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Ladies and Gentlemen, the End of an Era...


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Without boring the masses with all of the details, the US was on its way to reliable domestic hybrid electric and full electric cars in the 90s, but then the price of oil dipped below $20/bbl, and all of those projects were shelved, with resources reallocated to building highly profitable muscle cars, pickups and SUVs...so profitable that the poorly managed Big 3 were pleading poverty within a decade.  EV1 was successful but costs were prohibitive at the time, though GM was looking at leases instead of sales with the balance to come from DOE grants and tax incentives that eventually evaporated.  Chrysler had several hybrids in Neons and Caravans, but Daimler considered these a waste of time, eliminating those development programs.  Battery technology was turning the corner, with lithium ion being challenged by a new lightweight environmentally friendly design that required a space age material developed in a zero-g environment, but again DOE funding evaporated and licensing patents were purchased by large battery companies who have sat on those patents for 2 decades.  Infrastructure is the biggest hurdle now, as this is government regulated and energy companies are currently not incentivized to update anything.  An emerging technology would effectively turn paved roads into electrified trolley tracks, but this would require massive government investment in an era where there has been no Congressional budget in a decade, so that technology may never materialize.  Self-driving cars are coming, which somewhat coincides with GM's move away from hydrocarbon fuels, but there are sure to be legal challenges to overcome with liability on property loss and casualties...there might be something like the part-time autonomy in the works like what was seen in Demolition Man.  None of this is gonna happen overnight, as there is a LOT of $$$ involved, so the change in technology will be spoon-fed to the masses over time...

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Tha following comic strip does not necessarily reflect the opinion of this forum member. 🙂  

Seems like a Good Time to introduce my new toy. Picked it up last Fall 1980 Comutacar Don't hold back, it’s uniqueness is part of its attraction.

since when has a post, good or bad have to be justified....personally I think he was comment on the situation at large where makers were pointing a rosier picture of recharging station and that you ju

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I had a job interview with Exxon Enterprises (a division of Exxon oil) in 1977 and was shown a hybrid they were working on:  a '75 Chrysler Cordoba with a Volkswagen engine.  Don't know what happened to the project or the car, but the fact it existed in the 1970's is impressive.

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That Cordoba was part of Chrysler's alternative fuel program, along with their turbine engine development with roots in the 50s...turbines were shelved during the '82 bankruptcy so Chrysler could focus resources on K-cars and the almost-ready minivans, and once the company paid back the government loans, the alternative fuel program was restarted.  As for the Chrysler-Volkswagen relationship, they worked together to get the Omni/Horizon to market with early versions powered by VW until the Chrysler 2.2L was ready...this car was based on a Simca design, which was the basis for the Rabbit/Golf.

 

One concept we played with in the late 90s was based on modern diesel locomotive powertrains.  Diesel trains are actually powered by electric traction motors with a battery bank recharged by diesel generators, which are much larger versions of generators used to power portable arc welding equipment.  On FWD minivans, there was adequate space to power the rear wheels with electric motors, and we were looking at control systems to kill the ICE to allow electric propulsion as well as using the ICE to maintain battery voltage levels in conjunction with regenerative braking and using the ICE for power boosts such as merging with highway traffic.  While working on the start/stop function, crude oil markets tanked, and the decision was made to work on something else...fast forward about 20 years, and start/stop began showing up on ICE products, which was nice to see that part of the concept didn't evaporate.  So it looks like this concept might be becoming reality in the near future, as SUVs have adequate room to package more robust hybrids than small cars.

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I actually like the concept of electric vehicles. While I think it might be a while before I take the leap myself for various reasons - I have had my eye on Rivian. I firmly believe they have positioned themselves to give Tesla a run for their money in the truck market. Not that it would take much.... the Cybertruck looks hideous to go along with how useless it would be to most people that need a truck. I know I have a couple coins earmarked to use if Rivian ever does an IPO.... 

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On 1/29/2021 at 9:28 PM, Sniper said:

The biggest problem with electric cars, regardless of batteries used, is the electrical infrastructure.

