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Electric Vehicles

Hi there!! I’m thinking of buying an electric car, and I’d love to know what I should be looking for…and what questions I should be asking? Thank you!!

Except for the limited-distribution Mini-E, no roadgoing electric vehicles are yet available. In a year, that will change some. They will likely have range of about 100 miles (those that are battery only). What will your driving needs be? Miles/day? Climate?

Edit - oops, forgot about the $100,000+ Tesla, but I don’t guess that’s on your list…

The Tesla is available…though that’s probably got enough of a wait list that you could get a Nissan Leaf by the time you got one.

Why do you want an electric car? You will not be saving the environment nor will the life-time cost per mile be less than a used diesel car.
Twotone

If you live in Washington state or other area where electric power is generated by water, you will have a significant environmental benefits. But in most of the US power comes from coal, generating 40% of the country’s greenhouse gasses.

However, electric cars keep the downtown air fresher.

For an electric car, like any other, you first need to define what you need and want out of the car. Is it going to be a daily commuter going a few miles to work and back with a few side trips to the grocery? Do you have weather extremes where you live? Do you need a good heater or AC? Do you need to carry more than one or two people? Will you have an alternative to the electric car for long trips?

Once you’ve got a general picture of your needs, then you can start looking for a car that matches your description. The GEM cars could handle in town commuting and grocery hauling, but if you want something that you can take out on a highway those won’t do. If you have very cold weather they won’t be very comfortable in the Winter either.

There is only one question to ask:

When will it be for sale?

Reasonably priced ones are not available yet, and probably won’t be for at least another year or two. So, you will either keep the car you have now, or buy something to tide you over for a few years. I’d estimate at least 5 years until mere mortals can buy fully electric cars with the bugs worked out.

Get a very good handle on what new routines and driving limitations this entails. Then ask yourself if you can live with that. Someone has already figured out how the cost of maintenance, repair and replacement compares between electric and ICE. So look that up on the web. The generation that went to the moon is old and in forty years we couldn’t raise mpg more than we have??? The science in a Stealth jet will blow your mind and we think electric cars are the answer???

You will not be saving the environment nor will the life-time cost per mile be less than a used diesel car.

twotone, you really surprise me. You don’t even know the OP’s situation. The OP might be using power generated by a nuclear plant, solar panels, windmills, or hydroelectric power plants. What about a natural gas power plant? Doesn’t natural gas burn cleaner than coal and oil?

In addition, I am willing to bet there would be an efficiency advantage that any internal combustion engine can’t match. Even if the power came from a coal or oil burning power plant, do you really think a power plant would burn as much fuel to power the car and generate as much pollution? Maybe if we were talking about an unregulated power plant in Haiti, you would be right, but now that Bush is out of office, the EPA is doing its job again regulating power plant emissions.

Maybe it would be wise to ask questions before jumping to conclusions.

I would advise you to first, decide why you need a new car at all and what YOU expect the new car to do for you. Then try to find a gas and electric that fills the bill. Try both out and see which you can live with. I wouldn’t buy a car just because it’s electric; it has to fill your needs first.

If most people are honest with their needs, gas is still the vehicle choice as an only car. Now if it’s a second car, just for short range commuting, you have a plan.
Good luck.

The science in a Stealth jet will blow your mind and we think electric cars are the answer???
I would argue that for that reasoning alone, we should have had functional electric cars years ago…it could have been done. They have figured out that rhe car companies, and all service stations will be injepardy in short order if there were a viable EV. Check where their profits come from.

I’ll have to disagree. Even electricity from oil/coal plants pollutes less when used in EVs then the millions of individual ICE car polluters on the road. The math has been done…and it works. The electric motor’s efficiency vs ICE, completely turns that logic on it’s ear. Until an ICE gets upwards of 200+ mpg, it’s cleaner to use electricity from an oil fired plant then drive an oil powered car.

I agree with Whitey and not you others on this point…
Even electricity from oil/coal plants pollutes less when used in EVs then the millions of individual ICE car polluters on the road. The math has been done…and it works. The electric motor’s efficiency vs ICE, completely turns that logic on it’s ear. Until an ICE gets upwards of 200+ mpg, it’s cleaner to use electricity from an oil fired plant then drive an oil powered car.

“we should have had functional electric cars years ago…”

We did. The Baker was available near the beginning of the 20th century. BTW, if you find one, Jay Leno will pay handsomely for it.

Not really. When you add transmission losses and losses due to conversions and loss due to recharging batteries, you end up with a very low % of generated power being usable in the car. Plus, cars have individual emissions controls, many power plants are given partial passes and purchase “carbon credits.” Plus, some day, you have to dispose of a huge battery. In worst case an electric has a higher impact than a huge gas SUV, best case it matches a TDI deisel.

Here’s what to look for…

Well you got me on that logic. You’re right. But why do we need to make that big
a leap to a vehicle that is out of sync with our needs when we had the technology
all along to make a far more efficient ICE? Which gets us to where we want to be?
500,000 electric vehicles or 10M vehicles getting 20% more out of a gallon of gas?

If it has a lead-acid battery, it’s just a golf cart…

Coincidentally, only yesterday did I see a Tesla for the first time.
While driving on I-287 in Central NJ, I spied it from a distance, and I first thought that it was a Lotus of some sort. Only when I got closer was I able to see that it was the Tesla sports car.

An interesting detail is that he was noodling along in the right lane at ~60 mph, while I passed him at ~ 70 mph. When Britain’s Top Gear TV program tested the Tesla last year, they discovered that, if the car is driven “flat-out”, its driving range was something like 20 miles, rather than the claimed…something like 100 miles, IIRC. Could it be that the driver of this very expensive piece of technology had already gotten stranded after driving the car at very high speed?