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ALS 03-07-2012 10:33 AM

Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
It costs a fortune to pump, refine and ship crude oil. Yet even accounting for all that, gas-powered cars are a better value than electric vehicles and will be for some time.

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/523/Volt_News.jpg
Charles Lane - WASHINGTONPOST - March 7, 2012

Oh the points I could argue with this guy over this piece. He so right and so wrong on a few issues. --Ed.

President Obama boasted at a United Auto Workers conference last week that General Motors was back in business, producing cutting-edge vehicles like the plug-in electric Chevrolet Volt. He even promised to buy one when his time in office ends “five years from now.”

Whoops! Just three days later, GM announced that it would suspend Volt production for five weeks this spring, idling 1,300 workers at a Hamtramck, Mich., factory.

Alas, Obama’s endorsements notwithstanding, there’s not much of a market for this little bitty car, at least not at the price of almost $32,000 — after a $7,500 federal tax rebate.

GM fell 2,300 units short of its sales target (10,000) for 2011. It is not on pace to hit 2012’s goal of 45,000 units.

So much for Obama’s goal of 1 million all-electrics and plug-ins on the road by 2015. ... [Read More]

Chuck 03-07-2012 10:39 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
I'll take a pass on government-funding issues except to note Toyota did not need any to develop the Prius.

Weren't the 1st PCs and cell phones huge, unwieldy and crude? The Volt is a testbed.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney 03-07-2012 11:33 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuck (Post 337283)
I'll take a pass on government-funding issues except to note Toyota did not need any to develop the Prius.

But they've benefited significantly from Japanese government policy, including Japan's national management of metals.

Quote:

Weren't the 1st PCs and cell phones huge, unwieldy and crude? The Volt is a testbed.
But they fulfilled a need that wasn't being met. The Volt is just a different way of doing something: so the Volt simply isn't going to sell well at current price or efficiency.

MaxxMPG 03-07-2012 11:43 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
The best solution currently available is the "compromise". In between the all-gasoline ("Republican", based on the tone of the article) and all-electric ("Democrat", based on the tone of the article) is the gasoline-electric hybrid. The hybrid is more expensive than the all-gas car and less expensive than the all-electric car. Its improved fuel economy allows buyers to recover the extra cash spent on the car within a reasonable time frame.

What needs to happen is for automakers to offer basic hybrid models at an affordable cost rather than loading them up with creature comforts and selling them for high end prices. The Prius hits the mark with the "III" package, offering 50mpg and a price tag that is in the same range as competing gas-only cars. The Insight misses the mark in that it offers the lower pricetag but does so with option packages that force buyers to pay Prius-size sticker prices to get the equipment and features they want.

herm 03-07-2012 11:59 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MaxxMPG (Post 337295)
What needs to happen is for automakers to offer basic hybrid models at an affordable cost rather than loading them up with creature comforts and selling them for high end prices.

ahh come on!.. you want that adaptive cruise control so you can safely tailgate Explorers doing 85mph

rhwinger 03-07-2012 12:04 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
If we paid the true cost of gas at the pump that included all those external costs like wars, health, political policies that support despots and all the rest - the Volt would be flying off dealer's lots!

Pavel4 03-07-2012 12:05 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Mr. Lane ends his piece with:

"What’s “progressive” about that, I’ll never understand."

Progress is rarely linear, it's more like the Evolutionary record, full of fits and starts (Punctuated Equilibrium). The road to petroleum-free vehicles is just beginning - we are probably 20 years behind where we could have been. When the ICE was new, it must have seemed very impractical for some time... the same is true for this new attempt at a measure of energy freedom.

By the time Volt III or IV is available, it will be much better. But Charles Lane has overlooked the obvious - you need Volts I and II to be built first.

MaxxMPG 03-07-2012 12:19 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by herm (Post 337297)
ahh come on!.. you want that adaptive cruise control so you can safely tailgate Explorers doing 85mph

Yes! And I want Bluetooth without having to rinse my mouth with Ty-D-Bowl. That'll give you lotsa blue tooth.

