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Time for change

The EV could make a great city car, but if you’re in a congested city like New York, where are you going to keep your charger? Are you certain you’d be able to keep your parking spot even when you leave for work? How would you secure the charger so no one could steal it?

Eventually – as envisioned by EV advocates anyway – in a place like NYC, the chargers will be part of the parking meters. If there’s a parking meter, there’s a charger.

An electric vehicle would meet most of my real needs except having to rent a car to go visit relatives for a quick visit. The problem where I work is keeping non-ev vehciles from parking in the spots next to the charging outlets (2 spots set aside for EV’s and commonly filled with F350’s and other non hybrid/electric vehicle)

The EV could make a great city car, but if you're in a congested city like New York, where are you going to keep your charger?

If I lived in NYC…I wouldn’t even own a car. Same for any big city.

EV’s are not needed in big cities, they have subway/bus and other infrastructure and actually that is more cost effective and environmentally safe than EV’s or other individual modes of transportation, unless we count bicycles.

For people who have long commutes, there is unpredictable traffic and weather issues that makes a pure EV car not practical. A prius or a volt is a happy medium, but most people like me, do a cost analysis and come to the conclusion that a small commuter car is the best bang for you buck. As technology and gas prices change, this will change too.

Will never own one.
My company car; I average 300 miles a day, enough said.
My personal car; if we want to see any family member, do any shopping, etc., it is at least 35 miles into town. Then once into town and traveling to various stores and back home, it all adds up. I should not have to worry about miles driven when visiting and performing needed tasks.

Also when the car is about 10 years old and 100,000 miles its value drops like a rock. Batteries need replacing and it most likely will not be cost effective to replace. That would put one between a rock and a hard place.

In my business, (scrap hauler, handyman, whatever I can hustle a buck at), a pickup is imperative. I cannot afford a new car, and am disinclined to buy one if I could.

OTOH, a daily driver is a piece of machinery, and my decision would hinge on utility:cost. I would neither favor or disfavor an EV; my decision would hinge exclusively in which was the “most green” for my wallet.

(My personal bias, though, is e-cars and hybrids are poor choices for the DIY set. My mom’s Fusion hybrid…I’d need a greased shoehorn just to GET AT half the stuff underhood! It’s supposed to be reliable…it better be!)

The ICE was not very practical in the beginning. Horses were much more practical, but a few rich people bought the cars and eventually they got better and cheaper so they “trickled down” to the masses. A lot of products have beginnings like that. Remember when a simple desktop computer running CP/M cost $6000.

Electrics may take over eventually. They will improve and become cheaper, but until they do, the ICE will still be around. I also believe there is still room for significant improvement and efficiency left in the ICE yet.

Trying to sell an electric vehicle to people who live out of town more and have 20+ mile commutes each way may be easier as gas prices go up. A co-worker is in the process of downgrading from a Toyota T-100 to a secondhand Prius to reduce his huge fuel bill for just commuting. Cars like the Leaf and the Tesla Model S are proof that you can have a normal car that just happens to be electric.

The internal combustion (particularly Diesel) is still favored in most of europe with the exception of some of the major cities like London where road taxes are either waved or lower for vehicles like the Prius.

strangely enough,in some Nordic countries ,the Leaf is doing real well.Still like the idea of having a dedicated solar array to charge a golf cart or EV,when you cant get no gas,hopefully the sun will still shine-Kevin

keith December 7 The ICE was not very practical in the beginning. Horses were much more practical, but a few rich people bought the cars and eventually they got better and cheaper so they "trickled down" to the masses. A lot of products have beginnings like that. Remember when a simple desktop computer running CP/M cost $6000.

Electrics may take over eventually. They will improve and become cheaper, but until they do, the ICE will still be around. I also believe there is still room for significant improvement and efficiency left in the ICE yet.

You realize that electric motors and batteries have been around at least as long as internal combustion engines? It’s not like the electric car was just invented. Baker was selling electric cars back in the horseless carriage era of automobiles.
Also, there has been continuous development of batteries spurred mostly by non-automotive needs, laptops, cordless tools, etc.
The most probable development to make electrics a viable alternative to ICE cars would be replaceable battery packs that you would lease and have changed out at battery stations along the way, just like putting a freshly charged battery pack on your cordless drill while the dead pack sits on a charger.
The price of a battery pack changeout would naturally have to include the amortized cost of the battery’s service life as well as the cost of the energy in it. This would likely make it cost similar to the gas used by an ICE, especially if the government decides to add a “gas tax” to it.

