Print 84 comment(s) - last by CaedenV.. on Oct 23 at 12:32 PM

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

Comments     Threshold

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

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?

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? (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.

By mdogs444 on 10/19/2012 8:25:59 AM , Rating: 5
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.

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.

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?

By Dr of crap on 10/19/2012 8:59:17 AM , Rating: 2

By Wy White Wolf on 10/19/2012 9:02:26 AM , Rating: 2

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.

By semiconshawn on 10/19/2012 11:54:36 AM , Rating: 2

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

By kattanna on 10/19/2012 10:58:25 AM , Rating: 2
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


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!

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.

By fleabag on 10/21/2012 9:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
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.

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.

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.

By othercents on 10/19/2012 8:50:03 AM , Rating: 2
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...

By rdhood on 10/22/2012 4:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

By fleshconsumed on 10/19/2012 8:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
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.

By othercents on 10/19/2012 8:51:43 AM , Rating: 2
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.

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??

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.

By FITCamaro on 10/19/12, Rating: 0
By knutjb on 10/19/2012 10:12:11 AM , Rating: 3
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.

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.

By semiconshawn on 10/19/2012 11:04:27 AM , Rating: 2
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.

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
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?

By FITCamaro on 10/19/2012 12:02:47 PM , Rating: 2

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.

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.

There is a rumor
By Beenthere on 10/18/2012 10:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
There is a rumor of a world wide economic depression making the rounds.

RE: There is a rumor
By macca007 on 10/18/2012 11:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite worldwide, Australia has weathered the storm for the second time.
But yeah these economic lows won't help these EV's, Small I.C.E. cars are so damn efficient and cheap to buy it will be a while before EV's can compete. They are way overpriced down here like everything else.

RE: There is a rumor
By StevoLincolnite on 10/19/2012 1:43:58 AM , Rating: 3
Australia has weathered the current and past storms.

But the Australian Government also went from having a 20~ Billion dollar surplus to being who-knows-how-much in debt.

End result from the debt is more taxes, Australian's already pay the highest amount for electricity in the world, the carbon tax increases that, so the people are being hit pretty hard. - Thankfully the average wage is 50% higher than the US, so it's not as bad as it seems in reality.

However, one great thing the Australian Government didn't do was spend money bailing out companies, they instead used the money to build and improve infrastructure and other "nation building" projects which directly made jobs.

The problem though with Electric vehicles is you are essentially moving the carbon production from the vehicle itself to the power plants, more energy is spent producing the actual vehicle and more rare earth materials are needed from places like China.

So attempting to remove the foreign oil dependency problem may work, but you instead shift to foreign everything-else dependent.

The USA actually has allot of resources available to it, amazes me though how unwilling the US is to actually mining it, where-as Australia capitalized on it's vast mineral wealth and became filthy rich.

RE: There is a rumor
By bobsmith1492 on 10/19/2012 6:46:20 AM , Rating: 1
US is hampered by relentless environmentalists. A few rare rats can halt a billion-dollar mine...

RE: There is a rumor
By bupkus on 10/19/2012 9:19:35 AM , Rating: 2
Bats are responsible for keeping the number of insects in check. Without bats it would be harder still to protect food sources.

Can I now imagine you covered with insects damning environmentalists for removing DDT from your shopping list?
See: Feeding and diet

RE: There is a rumor
By Spuke on 10/19/2012 9:55:47 AM , Rating: 1
Can I now imagine you covered with insects damning environmentalists for removing DDT from your shopping list?
I'd rather have the DDT honestly. Extremists of ANY form are a hindrance to society not a help. Without you people, we'd have a ton of nuke plants AND we'd have more alternative energy sources. Who knows, we might have had the infrastructure to support EV's!

RE: There is a rumor
By bobsmith1492 on 10/19/2012 10:29:28 AM , Rating: 2
Environmentalists can't read either, clearly. ;-)

RE: There is a rumor
By jimbojimbo on 10/19/2012 10:58:50 AM , Rating: 1
He said rats, not bats. And he's right. We have tons of rare earth metals we can mine but we can't because the companies have to get the approval first and one complainer with a lawyer can hold things up for years. It's a shame.

RE: There is a rumor
By bupkus on 10/19/2012 2:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
This comment is apparently spam and we do not allow spam comments.

RE: There is a rumor
By Nutzo on 10/19/2012 11:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the banning of DDT has led to the death of millions of people around the world. Just another typical environmentalist success story.

