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How much would people pay for range?

Discussion in 'Future Cars' started by Sunlight, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. Sunlight

    Sunlight Member

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    The EV nay-sayers always cite range as the main stumbling block to acceptance. Obviously numerous fast-charging stations will help that but there is still the feeling that people don't want to have to have to even fast charge after 75 freeway miles - barely an hour and a bit driving time.

    Clearly all the manufacturers have crunched the numbers and decided the best cost-benefit range is just under a 100 miles - 95% + of most journeys. The next milestone would be, say 200 miles, which would be far enough to tolerate a 30min stop for a pee, recharge and a bite/drink........

    I was wondering therefore what would happen to the market if BMW, VW, Kia et al offered their cars with the option of base 25-ish kW battery; optional 35 and 50kW packs to give around 125 mile and 170 mile ranges at a surcharge of, say, $5k and $10k. Which would push the top i3 up to $45k and beyond.

    What percentage of buyers would then opt for the 25/35/50kW packages? It would (except for cost possibly) undermine the range argument - I never understood why BMW didn't offer extra capacity as well as the REX option.

    Indeed if there was a 170 mile i3, I would be interested and it would be an excellent stop-gap till the Model 3 - and beyond....
     
  2. Trev Page

    Trev Page Member

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    The main issue with EV range is 3 factors (in no particular order):

    Battery Costs
    Time to Charge
    Vehicle design

    Tesla as we all know handled all three with the Model S and Super Charging. Cost is expensive for the time being until the Gigafactory is up and running but it's unknown how that will affect Model S/X battery prices. It's all about Model 3 for now.

    Other EV manufacturers are constrained right now by the design of their vehicles. They are essentially taking existing ICE designs and adapting them for EV battery packs and drive trains. That is very inefficient. Tesla has that all figured out with their brilliant designs.

    Cost is the last factor in that batteries are expensive so in order to meet an arbitrary price point they can't afford to put in big battery packs. You can't have all three issues solved and meet the low end of the market and none seem interested in making a good push for the higher end market let alone deal with building out a charging infrastructure. Of course, they could use the Supercharger patents and fix the fast charging issue. The net effect is that Superchargers would eventually become the de-facto standard for long-distance travel.

    The only time this will correct itself is if other EV makers take a good hard look at Tesla's design and imitate it, soup to nuts. I think Tesla's tactic of showing the industry "this is how you design a proper EV" will filter it's way throughout the rest of the industry eventually.

    BMW did something similar to the Model S "skateboard" with the i3 but again, they wanted to hit a price point so their compromises are obvious but they "get it". If the rumoured i5 does end up going into production then we should see something more palatable for a lot of people.

    Perhaps compromise is the best word I've used here. Elon keeps stating they wanted to make a car with no compromises and we know they succeeded.
     
  3. Sunlight

    Sunlight Member

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    Trev - can't or won't....?

    It must be possible to increase the amount of batteries if req'd - somehow.

    Still amazes me that the other manufacturers didn't twig long ago that the optimal cars to electrify were at the top end due to the cost margins and the innate benefits offsetting the current disadvantages.

    That makes EM a visionary - or a genius!
     
  4. jerjozwik

    jerjozwik Member

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    ive been asked this question many times in EV marketing questionairs i get for the fiat / fit. i cant say i would spend $X ontop of Z car to go an extra Y miles. its about the entire package. the model S 85D is a no brainer really, a 20 mile boost [basically an extra day of commuting] for a $4,000 option that is likely to improve everthing else. absolutly.

    $4,000 more for 20 miles in the fiat... nope.

    [that is unless they desided to power the rear wheels as well :D ]
     
  5. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    Personally as far as Tesla is concerned I do not see a real need for a bigger battery in that we can go anywhere we want with the superchargers. There will be bigger batteries in the near future and I guess it depends on each individual as to how much they would be willing to pay. If they are inexpensive enough then it makes more sense. For the other manufactures it will be more important since 90 miles is not enough to main stream EV's.
     
  6. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    I disagree that there is no need for a bigger battery for a couple of reasons. It's true that 200 miles is on the cusp of how far I'm willing to drive without a break, however, if I need to get another 200 miles of range when I make that stop, it is painful because of the taper. If I had a 400 mile pack, I could very quickly charge back up to 250 miles and be on my way in as little as half an hour as opposed to the 75 minute wait today. That's a significant improvement.

    Also, there are people (friends of mine) who's tolerance for driving without stopping is longer than mine and would rather drive 4-5 hours at a time.

    Of course, the ultimate would be an inductive charging lane on every interstate where you can just charge as you drive :)
     
  7. Johann Koeber

    Johann Koeber Member

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    Personally I would like more range - lots of it. Give me 25 % more range and I will be happy to pay 5.000 more.

