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Electric Cars and Economics 101

Discussion in 'News' started by dpeilow, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    The American Spectator : Electric Cars and Economics 101

     
  2. graham

    graham Active Member

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    From the article:

    Whoever said that? When the heck was buying leading technology or the best technology ever just about saving money?

    This article is correct - if you solely focus on saving money any current or upcoming electric car is not for you. Public transportation or hitchhiking is the way to go. I wonder if the author personally only rides a bike, or has ever made a transportation choice based on other factors besides what is the cheapest?
     
  3. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    To be fair, the $35,000 car is the "car for the masses" - i.e. Bluestar, though.

    (Incidentally, $35,000 at last summer's exchange rates would have been pretty good value here - about the same as a good Ford Focus or similar.)
     
  4. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    #4 malcolm, Jan 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
    And it will take quite a while for the secondhand EV market to get established (for those who are only interested in rock bottom prices).
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Reading the comments on this one had me all bunched up -until Rachel's. She is an Angel.

    fwiw
    The two downsides of Electric car ownership (for now) are:

    Price.
    Fueling (time and accessibility).
     
  6. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I agree, vfx. I had not read the comments originally - Rachel rocks!
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Rachael's comments were good on that topic, but one "no need to replace" item was listed as "replacement hoses". Might want to leave that one off as the Roadster does have coolant, pump, hoses and the like. You still could need to do maintenance on that periodically.

    Also the "elephant in the room" would be replacement costs on the batteries themselves as an expensive maintenance item.
     
  8. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Also brake pads aren't really that expensive, and it's a pretty easy job to do yourself. Hoses are cheap and easy too. My guess, though, is that a set of new tires is the Roadster/Elise common wear item that is the most expensive.
     
  9. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yes, tire replacement expenses are certainly a part of owning any very high performance sports car. Assuming you drive it hard.
     
  10. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I think the European expectation of the good value "car for the masses" is different from the US. $35K is still considered a pricey car here. There are plenty to be found in the < $30K range.

    Some examples:
    $12,205 2009 Toyota Yaris
    $14,690 2009 Mazda3
    $14,995 2009 Ford Focus
    $15,205 2009 Honda Civic
    $18,700 2009 Hyundai Sonata
    $19,145 2009 Toyota Camry
    $21,605 2009 Chevrolet Malibu
    $24,845 2009 Ford Taurus

    You blokes pay too much, or we are over-subsidized or something.

    On the other hand, having a company provided car is apparently common there, but very rare here.
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Make it "air hoses". Ok, there is probably cabin heating and cooling air hoses so make it "engine air hoses" or "many hoses".



    Panty hose?
     
  12. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    Ok, but I'm wondering, without the heat of an engine, would it be reasonable to expect the hoses to last longer?
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yes, SByer you are probably right, and I had considered that, but I still think they should try to be completely accurate if possible.

    Along with the lower heat, there is also the matter of lower vibration. A typical ICE vehicle has a radiator hose moving really hot coolant and twisting the hose every time you step on the accelerator. The Roadster hoses are between the ESS ("Battery Pack") and a fixed pump so they don't need to bend and twist much (if at all) so they should last much longer. VFX, in terms of number of hoses, I think there might be a whole bunch of of little ones at the bottom of the ESS to handle the "snakey" coolant lines, so a hose clamp failure, installation error, or imperfection in any of them could cause a problem.

    (see all those little black loops at the bottom):
    [​IMG]

    Oh - and here is another uncertaintly - ozone eats away at rubber. Electric motors can create ozone.

    Why is Ozone test done for rubber (for cracks etc.) when there is no ozone in ambient operating conditions? - Yahoo! Answers
    FORD FLTM BP 101-01 RUBBER - DEGRADATION BY OZONE - IHS, Inc
    http://thcnet.com/downloads/TECHOZONE.pdf
    Electric motors & motor controls engineering - Ozone gas from brush sparking
    Ozone from Electric Motors?

    I don't know if any of the electric motors in the Tesla (including the coolant pump motor, and all the fans) are creating any ozone. Also I suppose other circuits in the PEM (spark arrestors?) could create ozone too?

    Hopefully I don't start some sort of ozone frenzy with this comment!

    Even if you don't create your own ozone there can be ozone around you. If you parked the Roadster next to some device (say for instance you do welding in your garage) it could slowly harm the rubber bits over time.
     
  14. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Ozone forms when the air is ionized. (The bonds of some oxygen molecules get broken and they reform to make ozone [3 O2 --> 2 O3].) This ionization can result from a spark such as when an electrical contact is made or broken. DC brush motors are constantly making and breaking many contacts on a microscopic level (and larger if the brushes are in bad shape). So they can certainly create a fair amount of ozone. Probably not as much of a problem with AC induction motors.
     
  15. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    True. My point was that it doesn't really matter that much since, as with brake pads (another item that should see less wear on the Roadster), hoses are relatively cheap. Of course if you're paying someone for labor, it could get expensive.

    Either way, it's certainly less of a hassle if stuff doesn't wear out as often.
     
  16. Tim

    Tim Member

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    Its always a somewhat painful experience to read articles and comments on stories like that. So much misinformation out there. I've no doubt that there will be just as much disagreement when the Model S comes out at half the price and twice as much space. Its funny to see that people still argue against hybrids despite the economics of them nearly making the point moot. These are the same people that will argue ad nauseum that an IC is better because of its exhaust note, and complicated manual transmission.

    I guess on a personal level, I'm almost bothered more by the "quack" alternative car guys than the Suburban fetishers. Its hard to argue that electric cars are sensible when most of them actually do fit the stereotype of all the naysayers. God, but it will be a nice day when the idea of automobile fuel cells is dead.
     
  17. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    #17 dpeilow, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
    That makes painful reading...

    You can say that again.

    That was probably true ten years ago, but one of the things Gordon Brown did early on in the Treasury was to change the tax structure so that having company cars was not as viable as it clearly was before. Now there a far more private buyers.

    Given the cost of cars over here, guess which is the most popular car in the small saloon/sedan private purchase market? The BMW 3 series (I'm trying to find a good source for that atm).
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    To some degree a BMW 3 series is considered a luxury car here, so it commands a premium over those other cars I mentioned.

    For instance, a base 3 series starts at $33,400 here.

    Our "base" version is probably more of a top line model to you though.
    We start with the 328i 3.0 liter six.

    From Edmunds:
     
  19. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    The BMW 3-series is considered a premium car here as well and the 316i (with 122hp) starts at 302 000NOK ($43 300) including taxes. And that is with just 2 years of warranty instead of the more normal 3 years and with very little equipment. A properly equiped model will easily end up around $50 000.

    Cobos
     

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