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Ireland: Heading towards an EV flop?

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by dpeilow, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  2. CroDriver

    CroDriver Member

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    Where Nikola Tesla was born... Croatia :)
    Remember the Internet bubble? Well, now the EV bubble is about to blow...

    Too many have done it wrong - created artificial demand with tons of government money. Now look at all those companies and how many of them have already bankrupted (car manufacturers, suppliers...).

    In my opinion, Tesla Motors is the only one doing it right - offering an appealing product all-around, while others just make EVs to get government money.

    Sooner or later EVs will take over, but it will take decades until we see any significant market share IMO.
     
  3. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    I think there is one more company doing it right... Rimac automobili :)
     
  4. CroDriver

    CroDriver Member

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    Where Nikola Tesla was born... Croatia :)
    Of course, I thought I don't have to mention that :)

    But I look at RA more as a supercar company than an EV company. For now anyways...
     
  5. eledille

    eledille TMS 85 owner :)

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    #5 eledille, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
    I agree that Tesla is doing it right, and that EV acceptance may be slow unless something happens, but disagree that it's wrong to spend or get government money to increase EV adoption.

    The underlying problem is that carbon is not priced correctly, so the ICE has an unfair advantage and there is an artificially high demand for fossil fuels. A CO[sub]2[/sub] price of 200 euro per ton is not too much, and this translates into a carbon price of about 0.50 euro per liter of gasoline, slightly more for diesel. Ireland is one of the few countries that actually have a carbon tax, but it's at 20 euro per ton CO[sub]2[/sub], not 200.

    Ireland in 2011 burned 6.5 million tons of fuel products, according to the Irish Energy Policy Statistical Support Unit. That yields about 20 million tons of CO[sub]2[/sub], worth 4 billion euro of carbon tax, if it was priced at 200 euro per ton. Compare that yearly number to the cost of the EV incentives, 1.1 million. The missing carbon tax amounts to several thousand times the cost of the EV incentives. The carbon tax on fuels they actually do collect amounts to several hundred million. I honestly think that spending a small fraction of a percent of the carbon tax income on EV incentives sounds a bit stingy.

    A government should try to protect its selfish, shortsighted citizens from future disasters. Climate change and fuel shortages are two very likely future disasters. All of science says so. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but governments should base their decisions on the best available knowledge - science (yes, yes, I know they often don't, but they should). As emission cuts are less expensive than dealing with the results of climate change, it's prudent to spend money towards higher EV acceptance. Then there's security of fuel supply, and EVs offer the best practical solution to that looming problem - the cost of a single Tomahawk missile equals the yearly Irish EV spending.

    Very few EVs have so far been possible to buy, all of them are relatively expensive and none of them look very conventional. Long range requires expensive batteries, so an inexpensive EV must have short range. I think the Renault onboard 43 kW charger is a game-changer, it allows for a much denser network of chargers than would otherwise be possible. There is a reason why many EVs have looked different - earlier, battery capacity resulted in small cars, and the MiEV is an adaptation of an existing design. New cars designed as EVs are coming and they look better.

    Most people are skeptical towards unfamiliar things and strongly dislike being different. They want to be just like all their neighbors, except a bit more prosperous. So a great big carrot or a correspondingly menacing stick is needed to get some of them moving in the right direction. Once two or three of the neighbors drive EVs, more will follow. Tesla has made a huge carrot in the form of a car that is better in every way, but that car is necessarily expensive. Norway has made a huge carrot in the form of extremely attractive EV incentives. That also works for less expensive cars. I think both approaches work and both are necessary.

    For comparison, Norway has the following EV incentives: Zero showroom tax (which will easily double the price of a moderately attractive conventional car), zero VAT (ordinarily 25%, *nothing* else is exempt from VAT), yearly excise duty reduction of 80%, access to reserved parking spots, free public parking, free ferry and toll road passage and access to the bus lanes.

    Of course the incentives will be removed - when people have managed to wrap their heads around the idea of driving EVs. As long as that is not the case, the incentives cost very little. This summer, the incentives were extended until 2017 or whenever 50k EVs are on the roads. At that point, I bet most of them will be extended again.

    The result is that in 2012, as many C-Zeros and iOns were sold in Norway as in all the rest of Europe. EV sales in Norway for the first time exceeded 5% of total car sales in September.

    Even so, if you ask random people in the streets of Oslo whether they would consider buying an EV, chances are they will say "Would I buy a slow, ugly car that might set my house on fire? Heh.", "Well, modern engines have become very efficient", "Aren't the batteries full of toxic chemicals?" or "I prefer stick shift". Changing people's perceptions takes time and effort, but in this case we have to.
     

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