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  #21  
Old March 13th, 2013, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
I want to like the Volt, but it's a very, very small car. It is similar in concept to the plug-in prius - except that it has the interior of a Honda Civic from the 90's, as opposed to the Prius, which feels like a modern Camry on the inside.
My DD is a '12 Focus so I like a smaller car around the city. I dont find it to be that small though. Also, its a hatch which appeals to me since I hate(/ see no point to) sedans. The interior isnt that bad either. I would take a Volt over a Prius. GM is even ramping up production due to demand.

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Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
I agree you need at least one other car that can do long trips but combining them has their negatives as well. The Fisker is sweet but even more expensive iirc.

The press you recently saw really wasn't bad for Tesla and it was really more about a guy who didn't charge the car properly when doing a test drive. You wouldn't not buy gas if you were on empty and kept passing gas stations would you? That's what Broder did, including not charging the car overnight (a no brainer) and also attempting to kill the battery intentionally. The only real problems revealed were that the range is reduced in cold weather (but still more than acceptable) and that the software reporting the range was inaccurate at times.
I like the Fiskers but they are more expensive than Telsas. Thats because theres more to them. The only thing that I dont like about them is the front end. It looks like it was inspired by Denis Gage's mustache.

The bad press was a perfect example of the drawbacks to an electric only vehicle. It pointed out the lack of infrastructure to support it. There are only a couple of 'superchargers' on the East Coast and unless you plan your trip around them, you will have issues. A lot of hotels/ motels do not have charging stations so not being able to charge over night is a pretty big issue. He also took some off the planned route (a route laid out by Tesla) side excursions which happens when you are on a road trip. Perfectly acceptable. As for killing the battery intentionally, its a car test, isnt it? Isnt the point of a test to show the short comings of a car? In this case, an electric only car buyer would probably want to know what his car can do and for how long. Same as a gas car buyer would. Apparently, driving a Tesla through NYC rush hour is a no go.
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  #22  
Old March 13th, 2013, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
I agree you need at least one other car that can do long trips but combining them has their negatives as well. The Fisker is sweet but even more expensive iirc.

The press you recently saw really wasn't bad for Tesla and it was really more about a guy who didn't charge the car properly when doing a test drive. You wouldn't not buy gas if you were on empty and kept passing gas stations would you? That's what Broder did, including not charging the car overnight (a no brainer) and also attempting to kill the battery intentionally. The only real problems revealed were that the range is reduced in cold weather (but still more than acceptable) and that the software reporting the range was inaccurate at times.
Exactly. The road trip scenario with stretching range on the car does show the car's main current shortcoming, but the way this journalist did it (not thinking he'd be caught) will very likely cost the NYT many millions in a future settlement. Dozens of Tesla owners have duplicated Broder's trip with no issues. The guy drove in circles in a parking lot at one point...it was plain stupid.

The Fisker looks cool, but the car is garbage. I considered one for a split second, but get inside one and you feel like you're in a kit car made by a complete amateur. In comparison, he Tesla's media/map/tech interface are beyond anything on the market. Tesla also is going to be 5 years ahead of schedule paying back loans and doesn't have a battery manufacturer that went into bankruptcy. I'd like Fisker to succeed, but I don't feel good about the company's future.

------ Follow up post added March 13th, 2013 09:17 AM ------

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Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
I think a leaf is already lighter than a defender. Not sure about the tesla products, but they say the low center of gravity makes them handle well too.
This is the best-handling sedan I have ever owned, and frankly I feel nearly as good about driving it hard as I do my 911. It's ridiculous. BUT...where handling is phenomenal at low speeds, I'm not as confident with the car at high speeds. It's so aerodynamic that it seems a bit twitchy on the highway and in gusty winds.
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  #23  
Old March 13th, 2013, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Viggen View Post
The bad press was a perfect example of the drawbacks to an electric only vehicle. It pointed out the lack of infrastructure to support it. There are only a couple of 'superchargers' on the East Coast and unless you plan your trip around them, you will have issues. A lot of hotels/ motels do not have charging stations so not being able to charge over night is a pretty big issue.
Superchargers will help for sure, but agreed that it will limit the practicality of road trips for the current car. I'm sure 10 years from now the batteries will go many times as far and weigh a fraction of what they do now. Having chargers at hotels that you can reserve will be very important for the future of electric cars. I can get from Dallas to Austin in my Tesla, but I'd have to plug it in at a charging station in a parking garage about 1/2 mile from my hotel...which isn't exactly convenient. The future supercharger between the cities takes away that need, but it'd be nice to have a better hotel charging option in the meantime. Charging stations are an easy way for buildings to get points when going for LEED green certification, which will help them become more common for new/future hotel construction.
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  #24  
Old March 13th, 2013, 10:55 AM
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I put myself on the waiting list for one of these a couple years ago...ended up getting a d90 instead
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  #25  
Old March 13th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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On a related note, Mr. Fisker, of Fisker autos, just resigned...
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  #26  
Old March 13th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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750cc 3 cylinder turbo diesels running on sunflower oil powering composite body two seaters is what we need. 120 MPG plus. Electric cars will never be mainstream unless there is a standardized battery pack that allows you to drive into a "filling station" automatically swap batteries with fresh (in less than two minutes), and go . Having to be tied to a charging station keeps them from being anything but oddities.
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  #27  
Old March 13th, 2013, 11:17 AM
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yeah my wifey's Prius could fit inside my Ford...all is good - we balance ea other out! As we should.
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  #28  
Old March 13th, 2013, 11:19 AM
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Bill, think about your normal driving for a moment, including driving to the shore. You can do everything you do with existing technology today without being "tied to a charging station" - simply plugging in at night.

