Cash for clunkers: electric vehicle deliveries lag

“Obama stepped excitedly into a Black Chevy Volt, behind the wheel, buckled himself in and haltingly drove perhaps 10 feet at a crawling speed.”

Brief news by Ryan Maue

The recent oil price shock likely hasn’t figured into the February sales numbers at GM or Nissan, which announced their electric vehicle sales numbers for the month.  Actually, there wasn’t an announcement, but you can find the information buried in a PDF file:

GM “delivered” 281 Volts in February, which is a function of the extremely slow nationwide roll-out of the newfangled buggy.  This is clearly the window of opportunity with the much higher gas prices to take advantage (of) consumers who may spring the cash for an electric car.   Then, they can watch their new PG&E Smart Meter spin wildly in delight.  Either way, it’s very early in the game.

Indeed, with gasoline prices soaring past $4 a gallon in California and elsewhere, the demand for the Volt and Nissan Leaf should continue to soar.  Coupled with generous government subsidies provided by Uncle Sam, a new Volt may provide quite a charge to the US economy, or not.  With the announcement of Ipad 2.0 yesterday by Steve Jobs, early adopters will be lining up again to buy a thinner, better version of favorite toy.  It’s early in the game for the Volt, Leaf, and other electric buggies, but when supply ramps up to meet the burgeoning demand, we can expect the marketplace to expand with many more options.  However, until then, outfits like Consumer Reports aren’t exactly enthused with the efficiency of the Volt of the Leaf, considering the sticker.

It gets worse. CR figures the cost of recharging the Volt would work out to about 5.7 cents a mile for electric mode and 10 cents a mile for gas. Yet a Toyota Prius, which gets about 50 miles a gallon, would cost 6.8 cents a mile to operate. A Prius costs half as much as a Volt.CR seems to feel a little better about the all-electric Leaf. It borrowed one from Nissan while it awaits delivery of its own. The $35,270 electric car had its range severely restricted by the cold weather that has gripped the East, much like the Volt. The range has been averaging 65 miles, not the 100 miles that Nissan bills. Plus the mileage gauge isn’t that accurate in the cold when electric heaters gobble up kilowatts. Instead of the 36 miles of range that the car said it had, one tester got 19.

Yet CR said other than range, it liked a lot of things about the Leaf. It accelerated rapidly and climbed hills well. It said it would be a good second car in urban area if it is in “a temperate climate.” Guess that rules out the Northeast, Midwest, deserts and a bunch of other places.

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164 thoughts on “Cash for clunkers: electric vehicle deliveries lag

  1. GM sold more cars in China last year than in the US. I suspect their attention is now directed there than on satisfying the US green market.

  2. Let’s see…. I commute 50 miles/day; 25 each leg with no way to recharge at my workplace. And, I live in the Northeast where at the present moment it’s 25 degrees at 4:30 in the afternoon just as the afternoon commute cranks up.

    I think this qualifies as one of those ‘no-brainer’ decisions as to whether this sort of car has any practical use for me at all. Oh, yeah,,.. we also pay 20 cents/kWh here.

  3. Other than the fact the range renders it useless… we love it.

    If I’m only driving to work, why not buy an old Geo, Tercel, Metro, whatever, for probably $1000? Oh yes, that does not appease Gai, nor feed her crusaders coffers. Sorry, forgot.

  4. As you say, early days. If battery tech meets expectations and energy/weight doubles or triples every 18 months (as expects) these become pretty useable everywhere pretty quickly.

  5. I think electric vehicles are fine for urban commuters who don’t have to go more than 10 miles round trip. But for most people they are still impractical. I’d rather have a Prius (and pocket the savings) versus either the current Leaf or the Volt models.

    By the way, any idea what happens to the battery contents when one of these new generation electrics is in a rear end collision?

  6. Edmunds paid 42,000 for their volt. Its been an interesting read, If the price hand not already turned me off, the fact that it has a chin spoiler that makes this car lower then most sports cars was another huge turn off… it would make the car basically unreliable in snow. Edmunds has already damaged the chin spoiler since it is pretty rigid , making some think its there to survive only long enough to fudge the MPG ratings

    Here is a link http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtests/2011/01/2011-chevrolet-volt-spoiler-alert.html

  7. A conversion to natural gas costs some where around $2,000 I think. Natural gas is roughly $0.75/gallon. For a car getting 30mpg, this equates to 2.5 cents per mile if my math is correct. Why the heck are we not doing this???

  8. I’d avoid that guy in the car.
    He looks like he is winding up to a full blown case of “road rage.”

  9. And here is another one:

    In the WSJ, Thur. March 3 by Jason Dean, p. B3

    TITLE: Start-Up Preps Electric Car for U.S.
    ———————————————–

    Here’s my take on this:
    A Santa Monica, California, company called Coda Holdings is using a Chinese manufacturer as a supply of electric cars to be sold in the USA. They hope to sell 10,000 – 14,000 in the first 12 months after introduction in the second half of this year. The currently expected retail price for a sedan is $44,900.

    The price is expected to be reduced to the buyer by about $12,500 using federal and state subsidies. So, make that purchase price $32,400.

    The sales pitch is to rental car companies and other fleet operators. That final cost is not for the poor or lower paid workers. As it is electric and rather small it will most probably be purchased as a second vehicle, if purchased by individuals.

    So here is my gripe: The $12,500 subsidy is paid by all who actually pay taxes. That’s currently just north of 50% of the folks that pay to or get paid by the government when tax accounting is done. Very well-off types that can afford to buy such vehicles (this isn’t to be the only one) and then have their charging stations likewise subsidized (and don’t pay gas tax for highway maintenance), but do hire tax accountants to reduce their own taxes – these folks sponge off of the real middle class tax payers. And remember the car is imported from China.

    I fail to see how this benefits anyone or anything except the person buying and the person selling the car. Unlike the “cash for clunkers” boondoggle, this deal doesn’t even take any cars off the market.

  10. How many recharges can the battery take? and how much for a replacement pack? depreciation? When all the ‘real’ cost considerations are taken into account the actual cost per mile adds up significantly.
    It’s all well and good claiming that electric vehicles can save the environment but it will be many, many years before the average person can afford to run one.
    And until the major source of electricity becomes either nuclear-derived or hydro then emmision claims are just hogwash.

  11. Yea, I think that’s exactly what they said in 1920.

    Brad says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    As you say, early days. If battery tech meets expectations and energy/weight doubles or triples every 18 months (as expects) these become pretty useable everywhere pretty quickly.

  12. They forgot to include the depreciation of the batteries in the cost per mile. Also, it will likely double in cost as the batteries age and their capacity diminishes.

    MikeEE

  13. Why all the negativity on electric cars?

    I’m hugely skeptical regarding AGW, but I still am a fan of figuring out how to create workable electric cars.

    To me, basing some portion of car transportation on electricity allows us to be much more flexibile on the type of fuels we use to power the stock of cars. If one type of fuel becomes expensive, having more ways to substitute away from that fuel source seems valuable.

    In addition, the market for oil is highly inelastic. Even a relatively small decrease in aggregate demand for oil could significantly lower prices.

    I do think electric cars need to make sense without major government incentives, but assuming they do, they strike me as a very valuable addition.

    James

  14. Evidently there is a loss of battery life with the fast charging system. Just one of those little irritations that is likely to make people mad.

  15. We really should be pushing hybrids before all electric! Last year, I averaged 48 MPG in the Washington, DC, area. I could easily take long trips, or unexpected trips, without changing cars. And I can own this car even though I live in a condo and have to park my vehicle 2 stories underground, where charging will probably never be possible. (I can’t understand people who say electric cars will be good for city dwellers. Exactly where do they think they’re going to be charged?)

  16. Nissan made a conscious decision to cut corners on the Leaf’s battery in order to keep costs down, and it appears they’ve gone too far.

    My theory is that somewhere around 120 miles is a ‘comfort spot’ for potential EV buyers*, and for every 20 miles below that number the vehicle loses about 50% of its potential buyer base – e.g. with a 100 mile range the vehicle has 50% of the market it would have had at 120 miles, 80 miles 50% of the 100-mile range, etc.

    65 miles is not only very poor compared to Nissan’s marketing, it’s also no improvement over where we were ten years ago (substantially worse than the later EV1s, and comparable to the RAV4 EV, now admittedly the EV1 was a 2-seater and the RAV4 bog-slow, but…)

    EVs are all about battery economics.

  17. All this about range, cold weather, charging times and sticker price, are widely known criticisms. But not talked about is the depreciation.

    This is not a mere academic question. The problem of depreciation arises because the cost of the battery is greater than the rest of the car – and the car will last longer than the battery! How do you value the resale value of say a 5 year old prius, volt etc which is nearing the end of the battery life when this will cost £15,000 to replace? Would the car have depreciated by £15,000 plus one half of the rest of the cars value?

    I don’t know the answer to this question, because it is completely untested by the market. We will know in 4 or 5 years. But how many people placing their orders today have given it serious consideration, I wonder?

  18. I read somewhere that the cold effect on batteries (I don’t think there is a heat effect) is solvable. It was likely one of many things that were not “solved” before the market debut. Recall, GM rushed the Volt 2 years into production before it was ready.

  19. Oops, forgot the “EV buyers*” part.

    For various practical reasons, if you:

    a) Do not live in a temperate area (for useful battery life/range),
    b) Do not own your house (for charger installation),
    c) Do not already have other vehicle(s) for doing the things the EV can’t

    You are probably not a potential EV owner.

