Electric Cars - All Battery or Plug-In Hybrids

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by dstrauss, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Since this is such a geek rich target environment, I thought I'd start a chat about electric cars. As of this year, more and more BEV (battery only electrics like Tesla, Nissan Leaf, and Honda Clarity BEV) and PHEV (plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Prime, and my new acquisition the Honda Clarity PHEV) are hitting the market.

    I am coming from a 80's, 90's, and early 2000's Chevy Suburban background to Toyota Prii (official Prius plural), and now the Clarity PHEV (yes, even in the capital of fossil fuel production - Midland TX).

    The Prius is a great car, but it is hybrid only until you get to the new Prime, and I loved getting 40-50mpg routinely. I have a client, who gets paid a lot by oil companies from drilling and producing oil on his property, who also has Prius and told his kids "I sell it to 'em, but I damned sure don't have to buy it back!" However, I have been following the electric car development, and we are just too far apart and too few charging stations to go "all electric" out here, because the very best can only get 200-220 miles (Tesla), down to only 87 miles for the Honda Clarity BEV.

    For us out here the sweet spot is the PHEV. The Prius Prime (like the Hyundai Ionic and a few others) can only do 25 miles all electric, but then it's hybrid chops really kick in and it can do around 600 miles on a tank of gas. The Volt is the PHEV champ with 53 miles all electric and 370 miles on gas. My Honda Clarity PHEV can do 47 miles all electric and another 300 miles on a small (7gal) tank - more like 280 to be safe.

    Why'd I pick the Honda Clarity? - mid-size sedan like an Accord - 5 adults - and Acura quality interior treatments - just much nicer to drive than the Volt or Prius Prime. Thanks to the 47 mile range no fills up in this first week of ownership, unlike a Prime that would be on the very edge of its commute limit. However, it has a trunk, not a hatch, so versatility is much lower. Oh yeah, the $7500 federal tax credit covering more than the down payment was another incentive...;)

    Anyway - any other electric car drivers out there in TabletPCReview land?
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  2. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Wanted to get a Mitsubishi iMiEV, but it was 66 miles away, and the new battery range was 62 miles and it just didn't seem worth it to spend all day driving from charging station to charging station after buying it so as to get it home
     
  3. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    First, the Nissan Leaf is a battery driven model. I have a Nissan Note, a traditional internal combustion, but I really want to get an electric car. Here in Japan known as EVs. Since I live on an island that I could circumvent on one charge I have been kind of outspoken about introducing an island wide prohibition for internal combustion cars with a ten year grace period.
    Every store with a large parking space has an EV station, I think it is a requirement. Hence, it is not a problem if you run low on
    batteries. This is probably a key factor in spreading usage of electrical cars. Require every large scale parking place operator to install one charging station for every 50 spots (or some such number) and provide free charging for the next ten years. No one has gone further than Norway (their thinking is similar to Dale's clients) they don't charge sales tax on electric cars, parking is free, no tolls and cash back. In Norway a Tesla buyer pays half of sticker price. Do a search on YouTube and you'll find plenty of videos.
     
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  4. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Oops - sorry for the Leaf mistake - fixed.

    My problem is even with available charging, in a state like Texas it is 814 miles from Texarkana to El Paso (East-West) and 862 miles from Brownsville to Dalhart (North-South) - that's four long charging stops either way. Clearly, no one drives those distances, but it just demonstrates how BEV's (that's what they call them here - at least Honda - to show it is a battery only EV) are not ready for prime time yet for a lot of us.

    Still, I am enjoying my Clarity, and as an experienced former Prius driver, have been able to push the EV range estimates beyond the rated EPA range of 47 miles :D

    IMG_0943-ClarityEV.jpg

    PS - my daughter lives in El Paso, so a Tesla S will leave me 10 miles short (if you believe Elon; EPA says I'll run out 50 miles short in the northern Chihuahaun desert). My new ride will get me there with about 50-75 miles to spare...plus I can gas up at the half-way point in 5-7 minutes...but if the Van Horn supercharger is working, Tesla could make it with 3-4 hour layover.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  5. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    And this is why the general public remains sceptical. Until you can drive EV/BEVs for a whole day without a recharge, lots will remain negative. For a place like Texas, invisible, high-efficiency solar panels that'll charge at least 50% during a day, extending range well into night, is the breakthrough that will create optimism.

