backtop


Print 152 comment(s) - last by flyingpants1.. on Jan 31 at 2:07 AM

There are 70 Superchargers total in the U.S. now

Range anxiety has been an issue plaguing the electric vehicle (EV) industry since its birth, as drivers fear getting stranded between charges. But Tesla Motors is hoping its Model S EV will eliminate such fears as the automaker plants charging stations coast to coast. 

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted that owners of the Model S can now drive from coast to coast for the first time, as the automaker has successfully placed Supercharger stations from Los Angeles to New York. 




A Model S battery holds an estimated 265-mile range with a full charge. The problem is that charging stations for EVs are not as ubiquitous as gasoline stations, so making a lengthy drive from home (or the nearest charging station) can be nerve-racking. 

But with Superchargers strategically plotted from coast to coast, Model S drivers can travel with ease knowing that a 30-minute quick charge at a Supercharger station will provide about 170 miles of range. Traditional charging can take as long as nine hours for a fully-charged battery. 

The Superchargers -- which are for Model S vehicles only -- have reached a population of 70 throughout the U.S. now. 


Tesla Superchargers nationwide
 
But it's not enough for Musk to just tell customers about the company's latest accomplishment. In true Tesla form, he's sending out two teams of Tesla drivers to travel from Los Angeles to New York from January 31 through February 2. They will use the Superchargers along the way to prove to current and potential Model S owners that the EV isn't just for a daily work commute; it's also the family vacation vehicle. 
 
Musk even added that he's planning to make the same trip with his family come Spring Break in a Model S. 
 
This won't be the Model S' first long distance road trip, however. Back in early 2013, staff writer John Broder from The New York Times took Tesla's Model S sedan on an east coast road trip over the winter with the intention of checking out the new East Coast Superchargers, then writing an article about his experience.
 
The article, published February 10, 2013, described a horrible adventure where the EV's range failed on many occasions and eventually had to be towed. Tesla CEO Elon Musk became suspicious of Broder's claims, since so many other journalists had made similar or more tasking trips in the Model S. He pulled the driving logs from Broder's Model S and discovered that the NYT article had some inaccuracies.
 
Musk accused Broder of having a biased opinion against EVs before even receiving the Model S, and hence, set the car up for failure in many "no-win" scenarios. Broder then replied to Musk in a new article, pointing out that he was unaware of any other charging stations along the way, or of maximized charging techniques.

Source: Bloomberg



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Still not even close.
By Nutzo on 1/27/2014 11:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing like planning your trip around where you can plug in your car instead of where you would prefer to go. These charging stations might be ok if you are traveling from major city to major city, but don't plan on going to many remote locations.

It's also fun trying to keep the kids busy for 30 minutes while you charge the car, and then have to repeat it less than 3 hours later (170 miles/65mph is only 2 hours & 36 minutes of drive time).

No thanks, I'll stick to a 360 or 600 mile range with a 5 minute fillup. (That's 360 miles per tank on a minivan, or 600 miles on my Camry hybrid, and that doesn't even include the 2-3 gallons left in reserve, which would push the Camry closer to 700 miles, or more than most people could drive in a full day.




RE: Still not even close.
By coburn_c on 1/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Still not even close.
By Motoman on 1/27/2014 11:59:29 AM , Rating: 1
Any of them.

Good thing the have 1 possible route across the country, because that's the only possible route anyone would ever want to take, right?

No one, and I mean NO ONE, ever would have any reason to stray from that path. Right?

What a bunch of morons.


RE: Still not even close.
By FlyBri on 1/27/2014 12:16:45 PM , Rating: 4
I don't quite get all the harsh criticism of a comparatively new form of tech for transportation, and on top of that criticizing a company that is still extremely new, and is competing in a ridiculously high cost, high risk industry with many, already well-established players. It's like criticizing a toddler for not not being able to compete as a professional athlete. It takes time for a company to mature, especially for a company that has a huge amount of overhead, and is in a market such as the auto industry.

What Tesla has done in such a short period of time is quite remarkable really -- it's actually a shock they even have survived as long as they have and are actually progressing.

It's definitely going to take time for electric cars to be at full parity with gasoline cars. If you don't want to deal with any of the downsides to owning a new form of technology such as an all-electric car, no one is forcing you to -- please feel free to continue using a gasoline car.

Tesla is a pioneer though, and is still blazing a trail, so cut it some slack.


RE: Still not even close.
By WLee40 on 1/27/2014 1:11:43 PM , Rating: 4
Exactly. This is just the start. They surely aren't done adding stations. Some of the commenters probably echo the naysayers when the gasoline car came along to replace the horse and buggy!
How you s'posed to find gas to fill er up, gotta lug around full gas cans I reckon. Golly, ol Betsy here can just stop and eat grass and drink from a stream. No way that horseless gas buggy will become popular.
LOL, no insight.


RE: Still not even close.
By Motoman on 1/27/14, Rating: -1
RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Still not even close.
By quiksilvr on 1/27/2014 1:46:29 PM , Rating: 1
By using algae instead of corn.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel


RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Still not even close.
By Motoman on 1/27/2014 3:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
Um, what?

The infrastructure already exists. It would be shipped, stored, and dispensed using the existing infrasctructure.

Naturally we need to work on the manufacturing facilities. But everything else is done.

As opposed to your "idiotic" EV infrasctructure, which for all intents and purposes hardly even exists.


RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Still not even close.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 3:33:55 PM , Rating: 2
Um, algae is grown not harvested. And it can grow easily and cheaply in all sorts of water, most importantly saltwater and sewage or waste water. Current processing, including energy inputs, costs a couple more dollars a gallon than regular diesel, so its close to competitive now. Mass adoption would likely drive that price lower quickly.

I see a future where EV's provide most of our personal transportation, but algae based biofuels (especially diesel) provide for trucking, generators, and vehicle usage outside of areas where charging is convenient.


RE: Still not even close.
By Mint on 1/27/2014 5:53:33 PM , Rating: 3
If it was that easy, we'd be doing it for at least a few percent of our biofuels instead of getting virtually all our bioethanol from corn or biodiesel from soy and tropical oils. Algae can't even compete with B100's cost, which itself costs notably more than low sulfur diesel.

Oh, but this will change in the future? So why the double standard from everyone here, mocking the single route available today when Tesla has concrete plans to cover the entire country by the end of 2015? Even small scale algae biofuel production is years away, and at the moment it's all food crops.

I'd like to see proof of this "couple more dollars" you speak of. AFAIK, it's all empty claims so far, like this $2/gal estimate from DARPA three years ago:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/13...

Photosynthesis is fundamentally a lot less efficient than even bottom rung solar panels. It's far from certain that we can match $100/bbl crude, let alone the <$0.05c/kWh of wholesale electricity (and even less for nuclear in the long term) that is 3x as efficient in converting to mechanical energy.

GTL is far more promising than biofuels. Even Coskata, once on the leading edge of biofuels, is now basically jumping ship to using natural gas. Algae and cellulose growth/farming is just one part of the equation, as it's just plain messy and costly separating out all the bio leftovers from the product you want when competing against ~$0.30/lb oil and gas that come out of the ground so relatively cleanly.


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 3:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
Well first off you don't harvest the algae from the ocean using ships, you grow it in tubes of water preferably in a area of land that is pretty much useless such as some barren rocky ground which has a lot of sun and warm temperatures, much like where you would want a solar energy plant.

If you place the algae plant next to a coal or natural gas power plant then you can use the CO2 from the power plant to feed the algae which allows you to gain much more energy from that carbon before it is finally released. Plus the other byproduct of burning a fossil fuel is water which goes to feed the algae also.

quote:
Lets all switch to algae and dump coal, petrol and nuclear! F**k fish and ocean ecosystem!


When was the last time someone used nuclear power in an automobile, other than Professor Brown.


RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 4:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So byproduct of burning a fossil fuel is water?


Yes it is. The reaction of burning any fossil fuel be it gasoline, coal, natural gas or wood is CO2 and H2O. The combustion equation for Octane is as follows;

2 C8H18 + 25 O2 -------> 16 CO2 + 18 H2O

Any other hydrocarbon has the same chemistry of combustion. As far as drinking it, you actually drink it every day, as the water emitted by power plants or even forest fires simply goes into the atmosphere and falls as rain later. Now drinking it right out of a car exhaust might not be so pleasant if there are any oil leaks within the system, but essentially is it pure water that comes out as water vapor, and if you condense it back into liquid it should be very pure, especially in most modern automobile exhaust.

quote:
Nuclear produces excess of this tiny things called electrons which conveniently find their way, magically I would say in some of the batteries which in turn trigger electric motors to spin which move wheels in the E car also.


