  A lot more.  Hydrogen is either made from reforming hydrocarbons (with CO2 as the byproduct) or by electrolysis of water (uses electricity and is inefficient).  Once you have the hydrogen, your fuel cell is significantly less efficient than a battery.
 
2013-05-12 09:05:00 PM  

wildlifer: 332,000 miles and counting. I can fix it with a small set of tools. No computer required. Parts are even on deep discount on amazon.


Oh, I don't doubt that your rig is indestructable.  But I think you will find far fewer stranded EVers to play hero for than you expect.
 
2013-05-12 09:07:22 PM  

bingethinker: Same here. It's only a five mile commute each way. But no outlets available at either end of the trip.


Talk to your apartment manager.  Level 2 EVSEs are so cheap these days, I'll bet you could talk them to installing one and using it as a selling point.  Or talk to your employer.  They might do it for the green cred.  Seriously those things are cheap.  My workplace has a level 2 charger that is freely available for anyone to use.  So does the Walgreens across the street.  And the Fred Meyers down the road.  And the public library.
 
2013-05-12 09:24:02 PM  

ha-ha-guy: After which the hydrogen fuel cell will pretty much destroy both gas and electric.


Hydrogen is not a fuel. The energy cost of manufacturing, transporting and storing hydrogen makes this a total loser. The cycle is less than 18% efficient, which is worse than the gasoline cars of the 1950s.
 
2013-05-12 09:28:10 PM  

Hollie Maea: Notabunny: How much carbon dioxide and fine particulate soot is put into the atmosphere when making electricity? How much for hydrogen? I don't think people are going to forget about wanting to breath clean air.

More for hydrogen.  A lot more.  Hydrogen is either made from reforming hydrocarbons (with CO2 as the byproduct) or by electrolysis of water (uses electricity and is inefficient).  Once you have the hydrogen, your fuel cell is significantly less efficient than a battery.



That's weird. Because the hydrogen filling stations Honda built in LA are solar powered. At this point though, efficiency isn't the most important criteria. Both are young technologies and have to overcome many hurdles before becoming mainstream, while at the same time competing against a hugely profitable industry which has been receiving huge government subsidies for a century. However, I believe a form of energy which generates no pollution in its creation, and which emits only water when used, is ultimately going to win the contest. Probably not next week, but ultimately.
 
2013-05-12 09:33:27 PM  

Hollie Maea: bingethinker: Same here. It's only a five mile commute each way. But no outlets available at either end of the trip.

Talk to your apartment manager.  Level 2 EVSEs are so cheap these days, I'll bet you could talk them to installing one and using it as a selling point.  Or talk to your employer.  They might do it for the green cred.  Seriously those things are cheap.  My workplace has a level 2 charger that is freely available for anyone to use.  So does the Walgreens across the street.  And the Fred Meyers down the road.  And the public library.


Furthermore, many of the companies that sell charging equipment are more than happy to help would-be customers negotiate with skeptical landlords and HOA's.
 
2013-05-12 09:39:28 PM  

dobro: All they need is interchangeable battery packs. Like the Blue Rhino propane tanks. Pull into a station and swap the battery pack. Faster than pumping gas.


I don't see how it will ever be as convenient to winch multi-hundred-pound battery packs into and out of place as it is to pump one or two dozen gallons of liquid from tank A to tank B.

Or why gas stations would be interested in keeping racks of charged battery packs ready to go, when they're bound to be less profitable by volume than liquid gasoline.
 
2013-05-12 09:45:53 PM  

Shaggy_C: Batteries become less efficient with each charging cycle. Your 300 mile charge will be a 50 mile charge by year 5. Resale market for electrics cars will suck


I wish there were some sort of market we could look at to see if battery efficiency really does decrease over a span of about a dozen years, ultimately affecting the resale value of certain cars.

Perhaps there were some sort of half-battery-powered, half-gas-powered car that we could review the numbers for.
 
