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If You're Going To Attack Electric Cars, Do Your Homework

 
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2011 Chevrolet Volt plugged into Coulomb Technologies 240V wall charging unit

2011 Chevrolet Volt plugged into Coulomb Technologies 240V wall charging unit

Enlarge Photo

They pop up like weeds, these "Electric cars are failures" articles--and you just have to keep killing them.

The latest is an opinion piece titled, "Why the Electric Car Failed," published last week in U.S. News & World Report.

Author Michael Lynch identifies himself as a researcher for the petroleum industry.

To judge by his confrontational tone in the comments, Lynch may have been caught off-guard by a flood of contradictory responses to his piece.

This isn't uncommon when writers lack knowledge and perspective on how the auto industry works, and know little or nothing about the long-term cost curves of electric and gasoline cars.

Lynch's basic point--that the needs and desires of car buyers dictate which vehicles they buy--is absolutely correct.

But he deems plug-in electric cars a sales failure--after less than two years on the market--because, he says, consumers don't want them.

In fact, most car buyers have no idea that plug-in cars are on sale at all. It's early, early days yet.

Lynch trots out several hoary old chestnuts: Batteries have been with us more than 100 years, electric cars failed in the 1910s, so why would this time be any different?

He apparently doesn't know that only in the last 20 years have we moved beyond lead-acid battery chemistry. Large-format lithium-ion cells, with four times the energy density of lead-acid, entered production just in the last few years.

Fifteen years ago, the 16-kilowatt-hour lead-acid pack in GM's EV1 weighed 1,200 pounds. That same energy content in the Chevrolet Volt's lithium-ion pack weighs just over 300 pounds.

That weight reduction makes modern electric cars possible.

Then Lynch cites lower-than-expected sales of electric cars as proof that the concept has failed (along with Shai Agassi's resignation as Better Place CEO).

Well, last year, U.S. buyers took home roughly 17,500 plug-in cars. This year, that number will more than double. Next year, it may triple.

The overall proportion of plug-ins in the global fleet will remain low over this decade; most analysts project that plug-ins will be 1 to 2 percent of a 100-million-unit annual global output by 2020 or 2022.

But if Lynch were to look out 15 years, he might gain a broader perspective.

First, the EPA itself has estimated that gasoline car prices will rise $3,000 in real dollars from 2012 to 2025 to meet new CAFE standards.

Second, Li-ion cell costs will fall 6 to 8 percent a year on average, so starting in about 2020 you get some interesting numbers.

By 2020, gasoline cars will be more expensive, and gasoline will presumably cost more as well--though new cars will use less of it.

Gas prices, San Francisco, CA

Gas prices, San Francisco, CA

Enlarge Photo

Plug-ins already cost one-third to one-fifth as much per mile to operate as gasoline cars, of course, depending on your local electricity rates.

Meanwhile, plug-in electric cars will cost significantly less and they may also have longer ranges. Most analysts feel 120 miles of "real-world" electric range is enough to assuage range anxiety and meet drivers' daily needs.

As those two cost lines come closer--and then cross, as they inevitably will--consumers will start to understand that plug-ins can be viable alternatives to gas cars on the basis of purchase cost.

When that happens--as many commenters pointed out--buyers will start to discover that electric cars are simply nicer to drive: smoother, quieter, and torquier than equivalent gasoline cars.

That's when everything starts to change.

It won't happen this year. It won't happen next year.

But technology innovations often take a long time to reach the mass market.

In the case of cars, they're often encouraged (or mandated) by regulation--as is the case for the first few years of modern plug-in electric vehicles.

But to Lynch's basic point, consumers will buy the car they feel is the best and cheapest way to meet their needs.

As electric cars get cheaper, and gasoline cars more expensive, that's exactly what will happen--perhaps 10 or 12 years from now, possibly sooner.

We might gently suggest Lynch take a longer look at the industry than simply scanning 22 months of sales.

If he did, he might come to a different conclusion.

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Comments (80)
  1. I'm sure that the reporter is not stupid and his own conclusion is irrelevant when it comes to the article he got paid to write. It's like the FOX reporters - if they acted and said sane things, they'd be out of the job since the mob demands something comfortable that's more in line with their brain capacity and what daddy told them.
     
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  2. "Author Michael Lynch identifies himself as a researcher for the petroleum industry."

    That's all you really needed to say to validate your point.
     