The problem with DDT was the way it was used, with massive spraying of farms and wetlands.
We really should bring back DDT for limited use such as spraying in homes (especially in the 3rd world) as it’s safer for people than most the alternatives.

RE: There is a rumor
By bupkus on 10/19/2012 3:06:05 PM , Rating: 2
Banned in the US in 1972,[5] DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide under the Stockholm Convention, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day and remains controversial

RE: There is a rumor
By FITCamaro on 10/22/2012 7:21:59 AM , Rating: 1
DDT was banned by an activist judge that completely ignored ALL of the evidence of testing that was done. There was absolutely no evidence of what the environmentalists were claiming (that DDT weakened the egg shells of birds) and he just banned it anyway. DDT is why Florida isn't just a big swamp riddled with disease anymore.

Thinking about EV range
By bildan on 10/18/2012 11:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
A thought occurred to me the other day. I'd guess the average ICE powered car on the road has about 150 miles of gas in the tank - or about half a tank. (My ex-wife's car always seemed to be on empty so she'd take mine.)

Compared to that, every electric should start the day fully charged with about 150 miles range.

Not so different.

Of course, filling a gas tank can be quick if there isn't a line at the pump. OTOH, a fully charged electric waiting for you in the morning takes none of your personal time.

RE: Thinking about EV range
By Solandri on 10/19/2012 3:47:51 AM , Rating: 2
If you're going to think of it that way, if all EVs have a nominal range of 150 miles, then those on the road have on average half a charge left, and thus they have 75 miles remaining.

For probably 95%-99% of most people's purposes, 100 miles is enough. It's the extra 1%-5% (vacations, days with lots of driving/shopping, etc) which are the deal-breaker. People want one car which handles 100% of their needs. They don't want a car which does 98%, forcing them to rent a different car for the 2% trips.

If you work out the math (fully taking into account depreciation of the car), the rental model actually makes fiscal sense. But the sense of ownership and the mistaken belief that miles are free just because you're already paying for the car swings it in the 100% car's favor. Depending on mileage of the car, each mile you put on it represents something like $0.15-$0.80 of depreciation. If you're going on a 500 mile weekend trip, why depreciate your car by $100-$200 when you can just rent one with unlimited mileage for $50-$100? The only catch is the time it takes to actually rent a car. This is where a new business model might help.

RE: Thinking about EV range
By Nutzo on 10/19/2012 11:53:41 AM , Rating: 2
If I already have a car for my normal commute, just taking a 500 mile trip is not going to drop the value of the car by $200.
Your numbers might nake sence if you are driving an expensive car, that is only a couple years old, and doesn't have the best resell value.

However, on my 10 year old, low milage mid size car, even a 5,000 mile trip wouldn't lower the resell value that much.

RE: Thinking about EV range
By Mint on 10/19/2012 3:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
An ICE has effectively unlimited range because you can add hundreds of miles of range with a 5 minute stop. The most advanced EV today is looking at adding maybe 130 miles in half an hour in the extremely rare chance that you even find a charger.

The future is not in EVs but in PHEVs. They use no gas for 80% of your driving and have the same effectively unlimited range of a gas car. The Volt is picking up steam, the C-Max Energy is well priced, and the Fusion Energy is also arriving.

RE: Thinking about EV range
By Nutzo on 10/19/2012 4:05:29 PM , Rating: 2
I was actually considering the C-Max Hybrid, even though the payback period is too long to completely justify buying one.
However, it has one major flaw: No Spare tire.
I believe the 2013 Fusion also doesn't include a spare. Instead they just give you a can of flat-fix and an air compressor. At least give me a temp spare so I can limp my way home or to the next town so I can get the tire fixed.

Have fun paying to getting your car towed 200 miles when you damage the sidewall while visiting Nation Park, or missing a wedding while you wait to have the car towed to the shop to have a tire replaced, or being stuck somewhere on a Sunday evening because there are no tire shops open.

By mandoman on 10/19/2012 8:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
What has happened to us as citizens of the USA?? We used to absolutely crave anything that was new, adventurous, different and high tech. EVs are at their beginning but not exactly bleeding edge tech y'all. Let's "get with the program"

I can't wait to get hold of an EV! I'd even go for a extended range hybrid like the Volt or a plug in hybrid like the "available in California only" plug-in Prius.

Since I got my 2010 Prius I've cut my gasoline bills by in excess of 50% and MAN does that feel good!!! As gas moves inevitably towards $5/gal it's going to feel even better.

Sure hope Mercedes brings it's diesel hybrid in the US along with it's 50+mpg.

