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Luxury electric cars cannot overturn conventional autos

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Luxury, Jul 24, 2013.

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  1. Luxury

    Luxury New Member

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    Three reasons why electric autos will not be able to replace combustion engine vehicles for at least a few decades:

    1. Economic issues. The government can provide startup capital to risky industries like venture capitalists, and can also provide manufacturing and consumption subsidies. However, government subsidies have a certain ceiling – thousands of cars? Yes. Millions? Definitely no.

    2. Scientific issues. I believe electric cars do not necessarily generate less pollution than traditional internal combustion engine cars. We need to focus on the carbon footprint of the entire industry chain (from wellhead to wheels) instead of carbon emissions from driving (from fuel tank to wheels). If only the latter is considered, undoubtedly electric cars are more environmental friendly. But if we take battery production and recycling into consideration, carbon emissions in the electric car industry chain are just marginally lower than that of internal combustion engine cars. In China, where power generation mainly relies on coal, electric cars do not have any particular environmental advantages as the recycling of electric cars/batteries still involves carbon emissions. Just think about the law of conservation of energy.

    3. Political issues. A nation needs to align the interests of multiple parties, e.g., state-owned enterprises, private enterprises, consumers, and local governments if it intends to drive the development of the electric car industry. One example would be the postponement of the implementation of China IV standards, which can be largely attributed to the difficulty in aligning the various interests. The electric car industry involves many interested parties, making any interest alignment more difficult. I believe the government may invest equal effort into initiatives with less resistance, e.g., public transit development, which is also a way to considerably reduce carbon emissions and improve people’s transport experience.

    Electric cars will remain a niche
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I trust that was posted in the interests of open and honest debate. We do not tolerate trolling here. -mod

    1. Any subsidies will be short term, and are only required on that basis. Oddly enough the fossil fuel industry is still getting many billions of dollars of subsidies every year, so apparently governments can and do subsidize millions of cars.

    2. Oddly enough no one does well to wheels for internal combustion cars, and that's not pretty. An honest appraisal shows that EVs are in fact much greener (as widely discussed elsewhere on this forum), and the power sources are getting even greener. Many owners are operating their cars from solar. Where I live the grid is only 5% carbon, and that's just for peaking in daytime hours. I charge at night.

    3. Government can potentially help, but they can also get out of the way and let private industry make the transition.
     
  3. idoco

    idoco Member

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    "I trust that was posted in the interests of open and honest debate. We do not tolerate trolling here. -mod"

    Post count 1.....hmm....
    :wink:
     
  4. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    On point 2:

    Carbon Dioxide is only one component of 'less pollution'. And even creating equivalent pollution, having a single point source (in low population areas), versus distributed sources in heavy population centers, is a great improvement. Not to mention that electric cars can be cleaner if power plants get cleaner.
     
  5. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    1. Your subject and your first sentence are inconsistent. Please clarify. Are you making your arguments about "luxury electric cars" or "electric cars"? They are very different arguments.
    2. Your subject doesn't state a timeline so that implies "ever", while your first sentence offers "for at least a few decades". Which timeline are you arguing ("ever" or "30-40 years")?
     
  6. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    wow, someone really want their link to get hits... sorry, not biting...
     
  7. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    That probably hits the nail on the head. Although I'll usually defend everyone's right to a contrary POV, this guy didn't post any comment whatsoever as his post is just an extract from that online article. We'll see....
     
  8. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I'm with 100thMonkey. Obvious troll is obvious. No way I'm clicking that link and rewarding him.
     
  9. CalDreamin

    CalDreamin Member

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    We can run well-to-wheels GHG calculations for almost any car on the fueleconomy.gov website. A Tesla Model S 85 charged off the average USA electrical grid has the well-to-wheels GHG emissions of a 44 mpg ICE car, which is half the GHG emissions of the average new ICE car and beats any of the large or luxury ICE sedans (Hybrid Avalon is 40 mpg). Charged off the electrical grid where I live in California, a Tesla Model S 85 has the well-to-wheels GHG emissions of an 85 mpg ICE car. Worst case parts of the USA where coal provides most grid electricity puts the Tesla Model S 85 at the GHG equivalent of a 30 mpg car, still better than nearly all large sedans and better than the average new ICE car.
    Beyond Tailpipe Emissions

    Exactly.
     
  10. Luxury

    Luxury New Member

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    I'm not trolling nor do I agree 100% with that article. Just thought it raises some valid points and was interested to see if there were some equally valid rebuttals.

    I guess the points refer to all electric cars, but luxury in particular because of the top speed issues.

    Also, as far as I'm concerned, a few decades is pretty much "ever". Yeah, I'm not planning to live that long.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you very much for that. Only useful reply... really.
    Not sure if I agree with the oil subsidies being directed to combustion engine car owners... I think it's more of a "collateral benefit" for them.
    Also, at current prices and levels of the required EV technology, if governments get out of the way -or even decide to subsidize an alternative such as natural gas-, EVs would have a really hard time to take off.
     
  11. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    What top speed issues do you refer to? The Model S has a top speed of 120+mph which is fast enough for most highways in the world.

