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If car companies can't invent a viable EV solution to compete, what happens to Elon's vison?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by weak_pig, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    Good point, though it's still probably a bit easier to ramp up motor production than it is battery production. A Model S/X has over 1700 cells and appears to be a more complex manufacturing problem than the motors. In any case the bulk of the automotive industry is organized to make ICEs and the manufacturing isn't there for the different parts necessary for EVs on the scale needed.
     
  2. ElectricTundra

    ElectricTundra P85D AP1

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    #102 ElectricTundra, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
    Yes, though no idea about the timing. I agree with @wdolson and others that manufacturing capacity for batteries may be the biggest slowdown. The car companies can switch to manufacturing BEV's fairly quickly (though they'd strongly prefer not to). I've no idea how fast battery production can be ramped though.

    Here's a rather optimistic (though possible?) view: End Of Gas Stations III: Coming To A Corner Near You

    I do think that the benefits of BEV's will be the biggest driver of the conversion, not gov't mandates.
     
  3. ElectricTundra

    ElectricTundra P85D AP1

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    How critical is this though for initial ramp? For multi car families (who can charge at home) a BEV will make a good second car that is only used around the city.
     
  4. jerry33

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

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    By the time that happens, at least three out of four traditional car makers will be out of business because they will follow in Kodak's steps. One of the big reasons why Kodak didn't follow through on digital cameras was because Walmart said they would stop purchasing film and development supplies if Kodak did so. This is the same as the dealer pushback against EVs.
     
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  5. jerry33

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

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    Unless a primary or secondary car is totaled, or there is a new driver, no one buys a new car for a second car, they purchase a new primary car and the previous primary car becomes the second car.
     
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  6. tomas

    tomas Only partially psycho

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    Call me no one. And a lot of people I know. Maybe few is a better word?
     
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  7. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    Once the public is sold, there will be no going back.

    I think the article is a bit optimistic about the prevalence of BEVs in th near future and it's based on some numbers I don't think are accurate like the price of batteries is dropping at 35% a year. From 2011-2012 it looks like the drop was about 15% and from 2014 to 2015 it was only about 4%. The curve has been flattening out rather than accelerating. Now battery production at the GigaFactory could create a jump discontinuity decline for Tesla, but that won't affect anyone else.

    I'm not sure where Volvo is going to get the batteries to built 10% of their cars as BEVs by 2020. Maybe LG Chem is building a new plant for them. I'm not sure.

    Fossil fuels won't go away overnight. Even if passenger vehicles start switching over to BEVs en masse, batteries are going to have to get a heck of a lot lighter and a heck of a lot denser for widespread aviation use. And I don't see a way jet travel is possible without burning some kind of liquid fuel (you could do it with a nuclear reactor too, but that's a bad idea in so many ways, it's a good thing the ideas for nuclear aircraft were shelved back in the 50s).

    We'll need a lot of spare battery production before big rigs can be converted.

    If someone wants to build the infrastructure it is possible to make long haul trains electric, but the infrastructure to support them with external power will be subject to getting knocked out by severe weather and the system will require more maintenance than it does now.

    Hybrid locomotives are in development now. Since the dawn of the diesel locomotive the traction motors have been electric and they brake using the same regenerative principle hybrids and BEVs use, but they have always just run the energy through giant resistors and vented the heat. Hybrids should be able to save a lot of diesel. If they want to make them plug in hybrids they could save even more. While an engine is sitting idle on a siding or while transferring cargo, the batteries could be charged and for the first bit the engine could run down the batteries before the diesel has to kick in.

    ICE cars/light trucks will still have a market too. There are places in the rural west of the US, the Outback in Australia, and places in Africa, Siberia, etc. where electricity is not reliably available enough to power BEVs. Just like you would want a 4X4 truck rather than a Toyota Camry to drive long distances off road, having and ICE with some cans of fuel in the back would be a much better way to go for people who want or need to go a long ways from civilization.

    That will be a niche market, but it probably won't go away until batteries get so dense you could drive 1000-2000 miles or more on a Model S battery pack.

    The biggest user of gasoline in the world is the US military. Their aircraft and most ships will probably be using fossil fuels for quite some time to come and while they might make electric ground vehicles, they will often be charging them from diesel generators. Finding a working power outlet on a battlefield is problematic unless you bring it with you.

    It would be ironic for the US military to fight a war for oil when they are one of the last people using it.
     
  8. Sunlight

    Sunlight Member

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    I wonder if there is not actually a place for 'FoolSells' in this 'big changeover'........and maybe a softer landing for the big oil companies.

    If 'everything' goes electric driven by air quality and performance then maybe vehicles that move over great distances from one stop/depot to another - big trucks; trains; long haul trucks; airplanes (?!); taxis (?) will be better suited to fuel cells. Hydrogen could be produced on site or carted in huge quantities to depots. Safety concerns could be better handled as trained personnel would handle refueling; regular maintenance etc.

    Batteries in these uses may just be too bulky and heavy but well suited to private cars with numerous and scattered recharges.