Come on y'all --- these are exciting times in the car world.

RE: EV's
By ksherman on 10/19/2012 9:38:25 AM , Rating: 2
I agree! I'd love to be able to jump on a hybrid/EV or TDI for my commute.

Fortunately, where I work they have (only two) charging stations for EVs. I'd love to get a Volt, but part of the problem is that I can't charge at home, over night. I live in a townhome with no garage and no way to charge without a long a** cable. So the only place I'm able to charge is actually at work. That might work. But the other side is that a Volt costs $35-40k, that's a lot for me. Now I could save nearly $300 a month on gas, so there is that :)

RE: EV's
By Spuke on 10/19/2012 10:01:50 AM , Rating: 2
What has happened to us as citizens of the USA?? We used to absolutely crave anything that was new, adventurous, different and high tech. EVs are at their beginning but not exactly bleeding edge tech y'all. Let's "get with the program"
I'm happy with OUR collective choice. That tells me we still have some sense in our heads. This may be hard for you to understand but no one in the US is interested in a $30-$40k economy car. That's never been a hit sell and it never will be.

RE: EV's
By semiconshawn on 10/19/2012 11:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
We crave things that are new adventurous and high tech that dont suck. Not just any crap that comes along. If you think low horsepower ugly econobox cars are exciting times in the car world.....we differ on what exciting would mean.

RE: EV's
By geddarkstorm on 10/19/2012 12:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
You forget that us citizens of the USA are also generally smart enough to tell when something is a bad deal -- and especially when something is ridiculously stupid deal.


By yottabit on 10/19/2012 10:12:34 AM , Rating: 2
Once I own a house, I plan on using an EV vehicle

However it will probably not be a true EV. Most likely pick up a used Prius with a junk battery and do a plug-in conversion on it.

I do a lot of driving, and reducing gas would be a substantial savings.

By yottabit on 10/19/2012 10:13:54 AM , Rating: 2
The other thing that will be a necessary breakthrough for EVs is a change to our power grid. I really think more local power generation will solve that.

By jimbojimbo on 10/19/2012 11:05:32 AM , Rating: 2
I've thought the same about getting on board once I buy a house. However, if you do a lot of driving those conversions won't get you much since they have very limited mileage. I looked into it before. You'd have to pay a ton for the lithium batteries if you want any kind of significant improvement. It's more ideal for the short commutes like to the train station and such.

By fleabag on 10/21/2012 9:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
Good luck on a plug-in conversion on the Prius. The companies that made the hardware for plug-in prius conversions no longer make the stuff because Toyota came out with their own Plug-in prius. I know, because I was planning on doing that on my own Prius but quickly found out that the parts to do it are becoming scarce.

Tax Credit
By mchentz on 10/19/2012 10:20:32 AM , Rating: 2
How come the media and government don't understand that tax credits (Useless to most people that make under 100k and makes the EV's priced like a entry luxury car as a result)and the lengthy charging times which limits its usefulness are probably the 2 biggest issues with EV's? Not to mention there is barely any EV infrastructure.

RE: Tax Credit
By jimbojimbo on 10/19/2012 11:01:52 AM , Rating: 2
Useless to people that make less than 100k? What math are you doing and who does your taxes? Even if you earned 50k and paid, I'm being very easy here, 15% federal taxes, that'll get you your full $7,500 tax credit back. If you make 90k and aren't paying $7500 in taxes I'd like to know how you're doing it. I guess you could be giving 40k of it to charity... right?

RE: Tax Credit
By mchentz on 10/19/2012 11:38:09 AM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected. Married couples need to have a taxable income of 55k or more to benefit. So with normal tax deductions roughly means they have to have an income of over 70k not 100k as I originally stated. Single people probably have to make less since they are taxed at a higher rate.

BTW you are supposed to have a receipt for charitable donations.

RE: Tax Credit
By Dr of crap on 10/19/2012 12:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I do have a recept for every deduction I take!

<sounds of looking through lats of papers>

By mdogs444 on 10/19/2012 8:22:16 AM , Rating: 3
Who wouldn't want an EV in the days of paying $5 per gallon?

For starters - those who cannot afford $5/gal gas most likely cannot afford a $35-40k minimum for an electric car that actually does what they need it to.

In addition, when this administration says their energy policy will make electricity rates "necessarily skyrocket", why would anyone think that charging is going to be any cheaper than gas?

In my state alone (Ohio), it is expected to have a 400% increase in price for electricity because the EPA is forcing closure of coal power plants.