 

We don't begin to have the capacity to add millions of electric cars to the load.

There is truth in that but an even bigger obstacle to full deployment is very local.

 

Most home garages don't have a circuit installed adequate to charge a plug in electric.  Many don't even have a garage.  So, there are a lot of

$$$$$ needed to prepare the future owners for ownership.  Then the very local delivery of the power, if available on the grid, is a bottleneck.

 

Anyone remember brown outs?  Imagine thousands of commuter vehicles arriving home on a hot August in the South.  Everyone plugs in the car and turn on the A/C.  

 

All are fixable issues and will be eventually.   But not quickly.  I wish I was younger as I'd really like to see the outcome.

 

 

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3 hours ago, kencombs said:

There is truth in that but an even bigger obstacle to full deployment is very local.

 

Most home garages don't have a circuit installed adequate to charge a plug in electric.  Many don't even have a garage.  So, there are a lot of

$$$$$ needed to prepare the future owners for ownership.  Then the very local delivery of the power, if available on the grid, is a bottleneck.

 

Anyone remember brown outs?  Imagine thousands of commuter vehicles arriving home on a hot August in the South.  Everyone plugs in the car and turn on the A/C.  

 

All are fixable issues and will be eventually.   But not quickly.  I wish I was younger as I'd really like to see the outcome.

 

 

Some of the issues you mention are already fixed.

 

For example, the load from everyone coming home on a hot August and plugging in and turning on the A/C. All the current EVs that I am aware of have the ability to schedule when they start charging. And, at least where I am, the utilities have "Time of use" (TOU) billing which provides a strong incentive to charge your car when your utility want you to.

 

In my case, if I charge my plug-in hybrid between 4 PM and 9 PM in the summer it will cost me $0.56/kWh. If I tell the car to start charging during the "super off peak" time starting at midnight it will cost me $0.09/kWh. Better believe that everyone with an EV in my area is telling their car to charge after midnight. Sure, you plug it in when you get home. But it doesn’t actually start charging until the time you tell it to.

 

Basically, if your state regulators allow and the utilities have smart meters deployed, it is pretty easy for the utility to set pricing to move EV charging to when the grid is less used and can best deal with it.

 

Next thing is how much energy do you actually need to put into your car each day? The more efficient EVs are running about 4 mi/kWh. The less efficient EVs are around to 3 mi/kWh. Per the Bureau of Transportation Statistics the average driver goes 29 miles per day. Assuming a 3 mi/kWh vehicle, that means you need to put about 9.7 kWh into the car each day. At 120v and 12 amps (1.44 kW) you need to be plugged in for a bit under 7 hours. So even with just plugging a “Level 1” charger cable into a standard old 120 outlet in your garage you can have your car charged enough for your commute by the time you leave for work in the morning. Granted, a 240v “Level 2” charger hard wired into a 40 or 50 amp circuit can do the job much faster and give you a lot more options. But many people won’t need to go for that expense immediately.

 

So for a typical home owner charging is a non-issue. The only time a "DC Fast Charger" (DCFC) would be used would be on a road trip. I can seen restaurants and especially hotels adding chargers to drive traffic to their business. Stop for lunch and your car is charged when you are done eating. For Tesla owners, that is the setup at Harris Ranch about 1/2 between LA and SF: By the time you finish your meal (slow service but good steaks) your car is charged. Stop for the night at a hotel and your car is fully charged in the morning when you are ready to leave. For restaurants DCFCs would be needed as you would want quick (less than half hour) charging. But for hotels 240v Level 2 chargers would likely be enough.

 

Apartment dwellers do have a problem, though I’ve seen some hints that forward looking property owners are starting to consider having some sort of electrical outlet per car in the parking area. It need not be a full on EV charging station, just enough that an EV owner can plug in the Level 1 cable that came with the car. Or maybe a 240v outlet that they could plug in a readily available portable Level 2 charger. Apparently a few property managers are thinking that this could be a marketing advantage. But yes, it will likely take years for renters to get good options for charging an EV. I guess for them, DCFC every few days or once a week would be required. About the same as what people do now for their gas powered cars.