2013-05-12 09:46:49 PM  

ajgeek: <i>Lindland said her view that Americans "just don't see how an electric car can fit into their lifestyle. We continue to be risk-averse in investing in <a data-cke-saved-href="http://phys.org/tags/new+technology/" rel="tag" class="textTag">new technology in our cars." </i>

Let's see. Infrastructure isn't in place, nearest dealer to me is over 500 miles away, significantly higher cost than a standard internal combustion horse, lower range, no mechanics, proprietary designs with no access to blueprints or designs... oh and an 8 hour charge powered by gasoline!

News flash! HALF of America doesn't live in urbania. If you want this, put real money into battery gasoline technology.


Updated your comment to 1913 standards
 
2013-05-12 09:56:11 PM  

Hollie Maea: trackerbri: I wonder what the critical mass needs to be before the automobile associations put a few charging trucks online to their roadside assistance fleet?  That would give a little more comfort if you could have AAA/CAA come out and charge you up with a mobile DC fast charge system if you miscalculated your distances or were counting on topping up at a charger but found it was out of order.

They already have that service here in the Portland area.


Seattle, too.
 
2013-05-12 10:14:18 PM  

Hollie Maea: bingethinker: Same here. It's only a five mile commute each way. But no outlets available at either end of the trip.

Talk to your apartment manager.  Level 2 EVSEs are so cheap these days, I'll bet you could talk them to installing one and using it as a selling point.  Or talk to your employer.  They might do it for the green cred.  Seriously those things are cheap.  My workplace has a level 2 charger that is freely available for anyone to use.  So does the Walgreens across the street.  And the Fred Meyers down the road.  And the public library.


Oh, they installed a charging station for the president's Leaf, but nobody else can use it.
 
2013-05-12 10:35:45 PM  

Notabunny: That's weird. Because the hydrogen filling stations Honda built in LA are solar powered. At this point though, efficiency isn't the most important criteria. Both are young technologies and have to overcome many hurdles before becoming mainstream, while at the same time competing against a hugely profitable industry which has been receiving huge government subsidies for a century. However, I believe a form of energy which generates no pollution in its creation, and which emits only water when used, is ultimately going to win the contest. Probably not next week, but ultimately.


It's even easier to generate electricity straight for the car with solar than it is to go through the hydrogen middleman.   Straight EV is always going to be cleaner than hydrogen, because hydrogen is an extra unnecessary step that has associated inefficiencies.  I used to be pretty gung ho about hydrogen, but after taking some classes about it and looking closer into it, I realized that it has far more disadvantages than advantages compared to battery EVs.  Really the only "advantage" is that you can pull in to a filling station and refuel fairly rapidly.  But that is a dying paradigm.  Once people get a taste of EVs, they would never dream of going back to a system in which you regularly have to go fill up.
 
2013-05-12 10:58:46 PM  

born_yesterday: sammyk: The sweet spot for electric cars is the daily commuter. The Tesla model s has a 300 mile range. That is enough for the longest daily commute most could imagine with power to spare. Plug it in when you get home and its fully charged in the morning. Most families have more than one car as well. So you have a car that runs on gas for the long trips. Or rent one.

While I fully support the development of this technology, I would hate to find myself with a car low on charge and in the middle of an emergency that shuts down the power grid (especially for an extended period).


Yeah, electric cars are the opposite of spontaneity, and that matters to a lot of people.

I am very interested, though, in a hybrid, when the day comes that my civic is ready to put to pasture. But since it's a 2006 with 125k miles on it, I think the tech will have more time to mature before I get to it.
 
2013-05-12 11:07:20 PM  

Lost Thought 00: Buy one or don't buy one, don't biatch about other people's personal decisions. Stop trying to use the government to force your ideology on everyone else


I agree.

But don't use my money (aka taxes) to pay for it
 
2013-05-12 11:37:56 PM  
Once I graduate and get a real job where I can't get away with commuting by scooter any more, I guess I'm going to have to give in and buy another car. I'm definitely going to be looking into electric, but as someone whose last two vehicles were a diesel VW and a scooter I doubt that I'm anywhere near a typical consumer.
 
2013-05-12 11:39:35 PM  

Kraftwerk Orange: Chevello: so I just need something for the 4 mile commute that won't get punted off the road by every stupid soccer mom in an Escalade or gardener with an overloaded trailer.