  20. jeez – folks have been working on battery cost/capacity issues for decades. There have been improvements, and there will continue to be improvements, but we’ve seen nothing resembling a Moore’s Law scale of improvement.

  21. Mike Edwards.

    “OK, the VW XL1 is really a concept car, but there are family sized diesels already doing 74mpg, small cars doing 82mpg –”

    Imperial gallons

    Here they get 51 and 68 respectively.

  22. The embedded carbon in electric cars is another issue worth exploring if you are concerned about carbon emissions. Hi tech electric machinery and batteries require a lot of carbon to build and maintain and if your Volt is running on coal generated electricity what is the net carbon saving per mile?

    However I agree with James that we shouldn’t be to down on electric cars as they may play a role in our transport future as long as we don’t have to rely on wind energy to charge them up.

  23. We have a lot of cheap hydro electricity here and the potential to create a lot more, problem is our climate, it can be brutally cold in the winter so electric car range would be severely restricted.
    The Volt might answer some of that problem by charging on the go but I don’t think that pure electric cars like the Leaf will work here. The other problem for us here is that, at least right now, there is no major government subsidy to be had to buy one which makes them prohibitively expensive. As others have mentioned, there are many other ways to go if all you are after is fuel savings.
    As far as a technology development platform its probably a good thing, hopefully there will be a battery/capacitor/fuel cell breakthrough to make them more functional.
    In the meantime the less gas that other folks are using should help keep the price down for the rest of us, so I wish the General well even though I’m a Ford guy.

  24. In addition to other valid points folks posted above, let’s do a little very rough back of the envelope calculating here. Now, correct me if I’m off somewhere…. first, using the figures from this article, let’s say the average cost of charging the electric car is about 8 cents/mile. Then let’s use a fairly common 25 mpg gasoline car, and $4/gallon gasoline. At that price, it’s about 16 cents/mile to fuel the gasoline car. So, there’s an 8 cents per mile difference between electric v gasoline.

    Then I believe its fairly reasonable to say that a comparable gas car v electric can be had for about $15K less (e.g., $20K to $30K for gas v $35K to $40+K for Leaf or Volt, right? So I think if anything I’m significantly underestimating the cost difference gas v electric, no?). Now take the average 15,000 miles traveled per year for vehicles in the USA.

    8 cents a mile for a total of 15,000 miles would be a rough fuel cost difference of $1200 per year less for electric v gas.

    So, one would have to drive the electric vehicle for about 12.5 YEARS before you manage to just break even on the fuel cost savings from buying that electric vehicle. This of course doesn’t begin to address other cost issues like maintenance (including cost of replacement battery packs)…. but tell me how this makes sense? Or did I fubar the math here somewhere?

  25. I would suit me for my daily commute, about 15km each way, and never gets below about 10C.

    BUT

    I would obviously HAVE TO KEEP my Volvo wagon that will go up to 800km between refills, fully loaded (and I mean, fully), takes about 5 minutes to refill for another 800km, and is very safe should I be unfortunate enough to have a collision. This new car would not cover any of that.

    So, yes, as been pointed out, the ‘already rich’ can have a bit more at the expense of the real workers & taxpayers.

  26. james says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm
    “Why all the negativity on electric cars?”

    Two words: Energy density. You just don’t get close to chemical energy stored in hydrocarbons.

    So, what real options are there? The easiest one is: why do you want to store electricity in bulky batteries when electricity can be transmitted on the fly? You can store chemical energy very well in a tank; you can not do it very well with electricity.
    Electricity has complementary features to chemical energy, so why keep the “local storage” idea developed for chemical energy? A failed requirement analysis it is, nothing more.
    How do you transmit it? Inductively, via near-field coupling; EM resonance. There are factory floor wagons using that principle; there are companies trying to scale it up to cars / highways, planning “recharging lanes”. Sorry, i didn’t store the link, i saw a presentation. Can somebody else help?

  27. I’ve read in a few places, that if electric cars became popular, that night time charging could put a major strain on our already decrepit grid. the following article equates 10000 miles as 1.2 house/year usage.

    Driving 10,000 miles on electricity will use about 2,500 kilowatt hours, or 20 percent more than the average annual consumption of U.S. homes. At an average utility rate of 11 cents per kilowatt hour, that’s $275 for a year of fuel, equivalent to about 70 cents per gallon of gasoline.

    http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2010/11/utilities_worry_charging_elect.html

  28. Makes TeslaMotors’ strategy look good. It started at the top end, with a sports/supercar (Roadster) worth over $100K, with 230 (real proven in use) mile range. Next up a $58K (minus any rebates etc.) 7-passenger sports sedan. Its range will vary with battery options, up to 300 mi. (‘Model S’).

    The Moore’s Law re batteries, btw, could be quite realistic. MIT & Stanford are doing miracles with nanotech electrodes in LiIon batteries.

    Currently 15,000 Roadsters on the road(s) across the world, doing fine in snow and desert and mountain (maybe one of the best mountain cars evah!) The ‘S’ is a from-the-ground-up fresh designed and engineered deal… About 4,000 pre-sold for delivery beginning next year, rising fast.

    Next up an SUV on the same chassis, and then a smaller family car around $30K, same or better range.

    Tesla is intending to act as a forcer/catalyst for the industry, but it looks like the response so far is quite a bit under the mark.

  29. Pull My Finger says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm
    Other than the fact the range renders it useless… we love it.

    If I’m only driving to work, why not buy an old Geo, Tercel, Metro, whatever, for probably $1000? Oh yes, that does not appease Gai, nor feed her crusaders coffers. Sorry, forgot.

    This strategy provides a bit of an explanation for the otherwise thoroughly illogical “Cash for Clunkers” program. While it did generate some new car sales, at a cost to the taxpayers at least double the value of the vehicles sold, its major contribution was to greatly reduce the supply of used vehicles, especially in the clunker range which are the only transport option available to the segment of the population that is supposedly the primary concern of the pols who sponsored CFC. The net result was a big spike upward in the prices of used vehicles. I suppose it is a bit cynical to assume that was the plan all along, but when you figure to charge over $40K for a vehicle that has the size and amenities of competitors available for $18K-$23K, you need all the help you can get.

    GM claimed they would like to sell at most 60K of the Volt per year, but in 3 months they’ve managed to unload less than a thousand and sales have declined each month. This despite taxpayer funded subsidies of over 25% of the sticker. The Nissan Leaf despite being widely lauded at its release has been mostly in double digits per month sales wise. Even the greenies who told us we all need to be driving these things to save the planet don’t want them now that they are finally available. They’d love to have a nice Tesla roadster, but those cost more than a Porsche and are mostly a weekend toy, not practical transport.

  30. Thomas Edison spent a considerable amount of time, energy and money trying to develop and manufacture batteries for an electric automobile. He started his efforts in the 1890s and had several factories producing batteries for an all electric vehicle. Unfortunately the product never lived up to his promises and claims. He shut down his factory in West Orange NJ some time after 1909 when his friend Henry Ford introduced the model T which featured an internal combustion engine. Investigation into battery technology has continued since then without the significant breakthrough that could justify an electric vehicle. As mentioned above it is unusual to apply Moore’s Law to something that has been under development for 120 years.

  31. DirkH;
    Inductive in roads is a pipe dream. The losses are huge, and the maintenance is impossible. A factory floor is a totally different environment.

    Batteries will work fine. Users of the TeslaMotors Roadster have almost no problems with charging or range.

  32. Soon will be the time to buy a gas guzzler. People will irrationally be selling their’s at pennies on the dollar to turn around and sink $35k in another car with higher efficiency. $35k buys a lot of gasoline by the way.

    If you can get the gas guzzler at a good enough price, it more than offsets the high gas prices.

  33. I was waiting for the administration to pre-emptively attack Consumer Reports before they could release their review of the DVolt, but I guess they fell asleep.
    One thing to remember is that GM is selling this car exclusively to the urban market, so the short distance per charge is almost a moot point. Mentioning the iPad is a sound comparison; the iPad is a relatively unproductive device that is the epitome of waste, much like the Dolt will be.

    TrueNorthist (Formerly INGSOC)

  34. I had a 1992 Pontiac Sunbird. 4 cylinder gasoline engine. A/C, power steering, 5 speed manual transmission. Routinely got 45 mpg. Girlfriend had a VW rabbit diesel… That got over 50 mpg. Hybrids with all their fancy “Green” technology would love to get those mpg’s. What gives?

  35. R John says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm
    A conversion to natural gas costs some where around $2,000 I think. Natural gas is roughly $0.75/gallon. For a car getting 30mpg, this equates to 2.5 cents per mile if my math is correct. Why the heck are we not doing this???
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I don’t know the percentage, but here in oil rich Alberta, a LOT of people drive propane powered vehicles, mostly pickup trucks and RV’s. Most are set up for dual fuel so you can run on gasoline if you can’t get propane where you are traveling.

    http://www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/transportation/alternative-fuels/fuel-facts/propane/propane-availability.cfm?attr=16

  36. The biggest problem for electric vehicles is that the electrical transmission infrastructure cannot deliver the required current to tens of millions of charging stations needing power at typically the same times. The energy density of gasoline is huge if you compare it to the amount put into a cars tank in 1 minute compared to electricity. Charging cables would need to be sending many hundreds of amps to compare. More power would be going into your car than your home. If you have several cars, just think about it. Oh and if the wind is not blowing there will be no electricity in the new green utopia!