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  3. it is sad that most people think that EVs are more expensive today. if you cost out TCO over just a few years, you beat the bank on nearly every car out there with the exception of ecno boxes. the differences in fuel costs (at today's prices) makes EVs a no brainer for a two car household. keep one gas car for the out of town trip. use the EV for the LONGER commute
     
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  4. Exactly.
     
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  5. I like how you say "just a few years" as if a 4 to 7 year break-even calculation is a good thing. In the business world, that's pitiful...consumers shouldn't be expected to make a poor financial choice just because it suits the environmental lobby.
     
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  6. Jason, how many investment opportunities do you have that give you a guaranteed 12% return on investment?

    That's your return if you pay extra for a plug-in and break even at 6 years. Profits follow.

    Last time I looked the bond market is returning a tiny percent of 12%. CDs are yielding about 1.5% for 6 years.
     
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  7. Bob - It's not an investment my friend. You lose money on every car you buy. However, you lose more money more quickly on the typical Volt, Leaf, Prius, etc. than you do on a reasonably priced economy car alternative.

    If I'm writing the checks, I'll take a new Corolla or Yaris over a new Prius (or Leaf or Volt) any day of the week - the economics are much better. I lose less on the boring old gas car.

    Why is it that a reasoned economic viewpoint on these cars is so threatening?
     
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  8. Jason, my friend, cars certainly are investments.

    If you need or really want a car you are going to invest some money in it and get your return mainly as utility. You need to broaden your understanding of investing.

    Go ahead and buy a econobox. Enjoy getting jerked around by the oil companies. Other people are better at math.

    Over the life of the cars, the Volt will cost you less than a Corolla to own and operate. The break-even point is roughly ten years. And that's assuming that gas goes up on 3% per year on average.
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  9. I agree, it's not an investment. However, we just leased a $38,000+ Nissan Leaf for just $200 per month and $2000 down. We plan to drive our Toyota FJ about 12,000 miles per year less. This will save us more than $200 per month in gas bills and save us wear on the FJ. Plus, my wife and I get the use of a second car. This does make economic sense (for me, not Nissan or the government).
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  10. If you don't want to call putting your money into an activity that will give you returns an investment, so be it.

    However, don't assume that leasing you a Leaf for $200 a month makes no economic sense for either Nissan or the government.

    Nissan is building EV market position. They need to produce a lot of units in order to spread the cost of developing their EV as thinly as possible which reduces per unit cost. As Nissan drives their production rate higher their costs drop and they can drop the selling price of their EVs.

    Taxpayers are spending a billion dollars a day and more on oil wars, keeping a military presence in the Middle East and homeland security. (ran out of space)
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  12. 4 to 7 years break even is a "bad" thing in the business world? Well, that depends on how much "risk" is there. If the break even is a "sure" thing, then it is NOT so bad. By your "business world standard", Toyota would never invest in Prius b/c its breakeven time frame was far longer than 4-7 years.

    Maybe it is time to "revisit" the business model. The short sightness of US auto makers are the exact reason how the big three got into trouble in the first place.

    Also, the "hedging" against oil inflation and inflation in general is usually NOT accounted in the 4-7 years breakeven market.
     
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  13. Bob Lutz makes it clear that the Chevy Volt was launched with an eye leap-frogging the Prius and to have GM be seen in a new light. This he saw as critical to GM whether or not the Volt ultimately sold in large numbers.

    I really think that the Volt has put GM on the leading edge of this technology and allows them to move in different directions at this point, if they desire. But no one should doubt GM's ability, and it should a great investment in their future.
     
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  14. Let us hope that GM can take the Volt and expand it into family of "plugin/EREV" cars...
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  15. Are you serious? You think breaking even is a sure thing? What if gas prices fall (it's unlikely, but it happened in 2008)? What if your vehicle needs an expensive repair? What if your needs change and suddenly you can no longer drive this car every day?

    The typical consumer trades in their car every 4-5 years. If you followed that typical pattern, you might not ever break even...and that's the problem with buying a hybrid or electric car right now.

    It's not personal people - it's just math.
     
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  16. Since everyone but Jason understands that a 4-7 year breakeven period is far better that most companies face, I'll make it even easier for him.

    Jason, my Volt already is much cheaper for me to drive that whatever you drive. Is that simple enough for you? My lease is costing me a whopping $220/month after fuel savings and after electricity. I'm sorry that in your bizarro world, my Volt is seen as a poor economic choice. Please let me, and others here, know when you find a better vehicle for $220/month.