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 850x566]


I'm still pissed that they changed their final production version from that badass design to something that looks like crap.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I sort of bring this up any time I pop into an EV thread, but the biggest problem with all-electric vehicles is that the majority of Americans don't have a garage with a convenient power outlet to plug into.  I, and many other people, live in an apartment complex with street-only, unreserved parking.  And I commute to an office with a parking garage with unreserved parking and no power outlets.  If someone can develop a power cell that I can carry into my apartment and charge overnight, or carry into the office and charge at my desk, I'll be first in line to buy an EV.
 
2013-05-12 11:52:05 PM  
Lot of talk about pure EV running out of electricity or having to sit around and wait for a charge. So why isn't the Volt more popular? Run till the batteries are dead and then switch over to gas to get you home. Is it the price?

Saw a Tesla today in Austin. I was heading up 183 doing about 70 in a 65 and he must have been doing about 80 when he went by. Pretty cool looking. Note to Tesla, you need to make the name stand out better in the chrome piece along the trunk. I couldn't read it but the guy had a license plate frame that said Tesla. Neat looking car for the fraction of time I got to gawk at it.
 
2013-05-12 11:52:47 PM  

dywed88: Electrify: Quick question: Why do so many Americans live so far away from work? Canada has plenty of sprawl as well, but even then a 30 mile commute each way is at the top end of our daily travel range, and many of those commutes are done by commuter train rather than car. Seriously, why the hell are people commuting 50, 80, even 100 miles each way? By this point you are well outside the metropolitan statistical area and approaching cross-state commuting!

I am assuming you aren't from Southern Ontario. Commuting from Kitchener or Barrie is quite common, Barrie in particular is known as a commuter city for Toronto. And people living further away aren't uncommon.


Actually I am in Toronto, Richmond Hill to be more specific. As I said, MOST people commute from about 30 miles out maximum, which forms the edges of the urban area (Hamilton, Newmarket, Oshawa). Yes there are people who commute from places further out, but many of those commutes are into Toronto's suburbs rather than into downtown. And those going into downtown are taking the GO train. Hell, even the edge cities I mentioned above, I'm willing to bet most of the travel is into another suburb or by train downtown.

Kitchener, Barrie, and even Oshawa are their own metropolitan areas, which suggests the majority of people in these areas are working within these areas rather than commuting into Toronto. I'm willing to bet that commutes between Oshawa to Brantford (100 miles) are exceedingly rare, and not just because of their local economies.
 
2013-05-12 11:58:21 PM  

ajgeek: News flash! HALF of America doesn't live in urbania. If you want this, put real money into battery technology.


NEWSFLASH: half of it does!

/we're not Communists; companies don't have to make products which are perfect for ALL the people.
 
2013-05-13 12:08:54 AM  

ghare: Electrify: Quick question: Why do so many Americans live so far away from work? Canada has plenty of sprawl as well, but even then a 30 mile commute each way is at the top end of our daily travel range, and many of those commutes are done by commuter train rather than car. Seriously, why the hell are people commuting 50, 80, even 100 miles each way? By this point you are well outside the metropolitan statistical area and approaching cross-state commuting!

Because rent is cheap out there, and their time is totally worthless, and their only car maintenance expense is gas.

/In other words, they can't do math.


yeah, i have a friend who moved over forty-five minutes away because of better schools. Keep in mind better is a difference between very good and great, not like some inner city hellhole or anything. He has to take home call, on occasion, but one of the stipulations is that you have to be thirty mins from the hospital to take the call from home. The result is that he actually has to stay overnight in the hospital.

I asked him if he ever though about how their kids would do in school if he got home 45 minutes earlier to help them with their homework or if he didnt spend so much time at the hospital he could otherwise spend at home. He had no answer, really, but I could tell he had never though about it.
 
2013-05-13 12:14:24 AM  

Hollie Maea: Notabunny: That's weird. Because the hydrogen filling stations Honda built in LA are solar powered. At this point though, efficiency isn't the most important criteria. Both are young technologies and have to overcome many hurdles before becoming mainstream, while at the same time competing against a hugely profitable industry which has been receiving huge government subsidies for a century. However, I believe a form of energy which generates no pollution in its creation, and which emits only water when used, is ultimately going to win the contest. Probably not next week, but ultimately.

