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suspectnumber961 06-29-2012 08:40 AM

What's the advantage to driving an electric car?
 
Global Warming Emissions and Fuel-Cost Savings of Electric Cars (2012) | Union of Concerned Scientists


Nationwide, EVs charged from the electricity grid produce lower global warming emissions than the average compact gasoline-powered vehicle (with a fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon)—even when the electricity is produced primarily from coal in regions with the “dirtiest” electricity grids.

In regions with the “cleanest” electricity grids, EVs produce lower global warming emissions than even the most fuel-efficient hybrids.

EVs charged entirely from renewable sources like wind and solar power produce virtually no global warming emissions.


http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/images/...ngs-fact-3.jpg

........................

So....if you could buy a small econo-electric for $13K...you could have a FREE CAR?

MPGranger 06-29-2012 12:56 PM

ever watch the documentary "Who killed the electric car?" Dealerships make very little money on a vehicle sales and make their profits on servicing. ICE engines need: air filters, fuel filters, oil filters, engine oil, coolant, emissions and all the pumps and tubes associated. (Ironically the oil companies own most of these companies) While Electrics and ICE also need: tires, brakes, windshield wipers, wiper fluid, tranny repair. Electrics would be a lot simpler to maintain so less money from their money maker. The only way a dealership would survive on selling electrics is to bump up the initial price so turn that 13 grand to 26 for an entry level electric.

UFO 06-29-2012 01:58 PM

Looks pretty obvious to me. If I lose interest in this biodiesel hobby, electric is where I am headed.

Ryland 06-29-2012 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suspectnumber961 (Post 314417)
So....if you could buy a small econo-electric for $13K...you could have a FREE CAR?

Some people would say that you would have a free car, so sure!
My electric car, after 5 years of ownership and updating a ton of stuff on it that was stock/30 years old, I figure I have around $6,000 invested in it including buying the car, so does that mean that it's better then free? sure, I also save a ton of time by not stopping at gas stations, I figure that my $900 battery pack for my electric car is costing me about the same over it's 5-6 year life span as the exhaust system and oil changes on my gasoline car cost me, oil changes alone cost around $50 per year because I use full synthetic oil, the differential in my electric car takes a single quart of gear oil and that is good for many years.

I don't think I'll ever buy a new car, nor will my parents, but I talked them in to buying a $6,000 used electric car as well and they are charging it off of wind and solar, it's clean, it's quite, it works.

ksa8907 06-30-2012 12:21 AM

Don't mean to kill your buzz, but how much damage is done by mining all those heavy metals and refining them into batteries?

NeilBlanchard 06-30-2012 07:23 AM

What heavy metals?

niky 06-30-2012 08:01 AM

That's a bit of old, alarmist alarmism from the same people who estimated a Prius would last only a third as long as a Hummer, despite many Prii lasting up to and beyond the 300k mile mark.

Electrics cost less over a lifetime than most gasoline cars, but that 13k saving is roughly equivalent to, or less than e price premium of an electric over a regular car of e same capacity and performance.

Earnings via service only matter to dealerships. I've worked with and interviewed people involved with electrics on the distributorship level, and the price premium for electrics is hugely determined by the cost of their batteries. It's the biggest problem all electric start-ups have.

No conspiracy not to sell here. You could build an electric sans batteries with the same performance as a gasoline car for not tyat much more money... Only to have to be faced with the decision over whether you want to turn buyers away due to piddling range, or due to the thousands of dollars required to buy a battery pack with decent range or due to the huge bulk of the big, cheap lead acids you're using instead of ungodly expensive lithium ions...

Ryland 06-30-2012 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ksa8907 (Post 314537)
Don't mean to kill your buzz, but how much damage is done by mining all those heavy metals and refining them into batteries?

I've talked to reps from the company that made my batteries along with reps from the USA's largest battery maker and they recycle the batteries that are returned to them as cores inside the USA (each of my lead acid batteries has a $20 core charge/value) and because around 98% of an old lead acid battery is recycled in to a new battery (2% is dirt and slag) the only need for new material to be added is to make up for any increase in demand.

Lithium batteries have a larger core value, around $500 for an 800 pound battery because the metal inside is worth more then lead, but in a lithium battery there is only 7 pounds or so of lithium, the rest is copper, aluminum, plastic and carbon, all of those get recycled and turned in to new batteries, copper and aluminum have the largest environmental impact in the making of lithium batteries, but people seem to be ok with the 100's of pounds of copper wiring in their house and the 100's of pounds per year of aluminum soda and beer cans that are recycled every year, so why get upset that these same metals are being used in a battery to power a car?

