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

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nwdiver

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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.
I was very surprised at the number of 'Truck People' I know here in West Texas that reserved a Cyber Truck. The appearance is still very polarizing with people either loving it or hating it but the specs were hard to quibble with. I think people may be won over by the insane amount of torque you can get out of an electric motor at 1RPM.
 

turbobrick240

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I'm also surprised by the broader appeal of the Cybertruck than I had expected. It's such a radical departure from convention. That 1/8" stainless exoskeleton is amazing.
 

VeeDubTDI

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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.
A few thoughts on that subject.

While the Bolt is entirely adequate for commuting or a bit of intercity travel along the densely populated east coast, it is problematic for longer road trips due to its slow charging speed of about 50 kW. Compare to a Tesla's average charging speed of well over 100 kW, with max charge rates of up to 250 kW. The Bolt just doesn't compare favorably on long trips, which is a sticking point for many car buyers. The Bolt also has an ergonomics problem for larger people, although GM has improved that we redesigned seats in recent months.

EV fast charging infrastructure for non-Teslas is inadequate in much of the US. Electrify America is building their network out as fast as they can, but there are still gaps along the major travel routes, with some travel routes completely unserved.

The range of many non-Teslas is still poor. The Audi e-Tron, for example, has a range of about 204 EPA miles. Typical highway travel speeds of 70+ miles per hour will reduce that. Cold weather will also reduce that. Expect winter road trip range to be between 125 and 150 miles, which is poor, especially considering the aforementioned limited charging network. This is due to the vehicle's poor efficiency, which also results in higher per-mile charging costs.

Hyundai and Kia can't build cars fast enough due to battery cell shortages. They actually make some very compelling vehicles that offer fast charging rates of 70-80 kW, a compelling form factor for many buyers (CUVs and hatchbacks) and have reasonable prices.

As many here know, I have always been a major road tripper. I drove our Passat TDI across the country several times. Tesla was the only option due to high vehicle efficiency, high performance and a robust and rapidly expanding fast charging network. Add to that high resale value, compelling technology and good ergonomics, and the Tesla ended up being the obvious decision.

But everyone has their own set of desires and must-haves. It will be good for everyone when the legacy auto manufacturers start offering compelling EVs in higher quantities. Unfortunately, they seem to have found themselves significantly behind the curve due to Ostrich Syndrome - convincing themselves that their current offerings are fine and that building EVs is easy (some have likened it to flipping a switch).

After 55,000 miles in 17 months, I'm still very happy with our choice. I've been all over the country in it and have a 7,000 mile cross-country road trip to visit family planned this coming May. I've had no trouble traveling or charging, even in the dead of wither with sub-zero temperatures and snow in Michigan. The car continues to receive improvements via over-the-air updates and the Supercharger network continues to expand rapidly, especially across smaller state routes now that most of the interstate highways are covered.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

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Interesting thoughts, Lawson. However, if I were to purchase an EV it would be for local use, not road trips. I have cars I prefer for that. Because of that I expect I'd rarely charge anywhere but home, so the charging rate and network isn't that important. I suspect there are a fair number of people considering EVs who would use them the same as I think I would.

I do wonder if it's battery availability or lack of interest that's keeping sales down for some EVs. The number of i-Paces I saw on cars.com would indicate there's plenty of supply. But that may not be true for other vehicles.

I also wonder if lower cost EVs are going to struggle, since customers shopping in that segment may (a) be more price sensitive, making ICE a more appealing option; and (b) be more likely to own just one car, so the limitations of an EV may be more concerning. Just speculating.
 

VeeDubTDI

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Interesting thoughts, Lawson. However, if I were to purchase an EV it would be for local use, not road trips. I have cars I prefer for that. Because of that I expect I'd rarely charge anywhere but home, so the charging rate and network isn't that important. I suspect there are a fair number of people considering EVs who would use them the same as I think I would.

I do wonder if it's battery availability or lack of interest that's keeping sales down for some EVs. The number of i-Paces I saw on cars.com would indicate there's plenty of supply. But that may not be true for other vehicles.

