Electric vehicles (EVs), their emissions, and future viability

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Lightflyer1

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The price of these things also has to get down into the common man threshold instead of only the elite class. Somewhere in the $15k to $20k range. Otherwise the masses are just priced out of the market right off the bat.
 

Nuje

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I agree; maybe doesn't even have to come down that much. Even just if like, the base Golf (Civic, Corolla, whatever) is $20K, a TDI (RIP) was $22K, and then a 200-mile range electric was available starting at $24K....I think that starts moving things in a big way.
 
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Lightflyer1

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I think just about anything put on the market that is supposed to appeal to the average owner has to have at least 200 mile range under all conditions except towing. That includes use of anything including heat/AC and other electronics or outside heat or cold.

I would love to have an electric car. But not at today's costs and severe limitations. Not to mention I see electric rates increasing after these are established and ICE are no longer available and disappearing. Once they have you at their mercy then it starts. Has happened over and over again. But I am getting older and this will all probably play out after I am gone.
 

ericy

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I don't see improvement until public charging becomes the norm and relatively problem free. This has too many hurdles to make it anywhere near "quickly"

They say that 80% of the charging is done at home. It is only longer road trips where public charging stations become important.
 

Tin Man

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They say that 80% of the charging is done at home. It is only longer road trips where public charging stations become important.
Certainly you can see that this is inadequately served right now.
 

Tin Man

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It isn't great, but it is better than you think. Just a couple of years go a cross-country trip would have been impossible - this is no longer the case.
True. I overstated. Should have said "sub par" but that's OK.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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Apologies if this article has already been posted, but I found it interesting:

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-01-17/ev-sales-fizzle

Reinforces what I've heard from several sources: People are buying Teslas because they want to own or be seen in a Tesla. That it happens to be an EV is somewhat ancillary, although it does form some of the car's appeal. The abysmal sales of non-Tesla EVs supports that theory. For example, at least on paper the Chevy Bolt is an entirely acceptable EV, but they were only able to sell about 16,000 of them. And the Tesla sales success story is limited to the Model 3: Model S and X sales are falling. Audi and Jaguar EV sales are especially low. Even Hyundia and Kia, whose EVs have gotten good reviews, are barely moving any vehicles.

I wonder why this is: One could argue that Tesla's far superior charging network is a reason, although I wonder how many EV drivers actually regularly charge somewhere other than home. Otherwise I can only surmise that reasons are what the article says: Range anxiety, cost, style (not an SUV), and low fuel prices.
 

Lightflyer1

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Not to mention those who have invested in them have an interest in seeing that things go well, in order to boost the stock price. Why not buy the car and help out. Good everyday advertising. If they fail they will take more than Elon with them down the hole. But the guy has done some really amazing things, so good luck to him!
 

turbobrick240

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Reinforces what I've heard from several sources: People are buying Teslas because they want to own or be seen in a Tesla. That it happens to be an EV is somewhat ancillary, although it does form some of the car's appeal. The abysmal sales of non-Tesla EVs supports that theory. For example, at least on paper the Chevy Bolt is an entirely acceptable EV, but they were only able to sell about 16,000 of them.
You really only need to look at the Bolt to see why it's sales got slaughtered by the Model 3. It looks awful, and it's not that much cheaper. I don't know what focus groups GM was using, but making the Bolt unattractive was a huge mistake.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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I'm probably not an important vote here, but I think the Bolt looks better than the Model 3. And it's a hatchback, which is close to essential for me, but apparently not to everyone else, since hatchback cars are being discontinued rapidly.

And you're missing the point. Whether or not someone finds a car attractive is subjective, to a point. Mercedes and Audi EVs have a strong family resemblance to their ICE vehicles, and people buy the ICE vehicles but not the EVs.
 
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turbobrick240

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Your vote is as important as anyone's. But you're definitely in the minority of thinking the Bolt is better looking than the Model 3 :) . The E-tron is selling quite well in some markets. The problem is production capacity. The legacy manufacturers just can't get enough battery supply.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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Reports of e-tron battery availability issues I saw are from April of last year. cars.com currently shows 983 new ones. And they show over 700 i-paces. At the 2019 sales rate that's a 2 month supply (on that site alone) for the e-tron, and a 3+ month supply for the i-pace.
 
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turbobrick240

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The I-Pace is particularly constrained by battery supply. You're right though, neither of those cars are doing great in this market. Probably because Tesla has sucked all of the oxygen out of the room with better efficiency, and just generally much more advanced tech.

https://electrek-co.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/electrek.co/2020/02/10/jaguar-pauses-i-pace-production-due-to-battery-shortages/amp/?amp_js_v=a3&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQCKAE%3D#aoh=15819691369861&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Felectrek.co%2F2020%2F02%2F10%2Fjaguar-pauses-i-pace-production-due-to-battery-shortages%2F
 
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Nuje

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. The abysmal sales of non-Tesla EVs supports that theory. For example, at least on paper the Chevy Bolt is an entirely acceptable EV, but they were only able to sell about 16,000 of them. And the Tesla sales success story is limited to the Model 3: Model S and X sales are falling. Audi and Jaguar EV sales are especially low. Even Hyundia and Kia, whose EVs have gotten good reviews, are barely moving any vehicles.

