Electric Cars: Will Any Auto Company Make Money?

By Steve Goreham

Republished with the permission of The Washington Times

Tesla reported second quarter results earlier this month. Despite losing $718 million during the quarter, Tesla shares rose 16 percent on renewed promises of profitability. Driven by government incentives and mandates, world automakers have announced big electric car introduction plans. But will any electric car firm be able to make money?

Start-up automobile companies face long odds. Over the last ten years, Tesla posted cumulative losses of over $3 billion. In the second quarter, Tesla began to ramp production of its new Model 3 sedan, producing more than 50,000 cars. Tesla also promises to attain profitability in the near future, but the firm is about to face rapidly growing electric car competition.

World auto makers have not only embraced electric cars, but now appear to be competing to introduce the most electric models. More than 400 fully electric or hybrid electric vehicles have been announced. BMW plans to introduce 12 all electric and 13 hybrids into its lineup by 2025. Ford announced an $11 billion investment, 16 fully electric, and 24 plug-in hybrid electric cars by 2022. Toyota, Volkswagen, General Motors, and others appear to be all in for electrics.

Hybrid electric vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, use a conventional internal combustion engine along with an electric motor system to improve mileage. Hybrids can’t be plugged-in and charged. After ten years of production, Toyota was finally able to turn a profit on the hybrid Prius. Hybrid electric cars, which do not suffer the range limitation of fully electric cars, grew to about three percent of global vehicle sales in 2017.

Plug-in hybrid electrics, such as the Chevrolet Volt, can plug-in and run wholly on electric batteries but also use a gasoline engine for longer trips. Battery electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf, are fully electric and run only on batteries. Neither plug-in hybrid electrics nor fully electric vehicles are yet profitable.

UBS analysts estimate that General Motors loses $7,000 on every one of its new Bolt battery electric cars. The Bolt battery pack costs about $10,000‒$12,000, or up to one-third of the Bolt price tag. Daimler, Peugeot, Honda, and other auto makers warn of looming electric car losses.

Where is the demand to support all these new electric car models? Entrepreneurs and new companies traditionally achieve success by meeting a market need (market-pull strategy), or by developing a new technology to create a new market (technology-push strategy). An example of market-pull was the digital camera, which addressed the need for a camera able to take endless pictures that could be displayed almost immediately. Touch screen technology now found in PDAs, smart-phones, and computers is an example of technology-push. The electric car craze may be neither market-pull nor technology push, but instead is driven by government incentives and mandates.

Over the last decade, world nations established large financial incentives to promote electric vehicle adoption. Australia, China, India, Japan, the US, more than 20 nations in Europe, and others offered tax credits, deductions, and subsidies to consumers and businesses, but electric car growth has been disappointing. Battery electric vehicles comprised only 0.8 percent of the 86 million cars and light trucks sold globally in 2017.

Even this small consumer demand for electric cars is thin. When tax benefits are cut, demand plunges. A reduction in electric car vehicle registration taxes in Hong Kong and Denmark caused demand to drop more than 80 percent in those nations.

With subsidies largely ineffective, governments in Europe now plan to ban internal combustion engine car sales in the name of saving the environment. Bans on the sale of gasoline and diesel cars have now been adopted in France, Germany, Netherlands, and Norway, to begin in 2030 or 2040. California, other locations, and other nations are considering similar bans.

Are consumers going to be forced to shift to electrics? Electric cars have advantages of fast acceleration, lower maintenance costs, and lower fuel cost. But the fuel cost advantage will narrow when governments impose vehicle and fuel taxes as electric car penetration grows. Electric car deficiencies are major, including high purchase price, short driving range, small carrying capacity, lack of charging stations, long charging times, and expensive battery packs that need to be replaced during the life of the vehicle.

Auto makers are in a tough position. Demand for electric cars is small, but governments intend to force auto firms to convert their car lines to electrics. Hundreds of new car models chasing only five percent of the market is a recipe for financial debacle.

Look for big auto company electric car losses and a growing resale market for traditional gasoline and diesel vehicles.


Steve Goreham is a speaker on the environment, business, and public policy and author of the book Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
493 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alan Tomalty
August 23, 2018 12:46 pm

Drop all subsidies of electric vehicles and the demand plummets to near ZERO

rocketscientist
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 23, 2018 1:36 pm

It won’t be zero, but the demand will fall below the threshold of manufacturing profitability.
They won’t be able to sell enough of them to justify a full sized automated manufacturing plant, so the attendant manufacturing costs will get worse.

Donald Kasper
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 23, 2018 1:49 pm

Demand is already below the threshold of manufacturing profitability. Then as the batteries go bad, watch people sue.

Donald Kasper
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 23, 2018 1:51 pm

Robots have to be programmed, they are not flexible, have no brain, and are exorbitantly expensive to program. They can misfire and swing around every now and then, and when 2 tons of steel does that, any worker around gets killed, so all pics you see have zero people around them. You can see them move but they cannot see you. Like in the 80’s when Toyota dropped automation expansion plans, Gen 2 car Millenials are going to slowly go through the learning curve, waste a lot of their employers money, and figure this out again.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 23, 2018 5:11 pm

Robots are not the problem. They are used throughout all types of manufacturing. Programming is not a issue; a competent programmer can knock out CNC or Robot programs in a few hours.
There is software that is bought by most manufactures that does most of the work
Some post-processor programs the only thing the programmer has to do is input the layout of the part to be made. Add tool lengths, dia. Not like the old days when you used manual type writers to printout punch tapes for the machines (I did it way back hit the wrong key near the end -scream at the sky)
All machine malfunctions have human root cause.
I have only once seen a CNC go haywire -an early model Cincinnati back in 1981.
AS for people being around them, duh, they run unattended. One operator can monitor three or more machines at a time. I would regularly baby sit two while setting up a third.
So what is Tesla’s problem? D.if.I.K Poor maintenance, employee inexperience, Cheap bargain base tooling. Guinness world record piss poor planning is my pick.

anyway EOB
michael

Darrin
Reply to  Mike the Morlock
August 24, 2018 9:48 am

Tesla’s problem is they tried to build a company from the ground up, using a lot of people with little auto manufacturing experience and by the sounds of it a lot of people with no manufacturing experience at all. There’s a very steep learning curve for a company to try and do what Musk did. Most start small with a few employees and grow slowly, learning lessons as they grow. Musk decided to bypass the learning phase and we are seeing the results.

Musk would of been better off developing then licensing out his design to someone with experience or take the slow growth model. Of course he wouldn’t of had his nose as deeply in the public feeding trough as he did.

Jtom
Reply to  Mike the Morlock
August 25, 2018 8:17 am

I agree with Darrin. In addition to the points he brought up, it seems they totally ignored the aftermarket needs – production and distribution of replacement parts, training of mechanics, availability of repair facilities, etc. It seems that the attitude is that the car is disposable; you never repair anything.

What floors me is, “The Bolt battery pack costs about $10,000‒$12,000, or up to one-third of the Bolt price tag.” Knowing that if the battery is only slightly damaged in a fender-bender, safety demands its replacement, and that the life-expectancy of battery packs could be far shorter (depending on the demands put on it) than the car, would be a deal-breaker for me. The cost of insurance must be far greater than ICE cars, and in just a few years you would reach the cross-over point where a battery replacement exceeded the resale value of the car.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Jtom
September 5, 2018 8:33 pm

But before you even get to the battery replacement problem, you have this: 300 miles without refueling, fully refuel in less than 10 minutes (I might give you 15 if you twist my arm and make me time my next 100 refuels, but until then, that’s what it feels like to me.) I might consider a battery electric vehicle if you can give me those 2 characteristics. I already have it in my current vehicle, why would I want to take a (actually multiple) step backwards? I won’t consider a hybrid at all because you are basically trying to sell me a vehicle with two engines in it, and both need to be maintained, and repaired/replaced when they wear out. All that technology doubles or even quadruples the number of things that can go wrong/wear out on my vehicle, I don’t need the bother. I won’t even rent one. One car rental company tried that on me, I gave it back to them and told them to find me a real car. So, until then (see 1st sentence), there is no business case to support me, the consumer, even considering one of those useless pieces of c**p, either hybrid or battery electric.

Don K
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 23, 2018 3:29 pm

I’m thinking that someone will eventually turn up with an electric car that is your basic Un-Tesla. Crude, dangerous, unreliable, limited range and dirt cheap. It’ll probably come from China or some place where manufacturing costs are even lower. It may not even be available in developed countries because it won’t pass safety tests. But “they” will sell zillions of them in the third world. That, not building luxury vehicles and scaling them down, ‘s pretty much the way all the major manufacturers became major manufacturers. (e.g Model-T, VW bug, etc.)

Loren Wilson
Reply to  Don K
August 23, 2018 4:13 pm

They can’t sell them in the third world because the third world doesn’t have any electrical capacity to recharge them.

Don K
Reply to  Loren Wilson
August 23, 2018 4:25 pm

“the third world doesn’t have any electrical capacity to recharge them.” China and India are doing their best to fix that — both at home and overseas. That, in fact, is the major reason that the Paris Climate Agreement is surely going to fail. It assumes that the 4 or 5 billion folks without access to adequate, reliable power aren’t going to generate much CO2 when they electrify. Seems a very odd assumption.

Edwin
Reply to  Don K
August 23, 2018 5:59 pm

Don, question? how would third world countries charge the batteries? Heck how will the EU countries banning internal combustion powered vehicles charge the batteries after their bans take place?

Don K
Reply to  Edwin
August 24, 2018 5:09 am

AFAICS, they are mostly going to burn some natural gas and a LOT of coal. They’ll also build some hydro dams, and in some places with suitable geology they’ll have grid scale geothermal. And maybe — in about 30 years — they’ll start to have “batteries” that make really large scale wind and solar beyond about 20% of the total actually feasible and affordable … maybe …

gnomish
Reply to  Don K
August 23, 2018 6:53 pm

i just made my own electric mobility scooter. it’s light enough to pick it up and put in the car. it can probably do 20 mph+ for @ 15 miles on flat ground. i’ve had it on 2 wheels around corners at the grocery store.
i like it very much. 24Ah batteries – but i might go to 36Ah with a couple of Li-ion batteries that are the size of a little paperback book.
i run rings around those Jazzies. makes em so jelly…lol
so, no license to drive, no license to ride (sidewalks, indoors, streets in my small town)
maybe 300$ to produce in Q 100. simply can’t be beat for local running except when it rains. it’s really fun. i b stylin!
so cheap, dangerous, reliable, limited range – and it does what it needs to do.

if a car doesn’t have giant tires, loads of glass and a sofa in a steel box, you can get cheap, easy and good to intersect.