  37. Give it a few years… You will find that the Electric Cars have been designed “pre-clunkered”…

    What many politicians are missing is that should entire neighborhoods adopt electric cars — then the wiring, transformers and switches will likely be show as inadequate. I know that in the Toronto Ontario area the system is operating on the margins of reliability. There is more than sufficient generation capacity for now — but insufficient delivery capacity. But that’s just what I see when I do the analysis stuff that seems to be beyond the politicos to understand and accept.

    No use boosting electric cars if you can’t charge them…

  38. Taxes how come nobody addresses taxes? Take away the gasoline taxes now compare costs between gas and electricity. When will taxes be applied to charging your car? The government will not let you travel on the roads for free for long. I suspect there is a critical mass for the amount of electric on the road then boom all the taxes will hit.

  39. At a very rough guess 2 hours per day use of an electric vehicle will require around 45kwh per day electricity to replenish. So for every 1m electric cars you are going to have to supply approx 45gwh per day over current (sic) requirements. My quess is that the generating capacity will be easier to install than the means of power delivery.

  40. Cool, having an ecar to stroll across the neihbourhood a and a real one for your real life. Makes a lot of sense, eco-wise. Or not …?

  41. Heh. With 87 sold an January, and only 67 sold in February, it appears that Nissan just can’t turn over a new Leaf.

  42. >Girlfriend had a VW rabbit diesel… That got over 50 mpg. Hybrids with all their fancy
    >“Green” technology would love to get those mpg’s. What gives?

    My first car was a ’78 VW Rabbit. The engine made I think 48hp and a similar number for lb-ft torque. Top speed on the flats with no headwind was right at 60mph; if there was a headwind it was less, but even with a stiff tailwind it wouldn’t do much over 62mph. In its favor it got 52mpg in town and 56 on the highway. It was actually a pretty good little car for running around town, once you figured out how to get it moving without stalling out.

    True story: My dad was driving it one day (I was a passenger) and we were pulled over for doing 65 in a 55. Pop argued claiming it simply wouldn’t go that fast, and the cop (who was surprised and intrigued by the thought that a car could actually be that bad) agreed to give it a try, and failed to hit the 65. Cop marked the ticket as radar error and sent us on our way.

  43. @Brad High energy density is its own hazard. If you have ever shorted out the terminals of a deep cycle marine battery, you can understand the problem. Gasoline and diesel burn relatively slowly. A high energy density battery must have low resistance if you are going to run a car with it. My NEV will draw 100A at 120V DC at normal speed 30/35 mph (top speed is 70, it is a real car not a golf cart). If I pulse the accelerator, I can get it down to a 50A average draw. But during the pulse, I can get discharge rates of 200A+. P=I^2*R Unless that R in your battery is low, you just lost. A short in your system will dump the power in the batteries in a spectacular fashion. I have no problem with electric cars, but I do have a problem with playing Dr. Strangelove and riding on a bomb.

  44. A few weeks ago, here in Maryland, we had a rush hour snow storm that caught the highway people off guard. Thousands of commuters were caught in massive traffic jams, some taking as many as eight hours to get home. It took me three hours to go six miles! In short, the current crop of electric cars wouldn’t have stood a chance. This country would be much better off improving the internal combustion engine and stop wasting its resources on impractical feel good crap.

  45. Hmmm lets see — I bought a used 88 Subaru Wagon for $1200, spent $3500 putting a rebuilt engine in it. It gets 27 mpg average. This engine will give me another 200,000 miles, plus various minor maintenance issues like brakes and tires I will spend another $2000 or so on the car before it goes to the junk yard.

    The electric car, that would cost me $35,270 + accrued interest on the car loan and the new car registration, and license fees, not to mention about 7% sales tax. Lets estimate car loan rates of 5%

    That works out to cost of the 48 month 5% loan = $38987.52
    sales tax at 7% = $2468.90
    Total direct cost of the car would be $41456.42
    subtract my car’s direct cost over 200,000 mile $ 6700

    Difference in cost before fuel/electricity = $34756.42

    If I get 200,000 miles out of my old wagon, that means I would buy 7407 gallons of gas over the life of the car. Divide that into $34756.42 and you get $4.69 as the break even cost of gasoline if electricty was free for the electric car.

    This is ignoring the much higher registration rates, and insurance rates for the newer car, and the possibility I would need to spend $4000 on a new battery pack.

    In short for average folks who only want a reliable commuter car and don’t care about “car status”, unless gasoline goes over $5-6$ a gallon (while electricity stays dirt cheap), my reliable old car beats the new electric car hands down in total cost of ownership.

    When you add the “carbon cost” of manufacturing the new car and the generation of the electricity and the manufacture of necessary charging facilities, my carbon foot print (if you even care about that which I don’t) will still be smaller.

    I suspect a lot of average folks have done the same math and realize that the life cycle cost of the electric will be significantly higher than just buying an economical used car and driving it until parts fall off.

    Larry

  46. Brian H – The Tesla roadster’s cute and all that, but 230 mile range is still an absolute best-case, and there’s many conditions you won’t get those numbers.

    It also gets there by being a minimalist piece of hardware, minimal frontal area, two seats, no carrying capacity, top-on ingress/egress physically impossible for 50% of the adult population and profoundly embarrassing for the other 50%.

  47. Brad, No battery chemistry is doubling its capacity in 18 months, and even if it did will the Early adopters be issued new batteries with every significant increase in battery capacity?

  48. nimrod;
    Brilliant. A used car costs less than a new one. Got any other gems to drop on us?
    JEM;
    Current owners range up to 6’6″, and it’s designed as a supercar. Very similar to other tiny “hot” cars. Takes about twice the cash to match it with a gasmobile. Owners frequently decide to use it as a daily commuter and park or sell the gasser after having it for a short while.

    230 is not top of range; it’s routine for most owners. If they get less, it’s because they’re having so much fun with high torque acceleration. It’s the same in any car: floor it and you lose efficiency. But in pure city traffic it gets up to 400 mi./charge-up, because it uses very little juice when moving slowly or waiting for jams to clear or for lights, unlike gassers. And the regen makes braking rare, so much energy is conserved in stop-go situations. Record range on open roads was 313 mi. in a controlled competition in Australia.

    The ‘S’ will hit the niche you seem to be talking about.

  49. Justa Joe – Someone with industry experience feel free to shoot me down, but if the current state of Li-Ion represents commercially-viable state of the art, then I think it’s been about a doubling of capacity every ten years.

  50. Power infrastructure/capacity?

    At the risk of sounding like a cheerleader, I honestly don’t get this one. I would think that most electric cars would be charged at night, the exact time when we currently have the lightest load on our existing power infrastructure. Now if everyone wants to charge their cars during the workday, that would be an issue…

    Is that a flawed assumption?

    James

  51. I see the car the President is sitting in is manufactured by GM. Isn’t GM a company the President did one of those government bailout/takeover things on? Yes it is.

    If America reelects this man in 2012 it will get what it deserves.

  52. David L says:
    March 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I had a 1992 Pontiac Sunbird……Hybrids with all their fancy “Green” technology would love to get those mpg’s. What gives?

    Your Pontiac Sunbird weighed 2,500 pounds. A Toyota Prius weighs over 3,000 pounds.

  53. Over here in the UK I pay the equivalent of about $8.33 per Gallon for Diesel – so this alone makes EVs attractive as commuter vehicles. Add in the tax breaks – no road Tax, no congestion charges, no “benefit in kind” tax to pay if it is a company car, and best of all they have no way of stiffing you for fuel “duty”. The government are also subsidising the purchase price by over $8000.

    Several of the large Supermarket chains have said they will put free charging stations in their car parks – about 45 minutes for a charge up. (Cant beleive they will stay free for long)

    The iPhone app for the leaf looks pretty cool too – you can make sure the car is cooled or heated automatically in the morning before you set off, ie while it is still plugged in.

    My company has ordered a couple to test them out so Ill let you know how it goes.

  54. Anyone buying a hybrid or electric car to save money cannot do basic math. If you want to save money buy a Toyota Yaris. If you drive 10,000 miles a year it would take you over 30 years to break even with the “fuel savings” at $4 a gallon in a Prius ($23,000) over a Yaris ($13,000). I suspect we have a generation of people driving around in hybrids and electric cars who failed elementary math classes?

  55. Jay Davis says:
    March 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    This country would be much better off improving the internal combustion engine and stop wasting its resources on impractical feel good crap.

    Check this out

    Marlow Metcalf says:
    February 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    “The OPOC has been in development for several years, and the company claims it’s 30 percent lighter, one quarter the size and achieves 50 percent better fuel economy than a conventional turbo diesel engine.

    Earlier this year, the company received an injection of $23.5 million from Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates, and says it will have a vehicle engine ready for production by 2013. They’re predicting 100 MPG in a conventional car.”
    The Blog

    http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2011/01/13/saving-the-world-two-strokes-at-a-time/

    The company website. Wait several seconds and you will see an animation of how the 2 pistons in one cylinder works.

    http://www.ecomotors.com/

  56. If you happen to live in LADWP’s service area (ie LA) you have unlimited kwh costs of .072kwh (in the winter). In my service area (PG&E) your cost for a marginal kwh would likely be in Tier 3 ($.28+ a kwh) or in Tier 4 which will cost you $.38 kwh.

    Which is better the leaf or volt was discussed over at Greentech media recently- http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-leaf-or-the-volt-which-is-better/
    A comment in the post notes that some public charging places (and businesses) in the LA area are providing the electricity to charge your EV for free…………..

  57. james says:
    March 3, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Power infrastructure/capacity?