Actually no, nuclear is used to make steam which turns a turbine to produce electricity, but it does not have an excess of electrons that magically find their way into batteries. Excess neutrons cause the radioactive decay which causes heat to be produced which is used to make steam which is used to make electricity which is distributed throughout the country through wires, nothing magic about it at all.


RE: Still not even close.
By boeush on 1/27/2014 9:29:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
2 C8H18 + 25 O2 -------> 16 CO2 + 18 H2O
...
Now drinking it right out of a car exhaust might not be so pleasant if there are any oil leaks within the system, but essentially is it pure water that comes out as water vapor, and if you condense it back into liquid it should be very pure, especially in most modern automobile exhaust.
Realistically speaking, there's the ideal and then there's the actual. See, in the real world, we get this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_combustion_e...

In the real world , to which I'd like to welcome you someday, I really would not advise you to condense and drink your car's exhaust, or in any other way inhale or ingest it. Not unless you really hate your own good health (or whatever health might be left in you, given your view of these matters...)


RE: Still not even close.
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2014 7:20:15 AM , Rating: 2
He wasn't saying to actually do it. He was saying if you stripped out all the other harmful gases and just took the water vapor, that it would be pure water. The point was that someone was doubting that water was produced by combustion when in fact it is. Just in gaseous form. Doesn't mean there aren't a ton of other more harmful gases though.


RE: Still not even close.
By Spuke on 1/27/2014 3:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As opposed to your "idiotic" EV infrasctructure, which for all intents and purposes hardly even exists.
Cmon Moto, all we (300 million of us) need to do is charge during off peak hours. LOL! If most of us start charging our EV's during off peak hours, do any of you REALLY think the electric companies are going to keep those rates low OR do you even think that even say 100 million EV's would not cause off peak to become on peak? Any massive EV adoption is going to require a grid upgrade AND a price per kWh upgrade to match.


RE: Still not even close.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 3:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
Even if you triple electricity prices, its still cheaper than using gasoline or diesel to operate your car. In my case, it would cost me around 10% of what I spend now on diesel for my Jeep to be driving a EV. That works out to about $3k/year in savings on fuel alone. Maintenance is another big gain. An entry level EV would pay for itself in about seven years for me.


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 3:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
You are someone who could benefit from switching to an EV and that is good.

For me on the other hand, I spend maybe $2k per year on gasoline for my F150 and Jeep Cherokee combined, so it would take 14 years to recoup that by purchasing a Nissan Leaf and putting my fuel money towards car payments. Figure in the low cost of insurance and taxes on two vehicles that are 17+ years old and it would take even more time to repay the cost of switching to an EV. For some people an EV works very well, for other not so much. Don't get me wrong, if I had about $30k sitting in my bank account at the moment, I would seriously look into getting a Leaf to drive to work since I only drive about 30 miles per day, it would be great if I could afford it.


RE: Still not even close.
By Nutzo on 1/27/2014 5:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even if you triple electricity prices, its still cheaper than using gasoline or diesel to operate your car.


Try comparing similar sized cars, comparing the mileage of a SUV to a tiny EV is like comparing watermellons to grapes.

It also depends on where you live, as electric prices are as high as $.34/kwh where I live. Tripling the cost would be $1/kwh, so a 24 kw/hour charge on a Leaf would then cost $24 for an EPA range of 73 miles.

My Camry Hybrid is rated at 40/38 mpg, so 2 gallons would get me around 76-80 miles (I've actually averaged around 43-45mpg on several long trips), and at $3.50/gal, that would cost $7, or less than 1/3 of your "triple electricity prices". Your numbers are off by a factor of 30 in my case.

Even at $.34/kwh, it would cost $8.16 to charge the Leaf, still more than the cost of 2 gallons of gas.

I could get a lower electrical price if I installed a seperate meter for just for charging the car, but when you add a few thousand more for installation of a new meter, the EV will never even break even compared to just buying a Hybrid.


RE: Still not even close.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 6:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
I did the math on my situation. A Tesla outweighs my Jeep. It would cost 10% of the cost of my current fuel expenditures to drive a Tesla. You are saying 'compare similar cars' but the reality is that weight is the major factor here, and EV's are not light. Battery packs are heavy.

Where I live electricity is $0.09/kwh. Even at your prices I'd be saving money.


RE: Still not even close.
By Mint on 1/27/2014 6:52:20 PM , Rating: 2
Your electricity prices are a product of a flawed distribution system, not the electricity itself. You can find wholesale price here:
http://www.eia.gov/electricity/wholesale/

In California, generators are producing it for less than $.05/kWh. Industry is paying less than $0.10/kWh.

If you want to break even quickly, just lease. No decent gas car will cover lease ($199/mo) and fuel (~$35/mo) as cheap as an EV, and your Camry Hybrid in particular is a lot more at $249/mo plus ~$100 in gas per 1000 miles (more than a Volt will cost you). I take it you're in CA from your rate/meter talk, in which case the state rebate will more than cover your second meter cost. People will install the second meter for $1k, but even at $2k, saving 24c/kWh will pay for itself within 30k miles. Hardly the "never break even" nonsense you're talking about.

Cost is already in EVs favor once someone does the math instead of making assumptions like you did. I suspect the reason you don't want something like the LEAF or Volt is that you simply don't like them (nothing wrong with that).

But that's not a fundamental flaw in EVs themselves. What they really need to do is adopt the smartphone model: Charge $3 per 50 miles (i.e. cheaper than even 50 MPG cars), track electricity usage so that no extra meter is needed, pay utilities out of that charge, and use the profits to lower the up-front cost of the car.


RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Still not even close.
By Mint on 1/27/2014 7:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
do you even think that even say 100 million EV's would not cause off peak to become on peak? Any massive EV adoption is going to require a grid upgrade AND a price per kWh upgrade to match.


Why don't you do some simple math instead of assuming a falsehood? Yes, it's entirely reasonable to think that, and 100M EVs is decades away anyway.

An EV driving 13k miles per year would need less than 4000 kWh of electricity. 100M of them would need only 400 TWh. That's only 10% of today's electricity production. Google some demand curves, and you'll see that there's more than enough underutilized nighttime capacity to absorb that.

EVs are a godsend for the grid. We'll even see them being used to offload peak demand, letting your house use a few kWhs per day from your EV when you get home during the evening peak. Nissan has already demonstrated it.


RE: Still not even close.
By Solandri on 1/27/2014 2:04:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Good thing the have 1 possible route across the country, because that's the only possible route anyone would ever want to take, right?

No one, and I mean NO ONE, ever would have any reason to stray from that path. Right?

To build 2 or more routes across the country, you have to at some point in time have only 1 route across the country. It'd be nice if someone could wave a magic wand and *poof* we have a full EV recharging infrastructure throughout the country. But that's not the way reality works. You have to build these things one at a time.

Don't get me wrong, I think EVs are a dead end (unless we go nuclear or there's a huge breakthrough in electrical energy storage technology). But I'm not deluded enough to think my opinion is infallible. I could turn out to be wrong. Musk believes in EVs, and I have tremendous respect for him for doing what he can to make them a reality.


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 3:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm honestly think that one day EVs will be the preferred choice for the daily driver, but it is still a long way off.

For anything more than small passenger cars though, EV technology is a long, long way from being practical. Cargo hauling would take enormous amounts of power that batteries just can't come close to storing yet.


RE: Still not even close.
By Mint on 1/28/2014 1:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
You're right about cargo hauling, but that's a job for natural gas, IMO.

Among passenger vehicles, though, EVs make more sense in large and speedy cars than small ones. Sure, larger batteries are needed, but there's more room available anyway and the savings are bigger. The Model S, for example, competes against 20 MPG cars and has gobs more total room.

The reason so many companies are making small EVs is that they want to tip-toe into the market with minimal effort and minimal cannibalization of other cars in their showroom.

The first step is PHEV, though, as all hybrid cars currently available can make cost effective use of a bigger battery and a plug. There's a whole bunch of models coming out in the next year or two, and I predict that non-plugin hybrids will become a niche item in a decade or less. There's no point in foregoing a plug if the rest of the hybrid system is already there.


RE: Still not even close.
By flyingpants1 on 1/27/2014 5:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:


Good thing the have 1 possible route across the country, because that's the only possible route anyone would ever want to take, right?

No one, and I mean NO ONE, ever would have any reason to stray from that path. Right?

What a bunch of morons.


You're an interesting guy. Take a look at http://tesla.com/supercharger , notice how the entire country will be covered within 2 years or so. And they're doing this all on their own.

Personally I think there should be a 50kW DC fast-charge station at every gas station.