I'm also not sure if I would agree with the "ungodly expensive lithium battery" comment, my $900 battery pack in my car that as I already said compares in cost to oil changes and exhaust system in my gasoline car, could be replaced with a lithium battery pack that would last 4 to 5 times as long and cost me 2-3 times as much as the lead acid pack did, lithium batteries have dropped in cost a great deal, to the point where people are buying them and putting them in cars that they are using and coming out with a battery cost that is lower then gas engine maintenance costs on a gasoline car.

MPGranger 06-30-2012 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by niky (Post 314564)
Earnings via service only matter to dealerships. I've worked with and interviewed people involved with electrics on the distributorship level, and the price premium for electrics is hugely determined by the cost of their batteries. It's the biggest problem all electric start-ups have.

No conspiracy not to sell here. You could build an electric sans batteries with the same performance as a gasoline car for not tyat much more money... Only to have to be faced with the decision over whether you want to turn buyers away due to piddling range, or due to the thousands of dollars required to buy a battery pack with decent range or due to the huge bulk of the big, cheap lead acids you're using instead of ungodly expensive lithium ions...

But where would you buy such a vehicle? My point was that there would have to be a dramatic restructuring of the retail vehicle sales system. Current Dealerships rely on servicing to stay operating, they will sell electrics at a higher premium because they know that they will not be making that money elsewhere. Eventually the market will balance out as companies try to underprice their competitors. But remember, businesses make their profits, whether they sell snake oil or what the consumer wants. Well there is another option, businesses waste government grants like all the electric companies failing under the Obama system. Sustainable? Not yet! LOL

niky 06-30-2012 12:02 PM

New cars require not too much in the way of maintenance. With variable oil change intervals, those periodic maintenance earnings are few and far between. And then there are the people who come in for the first PMS interval, then do it themselves afterwards.

An electric is not necessarily completely maintenance free. There's brakes, controllers, suspensions... And if you package it right... say, lease-and-swap batteries... then the dealer can make money off of recharging and reconditioning batteries.

Then there's the straight lease and car-sharing models... Wherein the customer doesn't even have to think about maintenance at all, and you fold all the costs and earnings into the monthly lease.

You can buy karts, motorbikes, UTVs and the like from sellers who don't make any further money off of you until you order parts for something that breaks... So why not cars?

The dealerships don't wag the manufacturers. As we've seen over the past few years, after the meltdown, it's the other way around...

Ryland 06-30-2012 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MPGranger (Post 314587)
businesses waste government grants like all the electric companies failing under the Obama system. Sustainable? Not yet! LOL

What percentage of them are failing and how much money is being lost compared to how much we are loosing and have been loosing every day for the last 50+ years of subsidizing big oil? while I agree that we shouldn't be giving handouts to anyone, the amount of money that has been spent to push forward electric vehicles is tiny when compared to the amount of my money that is spent making sure that big oil is kept happy and has enough free public land to drill on and has the right of ways to pump it around and low priced electricity to refine it, makes me almost want to go back to using the cheap gasoline, after all I'm already paying for it.
Sorry to get off topic there, this thread is about the advantages of electric cars! yes, they have draw backs, you are much better off flying or taking a train if you want to do a cross country trip then driving an electric car, your cost per mile is less flying or on a train, you get there quicker and you can read a book while someone else drives, but electric cars work great for getting to the air port and train station!
If you only drive a gasoline car on short trips the the owners manual says to change the oil twice as often and do pretty much all of your regular service twice as often! in an electric car that is not the case, there is no warm up time, the electric motor doesn't care if you are crawling along in traffic either! if you sit in traffic you are only using as much energy as it takes to move the vehicle for the distance that you are traveling, while you are sitting stopped you are only using as much energy as it takes to power the radio and lights, you could sit in that state listening to the radio for a week or more before the battery went dead, care to try that in a gasoline powered car? and because it takes more energy to travel faster, sitting in traffic can give you a boost in range because there is very little air drag at 10mph.
Plugging in is easy, some people freak out at the idea of "16 hours for a full recharge" but that kind of recharge time is from a standard wall outlet and would be recharging from a fully drained battery, I figure for every hour I plug in I add 6-8 miles on to my range, when I drive 4 miles to work I have a full battery and my full range after half an hour of being plugged in! I don't have to wait 16 hours, that would just be silly! and if I plug in to the higher voltage charging plug at work I could have a full battery in 15-20 minutes! average person drives 20-25 miles per day, plugging in to a standard wall outlet for 3-4 hours per day (or over night and forget about it) and you have a full charge! have a fancy higher voltage (220v) charging station installed at your house and you charge twice as fast at a cost of around 2-3 cents per mile driven if you charge from regular day time electrical rates and are like my self, paying extra for "wind source" electricity from my utility, or my parents charging from solar and wind, figuring that their new PV panels are going to hit the gasoline brake even point in about 5 years, after that they have paid for them selves and will produce "free" electricity for the next 50+ years, their oldest panels are 28 years old, have been moved twice and still produce above their rated output, they also only had a 15 year warranty unlike the new ones with a 25 year warranty.

