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Cost, charging infrastructure and battery concerns are all reasons for the slowed adoption

Electric vehicles (EVs) are not taking off quite as expected, and if sales numbers don't start turning around, this could spell long-term trouble for the industry, according to a new report from The Detroit News.

Back in 2009, the Obama administration awarded $2.4 billion in stimulus grants for EVs and advanced batteries. The investment seemed promising, since gas costs continued climbing. Who wouldn't want an EV in the days of paying $5 per gallon?

The answer is, apparently, most people. Pushing EV adoption has been difficult for a few reasons, including cost (despite huge federal tax credits and incentives, EVs are more expensive than gas vehicles), slow deployment of charging infrastructure and battery worries.

Right now, the federal tax credit is $7,500 per EV in the U.S. President Barack Obama has proposed upping this figure to $10,000 in order to make EVs more affordable. He also proposed a $1 billion budget for speeding up EV deployment and charging infrastructure in 15 communities.

Despite these efforts, and the fact that EVs can lessen the U.S.' dependence on foreign oil and reduce global warming, there was one issue that likely scared many customers off: lithium ion battery problems.

One such instance was the Chevrolet Volt's battery fire in May 2011, where a Chevrolet Volt underwent a series of tests at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) facility in Wisconsin. Three weeks after a side-impact crash test on May 12, the Volt caught fire while parked in the testing center.

Fisker Automotive has recalled its EV batteries for the Karma due to recent troubles, and the Nissan Leaf recently experienced some issues with the Arizona heat.

2012 Chevrolet Volt plug-in and 2012 Nissan Leaf sales have been all over the map over the past year. In 2011, 7,671 Volts were sold while 9,674 Leafs were sold. From January to September 2012, Leaf sales dropped to 5,212 while Volt sales jumped to 16,348.

According to The Detroit News, this is because the Volt has an auxiliary gas engine that kicks in when the battery is drained. To some degree, it still relies on gas, and the U.S. just isn't ready to take gas completely out of the equation yet.

Nissan hoped to sell 20,000 Leafs this year, but clearly, that is unlikely to happen.

A recent hit to the EV industry was A123 Systems' bankruptcy filing earlier this week. A123 made EV batteries and developed advanced battery technology.

There are some bright sides to the EV industry, though. Ford just added 60 new EV engineers and doubled in-house battery testing, and Toyota is talking plans for new EVs and hybrids.

The adoption of EVs may just take some time, and could likely get a boost in the coming years as the CAFE standards for gas-powered vehicles continues to increase. The Obama administration just recently finalized the 54.5 MPG CAFE standards for 2017-2025 model years.

Source: The Detroit News



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EV's SUCK
By semiconshawn on 10/19/2012 1:33:08 AM , Rating: 4
100 miles maybe if you are lucky on a charge. With no A/C or heat mind you and only in perfect temp conditions. No widespread charging adoption in the wild. Econobox looking POS cars with prices that will buy you alot nicer "normal" car. It is a freaking shocker these things aren't flying out of the showroom. I mean who doesnt want a $30,000 yaris?




RE: EV's SUCK
By michael67 on 10/19/2012 3:49:11 AM , Rating: 2
People just don't get what EV's or what cars in general they have to buy.

People look at EV's as a replacement for there current car, thats the wrong way of looking at the problem.
They should get a small cheep light EVs to do there daily driving, and keep the normal car when need to go long distance or with more then 2 people.

EVs like the Renault Twizy, or the diesel plug-in hybrid 310mpg VW L1 or XL1 are imo the way to go, because why do we drive big cars 4 seats, if we 80~90% of the time sit in it alone?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_1-litre_ca...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szN3bLF1oP4 (Renault Twizy)

And no the Renault Twizy is also noting for me, because i need a closed car, as it rains often where i live, still the size and price (7000 euro) is right for me.

The average American will drive 33.4 miles a day, then the 60 miles most EV do is then more then enough for most people to go to work and do groceries and so on.