RE: Still not even close.
By bah12 on 1/28/2014 9:09:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Personally I think there should be a 50kW DC fast-charge station at every gas station.
If I was an owner I'd jump all over the chance to put some in. They make far higher margins off of sales inside the store. Most even fought and complained about pay-at-the pump because it profits took a huge hit. This is another way to get people inside the store, and if they are tesla drivers, people with disposable income :)


RE: Still not even close.
By Samus on 1/28/2014 12:52:39 AM , Rating: 2
Well to be completely fair, there are only 4 realistic routes across the Rockies: 90, 80 (the Supercharger route,) 40 and 10.

So they have 25% of the routes covered ;)

Sucks for anybody who lives in the South...you know, where electric vehicles make the most sense.


RE: Still not even close.
By marvdmartian on 1/28/2014 7:42:30 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's not even close to being as nice as Route 66! ;)


RE: Still not even close.
By Motoman on 1/27/14, Rating: -1
RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 12:06:21 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, we want new techs of the future now and want it cheap.
Development of new tech is fruitless and dangerous and we should stick with proven technologies.
Its nothing wrong with horse, Why would we need cars for that matter? Its point A to point B.


RE: Still not even close.
By Shig on 1/27/2014 12:12:53 PM , Rating: 3
You guys do know that supercharging is FREE right?

I'll just let you free market capitalist guys explain to me how 3.50$ a gallon beats free.


RE: Still not even close.
By Motoman on 1/27/2014 12:30:28 PM , Rating: 4
...someone's paying for it. And if you think it's not you, you're wrong.


RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 12:30:53 PM , Rating: 2
You don't have to tell me that. I am all pro EV and see potential there.
I don't see constructive criticism here, its all just trolling. Only constructive suggestion and not criticism from me is they need to improve battery tech (and they work on it vigorously) and not just them but whole world together should work on it for the sake of it.
I am glad they are opening soon new giga battery factory biggest in the world. Hope R/D is top priority.


RE: Still not even close.
By Shig on 1/27/2014 12:33:06 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone who sold the stock short paid for it Motoman ;)


RE: Still not even close.
By WLee40 on 1/27/2014 1:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
Ha Ha. I held onto it and still got it. Bought 168 shares at $18. Now the question is when to sell it??!! Still holding out...


RE: Still not even close.
By Etsp on 1/27/2014 2:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
It's a hype stock. Its price is almost entirely unrelated to how well the company is doing financially, and even Elon Musk has outright stated that the stocks are overpriced.

Sell it when there's no bad news, buy more when some new "trouble" hits the company.


RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 3:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
Your intelligence is hyped by you. It is not only how company is currently doing but also taking in account future possibilities and demand.


RE: Still not even close.
By Jaguar36 on 1/27/2014 12:53:49 PM , Rating: 3
Its not free, its pre-paid. Supercharging capability is a $2,000 option


RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 1:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, for 60kw version.


RE: Still not even close.
By coburn_c on 1/27/2014 1:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll just let you free market capitalist guys explain to me how 3.50$ a gallon beats free.


How about I get a market capitalist to explain that 300 million electric cars charging up every day will inflate the price of electricity to the point where you will have to give up heating your home to drive in to work in the morning.


RE: Still not even close.
By BioHazardous on 1/27/2014 1:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
Electric heat is terribly inefficient. Natural gas is far superior for home heating. Stop heating your house with electricity.


RE: Still not even close.
By eBob on 1/27/2014 1:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
Electric heat is almost 100% efficient. Just check out the SEER label on any electric furnace.


RE: Still not even close.
By Spuke on 1/27/2014 2:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
Why is this rated down? It's true.


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 4:43:53 PM , Rating: 2
Near 100% efficient from plug to room heat, but how about from coal to steam to electricity to house to heat?


RE: Still not even close.
By Motoman on 1/27/2014 3:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
Uh-huh. But how efficient is the generation and delivery of your electricity?

Then compare that to natural gas.


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 4:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
As above, what is the losses when you calculate in the power required to pump natural gas out of a well and store it, then again pump it through the transmission lines? They use that natural gas to run huge engines that in turn recompress the gas to push it farther down the line.

Neither electricity nor natural gas are close to 100% efficient when you take into account all of the possible losses from point of origin to point of final heat produced in the home. I just wonder which is more efficient in the end. But if you think about it, if natural gas is used to generate the electricity, then the electricity generation process contributes an extra loss that is not incurred when using it directly for home heat.


RE: Still not even close.
By Solandri on 1/27/2014 5:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
Burning natural gas (or oil or wood for that matter) is tremendously more efficient than electric heaters.

When you burn coal to make electricity, about 45% of the energy it contains gets converted into electricity. 55% becomes waste heat at the power plant, which has to dispose of it into a heat sink like a river or an ocean. Once you transmit the electricity to the heater, it's 100% efficient. But the overall process from fuel to home heating is only about 45% efficient.

When you burn gas, oil, or wood for heat, 100% of the energy it contains gets converted into heat. The portion that would've become waste heat if you generated electricity instead becomes waste heat inside your home. But since your goal is to heat your home, it is no longer "waste" heat. And you have 100% efficiency from fuel to home heating.

That's the key difference here - where the "waste" heat goes.

Natural gas, coal, oil, wood, all have mining/harvesting and transport costs. Gas' costs are actually mostly at the harvesting end, since it's a gas and you need to compress it if you want to store it. In fact, before oil skyrocketed to $100/bbl, it wasn't worth it for the oil companies to capture the excess gas. They'd just burn it off (those are the fires you see at the tops of the poles at refineries and oil pumps).

The transport costs for gas are actually pretty minimal (assuming you have a gas source within a few hundred miles like most of the U.S. does). Once you get the gas into the pipeline, it almost transports itself since all you need is a pressure differential to make it move. And since you have to pressurize it anyway to store it, "transporting" natural gas through a pipe is really just a matter of opening a valve. Most of the "transport fee" the gas company charges you is for maintaining the natural gas pipes, not for actually pumping the gas to you.


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 5:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And since you have to pressurize it anyway to store it, "transporting" natural gas through a pipe is really just a matter of opening a valve. Most of the "transport fee" the gas company charges you is for maintaining the natural gas pipes, not for actually pumping the gas to you.


Actually this part is not completely correct. I live near the Texas Gas pipeline and there are pumping stations about ever 50-100 miles, maybe even closer together than that. Those pipelines carry compressed natural gas from the Texas and Louisiana area all the way up to near the Canadian border. The gas has to be constantly recompressed as every place that pulls any gas out of the line reduces the pressure and the ability of the gas to travel further. Gas flow within a pipe also encounters friction losses, though those are not large losses, but when you figure the surface area of 50 miles of pipe, that is a large area to generate friction.


RE: Still not even close.
By Mint on 1/29/2014 2:41:22 PM , Rating: 2
You're overestimating the cost (both energy and $$) of pumping natural gas. It's a tiny fraction of the energy delivered.


RE: Still not even close.
By boeush on 1/27/2014 9:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When you burn gas, oil, or wood for heat, 100% of the energy it contains gets converted into heat. The portion that would've become waste heat if you generated electricity instead becomes waste heat inside your home. But since your goal is to heat your home, it is no longer "waste" heat. And you have 100% efficiency from fuel to home heating.
Uh, no .

Unless, that is, you're sitting in a kettle on top of that fire, and the fire is real low ... but even then you still aren't getting 100% of that heat.

Most of the heat from your typical furnace -- never mind fireplace -- goes right out the chimney, together with the exhaust. Oh, and to feed that fire in your typical household (non-industrial) setup, you have to suck in cool air from the outside, which also somewhat diminishes the overall efficiency of heating your premises...


RE: Still not even close.
By Spuke on 1/27/2014 11:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
This is what I like to read when I come here. Not social-political BS. Good stuff all.


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/28/2014 3:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
I use a vent free natural gas heater which I believe is rated at 98% efficient(at least 98% as far as burning what gas comes into it). That 2% loss is as you said, because of incoming air cooling effect and a small percent of unburned fuel.

A fireplace is probably the worst ever as far as heating efficiency since there is so much air that needs to be sucked into the house to keep the updraft going to keep smoke out of the house. I had one a few year ago and honestly the room with the fireplace would be hot, and the rest of the house would be freezing because of the drafts. My parents neighbor though has a custom built unit that brings in air from outside for combustion and has sealed doors on the inside with glass inserts so you get a more efficient heating without the cooling effect from incoming air plus you get the visual aspect of seeing the fire. That fireplace is build with a heat exchange plenum above the fire connected to duct work through the house so it works like an outdoor furnace. Much better than a fireplace alone, but still poor in efficiency overall.