It's even easier to generate electricity straight for the car with solar than it is to go through the hydrogen middleman.   Straight EV is always going to be cleaner than hydrogen, because hydrogen is an extra unnecessary step that has associated inefficiencies.  I used to be pretty gung ho about hydrogen, but after taking some classes about it and looking closer into it, I realized that it has far more disadvantages than advantages compared to battery EVs.  Really the only "advantage" is that you can pull in to a filling station and refuel fairly rapidly.  But that is a dying paradigm.  Once people get a taste of EVs, they would never dream of going back to a system in which you regularly have to go fill up.


We disagree, but I'd be happy driving either. My dad used to say, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."
 
2013-05-13 12:32:36 AM  

rynthetyn: Once I graduate and get a real job where I can't get away with commuting by scooter any more, I guess I'm going to have to give in and buy another car.


Don't give up on your scooter just yet.  I had to relocate after graduation (my new job was nearly 100 miles from where I lived at the time), and I managed to find a decent, reasonably-priced apartment just two miles from work--trivial biking distance.

HotWingAgenda: If someone can develop a power cell that I can carry into my apartment and charge overnight, or carry into the office and charge at my desk, I'll be first in line to buy an EV.


Given that the battery arrays on electric cars typically weigh a minimum of 600 pounds, you'll be waiting a long time for that to happen.

Do the needful: Lot of talk about pure EV running out of electricity or having to sit around and wait for a charge. So why isn't the Volt more popular? Run till the batteries are dead and then switch over to gas to get you home. Is it the price?


Not so much the price as what you get for the price.  The Volt looks and feels pretty much like a run-of-the-mill Chevrolet vehicle, but the price point is higher than most Buicks, and the fuel efficiency isn't nearly as good as a Prius (therefore it's only a "green" vehicle if you rarely travel more than 35 miles).  The Model S is far more expensive, but it compares quite favorably to luxury cars in the same price range (Mercedes et al).
 
2013-05-13 01:00:07 AM  

Notabunny: We disagree, but I'd be happy driving either. My dad used to say, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."


Oh sure, I agree.  Hydrogen cars are WAY better than gas powered cars, in my opinion.  If they ended up being the future, I'd be fine with that.  And if battery electric vehicles weren't here I would agressively be advocating for them.  I do think that they have a lot more obstacles to overcome than battery electric vehicles, but there are certainly legitimate arguments to be made on their behalf.
 
2013-05-13 01:02:16 AM  

anfrind: Do the needful: Lot of talk about pure EV running out of electricity or having to sit around and wait for a charge. So why isn't the Volt more popular? Run till the batteries are dead and then switch over to gas to get you home. Is it the price?

Not so much the price as what you get for the price.  The Volt looks and feels pretty much like a run-of-the-mill Chevrolet vehicle, but the price point is higher than most Buicks, and the fuel efficiency isn't nearly as good as a Prius (therefore it's only a "green" vehicle if you rarely travel more than 35 miles).  The Model S is far more expensive, but it compares quite favorably to luxury cars in the same price range (Mercedes et al).


And that's where I am still confused. I get having creature comforts, but if you are truly in this to save either money, gas, or the environment (whichever you prefer) then wouldn't things like whale penis leather be less of a deciding factor? From what I have read, the Corvette has "run of the mill chevy interior" and you still have people shelling out big bucks for the muscle, not ergonomic ac vents.

It seems to quell the whole issue that it seems the majority of people who want to have an electric car but don't want to be stuck somewhere waiting for a charge have. The batteries run out, you let the gas take over and get you home or to work and charge back up. Maybe it's the weak 35 miles bit.

It's going to be a long time before I am shelling out money for a new anything so I can't even imagine what my next vehicle will be.
 
2013-05-13 01:05:26 AM  
Tesla Superchargers. Case closed.
 
2013-05-13 01:16:33 AM  
I would love to see 100% electric mandated, if only to kill Harley.
 
2013-05-13 01:16:41 AM  

anfrind: rynthetyn: Once I graduate and get a real job where I can't get away with commuting by scooter any more, I guess I'm going to have to give in and buy another car.

