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ElectricVehicleSite blog

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by EVnut, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    The owner of this site asked if he could use some of the info from my EVnut site, and also invited me to comment on his Blogs. QED, a commenter from this blog is an example of the worst case of "status-quo-itis" that I've seen in a long time. His contention that "if it won't work for me, it won't work for anybody" is almost an art form for him.

    The poster's name is QED. And he's got it all figured out. Me? I've given up now. I just don't have the time to beat my head against the wall. Feel free to have at it. I've lost my ability to reply with civility.

    Just scroll down for the blog and comments.

    http://electricvehiclesite.com/2008/09/26/so-whats-the-deal-why-are-the-car-companies-building-hybrids-and-not-all-electric-vehicles/
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    The first response there was from Kent Beuchert... Always a bad sign...

    I wonder if QED=KENT?
     
  3. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    Oh man. I totally forgot about him. Aw geez. Now my whole day is ruined.

    Makes perfect sense now. :sigh:
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Do we know anyone with a first name starting with "Q"?

    Perhaps a reference to this?
    A sign that the poster has their mind made up no matter what you try to argue?
     
  5. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    I think you nailed it. I should know better by now! Usually I'll figure it out after the initial exchange. Missed it totally this time for some reason.
     
  6. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    He is rather confrontational, but QED does have a point.

    Right now the quick charge infrastructure does not exist. Right now production electric cars with the range and size he needs do not exist.

    I myself could live with the limitations of an electric car that seats four adults and has a 100 mile range with the AC on. It would be a very good second car. My family could probably live with two of them. We could rent a gasoline car for long trips.

    Such a car does not exist.

    If it did, it would not be cost-effective for me with current prices. I don't drive a 5 series BMW and I do not expect to. The reduced fuel and service costs would not make up the difference even between a Fusion hybrid and the 4 cylinder Fusion I drive now. If gasoline were $4/gallon that might change.

    The technology is promising, and the cutting edge cars like the Tesla Roadster are cool, but electric cars just aren't ready yet.

    I hope you noticed that QED wishes electric cars were viable.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I also notice that Kent/Kerry frequently claims to be interested in EVs but then sticks to his position that they have "already failed".

    You really can't convince someone what the future will be like because nobody knows for sure. What didn't work before, or isn't working now may work later because of improvements in technology, and other factors like changes in consumer sentiment, different costs of materials, etc.

    Anyways, if you feel like you are up against a brick wall it is time to move on regardless if they were just messing with you, or had a valid point that doesn't take into account all of your personal viewpoints.
     
  8. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    #8 EVnut, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
    If his point is that electric cars are not currently as cheap as gas cars, and that they are not perfect, then I concede that he has a point.

    "Need" is a slippery word. Just what is it that we "need" in our transportation? And yes, nobody disagrees otherwise. But we just don't NEED quick-charge for EVs to work for most people taking most trips. EV's will never work for all people for all trips - just like every car in existance. QED falls into the all too common trap of, "It won't work for me, so it won't work for most people." The facts simply don't support his observation.

    And for the past six years my family has been driving that car of which you speak. We drive it every day, for *almost* every trip. This is a car that was designed for the 1996 model year. Think we could do better 13 years later if we actually wanted to?

    In fact, it is a very good *first* car. Our second car is a Prius for the few times we need longer range.

    Such a car is parked in my garage. Such cars were required in CA during the ZEV mandate years of the late 90's to early 2000's. Such cars were brought to market with just a few years of lead time. Such cars have logged many millions of miles in utility fleets and are still being driven 13 years later. When you say they don't exist, do you mean that they are not available for purchase? Of course you are correct - is that the fault of the technology or the utility of the technology? Of course not.

    My car has all but paid for itself completely at this point. ZERO expense for maintenance and service. Zero cost for fuel. And while this is an anomaly due ot supply/demand, my car is worth more today than what I paid for it new. I couldn't have afforded to NOT have an EV these past few years. And I'm not even taking into account the things that we can't quantify: making my own fuel, not polluting, increasing our national security, decreasing health expenses.

    Do you propose that we wait before taking any action (again) until gas is painfully expensive and the only outcry is to lower the price of gas at any cost? If we worked toward not needing gas now - while we didn't have to suffer that expense - we avoid the inevitable pain of inaction in the future when gasoline WILL be expensive again. Sometimes it costs money to save money in the long run. And sometimes we simply have to spend money to save us from ourselves. When everything is based on what's the least amount we can possibly spend... well... the results are all around us today.

    I try to remember that every day that I drive an EV as our main vehicle - as I have been for the past ten years. Or to put this another way - if we sit around and wait for EVs to be "ready" for us... we will have a long, long wait. We have to support the efforts that are going on right now. If nobody bought the first PCs, would you have that screaming machine on your desk right now? If nobody bought DVD players when there were only 100 titles available, and the devices cost $1000... would they cost $90 today, and be in everybody's home? We have to support where technology is going. Waiting until it is perfect means that we'll never get what we need.

    Oh, I read what he wrote. I didn't get any sort of sincerety out of it, however. He "wishes" they were viable - much like you, I guess. And misses the fact that they ARE viable for many people in many situations. Wishing something good, and then having nothing but negative comments while ignoring just about all positive aspects just doesn't ring true for me. Does it for you?
     
