Time for change

I have noticed some folks around here dis electrics,dont know why,its a system with a lot more potential then the standard ICE you can even setup a solar charging station,And a lot of times you can dispense with the transmissions and really a brake saver,more torque then a Diesel and quieter too. Whats not to love?I guess people love infernal machines and of course range,range more range,when most folks dont use near a tankful a day.I noticed around Charlottesville a whole gamut of commuters (mostly 1 to a vehicle-gets fairly conjested @ times) driving these big old sleds (few Hybrids) is gas still to cheap?-Kevin

@kmccune…I’m all for change if it suits my needs. I was able to buy a “Citicar” at a credit union repossession auction back in the early 70’s. The problem was that it had no range, took a long time to charge and was made of fiberglass for the most part. It was so flimsy my wife refused to have our children ride around in it. I sold it and the man planned to use it as a golf cart…which was probably what the vehicle was best suited for. I know the new models would make great cars but I just don’t think they have evolved to a point where they suit everyone’s needs. I live out in the country and have to take the interstate back and forth. My wife would probably never ride in an electric vehicle so right now…that’s my biggest obstacle to owning one.

Just attended a renewable energy workshop yesterday. Many speakers were academics with no idea of practicalities. All advocated electric cars powered by solar or wind generated electricity.

One of the key note speakers is on Obama`s advisory panel on energy. He espouses energy efficiency, solar panels, selected wind power, but privately confided that in his opinion electric cars make no sense for most Americans. But they selectively have their place.

EVs have their benefits, at great cost. 100 mile range (which is achievable on affordable EVs) is not enough for many. The billions of dollars of our money being put into EV subsidies (some obvious, some hidden) is a huge cost for a government struggling to supply basic services.

Of course, we can ignore the costs, like the recent elimination of penalties for wind power when they kill thousands of eagles, falcons, and other birds previously chosen for the highest level of protection. Folks think wind power has no environmental costs - obviously it does. And it’s very expensive for limited benefits. The power is generated mostly in spring and fall, when the needs are mostly in summer and winter. And the power is sporadic and undependable. So backup generation is required for ALL wind power - VERY inefficient.

Finally, the studies I’ve seen indicate that EVs do no better than standard hybrids regarding CO2 emissions for about half the US. Fuel is burned to generate electricity, even in California. We’d probably be way ahead by small subsidies for hybrids, instead of the HUGE subsidies for EVs.

Particularly infuriating are the subsidies for Teslas, affordable only by the rich, with their charging stations only usable by Teslas, and no other EVs. Then there’s the EV credits that other makers have to buy from Tesla to meet Fed and California mandates.

What a RACKET!

You seem to think that the limited range isn’t an issue for most people. I bet you’ll find that you’re in the minority there. If my main car wouldn’t let me go more than fifty miles or so from home, I’d have to pay to keep a second car. That’s not economical.

racket is right,I’m beginning to see the big picture on Windpower,somebody stands to make money(alot of it too) but about anything Solar works,I could see dedicating a Solar array just for charging an auto. Now consider that the biggest use we have for electricity is producing heat-something that Solar energy can do very well as long as we are willing to pay for (relatively cheap fossil fuels) alternative energy is simply not going to be real big,we will heat our water with ancient sunshine and pollute the enviroment while we are at it(a prime example of fouling your nest) perhaps one day we will rouse a little and realize that there is still low hanging fruit in the form of effeciency and conservation,I would imagine maybe we should perhaps accept a little lower standard of living,till we defuse the population bomb and accept the fact that there is no magic underground oil factory,its going to take awhile to get there(energy independence)-Kevin

@lioncar,perhaps its time to urbanize a bit more and make things a little closer together ,I do not know what the average commute to work is,but its by choice that lot of Folks live in relative isolation,etc; Seems to me like a lot of newer electrics are touting a range of eighty miles or better,it was said that “Impact” renters only had to worry about tires,wiper blades and washer fluid,I really like that and power density is slated to really increase on batteries in the near future.ICEs will always have thier place in the scheme of things,but not necessarily in personal transportation IMO-Kevin

I’ll come straight out and say it

I don’t like the way most of the electric vehicles look

Many of them are still small and ugly

The Volt is the only one that looks okay, in my opinion

And I don’t even consider the Volt a true electric car, because it has an ICE

I don’t care what it’s classified as

EVs are just too expensive for a reasonable range of 300 miles or more. The recharging networking is also immature just now, further hampering use as an all-around car. In a decade or two we should see reasonably priced EVs for general family use. They will still be more expensive than today’s equivalent ICE car, but fuel cost will be less, making up for the higher initial purchase price.

The Volt’s ICE recharges the battery while the car is moving rather than augmenting the electric motors. I understand that it can be powered by the ICE alone in a limp mode, but that is an unusual circumstance.