Y. Knott
Reply to  gnomish
August 24, 2018 4:07 am

– I “WOULD” remind you that almost all that “giant tires, glass and sofa in a steel box” are government-mandated safety features, so the occupant will likely survive a crash… Early cars were about as insubstantial as your scooter; and Heaven help anybody inside if it rolled or hit something.

ferdperple
Reply to  gnomish
August 24, 2018 4:56 am

You would probably need to use 12V lead acid batteries with a 300 cycle lifetime to get the costs that low. A scooter with small wheels takes more energy per unit of travel than a bicycle with large wheels and narrow high pressure tires.

gnomish
Reply to  ferdperple
August 24, 2018 8:32 am

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0798KWFWS
3000 times
201 Whr, nominal
25$ amazing.
looks like i got the last one… they will be more- better, cheaper. malthus beaters.

Reply to  Don K
August 24, 2018 3:59 am

They already have dirt cheap electric cars. Batteries not included.

Aaron
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 23, 2018 1:46 pm

It won’t fall at all. The people who will buy these toys are affluent and progressive. They’re a small sliver of the population. These will never be mass marketable, though. The typical working person would never buy one of these, nor could they ever afford it with the handouts in place. A really good question is why are typical working people subsidizing the toy car purchases of affluent progressives? They’re affluent, so why do they need the money? Would they even be any less likely to buy one of these toys? If they were, so what. What does that say about the business model?

rocketscientist
Reply to  Aaron
August 23, 2018 2:09 pm

Aaron, I learned a long time ago that wealthy people do not become wealthy by spending their money foolishly. Parvenus do, and then they either wizen up or recede back to their previous profligate existences.

Don K
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 23, 2018 4:27 pm

“wealthy people do not become wealthy by spending their money foolishly.”

Their kids however …

stinkerp
Reply to  Aaron
August 23, 2018 2:55 pm

It was the wealthy who could afford cars back in the early 20th century that generated enough demand that Henry Ford and others seized the opportunity to innovate production methods to bring them to the mass market. The same is happening with electric vehicles. There is no question that electric motors have significant advantages in efficiency, power, and cost over internal combustion for road vehicles. The batteries are the weak link. Electricity storage will inevitably improve and internal combustion cars will go the way of the Stanley Steamer and the hand-built automobiles that preceded the Model T Ford.

HotScot
Reply to  stinkerp
August 23, 2018 3:31 pm

stinkerp

I agree with you. The wealthy did help the IC engined motor vehicle succeed. As did the discovery of cheap oil and the endeavour of great Scotsmen like Dunlop (the inventor of the pneumatic tyre) and McAdam, for whom we all have to than for modern road surfaces (he didn’t invent potholes though) and indeed Alexander Graham Bell , without whom we couldn’t converse with hands free technology (OK, sorry, I couldn’t resist the temptation of including my Scottish heritage). But there was also Karl Benz, the inventor of the first IC automobile, all happy coincidences of a capitalist world.

The Model T Ford was a rural means of transport and Henry supported the company to a degree by selling cars at cost price to his employees. But the fact is, they bought them because they were practical items that served a unique purpose was just another happy coincidence. Had fuel been $5 a gallon then, we might still have been riding horses. So it wasn’t just the invention of the IC engine that was significant, it was an accumulation of dissociated inventions which allowed it to flourish.

Fast forward to today. Where are the incentives to run an EV? Whilst electricity is still relatively cheap, in the UK for example, 40% of the population park on street, with no access to charging.

Motor cars empowered people, our current government mandates on EV’s restrict people. We are being instructed as to what we can choose.

Not a popular choice, and it will be resisted by market forces.

Edwin
Reply to  HotScot
August 23, 2018 6:04 pm

HotScot, to add to your scenario of the past, there were no government bans on horse and carriages, no subsidies to support manufacturing of IC vehicles, and few regulations on oil development. The automobile was developed in a free market capitalist system to solve a problem everyone had, cheap and effective transportation.

John Endicott
Reply to  Edwin
August 24, 2018 5:50 am

And further, the IC vehicles had a pre-existing competitor (other than the horse and buggy) – Electric vehicles. IC vehicles won that competition because the of drawbacks of the electric vehicles, drawbacks that, a century plus later, still exist.

Russ Wood
Reply to  John Endicott
August 26, 2018 6:12 am

-And don’t forget oddballs like the Stanley Steamer!

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Russ Wood
September 5, 2018 9:01 pm

The Stanley Steamer failed primarily because it could not instantly start and run as soon as the average consumer sat down in it. So if consumers aren’t going to put up with that, why should I put up with the peccadilloes of the “modern” (but unimproved) electric vehicles?

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  HotScot
September 5, 2018 8:57 pm

I have heard repeatedly that somebody, likely Henry Ford, but it could have been Mr. Benz, selected and adjusted the carburetor and various other parts of the IC engine that went into his automobile to use “coal gas”, what was previously a waste product that had no other commercial use. This is why I speculate Henry Ford, his business model wasn’t going to work if the “common man”, which he defined as one of the workers in one of his factories, couldn’t afford to operate that contraption after he purchased it, even at the ridiculously low price Mr. Ford could produce them. And that’s why his business model worked.

Graeme#4
Reply to  stinkerp
August 23, 2018 4:15 pm

I believe that many of the so-called advantages you mention are not that major. ICE efficiency is now over 35% and pushing towards 40%, while EV efficiency is around 47%. The cost of EVs will never come down to ICE costs. And in many many countries, including Australia, the inability to provide large-scale charging facilities in remote areas will confine EV usage to suburban areas. The batteries used in Tesla cars have pushed the limits of lithium cell technology to its edge, some say even over the edge, and it will be a long time before we see improved batteries.

Uncle Max
Reply to  Graeme#4
August 24, 2018 1:21 am

Good points. Also, those batteries have to be recycled/replaced at some point. We are probably within 5 years of the first wave of this. The press will dutifully hush this up, but it’s going to be a problem. Also, thousands of used electrics, that need new batteries, that are scrapped instead because there is no market for them. We’ll see.

Lee Riffee
Reply to  stinkerp
August 23, 2018 6:46 pm

I agree with the first part of your statement about wealthy people driving down the costs of new inventions and products so that eventually almost everyone can afford said items. But I totally disagree with the notion that ICE vehicles will become extinct anytime soon for various reasons, one of which is almost never mentioned but IMO is a significant impediment to having that happen.
There is this thing called “car culture”, which originated in the US and is still very dominant here. I am not sure if it is that much of a “thing” in Europe or other parts of the world, though. Stop for a moment and think about cars and other vehicles and what they mean in a psychological sense to people and how those feelings are woven deeply into the cultural fabric of America (and maybe other countries/places to a lesser degree). Think of all the movies you’ve seen with car chases; think of NASCAR and other auto races, think of monster truck shows, think of demolition derbies, think of hot rod shows, etc, etc, etc. And now, think of some reasons why these things are so compelling to so many people. It isn’t just that cars (and trucks, and tractors, and even racing boats and other high performance engine powered water craft) go fast, crash into each other and do seemingly impossible stunts.
IMO a huge part of the appeal of the ICE propelled vehicle is the roar of the engine. And then there is the engine itself – and all those people who love to tinker with such things and modify them.
For the life of me there are things I cannot imagine – and if I do, I feel like rolling on the floor laughing – and no doubt I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Just imagine NASCAR with all electric vehicles – that would be like a horse race without the sound of thundering hooves…..and heaven help if there was a wreck – suddenly the whole grandstand would have to be evacuated due to toxic fumes and explosive danger of a battery fire! And lets not even go there with a demolition derby….Car chases in films would be a poor imitation of the Chariot race in Ben-Hur – but without the galloping, thundering horses pulling those nearly silent sleds.
And imagine a car show of the future, with vehicles displayed with the hoods up – what on earth even remotely exciting do they have to show – a shiny new bank of batteries?
And finally, there is personal experience. I am certainly no gear-head, and I’ve got nothing even close to thrilling, just a 4 cylinder Honda that gets me from point a to point b. But I’ll say one thing – when I go to pass a slow poke on the freeway I always revel in the satisfying roar of the engine when I punch the gas pedal. A Telsa, I’m sure, would get me around that pokey way faster, but then again, freeze dried scrambled eggs are also nutritious, and instant coffee fills the bill for a caffeine fix. But neither are any where near as satisfying as the real thing!
That – the love of automobile and the engine that powers it, will be a truly tall obstacle for fully electric vehicles to ever overcome, government pushed or not.

Matthew Benefiel
Reply to  Lee Riffee
August 24, 2018 5:14 am

Great post Lee! Culture is huge, just look how cars went from manual to automatic, yet we still have manual because they are more fun to drive at times. I suppose you could put a dummy clutch and shifter in an EV to simulate the experience, but it just won’t be the same. Heck sometime I love getting in an old pulley acceleration petal vs a digital just because the response is smoother and more instantaneous.

rocketscientist
Reply to  Matthew Benefiel
August 24, 2018 7:39 am

I’ve still have my Midget with dual webbers and manual choke.
…with Lucas electronics 🙁

Darrin
Reply to  Matthew Benefiel
August 24, 2018 10:09 am

You’re not the only one. I hate pushing down on the accelerator and getting very little response until I’ve gone “so far”. I want instant response out of my accelerator!!! Honestly, I think the engineers programmed in the slow change in acceleration to help with fuel economy.

Jtom
Reply to  Matthew Benefiel
August 25, 2018 8:41 am

Manual transmission is rapidly becoming known as a ‘theft deterrent system’. Being able to drive a stick-shift is becoming a lost art, and few car thieves can do it.

After decades of driving the, tough, I have to admit: the lack of wide open roads and constant traffic jams have taken all the fun out of manual transmissions. Having to put the car in gear, drive it five feet, and taking it out of gear again for an hour is not enjoyable.

When I get my Honda S2000, six-speed on a very rural highway, though,…..