I wonder why this is...
Someone hit on it above, but just looking here in Canada, the non-Tesla are not cheap cars. Hyundai Kona EV, for example, is not Hyundai Pony; it starts at $45K (and that wasn't even offered for sale originally - you had to go up) to $53K.

If I'm looking for a "nice" car like a fully decked out Jetta or Sportwagen (comparable size), I'm out the door for $31K-$35K - that's pretty much $20K less than what the fully decked out Kona EV is. Or even Golf to e-Golf - $15K more. That's a whole "really good just-off-lease car" price difference.

Like I posted earlier, let's see what sales look like when the price penalty for going full EV over ICE is <$5K. That's the true test. Right now, given compromises (range anxiety) combined with MASSIVE price increase, it's no wonder they're still selling in low single-digit percentages.
 

nicklockard

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Someone hit on it above, but just looking here in Canada, the non-Tesla are not cheap cars. Hyundai Kona EV, for example, is not Hyundai Pony; it starts at $45K (and that wasn't even offered for sale originally - you had to go up) to $53K.

If I'm looking for a "nice" car like a fully decked out Jetta or Sportwagen (comparable size), I'm out the door for $31K-$35K - that's pretty much $20K less than what the fully decked out Kona EV is. Or even Golf to e-Golf - $15K more. That's a whole "really good just-off-lease car" price difference.

Like I posted earlier, let's see what sales look like when the price penalty for going full EV over ICE is <$5K. That's the true test. Right now, given compromises (range anxiety) combined with MASSIVE price increase, it's no wonder they're still selling in low single-digit percentages.
Personally, I foresee a difficult path forward --toward your <$5k price premium (electric over ICE).

Mr. Musk's stated intent always was and still seems to be to lead the way to an electrified transport future, and to be copied relentlessly by valid competitors. The analogy I would use is the iPhone to Android model. Apple invented the powerful, user friendly smartphone category, but now Android does it MUCH better and more competitively. I think he intended that model of copycat-ism. What seems to have happened instead is Tesla is seen as a premium product first, and electric last. Basically Tesla has poached virtually all of its sales from 2 car groups:

1. Those who drove a Prius, mostly on principle, but could clearly afford a lot more.
2. Those who drove luxury sedans.

If anything, I think the electric pickup truck *may* be the way to crack this nut, if only because it will drastically reduce the COGS (Cost Of Goods and Services) and markedly shrink the BOM (Bill Of Materials) list along with a simplified supply/sourcing chain. Once Tesla shows the way, expect a LOT of manufacturers to copy. THAT might get the automotive market onto a future track.

For those of you who are inveterate electric car haters, you have to admit the car market resembles the horse/carriage market ca. 1910. They're basically competing to add more stupid infotainment frills 99% of people won't need 99 % of the time. Build quality is pretty much leveled off near optimal. Looks are stale and derivative 'me too' or fake nostalgia for Boomers.
 

ericy

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Someone hit on it above, but just looking here in Canada, the non-Tesla are not cheap cars. Hyundai Kona EV, for example, is not Hyundai Pony; it starts at $45K (and that wasn't even offered for sale originally - you had to go up) to $53K.

If I'm looking for a "nice" car like a fully decked out Jetta or Sportwagen (comparable size), I'm out the door for $31K-$35K - that's pretty much $20K less than what the fully decked out Kona EV is. Or even Golf to e-Golf - $15K more. That's a whole "really good just-off-lease car" price difference.

Like I posted earlier, let's see what sales look like when the price penalty for going full EV over ICE is <$5K. That's the true test. Right now, given compromises (range anxiety) combined with MASSIVE price increase, it's no wonder they're still selling in low single-digit percentages.
I am trying to remember what I paid for my Kona - I want to say 41K US$, and that's with Ultimate trim level. You still get the Federal tax credit of 7500$, and in some states there are further tax credits. This gets you down into the same range as the JSW.

Tesla has used up their Federal tax credit, so you get no discount.

In many cases, sales are limited by availability, and to some extent it is simply a matter of availability of batteries.
 

ericy

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Your vote is as important as anyone's. But you're definitely in the minority of thinking the Bolt is better looking than the Model 3 :) . .

I don't think I have ever seen a GM product that I found to be good looking. To me all of their cars are pretty bland looking with mushy handling. The Bolt itself sort of reminds me of an econobox with cheaper materials in the finish.
 

Nuje

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I stuck my head into a $45K Bolt that was sitting on the dealer lot and was absolutely appalled at how cheap / amateurish the interior looked - just low-end materials and design everywhere.

