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Old April 23rd, 2018, 07:25   #46
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Originally Posted by turbobrick240 View Post
Yeah, it's pretty much just the Teslas people are lining up for. Still, over half a million people are plunking down a grand to get on the list. They'll dominate the EV market here for at least a few more years. The wait list (not necessarily wait time)will probably just get longer as more people see the model 3 on the road and realize what a great car it is.

Every auto production line gets shut down from time to time, especially in early production. It's only when Tesla does it that all the naysayers come out of the woodwork claiming the sky is falling. There are powerful forces opposing a quick transition to the EV. But Tesla has the right stuff to put them in the past.
Actually the one that's screaming the loudest right now is Elon Musk.
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Old April 23rd, 2018, 07:39   #47
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Actually the one that's screaming the loudest right now is Elon Musk.
I think he'll be just fine. If he goes full Howard Hughes and secludes himself in a Vegas penthouse and stops cutting his hair- then I'd worry.
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Old April 23rd, 2018, 08:30   #48
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Are Americans willing to downsize their vehicles so they can be electrified? Unlikely for many generations to come in my view.
I know it's a rhetorical question, but I'll chime in anyway. I purchased a used Fiat 500e late last March to be my around-town vehicle. In the 12 months since then, I've put 14,000 miles on it. Its range is rated at ~84 miles, which can be as much as 110 miles in ideal conditions and as little as 60 miles on the coldest days of winter. A full recharge from dead empty to completely full takes 4 hours. Energy costs at home are coming in at about 2.5 cents per mile.

The Model 3, which we are now able to configure (just waiting on the Passat buyback date), will open us up to taking road trips like we've been doing in the TDIs for the better part of two decades. Jason and I are both really looking forward to it. We're planning on visiting Key West, New Orleans, The Black Hills and probably doing a cross-country trip within the first year or two.
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Old April 23rd, 2018, 17:16   #49
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If they do hit this magical number, and if the subsidies are removed, and they are forced to stand on their own merits, THEN we'll see what Americans really think of them. I am still not convinced they will be embraced in any great numbers any time soon, even if the current offerings DO meet the requirements of a LOT of consumers. Again, they are not buying up Versas and Sentras in huge numbers, so why would they make the leap to a more expensive Leaf?
EVs seem to be gaining some popularity (in Quebec) with fairly sizeable subsidies. Hydro (aka electricity to you folks) is relatively cheap here, we export boatloads of electrons to the US

What people forget though is that in many places of the world, electricity comes from fossil fuels. So your EV still ends up being a "gas guzzler" in a way.

But here, we just have hydro dams (which still consume a lot of fossil fuels, judging by the sizeable truck and equipment fleet of Hydro-Quebec).

That said, I saw a Leaf today... being flat-bedded; I guess its owner ran out of "hydro"

So range anxiety is real. In my rural area, for me to even begin to consider an electric car for *one* of our two cars, I need real-world, all-weather, effective 300 km range. Enough to get me back and forth to Montreal, drive around the city for my errands, and drive home, leaving maybe 20-50 km of margin. Just going to choir rehearsal and back (or to one of the events we sing at), in Sherbrooke, would require 200 km+reserve. So far only the Bolt can provide that in the sub-50k price range (I'm talking pure electric), and it's not sub-50 by much and provides only a fraction of the utility and all-weather security of my new 4MOTION wagon for a full $20k more ($14k factoring in the subsidies).

I'd haver considered a Golf electric as a second car if it had 100 km more range than it currently does (about 200). Alas I don't have the capital necessary to buy one and save money...
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Old April 23rd, 2018, 19:25   #50
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Originally Posted by tikal View Post
For the time being you might need both vehicles in your garage for functionality and redundancy: an EV and a diesel.

Problem solved :-)
This is my plan. Once the Sportwagen is paid off, we'll start looking at the electric cars on the market to replace my wife's '08 Maxima. The Maxima used to be the family car that we used for almost everything (19 mpg on a typical tank, 28-29 mpg on a long trip). Then we got the Sportwagen and that's been the family car that we use for almost everything. According to fuelly.com, I am only doing 1/3 highway driving and getting just over 40 mpg (so cut fuel costs a ton). If we can get an electric with reasonable range (say 200-ish miles), we can use that for almost everything. Getting to Portland and back on a charge would be nice. The Sportwagen would then be our long distance car and the car I use to get to work when I don't ride my bike.
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Old April 23rd, 2018, 19:47   #51
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People who commute over a hundred miles each way to work will really benefit a lot from autonomous cars. That's a pretty solid chunk of the day to essentially be unproductive.
You know what? I'm one of those 100mile/day commuters, and I don't want an autonomous car. To be blunt, I don't trust the software, and software is what I do for a living. I've seen enough interface mismatches, screwy design, and hole-ridden exception handling to convince me that self-driving cars probably can't be trusted for quite a while yet. Heck, a Mars probe managed to crash into the planet because one part of its software was written in meters while the other was in miles. Yes, it was a while ago, but you know what? There's still plenty of crazy/stupid in software today.