RE: Still not even close.
By BioHazardous on 1/27/2014 5:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Electric heat is almost 100% efficient. Just check out the SEER label on any electric furnace.

You're not looking at the big picture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_heating#Envi...


RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 1:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
For some Dimmed here you have to repeat many times until there is some light in their brain cells.
- Charging over night or all that electricity is literarily wasted,
- promoting solar on every supercharging station,
- upgrading grid which needed to be upgraded yesterday anyway.


RE: Still not even close.
By CaedenV on 1/27/2014 4:14:53 PM , Rating: 3
1) We are not going to end up with 300 million electric cars in the first place. I think with the introduction of self-driving cars in the next 5-10 years we will see a lot of people (especially those living in cities, or those who do not drive often) going without a personal vehicle at all, and moving to an automated taxi service for most of their transportation needs. This will greatly reduce the number of required vehicles needed to serve the population.
For those who continue to own their own cars, electric will still not work for everyone for a very long time... and even if it did magically become suitable for everyone, cars still have a 15 year lifespan. So you are looking at 20-50 years before EVs become suitable for "everyone", plus an additional 15 years to remove old gas cars from the equation. The grid has time to cope with that... if it needs to, which brings me to my 2nd point:

2) The grid will not need to provide power for most EVs that will be on the road. Solar already has a 10 year payoff (sometimes a bit more, but often a bit less) for panels expected to last 25-30 years. For anyone who can afford the initial investment, this means that installing solar today will mean that your long term electric price drops 50-70%. Addded to that is that the cost of solar installations drops some 5% per year, which is quickly making it a mainstream option for the general population rather than just 'rich people'.
Obviously it would be extremely expensive (and physically large) to cover your roof with enough solar cells to provide your home and vehicle needs, but we are not talking about today. Electric cars will become more popular with time, but mainstream adoption is still some 10-20 years off. In 10-20 years Solar will not only be much smaller and cheaper, but off-grid battery systems will be affordable as well. This will allow those with the up-front capital to not only get off of the grid, but also have the option to provide 100% of their day and night power, while still selling some back on the grid during peak times.
So the idea is that those who can afford their own cars will probably be able to afford their own power generation. This will be as true for automated taxi services as it would be for personal owners.

3) Deflationary forces will vastly outweigh inflationary ones when it comes to power generation and distribution. When I was a kid electric prices always seemed to be spiking, but in my adult life I have found 2 odd things to be true. One is that while electric prices are generally going up, it is generally below the inflation rate. The other is that while my energy consumption has always risen over time in the past, in the last 5 years I have found that my energy use is going down. This is because appliances are much more efficient than the 10-20 year old ones that they replace, and because my electronics have consolidated from a few dozen inefficient devices down to a small handful of very efficient ones. Energy usage as a whole is leveling off across the board, and will possibly even go down in the future. With lower engery usage being provided by an increasing number of self-generation, it is going to be difficult for power companies to compete in cost and stay in business.
Electric cars, which use traditionally wasted night production, just might be the short term draw that electric companies need to become more efficient, and keep aging facilities in production as they play the waiting game in moving to newer cheaper power generation options that are on the horizon. If they do not get more efficient with existing infastructure then it could mean horrible things for them as self-generation becomes more and more affordable.

4) Who (in an area that needs heat on a regular basis) relies on electric heat? Most people are on natural gas, and a growing number of people are moving to heat pumps of one form or another with a gas backup. Even people who invest in solar still tend to use gas as their heating solution. Even if we went to 100% electric cars today it would have a small effect on most people's heating bills, though an overnight switch would surely destroy the power grid as it stands today.


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 4:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
2) The grid will not need to provide power for most EVs that will be on the road. Solar already has a 10 year payoff (sometimes a bit more, but often a bit less) for panels expected to last 25-30 years. For anyone who can afford the initial investment, this means that installing solar today will mean that your long term electric price drops 50-70%. Addded to that is that the cost of solar installations drops some 5% per year, which is quickly making it a mainstream option for the general population rather than just 'rich people'.


I agree with most of what you said, but right now this part has some problems when it comes to the current grid. In Hawaii, where solar installations are at the highest per capita, they have begun to halt issuing new permits for solar installations because they have had problems with the excess electricity the solar panels feed back into the grid. They need to upgrade the old grid to allow it to handle all of that extra power, which also interferes with the operation of the current power plants as the amount of electricity fluctuates as the roof panels feed back different amounts of power.


RE: Still not even close.
By Nutzo on 1/27/2014 4:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
And how much is your time worth ?
I'd rather not waste an hour or 2 a day waiting for my car to be charged while I'm on vacation.

I should be considered a primary target for an EV as I have a short commute < 15 miles/day. However, the added cost of an EV over a Hybrid, and having to have an additional car for the occasional long trip, results in a payback period that takes too many years.

Now, if I could charge my car for free at work, then I actually might consider buying an EV, but free electricity is not really a fair comparison.


RE: Still not even close.
By Murloc on 1/27/2014 12:23:13 PM , Rating: 1
derp range and speed and comfort and price?

Horses need to rest and are slow and your back will kill you if you ride all day, it needs physical effort.
Also they're pricey to maintain.

An EV just makes range and price worse but add nothing, that's why people don't buy them.

Apples to oranges.


RE: Still not even close.
By Shig on 1/27/2014 12:25:41 PM , Rating: 2
You just compared a car to a horse and said free charging is worthless, what is the matter with you?


RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 1:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
At least you don't get killed in accident or burn to death.
Slower is safer and imagine infrastructure we need for cars all that highways and Gas stations, wars for power control, $Trillions, HORSE priceless.


RE: Still not even close.
By Flunk on 1/27/2014 1:39:40 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, you can get killed in a horse accident. Two running horses hitting each other is dangerous and horses don't have seat belts and airbags.


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 2:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
And horses bite while cars don't :)


RE: Still not even close.
By Spuke on 1/27/2014 2:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
You can easily get killed with just ONE horse and just ONE rider. Most people don't die though, just break some ribs or get paralyzed. My wife simply fell off of hers and broke her ribs twice. Glad she wears a helmet.


RE: Still not even close.
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 3:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yes and Horses fart extensively after fed by algae which is bad for global climate.


RE: Still not even close.
By Flunk on 1/27/2014 1:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
The fuel is cheaper, they're quieter and have great torque. There are pluses to EVs and if they can decrease some of the minuses they'll be a good option.

I think if they get the prices down they'll be a good option for people in cities (I for example rarely drive more than 100 miles in one day). And if they manage to get the range thing minimized through a charging network or better batteries then we'll have something for rural buyers.

There is a lot of potential for EVs, we're just not quite at the point where they objectively beat ICE vehicles in any common usage pattern.


RE: Still not even close.
By tayb on 1/27/2014 1:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
Don't have kids and don't drive a mini-van. Two problems solved.

While we are solving problems, don't drive across the country. Fly.


RE: Still not even close.
By milktea on 1/27/2014 3:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
IMO, the charge time is actually an advantage for people who cannot sit for a long time or have car sick. It gives them the time to stop and rest to recoup. Not all of us are truck drivers, you know?

And, IMO, kids actually likes to stop and get out of the car to run around a bit. I don't know any kids who'd like to sit & be tied up in the car for hours.

FYI, that's why there are actually 'rest stops' in interstate freeways, just in case you hadn't noticed.


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 3:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And, IMO, kids actually likes to stop and get out of the car to run around a bit. I don't know any kids who'd like to sit & be tied up in the car for hours.


I agree with you but sadly this part is beginning to change, as more kids become engrossed in electronic devices and can sit for hours on end staring at them and never notice a thing going on around them.


RE: Still not even close.
By milktea on 1/27/2014 4:01:12 PM , Rating: 3
IMO, that's deficient in parenting ;)


RE: Still not even close.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 5:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.


RE: Still not even close.
By CharonPDX on 1/28/2014 2:52:16 AM , Rating: 1
Correct. But if it never starts, it won't ever get better.

This is the start. And something tells me that your average Tesla Model S driver isn't exactly "stressing" over not having been able to drive from LA to Chicago before. This just gives Model S drivers the option for a road trip where before there wasn't. (Of course, I hope they don't want to drive from Seattle to Chicago, because that's a hell of a detour! Or LA to Miami.)

What do you think people bitched about when gasoline cars first got started? "Oh, man, how impractical is it to have to plan your trips around these rare "gasoline stations" instead of just stopping off at a feed store?" And look where we are now.

Electric (in some form) is the future of automobiles. Maybe in the end it will be fuel cells with hydrogen fueling stations, maybe it will be supercapacitors with ultra-fast-charge stations. But more stations won't ever be a bad thing.


You lose.
By Motoman on 1/27/2014 12:08:15 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, pal, but this doesn't even in the slightest make a Tesla a vehicle for the family vacation.