    The reason EVs are doing so well in Norway is the extended network of charging stations. The next step is a charge that takes no longer than filing a tank of gas. Sadly this is still a few years away.

    On a side note, look at what is happening in Saudi-Arabia right now with a prince running a private purge. They are clearly starting to worry about declining demand for oil.
     
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  6. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    I'd say electric is the future for all cars, but it is still decades away (solid state batteries anyone). It's amazing that Texas - fossil fuel capitol of the US, is also the leader in solar power generation (thousands of square miles of open spaces and mesa tops perfect for wind power generation). For me this is a fun (and quiet) ride. Maybe the best near term solution is 100-200 mile commuter range EV's with fossil fuel "rentals" (even hybrids) or Car 2. In fact, Chrysler's Pacifica is a family size mini-van with 30 miles all EV and hybrid after. There is hope (and answers) out there.
     
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  7. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    If you add in autonomous cars in the equation car ownership as we know it today will become obsolete. If you think about it, your car is probably standing somewhere parked around 90% of its life span. A tremendous waste of resources.
    Imagine riding a car to a charge station, walk over to another car and ride that while the first car is charging itself wirelessly. Switch cars in ten seconds, no waiting for a charge.
    But I completely agree, this isn't happening this side of 2030. Or is it?
     
  8. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    I don't see it on the near far side of 2030 either, especially here in the US. Car ownership is a right of passage (male and female) in our society. We barely share bicycles on college campuses that provide the ride/drop/ride service for free, much less cars. Tesla originally planned to have battery pack exchanges on the major interstate highways for a ten minute drop, pick up, and go service and that fell apart quickly on implementation.
     
  9. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    I understand where you are coming from and I definitely see the difference between an American viewpoint from the vastness of your continent and the more crowded Europe with more urban centers and shorter distances. But at the same time I think this very much is a generational gap. Remember the vinyl collection of singles, EP and LP records that was your pride when a teenager? Your kids probably had the same pride over their CD collections. But their kids pay $9.95/month for Spotify and no longer owns recorded music, they rent it. This shared economy will, as you rightfully point out be a harder sell in a more capitalistic USA, but it is already making inroads in the more collective/socialistic mindset in Europe.

    Your example with bicycles is an interesting demonstration. You can compare your college campuses with Copenhagen. There you can get shared cycles through an app. For a lot of Danes the advantages outweigh the price of personal ownership. In surveys they mention the freedom from repairs, if you get a flat tire you just leave it in the closest rental rack, mention in the app that the bike has a flat and then you pick a new bike and you won't even be late for work. They like that the bikes are serviced regularly and that they don't need to get greasy oiling their chains.

    So this makes me think that from society's viewpoint shared cars makes more sense. If you lease a car today, let's say you pay $500/month. Then you have a car without any of the headaches that come with ownership. Now if that car is parked 90% of the time, you are paying $450 more than you need every month. Imagine that it ran around town as an autonomous Uber instead of being parked, wouldn't that cover those $450?

    Although I might look a bit silly at times I'm not stupid. I do know that cars tend to be used in bursts and this pretty much at the same time as everyone else is using their car. So clearly there are other problems that also requires a solution such as more flexible working hours. But I have no problem seeing a future with less cars, especially since China is now the world's largest car manufacturer. I don't think anyone will take these words in their mouth but removing ourselves from dependency on Arabic oil and Chinese manufacturing in one fell sweep will seem like a no-brainer once you realize the distribution of your national debt.

    Sent from my GT-N8010 using Tapatalk
     
  10. violajack

    violajack Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Our second car is a Zipcar membership, but we could never use a car share as our primary or only vehicle for one very simple reason - kids. I have three in carseats. I can't leave the kids at home alone while I walk 8 minutes to pick up the Zipcar, and I can't carry three carseats and take all three kids with me to go pick up the Zipcar. Just swapping cars at a charging station would also mean uninstalling and reinstalling three car seats, not to mention moving all the other stuff that comes along with transporting three kids anywhere out of the house. Very simply, I have to have a car ready to go with our kids' set up in the driveway if I want to go anywhere. I love our Volvo XC90 and would really love to have the newer hybrid version if it weren't about a billion dollars. As it is, I just destroy the environment with our older V8 whenever we go anywhere. At least both schools are within walking distance. We don't actually drive much.
     

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