Don't give up on your scooter just yet.  I had to relocate after graduation (my new job was nearly 100 miles from where I lived at the time), and I managed to find a decent, reasonably-priced apartment just two miles from work--trivial biking distance.


Yeah, if I can work that I will, though I don't know how much confidence it would instill in a client if their lawyer shows up on a scooter.
 
2013-05-13 01:56:53 AM  

RickN99: Hollie Maea: Waldo Pepper: germ78: If you're sitting on your ass at work for 8 hours a day, might as well use that time to let it charge.

Where do you plug it in?

Find a standard 110V outlet.  You will get 40 miles of range while you work. It will cost your employer 60 cents, so make sure you ask permission first!

After one of the other EV threads, I walked around the parking lot to find a 110V outlet.  Looks like I'd need a looooooooooong extension cord, plus cross the building's driveway to get to an outlet.  It would be pricey to set up and the daily traffic running over the cord means frequent replacement.

Is my suburban Atlanta office building behind the times or do most of them not have outlets in the parking lot?


Hmm never dawned on me that the warm climates wouldnt have plugs at every parking space at homes and apartments....lots of public parkades do too. So the infrastructure is there any place where people have block heaters on their vehicles.
 
2013-05-13 04:25:29 AM  

enry: Gas stations would love that. You have nothing to do for 25 minutes except go in the store and get some food or coffee.


I think this would do good things for the road toll (road deaths).  Forcing people who are driving long distances to stop and rest and maybe have a nap for 15 minutes every few hours would be a good thing.
 
2013-05-13 09:13:19 AM  

ajgeek: Let's see. Infrastructure isn't in place, nearest dealer to me is over 500 miles away, significantly higher cost than a standard internal combustion, lower range, no mechanics, proprietary designs with no access to blueprints or designs... oh and an 8 hour charge!


all of THIS.

People will buy them when they don't suck floppy donkey dick
 
2013-05-13 10:15:21 AM  

MatrixOutsider: Increase the federal tax credit to $15,000 and eliminate state sales tax for purchasing one of these, and see what happens.


Make it completely free and raise income taxes by 10% to support it.

Voila! electric car success!
 
2013-05-13 10:35:46 AM  

if_i_really_have_to: enry: Gas stations would love that. You have nothing to do for 25 minutes except go in the store and get some food or coffee.

I think this would do good things for the road toll (road deaths).  Forcing people who are driving long distances to stop and rest and maybe have a nap for 15 minutes every few hours would be a good thing.


dunno, most accidents seem to be caused by people being impatient/careless regardless of the distance they're driving or what type of transport they're using

as for the EV itself, it's really foolish to think everybody will buy them as they exist now... if you sold a gas-powered car that had a 100 mile range it would bomb worse than an EV, really the EV is selling based on the cost-saving benefits of not buying gas but that range is really what stops it from being a more widespread thing

the other issues are repairs of proprietary components and recharge times... again, if said 100mi gas car took 60min-8 hours to recharge, nobody would buy it

so the issue at the end of the day is practicality, most people don't just drive their car from home to work and then back and that's it, there's the issue of carpooling or picking other people up or groceries or weekend trips, there's also the sheer spontaneity of driving that means being ready to travel at a moment's notice without pre-planning

i wouldn't be shocked if in 10 years battery technology changes dramatically and 300mi range is the minimum and recharge times are lowered dramatically and weight is reduced and repairs cheaper, but as it is right now we're looking at the early adopter phase of this technology... besides, most people didn't buy cars for almost 50 years after they were debuted - the interstate highway system had a lot to do with that
 
2013-05-13 11:50:17 AM  
To all the anti-electric car people who aren't shills for major petroleum corporation I ask you this:
My wife and I have two vehicles: the small car I drive and a minivan with an almost 500 mile range on a tank of gas.
-We both dive under 6 miles to work.
-The minivan is used for errands, trips to the parents and vacations.
-The small car probably hasn't been more than 15 miles from home in almost a decade.

If I want to replace the small car with an all-electric Leaf: what's the problem?
 