    At the risk of sounding like a cheerleader, I honestly don’t get this one. I would think that most electric cars would be charged at night, the exact time when we currently have the lightest load on our existing power infrastructure. Now if everyone wants to charge their cars during the workday, that would be an issue…

    Is that a flawed assumption?

    James

    Yes it is — in some areas their highest peak load of the day is in the evenings when people arrive home from work, turn on the AC (in hot weather) or turn up the heat (in the winter), and start cooking dinner and turn on the TV.

    Your assumption is true late in the evening but in the 4:00 pm to 10:00 window, all industrial load may not be gone, and you have lighting loads and all those electric accessories folks turn on when they first come home.

    On very hot summer evenings here in Denver Colorado a few years ago, they were asking folks to go easy on those early afternoon start up loads to avoid brown outs and blackouts as they could not handle the surge load of everyone getting home, and turning on their air conditioning units when they got home.

    Folks with electric cars will want to plug them in just as soon as they get home, and the initial current draw to charge a battery will be the highest load of the charging cycle. Unless the cars are smart enough to throttle their initial charging draw or a delay timer, once thousands of folks get these cars it will be a significant surge load.

    Larry

  58. I have nothing against the concept of electric cars. Electric motors are very efficient and versitile. The problem lies in the onboard energy storage system. On the basis of energy density (Joules/Kg for example), gasoline is several orders of magnitute denser than top of the line lithium-ion battery system. Look at it this way, a battery is not really storing “electricity” any more than a tank of gasoline does. It’s just a reversible chemical reaction, and not a very efficient one at that. It would be far better to use readily available fuels (gasoline or diesel) to generate electricity onboard than to plug into the electrical grid. There is more potential to a hybrid system than a battery powered system, of course it will be difficult to beat the engine driven drive system nearly all vehicles use.

    When making comparisons between vehicles using conventional drive systems, hybrid systems, and electric/battery systems, it’s vital to compare apples to apples. A little tiny electric vehicle might look impressive on a cost per mile basis compared to an SUV, but not to a similarly sized tiny gasolne driven car of similar power.

  59. Brian H says: March 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm
    Makes TeslaMotors’ strategy look good. It started at the top end, with a sports/supercar (Roadster) worth over $100K, with 230 (real proven in use) mile range. Next up a $58K (minus any rebates etc.) 7-passenger sports sedan. Its range will vary with battery options, up to 300 mi. (‘Model S’).

    Currently 15,000 Roadsters on the road(s) across the world, doing fine in snow and desert and mountain …snip
    —————————————————————-
    Per Tesla’s press release of March 1, 2011, they have sold over 1,500 cars worldwide, not 15,000.

    http://ir.teslamotors.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=553340

  60. “Unless the cars are smart enough to throttle their initial charging draw or a delay timer, once thousands of folks get these cars it will be a significant surge load.”

    You can’t delay charging: what happens if you have to go out because of an emergency of some kind and you set the car to start charging at 2am?

    For most people electric cars only make sense as a cheap second vehicle; and the current crop are more expensive than a similar gasoline car.

  61. 1) They make zero sense in a cold northern climate…urban or rural.
    2) Makes no sense to substitute gasoline for coal..many of us only get coal power.
    3) You can by (what?) three Ford Focus cars for the same price as a Volt.
    4) Subsidizing people with above-average incomes is immoral. If rich folks want an electric car, let ‘em go crazy … on their own dime.

    A great idea with VERY limited application for many many people.

    Clive
    Alberta .. where are have been 15 to 20C below average for days…bah. ☺

  62. Dan;
    Right. Slipped a decimal point, sorry!

    Poptech;
    That’s household 110V current. Virtually all owners connect to 220V high amperage outlets they install at home, which cuts the time to 3½ to 8 hrs. (depending on amperage). Further, on a daily basis very few people use the whole range/charge, so most recharges are a fraction of that.
    From the Edmunds article:

    The electrician would run a 70-amp 220-volt conduit from the breaker box (or electrical panel, if you prefer) to the garage and hook the conduit up to a new 220-volt outlet. It’s an easy job, one that shouldn’t take a pro more than a couple of hours to do.

  63. Gasoline engine-driven cars are not giving up. Chevrolet Cruze “Eco” achieves 42 miles per gallon highway (US measurements). http://www.chevrolet.com/cruze

    Interesting how they did it. Lowered the entire car 10 mm (millimeters, almost half an inch), ultra-low rolling resistance tires, small engine with turbocharger, front air dam, smooth underpan to reduce wind resistance, blocked some air inlets at highway speed to reduce wind resistance, but most importantly, low gear ratio overdrive. With a 12.6 gallon fuel tank, it can achieve about 450 miles between stops for gas. And it costs considerably less than the electric offerings or hybrids.

  64. In the few areas where there is pumped storage (e.g., Castaic Lake in LA county), a large number of electrics drawing current at night would make the pumped storage useless.

  65. Jem, Actually I am in the battery business, but not in Li-Ion development. The Litium-Ion has only been around en masse in the market place since the early 90’s. If we look at one particular popular cell the Samsung ICR18650 it has gone from about 1 Ah in 1990 to 2.6 Ah today so it hasn’t actually double per decade. Also most of the improvemrnt is due to their ability to improve their materials and processes of manufacturing. This cell doubled in capacity during the first decade, but rate of increase is clearly diminishing. You can only push the existing chemistry so far. The expectation of ever greater capacities is unrealistic barring some astounding breakthrough. Heck, it takes more than 18 months just to develop and tool up a new battery.

    http://www.electrochem.org/dl/ma/201/pdfs/0259.pdf

    http://www.batteryonestop.com/baotongusa/products/datasheets/li-ion/Samsung-SDI-ICR18650-26A.pdf

  66. Roger Sowell says:
    March 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm
    Gasoline engine-driven cars are not giving up. Chevrolet Cruze “Eco” achieves 42 miles per gallon highway (US measurements). http://www.chevrolet.com/cruze

    Interesting how they did it. Lowered the entire car 10 mm (millimeters, almost half an inch), ultra-low rolling resistance tires, small engine with turbocharger, front air dam, smooth underpan to reduce wind resistance, blocked some air inlets at highway speed to reduce wind resistance, but most importantly, low gear ratio overdrive. With a 12.6 gallon fuel tank, it can achieve about 450 miles between stops for gas. And it costs considerably less than the electric offerings or hybrids.
    ======
    Kinda sounds like they talked to a NASCAR engineer.
    Hmmm.
    I always thought our elected officials had the answers.

  67. MarkG says:
    March 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    “Unless the cars are smart enough to throttle their initial charging draw or a delay timer, once thousands of folks get these cars it will be a significant surge load.”

    You can’t delay charging: what happens if you have to go out because of an emergency of some kind and you set the car to start charging at 2am?

    Exactly, the solutions to some of the technical issues create other unacceptable problems for the user.

    Electric cars are niche cars suitable for a specific driving profile and not flexible enough to accommodate those day to day issues that real families have.

    If the electric car was your only means of transportation, and you spent the day running errands, pull in the driveway on a depleted battery pack and shortly after get a call that your daughter needs you to come pick her up at college because of some personal emergency, will you :

    Tell her to wait for 24 hours you will come get her when the car is charged?
    Drive your electric car over to a rental agency and rent a reliable gasoline powered car for the 300 mile trip?
    Tell her to call a cab?
    Call a friend and ask to borrow his gasoline powered car because yours is out of juice?

    There are a countless reasonably likely situations where a single electric car simply will not get the job done outside of a core city metro environment. Here in the western U.S. many of us will drive 200 miles round trip to go shopping, or visit friends. I’ve driven 300 miles round trip to meet a friend for lunch, or to go to a special event like an airshow or auto race. If I wanted to go to the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo in Cheyenne Wyoming it is a 120 mile drive one way (240 mile round trip). If I wanted to take visiting friends up to the hot springs pool in Glenwood Springs it is a 140 mile trip one way, (280 mile round trip). Meet some friends in Colorado Springs then drive to the summit of Pikes peak, from where I live 80 miles each way plus about 25 miles 35 miles driving up to the summit and around the Cripple creek mining district (230 miles round trip).

    These are not at all unusual day trips in this part of the country. None of them would be possible in an electric car, so at best it has to be a second car used only for short trips. Add in the charging delays and it becomes totally impractical for many drivers. I know quite a few people that commute 100 – 150 miles a day to work. My daily round trip commute is only 60 miles but that would leave the car nearly discharged and useless for hours after I got home from work.

    Larry

  68. Brian H, “That’s household 110V current. Virtually all owners connect to 220V high amperage outlets they install at home, which cuts the time to 3½ to 8 hrs. (depending on amperage). Further, on a daily basis very few people use the whole range/charge, so most recharges are a fraction of that.

    Except you can only count on a 110-volt outlet being commonly available if you are out and running low on a charge. So do you sleep in your car while it recharges? I can go to any gas station and be in and out in 2-3 minutes. The car is also absolutely useless for any trip beyond it’s driving range of 160 miles for the base model at $50,000. I can get a Porsche for $48,000, I would rather have a Porsche.

    Also why would a “successful” company need a $465 million dollar bailout from the government?

  69. I happened to have dinner with a Nissan exec this evening; they have a backlog in Japan and will fill that before shipping any more Leafs to the US.

    A Leaf would work fine for me. Our second car never needs to drive more than forty miles in a day (usually under 10).

