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Gas Vs. Electric Cars

June 26, 2010 13:51:31.000

I've written before on my skepticism towards electric cars; here's another reason to have second thoughts:

According to a report from the UK's Glass Guide, unless manufacturers properly address customer concerns regarding battery life and performance, the new breed of electric vehicles (EV) soon to be launched will have residual values well below those of rival gasoline and diesel models, with a typical electric vehicle retaining only 10% of its value after five years of ownership, compared to gas and diesel-fueled counterparts retaining 25% of their value in that time period

I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense. Consider your laptop - my Macbook Pro is now 3 years old. It doesn't hold battery power anything like it did when it first arrived; likewise, my new iPhone retains a charge much better than the 2008 era one it replaced. With small electronic devices, that's an annoyance - power is not typically far away.

For a car though? Recharging takes a lot of time, and if your range drops significantly over the course of 3 years, that's going to be a problem. Even for someone like me, who typically fills the tank once a month, that's an issue.

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posted by James Robertson


Re: Gas Vs. Electric Cars

[Jerry] June 29, 2010 20:55:54.003

That is certainly part of the equation. Battery technology improves regularly and when it comes time to update your EV's pack they'll no doubt be cheaper and better. Batteries should be factored into the cost of operation.

Conversely most of the other components of an electric vehicle don't wear out like those in the gas counterparts. The electric motor, controller, and wiring could essentially go on for decades with minor part updates (brushes on a DC motor). Gas engines run through a regular cycle of replacing oil, anti-freeze, muffler systems, filters, belts, and over time the engine becomes worn and less efficient (not that they are all that efficient to start).

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