    Because of the environmental lobby...? Uh, were they the people in the background pointing guns at me when I signed the lease? Like almost all consumers, I bought because of me, not the straw man you seem delighted to create.
     
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  17. Exactly! I got it with 72 month 0% and I have been way "ahead" in terms of ROIC.
     
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  18. Robok2 - I can buy a certified used economy car for $10-15k for the same payment, and I'm not giving the keys back to anyone in 3 years. In 5 years, it's a "free" car - all I have to do is maintain it. 10 years from now, if you keep leasing Volts and I keep the same old economy car, I come out thousands ahead.

    It's not personal, it's just math.

    Please understand - I'm not hating the concept, but let's not kid ourselves here: buying an economy car is cheaper and financially wiser than buying a Volt, Prius, etc. The 4-7 break-even period is a killer. When they get to 2-3 years, it will be a different story...
     
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  20. David, I agree completely. Unfortunately, as a society, we look at the short term costs rather than the long term effect. Schools teach to the test. Businesses manage for the the quarterly report. Politicians govern for the next election. It's a sad state of affairs that we can't take a longer view. In the long run, EVs or extended-range hybrids such as the Prius or Volt, are not only better for the environment, but they can be better for the pocket book. And the technology is only getting better. I hope that it will be sooner rather than later that the financial benefit is more obvious. When that happens, it will become mainstream.

    --James, a Prius Plug-In owner!
     
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  22. "Lynch trots out several hoary old chestnuts: Batteries have been with us more than 100 years, electric cars failed in the 1910s, so why would this time be any different?"

    One reason that early EV's didn't take off was that it was mostly the city centers that were electrified, while you could buy gas in the countryside and rural towns, since it was used for farm machinery.

    But, heck, almost ev'r where has 'lectricity now.....
     
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  23. I agree with the general tone of the GCR article, but...

    Speaking of "hoary old chestnuts" let's look at "Plug-ins already cost one-third to one-fifth as much per mile to operate as gasoline cars,"

    We now have EPA data on these new vehicles.
    $600/year to fuel the Nissan Leaf
    $1150/year to fuel the Toyota Prius.
    This suggests a fueling cost advantage of not even as good as 1/2.

    Sure, someone will correct me with some other vehicle or some other TOU rate. But the 1/3 to 1/7 thing needs to go if one wishes to pay attention to data.

    I think people want what they want, and increasingly, they may want an EV (for many reasons) and the price will not be a problem and the fuel savings will not be the primary driver.
     
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  24. John,

    I did the math and our Leaf is 1/3 the cost to fuel as our 2005 Prius at $3.75/gallon. We have cheap electricity in San Antonio and that's not including the solar energy we produce here at the house.
     
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  25. Sure, but that only means that the numbers are much worse than I said for people in other parts of the country with more expensive electricity.

    Using 1/3rd as the worse possible case in the statement "1/3rd to 1/7th" is not really accurate and is likely to be a statement from an advocate not a journalist.
     
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  26. But some other countries also have higher fuel price and limited range need.

    EVs are selling well in Japan, for example.
     
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  27. Not going to correct you, but I will point out that I can charge up at work at no cost to me, thanks to my company. My Toyota Prius Plug-In has averaged over 80MPG since I bought it in early July. I've spent less than $120 in gasoline in three months, and that included a round trip from Santa Monica to Las Vegas (Avg 52mpg on that trip, even a freeway speeds.) And the great thing about EVs is that the electricity will only get greener in the next few years. (CA electricity is 50% Natural Gas right now, and we're building many very large solar facilities.) Early adopters always pay a premium that helps pave the way for mass adoption, so if it's a toss up financially now, in a couple years it will be a no brainer
     
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  28. Well, done James. It is great to see people using less gasoline.
     
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  29. BUT someone is paying for it!... You havre just shifted the cost when you "fill-up" for free. So you screw the rest of us! I don't feel it is fair that I pay for your transportation. I hacve ot pay for mine why should I pay for yours too? That vehicle proably had lots of government subsidizes... Cash to the Manufacturer and your Tax break for buying it... You wim but I loose and I find that unfair.
     
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  30. David, uh, are you kidding? If he charges at work, his company is paying the electricity, not taxpayers. Seriously... His company paying for the electricity hsi company uses isn't screwing anybody in any sense.

    You also have zero clue about how subsidies work, so I'll save the effort there and ask you instead to do some basic research. The OEM isn't getting anything when I buy or lease an EV. GM doesn't get a penny from the govt. when it sells/leases a Volt, nor Tesla a Model S.