The thing is that 2 seater's are the way to go, people do 90% of there driving i a radius of 15 miles around there house, and most of it alone, so why use a big car if you can do it with a small one.

They just have to see them as personal vehicle like a motorcycle, and treat them that way, but with the benefit of them being a closed vehicle, that can be used all year around.


RE: EV's SUCK
By mdogs444 on 10/19/2012 8:25:59 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
They should get a small cheep light EVs to do there daily driving, and keep the normal car when need to go long distance or with more then 2 people.


Right....and where exactly are these "cheap" EV's? Are you actually suggesting that people spend an extra $15k, $30k, or $40k on a SECOND car just so they can do small errands? Do you realize how much you would have to drive that car in order to even come close to breaking even on that? Paying for 2 cars, insurance for 2 cars, registration each year for 2 cars, gas for one, and ever increasing electric rates on the other?

You're out of your mind.


RE: EV's SUCK
By FreeTard on 10/19/2012 8:31:05 AM , Rating: 2
That was exactly my thought.

I should buy a second car (EV) just to do errands. That's sort of insane.

I know, I should also buy a second house closer to work. Then buy a third house closer to the grocery store. A fourth house closer to my wife's work. That solves the commute perfectly.


RE: EV's SUCK
By othercents on 10/19/2012 8:47:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'm waiting for another Volt like vehicle that will fit my family of 5. The Volt is only a 4 seater, but does have the benefit of doing EV only for my commutes.

Right now I own one vehicle for my family, but if I was thinking about a second vehicle I would be looking closer at EVs for just a commuter car. Too bad at this point there is nothing priced right. I think if they brought the Renault to the US we might see a significant increase in EV sales. What two car family wouldn't buy a $9,000 EV with a $7,500 credit?


RE: EV's SUCK
By Dr of crap on 10/19/2012 8:59:17 AM , Rating: 2
ME!


RE: EV's SUCK
By Wy White Wolf on 10/19/2012 9:02:26 AM , Rating: 2
Mine


RE: EV's SUCK
By othercents on 10/19/2012 9:22:58 AM , Rating: 2
Wait a sec.. I just read some more Twizy news.

1) Twizy owners will be able to lease a battery for 45 Euros ($63) a month, with an annual cap of about 4,700 miles.
2) Twizy is legally classified in Europe as a heavy quadricycle which is not eligible for tax credit.

Those two things would take the Twizy off of the would buy list into the pile of rubbish the rest of the EVs went to.


RE: EV's SUCK
By semiconshawn on 10/19/2012 11:54:36 AM , Rating: 2
Mine.


RE: EV's SUCK
By bebimbap on 10/19/2012 3:39:51 PM , Rating: 2
"What two car family wouldn't buy a $9,000 EV with a $7,500 credit?"
NONE or very few

you only get the FULL $7500 tax credit IF you owe that much in taxes after deductions. Otherwise you'll probably only get 1-3k of that back. so think again about the tax credit, unless you earn at least $90-130k/year before taxes. If you are making 6 figures I highly doubt you'd buy a $9k car even with a $7.5k "credit"

And a 2nd car means you have 2 cars depreciating on your driveway instead of one. So all that gas money you save is probably going down the drain as depreciation/maintenance money anyway.

so for most people, buying a "cheap EV" as your 2nd vehicle you'll be MORE out of pocket than if you drove your other car more. even if you drove $4/gal for 100k miles @ 20 mpg the gas will only cost you about $20,000. of course you'll get better mileage than that. So if you are buying another car, and it costs more than $20,000 - ($400000/new car mpg) its probably not worth it. even at 100 mpg your new car would have to cost less than $16k for it to be worth it. or less than $12k at 50mpg and remember that newer car's insurance is usually more than an older car. So if you are trying to "save" money a new car is not the way to go. and EV's are not less than $20k anyway. you could add the $7500 tax credit but of course IF you qualify for the entire credit...