EVs will be viable when:

1. We have a new trillion-dollar smartgrid to supply electricity all over the place for a massive population of EVs (which we need anyway).
2. They get a native range of about 300 miles per charge.
3. They can recharge in about 5 minutes or less.
4. There are charging stations with at least a quarter the density of gas stations.
5. A battery can last about 100,000 miles before needing to be replaced. At a cost of a few thousand dollars, at most.
6. They can operate equally well in any temperature range, from 120-degree Phoenix summers to -40 degree Minnesota winters.
7. The initial retail price, without any kickbacks or subsidies over what an ICE vehicle gets, is roughly in line with comparable ICE vehicles.




RE: You lose.
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 12:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
So Why do You sitting on your butt and complain? Go invent new Battery tech that can handle all these issues.
I can see your potential here, except point 1,4,5,6 is out of touch and 7. is from new tech economic stand point plain ridiculous.


RE: You lose.
By Motoman on 1/27/2014 12:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Go invent new Battery tech that can handle all these issues.


No thanks. Not only for the obvious reason that I'm not a genius EE R&D guy, but also because I think our better bet is to work on biofuels for ICE cars.

And as for taking offense at my points, they're all valid - you just want to give EEs a free pass for some reason, which is the fashionable thing to do.

If you use your brain though, no one should get a free pass in the real world. If your product can compete on it's own merits on par with other existing products, then have at it. If it can't...maybe you need to bake it a little more.


RE: You lose.
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 12:41:48 PM , Rating: 2
Ok now I am disappointed in your potential.
You got me on biofuels for ICE cars.
Burn, baby BURN!!


RE: You lose.
By Shig on 1/27/2014 12:49:28 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, Tesla Motors could hit most of those metrics before 2020 or at least get pretty close. Once most of those metrics are achieved, ICE's lose.


RE: You lose.
By BioHazardous on 1/27/2014 12:50:11 PM , Rating: 2
Motoman,

What kind of a TV do you own?


RE: You lose.
By Schrag4 on 1/27/2014 1:44:44 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying if you don't live in LA where the temp doesn't vary much from 70F then you're out-of-touch?


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 2:08:00 PM , Rating: 2
1) Not required, although it would be nice. Most charging is done during off-peak hours and most power is provided as a base load and does not vary even when demand is low. Unless people start plugging in in massive numbers during peak periods, this is a non issue. Multiple studies have demonstrated that this is unlikely, and that even if it happened time zones change when peak time is and could handle the difference. Still, its a nice to have.

2) The vast majority of driving does not require a range like this, and most homes are two car homes. That said, this range is attainable at the top end today (Tesla in extended range mode) and is likely to be attained at the lower end in the next few years. That said, this is your personal requirement, not a requirement for EV's to be viable for most people. Also, lots of ICE vehicles on the road today do not get this kind of range, my S-10 was lucky to get 230 miles on a tank..

3) Again, this is a nice to have but not really necessary. For long distance trips, the vast minority of road miles people put on, it is a nice to have, but for around town driving its almost irrelevant. Electric vehicles change how people fuel up, mostly at home and at night, or at work if provided (as my company does). The need to quickly 'fill up at a station' vanishes with an electric vehicle.

4) Again, not really. People are charging at home, at work, or at any of the thousands of other charging locations. Walgreens, for instance, puts chargers at most of their locations. The concept of a 'service station' goes away with EV's.

5) Done. Prius' using older tech are going 400,000+ miles on their batteries. This is a non issue. Replacement batteries range from $2500-7000 depending on vehicle. Reduced vehicle maintenance costs more than mitigate that, and most ICE vehicles need an engine rebuild between 150-200k miles anyway, which costs roughly the same.

6) This is not a requirement ICE vehicles meet. Efficiency varies greatly with temperature, and is even more extreme for people like me who drive diesel. I do not think it is right to put a requirement on EV's that does not apply to ICE vehicles.

7) Done. Leaf, Spark, Volt, etc are all priced around the same line as ICE vehicles. At least half a dozen more EV's are heading to market, from the low end to high end. You can get into a Chevy Spark EV for the same price as a Toyota Matrix. And the Spark will be far cheaper to operate and likely more reliable over time. Also, most people don't give a damn about whether there is a tax rebate or not, that's for anti-big government warriors, no one else cares.

So in conclusion, those are your *personal* requirements for EV's to be viable for YOU. For most people they are already viable, especially two car homes or those in urban areas.


RE: You lose.
By Spuke on 1/27/2014 2:15:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For most people they are already viable, especially two car homes or those in urban areas.
If all of the problems are solved, why aren't these taking off? Why are they still akin to sports car sales?


RE: You lose.
By Motoman on 1/27/2014 3:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
Because he's got his head in the sand.

Denial doesn't make the problems go away. It just makes stupid people say stupid things.

Like that guy up there.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 3:41:16 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.autotrader.com/research/article/car-new...

quote:
According to sales statistics from automakers, around 49,000 vehicles sold in 2013 were plug-in hybrids -- cars such as the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-In. That figure represents a 27 percent increase over 2012. Meanwhile, automakers sold just over 47,000 fully electric models in 2013 -- a 241 percent increase over 2012.


Seems to be taking off, no?


RE: You lose.
By Spuke on 1/27/2014 11:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
You think 49,000 vehicles sold in a YEAR is sales taking off? Those are NICHE car numbers not top seller numbers. Peruse at your leisure.

http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autos...

See the top seller there? Nearly 75,000 in one MONTH. That's a seller. No you don't need 75k to be considered "taking off" but you definitely need more than 4k a month. Quite frankly, hot vehicles "oversell" at first then level out. If EV's were hot sellers then the initial numbers would be huge then level out. IMO, they've leveled out already. Crossovers are the fastest growth category and IMO they will take over sedans eventually. For EV's to take off, you need to see them in that top 10 year after year. They have to REPLACE what average people drive not what activists and wannabes drive.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/28/2014 1:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
Every new product starts at zero. Growth rate is whats important. Year over year EV's are increasing at a very high rate of growth. Automakers are responding with a dozen plus models, vs the two that existed two years ago.

Also, your opinion is wrong. They are still growing.


RE: You lose.
By Dr of crap on 1/27/2014 2:47:27 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm, yea number 6 does apply.

It -15 degrees F outside right now. Was -20 last night.

MY ICE starts and HEATS and works fine in this and colder temps. In July when its 100 degrees F outside, yet again my ICE works and keeps me cool.
AND the I do not have to worry if my "charge" will last.
I just look at the gas gauge and go.

When I donot have to worry about freezing or not making it home from however many miles I WANT to put on the car, and it doesn't cost OVER $20k, then you'll have a EV I could want.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 3:46:50 PM , Rating: 2
During winter my diesel Jeep loses about 20% efficiency when its cold. I accept this, its a side effect of driving diesel. I never said "Well, I guess its not viable because temperature will reduce my fuel economy" or spend time worrying if I can only go 400 vs 500 miles on a tank. I drive it to work and back, like 90% of other drives, the overwhelming majority of the time and it has more than enough fuel efficiency for that task.

The same can be said about current EV's. They don't fail in cold or hot weather, they simply get less efficient. They still maintain more than enough charge to do all normal commuting tasks. You can still recharge them everywhere you were charging them before, which is actually more locations than a ICE vehicle has available(especially diesel) since everywhere has power. They are simply less efficient. Just like gas and diesel engines.

Its a distinction that makes no sense because it affects all vehicles. Some more than others. I lose more efficiency on my diesel Jeep than a Nissan Leaf owner loses in extreme weather.

Making it a 'requirement' when its not one satisfied by the competition is silly.


RE: You lose.
By Motoman on 1/27/2014 4:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
Don't be an idiot. If your diesel Jeep loses MPG when it's cold, you just fuel up a bit more frequently.

When your EV loses effeciency in the cold, you can't get to work, and/or have to try to find a way to recharge where there is nowhere to recharge.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 4:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? Unless I work more than 65 miles from my home I don't see how that's the case. A worst case scenario where I lose 20% of my range in extreme cold, even with the cheapest and lowest range EV on the market, I don't see any way your scenario comes to pass. My work has power stations and that's increasingly the case around the country. As I pointed out before, even Walgreens has charging stations these days at most locations. Finding charging really is not the issue you make it out to be in most cities.

But even aside from that, very few people work more than 30 miles from their home. In fact, lets point out the status:

www.statisticbrain.com/commute-statistics/

According to the US DoT, 89% of all US commutes are 30 miles each way or less. The *vast* majority of those are under 15 miles(68% of the total). There is not a single EV on the market today from a major automaker that even if severely degraded could not handle those distances, both directions, on a single charge. With the heat running.