    My TDI diesel gets substantially crappier mileage in cold weather, as well. On my short commute, I’m lucky to get into the low 30’s mpg. In warmer weather, on longer drives, it’s easily 40+. Nothing gets good mileage in cold weather.

  70. The Tesla roadster is such a great feat of engineering that you have the possibility of losing control of the car due to suspension bolts coming loose and as a bonus it can catch on fire! I am so amazed.

    Tesla Motors recalls 345 Roadster sports cars (Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2009)
    Tesla Motors Recalling Roadster Over Fire Concerns (ABC News, October 8, 2010)

    Maybe if the government injects hundreds of millions more these issues can be “addressed”. I mean with such “huge” production numbers already I can only imagine what greater feats of engineering genius we can expect if it was ever produced in larger quantities.

  71. juanslayton says:
    March 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm
    In the few areas where there is pumped storage (e.g., Castaic Lake in LA county), a large number of electrics drawing current at night would make the pumped storage useless.

    Greetings JS– you’ve been very quiet lately but always make good points. I’m also familiar with a pumped storage development and scaling-up these things to be really useful is a problem. The one I know about (having visited when it was being carved out of the mountain top) can be seen using Wikipedia and Google Earth. This is Kinzua (kin-zoo) Dam in northern Pennsylvania. Read about it here:

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

    Use these coordinates [ 41.839736 , -79.002619 ] in Google Earth. Zoom out until you can see the entire reservoir and compare it to the small circular storage basin on the ridge-top to the south. The reservoir extends into NY State but the photo color changes. Turn Photos on in the Layers menu. The single photo to the left (east) is a nice fall image when the trees have partly turned color. Can you scale this up to be really helpful? In whose back yard?

  72. From above:

    “Which is better the leaf or volt was discussed over at Greentech media recently- http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-leaf-or-the-volt-which-is-better/
    A comment in the post notes that some public charging places (and businesses) in the LA area are providing the electricity to charge your EV for free…………..”

    No. The electricity in these LA charging places is NOT free. It’s just that somebody ELSE is paying for what the electric car user is stealing (er, getting) without paying for satisfaction of HIS peace of mind and eco-nicety.

  73. Poptech says:
    March 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm (Edit)

    Brian H, “That’s household 110V current. Virtually all owners connect to 220V high amperage outlets they install at home, which cuts the time to 3½ to 8 hrs. (depending on amperage).

    The charge for my 220 volt power cable for a welder (the 120 volt for the milling machine, drill press and lathe were already present) to the garage/workshop was 1.50 per foot for the cable, $20.00 – odd dollars for each of the connectors, and 350.00 for the electrician’s hours. The 220 volt double breaker was included in the electrician’s hourly charge, and I did NOT need an extra circuit breaker panel or sub-panel. (If those were needed I would have needed probably another 200+ dollars) I did not ask for, nor get charged for, the probable city inspection fee and building permit – since I am not inside a city limits.

    And this was in private house already wired elsewhere with adequate wires and connectors and breaker panels for the extra current! (NOT an apartment building or open parking garage or open street or open lot susceptible to even more corruption and theft of the copper.)

  74. Brian H says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm
    Makes TeslaMotors’ strategy look good. It started at the top end, with a sports/supercar (Roadster) worth over $100K, with 230 (real proven in use) mile range. Next up a $58K (minus any rebates etc.) 7-passenger sports sedan. Its range will vary with battery options, up to 300 mi. (‘Model S’).

    The folks at Tesla have indeed been very strategic in their planning. They’ve managed to acquire nearly a half a billion dollars of financing on the taxpayers nickel. They are lobbying for an essentially infinite extension of the buyer subsidies they have thus far enjoyed. BTW, perhaps you could explain the logic of, in a time when the government is borrowing almost half of every dollar it spends, subsidizing the automotive purchases of people who can afford vehicles in the $60K-$120K segment. Not to mention that if everything goes as planned the vast majority of their cars will be produced outside the country. Their website projects 20,000 units as a goal, but indicates their U.S. facility will max out at 5-7 thousand.
    As I understand it their battery pack is composed of thousands of LI batteries similar to ones used in many of today’s modern technological wonders. They project these will be viable for 7 years or 100,000 miles. I don’t know if you own many of these toys, but from my own limited experience with the batteries in the ones I’ve owned, that seems extraordinarily optimistic. They are also quite coy about what the cost of replacing them will be. A 5 or 6 year old BMW or Merc which sold new for $60k still has a somewhat decent resale value. If your going to try and unload one of these beauties at a similar vintage, with the buyer facing the prospect of mandatorily replacing a very pricy battery pack in the near future, you’ll probably be looking at resale values on par with a Yugo, which makes the depreciation part of the cost per mile calculation somewhat problematic.
    They also indicate that as a weight saving measure the body panels of the S will be aluminum stampings. Aluminum is indeed a nice weight saver, but I’m reminded of a very memorable incident on a vacation trip years ago. We decided to spend the day at a Concours D’elegance and I was trying to get some snaps of a lovely old Italian roadster when a passing mouthbreather decided to stop to remove some crud from the bottom of his shoe. To support himself in this endeavor he decided to lean his hand on the fender of the car, promptly creating the opportunity for several thousand dollars worth of body work and the purest example of near psychotic rage from the car’s owner that I’ve ever personally observed. Modern molded panels aren’t anywhere near as delicate as that Italian beauty’s hand beaten panels, but there is a reason they’re mostly limited to vehicles which aren’t likely to be subjected to the vagaries of a daily driver, and suggest another reason the long term depreciation on these things is likely to be dramatic.

  75. ” most electric cars would be charged at night”

    The assumption made by many is that solar cells will charge the electric cars during the day, and that these same electric cars will power the grid during the night.

    Otherwise, the charging losses from electric cars and coal fired power plants create more CO2 than simply running cars on liquified coal.

  76. MikeEE says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm
    They forgot to include the depreciation of the batteries in the cost per mile. Also, it will likely double in cost as the batteries age and their capacity diminishes.

    Add to that the replacement cost of new batteries (if still available in five years) and environmental disposal costs, I presume you have them. Do you have a lot of spare generating capacity in the US? In OZ we are on the thin edge on hot summer days.

  77. It is much the same logic as applied to public transit. A modern diesel bus creates about the same amount of pollution as 40 modern gas cars. A bus seats about 40 people. So, unless busses run full, and all cars carry only 1 person, there is less pollution if people drive cars than if they use buses.

    When Al Gore and the president of the bus company, along with their wives and children start taking the bus every day then I’ll be a believer. They will always have an excuse why they don’t use the bus, and plenty of reasons why we should. Hypocrites one and all.

  78. The idea of not having to use a refined liquid fuel to get from place to place has always appealed to me. However, early in my engineering career, I came to the conclusion that electric cars were not going to be practical until there was a break through in battery technology. Which is yet to happen. For a while I thought super capacitors had chance, but that doesn’t seemed to have worked out.

    However, during the 20th century many other ways of storing the energy needed to move a vehicle down the road were investigated. My personal favorite is hydraulics. The energy is stored as high pressure hydraulic fluid. A hydraulic motor can run in reverse as a pump, so regenerative braking is possible. Also you don’t have to replace the energy storage container like you do a battery pack.

    Over the years individual inventors have actually built hydraulic powered cars. But I don’t know why there hasn’t been more R&D on them.

  79. @u.k. (us):

    “Kinda sounds like they talked to a NASCAR engineer.
    Hmmm.
    I always thought our elected officials had the answers.”

    Well. We (engineers) have always had the answers, many of which are developed by the racing teams as you so correctly point out. In fact, we know how to achieve marvelous miles-per-gallon on vehicles, well over 200 miles per gallon. The problem is how to achieve high miles-per-gallon while keeping the car affordable, meeting all government regulations, and having a car that is appealing to at least some segment of buyers.

    Cutting vehicle weight is paramount to high mpg. Reducing wind resistance is also very important. Using a small engine with high horsepower is also key. Other factors include minimizing losses due to transmission and friction, also tire losses, recovering energy lost during braking, running the engine at low rpm, shutting off un-needed cylinders at cruising speed (the 8-6-4 strategy), and finally, not wasting fuel idling the engine. However, all these things cost money.

    What does not cost money is to reduce the cruising speed, perhaps from 75 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour. That one step typically increases mpg by 15 to 20 percent, but it makes for a more time-consuming trip. I also was able to increase my car’s overall mpg 20 percent by purchasing new tires that are made from the low rolling resistance materials. The tires were on sale at no added cost compared to conventional tires, and have the same warranty so I bought them.

  80. C’mon now, I thought you boys were capitalists.

    This is just a government “picking winners” and that always ends in tears because it is at best guided capitalism but usually just socialism with a decent haircut. Forcing people to want electric cars by using taxpayers dosh will never, ever work because people don’t want them.

    People want cheap, reliable comfortable personal transportation. Ol’ Hank Ford didn’t get subsidies to put out the Model T. He just saw what people wanted and produced it at an affordable price. This “dirigisme” is doomed.

  81. Here in the UK nobody is queuing to buy electric vehicles, even though most forecourt petrol pump prices have now hit the £6.oo per gallon mark, which translates to almost US$10.00 per (imperial) gallon, which is slightly larger than a US gallon, but that’s still a horrific price. The reason is that most potential buyers are not interested and the BBC’s recent stunt of driving an electric Mini from London to Edinborough and taking longer to do it than a standard horse-drawn coach took 150 years ago proves that the biggest stumbling block for EVs is that they are, essentially, impractical when compared with a modern petrol or deisel fuelled automobile.