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1 hour ago, Merle Coggins said:

Hotels with electrical outlets in the parking lot... sounds Ike northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s U.P. Except those are for plugging in your engine block heater. 🙃


When I lived 350 miles closer to the Canadian polar ice cap, my vehicle had 3 plugs. 
 

1. Block/coolant heater

2. Battery blanket heater 

3. Oil pan heater. Siliconed in place on flat bottom of oil pan. 
 

When it snowed, the hood of my car was warm enough to keep the snow melted.  

Electricity just comes from a plug-in, right? 
 

 

 

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Charging stations are literally everywhere around me. Lots of restaurants are near them, hotels, even tourist attractions have them now - so you can go, and enjoy the sights or whatever while your car charges. 

I know several people with Teslas - the most prolific driver that I am aware of in the group has well over 100K miles on his Model 3. He drives it everywhere he doesn't need his truck and is in and out of industrial facilities constantly with it. Does the high speed quick charge while grabbing lunch, or while doing a conference calls, returning emails, etc... right from the comfort of the car. Which by the way stays pretty comfortable as the cabin maintains temperature automatically all day long if you tell it to. Works for both heating and cooling too. This does cut down on range some if its not plugged in, but for some that is a convivence worth having. 

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The closest charging station to me is about 20 miles away. I don't know where the next closest one is. Our daily drivers stay parked in the driveway all year round including the Vermont winters. I've read advice that states if you are going to do a charging station, do it in your garage. I'm in no hurry to get an EV, so I'll keep researching home charging stations to see what the industry (or DIY'ers) come up with.

 

Pete

 

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I am aware of the rollout of charging facilities in some areas as well as vary-by-use or hour rates.  

 

But, in my  city there are only a couple of types of utility rates.  No demand charge (or discount) for usage or hours.  It is really common for a 5KVA transformer to serve multiple homes. That would pose a problem with large scale EV usage.  In the older section of town, an attached garage is an exception, so a retrofit is difficult.

Not a problem for me as  I have 240v Delta 3ph in my shop.  And it's cheap!  30 something most months.

 

Electricity is provided by a city owned system who resell KWHs purchased from the generating entity.

The difference in wholesale purchase/retail sale funds many city operations.

There are no public chargers within 20 miles of my home.

 

I'm envious of the availability in other areas, but in my area the infrastructure is a real hindrance to EV acceptance.

 

Hybrids are a great partial solution.  My daughter's family has a Ford Escape hybrid.   Bought used and is working well for them.

I noticed that Dorman has entered the reconditioned battery market for them.  So that helps reduce the cost of replacement which should lengthen the useful, financially viable life of them.  

 

 

 

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In normal times, our Antique Auto Club meets at the local museum. 
In our club not only the cars are antiques. 
They installed a designated charge station in the museum a few years ago. 
It was being used regularly before everything shut down. 
A Tesla dealership is in the process of opening here. 

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Infrastructure problems aside what is the dollar amount to drive 1,000 miles with either an electric vehicle or a higher mileage  gasoline powered vehicle?  The bottom line of usage cost is what I'm after.  The environmental zealots claim that it is "nearly free" and that cannot be the case.  

 

Anyone have real numbers?

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Doesn't answer your question directly.... but here are a couple of examples for cost of ownership comparisons. Your mileage may vary... LOL

https://evannex.com/blogs/news/total-cost-of-ownership-tesla-model-3-vs-toyota-camry

 

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/09/27/tesla-model-3-vs-toyota-camry-5-year-cost-to-own/

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Also - a lot of the guys that claim "nearly free" are some of the early adopters of Tesla. They literally have free supercharging.... so as long as they recharge at a Tesla supercharger, they aren't paying for electricity.

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32 minutes ago, lonejacklarry said:

Infrastructure problems aside what is the dollar amount to drive 1,000 miles with either an electric vehicle or a higher mileage  gasoline powered vehicle?  The bottom line of usage cost is what I'm after.  The environmental zealots claim that it is "nearly free" and that cannot be the case.  