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Lee Riffee
September 5, 2018 9:13 pm

I said, as much as 10 years ago (the first time I encountered a Tesla) that it wouldn’t replace any sportscar until it was fully rigged with speakers underneath and a computer controlled sound generator to mimic the exact sounds, with the same shift points, at the same volume, as a 1994 Dodge Viper with straight pipes. And I have met more than one purist that insist it must replicate the sound of a V-8, that V-10 is some weird sounding piece of machinery that just doesn’t do it for them! That’s another thing the battery EV has going against it, that it likely will never overcome.

MarkG
Reply to  stinkerp
August 23, 2018 6:55 pm

“Electricity storage will inevitably improve and internal combustion cars will go the way of the Stanley Steamer and the hand-built automobiles that preceded the Model T Ford.”

You mean, the electric cars that motorists dumped as soon as the internal combustion engine came along?

Jleefeldman
Reply to  stinkerp
August 23, 2018 8:21 pm

“Electricity storage will inevitably improve and internal combustion cars will go the way of the Stanley Steamer and the hand-built automobiles that preceded the Model T Ford”. True, but EV’s make no sense until the storage problem is solved. Any auto company would be crazy not to do R&D but just as crazy to go ahead and introduce vehicles that don’t work.

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  Jleefeldman
August 24, 2018 12:50 pm

Exactly. Same thing with wind and solar. Stupid voters and corrupt politicians are so bad for the economy.

MarkW
Reply to  stinkerp
August 24, 2018 6:53 am

“Electricity storage will inevitably improve”

That’s a statement of faith, not one of science.

beng135
Reply to  stinkerp
August 24, 2018 8:15 am

Electricity storage will inevitably improve

Electricity storage is already mature — has been for a century. Only slight, incremental improvements have been made since then.

John Endicott
Reply to  stinkerp
August 24, 2018 9:39 am

Electricity storage will inevitably improve and internal combustion cars will go the way of the Stanley Steamer and the hand-built automobiles that preceded the Model T Ford

You mean the way of the hand-built electric automobiles that preceded the Model T FORD?

While Electricity storage will inevitably improve, it’ll improve the way it has been since before the Model T – incrementally. The radical leaps in improvement you are looking for and need just aren’t going to happen, certainly not in the near term if ever. As beng points out “Electricity storage is already mature” It’s had over two centuries of development since Alessandro Volta developed the first electrical battery in 1799, we’re well passed the stage where great leaps generally happen. Expecting such leaps to happen is, as MarkW points out, “of faith, not science”

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  stinkerp
September 5, 2018 9:17 pm

“Electricity storage will inevitably improve…”

…which has apparently been inevitable for 40 years. You’re out of time.

Donald Kasper
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 23, 2018 1:48 pm

Give me free electricity and a free electric car and I will use them and don’t care what they cost.

MarkW
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 23, 2018 2:06 pm

Not just subsidies, it’s the mandates.
Automakers get a huge credit for every electric they sell that they can use to offset the CAFE numbers for cars that people actually want.

HotScot
Reply to  MarkW
August 23, 2018 3:32 pm

MarkW

Government mandates are the rock the EV will perish on.

Fraizer
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 23, 2018 3:54 pm

No. The scam is the zev mandates and cafe rules. EVs and PEVs significantly up fleet MPG numbers.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 24, 2018 1:13 pm

I protest the use of the term “electric car”.

“Coal car” would be much more honest,
at least for the state of Michigan !

Here in Michigan, USA, our electricity
(from DTE Energy – 2017 data)
is 64.7% from coal,
22% nuclear ,
5% gas
1% cow flatulence
and 8.6% renewables,
mainly wind (6.75%)

Russ Wood
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 26, 2018 6:17 am

On ‘coal cars’ – Just after WW2 local deliveries around Liverpool were done by steam powered lorries! There was a rounded front with the driver in the middle, and the stoker behind him keeping up the steam. With coal.
There used to be one of these in the Liverpool museum…

Gus
August 23, 2018 12:48 pm

Will any auto-company make money on EVs? Not until owning and driving an EV is free of sacrifices. Once it is possible to fully recharge an EV in less than 5 minutes, once you can drive on a full charge at least 300 miles, once the weight of batteries is no more than the weight of a full tank of gas, once the battery is good enough for 200,000 miles, once the car costs no more than an ICE car, then yes, it’s a viable alternative and people will be willing to replace their old ICEs with the new EVs.

Question: can an EV drive through a deep puddle without short-circuiting?

Bengt Abelsson
Reply to  Gus
August 23, 2018 12:56 pm

Yes, but the loss of steering will cause it to crash.

Y. Knott
Reply to  Welcome Delisle
August 24, 2018 4:11 am

– yeah, but that was only three cars… /sarc

Dave_G
Reply to  Gus
August 23, 2018 1:34 pm

The talk of pure EV is misleading. HYBRID vehicles will be the way the market goes.

HotScot
Reply to  Dave_G
August 23, 2018 3:42 pm

Dave_G

Ah!….Now, different discussion entirely. And for the UK at least, our market unaware gubberment has decreed that EV’s are the future as of 2040. They don’t say that includes dominant hybrids.

Their usual slippery distortion of fact will be their undoing. Had they said from the beginning that hybrid was the future, the British public would have rallied round. Instead they have nominated EV’s which, to the public, means tiny two seaters suitable for cities only.

Government cock ups are reliable in their regularity however this one is monumental in it’s manipulative stupidity.

Jtom
Reply to  HotScot
August 25, 2018 8:48 am

I suspect they will correct this through legislation as it becomes untenable to continue as is. But I also suspect the rewritten legislation will only mandate that a car have an electric motor in addition to an ICE, and that will ‘accidentally’ include standard electric starters on every ICE auto.

HotScot
Reply to  Jtom
August 25, 2018 5:02 pm

Jtom

It’s a political wish, I don’t believe there’s any legislation in place to enforce it.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Jtom
September 5, 2018 9:23 pm

Low-and-behold, we’ll find that the electric motor that runs the clock in the dash qualifies, and every car will once again be equipped with a clock in the dash with hands, not digits but hands!

Philo
Reply to  Dave_G
August 23, 2018 5:56 pm

As a viable proposition hybrid vehicles are the only ones that make sense. They can significantly improve fuel efficiency and actually save the buyer some money. The newest hybrids give away little to IC cars in the same price range. It may have taken Toyota 10 years to make a real profit, but they ended up with some very practical, usable machines. They can significantly reduce auto emissions both of pollutants and carbon dioxide simply burning less fuel per mile.

Compared to a hybrid an price competitive electric only car has few advantages and many disadvantages. Since most of the electricity in the USA and most other countries still uses fossil fuels heavily an electric car is only, possibly, more “green” as somewhat better in CO2 emissions, if you care about that. The biggest advantage electric cars have had so far has been large subsidies for affluent people willing to put up with the limitations. Another example of the rich living off of the less affluent in society.

Darrin
Reply to  Philo
August 24, 2018 10:23 am

Philo, about 18 months ago I ended with a Prius rental car. That’s an experience I don’t wish to ever experience again. While it did get the advertised 50mpg over an 8hr round trip it was not a good car (IMO) for that trip. To me it was just OK driving around town but on the freeway, highways and driving over some mountain passes it gets a big hell no from me. It was not a practical or useable machine for that trip.

Drawbacks:
-Engine noise was horrible as it tried to maintain speeds going up and over the hills let alone the mountain passes. It was so bad I seriously contemplated pulling out some ear plugs and putting them in.
-Gutless engine. It was designed to run around in town at town speeds not pull hills at freeway/highway speeds. I couldn’t even contemplate passing slow cars, when coming up to passing lanes. It just didn’t have the required acceleration to get around them before the passing lane went away.
-Made odd electronic noises that I never did figure out. Darn thing would beep at me and when I looked at the dash I couldn’t figure out why. That doesn’t exactly make it user friendly.
-To many rattles and bangs out of the suspension/body.
-Fit and finish certainly wasn’t what I expected.
-Seats were uncomfortable.

Some of these are fixable with little effort. Others, not so easily. A more powerful engine will hurt overall fuel economy. More insulation to quite down the noise adds weights they are trying to shed. Heck, I think the seat was uncomfortable because they removed padding from it to lower weight.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Darrin
August 24, 2018 11:04 am

Prius engine noise is no worse than on my old Acura Integra 4-cylinder or any number of 4-cylinder rentals that I’ve had. It is a shame that you had such problems dealing with the dashboard because there is this thing called a “radio” that comes standard and helps with that.

No, it doesn’t accelerate like a sports car or even my old V6 Camry, but I have never felt nervous about punching it and merging or passing. Its 0-60 time is comparable to a large number of production vehicles. Did you drive in the 80s or 90s? The Prius’ level acceleration was quite common in those days. Have passing lanes shortened since then or something?

I drive mine quite aggressively, and the bulk of my driving is on interstates. Hitting 90 mph each way on my commute is standard, and I often hit 100 during a certain open stretch. I don’t have much hilly terrain, but the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is considered dauntingly steep to many, and it goes very smoothly.

Two decades of sales and use have demonstrated how “practical and useable it is” for what it is – a compactor small 5-door liftback. And it’s not the car’s fault that you couldn’t figure out the dashboard.

Darrin
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 24, 2018 12:36 pm

-Having traveled for a living for many years, I’ve rented a lot of vehicles and most are 4 cylinders. The Prius has by far the noisiest motor I’ve driven of any modern car.

-Not sure where you are going with the snarky radio comment helping me with odd electronic noises. Or are you saying as I drive down a two lane road I’m suppose to spend time flipping through screens until I find out why it made a noise? Poor design if I do.

-Passing lanes on two lane mountain roads are mostly short and infrequent, if your car doesn’t get up and move you’re not passing. Add in the aggravation of that slow car whose been holding you up typically decides it’s safe to speed up because now there’s and extra lane…Your car had better get up and move because the race is on. And yes, I did drive in the 80’s and 90’s and even drove cars from the 60’s and 70’s. As a matter of fact it felt like I was driving a dog from the first years of pollution control on engines.

Reply to  Dave_G
August 23, 2018 8:46 pm

Hybrid vehicles only make sense if both gasoline and battery packs are expensive. Right now, in the U.S., gasoline is not expensive. Battery packs will continue to get less and less expensive (as opposed to gasoline engine cars).

Roger Knights
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 23, 2018 9:02 pm

“Battery packs will continue to get less and less expensive”

Not if there’s a cobalt crunch down the road, as EVs become more popular. (It’s a by-product of copper mining, and isn’t worth mining on its own.) Other battery ingredients are rising in price too, IIRC.

A battery breakthrough is needed. Such have always been on the horizon, but haven’t panned out.