So yes. Don't be an idiot. Your corner case scenarios apply perhaps to you, although I doubt it, but they do not apply to the overwhelming majority of the nation's commuters. For nearly 9 out of 10 US commuters they could switch to an EV tomorrow and see no downside for the vast majority of their driving.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 4:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? Unless I work more than 65 miles from my home I don't see how that's the case. A worst case scenario where I lose 20% of my range in extreme cold, even with the cheapest and lowest range EV on the market, I don't see any way your scenario comes to pass. My work has power stations and that's increasingly the case around the country. As I pointed out before, even Walgreens has charging stations these days at most locations. Finding charging really is not the issue you make it out to be in most cities.

But even aside from that, very few people work more than 30 miles from their home. In fact, lets point out the status:

statisticbrain.com/commute-statistics/

According to the US DoT, 89% of all US commutes are 30 miles each way or less. The *vast* majority of those are under 15 miles(68% of the total). There is not a single EV on the market today from a major automaker that even if severely degraded could not handle those distances, both directions, on a single charge. With the heat running.

So yes. Don't be an idiot. Your corner case scenarios apply perhaps to you, although I doubt it, but they do not apply to the overwhelming majority of the nation's commuters. For nearly 9 out of 10 US commuters they could switch to an EV tomorrow and see no downside for the vast majority of their driving.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 4:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
Ugh, DT was not showing the post, sorry for the triple post folks. ;)


RE: You lose.
By Motoman on 1/27/2014 7:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For nearly 9 out of 10 US commuters they could switch to an EV tomorrow and see no downside for the vast majority of their driving.


Uh-huh. All you're doing is trying to justify getting everyone to buy an EV as a *second* car...because if they ever actually want to GO someplace it's a non-starter. How many people are going to go for simply adding an EV to their existing ICE car?

Also, cold weather losses are easily at least 25%...and there were plenty of reports of hot weather losses at about 50% of the range.

Basically the EV is a toy. If you live close enough to work to justify spending a huge wad of money on a toy then good for you.

Otherwise, it won't be a viable alternative to ICE cars until the points I made are addressed.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 9:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
autospies.com/news/Study-Finds-Americans-Own-2-28-V ehicles-Per-Household-26437/

Average household in the US has 2.28 vehicles. I'm not trying to get people to buy a second car as a 'toy' or anything else. I'm suggesting that in a typical household, which usually has a second vehicle, that one of those vehicles be an EV. Just like oftentimes the second vehicle is a minivan or pickup truck because those serve specialized needs. An EV serves the need of reliable, cheap transport around town for work, errands or other tasks.

Also, as I pointed out before, 89% of the workers in this country live close enough to work for such a vehicle to be useful.

Those points are the ones that matter to you. They do not matter to a lot of other people.


RE: You lose.
By Spuke on 1/28/2014 12:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, as I pointed out before, 89% of the workers in this country live close enough to work for such a vehicle to be useful.
Yet only 47,000 bought an EV last year (that's sales for ALL EV's combined) while 760,000 bought a Ford pickup. Don't like trucks? 408,000 bought a Toyota Camry. No one is interested in EV's even if it makes sense to you or the other person here. Sales trump all. I commute in what most consider to be totally impractical, a sports car. Yet it's imminently more practical than any EV. If my wife calls me at work and says, hey can you meet me at my nephews house (45 miles) after work, I just drive there. With an EV, I would have to drive home first (20 miles out of the way) and change cars. Why do I need a middleman? EV's do not compute. Would a Tesla S make the trip? Yep. But I can buy 3 cars for the price of one Tesla that will all drive as far as gas stations allow.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/28/2014 2:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
As pointed out previously, all new markets start at zero. Growth rate is what matters. A lot of people are just figuring out that EV's can make sense. As they do, they are buying more and more of them. There is no such thing as a brand new style of car that goes from zero to hundreds of thousands in only two years. You seem to be demanding something as 'proof' that has never happened before.

Next year when EV's sell more than 47,000 (actually around 95,000 when you add in plug in hybrids, or about a fifth of the total number of Camry's), you will then find something that sells more and claim that obviously people don't want them. Its an idiotic argument.

Using your own logic, obviously nobody wants Camry's. After all, nearly twice as many people bought a Ford pickup. Toyota is stupid for making Camry's when they could be making pickups. Derp.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 4:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? Unless I work more than 65 miles from my home I don't see how that's the case. A worst case scenario where I lose 20% of my range in extreme cold, even with the cheapest and lowest range EV on the market, I don't see any way your scenario comes to pass. My work has power stations and that's increasingly the case around the country. As I pointed out before, even Walgreens has charging stations these days at most locations. Finding charging really is not the issue you make it out to be in most cities.

But even aside from that, very few people work more than 30 miles from their home. In fact, lets point out the status:

statisticbrain.com/commute-statistics/

According to the US DoT, 89% of all US commutes are 30 miles each way or less. The *vast* majority of those are under 15 miles(68% of the total). There is not a single EV on the market today from a major automaker that even if severely degraded could not handle those distances, both directions, on a single charge. With the heat running.

So yes. Don't be an idiot. Your corner case scenarios apply perhaps to you, although I doubt it, but they do not apply to the overwhelming majority of the nation's commuters. For nearly 9 out of 10 US commuters they could switch to an EV tomorrow and see no downside for the vast majority of their driving.


RE: You lose.
By Spuke on 1/28/2014 12:14:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
For nearly 9 out of 10 US commuters they could switch to an EV tomorrow and see no downside for the vast majority of their driving.
Until it gets cold or hot then the range drops drastically. This is not up for debate and sales say exactly what people want and it's NOT EV's.

http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autos...


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/28/2014 2:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
246% growth rate year over year says the opposite. And that was with only two vehicles on the market. This year looks better with the Spark having a full year and more coming to market from the low to high end, including BMW.

And yes, in the cold and heat range does drop. That said, it does not drop as dramatically as it drops in my diesel Jeep. So what's your point?


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 4:00:26 PM , Rating: 2
To specifically address your conditions here -

quote:
When I do not have to worry about freezing

I am not certain what this means. If this means losing some efficiency in cold weather, well all vehicles do that, some more than others. EV's do not appear to lose more efficiency than many other engine types, and less than, say, diesel.

quote:
or not making it home from however many miles I WANT to put on the car,

I have no idea who makes a vehicle that can run perpetually. All vehicles have a range. When selecting a vehicle one should determine what the majority of their driving is and find one that suits their range. If you are driving 200 miles daily, a EV does not make a lot of sense. If you are driving 28 miles round trip to and from work daily, like I am, an EV could make a ton of sense.

quote:
and it doesn't cost OVER $20k, then you'll have a EV I could want.

The Chevy Spark EV starts at $19k and has a range of 82 miles per charge. For most people that would cover the overwhelming majority of their driving easily, and be very inexpensive to operate. In a two car household, where one vehicle could be the extended 'trip vehicle', a Spark makes a ton of financial sense as the commuter car for whoever has the longest or most frequent commute.


RE: You lose.
By flyingpants1 on 1/27/2014 5:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
Especially if you lease it for $199, at that price it barely costs more than public transit.

The Spark EV sucks though. It's mostly a compliance car. No matter what you say, a <100mile car will always be crap. The reason people think EVs suck is that manufacturers are not really trying, maybe because they don't think it's possible, or simply don't want to obsolete their current entire line of cars.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/28/2014 2:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
At that price, even factoring in electricity, it would be cheaper to operate the Spark EV than it would be to drive my already paid for Jeep, which averages me around $260/month in fuel before factoring in maintenance.


RE: You lose.
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 5:21:10 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The Chevy Spark EV starts at $19k


But the MSRP for a Spark EV starts at $26,685. If you are including the $7,500 tax break it only works out to $19K if you have a tax liability of at least $7,500 in federal taxes. For me I barely have a $5,000 federal tax liability so I would only receive $5,000 in tax credit if I purchase an EV. Also you only get this back in a tax refund, so you still have to put down the full price when you get your loan to purchase the vehicle, and if you purchase it after you file your taxes you have to wait a year to receive it back. So the marketing where they list the price minus the tax credit is very misleading. If someone makes $25K per year wants to purchase an EV, they will receive hardly any tax credit back on that purchase.

For EVs to really take off, you need to get them down to that price without any need for tax credits that only benefit the wealthy or upper middle class purchasers.