    In all practicality in driving on the Autobahn and limiting my top speed to 160 km/h my P85 gives me about 300 km of real range.

    Now when my Model S was delivered last year we had only 6 Superchargers in Germany. Now there are almost enough to go anywhere at that speed.

    Why I want more range nonetheless:

    - Supercharging slows down a lot for the last 20 %, so with a bigger battery I would rarely hit the tapering

    - stress on the battery is less - or put it otherwise: using the same number of charge/discharge cycles gives me much higher battery life, especially since I do not need to range charge as often or to deplete the battery as often. Only recently did I learn not to arrive at the SC with single digit range left (thank you TMC); now I plan to have at least 20 km buffer.

    - with a real 500 km range (at 160 km/h) I might not need the SC very often, seldom is a day trip more than that. Even if it is, it amounts to just 1 SC visit per day. Currently going to Duesseldorf from Nuernberg (440 km) I use both the SC near Frankfurt (230 km) and the SC at Wilnsdorf (about 100 km) to reach my final destination (another 110 km), just to be sure I will have enough range to do some errands around Duesseldorf . A little more range would let me skip the first SC visit (going fast). Or I might decide to slow down to zero SC visits but arrive emty in Duesseldorf.

    For tax purposes I am writing a diary of all my trips. One of these days I will enter it in Excel and analyse the optimum battery size for me.
     
  8. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    I can't really drive as long as I used to do. Not anymore. I would probably be fine taking a stop every four hours or so, for fifteen to thirty minutes, from now on. I'm just not equipped to do the sort of banzai runs I did a couple of decades ago.

    That said, the first car I ever bought had the most range of any vehicle I have driven since. Rated at 28 MPG, I actually got something closer to 33 MPG. And that was with my setting the cruise control at 85 MPH while driving across I-10 and I-20. I could drive 530 miles in about six hours, then stop to fill up -- I wouldn't even start looking for a gas station until I had gone 450 miles. And the tank would typically still have another gallon or more inside it.

    I would like to have an electric car that was capable of being driven the same way -- even though I can't personally drive that way anymore. That's because I have a sneaking suspicion that driving electric would excite that part of my youthful nature that loves to do banzai runs again. I believe the very experience would be enough to shake me from the doldrums and make driving a happier experience.

    I've driven the same route from Los Angeles to the Family Homestead in Mississippi in cars that barely had a 250-400 mile highway range before. It was agonizing to have only half the range I was used to in my first car. Some of them had short range because they were 'economy' cars with tiny fuel tanks. Others were big, huge SUVs that ate gas like no tomorrow. Either way, I had to stop more often than I felt was necessary to make the trip.

    It was nice knowing I could use 90% of the fuel without any range anxiety at all. I get the impression that many suffer from range awareness in an electric car when they have only used 70% of a charge. If you are a person that chooses not to charge beyond 90%, and you begin to panic once the battery is down to 20% capacity, the difference is that 70%. So the trick is to make sure that your own personal needs for daily, weekly, or road trip driving are handled by 70% of the battery pack capacity.

    So effectively, when there is talk of a '500 mile battery pack', what people really mean is that they must have a 350 range while using only 70% capacity. The EPA rates the Tesla Model S as using 380 Wh per mile. So by their numbers, a 500 mile battery pack would have to be 190 kWh in total capacity. 70% of that would be 133 kWh for 350 miles.

    For a Tesla Model S to have range like my old car from 25 years ago, it would need a total range of about ~642 miles, to allow a cruising range of 450 miles, while leaving a 20% buffer of ~128 miles to find a Supercharger. That would require a ~244 kWh battery pack.

    The tricky part, of course, is that the EPA doesn't actually use the energy stored in the battery pack for their calculations. They use the amount of electricity that leaves the wall, on its way to charging the battery pack. So any losses due to heat, or induction, are added to the efficiency totals, skewing them somewhat. In reality, people who own the Tesla Model S tend to average 280 Wh to 320 Wh per mile in their regular driving. That makes for a big difference, even if you split the difference, and call it 300 Wh per mile.

    So really, it should only take a 192 kWh battery pack to achieve a 642 mile range... And only a 150 kWh battery pack to have a 500 mile range. But how much to pay for them? There is a lot of talk about what Tesla Motors' cost is in dollars per kWh for batteries. Well, let's presume that Tesla would charge a Customer three times their own cost to upgrade, shall be? That means that if Tesla's cost is $250 per kWh, they would charge their Customers $750 per kWh. So...
    ESTIMATED TESLA MOTORS COST/
    RETAIL BATTERY REPLACEMENT
    (USD PER kWh)

    kWh
    75/225
    100/300
    150/450
    200/600
    250/450
    60
    13,500
    18,000
    27,000
    36,000
    45,000
    85
    19,125 25,500 38,250 51,000 63,750
    100
    22,500 30,000 45,000 60,000 75,000
    135
    30,375 40,500 60,750 81,000 101,250
    150
    33,750 45,000 67,500 90,000 112,500
    170
    38,250 51,000 76,500 102,000 127,500
    220
    49,500 66,000 99,000 132,000 165,000
    Since at least one Customer has reported a cost of ~$45,000 to replace an 85 kWh battery pack, and someone else has paid roughly ~$32,000 to replace a 60 kWh battery pack, I think it is safe to assume that Tesla Motors' current cost is likely below $200 per kWh. Thus, with a 30% reduction in their cost with the advent of the Gigafactory, they will likely be under $140 per kWh from that point forward. So retail cost for capacity would be somewhere in the $300-to-$420 range.