I am waiting to see how the Prius c compares to other B-class entries. The pricing and packaging details seem to suggest that it will be a good commuter car without all the extra gizmos and will offer fantastic fuel economy if driven in a sane manner.

Jay 03-07-2012 12:33 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
I agree with the author of the article on his point that government should not be subsidizing electric vehicles. Let the marketplace choose which energy technologies should come and go. This makes the most efficient use of all resources.

WriConsult 03-07-2012 12:46 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

By contrast, even state-of-the-art batteries deliver far less energy than gas, in a far bigger package. A Volt can go 35 miles on a single charge of its 435-pound battery. This sounds like a big deal until you realize that a gas-engine Chevy Cruze gets 42 miles per gallon — and costs half as much as a Volt.
The basic point about energy density is true, but:
(1) It exaggerates a bit -- the 42mpg rating is only for the rare XFE model, and the Cruze gets far, far less in city driving; in town (where it counts), the Volt can still go further on a charge than the Cruze can on a gallon.
(2) It misses the point: 35-42 miles is enough to cover most daily driving. For longer trips the Volt still has a similar range to the Cruze, and gets about the same mpg after depleting its pack.

Quote:

It costs a fortune to pump, refine and ship crude oil. Yet even accounting for all that, gas-powered cars are a better value than electric vehicles and will be for some time.
The true cost isn't included in the price of gas. Some people care about that, even if Charles Lane doesn't give a s***.

Quote:

Gas savings on the Volt would take nine years at $5 per gallon to offset its higher price over the Cruze, an Edmunds.com analysis found last month.
Unlike gas prices, electric rates vary widely across the country. To say it "would take" 9 years for the average consumer is misleading again, because few Americans are "average consumers" when it comes to juice. For many folks back East, it would take much longer than 9 years to recoup the cost. For people like me, where electricity is well under 10c/kWh, the payback would be much shorter -- perhaps less than 5 years.

And so what it it did take 9 years? Last I checked, the average car is on the road 9 more years, and that will certainly be more true of a higher-end car like the Volt than a disposable econobox. So it actually does pay for itself economically, let alone envrionmentally.

Quote:

Gas consumption creates “negative externalities” — instability in the Middle East, carbon emissions — not fully reflected in its price. But another fact about electric vehicles is that their juice comes from the fossil-fuel-burning grid in the first place.
Well, here he at least acknowledges the externalities ... but he actually avoids addressing them head-on and misleads his readers again:
(1) Not everyone is charging their EVs off a primarily fossil-fuel powered grid. Our base power is over 50% renewable here (and cheaper than the national average), and for 8.75c/kWh we can get 99% renewable energy.
(2) EVs are 3x more efficient than gas cars. Even when charged off the eastern coal-based grid, the 99mpgE Volt is using less energy in EV mode than the Cruze.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MaxxMPG (Post 337295)
The best solution currently available is the "compromise". In between the all-gasoline ("Republican", based on the tone of the article) and all-electric ("Democrat", based on the tone of the article) is the gasoline-electric hybrid. The hybrid is more expensive than the all-gas car and less expensive than the all-electric car. Its improved fuel economy allows buyers to recover the extra cash spent on the car within a reasonable time frame.

What needs to happen is for automakers to offer basic hybrid models at an affordable cost rather than loading them up with creature comforts and selling them for high end prices. The Prius hits the mark with the "III" package, offering 50mpg and a price tag that is in the same range as competing gas-only cars. The Insight misses the mark in that it offers the lower pricetag but does so with option packages that force buyers to pay Prius-size sticker prices to get the equipment and features they want.

I agree. The Volt and Leaf are bleeding-edge vehicles, and no one is pretending they are the best value out there. To say they won't pay for themselves misses the point, and is like saying a Mercedes S500 won't pay for itself. No duh.