    I'm still somewhat perplexed by people thinking that the production of batteries cannot ramp up in 5-10 years. How long has it taken to build the Gigafactory? Next one (with lots of money) would presumably go even quicker.

    Or is there a shortage of some raw material(s) looming on the horizon.....?
     
  9. jerry33

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

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    Few is probably better. I bought a new Leaf as a second car too, but that was because the second car was totaled and Denise didn't want a big car (Model S). I was really hoping that the totaled car would last until the Model 3 came out.
     
  10. jerry33

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

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    There is no evidence to suggest that there would be a shortage of raw materials. I recall an article (some time ago now) where it would take 22M S85 per year to strain lithium supplies.
     
  11. tomas

    tomas Only partially psycho

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    I'm starting to think that there would be a TON more second car BEV sales if 2 things: 1) styling were improved, 2) manufacturers/dealers actually tried to sell them. With range as well, it becomes a first car.

    My eGolf is an astoundingly great second car. Styling is minimal departure from standard Golf, which is proven... but manufacturer and dealers anti-sell it in the US, even in CA where the market ought to be great.

    As another example, in Chicago I'm considering getting a CPO i3 because my 2 EVs are in CA. I've got to get past the unusual looks. Not sure I can. Both interior and exterior are goofy to me. And, the salesman (whom I've bought 3 cars from in past, and given an S test drive) said "I don't pay much attention to those, we just don't sell many." I wonder why?!?!?

    Model 3 is going to fly off the shelves as second car because styling is as great as the EV drivetrain, and because Tesla is TRYING to sell it... and as a first car because of the range.

    When we see other manufacturers make attractive BEVs, educate their dealers, and provide incentives to goose sales... then they'll vie for a piece of that market.
     
  12. ElectricTundra

    ElectricTundra P85D AP1

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    Great rundown.

    Rail doesn't need catenary infrastructure along 100% of a route. It has the option of both battery and catenary which is increasingly used in Europe and Asia. Catenary power for propulsion and charge when available, run off batteries when not. The larger the battery the less catenary needed. You only need catenary for maybe 5% to 20% of a rail line with it able to operate off batteries the rest.
     
  13. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    Clearly the old ICE car becomes a backup for the rare times when you need to drive long range. A new BEV will make a much nicer daily driver. Not only do I drive my Model S daily on my commute, we also take it as a family 90% of the time. And yet I have almost never used a supercharger because it still often doesn't work out for the handful of times per year when we are driving beyond the range of the Model S. So I don't see the problem. The percentage of people who need more than 200 miles of range on a daily basis is vanishingly small.

    I still think the much larger disrupter in the long run is autonomous driving, because it will end car ownership as we know it. At that point every time you get in a car you are going to choose the car best suited for that particular trip.
     
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  14. jerry33

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

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    No, that's what the Model S is for.
     
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  15. jerry33

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

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    I don't think so. The plan sounds nice, but I believe the reality will be that it will end up being just another dirty rental car that you have to wear protective clothing before you can sit in it.
     
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  16. ElectricTundra

    ElectricTundra P85D AP1

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    On a limited basis yes, widespread no. People like their personal vehicles that have all of their personal stuff in them. More so they don't like the grunge and smell of strangers.
     
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  17. david_42

    david_42 Member

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    One of the more interesting patents that Tesla holds is for a dual-battery electric vehicle. A high-power, moderate energy battery, LiMH or LiS, and a low-power, high energy battery, an example of which is Phinergy's air-Aluminum battery. Air-metal batteries have been around a long time, but poor electrode life has limited them to applications like hearing aids. Phinergy claims to have solved the problem and have run a 55 kg prototype over 1500 km.
     
  18. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    But how many people will be willing to spend 4-5 times more for that convenience (my guess)? "People will never pay for streaming music, they like buying something physical like a CD." Expectations change, and millions of cars sitting around all the time is just too wasteful economically (not to mention people choose cars that are way too much for 90% of their needs just because sometimes they need those capabilities). Just look at New York City. In most of Manhattan only about 25% of households own even a single car, and presumably they like having their own things as much as other people. They've just adapted to economic reality. I'd love to have my own personal table at my favorite restaurant that nobody else ever used, but I accept that it's not realistic. What seems "normal" to people changes all the time.
     
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  19. MitchJi

    MitchJi Trying to learn kindness, patience & forgiveness

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    Plug-in hybrids will soon be obsolete, as soon as battery prices for the industry as a whole get close to Tesla's end of 2917-2018 prices (under $80-$100 per kWh), because at that point producing a BEV will cost less than Plug-in hybrids. If most of the industry doesn't get there pretty soon they'll die.
     
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  20. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    True, though overhead electric lines will probably be necessary in mountain passes and they will be a maintenance headache.

    When there is a shortage of batteries, which is almost certain, hybrids will be necessary to make the batteries stretch further. Hybrids will become mostly extinct except for special use vehicles over the long run.
     

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