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Old 01-01-2010, 11:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have to admit I am a bit pissed at the guy and I have been thinking about what comment to leave on his blog. He does not seem to understand the current limitations of an EV. I think he is giving EV's a bad name by expecting them to perform like an ICE. I would love to have a car like that but it does seem a bit pricey. He seems to be paying $612/month but I have read other people say they are paying as much as $923/month.

He is also saying that at $2.55/gallon it is about the same cost to run an ICE mini. Someone check my math because he might actually be right. I thought it was considerably cheaper to run an EV.

Assuming $2.55 USD/gallon and 18cents/kw (his numbers) and 400 whrs/mile to run the car ?

to go 100 miles- 100x400 wh/hr = 40,000/1000=40 kw x .18 = $7.2

to go 100 miles- 100/30mpg - 3.33 gallons x $2.55 = $8.5

I am suprised. I guess it is a combination od expensive electricity and cheap gas. Here in Ontario we pay %50 more for gas and %50 less for electricity so I guess it makes more sense here.



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Old 01-01-2010, 03:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
I can only imagine the number of cars you would see dead on the side of the road, if every car in the Washington DC area was a pure electric with a range of 100 miles under ideal conditions.

Best way to practice that kind of limited range driving strategy would be to only put enough gas in your car to travel the same distance. Carry some more fuel in a extra gas can, and figure every time you had to add gas it would be a tow bill, roadside charge of the battery, or some other form of replenishment, with up to 6 hours waiting time.

Not saying it is impossible, but certainly for the average key in the ignition and go motorist, it will be a long time before any electric vehicle replaces IC, if ever.

Of course the car companies would be tickled pink if you just bought two cars, on for local driving and another for the highway. I know there are other solutions, but when you get into millions of drivers in a small area, which of them is really practical and cost effective?

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For the average family, 2-3 or more cars is already a reality. How difficult would it be to replace one of them with an EV?
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
For the average family, 2-3 or more cars is already a reality. How difficult would it be to replace one of them with an EV?
Making me feel guilty: 2 saved "throwaway" cars, a 3-wheel EV, and a hybrid (pedals/36V motor) recumbent trike.
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
Moderate your Moderation.
 
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Dude... Don't feel guilty.

2000 Dodge Caravan
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There are more, but those are the ones I have titles to... except the Gixxer.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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First you need a 220 outlet. Then you need 30+ thousand dollars, which is what it cost me for all 3 of my cars, with the majority of that money spend on the wife's Rogue. Then you need to pay the property taxes on the total number of cars you own.

After the average family has met those criteria, then you need someone to make sure it is charged. You need a daily mileage routine that guarantees you never need to travel more than 100 miles a day MAXIMUM under ideal conditions. No emergencies, or other over the mileage budget reasons to drive it until the battery is dead.

Then you need to calculate the total cost of ownership and see if there is any real benefit to ownership, including the always deteriorating and exorbitantly expensive battery to consider, unless you are paying a monthly lease on that battery.

For some, maybe even many of the "average people" this may be practical. I just don't see it as a solution for the average motorist. I know my wife would never tolerate the additional demands of an electric car, even though she only uses an average of 8 gallons a week of fuel in her Rogue.

I think Nissan quoted their estimated cost per mile to be 6.5 cents, but I don't think that included the battery. The battery alone could set you back another 10 cents a mile, which makes it much more costly than either of my cars. Also add depreciation to the equation and the cost per mile gets pretty high.

Centuries and billions of battery development and we still are not there as far as a practical replacement. Think 12,000 miles a year, or 120 full cycles of the battery, or 240 50% cycles, but then you get into climate conditions shortening the cycles, as well as the reduced battery capacity, over time, that still falls into the "acceptable'" category.

The shrinking fuel tank syndrome, every winter, and year after year your useable range is reduced.

Now has anyone here driven a pure electric car 100,000 miles in the last ten years. I would sure like to read about the total cost of ownership for a 10 year 100k mileage period.

Now I do own 3 cars for my family, and one of those could be an electric car and it would be practical for us in our situation. Pop already told me he would buy a Leaf when they become available but he only drives about 4k a year, and it would be perfect for him, because he keeps his car in a garage and has 220 right where the car would sit.

Even though I can afford to buy a 30k electric car, and even though we could incorporate a limited range vehicle into our routine and it would be practical, it would not reduce our total cost of ownership, and in fact would significantly increase that cost.

Now, if you can get the range to 200 miles, and the cost of ownership comparable to a conventional sedan of equal size and versatility, then I would probably be waiting at the dealership with a check in hand.

Right now we drive about 2500 miles a month total, and it cost about $200 per month in fuel.

I do believe that the Leaf, with a 100 mile range will sell, especially to those urban dwellers that don't drive more than a few thousand miles a year and have the power accessibility, and probably would keep the car in a garage. I don't really call that average. How many here would consider a 30k car with a 100 mile range?

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Mech
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
How many here would consider a 30k car
I bought an 89 Ford Festiva new. It was the first, and last, new car I will ever buy. I can build one heck of an electric for 30K, but I digress. I'm so far removed from the typical American mindset, that it's hard for me to address such a question, but I would think that the average person who has several new cars and changes cars like underwear every three years (yes, my underwear is 40 years old), would not find 100 mile limitation any worse than a lack of GPS, or OnStar, or whatever new-fangled "gotta have" trinket is in cars these days given the fact that the majority of drivers drives 40 miles a day. Also, if they find the limitation annoying, it's no biggie: they'll just trade it in for another ICE. Hmmmm, maybe my EV #3 should be a $500 EV with a 200 mile range. Let's see, pickup, used golf cart batteries......
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The problem with the expectation of a 200 mile range and so on, so forth, is that it's simply not necessary for most people.