RE: Well...
By fleabag on 10/21/2012 9:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
Coal plants are f*cking dirty... If you don't like the price of electricity, maybe you should use less of it. I live in a 4K square foot house and my electric bill in california is $100 a month. California has nearly the highest electricity rates aside from Hawaii yet I have a reasonable electric bill. If I can have a decent electric bill, so can you if you conserve properly and replace your energy hogging appliances... This of course is assuming that you already have a high electric bill as it is.

By FITCamaro on 10/19/2012 9:18:42 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe you people in incredibly liberal areas of California are paying $5+/gallon, but the vast majority of the rest of the country is not.

People over there are completely out of touch with reality.

RE: Ahem...
By jimbojimbo on 10/19/2012 10:44:04 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, don't forget that the incredibly liberal Chicago has the highest gas prices in all of the continental US. We're also proud of our highest sales tax in the country as well. Did I mention this state, especially the city, is incredibly liberal?

RE: Ahem...
By Nutzo on 10/19/2012 11:55:49 AM , Rating: 2
I think we have you beat here in California.
We are still paying over $4.50 a gallon.

By btc909 on 10/18/2012 11:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for hybrid plugin EV cars. Will the auto industry get me to pay 40K+ for one, no they won't. Screw that price point.

By jimbojimbo on 10/18/2012 11:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
Don't worry, the government will make us pay $7,500 of that for you.

By ender707 on 10/19/2012 6:31:50 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with EVs is the same as with Solar Panels.

No one enjoys buying gas or paying PG&E for electricity.

However, if the cost of the EV payment is as high or higher than the payment for my (modest) Toyota Corolla plus my gas bill it does not make sense.

If I have to finance the solar panels for 15 years and pay just as much as my PG&E bill was it does not make sense.

I want the EV that costs the same as my Corolla but saves me my entire gas bill, and I want solar panels that reduce my monthly electricity payment, not match it.

Meanwhile I will just sleep soundly knowing I pitch in a little bit for everyone with the $$$ to buy a Fisker Karma.

RE: Cost/Benefit
By Nutzo on 10/19/2012 12:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but common sense is not allowed when talking about "green" energy. You are just suppose to shut up and pay.

I completely agree that the numbers don't add up for most people, in fact most people will actually spend MORE money for a EV or solar panels.

EVs vs Gasoline
By kitfox on 10/20/2012 6:30:19 PM , Rating: 2
(1) Less range
(2) Less power
(3) More expensive
(4) Lots of heavy metals/toxic chemicals
(5) Heavier curb weight
(6) Potentially dangerous in a crash
(7) Massive expense when the batteries inevitably fail
(8) Still uses fossil fuels in order to recharge (half of electricity comes from coal/petro)

You can't replace a good product with an inferior product and expect people to adopt it. Unless there's a massive change in batteries & how we get electricity - EV's are a dead end road.

RE: EVs vs Gasoline
By Raulio on 10/23/2012 2:22:45 AM , Rating: 2
Less range - true, but most commutes are are less than 40 miles.
Less Power -meh. debatable. and not really important.
More expensive - Debatable. Fewer repairs and maintenance.
Lots of heavy metals and toxic chem. -Total BS. try breathing Gasoline or crude oil. Lithium is the lightest metal there is.
Heavier curb weight- More BS. I own 2. One is 2300 pounds.
Dangerous in a crash - What isn't? I'd rather be in an EV than a Gas Bomb! I see cars catching fire every day. But people are numb to that.
Massive expense When batteries Fail - More BS. My most recent Gas Bomb needed $6K for a new transmission at 100K miles. And when you do replace the batteries, they will be more energy dense as the tech. improves.
Still uses Fossil Fuel. Maybe, but could also use solar, geothermal, wind, hydro, nuclear, and it's 85%+ efficient. ICE engines max out at 20% on a good day. Most fossil fuel energy is lost in heat.

When gas supplies run out (and they will) or get to $10/gallon like some part of the world, you will be begging for EV's; new battery tech or not.

All signs of real change in the WH
By Lord 666 on 10/18/2012 11:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
New POTUS in 2013.

Many of the ARRA projects either went over budget or were never completed. The green washing of 2008-2009 went flat with two solar firms going bankrupt. Now this news, the timing could not have been planned better.

Growing pains
By Philippine Mango on 10/18/2012 11:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously there are going to be growing pains and the fact that Obama thought 1 million could be sold by 2015 I thought was a little generous. Assuming Romney becomes president, I hope he doesn't do anything stupid and kill electric vehicles while supporting the oil industry and the status quo.