MPGranger 06-30-2012 01:16 PM

2,000 Chrysler dealerships in the 2009 Financial Crisis
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...iXbpwicPss5B3Q

Plus it's hard to find stats on our failing economy due to the Obama Propaganda machine adjusting stats to look more favorable such as taking people out of the workforce prematurely to lower the unemployment numbers. America is going to be hurting from his progressive sugar coating.

As for the EV companies going tits up, just watch a network news channel once in a while and they'll start talking about it. Or just follow the upcoming Republican campaign efforts! (FYI I'm a libertarian and voted for Bob Barr in the last election) With grants in the hundreds of million dollar range, how are they failing in less than four years? Their Business models are not sustainable. Obama threw cash at the problem, why not create a market for EVs and Hybrids by forcing government agencies, the military, and the like to use only EVs and Hybrids. The market would adjust and we'd have full sized truck Hybrids in one vehicle reset. I also perversely enjoy the thought of Generals rolling around in Prii doing official business!

I am not saying that electrics do not have advantages, but I was illuminating that they also have disadvantages. Such as a lack of dealership set up or recharging infastructure ATT.

bennelson 06-30-2012 01:26 PM

All I want to add is.....

If you have never driven an electric car, go out and test drive one. Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, and other cars are available nearly everywhere now.

Go to a local dealership and take one for a spin. They just plain feel different (in a good way) than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. Try it, you'll like it! :thumbup:

niky 06-30-2012 10:41 PM

EV start-ups go tits up because a hundred million bucks is not a lot of money... Especially if, like Aptera, your loan never gets approved.

A hundred million for a car company that's supposed to mass produce and distribute? A drop in the bucket.

Hyundai spent a few hundred million on the Tau V8 alone... Which goes into a tiny, tiny percentage of the cars it builds. Manufacturing for 40k units a year, you need to invest in a factory worth some 300 million, give or take... Depending on where you build it and how much is done in house.

Prototyping? Crash testing? Show cars? Set aside a few million for those throwaway units.

Unless you have a technology or chassis partner willing to give you top drawer parts or bodies, as Fisker and Tesla did with the GM Ecotec and the Lotus Elise... And you need to charge a big premium given the costs of outsourcing these... You have to cut costs the way most people do... Buy from China. And you still need to redesign and re-engineer the stuff for US consumption. You could do it the way ZAP did with the Xebra and say to hell with it... Or try to meet regulations and end up with a twenty year old Chinese glider that looks like garbage compared to a Leaf and which costs just as much. The general public... and investors... aren't going to buy into that, no matter how good the electric hardware underneath is.

The EV initiative failure was something I saw coming from years away, simply given the amount of money involved and how many ways it had to split, the laughably outdated Chinese hardware being peddled and the sometimes snake oil quality of the sales pitches. Blame poor business sense and some dishonesty on the part of some proponents. And blame the fact that economies of scale will always favor major manufacturers... Hence RIP Saab, RIP Daewoo, RIP Ssangyong, etcetera... Lotus and Proton only live thanks to Malaysian oil money, but that won't last long. Is it shocking that the most convincing electric comes from manufacturing giant Nissan? Not really... Not at all.

bennelson 06-30-2012 11:10 PM

Hmmm...

So not only do we have businesses that are "Too Big to Fail", but we also have industries that are "Too Big to Start"?

Barriers to entry are a difficult thing.

Ryland 07-01-2012 12:35 AM

Yes, business that are to big to start for sure! crash testing for a single vehicle model tends to cost over a million dollars, back in the 1980's the big three auto makers pushed out the competition by pushing for "safer" cars that were a different kind of safe then what everyone else in the world was driving, there for to sell a car in the USA it had to meet USA safety standards! Commuter Vehicles Inc (made my car) were only selling 500 to 1,000 cars per year and were pushed out of the market because they could not afford the cost of the new crash test standards, not that they couldn't pass the tests, at the same time companies like MG, Triumph, Vespa, Renualt and countless other companies stopped selling in the USA, still making vehicles for every other country without the road way death rates in those countries climbing any faster then they do in the USA.
So in short, the auto makers regulated them selves out of competition, it's not hard to take a gasoline vehicles glider and make a working electric car, Ben has done it, my parents bought an electric car from a soccer mom/house wife who built it in her garage! it's a great car, quality work, she'd never done something like that before!, the vehicle is not it's self hard to build, but the rest of the hoops to that you have to bring it to a show room floor, that is the hard part and that is the costly part.

I agree 100% with Ben, go to a show room, get in an electric car and drive it, then, if those are above your price range (most people I know don't buy new cars) look at the EV classified ads in your area and start showing up to look at used electric cars that are for sale! I bought my first electric car for $180, it wasn't pretty, it didn't work and it didn't have batteries in it, but after spending about $200 and two days working on it I had it driving down the road on a used set of batteries, at that point it was a $380 car and it still looked like one, but at a price like that how can you honestly say that electric cars cost to much?

niky 07-01-2012 12:06 PM

Well... most people won't even consider a Metro-sized car... be a long time before the rest of us can go as small as you without fear of being run over by those gigantic Yarii... :D

I don't think the Big Three ever wanted crash testing... but when they saw that diverging standards gave them a semi-safe haven against cheap imports, they certainly didn't say no to it... be easier for everyone if there was one set of standards... won't be long before China stops being a safe haven for mediocre engineering. The ANCAP test speed was supposed to be raised to the same 40+ mph every other organization is using this year. And the ASEAN is getting its own NCAP testing facility in Malaysia, too.

MPGranger 07-01-2012 12:33 PM

Never said I didn't like electrics, I am arguing the economics of getting production EVs on the market and building recharging infastructure. I plan on EVing whitey when his ICE gives up the ghost, decades from now.

I understand that electricity is cheaper than gas, that EVs have a flat torque band that delivers linear hp, that EVs are easier to maintain than ICE.
But I like a visceral feel to my steering so electric power steering is not there yet, and I acknowledge that ICE has the advantage on the highway, and gas is store energy much lighter than a battery.

I am about to get my wife in a family way, and we are looking at cars. Since our families live a days drive away, visiting family would mean renting a car ATT. Or I could buy an ICE or hybrid and just fuel up and go.

niky 07-01-2012 09:22 PM

If you want EPS that doesn't completely suck, Mazda is getting pretty good at it... the previous MINI had it right, the new one dropped the ball a bit, unless you get a Cooper with a "Sport" button, which firms up the steering to approximate the previous model's.

About the only thing an electric doesn't do as well in terms of "feel" is give you a sense of effort. Whatever acceleration rate you dial in, the motor just does it and goes... which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Not going to argue the economics aren't there... because I don't think so, either... not unless many requirements are drastically simplified and battery swapping gets much, much easier... but I've driven many new traditional cars that are more boring to pootle around in than a Prius. :D

MPGranger 07-01-2012 09:35 PM

For the battery swaps to be practical the US would have to authorize a specific battery, much like there is one kind of nozzle for propane tanks.

Maybe having booster batteries like this would be a better option for swap outs. http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ium-11555.html

Ryland 07-01-2012 10:07 PM

More and more cars are going to electric power steering, the Toyota MR2 has had electric power steering for years, same with a number of Volvo's, the Toyota Matrix, Prius and I think a hand full of other current Toyota's have electric power steering, the EV that my parents just bought has after market power steering installed and it works great, feels just like any other car I've driven with power steering, slightly lighter feel then my Civic VX that has fully manual steering, it feels very natural, same with a friends of mine Porsche EV that he installed electric power steering on, no weird feel at all, you really have to get out and drive a few EV's and see how nice they really are to drive before making blanket statements about how poor they handle because no one has figured out how to make them work right!

