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  • Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

    Are people on the board thinking of going electric with their next car? Car companies across the globe are pushing this but is there any real consumer demand? I'm curious if anyone might really consider electric for their next vehicle... Why/why not?
    Tesla?
    Nissan Leaf?
    Chevy Volt?
    Are the tax incentives enough to push you over the edge?

    I'm more of a diesel guy and i don't think the electric cars will ever enter my garage because they don't make the right noises!

  • #2
    Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

    My humble opinion is that until such time as they make an electric car that 1) is competitively priced, 2) has recharging stations that are easily accessible, and 3) and most important, has a reliable range of AT LEAST 300 miles, it's a no-go.

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    • #3
      Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

      Why buy a Volt at $40K when you can get a Prius for $25K.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

        Originally posted by dukehjsteve
        My humble opinion is that until such time as they make an electric car that 1) is competitively priced, 2) has recharging stations that are easily accessible, and 3) and most important, has a reliable range of AT LEAST 300 miles, it's a no-go.
        That says it for me.

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        • #5
          Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

          Sure, if you live in an urban/advanced area.
          1. the tax incentives make the effective price competitive
          2. dense populations presumably have/will have ample stations
          3. city dwellers don't need monstrous driving ranges

          The last thing I want a car to be is a noisemaker. My ears like how quiet hybrids are when they cruise by. My nose appreciates the absence of fumes. My eyes like futuristic styling. My brain likes conservation.

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          • #6
            Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

            I've been looking at aspects of this on my Business Blog for a couple of years.

            As trackjudge notes, recharge infrastructure will work much better in densely populated and/or closed loop locations (where long trips are unnecessary/unviable). That's why the Better Place consortium (which includes Nissan-Renault, various electrical and infrastucture companies) have been keen on locations with such features (Israel, Denmark, Hawaii, Canberra). It's all about positive network externalities:

            http://internationalbs.wordpress.com/20 ... tric-cars/

            http://internationalbs.wordpress.com/20 ... mbination/

            Bringing suppliers of complentary products on-board is crucial. For example, electircal supply companies can drive (oops, a pun) take-up by leaping into using the cars themselves (government departments have also been pursued):

            http://internationalbs.wordpress.com/20 ... and-shock/

            So can firms who own convenient charge points (e.g. phone-booths):

            http://internationalbs.wordpress.com/20 ... ric-world/

            I agree that the technology and switching costs are currently the barriers, but the shift looks inevitable.

            And to answer your question, I wouldn't choose to be an early adopter, simply because (like so many IT products) the first couple of generations of vehicles are likely to have very poor resale value as their features approach obsolescence much faster than for conventional cars.

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            • #7
              Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

              Nuclear cell power source is what I am hoping for. No need to charge ever, virtually unlimited mileage.
              "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
              by Thomas Henry Huxley

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

                Originally posted by Rye Catcher
                Why buy a Volt at $40K when you can get a Prius for $25K.
                At this stage of evolution - I totally agree.

                Originally posted by dukehjsteve
                2) has recharging stations that are easily accessible, and 3) and most important, has a reliable range of AT LEAST 300 miles, it's a no-go.
                This is interesting... Pundits in the industry are calling this "range anxiety." But I don't really understand it. The plug-in electric cars are meant to be like enormous cell phones - plug them in every night and you are good to go all the next day. Home charging stations will come with the price of future cars, I think. (Unlike cell phones, hopefully there will be standardized plugs so you don't have to have different charging units if you get a car from a different manufacturer!) This largely eliminates the need for "charging stations" around the country. I think it would be very cool to put a dedicated solar array on the roof of the garage and "drive for free." Of course, apartment dwellers will have issues adopting electric vehicles.
                As for the 300 mile "minimum," I think that's an interesting and common thought. Yet it seems rather arbitrary number since just about no one drives even close to 300 miles in a day. (And if one did, an electric would be a terrible choice.) It wasn't that long ago that we were all driving cars in the 1970's that would barely go 200mi on a tank.
                If the electric were going to be one's only car, then I would rent a petrol burner for the long trips. The savings would more than make up for it, I'd guess.

                Originally posted by trackjudge
                The last thing I want a car to be is a noisemaker. My ears like how quiet hybrids are when they cruise by.
                The silence of electric cars may be pleasant to some, but pedestrians are in big trouble. People can't hear the things coming and that's a real problem. How many times have you almost been clipped by a Prius in a parking lot as it glides by looking for a space? It happens far too often. Some manufacturers are actually considering putting "noise makers" in the electrics for just this reason. My preference would the sound of the Jetson's "car."