Didn't see that one coming
By bug77 on 10/19/2012 4:19:49 AM , Rating: 2
So people weren't buying EVs in the first place because they didn't want them. Then somebody has the idea of offering incentives for buying EVs. In a normal world, one would consider looking at whether these incentives have any effect over time, but did anyone bother to do so?

By Shadowmaster625 on 10/19/2012 9:55:04 AM , Rating: 2
That is what the subsidies do. If the subsidies continue, we can except rampant out of control price increases just like we see in college tuition and health care. All to pay for Solyndra after Solyndra after frickin Solyndra. The government needs to GET THE HELL OUT of the auto industry.

Forcing the Issue...
By Arsynic on 10/19/2012 10:10:07 AM , Rating: 2
This is what happens when government tries to force the issue instead of letting the market determine when these vehicles are ready.

Obama's proposed $10k credit
By jimbojimbo on 10/19/2012 10:32:10 AM , Rating: 2
I think his intent was to sell more EV vehicles by talking about trying to push for a $10k credit instead of $7.5k but if I thought there was the slimmest chance it would get pushed through I would NOT buy an EV car right now and just wait it out for that extra $2.5k.

Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
By Milliamp on 10/21/2012 12:12:12 AM , Rating: 2
I remember seeing the documentary "Who killed the electric car" about GM killing EV1. GM said EV wasn't commercial viable and all the people who were convinced killing it was just a big oil and government conspiracy to keep petroleum sales going. This was basically a majority view for a long time in some circles.

Fast forward to today, 16 years of battery technology later and EV is still struggling to make any footing and is plagued with problems, high costs, and poor performance. It looks like GM was right about it not being ready back in the 90's but I don't recall seeing anyone admit it.

By CaedenV on 10/23/2012 12:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
The 2 largest hurtles to electric cars are chargability, and price.

Yes, 60-75mi is good enough range for a single day for most people's commute, but sometimes you need to go further in a day and being able to have a 150mi range would make people feel more comfortable. Aside from the commute, it is a hassle to recharge every single night, and if something prevents the nightly charge (power outage, breaker flips, bad connector, chord becomes unplugged), then you are really up a creek. I think people would rest easier knowing that a charge is going to last them at least 3 days of normal use so that if something does happen, then they will not be stranded.
The other issue is how to charge it. Apartment yuppies who want EVs just to have one will not be able to simply throw an extension chord out the window down to the car (fire marshals frown on that). People like me have a home, but the garage may not be easily accessible (especially during winter), so we would need to bring a power line out to the street and hope that the neighbors do not help themselves to it during the day. There is simply no easy delivery system for most people.

The other obvious issue is the price of the car itself. I am in the market for a car right now as mine died last year, and things may be changing where my wife and I cannot share a car anymore (which has worked oddly better than expected so far). But here are my choices in the new market:
$15,000 for a base model commuter car that should average at ~36-38mpg for my commute, which would add up to a yearly gas price of ~$2,311 at $4/gal (though gas is currently $3.25, and expected to get below $3 next year... oh the joy on NOT living in California anymore!). This would also be saving me ~$750/year in gas costs over my wife's car that I am currently driving which would be nice to see.
The other option is $40,000 for a volt or leaf ($42K for the volt, $38K for the LEAF). I could drive the gas car for 11 years before I hit the purchase price for the EV. Considering there is a fuel price to use the EV (and a quickly rising price at that!), and that it would be hard to imagine a car lasting much more than 15 years, there would simply never be a break even point, much less a savings. I do not mind paying more up front for something if it is going to save me money in the end (like solar panels for the house that I plan on doing in a few years), but as of now it just doesn't make sense for people like me to even consider an EV.

What needs to happen is for the price to drop dramatically to have an entry level EV car near $20000, and fully loaded at ~$30,000. It will get there in time, but will take a long time to do it. The other thing is to develop some sort of 'light weight' removable battery or fuel cell which can charge via a solar panel during the day while you use another set on the road. Not a perfect solution, but that would be good enough to catch my interest.

In the end EVs are like most things that run on batteries, they may be a nice accessory... but not really a replacement for what came before it.

Meanwhile... natural gas cars seem like a pretty good idea. Cheaper build than solar, plus cheaper fuel that is easy to replace, while being cleaner than gasoline makes for a compelling argument.

Volt Battery Fire
By Jedi2155 on 10/18/12, Rating: 0
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki