Good or bad

Well its coming,tell me Folks -what role is electricity going to have on the future auto(you can get as technical as you want,please list the merits and demerits in your view)-Kevin

Merit: They have been steadily improving the electric vehicle and are bringing the cost down.

Demerit: They have not been improving them enough or bringing down the price where I would consider buying one.

This true,but there seems to be a steady move to electric accessories(replacing messy hydraulic ones)-Kevin

Batteries need another two generations before they reach an acceptable charge density. Even then, the cost for those newest batteries will be outrageous. Cars like the Tesla will likely be the only ones using them. Also, this will give us time to create public charging stations and that will untether electric cars. I don’t expect this until at least 2025. In the meantime, EVs will become a greater portion of the commuter fleet. The initial cost is about right for me now. I will consider an EV for one of my next car purchases; probably in the next 3 years.

“Electricity”; interesting term to use. That incorporates electric power trains, electronic control systems, and electronic interface technologies (satellite communications, WWW, etc.).

In power trains, I think by 2020 pretty much everything new on the market will ne hybrid, with EVs being a common segment.

I think future cars at all price points will be loaded with crash prevention technology… whether we can afford it or not.

And we’re probably going to be forced to buy renewable licenses or subscriptions to make our car’s systems operate fully, like we now have to buy a renewable license for MS Office and a subscription for OnStar.

I think all cars at all price points will be loaded with total connectivity… again, with a subscription.

I paid $2300 for my first brand new car. At that time it was perhaps 25% of average gross annual income. The average car loan was two years
Today, the average for the same class of car is about $20,000… about 50% of average gross annual income. The average car loan is five years.

All of this great stuff, much of it mandated, just may make new cars unaffordable to the working man. By 2020 the price of the average economy car will probably be $30,000, and the average car loan will probably be eight years. Save this prediction. See if my prognostications are accurate.

I think the real debate is where will we get our fuel.
the sun keeps shining, the wind keeps blowing. the rivers will flow and the waves will roll.
will the tides turn?
I refuse to believe we can t use these resources efficiently.
they are available to every one.
oil and money flow together though.
if we choose the path of renewable resources electric cars will follow.

The reason that cars are a higher percent of the median wages is wages have not gone up for the middle class as fast a car prices. Even energy costs are not used to figure COLA. The average car is 11 years old so people are adjusting in part to new car prices by buying used and buying on time. It’s just a fact of life that the middle class is shrinking while the poor whose wages are stagnent is increasing. Their wages bring down this median income which makes new cars less affordable if you pay cash to more people. The higher price of cars and buying on time is then reinforced by lower interest rates too. So, even though the cost of the car is higher, buying on time with lower interest rates makes the total cost to the consumer less different them the sticker price would indicate.

Unfortunately, lower interest rates makes saving for a car a negative sum gain making those with lower net worth still able to buy cars.

Electric cars would be a huge boom to the middle class as far as savings are concerned with their longevity and low need for maintenance. Unfortunately, there are many factors preventing them from being a factor for a long, long, long time. Electric cars are not profitable for the auto maker making them a sidelight in the delopement phase for them. I see little to change relative to electric cars except in a very slow managed way with electric cars being a big segment not occurring for several decades. I see petro powered cars being in the majority for at least two to three decades.

In the last decade and especially in the US military, there is a concerted effort to used hydrogen and other energy sources in fuel cells to power the electric motors in vehicles. If this technology is embraced, it does two things. First, it makes the electric driven car a more viable transportation option and second, it puts the fuel source back in control of the energy companies that sell gasoline and control fuel prices. Developing a long range battery that is cost effective to make, makes the electric car a true universally flex fuel vehicle. It gives , over time, each owner the potential to buy his own energy source for his cars through local generation. It ultimately makes the energy source through solar cell technology very attractive. These factors make electricity in cars a very managed affair.

Electric Vehicles have the deck stacked against them. We would need a different regulatory environment for them to make sense right now. Gas would need to be realistically taxed to provide for all it’s negative externalities. There would need to be a nationwide effort to make long distance travel a reality, (Possibly battery swap stations rather than charge stations).

But even if we could get our priorities straight and change from our dependence on oil we would probably see more benefit in public mass transit rather than swapping to electric vehicles.

You’re right, garage. We need a different regulatory environment. If the dealer’s associations continue getting state legislation passed state-by-state to prohibit new business models like Tesla’s, if these association lobbies continue to get protective statutes passed, electric cars may not have a chance. It’ll be tragic if EVs are prevented from becoming affordable by protective legislation.

Swapping batteries is a tall order. There is no good way to get at them right now since they tend to be under the car to lower the center of mass. A lift would be needed. And then there is the risk of getting someone else’s lousy 7 year old battery and leaving your new one. How are you reimbursed when the one you just picked up leaves you stranded? If the exchange shop pays for it, you can expect a big premium to pay for the damaged batteries.

Electrics in one form or another are here to stay unless something happens to reduce the price of gasoline significantly and in a lasting way. If I was CEO of an electric or hybrid car company I’d remove the longevity of the battery from the consumer’s equation entirely by offering – for an add’l fee – to warrant the battery for the life of the car.

I think the American public would be amenable to electric vehicles, giving up their independence and using mass transit is another matter. in urban situations mass transit is being used I think. not much mass transit around here even if one wanted to use it. the Delmarva peninsula.

George has a very good idea,perhaps cars can finally be considered investments.
Something will have to give eventually(to many of us,our labor is getting too cheap[not like the Middle ages}.If the sun goes out(most forms of energy come directly or indirectly from the sun) cars will be the least of our concerns,the Human race will go away in short order-Kevin

I just saw this new “linear engine” design from Toyota. It could go a long way to improve the electric vehicles of the future…if it pans out.

Electric Vehicles have the deck stacked against them. We would need a different regulatory environment for them to make sense right now.

Jeez peez Louise, you have probably the most favorable US administration for electric cars in recorded history in place right now. If e-cars need more help than THAT, they’re doomed!

I’d like to see electric cars for balance-of-trade purposes, and to put the coal miners around here (southwest PA) back to work. But the numbers have to make sense: if it only works with massive subsidies…it doesn’t work!

Tesla already has a design for a battery swapping station. When they designed the Model S they kept that in mind and made it possible to replace the batteries from below. It takes just a few minutes. One proposal has been for the batteries to be leased to the driver. They could be owned by the manufacturer or some third party. That sounds pretty doable to me.

“…you have probably the most favorable US administration for electric cars in recorded history in place right now.”

The president can only sign laws that cross his desk. Congress can’t agree on much more important issues that EV subsidies. Why do you think that they can pass more favorable treatment laws for EVs?

@jtsanders: but that’s pretty much true of EVERY administration. Voters tend to like to split party power between executive and federal branches. Clinton had Newt and the “contract with America” folks and still found ways to be effective.

“… but that’s pretty much true of EVERY administration.”

Of course it is. I’m still amazed that anyone thinks President Reagan had much to do with the silicon industrial revolution. He just happened to be there at the right time. The presidents that drove the incredible growth in the 1980s and 1990s ran Zilog, Intel, Texas Instruments, IBM, HP, and many others.