Inductive charging will be mainstream soon enough, meaning you won't even plug in so it will be effortless to keep it charged (for the Broders of the world).

And battery technology is advancing anyway. In a few years they will have much higher capacities and will be able to be fast charged - in a few minutes, so really no longer than a slow gas pump.

I'm all for diesel too, but it faces the same marketing challenges as pure electric does. People think it's dirty, noisy etc. I think we are close to the tipping point for that too though.

But agreed a big part of the solution for all forms of propulsion is to lighten the weight and improve aerodynamics.
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  #29  
Old March 13th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Bill, think about your normal driving for a moment, including driving to the shore. You can do everything you do with existing technology today without being "tied to a charging station" - simply plugging in at night.
You're right, up to a point. People who live where they don't park in the same spot every time (like in the city) or want to take the electric car to somewhere a thousand miles away, or go someplace where there isn't any juice, or lose power from storms, and a bazillion other scenarios....would need to wonder how to recharge.
Personally I could fit a plug in electric into my life easily as I drive to the Metro lot and take the train. Don't need my giant 4WD SUV for that certainly.
If you can get the fuel you need at a grocery store, wouldn't that be more appealing?
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  #30  
Old March 13th, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
I think a leaf is already lighter than a defender. Not sure about the tesla products, but they say the low center of gravity makes them handle well too.
I mean they handle ok, but the weight makes them handle a lot less well than a comparable gas powered car. Let's just say I was not particularly pleased with the way they drove -- especially the tesla roadster having owned the gas version (the elise) it was a big difference. In my view they ruined a perfectly handling car by making it a porker. The leaf weighs 3400-3500lbs which is only slightly less than a D90 so I do take your point, but that weight on a sub compact is insane.
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  #31  
Old March 13th, 2013, 12:10 PM
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[QUOTE=cgalpin;421184.....
The press you recently saw really wasn't bad for Tesla and it was really more about a guy who didn't charge the car properly when doing a test drive. You wouldn't not buy gas if you were on empty and kept passing gas stations would you? That's what Broder did, including not charging the car overnight (a no brainer) and also attempting to kill the battery intentionally. The only real problems revealed were that the range is reduced in cold weather (but still more than acceptable) and that the software reporting the range was inaccurate at times.[/QUOTE]

That journalist is an idiot and Tesla is making it ther mission to ruin him. He had no idea they head telemetry in the vehicle that traced his every move... and he basically was a outright liar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LagunaDallasD90 View Post
Superchargers will help for sure, but agreed that it will limit the practicality of road trips for the current car. I'm sure 10 years from now the batteries will go many times as far and weigh a fraction of what they do now. Having chargers at hotels that you can reserve will be very important for the future of electric cars. I can get from Dallas to Austin in my Tesla, but I'd have to plug it in at a charging station in a parking garage about 1/2 mile from my hotel...which isn't exactly convenient. The future supercharger between the cities takes away that need, but it'd be nice to have a better hotel charging option in the meantime. Charging stations are an easy way for buildings to get points when going for LEED green certification, which will help them become more common for new/future hotel construction.

Your not going to see electric vehicle charges at gas stations... your going to see them throughout your every day route. Malls, Hotels, stores, banks, public parking lots etc.... The DC quick charges w/ exist maybe on highway rest stops but thats not going to be where the majority of people charge up. Its more of a behavioral thing.... get to the store, hook up your car. Your not going to be filling up so to speak as much as topping off more often. As for the LEED points, EV stations are such a small amount of what it takes to get a LEED accrediation, its not a reason for existing bldgs to put them in. It does make sense for stores and business b/c people who use them tend to DOUBLE their time in the store!


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Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
750cc 3 cylinder turbo diesels running on sunflower oil powering composite body two seaters is what we need. 120 MPG plus. Electric cars will never be mainstream unless there is a standardized battery pack that allows you to drive into a "filling station" automatically swap batteries with fresh (in less than two minutes), and go . Having to be tied to a charging station keeps them from being anything but oddities.
No way - not gonna happen, and no need. We make DC Quick charges that can charge a city bus from almost 0-80% in 4-6 minutes... thats faster than anyone is going to be able to swap a battery pack.


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Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
.....
Inductive charging will be mainstream soon enough, meaning you won't even plug in so it will be effortless to keep it charged (for the Broders of the world).