I live in the country, and I don't normally drive even 50 miles at a time. The longer trips, granted, can be over 200 miles at times, or even more.

The largest percentage of people could benefit from using a mild EV that DOESN'T cost 30k. In fact, the average suburbanite could do a large percentage of their commuting in a golf cart. A Golf Cart.

The problem isn't with the cars, it lies in the perception of the people who are considering them.

PS - I put close to 15,000 miles on Cara (will have by next month, it's 1 year anniversary with me). And the largest percentage of that was long trips, based on mileage. However, the shorter trips made up the bulk of start/drive/stop cycles, and I could have saved plenty of fuel if I'd been legally able to operate one of the Golf Carts up the road to make those trips.

I mean, a 15-20 minute trip to Wal-Mart, and it's 11-14 miles away, depending which direction I go, even having a 50 mile range would be sufficient, and using a separate smaller pack to provide heat during the winter months for the return trip from the store.

I'm not the type of person who buys a new anything, so I can't comment on the 30k EV thing, but it will eventually become much less a matter of creature comforts, and much more a matter of whether or not you can afford to drive your gasser over the EV you had the chance to buy, for many Americans.

Personally, my first, and possibly my only EV, will probably end up being a Golf Cart, converted to road use, if I can find one. I've weighed the benefits and drawbacks of converting other things, and after costs associated, I'm still better off using something purpose built in my situation.

Regarding cost of batteries and operation, etc... nothing's perfect when it's first introduced, and the first users often subsidize further users' purchases. That's how it's always been.
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
I think Nissan quoted their estimated cost per mile to be 6.5 cents, but I don't think that included the battery. The battery alone could set you back another 10 cents a mile, which makes it much more costly than either of my cars. Also add depreciation to the equation and the cost per mile gets pretty high.
Where did Nissan estimate the cost? The only thing I've seen is a unadjusted combined rating of ~225Wh/mile. At 11c/kWh (U.S. average IIRC), that's ~2.4c/mile. To put that in perspective, a Prius gets ~70mpg combined w/o adjustment, so that's ~4.3c/mile. Battery costs also aren't ~10c/mile unless the owner has the pack replaced at ~90% capacity. In low volume over the counter they're about the same per mile as electricity if replaced at 70% capacity. An OEM can get lower prices, but they'll also charge more for a new pack so I figure ~3+c/mile is reasonable for the pack given a reasonable (uses something like the Leaf for ~50+ miles round trip worst case) driver.

While I agree that the costs of low volume EVs probably don't justify their purchase versus an efficient hybrid, given the difference in maintenance costs, especially as the mileage starts approaching ~150k+, I think they'll also be pretty close in terms of the average cost per mile once everything is factored in even w/ a ~$10+k premium. In mass production, they'll probably be better than a comparable hybrid, although the market will probably be limited since a 5c/mile difference probably isn't enough to warrant the lower range and longer refueling times for most IMO.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Some people speak of the long commute they have... I have just the opposite - a very short commute. The distance is ideal for an EV, but short enough that it would probably cause damage to a typical IC vehicle.

(I used to ride a bike to work, but got tired of being run off the road by drivers that haven't had their AM coffee or are too busy chatting on their cell phone. Oakland ain't exactly bike-friendly to begin with...)

My commute is just under five miles at city speeds. My monthly miles on the Citicar are relatively low (200 + miles if I'm at work every day) but the avoided use of my gas guzzler (a Prius) keeps it in better shape - the Prius has become my weekend car. Once the warranty runs out I may consider making it a plug-in.

If only operated a short time, an IC engine doesn't really warm up - not enough time on the road to remove water vapor in the engine oil, exhaust condensate, etc. I've heard (but don't have any real data) that IC vehicles need to run at freeway speeds for more than 30 minutes to fully de-condensate.

The few IC cars that I see drive this short distance are still spitting water out the exhaust when they are parked. Condensate probably contributes to premature engine wear and exhaust / catalytic converter rust-out. Good for the dealer/mechanic, but bad for the IC vehicle owner.

A 5-10 mile commute may be a relative rarity, but probably about as common as those with a 100+ one-way commute...
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Even Tesla admits range suffers in the cold, AND they keep their battery toasty.

They posted a blog about a Roadster road trip from California to the Detroit Auto Show, and when they started hitting the cold weather, they stuck snows on it and kept going.

Quote:
3) I have been experiencing some decreased range since we started heading north into the snow. There are many explanations for decreased efficiency, most of which affect gas powered cars too. For example, my new snow tires are “stickier” and when they build up with snow to help me keep my footing, they create more resistance.

Source: http://www.teslamotors.com/roadtrip/2010/01/750-speaks/
And then they deliver this head-slapper:

Quote:
Also, since my drivers are intent on keeping me really dirty – my aerodynamics have changed. Really, the range is MOST affected by how my drivers drive me.
Between Nissan's "no, cold doesn't affect EV's!" and Tesla's apparently road-grime-aerodynamically-impaired Roadster, you have to wonder if anyone technical ever vets these things.

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