Reply to  Roger Knights
August 24, 2018 7:23 pm

“Not if there’s a cobalt crunch down the road,…”

Tesla and Panasonic are working to eliminate cobalt from their batteries:

https://smallcaps.com.au/panasonic-tesla-remove-cobalt-electric-car-battery/

Alan Watt, Cliamate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 23, 2018 9:06 pm

Depends on what you value. I get 550+ miles on a full tank, which is worth something to me. I give up about 2 cu. ft. of trunk space and the split fold-down rear seats, which means I compromise on cargo capacity. In my current situation I find this a reasonable trade. At different times of my life it would not be.

Low gasoline prices depress the resale value of hybrids, which means the gas savings pay off the higher hybrid price faster. The extra components (electric motor, NiMH battery) add almost nothing to the maintenance liability, so long-term TCOE (Total Cost Of Ownership) is less than the equivalent pure IC vehicle. I always value saving money.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Cliamate Denialist Level 7
August 24, 2018 5:36 am

“I always value saving money.”

Most people do. That’s why virtually everyone who has studied the subject (like I have) knows that the future of automotive transportation is: autonomous, electric, and shared (i.e., transportation-as-a-service provided by fleet owners who own anywhere from hundreds to even millions of automobiles).

https://singularityhub.com/2018/08/23/the-future-of-cars-is-electric-autonomous-and-shared-heres-how-well-get-there/?utm_source=Singularity+Hub+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f2908f13da-Hub_Daily_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f0cf60cdae-f2908f13da-58487597

It’s a matter of when, not if. My estimate is that by the 2040-2050 time period, more than 90 percent of the passenger miles traveled in automobiles in the U.S. and other developed countries will be in autonomous, electric vehicles operating in transportation-as-a-service mode. You read it here first. (Or you read it more than 5 years ago on my blog, if you read my blog. ;-))

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2013/01/the-future-of-transportation.html

MarkW
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 24, 2018 9:36 am

I guess anything’s possible. However for 90% of cars to be electric in just 22 years, they better start ramping up the production rates and pretty darn quick.

BTW, is having a taxi take you everywhere you want to go is going to take over the market, why haven’t taxis taken over the transportation market already?

People like the idea of having a car in the garage that exactly fits their needs, hasn’t been trashed by who ever rode in it before you and is available when you need it, not some 20 minutes after you call for it.

Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 5:49 pm

“However for 90% of cars to be electric in just 22 years, they better start ramping up the production rates and pretty darn quick.”

I didn’t write that 90% of the cars would be electric by 2040, I wrote that 90% of the *passenger miles* will be in electric cars by 2040. The average person only travels 12,000 miles per year in their car. I expect electric cars operating as transportation-as-a-service to easily do 4 times that (48,000+ miles per year).

“BTW, if having a taxi take you everywhere you want to go is going to take over the market, why haven’t taxis taken over the transportation market already?”

Because much of the fare of a taxi goes to paying the driver. Don’t forget that even when a taxi is sitting in traffic, the driver must be paid. Plus, the taxi itself must be big enough to fit both the driver and the passenger(s). With transportation-as-a-service, if one is going 5-10 miles around town (not on any highway), one might choose an incredibly small single-seat car, at a much lower per-mile rate than for the typical 4-door car that almost all taxis are today.

“People like the idea of having a car in the garage that exactly fits their needs,…”

In fact, it is only with transportation-as-a-service that one can *always* get a car that exactly fits one’s needs. For example, I have a 4-door Camry because about 30% of the miles I travel I have one or two passengers (and about 5% of the miles I have 3 passengers. But the other 70% of the time it’s just me. Consider that there is *no* mass-production single-seat car in the U.S., but the vast majority of the miles traveled are with just one occupant in the car (the driver).

“…and is available when you need it, not some 20 minutes after you call for it.”

I haven’t ridden in Uber terribly often (maybe 10 total trips) but I would say 20 minutes is the absolute most I’ve ever waited. Cars providing transportation-as-a-service will do much better than Uber, because the cars can simply be parked along particular roads if statistical analysis of past usage shows that someone will likely order the car fairly soon. Again, that couldn’t be done with a taxi, because the human driver would need to be paid to just sit. I expect the average wait with transportation-as-a-service to be under 5 minutes, particularly if you call out to Alexa, Siri, or Google that you’re going to need a car in 5 minutes. (in fact, I expect Alexa, Siri, and Google to *anticipate* you’re going to go out, and they will inquire whether you desire a car 5-10 minutes before you actually are ready to leave.)

MarkW
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 24, 2018 6:51 pm

90% of passenger miles, that’s even more nonsensical, as EVs are only used for short range trips.
The idea that cars will be parked along particular roads is also nonsense, since they will constantly be shuttling back to the garage to be recharged.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Mark Bahner
September 5, 2018 9:31 pm

At least 300 miles without having to refuel, and a less-than-10 minute refuel time. I have that now, I will not go backwards.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 24, 2018 11:37 am

Except I would find that concept inconceivable outside of the inner city. Why on EARTH would I ever want such a thing? While people who currently do not have a car would probably embrace it as an extension of taxi service, why would I choose to give up my car? Until the price drops precipitously enough for it to be en-mass enough that one will always be close even in suburbs or rural areas and affordable enough that I would be willing to sacrifice such a fundamental freedom provided by having my own car.

I’m reminded of people heralding the death of PC’s five years ago, saying that you would do all work on a tablet or phone. What happened? Reality. Basic methods just work better. Why would I rely on a service when I can have my own?

Reply to  Ben of Houston
August 24, 2018 6:08 pm

“Why on EARTH would I ever want such a thing?”

I don’t know about you, but the majority of people will want it for the reason the earth goes around. Money. The average person spends about $8500 a year on automobile driving (and that does *not* count the opportunity cost that one cannot do other things, like sleeping, while driving).

I expect transportation-as-a-service to cut costs in half for the average person. So that’s about $4300 a year–or close to $400 a month–in savings.

Editor
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 24, 2018 6:21 pm

Mark Bahner

I expect transportation-as-a-service to cut costs in half for the average person. So that’s about $4300 a year–or close to $400 a month–in savings.

And why do think all electric cars would be “cutting the costs in half” for the average person? A hybrid make a certain amount of sense for certain people in certain circumstances. An all-electric car makes “sense” (and cents!) ONLY for those who can get somebody else (the taxpayers or their company) to pay for the car, the charger, the wiring fees and facility, the plugs and the replacement battery. And who commute a limited amount on specific routes that never require you to vary from the limited car range. In other words, college and government bureaucrats sucking the taxpayers’ wallets.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
August 25, 2018 10:21 am

“And why do think all electric cars would be “cutting the costs in half” for the average person? ”

It’s not the electric part that does all the cost cutting. It’s: 1) Autonomous vehicles, 2) operating in transportation-as-a-service mode, that 3) happen to be largely all-electric. (There will be some gasoline cars, if gasoline remains inexpensive enough.)

Mostly what cuts the cost is that autonomous vehicles operating in transportation-as-a-service mode allows major increases in the mileage driven per year (even 100,000+ miles per year for a fair percentage of the cars), and major shifts in car design (single-seat vehicles, which currently don’t even exist in mass production, will probably become the *most* common vehicle on most low-speed roads).

“An all-electric car makes “sense” (and cents!) ONLY for those who can get somebody else (the taxpayers or their company) to pay for the car, the charger, the wiring fees and facility, the plugs and the replacement battery.”

No, as I said before, all-electric makes sense if battery packs are cheap enough. And all-electric particularly makes sense for autonomous vehicles operating in transportation-as-a-service mode. That’s because the fleet owner will deal with any “range anxiety.” And fleet owners will be able to negotiate with electric utility companies to obtain deals that are favorable to each. (A private owner of an electric vehicle has no power–pardon the expression–with the electric utility companies. But a fleet owner will potentially be dealing with transfers to and from the grid of many, many megawatts. Potentially even gigawatts…though not in a single location, obviously.)

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 31, 2018 5:23 pm

AFAIK, there are zero autonomous cars on the road today. Even the developers have a driver monitoring performance and ready to take over the driving. Drivers need a “drivers license” to operate legally on public roads. What state government is ready to issue drivers licenses to an autonomous car, especially one that gets software updates at random times? Consumer reports found their Tesla had a long stopping distance, and Tesla fixed the problem with an over-the-air software update. That tells me that government acceptance is a long way off before the first autonomous car is allowed on the road.

MarkW
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 24, 2018 6:52 pm

And Marxism was supposed to save humanity too.

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 24, 2018 1:07 pm

probably should shoot for 9% in 20 years first?

Reply to  Dennis Sandberg
August 24, 2018 6:21 pm

“probably should shoot for 9% in 20 years first?”

The human mind doesn’t handle exponential growth well. It overestimates short-term change, and underestimates long-term change. Autonomous vehicles will grow exponentially, and with incredibly short doubling times (say, even 2 years or less). If the first mass-production fully autonomous vehicles don’t come out for 5 years (that’s conservative), and reach 1% in 7 years, a 2-year doubling time would mean 100% autonomous in…about 20 years.

MarkW
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 24, 2018 6:54 pm

Autonomous cars might, I repeat MIGHT, replace taxis. But that will be it.

michael hart
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 25, 2018 4:48 am

When claiming exponential growth one should always bear in mind what it means in terms of underlying processes and principles.
Thus biological growth is exponential in the true sense that a biological organism reproduces to give yet more organisms which then reproduce….
Internet ‘memes’ grow exponentially when someone spreads it to several friends who then spread it yet more friends…. (of course, the biological organism will run out space/resources or be devoured by competitors/predators growing faster, and people in general will run out of new friends who have not already been contacted.)

But much growth can be increasing rapid and only appear to be “exponential” for reasons that are not really exponential or simply unknown. What is the basis for your claim that your scheme will grow exponentially?

Reply to  michael hart
August 25, 2018 7:48 pm

“But much growth can be increasing rapid and only appear to be “exponential” for reasons that are not really exponential or simply unknown. What is the basis for your claim that your scheme will grow exponentially?”

Well…the bottom line is that the growth won’t be truly exponential. It will be a logistic function (a sigmoid curve). But my point is the time between, say 1% penetration and 90+% penetration will be surprisingly short (to most people).

The change will be comparable to what happened after the introduction of the Model T in 1908. In 1908, almost everyone traveled by horse. By 1940, very few people did. This will be like that (only a little faster).