2013-05-13 01:08:16 PM  

mjohnson71: To all the anti-electric car people who aren't shills for major petroleum corporation I ask you this:
My wife and I have two vehicles: the small car I drive and a minivan with an almost 500 mile range on a tank of gas.
-We both dive under 6 miles to work.
-The minivan is used for errands, trips to the parents and vacations.
-The small car probably hasn't been more than 15 miles from home in almost a decade.

If I want to replace the small car with an all-electric Leaf: what's the problem?


You're spending all your money on gas for a minivan. Under the conditions you listed, there is no scenario where you would ever recoup the premium price you'll pay for an electric vehicle. Get a civic or similar high-mileage car for cheap instead.
 
2013-05-13 01:12:30 PM  
Just to put a perspective on the whole "Electric cars are slightly inconvenient" spin:

Please try to remember what gasoline cars used to be like.  When they were first built, they were a rich-man's toy.  The cost to purchase, keep, and maintain an automobile was easily hundreds of times the cost of stabling a good horse.  The infrastructure was terrible, both in terms of roads and fuel.  More importantly, they were mechanically unreliable, finicky, and dangerous.  People used to be KILLED trying to crank-start an automobile (the designer at Cadillac who pioneered the electric-starter did so after a friend died as a result of chest injuries from a crank-start incident).

Combustion automobiles, even after they became ubiquitous and (relatively) inexpensive were still plagued by many reliability issues and required vastly more skill to operate than the modern auto.  Ever tried to drive a '31 Model A?  Non-synchro-transmission, manual choke, manual MIXTURE control for the carburetor, manual timing advance for the ignition.  Just getting it started requires multiple adjustments, let alone keeping it running during changing seasons and atmospheric conditions.

So, for those of you complaining that a car that spends upwards of 20 hours a day parked might have to spend eight of those hours parked next to an outlet, that's a damn silly thing to you to tell OTHER people not to do.  If it isn't right for you, fine.  For those who want to be on the upward side of the slope in terms of adopting new technology, I say: MORE POWER (heh) TO YOU!
 
2013-05-13 01:15:43 PM  

Herbie555: If it isn't right for you, fine


I don't drive an electric vehicle for the same reason I don't drive an F-350.

Funny, though, how nobody ever tells contractors to stop driving trucks and that their choice of vehicle is an inconvenient trend that will never catch on....
 
2013-05-13 01:27:23 PM  

Carousel Beast: You're spending all your money on gas for a minivan. Under the conditions you listed, there is no scenario where you would ever recoup the premium price you'll pay for an electric vehicle.


For the range he needs, he could get a Mitsubishi i-MiEV.  They cost about 20K after subsidies.  Hardly a "premium price".
 
2013-05-13 02:03:34 PM  
A few points to make, and apologies if they were made earlier in the thread:
* The practicality of EVs is highly geography-dependent. If you live in, say, the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington and your commute isn't too long, an EV is a wonderful option -- you've got cheap hydro power, above-average gas prices, lots of destinations within range, and a somewhat tech-oriented and green-oriented population (meaning that there are a fair number of businesses putting in charging stations to show their green credentials). If you live in the middle of the country -- with expensive electricity, cheaper gasoline, and destinations much more spread out -- things aren't so good.
* It takes about four hours for me to charge my Leaf from zero to full in my garage. But in another sense, it takes about forty seconds -- twenty seconds to plug in when I get home, twenty seconds to unplug when I leave. As long as I don't have some long-range unexpected trip, it almost doesn't matter how long it actually takes, because I'm not a captive audience.
* Even though high-speed chargers are starting to crop up along the interstates around here, it's still not a good choice for long-distance travel. But with the money you save on daily commutes, you can afford a lot of rental cars for those occasional adventures.
 
2013-05-13 02:36:54 PM  

skozlaw: Funny, though, how nobody ever tells contractors to stop driving trucks


Do people really walk up to an electric car driver and say "Hey!  Stop driving that electric car!".  That is the insinuation of your comment, isn't it?
 
2013-05-13 02:46:46 PM  

dforkus: I'd really like a cng civic. 250 mile range and less than 30k. not as green as an electric, but since we are burning the stuff off at the wellhead, might as well use it...