    If governments stopped subsiding fossil fuels (natural gas is included in this) to the tune of billions of dollars a year then EVs would have an easier time as well.
    Quiz: What You Dont Know About Energy Subsidies
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Thanks for engaging. Your post did look fishy because of the irrelevant word "Luxury" in the title - and your user name. Tesla is starting with high end vehicles simply because the batteries are not yet cheap enough to make a compelling low-cost vehicle. Their plan is to transition to lower-cost vehicles in a few years (3-4). The Model S is the platform for developing the technology, manufacturing, and the company. Gen III is what will make the company.

    What "top speed issues"? I'm not aware of any. Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus, among others, are fully highway capable. My Model S can do 209 kph, but most ICE street cars can't do that! So I'm confused what your point is about.

    I think you will be very surprised on this front. Tesla expects their Gen III car to be launched in 3-4 years. That car will be very compelling economically.

    My point was that the government continues to subsidize a highly successful and profitable industry well beyond any reason. So you can't claim the subsidies will definitely go away. The people who claim that the EV subsidies are bad don't seem to complain about the massively larger fossil fuel subsidies... interesting, huh?

    In the end EVs will be economically feasible on their own merit - and sooner than you think. Meanwhile fossil fuels are getting more difficult to extract, and their environmental impacts are getting steadily worse as we inexorably shift more and more to unconventional sources.
     
  13. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    While I drive a luxury car now, I'm not really interested in "top speed", but the ride of an EV is far superior to an ICE (gas, natural gas, ethanol, diesel, whatever) and that is something you fail to take into account. The ride in a Tesla is phenomenal and the more people exposed to it the more that will want it and when a lower price point car comes around it will become mainstream.
     
  14. zeron

    zeron Member

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    Well duh, Tesla themselves knows luxury cars can not win over the majority budget market. Let's revise that, *everyone* knows that. Thats why they use the luxury cars to fund their expansion into the budget market, building a very valuable brand along the way.
     
  15. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    To me, EVs have many benefits and I think their popularity should keep growing:

    1. Cost to run. I would rather pay $0.50 to go 25 miles in an EV, versus $3.80 a gallon to go the same distance in a standard ICE car.
    2. Energy. By purchasing an EV and using electricity from my own solar panels or wind power system, I am not helping hostile foreign countries increase their oil revenue. In addition, if I am able to rely 100% on Supercharging or my own solar/wind power system, then my cost to run over the long term becomes zero.
    3. Maintenance. EVs can be much less expensive to maintain, because they don't have an ICE nor most of the equipment that goes along with it, such as transmissions.
    4. Air quality. Would you rather walk behind an EV or an ICE?
    5. Silence. EVs are much quieter to run, leading to a more pleasurable driving experience.
    6. Speed. The Tesla Model S Performance can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.2 seconds.
    7. Go for a test drive in a Tesla Model S and you might just be amazed.

    I would think others here could add to this list.
     
  16. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Welcome to TMC!

    Tip: actually noting that in the original post might have got you more replies. We can be quite suspicious here because trolls do like to come and try to disrupt conversations.
     
  17. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    The GAO estimates $12k in petroleum subsidies per gas car. That is direct subsidies (including tax credits which some economists don't call a "subsidy" but lay people and the press do because it has the exact same effect) only; it does not includes wars, military policing of shipping lanes ($85B/year for Hormuz alone), health costs (pneumonia, asthma, 20k deaths per year), or pollution mitigation. Petroleum is half of our trade deficit. It is hard to imagine something that American taxpayers pay more for than petroleum.

    Of course, this (along with the other points you raised) has been discussed in many other threads - please feel free to look around and ask questions. We are happy to answer questions; but you are likely not getting many "useful replies" because you made assertions that have been discussed and discounted many times.
     
  18. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Not a great way to introduce yourself to a forum. Especially when it's clearly incorrect. Your post had some inconsistencies that led to a confused framing of the discussion, yet you consider pointing that out "not useful". I probably won't be alone in tuning out of this thread pretty quickly if you continue along these lines.
     
  19. stephenpace

    stephenpace VIN S00219

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    The UK seems to have a lot of EV skeptics. I can't wait to see what happens when the RHD Model S versions start showing up there early 2014. Until then, Tesla gets to poke them with this.

    London_Display.jpg
     
  20. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    1. Governments are also providing subsidies to established industries also, such as the gasoline/oil industry. It depends on what source you cite, but direct government subsidies on oil is 3 cents per gallon. All inclusive, it's closer to 66 cents per gallon. Now, that may not sound like alot, but the average driver consumes 700 gallons per year. In effect, they are subsidizing the driver $6,000 over the course of the life of the car. EVs in general last longer, so the governments are subsidizing them less than normal cars. Also, at least in the US, the tax credit gets phased out after reaching a certain number of cars.
    2. Battery production and recycling has been taken into account. Battery production for an EV requires 10-25% more energy than to make a regular car, depends on the battery, that's why such a wide range. If you look at an entire life cycle, include cradle to grave for everything, gasoline looks alot worse. Keep in mind, most studies where the EV looks worse have a low EV battery life, have a low mileage claim, or fail to consider end of uses for the batteries.
    3. Public transportation is a good idea, but some people are used to independence, and in some cases public transportation is too costly to implement. The electric car industry only involves a few industries, at least in Tesla's case; private enterprise (no more government loans) and consumers.
     

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