Now if you were to buy a 130mpg scooter, that costs only $1-3k then you have my blessings, as you'll truly save some out of pocket money in the long run


RE: EV's SUCK
By kattanna on 10/19/2012 10:58:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I know, I should also buy a second house closer to work. .where I keep my girlfriend on the side


there, corrected it for you

;>)


RE: EV's SUCK
By Arsynic on 10/19/2012 10:20:28 AM , Rating: 2
But you don't understand. You're saving polar bears and melting ice caps too!!! You can't put a price on that!


RE: EV's SUCK
By Nutzo on 10/19/2012 11:20:54 AM , Rating: 2
And that doesn’t include the high cost of electricity in some states, or the fact that many peopel in apartments and condos don;t have a place to plugin thier car over night.

Here is Southern California we have progressive electric pricing, the more you use the more you pay. Prices start at $.12 and quickly rise to $.32 per KWH. At $.32 per KWH, it would be cheaper to drive a Prius.

They do offer Electric Vehicle plans for cheaper after hour charging, but they don’t help much, and can even cost more than the regular service. You can install a separate meter, but it would take you years to recoup the $2,000-$3,000 installation cost. Or you could use the other Electric Vehicle plan, that charges as low as $.11 per KWH over night, but as high as $.60 per KWH during the day. Maybe ok if nobody is home all day and you leave the air off, but if you have a wife/kids home during the hot summer, the $.60 per KWH would more than wipe out any savings.


RE: EV's SUCK
By fleabag on 10/21/2012 9:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They do offer Electric Vehicle plans for cheaper after hour charging, but they don’t help much, and can even cost more than the regular service. You can install a separate meter, but it would take you years to recoup the $2,000-$3,000 installation cost. Or you could use the other Electric Vehicle plan, that charges as low as $.11 per KWH over night, but as high as $.60 per KWH during the day. Maybe ok if nobody is home all day and you leave the air off, but if you have a wife/kids home during the hot summer, the $.60 per KWH would more than wipe out any savings.


You sure you read that correctly? I'm with PGE in northern california and it says that if you have a separate meter for your electric car, in the lowest tier of usage, you pay $0.04 per KWH for off peak charging. I just looked up Southern California Edison electric rates for electric cars and if you charge offpeak, you pay $0.06 per KWH which is close to what I would pay. Do understand that at $0.06 per kwh, that's the equivalent of paying $2 per gallon gasoline? Pair that with a car that gets 118mpg like the Honda Fit EV, and now for 15,000 miles of driving (one year's worth) you're only paying $261 in energy costs... This obviously doesn't consider the cost of buying a new vehicle, battery degradation, etc. etc. but it does prove the point that EVs are very efficient and cost effective once the price of the batteries goes down and the capacity goes up which is slowly but surely happening.


RE: EV's SUCK
By jimbojimbo on 10/19/2012 11:21:20 AM , Rating: 2
He could do what I do and get an electric bike! 15 miles is too far but I can easily go 6 miles one way with little to no pedaling. In Illinois anyway you don't need registration or insurance so it's basically free.


RE: EV's SUCK
By Dr of crap on 10/19/2012 8:42:57 AM , Rating: 2
Well nice thinking, but you're not from the US.

First we want everthing bigger, including our vehicles. That's why the pickups and SUVs were such a big hit.

Second we can't get the Twizy or the VW L1 or XL1 whatever those are. And since they are most likely very small, it won't sell here. Most here would not even consider the smaller Fiesta's or Yaris's or fill in any small car here. With the thinking, if I get in a accident with a semi in THAT thing I'm dead.

I agree for the commuting car a 2 seater with a high mpg would be fine and a bigger car for the family would fill out nicely. Problem = both parents work. So one is driving the SUV and the other is driving the 2 seater. And if the 2 seater driver has to pickup the kids from daycare - oops they don't both fit in the car.

You paint a wonderful picture of what might work, but in the real world it doesn't work.