The problem is my 12 year old 4 cylinder sedan is paid for, only needs liability insurance and doesn't seem to want to die.

I'd like to see more cng filling stations, though there is one in the area.


this, This, THIS

We have so much natural gas right now that we don't know what to do with it. It's literally being burned off uselessly instead of being put to productive use.

The technology to use this as engine fuel is decades old. Converting a conventional engine is quite inexpensive. i can't imagine why we haven't at least converted the trucking industry and corporate vehicle fleets over to this.

If battery or fuel cell powered electric vehicles represent the future, natural gas damn well should represent the present.
 
2013-05-13 02:58:23 PM  

MrEricSir: dobro: All they need is interchangeable battery packs. Like the Blue Rhino propane tanks. Pull into a station and swap the battery pack. Faster than pumping gas.

[img200.imageshack.us image 670x445]

You mean like the Better Place robotic battery swap stations?


Oooooh... Now that's seriously cool.
 
2013-05-13 03:06:33 PM  

RickN99: Do people really walk up to an electric car driver and say "Hey!  Stop driving that electric car!".  That is the insinuation of your comment, isn't it?


They do sometimes unplug our cars when they walk by in order to "show us" though.
 
2013-05-13 03:09:32 PM  

BullBearMS: Oooooh... Now that's seriously cool.


It's also something you'll never see. The only major manufacturer that was supporting this (Renault) has decided that it is pointless due to the significant increases in the rate at which batteries can be recharged.
 
2013-05-13 03:24:55 PM  

Notabunny: Plug-in electric cars are a stepping stone. The future is hydrogen fuel cells.


Why go electricity--hydrogen---car instead of electricity----car? Hydrogen is a crappy substitute for a good battery.
 
2013-05-13 03:27:55 PM  

RickN99: Do people really walk up to an electric car driver and say "Hey! Stop driving that electric car!". That is the insinuation of your comment, isn't it?


I don't know about that, but you see exactly that sort of attitude in these threads all the time. People act like they're proven failures and there's no need or justification anywhere for them and anybody who would buy one must be some sort of hippy idiot. Look at the attitude so many people have toward Prius drivers, saying that they're smug and whatnot.

Basically, they take the attitude that because their experience tells them an EV would be wrong in their situation it must be wrong in all situations.  "I live 40 miles from work therefore there must be nobody who could drive one of these things regularly!"

We're talking about a country in which a significant portion of people took it as a personal attack against them when Bush signed off on the CFL changeover.... we're not talking about entirely rational people here.
 
2013-05-13 03:53:56 PM  

Ned Stark: Why go electricity--hydrogen---car instead of electricity----car? Hydrogen is a crappy substitute for a good battery.


Most of the arguments for hydrogen that I have heard boil down to the fact that some people feel a lot better about life if they have a jerrycan of fuel in their trunk.
 
2013-05-13 04:16:59 PM  

anfrind: therefore it's only a "green" vehicle if you rarely travel more than 35 miles


Conveniently enough, that's the <a href="
http://1bts.rita.dot.gov/publications/highlights_of_the_2001_nationa l_ household_travel_survey/html/table_a17.html">average American</a>.
 
2013-05-13 04:43:25 PM  

germ78: If you're sitting on your ass at work for 8 hours a day, might as well use that time to let it charge.


Additionally, I also know many people who sleep on a fairly regular basis.
 
2013-05-13 05:57:49 PM  
I've had my Leaf for two months now. My commute is about 60 miles round trip every weekday, plus I drive it about 30-50 miles each weekend.

I've never had to wait one second for my car to be charged when I need it. Sometimes I will stop at the Fred Meyer that's on the way home and plug into the (free) quick-charger there while I shop, but that's purely optional and just saves me a bit of money off my home electricity bill.

This car isn't for everyone. It's PERFECT for me. I am in love with it.
 
2013-05-13 06:43:30 PM  

Hollie Maea: The 2013 leaf has an EPA range of 84 miles that you can use when you need it.

http://green.autoblog.com/2013/02/21/2013-nissan-leaf-revealed-gets- 75 -mile-range-actually-84-in-n/


I average between 90 and 95 miles a charge on my commute.
 