  9. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    #9 bobw, Mar 26, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
    It sounds to me as though you have a RAV4 EV. Am I correct? The RAV4 EV was the most useful EV produced during the CARB debacle. Notice I do not say practical.

    According to Road and Track, the RAV4 EV

    That sounds reasonable to me. The lead-acid EV1 cost around $80,000.00 to build.

    Toyota sold around 240 RAV4 EVs for $40,000.00. They lost $60,000.00 on every single one. There's no way they could have made that up in volume.

    If you have a big enough budget, you can build anything. Apollo 11 proved that. It did not give us space travel. 40 years after the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk we had the DC3. It will be 40 years this summer since Apollo 11 landed on the moon. We do not have a spacegoing Goonybird.

    Similarly, with a big enough budget you can build a really cool electric car. That doesn't make it practical.

    If a company can build and sell an electric car for a reasonable price at a reasonable profit, I predict a great future for them. I look forward to it. Someday. That day is not today.
     
  10. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Low volume cars are usually very costly to build.
    If they saw huge demand or were pushed into building a lot more then they could have achieved more economies of scale.

    It isn't really fair to compare the per car cost to build a few hundred RAV4EVs to say hundreds of thousands of Prius(es).
     
  11. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    #11 EVnut, Mar 26, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
    Thanks, TEG.

    These items and more, are all covered in my "EVs won't work because..." document.
    http://evnut.com/docs/evs-wont_work.doc

    And of course I say much the same thing that TEG just did. These cars were all hand built. Built from hand-matched parts in extremely low quantity. Pretent for a moment that there were no gasoline engine cars for the past 100 years. Now build a Honda Civic out of parts you create just for this project. And only build 1,000 total units. How much does that Honda Civic cost to build? Oh and look! there are also no gas stations. Man, that's gonna take some wind out of the sales (pretty good play on words!), eh?

    The other problem is amortization. The stuff they learned and patents they secured in building EVs was spread out over (literally!) millions of cars. You can't honestly peg that whole cost onto the EV program if other cars are benefitting from it.

    As I often say, it is easy to find the negatives about EVs. Have a try at looking at some of the positives sometime.
     
  12. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    OK. I just eMailed your document to my Kindle. I hope I'll get a chance to read it this weekend.

    None of the devil theories about why there aren't electric cars impress me.

    For any technology to take off, it has to be ready.

    Railroading waited on high pressure steam engines and cheap steel for rails. High pressure steam engines waited on high quality steel. High quality and/or cheap steel waited on low pressure steam engines to pump water out of mineshafts to make coal and iron ore cheaper.

    Before everything came together there were pitiful experiments with horse drawn cars on wooden rails. Afterward, railroading exploded.

    Aircraft waited on a number of factors, particularly lightweight high power internal combustion engines and a certain understanding of aerodynamics.

    When the technology is cost-effective the battery electric car will take over many automotive applications, particularly short-range. The advantages are obvious. You won't have to convert anyone to a new religion. You won't need tax credits or carbon cap-and-trade schemes. It will just happen.
     
  13. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    Oooh! Don't ruin your weekend on my account! :biggrin:

    Nor do they impress me. I'm not a conspiracy theory kinda guy.
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah... It isn't a complete "no brainer" *yet*, (battery costs still need to keep coming down), but there are growing throngs of people willing to pay a bit extra to get off of fuel powered vehicles for many reasons.
     
  15. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    The problem with the line of argument that: "For any technology to take off, it has to be ready." is that it is a very conservative argument.
    I would actually say even the argument of price depends on the circumstances. Someone has over the last 50-100 years built up the huge infrastructure of gasoline fueling stations, that's what gives the gasoline cars their range.

    Look at all the direct costs related to smog in cities, that is incentivising the ICE right there. And a lot higher incentives than what any EV currently gets. The noise a V8 makes, do you think you could realistically create that much noise in 1900 inside a city without paying fines?

    The fact of the matter is that what we currently got right now is skewed in the direction of the technology and systems we've got right now. In Norway the cost of the Model S will probably be barely cheaper than the BMW 520i, it will cost about 60% of the 540i which it outperforms. That's because we've got high car taxes. So in Norway the Model S will be the cheapest premium sedan on the market. So according to that EVs are ready.

    The point is, you've got to be aware of your frame of reference with any new distructive technology. The new technology will almost always be more expensive at first AND have a different set of drawbacks.

    Cobos
     
  16. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    Cobos -

    Thanks for that nicely written post!
     
  17. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    ape.jpg

    [​IMG]
    :biggrin:
     
  18. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Ha! Of course, he meant "disruptive." But the image that popped in my head had more to do with giant anime mecha.

    gundam%20mecha.jpg
     
  19. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Obviously... I did mean disruptive.... My excuse is my wife who has perfect written english is IN England.... That's my excuse anyway and I'm sticking to it :)

    Cobos
     
  20. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    Of course the early automobile had all sorts of high hurdles to overcome. The machines themselves were expensive. They needed tender loving care to keep running. Gasoline was not available on every street corner.

    A useful electric car, that seats four and gets 100 miles per charge with the air conditioning on, is kinda pricey. That, I think, is the major obstacle to widespread adoption.

    Why should the electric car be judged by different criteria than the gasoline car was in the beginning? Usefulness and affordability. Right now, if it's useful it's too expensive, and if it's cheap it's not really useful.
     

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