RE: You lose.
By Nutzo on 1/27/2014 5:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
1. Except that the majority of people do not park in a garage where they can charge a car (think apartment carport, driveway, parking on the street, etc)

2. So what do I do the 10% f the time whan I need more range? Have a spare ICE car. The insurance cost of keeping an extra car around would eliminate any savings. They's also the problem when you get in you car in the morning and find out your kid left it on empty. If it's and ICE, you just have to spend <5 minute at the gas station on the way to work. If it's an EV, you have to call in late while you wait for it to charge.

3. See #2

4. See #1. They don't make 220 volt exention cable that you can run out to the curb.

5. And the Prius use different batteries (Nimh), and doesn't put near the load/stress on the batteries as a full EV. We've already seen some cars with premature battery degradation, like some of the early Honda Hybrids and the Leaf in high temperature areas.

6. Ice vehicles have a higher and low operating temp range than current EV's.

7. Except these EV's all get government subsidies. Thier true cost to way to high for most people to justify getting one.

So in conclusion, currenrt EV's are not much more than street legal golf carts, with limited range, and most people don't have the ability to charge them at home, and even if they do, they will to also have an ICE vehicle for longer trips. And without the taxpayers to subsidizng the cost (same goes with solar panels) almost nobody would buy one.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/27/2014 6:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
1) This is a legitimate issue for a lot of people. One that likely will change as demand continues to rise. That said, I take issue with the 'majority' statement. Lots of people live in houses even within the city, and many apartments and condos come with a garage (think townhomes). More importantly, the actual population in a city is usually dwarfed by the suburbs, which are almost entirely houses. And whats wrong with charging in the driveway? You do not need to be under cover to charge. My diesel Jeep has a block warmer I would have to use if it got too cold out, you just run a cable to it. No big deal.

2) Most households in the US are two car already. In that scenario a ICE vehicle for the situations you describe and a EV for regular commuting makes the most sense in most cases. Furthermore, even for a single person, unless road trips are common they likely would still come out ahead financially by driving an EV and simply renting a vehicle or taking a train/plane to their destination for long trips. Remember, I would save about $3000/year switching from my Jeep to an EV, that would buy far more rental miles than I would use in most years.

3) See #2

4) See #1

5) We see vehicles with premature engine failures all the time. There will be good and bad EV's. Just like there are good and bad models with ICE.

6) Define operating temperature range? EV's work fine in Canada and Arizona. They simply see reduced range. Diesel is in a similar situation, arguably more extreme on the cold side of it.

7) Why should a buyer give a damn about subsidies? Unless you are an anti-government warrior, the 'true cost' is what I pay on the sticker. The 'how' of that price means nothing to me. I get that it means something to you, but that's your choice, and I choose not to give a damn.

Your conclusion is weird. EV's are safer, cheaper, better for the environment and in many cases funner to drive than ICE vehicles. At the least they make a ton of sense for many two car homes. Your conclusion makes assumptions that are not true for many, if not most people.


RE: You lose.
By Spuke on 1/28/2014 12:17:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your conclusion is weird. EV's are safer, cheaper, better for the environment and in many cases funner to drive than ICE vehicles. At the least they make a ton of sense for many two car homes. Your conclusion makes assumptions that are not true for many, if not most people.
Your assumptions that people want EV's fly in the face of reality. SALES numbers of EV's vs other vehicle speak overwhelmingly of gas powered vehicles. 15,600,199 cars sold in the US last year and a whopping 47,000 were EV's.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/28/2014 2:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
I pointed it out repeatedly before, but I'll add one more item here: 47,000 (and the plug in hybrids which you keep failing to mention were an additional 49,000 sales) were the entire amount manufactured and/or imported into the US market. Every single one made available was sold. Given the growth rate, given the fact that every one available was sold, your assertion is ridiculous.


RE: You lose.
By Nutzo on 1/28/2014 1:07:31 PM , Rating: 2
I live in track of homes with 2 & 3 car garages, yet the average is about 1 car per home in the garage. Over 1/2 the home don't park any cars in the garage. (I actually have both cars in my 2 car garage, but I'm the exception to the rule).

Years ago when I lived in a condo, with a 1 car garage, about 80% of the people used thier garages for storeage or extra living space. Even though the complex had a decent amount of extra parking, there would have been no way to charge an EV car that was not in a garage.

As for #6, I guess it means nothing that Nissan gave several refunds to people with Leaf's due to heat related battery problems.

As for being anti-government, I'm against taking tax money from the middle class and giving it to rich people to buy expensive EV toys.


RE: You lose.
By Reflex on 1/28/2014 2:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
autospies.com/news/Study-Finds-Americans-Own-2-28-V ehicles-Per-Household-26437/

As I pointed out before, that may be your anecdotal experience but it is not the national average. The largest group was three car or more homes. Most households buy a second car at least, and more than a third of them buy three or more cars.


Impressive...
By siconik on 1/27/2014 12:05:42 PM , Rating: 3
Considering that:
1) The Supercharger network has been around for a grand total of 16 months and
2) It's being done by a single company
...this is a pretty impressive accomplishment. I wonder how long it took the gasoline distribution network to go from inception to being able to support a cross-country trip. I would imagine quite a bit more than ~year and a half.




RE: Impressive...
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 12:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
30 years with Government founding.


RE: Impressive...
By Shig on 1/27/2014 12:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
The Network Effect is very powerful. Every subsequent network is technically capable of growing faster off the previous networks. Without our robust electric grid and cellular networks, this wouldn't be possible.


RE: Impressive...
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 12:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yes they plan to place solar on Supercharging stations so our Century old "robust electrical grid" wouldn't suffer.


RE: Impressive...
By M'n'M on 1/27/2014 2:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
You're joking I hope. Just what % of a cars energy do you think solar might reasonably supply in places other than Tucson, Az ?


RE: Impressive...
By flyingpants1 on 1/27/2014 4:47:36 PM , Rating: 2
All? It's a matter of building panels to offset future costs.


RE: Impressive...
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 5:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
http://1bog.org/blog/charging-an-electric-car-at-h...

This suggests it would cost $1800 for the solar panels needed to charge a Leaf each day if you have 5 hours of good sunlight in the Los Angeles area.

It also suggest that the pay back period versus using grid electric could be 14 years versus the solar investment.


RE: Impressive...
By flyingpants1 on 1/28/2014 4:52:09 AM , Rating: 2
Jesus, are you people braindead? Superchargers are not used every day.


RE: Impressive...
By JediJeb on 1/28/2014 4:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, so it would take even longer for solar to pay for itself when used to recharge vehicles. It would be much cheaper to just charge them from the grid.

If it happened that two cars needed to recharge from the same Supercharger station, then it would take 10 hours worth of sunlight to provide the power needed to charge both cars. So at best "all" would work if only two cars or less have to use that station in a single day where there are also 10 good hours of sunlight available. Also for solar to work you would need a high storage capacity battery system at the station to store the unused solar energy for those wanting to recharge at night or for when there are three or more cars wanting to recharge in the same day and not take 5 hours to do so. You would need quite a large solar panel system or large capacity battery system to provide enough power on demand for a quick charge using only solar energy.


RE: Impressive...
By flyingpants1 on 1/31/2014 2:07:32 AM , Rating: 2
You don't understand how this works at all. I suggest you read up before commenting.


RE: Impressive...
By MrBlastman on 1/27/2014 1:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
Stop relying on the Government for all your solutions. We have way too much of it in our lives. Everyone would be better off with less of it.


RE: Impressive...
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 1:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, gas stations stopped relying on Government subsidies after 30 years of initial help for their infrastructure.


What Tesla ought to do...
By milktea on 1/27/2014 3:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
What a family need is an EV 'MiniVan'. You cannot travel with several kids for a week long vacation in a Model S.

If Tesla, could turn a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna into an all EV minivan, then Tesla would get huge market penetration. Just think about all those soccer/baseball/football mom as your faithful customers. It's just insane to think about the potential disruptiveness to the automotive market of such offerings.




RE: What Tesla ought to do...
By flyingpants1 on 1/27/2014 4:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
They are doing that. It's coming out next year and it's called the Model X. It's meant to capture both the minivan and SUV market.

It will have two electric motors for AWD, and Elon has indicated it will be about $5k higher than the Model S, we'll see how much it actually costs.


RE: What Tesla ought to do...
By milktea on 1/28/2014 12:17:43 AM , Rating: 2
Model X is a 'crossover' suv, not a mini Van. A crossover cannot replace a minivan. It's simply not spacious enough for 7 passengers + cargo.

And believe me, a 'crossover' would not be able to capture both SUV and Minivan market.


RE: What Tesla ought to do...
By flyingpants1 on 1/28/2014 5:07:21 AM , Rating: 2
It's not meant to capture 100% of the minivan market, just part of it.

quote:
It's simply not spacious enough for 7 passengers + cargo.