“The Volt’s ICE recharges the battery while the car is moving . . .”

Thanks for making my point for me, @jtsanders

A true electric vehicle gets by without an ICE

I suspect the Volt would be a major flop if it had been designed without an ICE to help out

While I love the idea and concept of Electric vehicles…they just aren’t there yet.

Range is the obvious reason. That 300 mile range drops rapidly during winter months when you now have to heat the passengers in the vehicle. Some are seeing less then 150 miles.

The other factor is use… My wife could probably use Mid-size electric vehicle. But only for commuting. Forget going to her parents house for the holidays which is OVER 300 miles away.

But it would be very difficult to build an electric vehicle to replace my 4runner. Start towing my pop-up with an all electric vehicle and you’re looking at less then 100 miles. Many of our camping trips are much longer then 100 miles.

In order for an all Electric vehicle to be practical (at least for us). We’d need a MINIMUM of 500 mile range for the car…and probably close to 800 miles to accommodate towing where range will drop in half.

You start increasing the range and drop the cost a little…then more people will start buying it…and with higher production numbers that’ll bring the cost down to competitive levels.

Lastly is the pollution to create the electricity. Coal accounts for almost HALF of all electric production in the US. Coal is a very very dirty way to product electricity.

I personally like engines. I like working on them, the sound of them, running them, etc. and I’m not ashamed to admit it. No problem with change but if you have a hundred mile commute in the cold and snow, electric is a problem. Going 200 miles to the cabin is a problem. Hauling lumber is a problem. 800 mile trips to Ohio is a problem. Pulling a trailer is a problem. Not to mention that we do not have the generating capacity on the grid yet for large scale recharging, and eliminating coal plants in favor of wind mills is not going to help.

You know my feeling @kevin. I feel EVs have been viable for years. But just like we are sold on dirty shale oil, polluting the entire Gulf, installing dictators, going to war at the expense of thousands of lives, a little thing like lying about a functional battery is really easy. If allowing millions of people to be displaced and die for oil company profits, what’s the degree of difficulty in convincing the American public they really need v8s. Not much !
We elect former oil executives to the highest offices in the land while they appoint others to cabinet positions while still on the payroll of these companies. How naive can we be ?
@Bing is right. There is a place for oil. But there is a bigger place for EVs…

“A true electric car gets by without an ICE.”

Uh, no it doesn’t.

Anyone that needs to exceed an EV’s range limit periodically (that is, almost everybody) needs a standby ICE. Now, that can either be WITHIN the EV, or EXTERNAL to it.

The difference between the Leaf and the Volt is packaging; the Leaf requires 8 wheels, 2 parking bays, 2 registrations, inspections, etc…the Volt requires exactly half.

When I run the A/C or heater full blast on a hot/cold day, have my radio on, and drive for let’s say 300 miles at 80 MPH before I need a 5-10 minute recharge, then the fully electric car will have arrived. And I need all this done for less than $35k.

Calling the Volt a true electric vehicle was a brilliant marketing scheme

But it’s BS

Let me repeat . . . it’s BS


For most of the people I know, a Nissan leaf just doesn’t have the range they need, because they drive a good distance to get to work. So the car just doesn’t have the range to get to work and back.

IMO . . . they’re only viable as city cars at the moment

When the price drops, and range increases dramatically, among other things, they’ll be viable for a significant portion of the american population. Right now, that is not the case


Let me rephrase my earlier statement

A true electric vehicle gets by without an onboard ICE

I think EV’s are well on their way to making a big mark in the auto industry. This kind of change is revolutionary rather than evolutionary and won’t happen overnight. It will take some time to convince potential customers that EV’s are as reliable and cost effective as the “infernals”. As more and more EV’s are sold, the principle of “economy of scale” will drive prices down, and at some point the “infernals” will be the ones that are considered to be a luxury car, and not cost effective for the average driver.

One part of the electric car scenario I do not buy into is the widely reported popularity of the existing models.
If the owners of Teslas and Volts are as enamored of them as claimed then I wonder why so many of them are for sale.

One guy had a Tesla Roadster on eBay and the top bid was about 60k dollars; and that was a car with a measly, garaged from new 8 miles on it.
Volts come and go in droves on eBay with most not selling.

The reports I’ve heard about the success of EV’'s are about new car sales volume. There was some issue recently reported w/the Chevy Spark (maybe it was the Volt, don’t remember) new car sales volume as I recall, but I think they said that might have been a fluke due to a change in something in the way it was sold or reported, maybe it was a change in the marketing incentives. But overall as new cars EV’s as a whole seem to be doing well. It is a concern if like you say folks are buying them, then immediately selling them on EBAY, presumably b/c they don’t like them. Something that only time will tell I suppose. Me, I don’t have one, and don’t plan to buy one anytime soon. But I don’t plan to buy a new “infernal” any time soon either.