  82. We have been told here in the UK that electricity demand must match supply as wind power increases its capacity in the generating mix. Never mind that wind is not a 24/7 supplier. So Leaf owners will find themselves charging at a time that does not fit into the work cycle or being unable to charge for weeks when a prolonged anticyclonic weather system hits. I expect the US, or at least California, to get into the same third world thinking. Crazy people!

  83. Folks – do you remember the Apple II and the Tandy TSR80?
    (I was the proud owner of a TSR80).
    Do you remember the absolutely huge subsidies the government paid us to buy them?
    If you do, then you’re much younger than I.

    If electic cars are the go, then they’ll go.
    Otherwise they’re gone, government subsidy or no.

  84. Brian H says:
    March 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Record range on open roads was 313 mi. in a controlled competition in Australia.

    Yeah I know both those guys. Both glider pilots and one is my ISP. Nice business that gives excellent service to its customers but he’s bought into the green scam.

    The road was dead flat and straight, they didn’t have A/C and they kept the windows closed. The car was displayed at a motor show in Brisbane. It is 2000Km frm Adelaide to Brisbane. As far as I know the car was shipped to Bris on a semi trailer (18 wheeler to US readers ). Great. Also imported from the US by AIR! I had a couple of 747 freighter drivers here a while ago and I asked how much fuel per tonne from the US to Oz. Enough to drive the car about 50,000 km on hydrocarbon fuels.

    IMHO Elon Musk is going to lose his shirt and reputation on Tesla Motors which is a great pity as he’s got a very important job at SpaceX making the human race a space faring one. Go Falcons!

  85. Here in the UK it took a BBC news reporter 4 days to travel from London to Edinburgh., complete nonsense for a car, a stagecoach could do it in 4 days. If we really want to get to grips with this, we at WUWT know how to do it, Thorium reactors producing electricity, making Hydrogen, using Hydrogen fuel cell cars.
    In the UK my wonderful Government will give you $1600 off the purchase price of one of these funny elecric cars, no takers really, apart from the odd believer.

  86. Tax Subsidy? So now we all pay for electric cars whether we use them or not? I love that – Right!

    The European VW Polo, with the 1.2 Liter BlueMotion Diesel engine starts at 10,000 pounds in the UK and has a fuel economy of 67.3/91.1 MPG!!!!!

    http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/#/new/polo-v/which-model/engines/fuel-consumption/

    At today’s diesel price of $3.75 a gallon I could commute a daily 30-mile round trip for (drum roll…..) SIX DOLLARS AND NINETY SEVEN CENTS A WEEK!

    So why is this vehicle not available in the USA???? Our Federal Government at work. Got to love our politicians and bureaucrats……….

    Best,

    Jose

  87. AusieDan, “Folks – do you remember the Apple II and the Tandy TSR80?
    (I was the proud owner of a TSR80). Do you remember the absolutely huge subsidies the government paid us to buy them? If you do, then you’re much younger than I.

    Not in the U.S, the only thing I remember is tax breaks for school computer donations in the 1980s that only benefited Apple Computer because it was impossible for them to compete with PC pricing via competitive bidding. It did not do anything to help Apple Computer in the real market as they still cannot not compete. Now people think that “technology” (Apple iPad) that lacks Flash Support, File Browsing/Sharing, USB Ports and the ability to Print is “genius” tech, I call it useless.

  88. battery energy/weight doubles every 18 months??????

    According to whom? It’s taken 100 years to get the most recent doubling. What magic tech is in the wings that is expected to double it again.

  89. Ref Greg Holmes comment. the trip from London to Edinburgh was by an electric
    mini, it charged its battery at official charging points and took twice as long as a
    stagecoach did in 1850, and didn’t produce free garden manure on the way!
    I agree with Greg’s comments ref hydrogen and our Government, they think the
    general public are as stupid as they are!

  90. With my 10 year old Saturn SL1 4 door, I easily get 38 to 40mph on the highway. I can get up to 45mph if I can find a semi to draft. (Yes, I maintain the 1 car length for every 10mph rule.) Once I start tweaking the body and engine, I should be able to get a few more mph out of it.

  91. Looking at what I paid for my 1999 Crown Vic and what a buddy spent on his Prius the difference will pay for twenty years of fuel for my Crown Vic at my rate of usage. It is even worse because his trade in car was a less than two year old Volkswagen diesel station wagon not some gas guzzler.

  92. “It gets worse. CR figures the cost of recharging the Volt would work out to about 5.7 cents a mile for electric mode and 10 cents a mile for gas.”

    Try charging that Volt at the European central-solar rate of 58.5 cents per kwh (at the plant fence). That figures out to about 13 times the current average U.S. rate at the fence. With transmission and distribution costs factored in, that would translate to about 6.5 times the current U.S. average price per kwh at the residential meter, which would run the Volt cost per mile up to 37 cents per mile.

    The standard response to complaints that electric cars would require more power plants (and attendant pollution) is universally met with the response that, “Oh, we’d make those plants solar.” Got news for ya’, boys and girls: Solar economics is a horror you never want to have to face.

  93. Go back a few generations, think steam powered automobiles (aka Horseless Carriages). Just look at all the progress that has been made since then. Now, sit back, relax, and wait, there’s a Ford (or something) in your future; I can feel it in my old bones. Kids do the darndest things, eventually.

  94. For running around town get a velomobile. Check out velomobile.com pretty cool if you like bikes and stuff.

  95. I can’t wait or electric and hybrid cars to become the norm. They eventfully will become much cheaper to build, buy, drive and repair than our present reciprocating gas engines. I will buy one then, but today the trouble with electric cars is cold weather. Electric motors are very efficient and therefore produce little heat. If the passengers need heat, the power comes directly from the batteries thereby draining them faster in cold weather than in warm weather. In addition, cold temperatures reduce the ability of batteries to hold a charge in the first place. You hear very little about this from the media or car magazines, you get the impression from journalists that battery driven cars will simply clobber gas cars, sorry but that’s simply not the truth. The internal combustion engine has been around for over 100 years, and there are very good reasons for this. Electric cars are good for warm climates primarily, in cold winters the owners of e-cars will face the harsh realities of their purchase. I wish them good luck if they are driving their frozen electric car in a nighttime blizzard, especially if they have kids in the back and the batteries fail. They’ll watch the toasty warm fossil fuel cars simply cruise right by, if they survive. It’s actually very serious.

  96. Brian H says:
    March 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm
    “DirkH;
    Inductive in roads is a pipe dream. The losses are huge, and the maintenance is impossible. A factory floor is a totally different environment.

    Batteries will work fine. Users of the TeslaMotors Roadster have almost no problems with charging or range.”

    Rolls Royce uses a wireless charging system in their new Silver Shopper.

    http://www.gearlog.com/2011/03/no_wires_sire_rolls-royce_elec.php

    (Well it’s actually not called the Silver Shopper)

    Tesla users have almost no problems with the range? Good. When they have *almost* no problems, that probably mean that they end up on the hard shoulder only once in a while. They’re probably not driving much – *i* *would* have problems with the range.

    I could place several Teslas around Northern Germany, though, and have some people recharge them for me so i’d use a modern variant of the Pony Express. That would work.

  97. DirkH says:
    March 4, 2011 at 8:28 am
    More about Rolls Royce’s inductive charging system: They say it achieves 90% efficiency. Don’t know if that’s true but here’s the article that says so:

    http://www.gearlog.com/2011/03/no_wires_sire_rolls-royce_elec.php

    Did you read all of it?

    ” There are no production plans imminent, although there’s no reason it couldn’t be built. Whether it costs a million dollars or a million pounds, there’s enough environmentally aware buyers, as well as those who believe in the power of one-upsmanship, to keep the Rolls-Royce factory humming. “

  98. The BBC here in the UK recently sent a reporter out to see if he could drive an electric Mini from London to Edinburgh.
    (In a petrol or diesel car you fill it with fuel and point it north – but I digress..)
    By some VERY careful routing to get to charging points – during daylight hours – and wrapped up warmly to avoid putting the heater on – our brave journo did it in FOUR DAYS…
    As subsequently pointed out in the press – a stagecoach 200 years ago would do it in two days..
    Another point on the electric versus fossil-fuelled cars – here in the UK we suffer from something like 70% tax on our road fuel. How long, I ask myself, before the government starts taxing the electricity used to charge electric cars – are they REALLY keen to let all that lovely tax revenue disappear..? I don’t think so..!

  99. Brad says: “As you say, early days. If battery tech meets expectations and energy/weight doubles or triples every 18 months (as expects) these become pretty useable everywhere pretty quickly.”

    And whose expectations would those be, Brad? Can you cite any peer reviewed work based on actual physical data in this field? We’d be very lucky if energy:weight doubles in 100 years. I think you’ve been led down the garden path, Brad.

  100. Battery theory and computer modelling resulting in unrealized expectations and imaginary consequences. Where else has that happened I wonder…

  101. Poptech says:
    March 4, 2011 at 5:23 am “I call it useless.”

    Be honest. Call it what it is. Brilliant marketing.

  102. If electric drive is so good why did the US Navy only have one (1) nuclear submarine that was electric? USN Tullibee (SSN597)

  103. Roger Sowell says:
    March 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    …..shutting off un-needed cylinders at cruising speed (the 8-6-4 strategy),…
    ==============
    This never made any sense to me.
    The pistons still need to pushed through their cycles, unless the valves are held open the pistons are still compressing air.
    I would think it takes the same amount of fuel to keep the car at cruising speed, regardless of how many cylinders are “hot”
    I.E. would not 4 cylinders need twice as much fuel to produce the same power as 8 cylinders at normal fuel rates???

