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Why EVs are Useless

March 11, 2011 7:49:36.001

With the slack sales of the Volt, Chevy is thinking about some course corrections:

The battery pack is far and away the most expensive single component in the car and the thought is that a reduction of the pure EV range to just 20 miles (down from its current 30 - 50) could have a whopping $10,000 reduction in cost.

The trouble is, the price tag isn't the only problem - the range is. Why would anyone want a car with a 20 mile range (extended some by a small gas tank) instead of a regular car that gets 35 mpg, or a hybrid that does better than that? My 1989 clunker gets between 30-35 mpg right now, so I just can't see the point. And mind you, this is from someone who drives less than 5000 miles a year....

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posted by James Robertson


Re: Why EVs are Useless

[Troy Brumley] March 11, 2011 10:40:27.348

Why would anyone want one of these new fangled horseless carriages? Gasoline is hard to find and my horse can eat grass anywhere?--some guy in the 1890s.

Right now I think most EVs are playthings or status buys, but an EV that got 40-50 miles on a charge at a competitive price would get my notice. I'm an urban not suburban guy, so my needs are different.

You're guilty of the same overgeneralization that the enviros make, just in a different direction.

Re: Why EVs are Useless

[James Robertson] March 11, 2011 12:14:38.037

Umm, no. Electric cars have had over a century of research, and 40-50 mile range (and multi-hour recharge) is best they can do. It's a dead end.

let's use my travel to Dallas as an example. My hotel is 17 miles from work. Say I rented an EV. Riddle me this:

How do I charge it at the hotel when I return from work?

How do I drive it to my sister's house, which is another 30 mile round trip?

I really don't need the complexity of pondering a short tether on every trip I take.

Re: Why EVs are Useless

[HKN] March 14, 2011 6:04:23.770

the problems are manyfold:

electrical energy does not "come out of the wall" but needs to be produced (that's why the power plant operators and its supporting industry and their dependents are pushing EVs so much)

the power production creates pollution, greenhouse gas etc., the net balance is IMO questionable

yet there is the need to save oil as fuel today and replace it by something reasonable, whatever "soemthing reasonable" may mean. For me the most promising technologies are BTL (Bio-to-Liquid) and hydrogen. Any bio-fuek under the precondition that is not competing for resources (real estate, water, etc) for food production. The advantage of both hydrogen and BTL is that the investment in new technology and infrastructure would be much less than with EVs. Motors stay combustion motors and the gas stations stay gas stations.

Electricity may be an option if we switch to green production (no nuclear, no fossil fuel).

To make EVs an alternatvie we need batteries with more capacity and shorter loading cycles. There are people who claim they have this.

Plus an ubiquitious infrastructure to replace and load batteries. so you would load your battery wherever you park. If loading cycles cannot be reduced batteries would rather be replaced and reloaded in the "electrical gas station" than reloaded in the car.

The prices of all the batteries and the cars themselves will drop as soon as the production numbers increase.

The decrease the price companies like Nissan do not sell but rent the battery.

In short: we are in a transition phase where the old is clearly more powerfull but doomed to go. the replacement will probaly be drastically different and we will learn to live with it.

clearly nothing will happen in this market until...

[Pete F] March 14, 2011 6:53:54.880

Apple Computer makes one. Seriously.

Re: Why EVs are Useless

[James Robertson] March 14, 2011 10:14:32.123

If you want "no nuclear, no fossil", then you want no power. Nothing else scales at the moment.

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