Meanwhile the better hybrids ARE a good value -- the Prius still blows away everything else, at a competitive price, and has been rated the best value family car by Consumer Reports for several years running IIRC. Personally I can do fine without fancy options beyond PW, PDL and AC (Prius level II is FINE with me), and might well have bought an Insight last spring if the base model had been available post-tsunami. I do still think we need to see hybrid technology trickling down to sub-$20k vehicles. The Prius c will be a fantastic addition to our menu of choices, even if still a bit steep for most economy buyers.

JonNC 03-07-2012 12:50 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay (Post 337307)
I agree with the author of the article on his point that government should not be subsidizing electric vehicles. Let the marketplace choose which energy technologies should come and go. This makes the most efficient use of all resources.

^^^^^This^^^^^
P.S. I didn't bother to read the article, I'm agreeing with Jay on his basic premise.

southerncannuck 03-07-2012 04:12 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuck (Post 337283)
I'll take a pass on government-funding issues except to note Toyota did not need any to develop the Prius..

Don't discount the savings from having national health coverage for all the workers and retirees.

herm 03-07-2012 04:46 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Big news on more Obama subsidies:

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012...-20120307.html

President Obama announces $1B National Community Deployment Challenge to spur deployment of alternative-fuel vehicles; new purchasing incentives; new EV Everywhere research grand challenge

a long list of items..

SoSlo 03-07-2012 06:44 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pavel4 (Post 337303)
Mr. Lane ends his piece with:

"What’s “progressive” about that, I’ll never understand."

Progress is rarely linear, it's more like the Evolutionary record, full of fits and starts (Punctuated Equilibrium). The road to petroleum-free vehicles is just beginning - we are probably 20 years behind where we could have been. When the ICE was new, it must have seemed very impractical for some time... the same is true for this new attempt at a measure of energy freedom.

By the time Volt III or IV is available, it will be much better. But Charles Lane has overlooked the obvious - you need Volts I and II to be built first.


The first generation of prius was much older technology, but we are talking over 10 years ago, and everyone including Chevy has learned from each generation of hybrid. I don't see the Volt as some kind of beta technology. In fact I read recently Nissan is working on an extended range vehicle.

The second generation prius is omnipresent here in Silicon Valley, many examples being over 200K miles without the battery dying. In fact, they are bought in large quantities by Outreach transit and if you drive by Mineta San Jose Airport you can see them by the dozens after hours in the depot. Maddeningly, after 100K miles Gen II Prii are still being sold for over $15K.

The Volt and the hybrids are best in the hands of large institutions because of their economies of scale, routine maintenance and ability to build their own charging stations. Many short trips in a day plays right into the strengths of the hybrid, namely city economy.

lightfoot 03-08-2012 08:13 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Didn't bother to read the article in detail. Maybe it was just an overzealous headline writer, but this is just the new tack among the Fact Free Crowd: just define what you believe as "science" and then label anyone who disagrees as "anti-science". Much as the "liberal" branding was created.

I'd rather just read the comments here: many are more balanced and insightful than so much of the press commentary. And they're getting paid for their thoughts and we aren't!

Woodywrkng 03-08-2012 08:49 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
His main complaint in the video is that it costs too much. Ok Chuck, then don't buy it. Nobody if forcing it on him. His overall whining about electric vehicles is like complaining in 1910 that automobiles were more expensive than a horse.

southerncannuck 03-08-2012 10:59 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
There are some things in our society that trigger the “haters” to lose the ability to evaluate things in full perspective. Nothing comes to mind more than this car. No one questions someone spending $40K on a BMW, but buying a Volt is “foolish”. Subsidies to the oil industry and use of the military at great costs to ensure the continued flow are not a hand out, but tax enticements to develop new technologies that take us off imported oil are. It's crazy!

ItsNotAboutTheMoney 03-08-2012 12:15 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Same Old, Same Old Journalist
Four decades after the 1973 oil crisis, this logic is wearing thin. Any company that figured out how to build a practical mass-market electric car would be swimming in cash. That no one has done so suggests we are bumping up against the limits of nature, not just politics or economics.