The reasons the change will be so fast are:

1) Exponential growth in capability of computer-driven cars. Right now, a computer-driven cars is better than the worst human drivers (drunk drivers, very tired drivers, texting drivers). Within 10 years, computer-driven cars will be better than virtually all human drivers.

2) There are tremendous positive synergies between computer-driven cars, transportation-as-a-service, and electric cars (and the electric grid services they can provide).

3) Money, money, money. We’re talking about literally trillions of dollars of annual savings in the U.S. alone.

David A
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 26, 2018 3:24 am

“There are tremendous positive synergies between computer-driven cars, transportation-as-a-service, and electric cars (and the electric grid services they can provide).”

Electric grid services they “demand”, the more used, the more demand. Whatever charge they have was a withdraw somewhere zero net gain. You must be thinking load balancing? Full of problems.

Infrastructure to charge? Power generation to supply?

Reply to  David A
August 26, 2018 9:04 am

“You must be thinking load balancing?”

“Load balancing,” at least as it has historically meant, probably isn’t the best description for what batteries can do.

Historically, there’s a big power plant, which everyone wants to be running full-out, in order to get the best return on the capital invested. Since there is no storage in this historical situation, the load has to balance the supply.

With batteries, of course, the non-battery load does *not* have to match the supply, because the batteries soak up excess supply (i.e., provide additional load) or provide additional supply (by discharging the battery) if additional supply is needed. The key advantage of batteries over natural gas peaking power plants is that batteries can absorb excess supply. That’s exactly what will increasingly occur around midday in sunny climates. Not excess demand…excess supply from photovoltaics.

Batteries have additional advantages over natural gas peaking power plants, such as being tremendously capable of frequency support, without needing to be “spinning reserve,” and being able to be sited essentially anywhere (close to supply or close to demand).

And the key advantage of automobile batteries as grid batteries is that the capital investment is already being almost completely used by supplying electricity to power automobiles. A battery used exclusively for grid support is less fully utilized. (Automobile batteries will also be mass-produced by orders of magnitude more than batteries devoted exclusively to grid support…so automobile batteries will improve much faster.)

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Mark Bahner
September 5, 2018 9:36 pm

I have heard this one before. Wait, let me think, it’s called… A “pyramid scam scheme”!!!

MarkW
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 27, 2018 12:54 pm

“There are tremendous positive synergies between computer-driven cars, transportation-as-a-service, and electric cars (and the electric grid services they can provide).”

People can convince themselves of anything if they try hard enough.

Alan Watt, Cliamate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 24, 2018 3:45 pm

by 2040 I expect my physical transportation needs to be over. No doubt those fleets of autonomous electric vehicles will be charging up from nuclear fusion generators, which will be ubiquitous about the same time.

Detengineer
Reply to  Mark Bahner
August 25, 2018 6:35 pm

Mark Bahner,

I agree with the general direction you are positing, but do not think it will achieve the market penetration nor occur as quickly as you propose.

Market Penetration: An on-demand ride share service requires a large city where the cost of car ownership is high (parking) and the demand rate is large enough to be predictable. This will allow multiple players to compete in the marketplace profitably. New York and Chicago are the obvious first markets in the US. There are a number of business management issues to be worked out before the idea will achieve wider success: fleet management, charging (if electric is the preferred choice), and prepositioning. Autonomous driving is a prerequisite, but it doesn’t guarantee a successful business.

As population density declines the ride sharing proposition’s possible advantages decline: car ownership costs drop and the ride share service now must manage fleet size (cost) versus time-to-call. If the fleet is too large the cost becomes uncompetitive; too small and the wait times kill customer acceptance.

Ultimately you reach a point where ride share services no longer make sense (no ride service is going to show up in a small town in West Texas).

Where the economic boundary for ride share services occurs will grow over time, but its growth will be limited by other factors than technology. My 35+ years of introducing new technology tells me the limiting factors are the business case and changing the culture (as another commenter noted an EV just doesn’t have the same visceral joy of a big block V8).

Electric versus ICE: Autonomous driving is separate from the motive power choice for a car. I can see electric vehicles dominating dense urban areas. The fleet size will be large enough, the trips short enough, and the peak periods predictable enough that a ride-as-service business could manage charging times (even assuming they run to hours per charge) and meet demand with few service interruptions. Of necessity charging stations will be plentiful and well distributed throughout the service area.

Again, as population density declines you would expect trip distances to increase and distances between charging stations to also increase. Fleet management may require higher availability to meet profitability targets. Here the limitations of electric vehicles may prove to be unacceptable to operating a business.

It may also prove out that long trips may also require ICE vehicles (for who wants to transfer their luggage when the EV needs a charge?)

It may also be interesting to see how much the car companies want to get behind the ride share service concept. I was recently asked by a car company engineer if I was concerned about electric vehicles (I work for a refining company). “No. Are you concerned about autonomous cars?” She asked why should she be, to which I responded that the typical privately owned car gets maybe 2% utilization. A ride share model would push utilization up above 25% or more (you’ve also hit on this point). The look of horror on her face told me she caught what this meant. When you also consider that fleet sales also have much lower profit margins per unit than private sales the potential 80% drop in sales volume would drive many car companies to bankruptcy. Staring at this stark future why would any car company support a ride share business?

Reply to  Detengineer
August 27, 2018 8:09 am

Hi,

“Market Penetration: An on-demand ride share service requires a large city where the cost of car ownership is high (parking) and the demand rate is large enough to be predictable. ”

I don’t agree that on-demand ride share (what I call transportation-as-a-service, and could abbreviate as TAAS) requires a “large city.” I live in Durham, NC (population approximately 250,000, last I checked). Of course, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area (CSA) has a population of over 2 million. But I think this area will be perfect for TAAS.

I don’t think the cost of ownership is a signification of the size of the city or town one is in. Cost of ownership is dependent primarily on depreciation, financing charges, fuel, and insurance.

“Electric versus ICE: Autonomous driving is separate from the motive power choice for a car.”

I don’t really agree there, either. Like I’ve written, I think there are positive synergies whereby autonomy promotes TAAS, and TAAS promotes electric vehicles (because range anxiety disappears, and the fleet owners handle charging…so no need for individual owners to deal with home or on-the-road charging).

“It may also prove out that long trips may also require ICE vehicles (for who wants to transfer their luggage when the EV needs a charge?)”

I agree that people would not want to transfer a lot of luggage, but I don’t think a high percentage of passenger miles are traveled by passengers on long trips with a lot of luggage.

“Ultimately you reach a point where ride share services no longer make sense (no ride service is going to show up in a small town in West Texas).”

Let’s look at Anton, TX, approximately 24 miles northwest of Lubbock. The population of Anton is approximately 1000, and they collectively probably own about 400 cars and 400 trucks. I could easily see that fleet replaced by maybe 300 single-seat or two-seat cars that when new cost less than $6,000. Those would be for around-town…maybe a 10-mile radius of “downtown” Anton. Then, there would be maybe 100 full size cars or minivans and 200 trucks for business or travel to distant places. So 800 full-size vehicles have been replaced by a total of 600 vehicles…and 300 of those 600 have a new-vehicle cost less than $6000 (and will have much lower operating costs). That will significantly lower the cost of transportation, even in a town as small and isolated as Anton,

“I was recently asked by a car company engineer if I was concerned about electric vehicles (I work for a refining company).”

If you’re 15 years or less from retirement (and it looks like you are) you’re right not to be concerned. If you’d just graduated from college, you definitely should be.

“Staring at this stark future why would any car company support a ride share business?”

*Someone* will be owning/operating large fleets of autonomous vehicles. *Every* car company should be aware of that, and have a long-term plan that addresses that virtually certain future.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Detengineer
September 5, 2018 9:42 pm

“New York and Chicago are the obvious first markets in the US.”

Don’t forget, those two cities are possibly the most hostile to business, to entrepreneurs, to anyone making a profit, out of all the cities in this country! With the possible exception of Seattle.

beng135
Reply to  Dave_G
August 24, 2018 8:43 am

HYBRID vehicles will be the way the market goes.

Agree that hybrids are better than pure EVs, but as an mech engineer, I know simplicity is good. If you have an ICE in a hybrid, why not just simplify it & get rid of the electric motor and all the additional complexity?

John Endicott
Reply to  beng135
August 24, 2018 9:58 am

Because, despite all their drawbacks there are advantages to electric vehicles as well. Ditto ICE vehicles (drawbacks and advantages). Hybrids give you the best of both worlds.

Also while simplicity might be good, that doesn’t mean it’s better. An Abacus is simple, a calculator is better. While an ICE only engine is indeed more simple, the Hybrid engine uses it complexity to achieve better efficiency which is also a good thing.

Donald Kasper
Reply to  Gus
August 23, 2018 1:53 pm

When you can drive off road, up mountains and hills for 400 miles, recharge at stations in the boons, operate well in snow conditions, they are useless except 5 mi radius urban centers.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 23, 2018 2:46 pm

We had a visiting pastor bring his ICE-electric hybrid to our Island without an extension cord. It got real cold, below zero F, too cold for the ICE to start on the dwindling battery to charge the dwindling battery. All of the Island Rube Goldbergs got together to get his toy started and off the Island.

RM25483
Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 24, 2018 6:06 am

The official EPA range of the Tesla Model 3 is 310 miles, long enough that one would normally take a break for food, restroom, etc., i.e., time enough to hit a Supercharger to easily recharge and keep driving.
Supercharger stations are popping up across the globe along major transit routes, averaging about six (6) new stations per week. It also charges off of just about any standard 3-prong 120-Volt or 4-prong 240-Volt circuit… even in the boons at your family cabin.
According to the tests I’ve seen, the Teslas operatewrite well in the snow, due in large part to their weight distribution with the battery spread across the bottom.

Darrin
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 12:44 pm

Except it’s recently come to light that they are only designed for one quick charge a day to save the batteries. That second quick charge will have you charging at the normal rate, sitting around for hours waiting on your car to get charged. So much for that high mileage road trip…Now we know we have to plan our trips on just one quick charge between hotel stays.

RM25483
Reply to  Darrin
August 24, 2018 5:32 pm

Darrin,
Can you provide a reference? I did a quick search and only found old articles related to lifetime fast DC charging limits to protect battery life. I do not really care, as I do not use them, but I am curious if there is something about battery life that led them to enforce one fast charge per day.
Thanks.