2013-05-13 08:16:03 PM  
Speaking as someone who has been around for over a half a century, I'd like to weigh in.
/185#, same as highschool.
Seriously.
EVs are gadgets.
Like PCs were. Big, expensive, clunky, full of bugs,
Wait a few years while they work the bugs out, make them lighter, with high impact crumple zones, made from recycled juice boxes, and smaller.
Then all you need to do is buy and app at the stop light to print you a burger in the in dash food processor.
Let them recharge on recycled farts from your seat cushion.
Pour a margarita from the stick shifter/beer tap because it's self driving, and prop your crotchfuit up in the driver's seat. It's all good.
/in 40 years.
 
2013-05-13 08:23:19 PM  

Falin: Hollie Maea: The 2013 leaf has an EPA range of 84 miles that you can use when you need it.

http://green.autoblog.com/2013/02/21/2013-nissan-leaf-revealed-gets- 75 -mile-range-actually-84-in-n/

I average between 90 and 95 miles a charge on my commute.


Yeah...the EPA rating algorithm doesn't baby the cars at all. I also regularly do better with my Think City and I don't hyper mile or do anything weird like that.
 
2013-05-13 08:36:50 PM  
ajgeek * * Smartest * Funniest 2013-05-12 09:24:53 AM <i>Lindland said her view that Americans "just don't see how an electric car can fit into their lifestyle. We continue to be risk-averse in investing in <a data-cke-saved-href="http://phys.org/tags/new+technology/" rel="tag" class="textTag">new technology in our cars." </i> Let's see. Infrastructure isn't in place, nearest dealer to me is over 500 miles away, significantly higher cost than a standard internal combustion, lower range, no mechanics, proprietary designs with no access to blueprints or designs... oh and an 8 hour charge!
--------------------------------------------------------

What the hell infrastructure do you need for electric cars? An electric plug. Every single building in america has at least 10 of them.

Plug it in, go to sleep. This is not rocket science.

Hydrogen cars would need a lot of infrastructure, cause you need places to sell it. Electric cars DO NOT have this problem.
 
2013-05-13 09:18:43 PM  

jake3988: Hydrogen cars would need a lot of infrastructure, cause you need places to sell it. Electric cars DO NOT have this problem.


Well, they kind of do, since the existing electric grid has trouble keeping up with the demand for a/c on hot days already.

We'd need a higher capacity electric grid if everyone was going to switch over to this at once.

However, since our electric grid is part of the nation's infrastructure that pretty much needs to be replaced already....
 
2013-05-13 10:36:45 PM  

Hollie Maea: Ned Stark: Why go electricity--hydrogen---car instead of electricity----car? Hydrogen is a crappy substitute for a good battery.

Most of the arguments for hydrogen that I have heard boil down to the fact that some people feel a lot better about life if they have a jerrycan of fuel in their trunk.


Actually, most of the manufacturers' arguments pro-hydrogen are that FCVs are better suited for larger sedans and trucks, which require longer ranges and cargo capacities.  For instance, the very-popular SUV segment is ideal ground for FCVs.

BEVs, so argue the automakers, are well suited for smaller cars, specifically daily commuters that don't require large ranges.

Both BEVs and FCVs will be made and sold to the public.  Anyone who says it's got to be one or the other is obviously biased.  It's like saying either gasoline or diesel, but you have to choose.  Different drivetrains offer different benefits.  However, both BEVs and FCVs offer the same benefit of reducing and ultimately eliminating GHG emissions from autos (moving them back to a centralized power/hydrogen plant), as well as reducing our need to import oil.
 
2013-05-13 10:40:00 PM  

Hollie Maea: RickN99: Do people really walk up to an electric car driver and say "Hey!  Stop driving that electric car!".  That is the insinuation of your comment, isn't it?

They do sometimes unplug our cars when they walk by in order to "show us" though.


That sounds like easy pickings for meth heads looking for some copper to steal. The cords, that is. I can't imagine they'd be cheap to replace either. Of course, with gas power they'll siphon your tank, so that's kind of a wash.
 
Displayed 180 of 180 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report