Not gonna happen. Its highly inefficeint and produces wayyy to much heat....
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  #32  
Old March 13th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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But Bill you said they would never be anything other than oddities, which is what I am contesting. Of course it's not for everyone, but I'd argue its a good match for a large percentage of people. Yes I think you'd need a second car or rent one occasionally if needed, no dispute there.

And yes, I look forward to the day my car will inductively charge while I am in the grocery store. Depending on my habits I may never need any other place to fuel :tongue

As a general rule though they are way too expensive right now for most people so until it makes economic sense (like the prices drop a lot and fuel prices go up a lot) then I concede it will still be a bit of an oddity in your eyes .
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  #33  
Old March 13th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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Gasoline has around 33 kWh/gal.
Diesel has around 38 kWh/gal.

Therefore, a gas vehicle that gets 35mpg returns 1.06 miles / kWh. An equivalent diesel vehicle that gets 50mpg returns 1.31 miles / kWh.

The Tesla is advertised to return 265 miles for 85 kWh. Despite somewhat primitive electric vehicle technology, this corresponds to 3.117 miles / kWh. Real world reports on the internet seem to put range around 200-220 miles. At the low end, this still corresponds to 2.35 miles / kWh.

This is the main reasoning behind the push towards electric vehicles. The good thing is that the 2.35 miles / kWh number has only one place to go and that is up.
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  #34  
Old March 13th, 2013, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Viggen View Post
On a related note, Mr. Fisker, of Fisker autos, just resigned...
Yes, I just caught that on my Autoweek feed. He said "major disagreements with the mgmt team" is the reason he's resigning. I'll be curious to see how this transpires.

The Tesla model S is indeed a nice car, nicer than Fisker's Karma IMHO. They have a "store" at a major mall here in our area, which is a pretty interesting marketing concept. Mall patrons always gather around that store and they have a couple of models to toy around with.

They also have a savings comparison chart on a touch screen where I had them plug in the savings over my Range Rover and I think I would save a gazzillion dollars in gas if I traded in my rangie for the Tesla S.

They offer test drives but only to serious buyers with down payments.
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  #35  
Old March 13th, 2013, 01:57 PM
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Portland is crawling with these goddamn things...
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  #36  
Old March 13th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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Portland is crawling with these goddamn things...

I was just there for trainign on our EV stations.. we have (2) installed on electric Ave... by the university.
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  #37  
Old March 13th, 2013, 03:26 PM
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  #38  
Old March 13th, 2013, 04:13 PM
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To follow that through, how much coal to make a kWh to charge the battery? If you are looking at efficiency of energy, you need to look cradle to grave.
You make a valid point. Cost of coal power is 2.83 cents/kWh. Cost of gasoline at $3.50/gal is 10.6 cents/kWh. So not only is coal 3.7x cheaper, but the coal-powered electric car is (currently) almost 2.5x more efficient.

Admittedly, there are huge costs (taxes, etc) baked into the gasoline price figure which artificially inflate the cost of gasoline.

I personally view electric cars from an efficiency standpoint, the "greenness" or lack thereof is relatively uninteresting to me (as my 200tdi demonstrates!)
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  #39  
Old March 13th, 2013, 06:04 PM
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Tesla? Got at least 8 around me but then I am 1/2 mile from their head office. The best is the earlier model Tesla sitting on the Mclaren lot. Is that a tade up or lateral?
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  #40  
Old March 13th, 2013, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
The Tesla is advertised to return 265 miles for 85 kWh. Despite somewhat primitive electric vehicle technology, this corresponds to 3.117 miles / kWh. Real world reports on the internet seem to put range around 200-220 miles. At the low end, this still corresponds to 2.35 miles / kWh.
Correct. I'm getting about 200 miles per charge in my 85, which is mostly city miles with occasional obnoxious blasts of range-killing acceleration. It's rare that I drive more than 50 miles around Dallas without returning home, so I only charge every 3-4 days and I usually have 75+ miles of range left. The chargers you see around town at grocery stores and such aren't relevant to Tesla owners unless they're on a road trip, as the 85's range is long enough that I'll never need anything but my home charger unless the trip is about 100 miles each way.

------ Follow up post added March 13th, 2013 05:42 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn_Guinto View Post
They also have a savings comparison chart on a touch screen where I had them plug in the savings over my Range Rover and I think I would save a gazzillion dollars in gas if I traded in my rangie for the Tesla S.

They offer test drives but only to serious buyers with down payments.
Many of the stores will allow you to sweet talk them into a test drive if they have the staff available and no other reservations on the books at the time you'd like to drive the car. They get a LOT of foot traffic in the retail locations. There are plenty of tire kickers who would love to drive the car without any intention of buying, so they keep it strict so they have enough in-store staff to handle the crowds. I think they would be silly to not have SOME flexibility in the policy as long as the person wanting to test drive appears to have serious intentions about considering it. All of that will loosen up as time goes on.
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