I am not a fan of battery swap, to me it's like asking all of the auto makers to put a single standard engine in every car made so when it comes time to do a tune up or emission test you can just pull the engine and drop another one in in a matter of minutes, I want a 5kwh battery pack in my little car while the next person wants a 10kwh or even a 30kwh battery pack, some packs are flat and fit in the floor while others are a long block that runs down the center of the vehicle.
For the same reason I don't like the idea of leasing the battery, EV's sell for more on Ebay if they have a battery pack in them and can be test driven, a leased battery brings the resale value of a used EV down a great deal because now you are paying a used car price but are paying full price every month for a battery and if I'm buying a new car that I plan to keep for 10 years owning the battery is going to be cheaper then renting a battery for 10 years.

NeilBlanchard 07-01-2012 11:34 PM

The huge majority of the time, all EV's will be charged at home, on a Level 2 charger. This "infrastructure" is already in place.

My brother just got a Mitshubishi i MiEV and his wife has been driving a Nissan Leaf for almost 6 months, now. They are sharing a Level 2 charging station and my brother often uses his Level 1, since his pack is smaller and he drives less distance to work.

EV's use their brakes much less often than ICE powered cars, since they have regenerative braking. So far, the "maintenance" on the Leaf has been software upgrades.

Doing the math comparing a Leaf vs an average 22.5MPG car, you save ~$17K per 100K miles driven; on fuel and regular maintenance. And buying the 85kWh Tesla Model S and paying $0.31/kWh (which is very high!) is virtually the same cost as buying and driving a full sized pickup truck or large SUV, if you drive ~200K miles on each. If you only pay 8-9 cents per kWh, then obviously, the "payback" distance is shorter.

MPGranger 07-02-2012 08:26 PM

Why does everyone pick the saddest fuel economy possible to compare to EVs? Would some step down from an F150 ecoboost to a leaf? Maybe... Would someone decide to finally ditch an ailing Geo Metro for a brand new leaf? That's a whole lot more believable.
What would the extreme downgrade to car size scenario look like? Probably, parents have kids that just went to college. Otherwise, I see people dropping a size or two at most.

Ryland 07-02-2012 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MPGranger (Post 314931)
Why does everyone pick the saddest fuel economy possible to compare to EVs? Would some step down from an F150 ecoboost to a leaf? Maybe... Would someone decide to finally ditch an ailing Geo Metro for a brand new leaf?

My parents only car was a Geo Metro and is now an electric VW Golf, both were bought used, no one goes from driving a 13 year old (last time they made the Metro hatch back was 2000) geo metro to driving a brand new car, any brand new car, so while I agree that comparing a pickup truck to an electric car is not fair, comparing a Leaf to a Nissan Versa is fair because the Leaf and the Versa share the same platform, or comparing my bosses Saab station wagon (near $30,000 new) is about as nice as a Nissan Leaf or a Volt, and has about the same amount of space as a Leaf so they would appeal to many of the same people who want a station wagon and are in the market for a new vehicle.

redpoint5 07-03-2012 02:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryland (Post 314765)
More and more cars are going to electric power steering... you really have to get out and drive a few EV's and see how nice they really are to drive before making blanket statements about how poor they handle because no one has figured out how to make them work right!

As far as I know, the only electric steering car I have driven is a Honda CRV. I wasn't told it had electric steering, and I didn't even know such a thing existed, but I was certain the car had electric steering because it felt just like a cheep force feedback steering wheel I have for playing Grand Turismo 5 (video game). It felt notchy, like turning a stepper motor, and gave zero feedback from the road. The driving felt very disconnected and reduced confidence. I wanted to steer somewhere in-between the notches that the wheel settled into.

If the CRV were mine, I'd likely disconnect the fuse to the power steering system. I'm not writing off all electric power steering as it's possible I've driven other vehicles with it and not even noticed, but the CRV steering is unacceptable.

niky 07-03-2012 03:25 AM

EPS feel depends on the same thing Hydraulic PS depends on... proper implementation. Even the previous (hydraulic-rack-equipped) CR-V has never had anything that could be reasonably called "steering feel". And I've actually driven one of those hard enough to scrub the tires and wreck the engine mounts.

Better EPS implementations mount the assist motor straight on the steering rack instead of higher up... this allows more feedback to filter through to the steering wheel. I think MINI also used a solid-mounted rack, but I can't recall specifically.

Ryland 07-03-2012 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 314985)
As far as I know, the only electric steering car I have driven is a Honda CRV.

Looking at the parts diagram for the Honda CRV it looks like it's power steering might even use a stepper motor and a quick search for Honda CRV shows a lot of people having issues with that design not being reliable, so it could be that the steering rack on the vehicle you drove wasn't even working right, so if you are building an electric vehicle the Honda CRV might be a poor choice.


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