 

Anyone have real numbers?

I am reading your question as asking what the out of pocket running expenses are for fully paid for vehicles. The answer is it varies. . .

 

First, a number of EV companies throw in a few years free high speed charging with your new EV purchase (Tesla for Tesla, Electrify America for some other brands). I will ignore that and assume that your EV will be charged at home most of the time.

 

Second, it still varies. A lot.

 

Looking at my case with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), I get about 3.5 miles/kWh in EV mode and about 60 miles/gal in gas/hybrid mode. My EV mode economy is pretty typical of a full EV while my gas mode is far better than the typical car. Again, your numbers will vary. Anyway, “super off peak” charging with my plan with my utility is $0.09/kWh. Local gas is about $3.50/gal. So my EV miles cost me about $0.026/mi while my internal combustion engine (ICE) miles cost about $0.058/mi. So it costs about half for “fuel” to drive EV. (This leads me to have “range annoyance” when the trip is out of EV range because I know it is costing me more. Which leads me to observer that a PHEV is kind of like a “gateway drug” to suck people into wanting a full battery EV.)

 

The numbers depend on what vehicles you compare, your local electrical rates, and your local gasoline prices so they will vary. But in general, it is cheaper per mile for your out of pocket energy costs.

 

The second item is parts and maintenance. Generally things that move wear and need maintenance. And an EV has almost no moving parts compared to an ICE so the maintenance comes down to mostly tires. Brakes on hybrids and EVs have much less wear per mile than for a conventional ICE as they all use regenerative braking to some extent. (My 2004 Prius went 201K miles on the original brakes and still had them when it was totaled.) I don’t have any numbers, but the conventional wisdom is that EVs need lots less service than ICE vehicles. And that is also why conventional wisdom is that legacy auto manufacturers have a problem: They sell through dealers and dealers make most of their money in the service department. So dealers are not keen on selling EVs.

 

I don't know how insurance or registration differs between ICE and EV but do know that some states are starting to put an extra fee on EVs to compensate for the lack of gasoline road tax. And a couple of states are setting the EV fees to be punitively high to discourage EV sales. So, again, your costs will vary.

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Thanks, Tod, that is what I needed.  I guess it boils down to convenience with a smattering of ecology thrown in.  I'm still in the looker stage because I want to see how long the batteries will last and what the replacement costs will be.  I guess the answer there is that it will vary, too.

 

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It seems to me sticking a nozzle in a fill port when you need to refuel is easier than finding somewhere to charge a battery, not to mention faster.  I do not want to be wondering where my next fix is coming from, lol.

 

Personally, I would not want anything with the current generation lithium batteries near where I sleep.  Charging or not.  Way too much potential for an issue and most local FD's do not have the ability to fight a lithium fueled fire.  So it burns until it's done and so does your house.  Of course I don't park Fords in my garage either (CC switch fires, lol).  Paranoid?  Probably, but still the devil i know and all that and I do work with lithium batteries with my job, just commissioned a setup for the National Weather Service last week.  That was a mess, not because of the battery materials directly anyway.  Just the supplier of the setup make it's best effort to design the most un-user friendly setup I have seen in a long time. 

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, RobertKB said:

 

That's all you have. Other responders on this thread actually support their points-of-view one way or the other.

since when has a post, good or bad have to be justified....personally I think he was comment on the situation at large where makers were pointing a rosier picture of recharging station and that you just cannot go out and lift up a rock somewhere and plug it in...go out into some rural area off the beaten track and prove me wrong on this.

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As I had said I have 0 interest in owning an electric car.  As Plymouthy said not many charging stations around me anyway. My Hot Rod days are far behind me so a 0-60 time of 3 seconds would most likely just get me killed and it would take me a century of driving to make back my investment. If I am real lucky I might have 15 years of driving left to me at maybe 10,000 miles a year currently spread over three cars.

Edited by plymouthcranbrook
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