I also wonder if lower cost EVs are going to struggle, since customers shopping in that segment may (a) be more price sensitive, making ICE a more appealing option; and (b) be more likely to own just one car, so the limitations of an EV may be more concerning. Just speculating.
Based on our previous conversations, I think a Bolt would suit you very well. You don't really plan to use it for long trips, you like the looks and the hatchback form factor. There are some incredibly good deals on new Bolts right now since, as you said, GM is having trouble moving them. A friend in Frederick, MD just bought one for his wife for something like $24,000 all-in... crazy considering the MSRP.

The I-Pace struggles from the same issues as the e-Tron ... limited charging network, low efficiency, low range and high price. That said, it's very nice inside with nicely appointed leather seats and premium materials. Many of the controls are more conventional than Tesla, which appeals to some people, although I've come to prefer the Tesla interface over a sea of buttons knobs and slow touch screen radios. I think price and range/efficiency are the biggest issues for the i-Pace. Not far behind are Jaguar's poor reliability and inept service departments.

I think the upcoming EV to keep an eye on is the Ford Mach-E. I checked it out in person and I have to applaud Ford for copying several design cues from Tesla. If Ford can secure a good supply of batteries, I expect the Mach-E will have strong sales.
 

tikal

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Based on our previous conversations, I think a Bolt would suit you very well. You don't really plan to use it for long trips, you like the looks and the hatchback form factor. There are some incredibly good deals on new Bolts right now since, as you said, GM is having trouble moving them. A friend in Frederick, MD just bought one for his wife for something like $24,000 all-in... crazy considering the MSRP.

The I-Pace struggles from the same issues as the e-Tron ... limited charging network, low efficiency, low range and high price. That said, it's very nice inside with nicely appointed leather seats and premium materials. Many of the controls are more conventional than Tesla, which appeals to some people, although I've come to prefer the Tesla interface over a sea of buttons knobs and slow touch screen radios. I think price and range/efficiency are the biggest issues for the i-Pace. Not far behind are Jaguar's poor reliability and inept service departments.

I think the upcoming EV to keep an eye on is the Ford Mach-E. I checked it out in person and I have to applaud Ford for copying several design cues from Tesla. If Ford can secure a good supply of batteries, I expect the Mach-E will have strong sales.
What are your thoughts on the Kia Soul EV in about three years, used. To be used around town only. Meaning it would be a 2019 model or so for maybe $12K or $13?
 

Nuje

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Tangentially, is there any hard data or use cases on older electrics? Like a 2013 Model S with 120K miles on it?

I'm curious as to what the lifespan of our A3 e-tron is going to be; worst case, I guess, the battery becomes useless and we drive a 150hp 1.4TSI A3 - which isn't terrible.
 

VeeDubTDI

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What are your thoughts on the Kia Soul EV in about three years, used. To be used around town only. Meaning it would be a 2019 model or so for maybe $12K or $13?
If that's the 100 mile range model, I think that would be a good buy. I've driven the old Soul EV several times and liked it a lot. Very comfortable for four people and lots of practical storage space, given its boxy shape. It drives and handles well, too. Plenty of torque off the line but is a bit down on power overall ... still feels better than a gas Soul.

The new 240 mile range Soul EV should be available soon or now in select states. I met a Canadian couple at Fully Charged LIVE in Austin, Texas who drove their new Soul EV down from British Columbia. Sweet little vehicle.
 
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VeeDubTDI

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Tangentially, is there any hard data or use cases on older electrics? Like a 2013 Model S with 120K miles on it?

I'm curious as to what the lifespan of our A3 e-tron is going to be; worst case, I guess, the battery becomes useless and we drive a 150hp 1.4TSI A3 - which isn't terrible.
Lots of data available on the Model S. Some vehicles have 300,000+ miles - a few of those are on the original battery and others had batteries replaced under warranty (early growing pains). That said, given the choice between a new Model 3 standard range+ and a used Model S, I'd go for the three because they have much faster charging (faster on road trips), are more nimble and, for me, more comfortable. But the Model S does have some very unique features and has a boatload of cargo space with its huge rear hatch.