                Originally posted by AS
                I wouldn't choose to be an early adopter, simply because (like so many IT products) the first couple of generations of vehicles are likely to have very poor resale value as their features approach obsolescence much faster than for conventional cars.
                Agreed - 100%!

                Can an electric car satisfy the people who really like to drive. The ones who like the smell of spent fuel and squealing tires? One of the things I enjoy most is taking a car for a long drive through an isolated stretch of canyon and hearing/feeling the mechanical music. The aural satisfaction I get from hearing an Italian bred exhaust note at 7000rpm beats anything the Rolling Stones ever put on vinyl.

                BTW... My least favorite Italian bred exhaust note is my uncle Giacomo 8 hours after eating a pan of eggplant parmigiana... but that's a whole 'nother thing....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

                  I will not get one because we do not drive our cars very much, so that the annual gasoline consumption is too low to matter very much (e.g., 50,000 mi on a 2000 Passat that gets 35mpg on the highway. My area (close-in Madison) has quite a large number of Prius (and similar, within 1/2 block there are 4) vehicles without much of any complaints that I have ever heard

                  Electric cars make the most sense in dense urban areas where air pollution is a problem because the combustion occurs away from the area of high density (e.g., a coal or nuclear plant 500km away).

                  The density of the infrastructure is a key element. Another aspect that might help is that the vehicles can be used to supply power when power is expensive, 'filling up' at night. For instance, some instances, the marginal cost of power in the network can exceed $1/kWh (especially in a 'power sink' such as the inner city, where T&D losses are also important. When arrangements can be made where such storage can be tapped people will be more interested in using such vehicles. Also, it does not take general acceptance (50% of the households) just 2-5% would be a pretty good market share.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

                    Originally posted by balzonia
                    [As for the 300 mile "minimum," I think that's an interesting and common thought. Yet it seems rather arbitrary number since just about no one drives even close to 300 miles in a day. .
                    300 miles is an arbitrary and inadequate range. I can drive the 410 miles from OKC to Austin in six hours but not if I have recharge in Waco. When I drive 550 miles to Albuquerque for USATF Indoor Ch next month, I don't want to shut down in Amarillo or Tucumcari.
                    Granted, many people live with a routine that makes re-charging overnight feasible or for whom 300 miles is days drive but I believe there are more for whom those limitations are not acceptable.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

                      But the real point is that an ever-increasing % of the world's population is living in urban areas. That scenario makes it very likely that electric vehicles will make all kinds of sense in the coming years/decades.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

                        Originally posted by lonewolf
                        Originally posted by balzonia
                        [As for the 300 mile "minimum," I think that's an interesting and common thought. Yet it seems rather arbitrary number since just about no one drives even close to 300 miles in a day. .
                        300 miles is an arbitrary and inadequate range. I can drive the 410 miles from OKC to Austin in six hours but not if I have recharge in Waco. When I drive 550 miles to Albuquerque for USATF Indoor Ch next month, I don't want to shut down in Amarillo or Tucumcari.
                        Granted, many people live with a routine that makes re-charging overnight feasible or for whom 300 miles is days drive but I believe there are more for whom those limitations are not acceptable.
                        I appreciate the fact that you make those long road trips... If it is 1000mi or less, i will ALWAYS drive rather than fly. That said, how many trips over 300 miles do you make in a month? Would it be more economical to rent a dino-burning car for those trips?
                        I think the 300 mile "barrier" is an issue for only a very few, in reality. I suspect it is the fear of not being able to jump in the car, at the drop of a hat, and drive 300+mi if you have/want to... I know that's a factor for me, since I detest flying, but I know I am an odd one!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

                          A query from me here.... if you're on a Road Trip and need to recharge, how long does/would it take ? With gasoline, it takes 5 minutes or less.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

                            Originally posted by dukehjsteve
                            A query from me here.... if you're on a Road Trip and need to recharge, how long does/would it take ? With gasoline, it takes 5 minutes or less.
                            Depends on the technology adopted. The interchangable battery model (which Renault-Nissan and Better Place have been pushing) should take no more than 5 mins. I'm not sure how the overnight charging model works in terms of top-ups...

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                            • #15
                              Re: Anyone earnestly thinking of getting an electric car?

                              I'm not thinking of getting an electric car as I can't drive, but I have been mulling over getting an electric motorbike or moped. I live in a city and would never have to drive more than 30 miles at a time and motorbike/moped ranges are getting longer. From what I can gather, charging from your plug at home takes a few hours.

                              Failing that, an electric-assist bike would be cool.

                              By the way, I'm partially deaf so I never rely purely on sound to detect whether anything's coming. So I do the old-fashioned thing and look both ways before crossing!

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