The electric vehicle subsidies have come in at the point the batteries have improved enough that you can have a $40k BEV that goes 70-odd miles if you drive like the average American and more if you care. That you can have a $40k medium-range PHEV that would radically reduce gasoline consumption. That you can have a $32k short-range PHEV that can still significantly reduce gasoline consumption over an HEV. The push now is to help get production and infrastructure scaled up a few years ahead of the technological mainstream so we can bring down costs more rapidly, and accelerate the shift so that we can soften the crippling economic dependency on gasoline. The push is to put more money into the grid, where it's needed, and less into oil, where it isn't.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Same Old, Same Old Journalist
Certainly the many hundreds of millions of dollars that the U.S. government, GM and GM’s competitors have poured into the effort might have been better spent on more plausible energy-efficiency efforts, such as advanced internal combustion engines.

Gas prices are already high enough that companies are investing in improved ICEs.
Hybrid consideration is at an all time high and more companies have them or have them ready. But even HEVs would cut gasoline use by less than 1/2.

Diesel could reduce oil use, but global diesel demand is so high that its price rises faster than gasoline, making it a hard sell.

Natural gas could be used to reduce dependency, but CNG vehicles have limitations that make them a hard sell just compared to an HEV: reduced space, shorter range and little or no benefit in running cost due to efficiency being little better than an ICEV.

If we really want to make oil dependency insignificant we need electricity. It's not really about BEVs, although that's a good long-term aim, it's more about PHEVs: they don't have the limitations of a BEV, they reduce gasoline with hybridization and they eliminate consumption by use of the plug. PHEVs, having larger batteries and motors also have more potential to provide a better driving experience than an efficient HEV. Either way, the key to bringing down prices and increasing practicality is getting cheaper, denser, better batteries and the fastest way to do that is having battery companies sell batteries.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Same Old, Same Old Journalist
Instead, Big Government and Big Business have focused on the Volt, the Fisker Karma or the Tesla Roadster, none of which is remotely affordable for the “99 percent” of Americans. And yet in his 2013 budget, Obama proposes to boost the tax credit for electric vehicle buyers to $10,000.

Tax credits and subsidies are paid for by taxpayers. Most tax is paid by people on higher incomes. People on higher incomes can afford electric cars. So people on higher incomes who could afford to buy them but aren't are paying for people on higher incomes who do buy them. The administration would like to increase taxes on the wealthy: it's tough to be told the your proposed increases are unfair on the wealthy and your tax credits are unfair on the poor and middle class.

rdprice64 03-08-2012 12:21 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Charles Lane (Post 337379)
Oh, and how are you supposed to resell your electric vehicle once you’ve driven it five years and the battery is depleted?

Speaking of ignoring science ... Batteries depleted after 5 years? ... I must have missed that scientific study.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Charles Lane (Post 337379)
The electric vehicle flop also illuminates a point about science — or the politics of science.

Mr Lane also seems to be missing the "politics of science" as it relates to the subsidies, credits, and incentives that the oil companies have received over the years. Energy politics seem to be inevitable at this point, it just seems like its time to level the playing field instead of tilting it toward petroleum industry.

JusBringIt 03-08-2012 12:26 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
If I had the money, I would buy a car just for the new technology...I mean, look at the iphone.. It's expensive as hell, and yet people still buy them. If you already have a laptop and a regular phone, what's the need for these things? I guess I mean smart phones in general.

I guess they need to start promoting other benefits of the technology, because most people couldn't care any less about something that's not affecting them directly and immediately.

Carbon footprint is a joke in the majority of the outside world. It's not like they press the gas and the smoke from the tailpipe immediately pounces on the hapless tireburner's lungs. If it was that bad, Gas powered cars would instantly become dinosaurs, but...it's not really expected that this will happen.