    I fill up my Volt at home and pay for the electricity myself. Can you at least comprehend that?
     
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  31. Actually, It is debatable who gets the $7500 rebate.

    The $7500 rebate was set BEFORE the price of the Volt was announced. So there is every chance that GM raised the price of the Volt by $7500 as a result. So in that way, GM gets the $7500, not the consumer.

    More realistically, GM probably did adjust the price upward by some amount less than $7500 and thus benefits, but so does the consumer.

    It really would have been better to wait until the vehicles were shipping before the rebates were announced. That is how the Prius rebates worked, making it all but impossible for Toyota to raise the price.
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  32. Come on Johnny....you know better then that! Comparing a middle of the pack mileage EV with the best gasoline hybrid for 5 years running now. Even if one were to take your numbers they are only for this year and gasoline is very likely to rise in price faster then electricity. And, the purchase price of a new Leaf and new Prius, after government incentives, is close too. Your comparison is not realistic.
     
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  33. "middle of the pack mileage EV"? are you referring to the LEAF in that manner?

    The lowest EPA running cost that I see is for the Mitsubishi "i" at $550/yr, which is not much different from the $600/yr for the LEAF. This still makes the comparison of costs at 1/2 rather than 1/3.

    Also, comparing the "i" to the Prius is not reasonable given that one is a subcompact and the other is a midsized.
     
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  34. You misunderstand my point. Your unreasonable comparison is using the Prius, the gas only mpg champ, to compare with the Leaf. Whether its the Leaf, Imiev, Fit ev, Focus ev, etc. doesn't matter much cause they are very similar in mpge...especially as a percentage. The Prius is, still, leaps and bounds better then almost any other car out there in its class...finally Ford has a competitor with the C-max.

    My point is John V, the author of this GCR article, is apparenlty using the fuel efficiency of all plug-ins vs all gas cars. You only used the most efficient gas only car...wrong comparison.
    "Plug-ins already cost one-third to one-fifth as much per mile to operate as gasoline cars, of course, depending on your local electricity rates."
     
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  35. There are more comments in this thread
  36. All great points of course, but I think both sides are guilty of hyperbole. Much like the electric car "haters" say that electric cars are a sales failure (without qualifying that statement), many electric car fans erroneously argue that there's some sort of global conspiracy at work that's kept the electric car at bay.

    The truth is, currently available electric cars are expensive and hard to justify for most vehicles owners, which is why they've been slow to market and aren't exactly setting the world on fire. However, in the next few years, the math is going to change.
     
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  37. Jason,

    My Leaf will cost me around $27k after I get my credit. Not too expensive if you consider that my 2010 TDI Golf was $28.5K.
     
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  38. My iMiev will cost less than $20k after all incentives, which is just a few thousand dollar premium. So, I don't think price is a big barrier anymore. But the marketing budget for EV's is non-existent (I've only seen the Volt commercial on TV where I live - which is perhaps why it's doing better). Once word gets out to potential buyers, the economic conditions improve a little, and range goes up a little (or PHEVs as transition to EVs) and EVs will be popping up everywhere. EVs are definitely NOT dead this time!
     
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  39. Ya... you got a credit and I got screwed! That is the problem with the "Green-Weenies"... They want everyone else to pay for their transportion. If these vehicles were not subsidized the defict woud be smaller. The Government subsidizes thses vehicles for a select grou of people and since I am not one of them I get the shaft... My tax dollars go for your transportation... Not fair!...
     
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  40. My tax dollars go for your "oil security".

    My tax dollars go to your children tax credits

    My tax dollars go to your mortgage interest deduction

    My tax dollars go to your favorite charity donation deduction...

    NOT FAIR!
     
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  41. You dive into a false equation there. Do the math for a compact ICE vehicle and a compact EV, such as the Leaf, and you'll see that EVs cost less to operate over the long term with lower fuel and maintenance bills...even at today's gas n electricity rates. Electricity rates are regulated now n will not be going up as high as gas prices this decade. Most folks own their car for 5+ years. EVs better

    No one on this site has been quipping about some global consipiracy but only a fool would miss that the petroleum industry funded the anti-ev author and has in interest in stalling evs becoming more abundant and popular. It makes perfect business sense for the oilies, and their paid accessories, to avoid US ev adoption as much as possible.
     
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  42. The math is fairly easy. If you are in the market for a new car and need it for commuting less than 75 miles a day then just do the math. Compare the Leaf to a similar ICEV.