  104. @u.k.(us): re shutting off two or more cylinders at cruising speed.

    This does actually use less fuel, as the valves remain closed which creates an “air spring.” The rising piston compresses the air with the valves closed, then the compressed air pushes the piston back down again. From the Wikipedia article (wiki authors did a fairly good job on this article):

    “For 1981 Cadillac introduced a new engine that would become notorious for its reliability problems (with the electronics, not the robust mechanical design), the V8-6-4 (L62). The L61 had not provided a significant improvement in the company’s CAFE numbers, so Cadillac and Eaton Corporation devised a cylinder deactivation system called Modulated Displacement that would shut off two or four cylinders in low-load conditions such as highway cruising, then reactivate them when more power was needed. When deactivated, solenoids mounted to those cylinders’ rocker-arm studs would disengage the fulcrums, allowing the rockers to “float” and leave the valves closed despite the continued action of the pushrods. These engines are easily identified by their rocker covers, which each have elevated sections over 2 cylinders with electrical connectors on top. With the valves closed the cylinders acted as air-springs, which both eliminated the feel of “missing” and kept the cylinders warm for instant combustion upon reactivation. Simultaneously, the engine control module would reduce the amount of fuel metered through the TBI unit. On the dashboard, an “MPG Sentinel” digital display could show the number of cylinders in operation, average or current fuel consumption (in miles per gallon), or estimated range based on the amount of fuel remaining in the tank and the average mileage since the last reset.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_V8_engine#368_and_V8-6-4

  105. u.k.(us) says:
    March 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm
    …..shutting off un-needed cylinders at cruising speed (the 8-6-4 strategy),…
    ==============
    This never made any sense to me.

    There is an optimal RPM and pressure that all IC engines are designed to run at.
    So the 8-6-4 strategy is the do better at maintaining optimal RPM and pressure.

  106. harrywr2 says:
    March 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm
    u.k.(us) says:
    March 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm
    …..shutting off un-needed cylinders at cruising speed (the 8-6-4 strategy),…
    ==============
    This never made any sense to me.

    There is an optimal RPM and pressure that all IC engines are designed to run at.
    So the 8-6-4 strategy is the do better at maintaining optimal RPM and pressure.
    ==========
    Your everyday driver usually runs about 2000 rpm, formula 1 cars run at 10,000 rpm. It’s all a trade off, usually about engine lifetimes.

  107. Roger Sowell says:
    March 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm
    @u.k.(us): re shutting off two or more cylinders at cruising speed.

    This does actually use less fuel, as the valves remain closed which creates an “air spring.” The rising piston compresses the air with the valves closed, then the compressed air pushes the piston back down again. From the Wikipedia article (wiki authors did a fairly good job on this article):
    ================
    Thanks for the info.
    But, where does the energy that forces the piston “up” come from?
    Nothing is free.
    If it really worked, and was cost efficient, all engines would incorporate the design wouldn’t they?
    Just saying.

  108. @ u.k (us) re 8-6-4 engine.

    It works. It is not used widely because it costs more to build the thing. It is merely one of the dozen or so technologies that can be employed to increase gas mileage. Each has a cost, and may or may not be cost-effective (and sufficiently reliable) to be mass-produced. In the same way, one could use a very small engine running at great speed for quick acceleration – but would need a dozen or more gears in the transmission to make this work. Such a transmission would be very expensive and might be too heavy and thus defeat the purpose. Then along came a workable Continuously Variable Transmission – CVT. Small engines can now rev at higher speed and still get the job done. There is a cost, though. Engine life is also a consideration. Low speed (rpms) equates to longer engine life.

    The energy to push the cylinder up and compress the air comes from two sources: 1) from the combustion in the cylinders that are firing, and 2) from the compressed air that pushes down the cylinders that are not firing.

    The idea behind the 8-6-4 is that 8 cylinders are needed to achieve a quick acceleration for a heavy car. However, at cruising speed, only 4 cylinders are required. Throttling back the engine with 8 cylinders firing uses lots of extra gasoline to move all the cylinders. But, we cannot (of course!) switch engines in the middle of a trip so they figured out a way to deactivate 2 or 4 cylinders safely.

  109. To make EV’s more practical, they need to standardize the batteries and develop a network of battery stations where in a few minutes they could remove and replace your battery with a fully charged one and send you on your way. The batteries would somehow have to be owned by the charging network and you would basically be renting them. Otherwise the limited range would be a killer out here in the west once you leave the big cities.

    For example, it is about 200 miles from Portland to Pendleton. Intermediate stops are Hood River at 63 miles, The Dalles at 84 miles, Arlington at 137 miles and Boardman at 165 miles. From Troutdale, 20 miles out of Portland, those are the only useful signs of civilization other than the highway. And it gets cold here in Oregon, although not Alberta cold. In the winter you would have to recharge/replace the battery at Hood River, then again at Arlington and your battery would be running down again by the time you got to Pendleton.

    And if you are serious about traveling, going east from Portland, the next significant city is Boise, about 400 miles east. East of Boise, there is a 129 mile stretch of nothing but desert on your way to Salt Lake City.

    Moore’s law on batteries? Someone is dreaming. They have been working on improving batteries since the oil embargo in 1973. The battery in my’58 Chevy lasted about 8 years. The battery in my ’97 Ranger lasted 10. Where is the doubling every 18 months?

  110. Roger Sowell says:
    March 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm
    @ u.k (us) re 8-6-4 engine.

    “It works. It is not used widely because it costs more to build the thing.”
    ==============
    Reminds me of the wind farms :)

    I could go on and on, about the engines, but I’ll stop.
    Peace.

  111. I don’t know much about EV’s, but I do know something about cold weather. It is hell on batteries’ efficiency. I had a guy cutting down 2 trees in my yard last December. He used a battery-powered scissor lift to get at the high parts. It was about 8 degrees F. out, and the poor guy could only get a couple hours in before having to take the machine home and recharge it. The job took a whole weekend longer than planned. I shudder to think of what an electric vehicle would be like in our cold climate.

  112. #
    #
    Poptech says:
    March 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Except you can only count on a 110-volt outlet being commonly available if you are out and running low on a charge. So do you sleep in your car while it recharges? I can go to any gas station and be in and out in 2-3 minutes. The car is also absolutely useless for any trip beyond it’s driving range of 160 miles for the base model at $50,000. I can get a Porsche for $48,000, I would rather have a Porsche.

    Also why would a “successful” company need a $465 million dollar bailout from the government?

    Yawn. For longer trips, owners plan their hookups; the “connect points” map is filling in fast. Early days, like when the first gas pumps were being put in place. “Range anxiety” fades very fast in the real world of real owners.

    As for the “bailout”, it’s a LOAN to speed up development and production of the ‘S’ and the advanced battery packs. It is planned and on course to be repaid with interest on an accelerated schedule. That’s REAL repayment from revenues, not using one bailout to pay off another, like GM’s little (big!) shell game.

    That all you’ve got?

  113. I am reliably informed that an electric car with a 100 mile range is down to 50miles
    with heating or a/c in operation.

  114. Poptech says:
    March 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm
    Brian H, “Batteries will work fine. Users of the TeslaMotors Roadster have almost no problems with charging or range.”
    By no problem do you mean losing 30% of the car’s range after 50,000 miles?
    My gas tank does not shrink after 50,000 miles.

    That’s a 5-yr old posting, before the first car had ever been produced. The current estimate is 30% after 100,000 miles or 10 yrs. And owners are finding declines are actually about half that — Tesla issues very conservative figures, a unique characteristic in a car company!
    _______

    racookpe1978 says:
    March 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm
    ….
    And this was in private house already wired elsewhere with adequate wires and connectors and breaker panels for the extra current! (NOT an apartment building or open parking garage or open street or open lot susceptible to even more corruption and theft of the copper.)

    Yes, private homes are the market for the forseeable future for that reason; possibly new or refitted apartment buildings could accommodate chargers, but open parking could only work in conjunction with special super-fast charging station availability.
    The costs you detail are a small fraction of the up-front purchase cost, and no one I’ve heard or read about finds them onerous.
    Interesting that in Europe with its 240-volt 3-phase service any outlet will do; they’re very condescending about our wimpy electric supply! ;)

  115. Mkelley says:
    March 5, 2011 at 12:08 am

    I don’t know much about EV’s, but I do know something about cold weather. It is hell on batteries’ efficiency. I had a guy cutting down 2 trees in my yard last December. He used a battery-powered scissor lift to get at the high parts. It was about 8 degrees F. out, and the poor guy could only get a couple hours in before having to take the machine home and recharge it. The job took a whole weekend longer than planned. I shudder to think of what an electric vehicle would be like in our cold climate.

    Tesla has incorporated temperature management as a fundamental part of its “ESS” power system, warming the batteries to about room temp, or cooling them (water-cooled etc.) as needed. It is key to both reliability and lifespan. Comparisons with laptops and powertools etc. are just not on; these are complete self-contained systems.

  116. Mike Borgelt says:
    March 4, 2011 at 4:10 am

    IMHO Elon Musk is going to lose his shirt and reputation on Tesla Motors which is a great pity as he’s got a very important job at SpaceX making the human race a space faring one. Go Falcons!