Or how about Toyota's little drive-by-wire incident a few years ago ("Toyota: Once You Drive One, You'll Never Stop!")? You want the folks who forgot to code the ECU to cut the accelerator if the brake is applied writing a self-drive program?

Sure, there's good software people out there, I work with people I'd trust to write something like that. But you know that old saying that "more than 50% of the people in the world are below average"? I'd say that the same's true of software, especially considering how many times someone throws in a quick patch to make a deadline and ends up leaving a hole or causing some other chaos down the road when someone else has to go in and do something else to it.

Ultimately, it boils down to this: Self-driving cars aren't really self-driving, the driving is really being done by the folks at the auto manufacturers who are writing the self-drive software.

Around here the general sentiment seems to be that we don't trust the dealers to service our cars properly. And yet people want to trust the manufacturers to drive them around on the roads "by proxy"??

Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't keep working on it - it has a lot of merit, and there are plenty of folks it can help (seniors, the disabled, etc.). But right now I don't want it, I don't want it forced on me, and I don't expect to be changing my opinion any time soon.

Oh yeah - don't forget about how hack-prone cars are getting. Remember Batman Returns, when the penguin stuck a gizmo under the batmobile and siezed remote control of it? If nothing else, the computers in cars are nowhere near secure enough right now to be allowed to be in total control.
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Old April 24th, 2018, 07:13   #52
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Originally Posted by Rob Mayercik View Post
You know what? I'm one of those 100mile/day commuters, and I don't want an autonomous car. To be blunt, I don't trust the software, and software is what I do for a living. I've seen enough interface mismatches, screwy design, and hole-ridden exception handling to convince me that self-driving cars probably can't be trusted for quite a while yet.
We've had "self-driving" or rather "self-flying" planes for quite a while now, and I'm still not certain I trust them:

787 Software reboot
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Old April 24th, 2018, 08:35   #53
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From the emissions standpoint, there might be hope. Looks like O'Bumbles pulled another violation of procedure to hammer in some absurd regulations on the way out the door, which are now being appropriately reviewed:

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa...ucks-should-be
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Old April 24th, 2018, 10:20   #54
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From the emissions standpoint, there might be hope. Looks like O'Bumbles pulled another violation of procedure to hammer in some absurd regulations on the way out the door, which are now being appropriately reviewed:
https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa...ucks-should-be
Quoting Scruitt as a source of information is like quoting Drumph as a source of ethical behavior.
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Old April 24th, 2018, 12:01   #55
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That's great to hear that you are happy with two sedans.
Unfortunately the masses in the US prefer larger vehicles that are not yet a good cost/benefit to be electrified.

Let me share a story that to me is indicative of how difficult is for Americans to downsize even a little bit. A few years ago a person who I know was looking for a new car to replace his wife's older Toyota Highlander (most likely the vehicle wasn't that old but that's besides the point). Knowing that this couple do not have younger children to carry around or other needs to have a large vehicle I did some research and suggested to him that, instead of getting another Highlander as they intended, to consider the Mazda CX-5 which according to Fuelly has a good chance of getting 28 MPG combined vs. the Highlander getting probably somewhere around 23 MPG. I realize is not a big jump but I thought something is something. After some time he told me they ended up getting a new Highlander as his wife 'is used to'. And we are talking about people who are supposedly concerned with the environment and are 'progressive'.

Folks, there are millions of cases such as this and it is not getting better :-( Imagine suggesting to this couple: "Oh, wait. Why are you buying a gasoline powered SUV when you can get a fabulous electrical small SEDAN for 'about' the same cost. Oh and no more oil changes!".

You think this is going to fly?

Oh, and if the fuel prices stay low and the CAFE standards are relaxed, I would see even less incentives for efficient vehicles such as light duty diesels, hybrids and/or EVs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI View Post
I know it's a rhetorical question, but I'll chime in anyway. I purchased a used Fiat 500e late last March to be my around-town vehicle. In the 12 months since then, I've put 14,000 miles on it. Its range is rated at ~84 miles, which can be as much as 110 miles in ideal conditions and as little as 60 miles on the coldest days of winter. A full recharge from dead empty to completely full takes 4 hours. Energy costs at home are coming in at about 2.5 cents per mile.
The Model 3, which we are now able to configure (just waiting on the Passat buyback date), will open us up to taking road trips like we've been doing in the TDIs for the better part of two decades. Jason and I are both really looking forward to it. We're planning on visiting Key West, New Orleans, The Black Hills and probably doing a cross-country trip within the first year or two.
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Old April 24th, 2018, 21:10   #56
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I am another one of those Americans who does not prefer a massive, bloated vehicle. Ive been commuting to work in my 2002 Jetta sedan or my 2000 Toyota echo. I also own a 2007 silverado 2500HD 6 liter gas that is used for hauling heavy loads or towing my boat/trailers.