    How about the 44MPG Prius? After the federal subsidy the Leaf is $25,280. The least expensive Prius is $23,520. Finance the extra at 4% (my credit union is offering
     
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  43. Half my reply vanished...

    Monthly extra for Leaf = $32. (Until paid off)

    1,000 miles per month with $4/gallon gas = $91.
    1,000 miles per month with $0.12/kWh electricity = $37.

    Fueling the Prius would cost you an extra $54. That's $22 more than the monthly payment difference.
     
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  44. Sigh, I would be more excited about the LEAF if they could put this battery issue to bed.
     
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  46. Good article John! Simple math used to repeal the erroneous oily claims.
     
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  47. If a politician writes an article about their opponent it would pretty much turn out the same way as Mr. Lynch's article, it'll be a load of crap aimed at the misinformed.
     
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  48. The biggest issue is that most buyers are bad at "math".
    They don't keep track on how much money they spend each month in gas. They don't keep track on how much money they spend each year in maintainence and they certainly don't know how much they spend on electricity.
    How do you expect them to make "smart" decisions? Most people barely understand MPG. So, anything beyond that is just too much to think about.
    People who want to sell EVs should produce "bar graphs" in terms of cost/miles to illustrate the cost of total ownership for potential buyers.
    Right now, most of the EV buyers are already informed and well educated in terms of efficiency and cost. It is the next group of people who needs help in leaping over into the EV world. (beside the people who are on the fence who are waiting for better technology to mature and waiting for more choices)
     
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  49. You're kidding yourself. Compare the costs of a new Versa to the costs of a new Leaf. It's not even close my friend.
     
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  50. Let's face it, there are two issues that face EV's that put many people off them, it is price and range. What is needed is a 4 fold increase in battery technology so that Ev's can be offered with twice the range while at the same time cutting battery cost in half. Then you'll have a vehicle with a 200 mile range for maybe $20-25,000, at which point many people will see EV's as a viable alternative and this topic will no longer matter. How long will that take, hopefully we will see it within 10 years.
     
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  51. Half the price on batteries seems like a given in 10 years, with the improvements we've been seeing (7% per year, compounded).

    Whether we'll get a 200-mile range car @ $25,000 in 10 years is not completely certain, but it seems possible. Figure you'd need about a 75 kw/hour battery pack @ roughly $10,000 to pull it off. That's somewhat less than half the lowest likely price that currently exists but not so far out there for us to doubt it's doable.

    I wonder if the future isn't a matter of offering a 75kw/hour and a 150 kw/hour as the two choices. You either buy a "go all around town" vehicle or pay $10,000 more and carry some extra weight to "go anywhere".
     
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  52. No there is one issue... Are these cars practical and feasible and the answer is a resounding NO!... If they were they would not need government subsidize. Until they are sold with no Tax breaks for Auto Manufactories or purchasers they are not feasible…
     
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  53. 1. "practical and feasible" are relative terms.
    2. Did you seriously mention "tax breaks"? Damn near every industry, and ESPECIALLY energy is subsidized through tax breaks, public research, and a plethora of other means available to government.
     
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  54. The petroleum industry must be worried to have paid for a hit piece like that. But this one seems more scholarly, though I don't know about the funding source:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x/full
    But its conclusion that electric vehicles are twice as bad for the environment (due to toxicity) seems based on some questionable assumptions.
     
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  55. There seems to be less negative articles now, too many plug-in models to choose from now....

    MrEnergyCzar
     
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  56. Holey crap. I piped up on that thread but Mr Lynch was already getting his journalistic ass handed to him in the comment section... Great to see so many EV activists debunking BS stories like Mr Lynch's article. There maybe hope for humanity yet.
     
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  57. but none of the EV activists seem to care about the rest of use that don't own an EV... Since it is the rest of use that atre paying the subsidizes (our tax dollars) so they can own one... I bet the majority of these people think tax rates should go up but they are more than happy to have someone else (my tax dollars) pay for their transportation. Typical Liberals who refuse to pay their own way...
     
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  58. Last time I looked, George H. W. Bush is NO Liberal.
     
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  59. Daniel, seriously, learn to write and spell. If you want to use the word "subsidies" three times in three separate posts, spell it once correctly, at least.

    As for liberals not paying their fair share of taxes, which way is it? Liberals are called elitists by conservatives and liberals, on average, both are more educated & have higher incomes than conservatives, thus paying both more in taxes than conservatives and also a higher rate as well. I pay a much higher rate than Mr. Romney, for example...