Instead of helping people pay for the vehicles, build an infrastructure so that the country doesn't fall apart when gas jumped $2 in two days and the idiots rush en masse to snap up the few electric/fuel efficient vehicles that are left and find there were only so many built and the technology didn't even get a chance to take off.

herm 03-08-2012 03:58 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rdprice64 (Post 337404)
Speaking of ignoring science ... Batteries depleted after 5 years? ... I must have missed that scientific study.

It can happen but not for the average driver. It is likely the chemistry used in the Leaf is good for 1500 cycles or so, at about 80 miles per cycle that works out to 120k miles before your battery loses 20% capacity.. that is 24k miles in 5 years. Degradation is gradual if you take it easy after that.

Nissan is depending on the average driver not cycling the battery so deeply on a daily basis, so they said in the past a life of about 10 years.

Jedi2155 03-09-2012 04:04 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
I think the chemistry is probably closer 2000-3000 cycles. I seriously doubt its only 1500 cycles to reached 80% life.

herm 03-09-2012 05:08 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Unlikely, Nissan would have crowed about that achievement.. or do you mean 3000 partial cycles?

2Evil4U 03-09-2012 06:59 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
The electric car has been around since about 1890. The first hybrid was introduced in about 1911.

This technology is practically older than the explosion engine car.

Cutting edge my butt. How much longer do they think they need before the tech competes even half favorably with ICE?

I drive 100 miles/day to work and back. Find me a small electric car for <$15k (unsubsidized, of course) that can handle that range (at least at 65mph) without a recharge and I'll consider it. Until those exist, the entire concept will remain an 100+ year old pipe dream.

300TTto545 03-09-2012 07:58 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
EVs have their place but some are posting here like they are the total final answer. Obviously they are not. Their current price is a problem and while batteries may not usually die after 5 years, they sometimes do.

I wonder who on here is really comfortable with the resale value of a Volt at 5 years? Who is comfortable that the EV range will be similar to what it was when new?

While batteries will probably come down in price, that may come very slowly.

People comparing $40k BWMs to a $40k Chevy Cruze have got to be kidding. Obviously - look at the sales figures. I haven't heard of BMW having a factory shutdown.


I for one am not going to pay $40k for a car that gets less than 40 mpg on a roadtrip. I am a perfect demographic and have a perfect commute (but I roadtrip frequently). I am thinking the math showed I could save about $200 a year by getting a volt vs a Prius if I was to get a new car. Why would I ever get a Volt. Seems like I could put the savings into PV panels and come out way ahead for my pocketbook and the environment.

herm 03-09-2012 08:02 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2Evil4U (Post 337479)
I drive 100 miles/day to work and back. Find me a small electric car for <$15k (unsubsidized, of course) that can handle that range (at least at 65mph) without a recharge and I'll consider it.

at least you are not demanding that it also include that Fiat Abart babe, there is still hope then! :)

at todays laptop battery prices that would be a $4000 battery pack.. of course laptop batteries will last about 2 years under that abuse.

Ophbalance 03-09-2012 08:02 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2Evil4U (Post 337479)
The electric car has been around since about 1890. The first hybrid was introduced in about 1911.

This technology is practically older than the explosion engine car.

Cutting edge my butt. How much longer do they think they need before the tech competes even half favorably with ICE?

I drive 100 miles/day to work and back. Find me a small electric car for <$15k (unsubsidized, of course) that can handle that range (at least at 65mph) without a recharge and I'll consider it. Until those exist, the entire concept will remain an 100+ year old pipe dream.

Same boat here. But I'd really have to hold out for 200 miles at that speed and that price point.

Right Lane Cruiser 03-09-2012 08:22 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 300TTto545 (Post 337489)
I wonder who on here is really comfortable with the resale value of a Volt at 5 years? Who is comfortable that the EV range will be similar to what it was when new?