I have no idea how the e-tron plug-in hybrid will hold up. Ford's CMax Energi is starting to cause problems later in life and dealerships are having trouble fixing them. On the other hand, the Volt is super reliable. Personally, I wouldn't want to hold onto the e-tron plug-in hybrid for too long, as I expect resale values will be poor in the future, especially if they end up having problems.
 

turbobrick240

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gulfcoastguy

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I'm very interested in the VW Id Crozz that should come out late this year. It would probably be another year after that before I might be able to swing the cash. That will give time for any Beta Bugs to pop up anyway.
 

tikal

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If that's the 100 mile range model, I think that would be a good buy. I've driven the old Soul EV several times and liked it a lot. Very comfortable for four people and lots of practical storage space, given its boxy shape. It drives and handles well, too. Plenty of torque off the line but is a bit down on power overall ... still feels better than a gas Soul.

The new 240 mile range Soul EV should be available soon or now in select states. I met a Canadian couple at Fully Charged LIVE in Austin, Texas who drove their new Soul EV down from British Columbia. Sweet little vehicle.
Yes the 100 mile range model. It will be the last year produced with the relatively smaller battery. I am thinking that when it comes out of the typical three year lease it will be much cheaper than the 2020 model after it becomes available used in 2023-24.

On the average it will get less than 40 miles around town on a day with some occasions getting up to 60 miles in a day.

Thanks for the helpful feedback. A hatchback is very useful in my view.
 

tikal

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My first thought is that it may not be that easy to find one in that price range. Less than 100 Kia Soul EV's were sold in the US in 2019. Here's an article with a pretty comprehensive list of PEV's and US sales figures.

https://insideevs.com/news/343998/monthly-plug-in-ev-sales-scorecard/
Thanks for the link. I am betting that Kia is going to continue to bring more EVs and as such the support/qualified technicians is going to keep growing. The warranty on the battery is also attractive:100K miles or 10 years which ever comes first. How Kia treats their customers regarding this warranty I do not know telling you the truth so something to research further. Another thing is that the Kia Soul EV is one of the more affordable EVs is a minimal thermal management system for its batteries something that an equivalent priced Nissan Leaf or Fiat 500e does not have.

Also you are right, one would have to go more towards $14000 to get a three year old Kia Soul EV right now (source https://www.autotempest.com)
 

VeeDubTDI

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Thanks for the link. I am betting that Kia is going to continue to bring more EVs and as such the support/qualified technicians is going to keep growing. The warranty on the battery is also attractive:100K miles or 10 years which ever comes first. How Kia treats their customers regarding this warranty I do not know telling you the truth so something to research further. Another thing is that the Kia Soul EV is one of the more affordable EVs is a minimal thermal management system for its batteries something that an equivalent priced Nissan Leaf or Fiat 500e does not have.

Also you are right, one would have to go more towards $14000 to get a three year old Kia Soul EV right now (source https://www.autotempest.com)
The Fiat 500e does have an active thermal management system consisting of a coolant loop through the battery, a 6 kW battery heater and a connection to the air conditioning system, just like its premium EV brothers. In my opinion, it's a very good EV if you don't mind a small car.
 

tikal

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The Fiat 500e does have an active thermal management system consisting of a coolant loop through the battery, a 6 kW battery heater and a connection to the air conditioning system, just like its premium EV brothers. In my opinion, it's a very good EV if you don't mind a small car.
I appreciate the correction on the Fiat 500e! It is a tad on the smaller side for my taste as I think with the Kia Soul EV you might be able to fit certain oversize items (let's say from Home Depot or similar) that might not fit in the Fiat 500e.

I can also see that the Fiat 500e used can be bought real inexpensive like $8000 or so.
 

VeeDubTDI

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I appreciate the correction on the Fiat 500e! It is a tad on the smaller side for my taste as I think with the Kia Soul EV you might be able to fit certain oversize items (let's say from Home Depot or similar) that might not fit in the Fiat 500e.