    EV activists do care about non-EV ownerss. We wish you'd stop the war-of-the-week machismo and oil subsidies that cost far more than any temporary, short-term incentives for the first years of EVs.
     
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  60. Seems to me they are failures until they no longer need government subsidizes. Where I live rich people buy them or people who what to commute int he Car-pool lane by themselves... The problem is Government redirecting tax payer money to select individuals... be it Auto Companies or Individual Hybred buyers... Thye get the breaks and the rest of us get screwed...
     
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  61. Do you get tax breaks for having children? Why should others pay for your children?
    Do you get tax breaks for having a mortgage? Why should others pay for your house?
    Do you get tax breaks for donating to your favorite charity? Why should others pay for your favorite charity?
    Do you get a tax break for having an education (loan)? Why should others pay for your education?

    Well, EVs keep the air you breath in traffic cleaner. EVs use no gas so there will be more for you to burn...

    Maybe those EV owners don't want to pay for the Trillions that we spend on "oil security". How about closing all the bases in the middle east and bring troops home? Why should others pay for those military spending?
     
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  62. Apparently there are enough downsides to gasoline consumption that the Bush Administration and Congress felt that EVs should be strongly encouraged. This short-term encouragement ($7500) was added with the idea that cost of the vehicles would go down over time IF the vehicles could be put into volume production.
     
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  63. The real cost of gas is probably $6-8/gal, including all extra defense costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and other environment damages. The US of A seldom prices such things right - sugar drinks, tobaccos, etc.

    Wake up. It's about pricing fairness of externalities, not rich vs poor.
     
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  65. When something has to be sold for close to half price to get the economics, we know what the market thinks ($7,500 rebate, $3,000 company rebate, 0% financing for 72 months, state subsidies). EV's will not have any market share in the next decade. They may be a product in ten years, right now they are not.
     
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  66. @James: "EVs will not have any market share". Please define how you characterize "any". Is it 0.1% of the market? Or 1%? Or 10%?

    Are you referring only to battery-electric vehicles, or to any vehicle with a plug?

    Today in the U.S., plug-in vehicle sales are likely to hit about 40,000 this year, perhaps slightly more. That is one-third of 1 percent of a 13-million car market. By 2014 or 2015, they are likely to hit 1 percent. But it will take a decade, or more, to reach 10 percent.

    So if your definition of "any market share" is 1 out of every 10 cars sold, I might agree.

    Please define your terms so I have a better idea of what your statement means; I'm curious. Thanks in advance.
     
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  67. You should learn about exponential growth. It's easy to pooh-pooh the current low market share, but it is a necessary precursor to mass adoption.

    Also learn about the Rogers' adoption curve and why people are by nature conservative and prone to follow the masses (herd mentality). Even more so when it comes to an expensive item like a car. They just don't jump on it like that.

    Furthermore, cars are not cell phones that see a new generation every 6 months or so. Technical progress is much slower.

    Having said all that, the conclusion is that history will have to run its course. Some things just can't be sped up. Just wait and see.
     
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  68. Most of the people I know are silently watching the game go and early adopters to adopt the cars and see how it works, there is a reason for that. Its not just the car which is being validated, its also the technology. People can go take test drives and read blogs and yes they might even love the car (in my case I ogled at Tesla Model s, its just makes a ton of sense for me.), but only time can tell how they age and what problems come. Unfortunately that time is somewhere like 7-10 years for a stingy guy like me (and I bet I fall where most people fall in). Everything goes well once these cars have been there around for 5-7 years sales will go up in at least the coastal states. Just like for Prius.
     
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  69. I am an electrical engineer who designs electric motor drives, so I know the impressive capability of electric power, the high torque, high efficiency, small size, etc.. but, what keeps me from buying an electric car are several things. initial price, battery replacement cost, charge time and range. the latter is being addressed with larger battery packs, but still not practical for long trips, and who can afford $100k to buy one. to be practical, the batteries must be cheap, and quick charging (less than 5-10 minutes). I am sure there will be future breakthroughs in these areas, and when there are, I will buy one.
     
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  70. I don't know if anyone is able to do the home-work. Lithuium-ion cell cost 500-600 per Kilowatt-hour. {and the Goverement wants to rise prices.In a TAX Form i.e. Coal power}. Lithuim is found in a small South America country. Will thier life be better for this power we need so that we can go to the store and buy Ben And Jerry Ice Cream for.
     
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