Surf
Reply to  Darrin
August 25, 2018 6:05 pm

You haven’t spoken to a tesla owner. I have . On long trips they routinely use supper chargers 2 or more times a day. without hours long recharges. When florida was hit by a hurricane last year. Most tesla owners left the state to stay with friends and family in other states. Most made it out of the state the on the day they decided to leave. Some made it a long vacation drive and visited new york city or washington DC.

Also taxies services that use teslas are routinely getting more than 200,000 miles on the battery with minimal capacity loss.

MarkW
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 1:28 pm

At 6 new stations a week, they will only need another 10,000 years to get up to a usable number of them.

While the Tesla may drive well in snow, the battery itself does very poorly when it gets cold.

Surf
Reply to  MarkW
August 25, 2018 6:37 pm

There are currently 1,332 super charger stations in north america with over with over 10,900 super charge right now. Most are in the lower 48 states of the US. Many new ones are now appearing in Canada and Mexico. Super chargers ow cover most of Europe and Japan. More are also being installed in China, Australia, and New zealand.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Supercharger

Tesla installed the first supper charger stations in 2012. None of the other car manufactures has even started building anything like it. And none of them are currently selling electric cats that can be rapidly recharged as quickly as a tesla.

Note some people complain that tesla doesn’t use the industry standard rapid chargers. But the current industry standard didn’t exist when tesla started building the model S. but there is an adaptors available that will allow a tesla owner to connect the car to any charger they find.

The supper charger stations, new factories, and service centers are the primary reason tesla has been loosing money. Tesla does however may money on every car they sell.

Wade
Reply to  Gus
August 23, 2018 2:56 pm

The only way I see electric cars working is with liquid (or flow) batteries. You pull into a station, put a nozzle in your car and it vacuums out all the liquid, and then fills back in with the charged liquids. But current liquid batteries are insufficient for electric cars. In fact, all current battery technology is insufficient for electric cars.

However, pretending that lithium batteries actually do work for electric cars, I can promise you the greens will rail against electric cars because mining lithium is an ecological disaster. Just research the lithium mines in China to see how much ecological damage lithium mines do. Or, pretending that some other battery technology comes along, the greens will find a reason to hate that too. Their hatred of human progress, specifically everyone else’s human progress except their own enlightened clique, is what drives them.

Reply to  Wade
August 23, 2018 3:08 pm

Lithium does not come from a mine. It is pumped out of a well as brine. Largest deposits of lithium are in South America. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium#Production

Philo
Reply to  Remy Mermelstein
August 23, 2018 6:00 pm

Mining with brine is an old and long established process. Wikipedia lists at least a dozen materials currently mined using brine.

Reply to  Remy Mermelstein
August 24, 2018 2:11 am

Actually while brines are a significant source of lithium much is still produced from hard rock mines. Economic lithium-rich brine deposits are relatively rare.

The hard rock mines extract lithium from spodumene a mineral often found in pegmatite deposits in very large crystals. Large deposits occur in Argentina and Australia amongst other countries (eg. USA).

Surf
Reply to  Remy Mermelstein
August 25, 2018 6:41 pm

Lithium can also be extracted from sea water and there is enough lithium in the ocean to supply our lithium needs indefinitely. Extracting lithium from seawater or brine doesn’t create a ecological disaster.

HotScot
Reply to  Wade
August 23, 2018 3:44 pm

Wade

Excellent comment.

Reply to  Wade
August 24, 2018 5:52 am

Regardless of whether flow batteries would be a good idea for vehicles, path dependence has probably already been established. The likelihood is much more towards technologies like solid-state batteries or lithium-air batteries.

More importantly, in 10+ years, as autonomous vehicles operating in transportation-as-a-service mode become increasingly common, there will be no need to worry about charging time, because the fleet owner will be responsible for charging cars. Fleet owners can operate their own chargers for their potentially thousands of vehicles.

stinkerp
Reply to  Gus
August 23, 2018 3:04 pm

A Tesla can drive through water just fine.

https://electrek.co/2016/06/18/tesla-model-s-driving-swimming-flooded-tunnel-video/

EVs don’t need the weight of the battery to be equivalent to a full tank of petrol. Because electric motors are much more efficient and lightweight and the drivetrain drastically simplified, EVs shed hundreds of pounds in the drivetrain. Even though current EVs can weigh more than IC cars due to the batteries, they still outperform them in acceleration and efficiency. Range and recharge time are the roadblocks. These are already improving and will continue to as battery. technology improves.

Rick C PE
Reply to  Gus
August 23, 2018 3:36 pm

Charging an EV battery in 5 minutes – not going to happen. Typical US residential electric service is 200 amps at 220 volts. That’s 44,000 watts or 44 kW. A typical EV battery has a capacity of 85 to 110 kWh. Thus it would take 2 hours or more to charge if every other electrical device was turned off. The option would be to upgrade service to industrial levels, but that’s not going to happen. The NEC (National Electric Code) would not allow it.

Billy
Reply to  Rick C PE
August 23, 2018 4:45 pm

Rick,
A 200 amps at 220 volts residential electric service can only operate at 80% ampacity or the breaker or fuse will thermal trip after some minutes. So the maximum allowable output is 35kw. Code rules support this.
Slightly worse than you stated.

Rick C PE
Reply to  Billy
August 23, 2018 8:19 pm

Yes, I was trying to keep it simple. The 350KW CCS charger mentioned down thread operates at 800 volts which means it would draw 440 amps. That is more than the ampacity of 0000 wire which is almost 1/2 inch in diameter. You have to have a specifically engineered power supply system just to turn power on and off at these levels. Industrial size power systems require very big, expensive and dangerous pieces of equipment and highly trained operators.

John in Oz
Reply to  Rick C PE
August 23, 2018 4:49 pm

In Oz, single-phase domestic wiring is rated for 10A, not the current available from the supply as power use is distributed around the dwelling. Charging an EV at 200A would require special wiring to handle the much higher currents that you are describing.

Also, the supply lines to the houses are not rated for every house to be drawing such high currents at the same time. Most would be expected to be charged overnight so the demand on the grid is going to require some large-scale upgrades.

I don’t hear anything from the promoters of EVs on how household and grid wiring plus the additional generation required are going to handle the additional load.

RM25483
Reply to  John in Oz
August 24, 2018 5:57 am

The Tesla Model 3 home charging generally uses either the High Power Wall Connector (HPWC) or a standard NEMA 14-50 to charge from shore power. These are connected to run-of-the-mill residential CH 50- or 60-Amp 240-Volt breakers in a standard 200 Amp service panel. The home wiring is standard 6/3. No special wiring or protections or service workers required.

The onboard charger for that vehicle draws up to 32 Amps on the 14-50 (up to 48 Amps on the real-time computer-controlled HPWC). While non-linear based on current battery charge level, this comes out to roughly 30 (45 on HPWC) MrPH (miles of range per hour of charge).

So if you have a garage or access to 220 overnight (safely), and you do not have a huge commute, then yes, you can charge overnight at home easily. No, one would not have to turn off all other electricity in the house; no, you do not need special wiring; no, this is not a game-changer for the electric utility. I recommend (and it probably says on your local company’s website) call the utility prior to installing any 240 Volt, high Amperage connection, so that they can do a neighborhood network analysis to determine if they have to make any changes or if an upgrade to your service is necessary.

Lee L
Reply to  Rick C PE
August 23, 2018 7:22 pm

Look.. You replace the power cells in a flashlight in less than 5 minutes. You make a car with a modular and removable battery pack to swap like we do with propane cylinders or flashlights. It can be made up of a number of intelligent power cartridges that just make themselves unavailable when they are discharged and make themselves available one at a time until they are depleted. It can be done.

Pull in to the ‘gas station’ and swap it out. Recharging becomes the energy company’s problem and you just buy a couple of fresh cartridges on exchange.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Lee L
August 24, 2018 3:36 am

Yes, take your brand new EV Car & Battery in to the “gas station” and drive away with a 10 year old worn out battery that can only hold half the charge.
Great thinking Lee, try again.

Y. Knott
Reply to  A C Osborn
August 24, 2018 4:17 am

– And you forgot to mention, is worth ~an eighth of your almost-new pack (which will go straight into the station manager’s car).

Reply to  A C Osborn
September 3, 2018 11:20 am

With our now overabundance of digital technology, these batteries can be tracked and recorded to the nanowatt microsecond.

Graeme#4
Reply to  Lee L
August 24, 2018 3:56 am

The Tesla battery pack weighs over 1000 lbs or 540 kgs! Just how do you plan to swap that out easily?

John Endicott
Reply to  Graeme#4
August 24, 2018 6:25 am

Obviously it requires a redesign of the battery pack for humans to do what Lee is suggesting. Perhaps instead of having one heavy and large battery pack, you have an array of smaller and lighter battery packs that can be swapped out individually as needed either at the station or at home (where you’d have to charge the “spares” yourself). Technically it’s not impossible but battery technology still has a long ways to go before the number of smaller/lighter batteries of reasonable weight that would be needed would be sufficiently few to be manageable in a short changing time. IE you’d need an array of less than 20 to have a hope for a total battery quick swap (the more batteries you have to swap the longer it takes to swap all of them) and at 1000lbs+ of battery, that’s over 50lbs each at the least, which would not be easy or quick to swap for the average person.

That said, going with a station only swapping scenario, it’s also possible to solve the problem by making the swapping process done exclusively by robot. Then the 1000lb+ of the current battery pack wouldn’t be an issue as you can design a robot with the capacity to move such weights. But you’d still need to redesign the pack and car for quick and easy replacement by those robots and you’d need all the manufacturers to standardize the pack design and placement for the robots to be able to efficiently swap the batteries.

So basically, Lee’s suggestion isn’t totally unfeasible but does require some rethinking of the design by the manufacturers.

MarkW
Reply to  John Endicott
August 24, 2018 6:58 am

Having lots of cells that can be swapped individually will make the total battery pack a lot bigger and heavier.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 7:46 am

It’s a trade off. more small/lighter batteries that can be swapped more easily will indeed increase the total weight for the same total capacity. As I sad already “battery technology still has a long ways to go” to make Lee’s idea work on that level.