I can also see that the Fiat 500e used can be bought real inexpensive like $8000 or so.
Let me know if you want some more info on the 500e. I have a 2013 that’s an excellent commuter and run-about. Paid $8k for it with a CPO warranty off-lease. It was one of the first off-lease vehicles to make it out of California.

Despite its small size, it’s pretty roomy inside for a couple of big adults. It even fits a third adult in the back seat. Cargo room is small but folding the back seats down allows it to carry quite a bit of stuff.

I recommend it very highly for a starter EV, in-town run-about or a car for young adults who you don’t want to get too carried away with their newfound freedom.
 

bwilson4web

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All I can do is share my experience:

2019 Standard Range Plus Model 3
  • Purchase - $41k offset by $18.3k trade-in Prius Prime. Added Blue paint, Autopilot, and Full Self Driving.
  • Trip 1 - Drove to Detroit, solo 714 miles, $25 in Supercharger fees each way.
  • Trip 2 - Drove to Allen TX to visit best high school friend who was ill. Stayed at motel with free Tesla charging.
  • Trip 3 - Drove to Coffeyville KS, ~700 miles, and on return, suffered a medical problem, five micro sleep events that Autopilot made a non-event.
  • Trip 3 - Drove to Allen TX for 'celebration of life' and then Coffeyville KS, ~1,980 miles. Stayed at motels with free charging and total Supercharging cost $60.
  • Local trips - pay $2.50 for 100 miles around town which does not include the free charging at shops.
  • Performance - always floor accelerator to reach opposite side of intersection first and the speed limit, ~200 yards ahead of the rest of the traffic. Moving parts: rotor; two gear reduction; differential; split half-shafts, and; wheels.
  • Repairs - foolishly hit a curb that led to replacing passenger side bearings and damaged wheels. Tires did not lose air and I did all the work. Replaced passenger side wheels and tires with a nice pair from Tire Rack.

2014 BMW i3-REx
  • Purchase - end of lease, May 2016, $29k. Replacement cost today is <$20k
  • Trip 1 - Stillwater OK, +700 miles, using Range Extender following a motorcycle driving cycle. Stayed at Motel with an outlet to charge over night for around town.
  • Huntsville-Nashville benchmarks - cost $24 in electric charging fees using Electrify America and EVgo but $6 in premium gas using the REx.
  • Local trips - about $2.90/100 miles not including 1/3d in free chargers around town.
  • Performance - reach the opposite side of intersections first and speed limit about 200 yards ahead of the other traffic. Similar drivetrain parts to Model 3 and both are rear wheel drive.
  • Repairs - motor mount bolt broke replaced under warranty with much larger bolt and improved mounts.
We drove Prius October 2005 through March 2019: 2003 Gen-1, 2010 Gen-3, and; 2017 Prius Prime plug-in. Very cheap to operate, they were quick for 25-35 yards but 'lethargic' on the road. The drivetrain has more moving parts: two motors; power split device, and three reduction gears instead of two.

Bob Wilson
 
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turbobrick240

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After all of the headaches and bottlenecks that came with the Model 3 roll-out, it's pretty exciting to see the Model Y coming out months ahead of schedule. Elon time warp, lol. Demand will be huge. I wonder where most of them will be made. The Fremont plant is already fairly maxed out I think.

It's interesting that the short range made in China Model 3 will be getting LiFePO prismatic cells from CATL. Should be good for margins. I tend to think of it as an older chemistry, but there may be other advantages besides cost and availability.
 
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Tin Man

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I buy vehicles more for their styling along with practical considerations and within budget. The model Y appears very boring with similar styling to the model 3 which is high on the blandness scale for me. In pictures at least, its becoming ugly and disproportionate.
 

turbobrick240

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I think the Model Y looks great. Almost as good as the Model 3. The Model X never appealed much to me though. There aren't too many CUV's that look good to me. Audi, Porsche, and BMW are decent. The Mach E isn't too bad. But regardless of what I think, Americans buy a magnitude of the Rav4, CRV, Forester, etc.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

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I think the Model Y looks great. Almost as good as the Model 3.
This is the problem for some buyers. I think the Model 3 is bland at best, almost invisible sometimes. From behind it looks like every other mid-sized sedan: could be a Hyundai, BMW, or Kia. From the front I've always thought it looks underprivileged. And the poor paint quality is noticeable even from a distance. I'm not an SUV person, but I'd get a Rav-4 or CX-5 before a Model Y. Even a Kia Sportage.
 

tikal

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Let me know if you want some more info on the 500e. I have a 2013 that’s an excellent commuter and run-about. Paid $8k for it with a CPO warranty off-lease. It was one of the first off-lease vehicles to make it out of California.