And the studies that most drive less then 20 miles a day to work - I don't agree with those numbers at all. I drive 60 miles round trip. AND with ALL those cars on the road with me, I'd be guessing most commutes are 40 miles and longer in the bigger cities. If you take the ENTIRE county then the number becomes smaller. BUT in the bigger cities, bigger commutes.

Your ideas won't work in the US, sorry. Nice thought though.


RE: EV's SUCK
By othercents on 10/19/2012 8:50:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most here would not even FIT INTO the smaller Fiesta's or Yaris's or fill in any small car here.


I fixed it for you...


RE: EV's SUCK
By rdhood on 10/22/2012 4:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most here would not even FIT INTO the smaller Fiesta's or Yaris's or fill in any small car here.


True, but not in the way that you imply. At over 6' tall, I have never even considered a Fiesta or Yaris. There isn't enough leg room for me to fit comfortably in most subcompacts... especially Toyota. OTOH, Honda and Nissan seems to be able to create enough leg room in their vehicles for a 6'+ driver.


RE: EV's SUCK
By jimbojimbo on 10/19/2012 10:26:05 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that most people drive 20 miles to work and just because you drive 60 doesn't mean it's false. Hell, most people I know drive 0 miles to work or up to 5 miles with a train ride. I think that more than averages out your 60 down to 20.


RE: EV's SUCK
By Dr of crap on 10/19/2012 10:37:15 AM , Rating: 2
Like I said if you go to the bigger cities the communte rises. Small towns don't have big commutes, and New Yokers use trains.

My observations here is that the roads are full of cars for 3 hours morning and night, and if most only drive 10 miles then why is the sprawl so wide here? It's spread is 100 miles from east to west? Yep the exburbs last for at least that far.

Yep some drive a little, BUT a lot drive more than 20 miles one way!
By MY observation only.
I didn't state it as fact.


RE: EV's SUCK
By jimbojimbo on 10/19/2012 10:53:01 AM , Rating: 2
Chicago isn't a big city?


RE: EV's SUCK
By semiconshawn on 10/19/2012 11:11:58 AM , Rating: 2
Well big only if you count people and sq. miles.


RE: EV's SUCK
By Nutzo on 10/19/2012 11:30:49 AM , Rating: 3
I only drive 6 miles to work, all city driving, long stop lights etc. So, you'd think that a hybrid or electric car would be the perfect choice, however it isn't.

Since I only drive around 5,000 mile/year, even at $4.50/gal, there isn't enough savings to justify spending and extra $3,000 on a hybrid over a 4cyl car. Add in the extra insurance cost of a hybrid and my break even point is 9 years.

A fully electric car wouldn't work either as a few times a year I need to drive over 100 miles.


RE: EV's SUCK
By fleabag on 10/21/2012 9:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
Not today they wouldn't work for you. Primary reason to want an electric car if you drive as infrequently as you do is that a car driven that infrequently is going to have a lot more mechanical problems than one that is driven very frequently for more miles. Maintenance costs will be the same for your vehicle whether driven 3K miles vs 12K miles because a lot of maintenance is based on time and not miles. Also cars driven for short distances get lots of carbon buildup and just are more of a headache 10 years down the road than those driven 50 miles per day.


RE: EV's SUCK
By fleshconsumed on 10/19/2012 8:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They should get a small cheep light EVs to do there daily driving, and keep the normal car when need to go long distance or with more then 2 people.


That's the problem. Most people cannot afford to buy and keep two cars. One, most of the time they just do not have the money to buy two cars, and two, most of them are renting, so they have limited parking options available to them.

The situation you describe works better for families, get one EV and one ICE car, however, even then you're still left with a question, why would you buy EV, if it will take 10-15 years to recoup the extra cost vs buying something like Nissan Versa?

Bottom line is until EV/Hybrids come down in price, or until there is some kind of technological breakthrough that allows you to fully recharge EV in less than 15 minutes, the sales will continue to struggle.


RE: EV's SUCK
By othercents on 10/19/2012 8:51:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
One, most of the time they just do not have the money to buy two cars, and two, most of them are renting, so they have limited parking options available to them.