MarkW
Reply to  John Endicott
August 24, 2018 9:41 am

You’ve already had to sacrifice a lot of space inside the car in order to get a single battery pack in there.
In my opinion, this scheme is going to come pretty close to doubling the weight and the size of the battery pack.
There goes any room for more than 1 passenger and your efficiency also drops through the floor as the car has to not only carry an extra 1000 pounds of battery, but the weight of panels that can be opened to access the batteries, plus the size and weight of all the extra support members.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 10:52 am

“In my opinion, this scheme is going to come pretty close to doubling the weight and the size of the battery pack.”

A gross exaggeration. Regardless, I’ve already pointed out, several times, that the “scheme” isn’t ready for prime time. What part of “battery technology still has a long ways to go” are you not taking note of?

Darrin
Reply to  Graeme#4
August 24, 2018 12:56 pm

Forklift.

The issue is your car will end up with a more industrial look with an easy to open panel along with dents/dings/scratches from swapping batteries. Ever watch forklift drivers? Most are poorly trained or don’t care though the truly good driver is fun to watch.

Just imagine the size of the service station needed to store enough batteries along a busy route while they charge. Then there’s the service upgrade, quite the transformer will be needed. As a matter of fact you’re probably talking taking over an older manufacturing building with 40-100k sq. ft. of space and if you’re lucky it will already meet the power requirements.

RM25483
Reply to  Lee L
August 24, 2018 5:45 am

Lee, Tesla had a battery swap program implemented for some time. It was shut down in late 2016 as the Supercharger network advanced.

John Endicott
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 7:53 am

Tesla’s program, when it existed, was only available by appointment, which rather works against making it as easy as filling your tank. You don’t need to make appointments to fill your tank.

RM25483
Reply to  John Endicott
August 24, 2018 5:36 pm

John, thanks, I had not heard that it was appointment-only.
I just do not think I would ever want anyone else’s battery… just think how one drives in a rental car. One buys an EV with a new, expensive battery, only to have it swapped out for one that has been in circulation for a while? No thanks. What if your quick swap was on a day when you had to make a long trip, can you trust the battery swapped-in is reliable?

michael hart
Reply to  RM25483
August 25, 2018 5:13 am

The only way I see it working is if the direct cost is shifted away from the individual consumer to either the filling station or the manufacturer, or some other corporation. That way the consumer only rents a battery and the corporation is responsible for maintaining a fleet of working batteries and dealing with the depreciation costs, thus spreading it out over the whole rental-customer population.

As others point out, it would need widespread standardization and probably robotic battery changes at quite large facilities. It might work. Perhaps.

I recall that the original uptake of video recorders was said to be particularly high in the UK because there was widespread cheap rental available even though most customers could not afford to buy the products at the original high prices.

MarkW
Reply to  Lee L
August 24, 2018 9:38 am

Since you can replace a 1/2 oz battery in a flashlight in 5 minutes, therefore it should be possible to swap out a 1000 pound battery pack in a car in 5 minutes as well.

Really, that’s the story you want to cling to?

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 10:40 am

I don’t really see a problem with swapping the battery in 5 min with a suitably set up service station and car. Sure, you need infrastructure in place, but I don’t see any insurmountable problems there. You’re just swapping one heavy box for another.

Have a look at this. Sure, it’s just a technical demonstration, but it took about 90 seconds to swap battery packs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlaQuKk9bFg

I do agree with you that single battery units make a lot more sense that multiple smaller units. So if you want to swap at home your garage will need to be set up with the right equipment.

MarkW
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 24, 2018 1:36 pm

Point 1, equipment needed to pull one battery, store it somewhere then retrieve and install a second one in 5 minutes is going to cost well into the 100’s of thousands of dollars.
There’s also the cost of the storage space needed for hundreds of batteries.
Finally you need the electrical infrastructure sufficient to charge those hundreds of batteries in time for them to be swapped out with discharged batteries.

Just about anything is doable if you are willing to throw enough money at it. That’s the big problem with all these schemes to try and make electrics slightly less inconvenient.
They take a car that is already impractical and drive up the price by a huge amount.

PS: Nobody has stated how they plan to deal with the fact that batteries do not last forever, so the odds are the battery you replace your battery with may be substantially worn compared to the one you “traded” in.

The only way for this to work would be for all batteries to be owned by the factory, and just leased by the car owner.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 9:42 pm

Congratulations! You just invented batteries as a service. No one ever thought of that before.

Surf
Reply to  MarkW
August 25, 2018 7:01 pm

Tesla’s automatic system can do it in 1 minute 30 seconds.

Surf
Reply to  Lee L
August 25, 2018 6:59 pm

Tesla has designed that capability into their cars. A robot can unbolt and remove the battery and then install a charged one in about 1 minute. Tesla did demonstrate this and did have a battery swap station in california that tesla owners could use. Another company also did this but they filed for bankruptcy several years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5V0vL3nnHY

Swapping out the battery is possible but currently no one can figure out how to run a business and make a profit doing this. Tesla has also shut down the battery swap service. currently there are not enough EVs on the rode to support such a service. Maybe in the future but not today.

stinkerp
Reply to  Gus
August 23, 2018 4:07 pm

Yes an EV can drive through water just fine. Try Google. Or Bing, if you prefer.

Roger Knights
Reply to  stinkerp
August 23, 2018 9:06 pm

Recent Tesla 3’s that have tied it have had their bumpers ripped off.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Roger Knights
August 24, 2018 2:33 am

Google for “Tesla bumpers falling off”

MarkW
Reply to  Roger Knights
August 24, 2018 1:42 pm

I was reading the comments, on one of those articles. They acolytes sure do circle to wagons. Almost every comment was on the lines of, “He was abusing the car, that’s why it broke.” The fact that other cars were driving in the same conditions without problems just didn’t make a dent in these guys thinking.
It had to have been the fault of the driver.

And these are the same guys that RM25483 tells us are an accurate source of information on Teslas.

RM25483
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 5:47 pm

MarkW, if you are going to call me out, have the courage to do so directly.
I have researched many websites, whitepapers, and spec sheets for information on electric vehicles, battery technology, and charging. If you want user experiences, such as, “Will it climb a mountain?”; “What did an electrician install, and how much did it cost?”; or the like, then yes, Tesla forums are a great source of real-world experiences. But be forewarned that fanboys of all sorts fill the pages, as one might expect. If you want information on the battery technology, charging network, effects on the grid, etc., then you best look elsewhere.

The same applies to research on firearms or computer hardware, i.e., the fanboys will say something new is the greatest ever, while the rest of us take their opinions with a lot of salt and wait for the more rigorous third-party tests and the test of time take place.

If you need coaching on proper, reliable online research, feel free to reach out.

MarkW
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 6:58 pm

I’ve checked out the places where you get your information.
You are fooling yourself, or hoping to fool others.

RM25483
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 7:42 pm

MarkW,
Where did I read whitepapers on advances in graphene materials, polymers, and rare-earth-metal ratios for battery production?
Where did I read diagrams and codes about residential wiring?
Where did I read about environmental controls for the battery packs to aide in efficiency?

You checked out all those places? Please, refresh my memory, so I can update my bookmarks.

Researching is not the same as supporting. Sometimes you need to know your enemy, rather than just shun it, call it a fool, and hope that it goes away. How does your comment set you apart from the left-leaning climate alarmists that try to shut down any discussion (not even counter-points) that do not immediately jive with your prior knowledge on a subject, followed by name-calling?

michael hart
Reply to  Roger Knights
August 25, 2018 5:21 am

Not getting involved in the argument between you, but the main thing that has struck me when watching web videos from Tesla owners is the poor build quality of Teslas. Many owners admit to being enthusiasts or fan-boys but are quite honest that people would not accept such standards in a regular modern ICE car.

August 23, 2018 12:54 pm

Or, perhaps, the various governments will reconsider the cost of the subsidies, and kill the mandates for EVs?

Latitude
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 23, 2018 1:24 pm

Where is the demand ….when Obama waved his little magic pen

John MacDonald
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 23, 2018 1:46 pm

Ha ha ha ha ha…good one Tom

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 23, 2018 1:55 pm

Trump again in 2020 is the only hope.

MarkW
Reply to  Dennis Sandberg
August 23, 2018 2:09 pm

I saw an article this morning that in the US, 52% of all children are growing up in households that receive government checks every month. (And I don’t mean a paycheck.)
Even with Trump, I’m afraid the tipping point has been passed.

HotScot
Reply to  MarkW
August 23, 2018 3:46 pm

MarkW

An MSM article perhaps?

Have faith mate, the worse it gets, the better the outcome…..eventually.

Patrick J Wood
August 23, 2018 1:01 pm

Consumers are already feeling the price increases of electric cars in the astronomical prices of new trucks and SUVs. Electric cars are a debacle and automakers are losing money in the billions. To offset the losses, the companies are raising prices on their best-selling vehicles. As long as consumers are willing to pay the exorbitant prices without revolting, the manufacturers will continue to build lost-leaders like electric cars using trucks and SUVs to balance their balance sheets. Ford is only going to build two sedans beginning this year: The Focus and Mustang. The rest of their fleet will be trucks and SUVs. Part of the reason the hybrids are being made in such quantities is to offset the mileage of not-so-economical vehicles that are selling like mad. The government forces the companies into mileage compliance. Electric cars are probably less “green” than gas-burners when one looks at them in totality. Another government “feel-good” scam.

Ozonebust
Reply to  Patrick J Wood
August 23, 2018 1:38 pm

Patrick
Price increases
Is this the vehicle manufacturers saying this, or is this your opinion.
Have you factored in increased steel prices etc, are there no other contributing factors to the price increases ?
Regards

MarkW
Reply to  Ozonebust
August 23, 2018 2:10 pm

It’s a fact that they are losing money on electrics. They have to make it up somewhere.

Ozonebust
Reply to  MarkW
August 23, 2018 2:32 pm

MarkW
Does that answer my question ? Where are the facts to support his and now your claim.

HotScot
Reply to  Ozonebust
August 23, 2018 3:49 pm

Ozonebust

OK, we give in.

So now show us your facts that EV’s are profitable.

Like Elon Musk perhaps?

RM25483
Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 6:23 am

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=model+3+profit+margin

I am not an apologist or anything, but c’mon, an hour on the Tesla forums (even if you hate these vehicles) would save many hours of frustrating ill-informed conversation elsewhere. I am not touting these vehicles, I have just taken the time to research my questions.

How do they charge? Can the electric network handle this? Can they go off-road? Can they climb mountains? There is an amazing resource of information that can be found using search engines. If you are not familiar, might I suggest DuckDuckGo.