I'm not considering a Volt but I am considering a Leaf. I don't really care about resale value at 5yrs -- both of my current vehicles are 10yrs old and I expect the Leaf will last me just fine for that length of time and probably longer. Why? My commute is less than 31mi round trip. All of my errands can be done within a 5mi radius of my house. The number of cycles before reaching 80% of original capacity skyrockets when you start getting into shallow discharge depths and considering most of my driving is at lower speeds with considerable hypermiling prowess (momentum conservation works no matter what the power source is) my expected average depth of discharge is very shallow indeed compared to the total available in the Leaf. Besides, with my usage patterns 80% of original capacity would still be well above my typical needs.

There is still the concern of deterioration due to simple age but considering my luck with laptop batteries that "only" last 2yrs (tell that to my 6.5yr old battery that still lasts for over 80% of its new capacity), I'm not too worried.

For me, the Leaf should be sufficient for some 98% of the driving I currently do and we have another car for when it won't work. I'll also be able to take on more of the short errand trips we currently run in the Fusion because it's got a back seat for the kids and I won't be using P&G (which drives my wife nuts and rules out current use of the Elantra most of the time).

<shrug> To each his own but if I can pony up the cost an EV is looking mighty good for my uses.

herm 03-09-2012 08:52 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
The way that GM engineered the Volts battery there wont be any issues for a long time, 15 years, perhaps longer.. the Leaf is a different story because Nissan allows the owner more latitude on how to use it.. they allow you to charge the battery up to 95% and discharge it down to 2%.. Nissan is depending on this no happening too often.

How did you manage 6.5 years out of your laptop battery?

ItsNotAboutTheMoney 03-09-2012 08:56 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2Evil4U (Post 337479)
The electric car has been around since about 1890. The first hybrid was introduced in about 1911.

This technology is practically older than the explosion engine car.

Cutting edge my butt. How much longer do they think they need before the tech competes even half favorably with ICE?

No tailpipe pollution.
Can be powered using renewable energy.

I think that's half favorably. We tolerate the downsides of ICEVs for their utility but I can see a future where they'll be banned.

Quote:

I drive 100 miles/day to work and back. Find me a small electric car for <$15k (unsubsidized, of course) that can handle that range (at least at 65mph) without a recharge and I'll consider it. Until those exist, the entire concept will remain an 100+ year old pipe dream.
Well, since energy density of modern batteries is better than just 10 years ago and is continually increasing , maybe you'll be able to do your trip in 10 years time.

Cost is another thing, but saying <$15k is a bit silly given the much lower running costs. Not only has density improved but batteries are getting cheaper to manufacture. In fact, much of the cost is in the development so once battery technology reaches a more functional level that can expand the market you'll see costs drop.

And, of course, your 100 miles is pretty exceptional. My round trip is 41.4 to 43.6 miles and that's on the high side of the average commute. That would mostly be covered by a Volt and could easily be covered by a LEAF.

Yes, that's $40k, but you know how much it cost to buy a Toyota RAV4 EV over 10 years ago without a battery warranty? $40k. Seems like progress to me.

For now, I'll have to put up with my HEV that uses tweaked 12-year-old battery technology and gets significantly better mileage and has lower emissions than an equivalent gasoline-engined car. Some owners are opting to pay the $6.5k premium (less credits) to get a short-range PHEV version using newer battery technology. Despite the fact that the vehicle is 100 pounds heavier it seems that it is actually getting slightly better mileage in CS mode due to the larger battery and better chemistry.

I'm very happy that people have improved battery chemistry so much since the early 20th century. I look forward to the next generation of batteries and the benefits it'll bring to HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs.

southerncannuck 03-09-2012 09:58 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
"People comparing $40k BWMs to a $40k Chevy Cruze have got to be kidding."

Not nearly as much as comparing a Cruze to a Volt. It’s akin to comparing a 73 VW bug to a 73 Porsche 911.

ALS 03-09-2012 10:46 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
OK lets try it this way a 1984 Chevrolet Cavalier to a 1984 Cadillac Cimarron.