Not to mention renters don't have electrical outlets for them to plug in their EVs.


RE: EV's SUCK
By marvdmartian on 10/19/2012 9:50:08 AM , Rating: 1
And even if they cheated, and ran a heavy duty 110v extension cord from their apartment, the charging time for that voltage is oftentimes over 10 hours (only 220v chargers give 2-3 hour charges, if I remember correctly).

Who really wants to do that? Plus, if you have a longer commute, you might have to charge up at work. Doubtful that an employer is going to offer charging stations.

And then there's the problem that parts of the country will be so unbelieveably hot or cold during part of the year, that the use of the heater or A/C cuts into your battery range.....

All in all, maybe good for city dwellers, but even that has its downside. Ever price out parking in NY City??


RE: EV's SUCK
By jimbojimbo on 10/19/2012 10:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
I live in the city and park in a parking garage. The problem is EVs may be good for the city but not good for the city dwellers since there's nowhere to charge them! It's literally impossible for me to charge it... legally anyway.


RE: EV's SUCK
By FITCamaro on 10/19/12, Rating: 0
RE: EV's SUCK
By knutjb on 10/19/2012 10:12:11 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
People just don't get what EV's or what cars in general they have to buy.
What cars they have to buy? The problem is that most of these cars are uncomfortable. The last prius I drove had a ride like a buck board. My budget doesn't allow me to indulge in such luxuries like EVs. Until EVs can stand up to gas don't tell me what I should buy. Because you think I am too stupid to know what kind of car I should buy only shows how much you don't know. Most people I know do not fall into the "average American."

I happen to live in an area that is very hard on batteries. The distance I drive to school would put an EV at the edge of its capacity at its maximum, fair weather capacity. Triple digits or arctic snaps could put me in a dangerous position.

EVs really are not that much more capable than a Baker Electric. http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/cars/baker/the-100-y...

A hybrid is a possibility, but it is nowhere in my budget. Until these cars are fully competitive vs gas without taxpayer funded incentives or artificially inflated gas prices, you haven't a leg to stand on. I do get what works for me and EVs are not ready for prime time.

Get off the guilt trip. Look at all the waste fraud and abuse with all the money the government "invested" in clean energy programs, very little falls into the well spent category. Contrary to un-scientific belief, the sky is not falling.


RE: EV's SUCK
By semiconshawn on 10/19/2012 11:04:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
People look at EV's as a replacement for there current car, thats the wrong way of looking at the problem.


So in your scenario I should buy an ev in addition to my car? Jeez think of all the money ill save spending $25000 on a spare car (an ugly small crappy one at that). Thats the wrong way of SOLVING the problem.


RE: EV's SUCK
By wookie1 on 10/19/2012 11:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
Your solution to EV's being too expensive is to buy another car? Here's a partial list of the costs that will nearly double since you will have 2 cars:

License tax and registration
Insurance
Depreciation (value of both cars decreases over time)
Tires (they dry rot even if you're not driving)

I don't particularly enjoy the costs of owning 1 car, now your suggestion is to double-down?


RE: EV's SUCK
By FITCamaro on 10/19/2012 12:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Insurance


Well to be fair, not necessarily true. When I had my Saturn and my GTO, it cost me the same as just having the GTO before it.

But it'd likely go up here since the EV would be far more to insure.

And tires take years to dry rot.


RE: EV's SUCK
By PaFromFL on 10/19/2012 9:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
Drivers may have improved their math skills. If you drive 100,000 miles before trading, get 30 mpg, and gas is $5 per gallon, the fuel cost is $16667. If an EV gets an equivalent 100 mpg, the cost is $5000. The higher price and faster depreciation of the EV will wipe out any fuel savings, and the EV has the additional disadvantage of being a crappy car.

If you're like me, it will take over 10 years to drive 100,000 miles, so the fuel savings per year is not a big deal. EVs have the potential to be a better car with more interior room, all-wheel drive, and a sporty active suspension. At that point, I might buy one.


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