    The real question is: How much range do you want to add? 15 kWh equates to 50 miles of range, and would have a retail cost of $4500-$6300. 25 kWh adds 83 miles at a $7,500-$10,500 higher cost. 35 kWh gives 116 miles more, for a $10,500-$14,700 premium. 50 kWh allows 166 miles of total go power, and would cost between $15,000 and $21,000 as a bank statement hit.

    I still don't think a sub-60 kWh battery pack should be offered for the Tesla Model ☰ at all. But I believe these relative costs may point to what you may expect as price differences at different trim levels based upon battery capacity. That is why I have hypothesized battery pack capacities as 60 kWh, 85 kWh, and 135 kWh. A 25 kWh increase from 60 kWh, and a 50 kWh increase from 85 kWh to 135 kWh.

    So if a Model ☰ 60 were to cost $34,900... A Model ☰ 85 may be priced between $42,400 and $45,400... And a Model ☰ 135 may cost in the range of $57,400 to $63,400. I rather expect the base prices will be on the low end of that scale, and that options packages and accessories will add more to Tesla's bottom line.
     
  9. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    I paid 90k for 265 mile range. I had reserved a Nissan Leaf but ended up with a Volt when they were available first. I just want a 200 mile or better range because that will get me through the day without worrying about range at all. Anyway, for me the answer is I will pay quite a lot for range. I think the first car with a 200 mile range under 40k will sell all they can make and have a long waiting list for many years - they will never catch up with demand due to pent up frustration with gas prices, not to mention high maintenance on ICE vehicles. If/when a breakthrough in battery tech happens, I absolutely cannot wait to see the rush to EVs that's going to happen. ICE cars could go the way of the dinosaur in 20 years or less. Lets hope!!!
     
  10. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    The real reason that different sizes are not offered is that batteries are big and heavy. You can't just throw an extra 20kwh in a car. Tesla went with a big car which is not generally what EVs were expected to be/are. When you build a small car, there is only room for a certain amount of kwh. Tesla of course has more energy dense batteries so that also factors in.

    There will be options but is isn't simple. The cars will have to have different suspension tuning/tire size etc with bigger battery options.
     
  11. mrdoubleb

    mrdoubleb Active Member

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    Johann,

    Thanks for this. I still haven't given up hope on having a civilized discussion on range here at TMC, but it always feels like there is a group here attacking everyone with the "you don't need that much range" and "if you drive that fast you are a danger to society" mantra.

    Please share your Excel here at TMC when you are done with it.
     
  12. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    You won't hear that from me. Range is like memory, storage, or CPU speed in a computer--no such thing as too much. Of course there's affordability to be considered, so no one gets as much as they would like, and you can always get more if you wait a year or two but then you lose the usage during that time. And as I've said many times before, even after the 2015 Supercharger plan is complete there will still be many routes not covered.
     
  13. Trev Page

    Trev Page Member

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    Have you seen the inside of the model S battery pack?? There is no room to add more batteries, it's jammed full in there. Matter of fact they had to stack 2 modules on top of each other in the front of the pack to get the rating needed. Model S and X battery packs using the 18650 cell format is pretty much set in stone and can't be made any bigger and still fit in the S/X. If they can get better chemistry in the cells that's another matter however.

    They have talked about making the cells bigger in the future, ostensibly for Model 3 considering that will be a physically smaller battery pack but they won't do that until the gigafactory is built and producing.

    As for the other manufacturers, I think it has to do more with not really wanting to invest in a new design as EVs are largely compliance vehicles and not a business model. Tesla had no choice but to design properly from the ground up.

    - - - Updated - - -

    A Model ☰ 85 @ $43-45K is right in the butter zone financially for me for my next car. I'm actually basing my purchase at around $52K to account for extras like tech, pano roof etc... I'm done paying for my current car in less than 2 years so payments just go into the Tesla kitty and I'll sell my current car to help bring the pre-tax cost down too. I still hope our Provincial $8500 rebate is still in place too so in the end we should be financing closer to $35K or so. Makes for a very nice car and I pocket the gas money!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Tesla certainly knows this which is why the Model 3 has always been stated as having a 200 mile range, minimum. It hits the right psychological zone that will tip a lot of people over to EVs. Of course you'll always have some nitwits complaining it doesn't do a 1,000 miles on a charge and because of this they will never buy an EV....
     