This was shortly after we'd bought our A3 e-tron and I showed it to my wife (having a pretty good idea of what her reaction would be) and said "you know - for the same money, we could've had this"....and she just said, "f*** that; no way i'm driving that POS!"
:D :D
It's fun to know your spouse so well.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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I could never live with a GM interior daily. My 18 year old MKIV looks better. I was commenting on the exterior appearance, I know the interior has received negative feedback.

But the Bolt points out the EV pricing delimma. For comparison, a Chevrolet Sonic, which is about the same size and probably no worse in fit and finish than the Bolt, starts at $16,700. EPA estimated fuel cost is $1,200. The Bolt with no options after the $7,500 tax credit (which some people may not be able to fully use, by the way), is $29,120. So the price difference would pay for 10 years of gasoline. And that doesn't even take into account cost of electricity for the Bolt, higher insurance premiums and taxes, higher interest costs if you finance the car, or cost of installing a home charger if you need one.

I know cars are emotional purchases, and most people don't decide purely on cost. If they did we'd all be driving around in 10 year old Hyundais. Nevertheless, EVs don't make economic sense at the entry level. Yet.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
The Bolt actually seems worse in the interior than its current showroom stablemates. Post-bankruptcy GM seems to have made some good strides in interior quality. The current products like the Malibu, Impala, Equinox, etc. all feel pretty nice inside. I just did a subframe on a 2019 Acadia (body shop sublet) and had to drive it quite a bit to get all its electronic nonsense recalibrated, but I have to say it was rock solid inside and nice to drive albeit the blind spots were pretty awful and I cannot bring myself to rely on the clunky proximity sensors to maneuver the beast in close quarters. Still, it did not feel "crappy" at all.

Now the Trax and its fugly blue-hair version, the Buick Encore, feel like chintzy garbage inside, much like the Bolt. But they cost much less, so I'd give them a pass on that. Even the Sonic and Spark seem to be a better value to me.
 

kjclow

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I don't see improvement until public charging becomes the norm and relatively problem free. This has too many hurdles to make it anywhere near "quickly"
Saw a blurb on Ford yesterday discussing their push into evs. The new e-mustang should be on market by mid 21 or 22, although it looks more like a Focus. Their also saying they'll have the e-F150 out by 24. They talked about how many chargers they are going to build and place but can't remember the number. Ford is predicting going over 3% total electric sales by 2025.

I agree that the public charging infrastructure needs to be inplace before the masses start to fully adopt evs/
 
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kjclow

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They say that 80% of the charging is done at home. It is only longer road trips where public charging stations become important.
That will change as the apartment dwellers start to adapt to evs. They're building two large complexes near me. I'll keep an eye out for charging stations.
 

kjclow

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If anything, I think the electric pickup truck *may* be the way to crack this nut, if only because it will drastically reduce the COGS (Cost Of Goods and Services) and markedly shrink the BOM (Bill Of Materials) list along with a simplified supply/sourcing chain. Once Tesla shows the way, expect a LOT of manufacturers to copy. THAT might get the automotive market onto a future track.
Based on what I saw yesterday, I think Ford my beat Tesla to the market with an e-truck. Then we shall see how deep Musk's pockets are.
 

Nuje

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Based on what I saw yesterday, I think Ford my beat Tesla to the market with an e-truck. Then we shall see how deep Musk's pockets are.
I think that'll be another good test of "Do people want "electric? Or do people want Tesla?"

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the Venn diagram of F150 buyer and prospective electric buyer has very little overlap.
The Venn diagram of "prospective Tesla buyer" and "prospective Cybertruck buyer", though....I see a LOT of overlap there.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
The F150s (and its competitors) we see simply pile up too many miles too quickly for me to think that an electric version will be a big seller. Ford tried an electric Ranger, largely due to California's ill-fated "we're gonna force all the OEMs to sell electric" debacle. It failed. So did the electric S-10, and the RAV4 EV while certainly better executed surely ended up gathering dust in some gov't agency motor pool back lot after a couple years.

The fleets LOVE their F-trucks. But they drive 'em. We regularly see trucks that are not even a year from the factory with over 50k miles on them already.
 

tikal

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I think your co-worker would be better served by a used Chevy Volt for that commute. I don't think a gen 1 Kia Soul EV would make 85 miles. It would be very taxing on the battery if it could. The only way I could see that working is if at least several hours of charging at work is guaranteed every day. A Chevy Bolt would be good too, but they start at around $20k these days.
Ok, thanks. So right now the choices are a Toyota Prius vs a Chevy Volt. Average miles per year somewhere between 20K to 25K miles.

I would be interested in hearing owners of the Chevy Volt (2016 or 2017 used model most likely) in terms of total cost of ownership per mile driven (maintenance, gas, etc.) and any issues you would foresee to service the car in the next ~10 years now that GM has stopped making them.
 

ericy

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The F150s (and its competitors) we see simply pile up too many miles too quickly for me to think that an electric version will be a big seller.

I wouldn't count out fleet trucks. For fleets, they could charge back at the home base at night, and be ready to go again in the morning. Fleet owners tend to look a lot more closely at TCO instead of emotion (that a lot of individuals use to make these decisions).
 
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