Despite its small size, it’s pretty roomy inside for a couple of big adults. It even fits a third adult in the back seat. Cargo room is small but folding the back seats down allows it to carry quite a bit of stuff.

I recommend it very highly for a starter EV, in-town run-about or a car for young adults who you don’t want to get too carried away with their newfound freedom.
VeeDubTDI, I appreciate very much following up with me. I foresee needing a used affordable (~$12K or less) EV around 2022 or thereafter and I thought it cannot hurt to get knowledgeable now rather than later.

Another factor I am researching is repair-ability of a certain brand EV in our area (as in technicians certified to work on EVs). That is something that I need to take into account when purchasing a used EV that I would like to keep for seven or more years. Granted is less than a factor, as theoretically EVs should be more reliable than ICE vehicles, but nonetheless it cannot be ignored.
 

kjclow

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Has anyone flat towed an E-car behind an RV? Just wondering if that could be our run around vehicle after getting to the campsite.
 

turbobrick240

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I'm not sure about flat towing, but most fwd EVs could certainly be towed with a dolly. I think that's a great use case for one of the less expensive, used "city car" EVs.

Herbert Diess really seems to have brought some responsible leadership to VW. I think VW will weather the electrification transition well largely due to his vision.
https://electrek-co.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/electrek.co/2020/03/02/vw-chief-adjusts-goal-from-overtaking-tesla-to-keep-as-close-as-possible/amp/?amp_js_v=a3&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQCKAE%3D#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Felectrek.co%2F2020%2F03%2F02%2Fvw-chief-adjusts-goal-from-overtaking-tesla-to-keep-as-close-as-possible%2F
 

nwdiver

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I'm not an SUV person, but I'd get a Rav-4
While I think range anxiety is overblown most people do kinda need >100 miles of range and the ability to fast charge.... The fact the RAV 4 only has ~70 miles of range on a good day and lacks fast charging isn't a deal killer for you?
 

Tin Man

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This is the problem for some buyers. I think the Model 3 is bland at best, almost invisible sometimes. From behind it looks like every other mid-sized sedan: could be a Hyundai, BMW, or Kia. From the front I've always thought it looks underprivileged. And the poor paint quality is noticeable even from a distance. I'm not an SUV person, but I'd get a Rav-4 or CX-5 before a Model Y. Even a Kia Sportage.
When Porsche changed their Panamera styling from phallic to, well, Model-S like, it got me wondering. The Tesla Model S still looks good to me but has too many similar vehicles now on the road.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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While I think range anxiety is overblown most people do kinda need >100 miles of range and the ability to fast charge.... The fact the RAV 4 only has ~70 miles of range on a good day and lacks fast charging isn't a deal killer for you?
Who said anything about the plug-in? I was thinking of the straight gasser.
 

bwilson4web

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Has anyone flat towed an E-car behind an RV?
There have been experiments using a gas/diesel vehicle to tow a flat-lined battery EV and put a charge on it from regeneration. Otherwise, there are significant risks as spinning the motor makes it a generator. Without active electronics, it can easily inject excessive voltage and blow the control electronics.

Regardless, a two-wheel drive EV can be towed with the drive wheels on a dolly. A rear wheel drive car will need to have the steering locked.

Bob Wilson
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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When Porsche changed their Panamera styling from phallic to, well, Model-S like, it got me wondering. The Tesla Model S still looks good to me but has too many similar vehicles now on the road.
I like the new Panamera, but, unlike most, I didn't hate the old one. But neither car has ever made me think of the Model S. They don't resemble each other at all, at least not to me.
 

Tin Man

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