  14. tga

    tga Active Member

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    ~50% of my driving is one-way trips of ~120 interstate miles (with charging at either end), with the other ~50% <30 miles. I won't buy a BEV that only works for 1/2 of my driving, so I consider 200 miles to be the minimum (this gives me some buffer zone for doing that 120 mile trip at night, in the winter, in bad weather, with my wife watching the gauge and worrying about us "running out of gas"). But I'd prefer >250, just for a little extra buffer, and to avoid deep cycling the batteries.
     
  15. rcc

    rcc Model S 85KW, VIN #2236

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    I'm going to grossly oversimplify but in my opinion, there are basically three kinds of EV buyers. Those that believe you can make do with ~100 miles of range, those that believe you need more than 200 and a supercharging network and those that think you need 500 or more and a supercharging network.

    The first set buy Leafs and some have switched to Model S's. The second buy Model S's. The third aren't buying yet. And this is why in so many EV conversations, you hear so much "You don't need that much range ..." - because most of the people who think differently aren't even participating in the conversation. They're driving their ICE's and they're not going to give them up until an EV with enough range hits the streets.

    Personally, I'm in the >200 miles category. Or as I like to think of it - the >1/2 tank of gas category. There are certainly people in the 3rd category - which I like to think of as the "6 hour drive category". People in those categories are willing to pay more for range. Or more precisely, they're willing to pay more for a product they think meets their needs and are not willing to pay less for a product that won't.

    An interesting question is once you've met the minimum needs, how much *more* are people willing to pay for more range? I think that depends a lot on the base price of the product.

    Let's say that $5K gets me 350 miles of range instead of 250 miles. Most buyers are going to find extra $5K is a lot harder to spend on a $35K car than a $80K car.
     
  16. favo

    favo Model 3 Reservation Holder

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    Tricky question. Range is affected by speed and conditions, so it's a little bit of a moving target. Also, charge time is a related factor that can influence how much range you "need." Assuming the current Supercharging times, I'd like 350 miles of range when averaging 75 mph over fairly flat terrain in weather as cold as 25 F and as hot as 100 F. If charging to 90% only took 10-15 minutes, I could be happy with 250 miles given the aforementioned conditions. I think 200 miles is too low for long trips, especially if it assumes 65 mph on perfectly flat roads at 70 F. When I am going on a trip, I mostly want to get to the destination. Stopping every 3 hours to charge for 1 hour is too much overhead. And if you're really in a hurry, it would be pretty annoying. I recently drove 8 hours non-stop (yes, actually did not get out of the car for 8 hours).

    I have pretty much decided I'm all in for a Perf Model 3 with big battery. How much extra would I pay over the base model? Not exactly sure, but assuming you get the extra performance and probably the dual motors, maybe $15 K. I really hope they don't decide not to offer a Model 3 version with all the bells and whistles available on their flagship vehicles. I'm all for having a base model with smaller battery and basic trim to keep entry price low, but have plenty of options, too. If they need to put a cap on "luxury" options (interior trim, etc.), I'm OK with that, but don't stifle performance and technical options.
     
  17. EVNow

    EVNow Active Member

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    There may be a small fraction who are willing to pay more, but, vast majority of people want > 500 miles of range and 10 minute fill ups for a car costing $25k.
     
  18. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    On the BMW i3 one can order it with an additional 90 miles of range for about $5000. Of course that's the ReX ICE, which seems to be selling better than the pure BEV version. I'd be willing to pay them that same $5000 for them to put back the 8 kWh that they removed from the ActiveE platform. That'd provide about an additional 35 miles of battery range, for a total range of 100-120 miles instead of the 70-90 mile range the i3 achieves today.

    So, to answer the question directly, that's about $625/kWh or about $130/mile (assuming 4.8 miles/kWh which is my current lifetime efficiency in the i3). That's what I'd be willing to pay for additional range. BTW, that's about the price difference between a Model S 60 and an 85, so it's not a crazy number).
     
  19. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    Not entirely true. I take one long road trip per year, to go hiking in British Columbia. The places I go most often are six or seven hours north of me on secondary roads where there are no superchargers, and won't be for many years to come. Gas cars still have the advantage for travel away from the major inter-city routes.
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Correct. Any route that isn't on the interstates or their Canadian equivalent has no Superchargers and no announced plans for any. And it's the non-interstate roads that are the most fun to drive because they have more interesting scenery and usually have far less traffic. When driving a Tesla, getting there is three quarters of the fun but restricting routes to the boring and truck clogged interstates takes away about half of that fun. With no Superchargers, you need long range.
     

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