The gas tax issue is going to rear it’s head if electrics really take over. Roads will still need maintainance, what’s going to replace the revenue? There’s already talk of a GPS based road use tax for all vehicles essentially turning all roads into toll roads.

To those who think there’s a big oil conspiracy against electric power, go to an oil field and see what’s powering all the pumpjacks pumping oil out of oil wells. Mostly electric motors.

The development of EVs is in its infancy right now. 100+ years ago they were commonplace, but development stopped dead when ICEs took over, primarily when ol’ Henry F. mass-made the affordable car, the Model T. According to Jay Leno, who just might know more about the history of electric cars than anyone else on earth, in the early years of the 20th century there were even charging stations all over NYC.

Currently, even the EV advocates recognize that there’re added costs and tradeoffs involved. Hybrid systems compensate for the problem of limited range, but integrating both systems costs money…their other hurdle to jump.

I’ve long been a believer in EVs, but they’re too costly and don’t meet my needs right now. Twenty years from now I expect that if I’m still around I’ll see them become commonplace.

Some folks here seem to think a car isn’t needed in ‘big cities’. There are only a few in the US where that is true - New York, Boston, maybe Chicago, maybe San Francisco. Most everywhere else, like Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, LA, Phoenix, San Antonio, etc., living in the ‘big city’ require one to have a car.

ASFAIK . . . these are some of the reasons electric cars are doing well in other countries

Small parking spaces
Limited parking spaces
Cheaper to insure and register than ICE vehicles (only in those countries)
Heavily subsidized by the respective governments
HUGE charging station infrastructure (easier to do in those small countries)
The population in those countries drive short distances (in part, because the countries are small)
Drivers don’t hang onto the vehicles as long as here (their average standard of living is higher)
Drivers are more comfortable driving small vehicles (they aren’t as fat as we are)

Sorry if anybody thinks I’m blasting the US . . . I’m just being realistic

db4690 10:55AM ASFAIK . . . these are some of the reasons electric cars are doing well in other countries

Small parking spaces
Limited parking spaces

I’m not getting it, only EV’s can be small?

@B.L.E.

Good lord

Anybody willing to drive that car nowadays must be brave . . . or have a deathwish

Pretty scary, when you consider that some golfcarts . . . which aren’t even allowed on public roads, as far as I know, are much bigger than that

I’m going to go off-topic here . . . I wasn’t able to hear the sound, but you can tell this is most likely a British show, because of the guy’s teeth

B.L.E., yes I knew that, but development of EV fell dormant for 90 years. That fact has no bearing on what I posted. As for replaceable battery packs, anyone who drives an electric forklift for a living can tell you how that works. There will be a lot of issues with EVs to overcome, but if the EV becomes commercially viable so that it can survive on demand alone and not government subsidies, then these issues will be resolved somehow.

@keith Well said! The real stumbling block here is “energy density” which means the amount of energy you can carry in a cubic foot or the weight limitations of the energy storage device. Lead acid batteries are very heavy and can’t be practical for a long range. The lead acid battery in my small 14" lawnmower weighs quite a bit, compared the the gasoline in the tank for a gas mower, which will go much longer. So, a lightweight super battery is in order to get a decent range. I’m not addressing cost at the moment.

The limited range killed both the steam car (extremely low thermal efficiency, slow warmup) and the electric car in the early 1900s. The best steam locomotive was never more than 8% efficient compared to a typical railway diesel which has a 35% or so efficiency! The only way to make a steam engine efficient is to have condensers attached, like in a power station or a ship. That’s impractical in a car or locomotive.

The Tesla is a good example of using the best batteries currently available to get that range. And, of course, the batteries cost as much or more more than the rest of the car.

So, we have a way to go to reach a cost-competitive electric car with a reasonable range. The charging problem can be adressed by downtown charging stations, and quick change out batteries on the road. Our city is already planning charge stations in key locations.

Small economy cars never seemed to be very popular

Of course, being unreliable and dangerous might have deterred a few shoppers.

Sheesh. The future? Even my lawn mower has reverse and doesn’t smoke like that one. When I was a kid the neighbor kids Dad made him a replica 58 Plymouth. It was about that size but powered with a Maytag washing machine engine. Not sure what the MPG was on it. Putt putt putt.