The Cavalier started at $6200 and average nicely optioned model was around $8,500-$9,000

The Cadillac Cimarron Started at 12,615 and nicely optioned you were looking at $17,000.

Same car but $8,500 more because it had Cadillac badges on it.

Same applies to the Cruze vs Volt argument. No one with any common sense is going spend $17,500 (including $7,500 rebate/ credit) more for pretty much the same car with a big battery. I'm using a $20K for a loaded Cruze against the $45,000 the dealers around me are charging for a loaded Volt.

Even if you never bought gas for the Volt it would take you almost nine years to pay off the difference. Throw in a six tanks of gas each year for the volt and finance charges and you're looking at a minimum of a ten year payback. :(

The problem is, the cost spread can't be more than $10K to justify the additional cost of the Volt over the Cruze. Like Wayne and the rest of us have said the Volt needs to be priced around $32,000 to compete with a standard gasoline engined car.

Chuck 03-09-2012 12:32 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ALS (Post 337507)
OK lets try it this way a 1984 Chevrolet Cavalier to a 1984 Cadillac Cimarron.

The Cavalier started at $6200 and average nicely optioned model was around $8,500-$9,000

The Cadillac Cimarron Started at 12,615 and nicely optioned you were looking at $17,000.

Same car but $8,500 more because it had Cadillac badges on it.

Same applies to the Cruze vs Volt argument. No one with any common sense is going spend $17,500 (including $7,500 rebate/ credit) more for pretty much the same car with a big battery. I'm using a $20K for a loaded Cruze against the $45,000 the dealers around me are charging for a loaded Volt.

Even if you never bought gas for the Volt it would take you almost nine years to pay off the difference. Throw in a six tanks of gas each year for the volt and finance charges and you're looking at a minimum of a ten year payback. :(

The problem is, the cost spread can't be more than $10K to justify the additional cost of the Volt over the Cruze. Like Wayne and the rest of us have said the Volt needs to be priced around $32,000 to compete with a standard gasoline engined car.

+1

True - the price is not competitive yet.

herm 03-09-2012 01:35 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 300TTto545 (Post 337489)
I for one am not going to pay $40k for a car that gets less than 40 mpg on a roadtrip. I am a perfect demographic and have a perfect commute (but I roadtrip frequently). I am thinking the math showed I could save about $200 a year by getting a volt vs a Prius if I was to get a new car. Why would I ever get a Volt.

Would you consider a Prius plug-in at $40k?, it does get good economy once the battery is empty.

WriConsult 03-09-2012 01:51 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2Evil4U (Post 337479)
The electric car has been around since about 1890. The first hybrid was introduced in about 1911.

This technology is practically older than the explosion engine car.

Cutting edge my butt. How much longer do they think they need before the tech competes even half favorably with ICE?

I drive 100 miles/day to work and back. Find me a small electric car for <$15k (unsubsidized, of course) that can handle that range (at least at 65mph) without a recharge and I'll consider it. Until those exist, the entire concept will remain an 100+ year old pipe dream.

With that commute, it will ALWAYS be a pipe dream for you. It will be decades (if ever) before an electric vehicle will make sense for you. You should drive an efficient diesel or hybrid and call it good.

But you are also not representative. For people with shorter commutes (but long enough that the difference in energy consumption is still fairly large), EVs may make sense -- and five years from now, they will make sense for a lot more people.

Chuck 03-09-2012 02:00 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2Evil4U (Post 337479)
The electric car has been around since about 1890. The first hybrid was introduced in about 1911.

This technology is practically older than the explosion engine car.

Cutting edge my butt. How much longer do they think they need before the tech competes even half favorably with ICE?

I drive 100 miles/day to work and back. Find me a small electric car for <$15k (unsubsidized, of course) that can handle that range (at least at 65mph) without a recharge and I'll consider it. Until those exist, the entire concept will remain an 100+ year old pipe dream.

Disingenious how you say EVs and hybrids have been around for a century or more - therefore they are a mature tech.