... Um yeah, just watch the Model X reveal here, with 7 adults plus cargo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mURbzh9t0_0#t=742


RE: What Tesla ought to do...
By milktea on 1/28/2014 12:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I've seen the videos and I've seen lots more photos of it. And if you noticed, the video doesn't show any close up of the '3rd row'! That's the crucial difference between a large SUV from a MiniVan. The Model X 3rd row is diminutive to say the least. You can hardly fit a front facing car seat in it. And if you managed to do so, the child's leg would be crushed between the car seat and the 2nd row seat. And if you move the 2nd row seat forward to make room, then the leg room goes away on the 2nd row.

Here's the photo of the 2nd & 3rd row leg room...
http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/tesla-model...

Don't get me wrong, the Model X is a nice Crossover SUV, I really liked the falcon wing doors. But in the end, a MiniVan is much perfer for families with smaller kids.


RE: What Tesla ought to do...
By JediJeb on 1/28/2014 4:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
That rear seat reminds me of the one in the old Nissan Pulsar NX back when I was a kid.


No relief
By coburn_c on 1/27/2014 11:46:25 AM , Rating: 2
Gee I hope they don't get stuck in one of those 3+ hour dead-stop highway accidents in the mid-west. Might find them and their batteries froze to death on the interstate.




RE: No relief
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 12:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
Gee I hope you don't get perish in flames Paul Walker's style like 10.000 unfortunate Americans in 2013.


RE: No relief
By Spuke on 1/27/2014 2:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gee I hope you don't get perish in flames Paul Walker's style like 10.000 unfortunate Americans in 2013.
Gee you don't know sh!t about lithium ion batteries, do you? Do you think car fires will stop with EV's?


RE: No relief
By JediJeb on 1/27/2014 3:29:36 PM , Rating: 2
Don't drive like an idiot and the flames are much less likely to happen.

I imagine that in almost all of those circumstances someone, either in the car that burned or another involved in the accident, was being an idiot behind the wheel to cause such a tragic end.


RE: No relief
By M'n'M on 1/27/2014 4:23:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
perish in flames Paul Walker's style like 10.000 unfortunate Americans in 2013.

Are you saying that about 1/3 of all auto fatalities involve a fire ? I call BS in extremis . 10,000 Americans did not die by fire by all causes (auto, home, work, etc). The number was < 3500 in 2010, I doubt it tripled in 2013.

www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v14i7. pdf


Hi there
By flyingpants1 on 1/28/2014 3:39:36 AM , Rating: 2
Flyingpants here to defend Tesla from the luddites - mostly people aged 40+ whose brain cells have begun to atrophy. :)

Folks, at least those of you who aren't outright shills - it's time to make a sincere effort to stop being haters. Any new technology is going to have its kinks. In the case of electric vehicles and solar power, what do you get once the kinks are worked out and the technology is mature? Answer: 100% free, solar-powered, pollution-free, noise-free travel for everyone.

Take a minute to ponder the outright wonder of this accomplishment. A car company has actually enabled you to travel across the USA (and soon Europe), with an electric car, with solar power, for free, forever. That's big. Nothing like this has ever happened before in history.

And remember, Tesla launched their first vehicle only 6 years ago . Before that, EVs did not exist in any real sense.

For most people, driving from NYC to LA will be the longest trip they'll ever make. 8-10 hours of total charge time for a 3000-3600 mile trip is great compared to previous generations. Personally, I'd be comfortable with 15-minute stops, half an hour is a bit much. But for the time being, it's tolerable. Yeah it's annoying but it's also FREE, so every time you stop you can think "Wow, I'm actually saving anywhere from $800-2000+ in gas on this trip".

quote:
NO THANKS, I'LL STICK TO MY HORSE AND CARRIAGE.




RE: Hi there
By PaFromFL on 1/28/2014 8:24:42 AM , Rating: 2
... Answer: 100% free, solar-powered, pollution-free, noise-free travel for everyone...

We had the answer 100 years ago. The relatively quiet horse ate free solar-powered vegetation and recycled it into valuable fertilizer and nitrates. The horse did not require energy-intensive, polluting manufacturing processes and could be recycled into food, leather, and glue. The horse could even find its way home if the driver became incapacitated. Why did we ever give up this super-green technology?

Most people don't care about the green thing. They want to get where they are going as fast, easy, and cheaply as possible. When charging times approach that of a gasoline refill, battery-powered electric cars will dominate. Until then, people will prefer liquid fuel. In the meantime, mechanical drive trains will probably become extinct as soon as good hub motors are developed.


RE: Hi there
By flyingpants1 on 1/29/2014 6:21:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We had the answer 100 years ago. The relatively quiet horse ate free solar-powered vegetation and recycled it into valuable fertilizer and nitrates.


Right, and that wouldn't work today.

quote:
Most people don't care about the green thing.

I barely said a word about the green thing.. I wouldn't dare argue about climate change on DT.

quote:
When charging times approach that of a gasoline refill, battery-powered electric cars will dominate. Until then, people will prefer liquid fuel.


Says you. I think most people prefer cheap or free, over paying for gas. Even if they have to accept minor compromises.


RE: Hi there
By PaFromFL on 1/29/2014 8:54:37 AM , Rating: 2
Cheap or free will disappear as soon a fossil fuel is phased out. Federal, state, and local governments will increase taxes electricity to restore the revenue stream. It also will take decades to pay off the construction of new power plants and power grid improvements.


RE: Hi there
By JediJeb on 1/28/2014 4:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
what do you get once the kinks are worked out and the technology is mature?


Another 40 years older :)


What's the story with the batteries?
By bug77 on 1/27/2014 11:42:35 AM , Rating: 2
How many super-charges can the batteries take? Are they replaced for free when they start to die?




RE: What's the story with the batteries?
By tanjali on 1/27/2014 12:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla offer 8 years warranty with unlimited miles.
Some argue there is still over 70% after 500.000 miles driven.


RE: What's the story with the batteries?
By Spuke on 1/27/2014 2:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
There are Tesla S with over 500k miles?


By flyingpants1 on 1/27/2014 4:51:26 PM , Rating: 2
Elon claims there are, but no specifics. I'd like to see an independent outfit run a Tesla on cruise control 24/7 for a few years, and try to purposefully degrade the battery.


Cool, I guess
By RapidDissent on 1/27/2014 11:08:53 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, with 170 mile hops and 30 pauses to charge, a 40hr journey across I-80 from NY to LA adds 8.2 hours of just sitting waiting for it to charge... assuming a non-stop journey. And that doesn't count the time to actually travel to the supercharger stations.

If all you have is a Model S this is great news as you now have support to drive straight through or top off if you hotel doesn't let you charge overnight (I assume almost none would). For everyone else this is nothing to convince them that electric is ready for center stage.




RE: Cool, I guess
By FlyBri on 1/27/2014 12:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
Do any of Tesla's charging stations have the option to battery swap yet, or is that still being tested? If some do have that capability already, then it changes the situation quite a bit.

You are correct that it is quite the pain to have to sit there and wait numerous times for your car to charge on a long journey. That's why Tesla has developed a system that can swap out a drained battery for a full one in about 90 seconds. So once this option becomes available in a lot of their charging stations, a decent amount of criticism goes away. Of course there aren't anywhere near as many charging stations as there are gas stations, but battery swapping still makes the compromises of owning an all-electric vehicle much less.


RE: Cool, I guess
By Spuke on 1/27/2014 2:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do any of Tesla's charging stations have the option to battery swap yet
Nope.


Try a Volt instead
By foxalopex on 1/28/2014 11:17:51 AM , Rating: 2
Of course this is why I own a Volt instead. It has it's own gas engine which works without needing superchargers. Last summer, I took my Volt on a cross country trip.

Still you have to admit, it's pretty cool not having to pay for gas and energy to travel.




RE: Try a Volt instead
By flyingpants1 on 1/29/2014 6:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
If the new $30k Volt ever comes out, it will be awesome.


Now all we need...
By BaronMatrix on 1/27/2014 4:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
Is for the greedy oil IDIOTS to start generating electricity with gasoline...

Then you can have one station for both...

But then that will mean less emissions, which is obviously boring to them...

KEEP YOUR SOOT...




Tesla
By Richard875yh5 on 1/28/2014 9:51:45 AM , Rating: 2
Who wants to travel 200 miles and then have to wait 16 hours to get a full charge and then travel another 200 miles and repeat the same.
I don't care what Elon Musk tells you, it just will not work!!
But, many idiots thinks what Elon Musk does is super smart, no matter how dumb. That's why the Tesla stock price borders insanity.




I can tell from the map...
By rountad on 1/28/2014 3:17:43 PM , Rating: 2
...that Texans are quite standoffish.




"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki