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Old 08-24-2016, 03:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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There's a good reason cars have fuel tanks sized the way they are. It is because range anxiety *is* something that exists for most car buyers, whether they acknowledge it or not. Amusingly, it might also be one of the reasons the Tata Nano doesn't sell all that well. A 15 liter tank versus the 35 liter tank on an Alto means a real world range of up to 500 kilometers versus a thousand kilometer range.

Almost nobody ever uses up the range of their tank, but the convenience of going to the gas station just once a week or every two weeks is something they appreciate, as opposed to having to fill up every night. The extra range for cross-country trips is merely a side benefit.


Price is still a big factor. The price gap between the Leaf and the Versa it's based on is still a big one, and it'll take about a hundred thousand miles to simply ROI (so sue me... had to pull that off the net... no time to calculate)... about ten years for some... and you'll only get into the savings at the end of that... assuming nothing else has gone wrong with either car... (let's call the cost of servicing versus battery replacement a draw for the moment)...

Forbes is even more skeptical, painting payback (counting interest) at nearly 200,000 miles.

But who counts interest on car purchases? Not people buying new!


Still, people buying new can be swayed by emotional factors... which is why the Leaf sells, despite being a glorified Versa with a big battery. But for EVs to go fully mainstream, and the way forward if you're going to capture the end of the market that would rather not have to pay so much for a small car with limited range, is ride-sharing and shared-ownership... where people subscribe to a car service without taking ownership... leaving the potential open for that one-in-a-dozen who will need extra range for that day, taking the gasoline-powered option, while the rest share the all-electric fleet.

Not that this has worked out all that well in the past, but with the advent of Uber and Grab, it might just be possible to try again.
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