The pickup will average 2000 miles a year or less.

I just bought a 2018 chevy volt to replace both the TDI and my toyota echo. I chose the Volt because I can do my daily commute on electricity alone (work is a 15 mile round trip) and I charge exclusively at work.

My volt sits unplugged at home and charges at work, which is a renewable energy power plant. My car is fueled by methane at the source, so zero transmission losses, 100% locally produced green energy generated from the decomposition of municipal solid waste in a landfill. We burn the methane for power before it gets a chance to escape into the environment and make the area smell like a landfill.

In 8 years the money I save on fuel alone will fully pay for the car. So far in under a month I have 1400 miles, 1100 of those are pure EV on free power. I never thought I'd say it, but buying a new car was the smartest thing I have done in years.

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Old April 25th, 2018, 06:43   #57
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Originally Posted by tikal View Post
For the time being you might need both vehicles in your garage for functionality and redundancy: an EV and a diesel.

Problem solved :-)
That is exactly what I have. I have the luxury, thanks to working all my life, of having separate vehicles suited for specific needs. My EV is for around town errands & commuting to work (70 miles round trip, free charging at work), my TDI Sportwagen is for trips and hauling stuff, my BMW 335i droptop is just for fun.
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Old April 25th, 2018, 07:19   #58
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Originally Posted by car54 View Post
I am another one of those Americans who does not prefer a massive, bloated vehicle. Ive been commuting to work in my 2002 Jetta sedan or my 2000 Toyota echo. I also own a 2007 silverado 2500HD 6 liter gas that is used for hauling heavy loads or towing my boat/trailers.

The pickup will average 2000 miles a year or less.

I just bought a 2018 chevy volt to replace both the TDI and my toyota echo. I chose the Volt because I can do my daily commute on electricity alone (work is a 15 mile round trip) and I charge exclusively at work.

My volt sits unplugged at home and charges at work, which is a renewable energy power plant. My car is fueled by methane at the source, so zero transmission losses, 100% locally produced green energy generated from the decomposition of municipal solid waste in a landfill. We burn the methane for power before it gets a chance to escape into the environment and make the area smell like a landfill.

In 8 years the money I save on fuel alone will fully pay for the car. So far in under a month I have 1400 miles, 1100 of those are pure EV on free power. I never thought I'd say it, but buying a new car was the smartest thing I have done in years.
Good for you. That's great that the Volt is costing you so little to operate. Sounds like you're one of the few who makes car decisions based on facts & logic, rather than desire & emotion.

If I could charge at work, I would. There's some talk of putting in a solar farm where I work, to offset electricity consumption. If that happens, we might be able to slip in a few EV charging stations, in which case the Bolt would start to make sense for me, at least for my commuting. But it'd still be a problem as a weekend getaway vehicle, and if I went electric, I'd end up having a gas or diesel vehicle for weekend trips/vacations.

But I'm not going to hold my breath.
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Old April 29th, 2018, 20:55   #59
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Getting back on topic about the 'New VW diesel engine'. For VW to decide to bring it to the US will require the average fuel prices stay above $3/Gallon nationwide for a few years in a row. It can happen but it needs to be sooner than later in my view. Perhaps in the next five years or so to have a fighting chance.
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Old April 29th, 2018, 22:58   #60
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We intend to keep the two cars in our family fleet until impractical to fix. Both are coming along in miles - my wife's 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan has been remarkably problem free with its 418k km (!), and nothing will pry my pride and joy Audi from me with its 343k KM and counting, lifetime fuel consumption of 5.9 L/100km (now almost exclusively urban commuting) and overall condition that greatly belies its mileage and 20 years.

But, we have to consider the inevitable and the probable that we'd have to buy replacements for both. I am looking at PHEV/BEV options for her in a minivan or crossover (gasp, kick and gag) package for us to haul some occasional loads and there shall always be a Diesel in the driveway, just not a brand new one as I take a wait and see approach on the development front with some promising emission control tech.

Where I now live we have winter literally 6 months of the year with very heavy snowfall and poorly plowed roads, so AWD is a must for me. I actually rather like the Chevy Equinox TD, upcoming Hyundai Santa Fe CRDI and Transit Connect Eco Blue (but no AWD in the latter) but also thinking about the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV, Ford Transit EV and Kia Niro PHEV - but again, none of the (PH)EV options have AWD.
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