How many man-hours over the past century have been put into perfecting the ICE vs. EVs and hybrids? To say it's weighted towards the ICE is an understatement. ;)

Right Lane Cruiser 03-09-2012 03:48 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by herm (Post 337497)
How did you manage 6.5 years out of your laptop battery?

Shallow (and infrequent) depth of discharge.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney 03-09-2012 05:45 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Right Lane Cruiser (Post 337524)
Shallow (and infrequent) depth of discharge.

My laptop battery is handy for occasional use but the most use it gets is when the power cord comes out.

It's also useful for registering a power outage with the electric company. We have the modem and router on a UPS. I need to replace the battery on that.

2Evil4U 03-09-2012 05:53 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuck (Post 337521)
Disingenious how you say EVs and hybrids have been around for a century or more - therefore they are a mature tech.

How many man-hours over the past century have been put into perfecting the ICE vs. EVs and hybrids? To say it's weighted towards the ICE is an understatement. ;)

Disingenuous? Not quite. If the tech had ever proven even remotely viable, the market would have beaten a path to its door. Even now the government has to give out our tax money to rich hippies to get them to buy one.

And don't think I'm opining from the position of a hater. This is a picture of the EV we had in 1978. I wish they were better, but there is no viable market.



For reference, that monster had about a 20 mile range at 40 mph. So, you can extrapolate where we're headed and when.

2Evil4U 03-09-2012 05:57 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by WriConsult (Post 337519)
With that commute, it will ALWAYS be a pipe dream for you. It will be decades (if ever) before an electric vehicle will make sense for you. You should drive an efficient diesel or hybrid and call it good.

But you are also not representative. For people with shorter commutes (but long enough that the difference in energy consumption is still fairly large), EVs may make sense -- and five years from now, they will make sense for a lot more people.

I don't disagree with any of this.

Chuck 03-09-2012 06:12 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2Evil4U (Post 337533)
Disingenuous? Not quite. If the tech had ever proven even remotely viable, the market would have beaten a path to its door. Even now the government has to give out our tax money to rich hippies to get them to buy one.

And don't think I'm opining from the position of a hater. This is a picture of the EV we had in 1978. I wish they were better, but there is no viable market.



For reference, that monster had about a 20 mile range at 40 mph. So, you can extrapolate where we're headed and when.

You dodged the question.

The obvious answer is far more time, money and energy has been invested in ICE engines than hybrids or EVs.

I'd allow another decade or two before making such a judgement against hybrids and EVs.

southerncannuck 03-09-2012 06:12 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
“If the tech had ever proven even remotely viable, the market would have beaten a path to its door.”
In all fairness, if the price of gas reflected the cost of the 5th fleet, or whatever assortment of naval hardware currently protecting the uninterrupted flow of oil, the market would have beaten a path to it’s door.

300TTto545 03-09-2012 07:37 PM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by herm (Post 337516)
Would you consider a Prius plug-in at $40k?, it does get good economy once the battery is empty.

I may get a PIP - but I am expecting more like $32k

I just ran the numbers and for me the PIP is much cheaper to run.

But really the regular Prius is most cost effective. $200 a year savings takes 20+ years to brake even assuming the PIP is $4k+ premium.

southerncannuck 03-10-2012 07:17 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
"In 2011 Coal Produced Less Than 40% of US Electricity, For First Time in 30 Years"
http://www.treehugger.com/fossil-fue...-30-years.html
It looks like the BEV’s smokestack emissions are steadily dropping.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney 03-10-2012 08:19 AM

Re: Electric cars and liberals’ refusal to accept science
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by southerncannuck (Post 337595)
"In 2011 Coal Produced Less Than 40% of US Electricity, For First Time in 30 Years"
http://www.treehugger.com/fossil-fue...-30-years.html
It looks like the BEV’s smokestack emissions are steadily dropping.

Thank you. That's a link that'll get use on the myriad Prius liftback v PiP v Volt threads.


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