    You’re behind the times. Dealerships have been set up in Australia and numerous rt-hand drive Roadsters are out and about.
    But the “Model S” will tell the tale. It’s the real revenue engine for the company, and TM will stand or fall on its success. So far, its prospects look very good. It will far outclass any EV of comparable capacity anywhere. The ‘majors’ are cutting corners on range and power etc. like crazy in their offerings to date. The ‘S’ will blow their doors off.

  117. Richard Scott;
    Follow my suggestion and Google MIT, Stanford and “LiIon Nanotech”. You might be surprised. The advances don’t even require major retooling; they’re quite compatible with present fab technology. Planarenergy.com is also interesting.

  118. Greg Holmes says:
    March 4, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Here in the UK it took a BBC news reporter 4 days to travel from London to Edinburgh., complete nonsense for a car, a stagecoach could do it in 4 days. If we really want to get to grips with this, we at WUWT know how to do it, Thorium reactors producing electricity, making Hydrogen, using Hydrogen fuel cell cars.
    In the UK my wonderful Government will give you $1600 off the purchase price of one of these funny elecric cars, no takers really, apart from the odd believer.

    That was a complete sham and outrage, using a minimal city runabout for a long hard roadtrip. Here’s the response of a local Tesla owner:

    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/taking-high-road-scotland

    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/taking-high-road-home-scotland

  119. Quite frankly, I think an electric car in most regions of the US and Canada makes about as much sense as having an ELECTRIC CHAINSAW to clear fallen trees after a hurricane or ice storm when the wires are down.
    But then again, for several hundred dollars or more, a gasoline powered generator can be used to make electricity to power the saw. Okay!

    On the internet somewhere, there is an article about the 1902 Studebaker Electric and it could travel 40 miles on a charge. 13 miles an hour was pretty fast in those days.
    What is the Volt’s range again?If electrics were the way to go, I figure Studebaker would not have abandoned and see that the future was in gasoline automobile in 1911 or 12.

    Electric motors are wonderful machines. My father used to tell me, “The biggest guns in the US Navy are turned by electric motors”. True, but that electricity had to come from somewhere and I don’t think they measured hourly fuel consumption of a battleship’s boilers in pints!

    I, myself, am a fan of diesel engines, all kinds, 2 cycle, 4 cycle, stationary, marine, automotive, and even those that powered the zeppelins.Besides, to some of us out here, the sound of a “screamin jimmy” in an old Euclid is better than anything you would hear at the opera. Along with the German Shepherd Dog, the best thing that came out of Germany.

  120. The scissorlift I was referring to uses car batteries. I still contend that an EV, when out in frigid weather, will perform at a much lower level. Warming any part of the car on the road will obviously shorten the range. Heck, my gas Mazda3 barely warms up inside on the cold days up here in Montana.

  121. Electric cars will be very popular with thieves, expensive batteries and copper windings are safer to steal than cables with mains voltage running through them.

  122. Here’s a thought.
    Russia has a nuclear-powered icebreaker and of course there are nuclear powered submarines – why aren’t there nuclear-powered merchant ships..?
    If security is an issue – in the same way that security van drivers have ‘no access’ to the cash – surely they could have a secure shut-down procedure controlled by head office..?
    With the price of oil going the way it is – isn’t this option becoming viable..?

  123. BrianH –

    Did you read the Tesla guy’s piece before linking to it? It only took him 3.5 hours to ‘fill up’ en route, using the high-voltage/high-current facilities that he blagged from a fellow enthusiast. Wonderfully convenient. I’d much rather spend half a day talking to some beardy nutjob about amperage than get to my destination, have a shower and be out enjoying a chilled glass of Bolly at the Waverly Oyster Bar.

  124. Yep, read both, watched the videos, know the background.

    Long road trips currently are quicker with gassers, if you can’t match charge times with breaks you’d have taken anyway. Stipulated. But the comparison was with the deliberately lame BBC demo.

  125. Brian H, “For longer trips, owners plan their hookups; the “connect points” map is filling in fast. Early days, like when the first gas pumps were being put in place. “Range anxiety” fades very fast in the real world of real owners.

    Except I don’t have to plan anything as every major highway in the U.S. has a gas station available. According to your map, there are 837 charge stations heavily concentrated around major cities. While I have access to 121,446 gasoline stations. In the real world I can fill up in 2-3 minutes, where it can take you 8-32 hours.

    As for the “bailout”, it’s a LOAN to speed up development and production of the ‘S’ and the advanced battery packs. It is planned and on course to be repaid with interest on an accelerated schedule. That’s REAL repayment from revenues, not using one bailout to pay off another, like GM’s little (big!) shell game.

    No if it was from a bank it would be a loan, it is a bailout. The reason they got money from the government is because no banks would lend them the money nor could they get any private investors for something that is not economically viable.

  126. Brian H, “That’s a 5-yr old posting, before the first car had ever been produced. The current estimate is 30% after 100,000 miles or 10 yrs. And owners are finding declines are actually about half that — Tesla issues very conservative figures, a unique characteristic in a car company!

    I could find no data to support your claim nor am I interested in what those hyping the car claim. I did find that the Expected Battery Life is Seven-years or 100,000 miles. My gas tank does not need to be replaced in seven years or 100,000 miles.

    The Battery Replacement Cost is $30,000 or $12,000 if you pre-pay within the first 3 months of taking ownership of your Roadster.

    If I did have to replace my gas tank it would be a couple hundred dollars not $30,000!

  127. Poptech;
    It’s early days, so the data is necessarily rather anecdotal, but:

    JackB | February 16, 2011 – 3:56pm

    I’m at 29k miles and the pack has lost about 10% of its capacity. I don’t really miss it, even on long-distance road trips, because the charging rate used to slow to a crawl on the final 10%. Now it charges relatively fast to the 90% that I’ve got.

    Someone else (looking for the posting, can’t see it just now) said they’d seen no range reduction after 2+ yrs of use. No one has reported more loss of range than projected.

  128. Brian H, “Someone else (looking for the posting, can’t see it just now) said they’d seen no range reduction after 2+ yrs of use. No one has reported more loss of range than projected.

    I found comments too but I am only interested in what the engineers at Tesla have to say and the only thing I can find it what I quoted which is a 30% reduction after 50,000 miles. If they change it that is fine but it is suspicious to me that they bury these numbers on their web page, especially the battery replacement costs.

  129. Poptech;
    As for the trip planning, I think you slipped a cog or two. Planning was necessary for the first gassers, and is necessary now for EVs. It changed over time for gassers, and will change for the EVs with time. Get it now?

    This subject really gives you brain-burn, doesn’t it? You’re usually pretty rational; this is getting amusing, though, so carry on!

  130. Brian, do you get it that I don’t have to plan any trip to fill up my car? Get it now?

    I am always rational which is why I debunked all the propaganda about silly electric cars that are not economically viable nor practical.

  131. Poptech;
    Maybe I see your difficulty here.
    You just don’t get it that the Tesla Roadster owners really, really, really, like their cars, and enjoy driving them. Some go out for long drives just for the sheer enjoyment of it.

    So they’re prepared to do the planning necessary for medium to long road trips. Eventually, as charge points proliferate, that won’t be nearly as necessary.

    Capisce?

  132. P.S. Short of some major advances (not impossible, as I read the research), charging will always take longer than pumping gas, so the “fill ups” will cause delays. So then it comes down to whether they’re worth it to you.

    Roadster owners generally think it is. Probably you’ll never agree. Unless you drive one.
    ;)

  133. I have no problem with people owning them as it is their choice to do so, my issues with electric cars and the Tesla Roadster I have laid out in this thread. Yes, it is true that I will probably never accept the charging delay over a gasoline powered car. They are a nice looking car (no surprise so are Lotus Cars) but I would still rather have Porsche.

    I do have a problem with them receiving a government bailout just like I did with GM. Both companies should be able to stand on their own or go out of business.

  134. There you go, throwing terms around. The loan is very specific: it must be used only to set up and begin using manufacturing and development facilities for the “Model S” and the ESS battery system. There are stringent accountability standards, notably that Elon Musk must retain majority control and remain CEO for the duration of the payback.

    The GM “bailout” was a straight (or crooked?) gift of the shell of the company to the unions, with gross abuse of bondholder and other stakeholder rights. Just another of Obama’s Crimes Against America.

  135. Really it is not? Then,

    Why would no private sector bank loan Tesla hundreds of millions of dollars at silly low rates?

    It does matter what the “terms” are, the “loan” has nothing to do with the financial markets because no private sector bank would finance something that is not economically viable. Thus it is bailout because it is initiated by the government.

    Why do you support corporate welfare?

    The Tesla bailout is a crime against the tax payer pushed by those who support corporate welfare. So is corporate welfare only “good” when it benefits a company who’s products your like? The Tesla bailout is just as bad as the one for GM.

  136. Your sense of proportion seems to have gone walkabout.

    Tesla had already, with purely private money (every cent Musk owned, included) transformed the EV landscape worldwide with its Roadster, as every major from GM to Toyota and Daimler more or less freely acknowledge. And the loan to TM is a mere small fraction of the money blown on GM. It is likely, based on both track record and plans, to have an actual large employment and multiplier effect, rather than the net economic losses resulting from the GM-prop-up. As a fer-zample, consider Musk’s SpaceX launch and recovery of a superior space capsule (Dragon) for (total cost of creating the company, all subsequent development, manufacture and launch costs included) of <30% of the money written off on the cancelled NASA capsule 'Orion'.

    As Tesla CEO, Musk draws $1/yr. salary. The GM CEO $1,000,000.

    And so on.
    As the street expression goes, get a grip.

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