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Old 03-12-2018, 07:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What do you guys think of electric cars (like the bolt)?

So the Bolt came out recently.
With discounts and everything, it's about $30k.

I like the 238 mile range estimate! That's very nice.
0-60 is in less than 7 seconds. Not specifically peppy like a sportscar, but not sluggish either.

The numbers don't compute,
the car has a reported top speed of 91MPH,
An equivalent engine power of supposedly 200HP and 266 lb-ft
It accelerates about the same as a Veloster with 200HP, but the battery pack is only providing energy for 60kW, which is equal to 80HP.
Top speed of the bolt also indicates that the engine is closer to 80HP than to 200HP.

The torque specs I would have guessed are closer to 200 lb ft, than the reported 266.

Anyway,
leaving that aside,
From financial point of view, cars like these don't make sense to me.
People buying them for not having to pay gasoline.
However,
The Bolt, sold at $30k is about 10k more expensive than a Veloster.

Going by that math, if I'd buy $10k on gasoline, at $2,50/gal (current price), is 4000 gallons of fuel; and my car does 30MPG, I would be able to drive my car 120k miles, before my gas is paid back.

If we calculate inflation, and pay an average of $3,3/gal (either premium fuel, or just expensive regular), we'd get about 90k miles.

Yes, the car needs oil changes, that cost, but an electric also needs maintenance; and it's electricity cost over 90-120k miles compensates the oil changes on a regular car.
Also, the more your battery wears out, the less efficient charging it is.

Most people have their car for longer than 100k miles.
So you'd say it's benefiting them to get the Bolt.
However, they will need a battery change after the warranty is over at 100k miles.

Also,
The cost would be higher if the car gets wrecked or stolen before the 100k miles is reached.
Also, insurance premiums are higher on more expensive cars.

Not to mention getting stranded out there, without a plug to charge it in.

So overall, I don't think that the first 120k miles, a bolt will be beneficial.

Any thoughts about the bolt or other electric cars over gasoline?

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Old 03-12-2018, 08:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just read up on the Volt's battery warranty, and that one is only 100k miles, 4 years.
The Bolt has an 8 year warranty, 100k miles, but Chevrolet warns that the battery could lose as much as 40% of battery capacity over this time!
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ehh...I get them in theory but passable range is only part of the equation. Until they're as convenient and fast to charge as regular automobiles, it will be a real hurdle to voluntary acceptance. I feel something like the Volt is, for now, more of the ideal segway into electrification. As it stands, they're ideal if you're in a large metro area with predictable commutes, but aren't very adaptable if you're on the margin for range and have an unexpected detour or errands. Being tied to the cord hampers them.

There's also my personal biases...I'm a semi-Luddite, so the electric whir and the typical futuristic feel of the instrumentation isn't at all to my tastes. I'm also all about that manual transmission experience, plus as with any modern car they come with a bunch of stuff such as power windows that I just simply didn't ask for and don't want. Not to mention they wouldn't work well at all for my own commute cycle, and even a Prius or Volt wouldn't necessarily be ideal.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the same was said about modern cellphones, and they still last only 1 day, and charge time from fully empty to full, is 20-30 minutes.

But I'd say that the biggest issue isn't range, nor charge time, but battery replacement!

I've seen ridiculous prices on replacement batteries outside of warranty.
Smart has a 4 year warranty, after which the battery replacement is $26k; or about $7k below the salesprice of the car at the time.

Times have evolved since 2014, so I think replacement batteries are significant lower, and when the old battery is returned, it can be reconditioned; and costs like $4k-$8k have been quoted for replacement batteries of electric and semi electric vehicles.

In some cases, like the smart ForTwo, is being sold at $5-6k on the market, a battery swap is as expensive as the car costs.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I actually hadn't thought about battery replacement. It seems like leasing is the thing these days, so I'd imagine initial owners aren't thinking about that. It's definitely a problem, though, and probably why a used Leaf is dirty cheap.

Re: cell phones, I get the analogy but I can't quite go all the way with you. It still sucks to be tied to a cord, and running your phone dead doesn't often strand you. Still, considering what phones do nowadays, battery life is actually kind of impressive.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I really love the idea of electric vehicles but its still just a rich persons novelty for most people. I think the plug in hybrid is the way to go though. If i can drive my city miles purely on electric and use gas on the highway to go anywhere i want thats what would sell me on it. Nobody wants range anxiety unless you have a long range and short range car. Plus its so cheap as is it really doesnt make a ton of sense to buy the EV over the hybrid.
A 2010 Prius gets 51/48. Going on the epas 55% city estimation and 2.30 gas here. Thats 1112.79. To drive my 24,000 miles a year. A 18 hyundai ioniq plug in gets gets 130mpge-ish around town and gets 52mpg combined and if you do the same math on 11.35ckWh (local rate avg last year) that ends up being $~850 to travel 24,000 miles. Id also assume the ioniq probably gets more than the epas lazy combined rating system as well. Why spend more to handicap yourself in range to save 400 dollars? Iguess it makes sense for people who drive a ton and get paid to drive but for he average person driving 12k a year that nets them well... not much. I guess on the bright side if you friends want to take a long ttrip you wont get stuck driving like I seem to always do in my Prius ��
I really think Hyundai hs figured out the magic combo. Their EV gets the best city mpgs by far, and their dual clutch gets fantastic highway mileage versus CVTs on average. Also lifetime battery warranties (no replaceable 12v its built in!) But Chevy has some crazy good msrp discounts and tax credits on their vehicles. I can buy a brand new 2018 Chevy Volt right now for 15,500 after the tax credit. Only slight downside is the battery is now literally worth the same as the car. I doubt anything will go wrong though and if it does Chevy will fix it.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
It accelerates about the same as a Veloster with 200HP, but the battery pack is only providing energy for 60kW, which is equal to 80HP.
kW is a unit of power not energy. The battery holds ~60kWh of energy, but it can provide more than 60kW or power.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I like the Bolt, but I still think it mainly only works for wealthy people with multiple cars or live in a large city, with easy ability to use public transit. The range is fine most of the time, but you definitely have to have a charger at your house (if you rent, as I do, too bad). A long road trip would be maddening. Or impossible. And it's just too expensive for a small car that can't quite do everything.

The top speed doesn't surprise me. Most electric cars have a low top speed, probably because of the single speed transmission. Even the original Tesla could only do 120, and it would wipe the floor with just about any supercar off the line.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We own a Bolt EV - and it is the best car we have ever owned. It does everything we need it to do, except long trips - but that will be possible in the near future.

It fits us better, and is more practical, and is much better economy, and much better performing - than any car I can think of.

We also have a leased 2017 VW e-Golf. And my extended family have now had eleven electric cars.
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You think buying a portable generator will extend range? (Plugged in while driving)

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