HotScot
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 7:58 am

RM25483

I don’t object to electric vehicles one little bit. I would love one, when all the obvious shortcomings are ironed out.

What I do object to is having governments mandate that, for example, all new cars sold after 2040 will be electric (as in the UK governments announcement). When first of all, its a downright lie because they are including hybrids which are only partially electric, using a substantially sized ICE as the main power source. Not only will the taxpayer be forced to subsidise charging stations and domestic installations, petrol stations will still be required.

An obscene amount of money will be spent by the government forcing it’s policies on the public instead of allowing market forces to take their natural course. There is no marketing rational behind the UK’s mandate, it’s simply “do as we tell you” because we have your money and you have no choice, and the only rational behind it is the Climate Change Act which emerged from a study, discredited now because it’s becoming increasingly clear there is no such thing as man made climate change.

Nor will I even start on the futility of an EV revolution because you know all the numbers on the extra emissions power stations will make to service all these cars.

RM25483
Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 9:38 am

HotScot, I agree, but that is off-topic from my reply.
I do not tout EVs, but profitability was the question. Pet Rock may be all but a feel-good toy on which those with excess expendable income spend money (with help from you via subsidy), and it may even become mandated that all homes have one, but it can still be _profitable_.

HotScot
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 10:02 am

RM25483

“but it can still be _profitable”

But it’s not, and has no prospect of being in the immediate future. And when it is, it will be at the expense of taxpayers money and your right to choose what you want to choose.

RM25483
Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 11:00 am

Again, I agree with you. I did not say that EVs were profitable; I said that Pet Rocks _can_ be profitable.

Ozone asked for a reference to back up that price increases on ICEs were due to EV production and losses. When Ozone asked for said reference, you tried to push the burden of proof onto Ozone for an opposite claim that Ozone had not made.

HotScot
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 12:06 pm

RM25483

I didn’t “try to push” the burden of proof onto anyone. Although it is entirely reasonable to do so when public money will be spunked on a nationwide UK infrastructure to service EV’s.

The burden of proof, which is so far sadly lacking, resides firmly with the proponents of a new concept dictated by government edict.

Just when will the likes of Elon Musk return all the public money that will inevitably be spent on a public network of charging stations, and the power stations necessary to service same. If Tesla is a success, it will be thanks to public money, yet he’ll waltz off with vast profits and you and I carry the public cost. So where’s our cut?

A scam perpetrated on the back of the climate change scam.

I suspect we have different concepts of profitability.

A C Osborn
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 10:14 am

“I do not tout EVs”
Your multiple posts supporting EV & Tesla in particular call you a Liar sir.

RM25483
Reply to  A C Osborn
August 24, 2018 10:55 am

ACOsborn,
Where have I pushed for EVs?
I have had many of the same questions and engineering (as well as political) concerns that are posted here, so I have researched.
I have posted how things work, how to solve some the engineering issues, and my disdain for political mandates. My posts regarding Tesla are due to the large community of owners and readily available information, so I use them as an example. In fact, mentioning “Tesla in particular” could not be more on-topic considering there is a Tesla image at the top of the article and “Tesla” is in fact the first word in the article.

Making assumptions about my preferences, condescending (only according to you) opposing arguments, and name-calling are the hallmarks of the greenie and other Left-leaning movements.

Do not call me a liar again. Do your own research.

MarkW
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 9:42 am

OK, all questions can be answered by asking Tesla’s propaganda department.

Sparky
Reply to  Patrick J Wood
August 23, 2018 2:05 pm

CAFE standards are all about shifting the bar to force the mix to electrics. That’s the reason Brown is so busted up about the mileage standard reset.

commieBob
August 23, 2018 1:06 pm

What matters is the price of fuel. At one point I was considering building an electric pickup truck. Then fracking started to put cheap natural gas and oil onto the market. At that point electric vehicles became pointless.

HotScot
Reply to  commieBob
August 23, 2018 3:52 pm

commieBob

I suspect pump gas is around twice the price in the EU than in the US, but we still pay for it.

Hold your EV pickup for a generation or so.

gnomish
Reply to  HotScot
August 23, 2018 7:05 pm

$2.75 usd/gallon here.
1 us gallon = 3.78541 liters
so @ use 73 cent s / liter
so @ 0.63 Eu / liter

richard verney
Reply to  gnomish
August 24, 2018 12:03 am

In Europe it is double that at around 1.30 Eu per litre.

In Europe we pay much more in the way of Green taxes. This raises the obvious question, what taxes will Governments need to implement when EV cars take a higher market share. One thing is certain is that Governments will not become smaller and scale back operations so something needs to give,

Latitude
August 23, 2018 1:07 pm

Aug. 23 2018 – 17:08
Kalashnikov Unveils Electric Car Seeking to Dethrone Tesla

Russian weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov has unveiled a sleek electric concept car that its creators say will compete with Elon Musk’s market leader Tesla.

Based on the body of a Soviet hatchback Izh, Kalashnikov’s CV-1 electric vehicle’s 90 kilowatt hour battery gives it a range of 350 kilometers. The arms company says the car can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 6 seconds.

comment image

Pameladragon
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 1:23 pm

That is one ugly looking vehicle!

Donald Kasper
Reply to  Pameladragon
August 23, 2018 1:56 pm

Paint it all black for that gangsta look for bad neighborhoods.

H.R.
Reply to  Pameladragon
August 23, 2018 2:12 pm

Makes me want to run out and buy an AMC Pacer.

Bryan A
Reply to  H.R.
August 23, 2018 4:04 pm

Or a Gremlin

Kenji
Reply to  Pameladragon
August 23, 2018 5:19 pm

The Soviet Family Truckster … driven cross Siberia by Clarkov Griswoldivich

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 1:26 pm

Does it come with ammo clips?

HotScot
Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 23, 2018 3:55 pm

ResourceGuy

Apparently so, look in the background……….ROTFPMSL!!!!!!!!

Bryan A
Reply to  HotScot
August 23, 2018 4:05 pm

Perhaps 3 AK47s in every trunk

brad tittle
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 1:26 pm

Very interesting steering there…

Will
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 2:01 pm

0 to 100 kph in 6 seconds probably should be understood as acceleration only and should not be understood to imply it can actually go 100 kph. Further, 100 kph is probably round-off from 51 kph. So what we really have (probably) is a true acceleration of 0.24g. Will future models have a flame paint option?

rocketscientist
Reply to  Will
August 23, 2018 2:15 pm

0 to 60 (mph) used to be an important threshold as it indicated how easily one could accelerate and merge into freeway traffic. 0 to 62mph in 6 seconds is not all that great. Nor would be a top speed of only 62 mph.
You’ll get run off the freeways in LA (except during rush hour) if you can only manage 62 mph.

James Fosser
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 23, 2018 3:05 pm

Believe it or not, but here in Australia we have traffic lights set up on the immediate approach road to a freeway ”To control the flow”. We are then expected to merge into the main traffic, that is flying past at 100 kilometres per hour, whilst we are crawling along at 30 to 40 kilometres per hour (I have not yet sighted the figures for the number of deaths and horrific injuries as a result of this ”To control the flow” to the cemeteries and hospitals).

HotScot
Reply to  James Fosser
August 23, 2018 3:57 pm

James Fosser

Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

Seriously?

MarkW
Reply to  HotScot
August 23, 2018 6:07 pm

They have those in California as well.

Writing Observer
Reply to  MarkW
August 23, 2018 6:31 pm

Phoenix, too. Like most other idiocies here, I blame it on California carpetbaggers.

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 24, 2018 2:17 am

Sadly, also in New Zealand.

RexAlan
Reply to  James Fosser
August 23, 2018 6:56 pm

I Oz the fastest we can legally travel on a freeway is 110 kph, I kid you not, it’s embarrassing. When my friends visit from Germany they simply can’t believe it. Even in Spain and France it’s 120 kph and so it should be here.

Peter
Reply to  James Fosser
August 24, 2018 2:04 am

I experienced this in California and yes it is so. But I never had a feeling that I have problem to merge into ongoing traffic. My car is doing 8,3s to 100km/h (62mph).
Actually look on it from this side, traffic on freeway is going 75mph only because it is not stop and clogged by incoming traffic from ramps.
Smooth traffic in one lane can do 2000-3000 cars per hour, but stop/move shifting on freeway can do only around 500 cars per hour.

Will
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 23, 2018 4:52 pm

RS
Merely a rough attempt at humor.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 24, 2018 2:09 am

0 to 62mph in 6 seconds not all that great? Compared to what? The Nissan 300ZX turbo (called the fairlady Z in some countries) with 300hp had a 0 to 60 time of 6 seconds. And if you get from 0 to 60 in that sort of time you probably have enough power to get to over 150 mph.

Simon
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 24, 2018 5:43 pm

My Land Rover Discovery has a 0-60 time of 6.7 seconds. That’s a heavy SUV. So no, 6 seconds is not all that great.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Simon
August 24, 2018 10:09 pm

And a Porsche Cayenne will smash both of them, but what percentage of cars on the road do you think have a 0-60 time of 6 seconds?

A great majority of them can’t do that.

James Fosser
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 2:49 pm

0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 6 seconds? How many of us old age pensioners will never buy one of these if our false teeth and wigs fly to the back seat setting our dates off laughing?

HotScot
Reply to  James Fosser
August 23, 2018 4:01 pm

James Fosser

Superglue. Then we can have the convertible version and never worry. Our girlfriends might lose their sagging tits over their shoulders, but we guys are cool.

Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 2:18 am

You could use it on your dentures at the same time and kill two birds with one stone.

Wade
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 3:00 pm

I can’t help to think of this.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HPVQ4FpVlY&w=560&h=315%5D

yarpos
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 3:11 pm

to swipe a line I saw elsewhere, “is it full auto?”

HotScot
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 3:54 pm

Trabant, on steroids…….LOL

Dave Fair
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 5:00 pm

I want the SUV with the cannon in the background.

Philo
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 6:05 pm

Every one comes with a fully automatic AK-47 in the trunk.

Ill Tempered Klavier
Reply to  Philo
August 23, 2018 8:58 pm

recoil acceleration boost 😉 😉

RLu
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 6:31 pm

Looks like a pimped 1965 Opel Kadett model B Caravan.
http://www.fahrzeugbilder.de/1200/opel-kadett-b-caravan-1965-108011.jpg

Y. Knott
Reply to  Latitude
August 24, 2018 4:21 am

– The very best of ‘Fifties Soviet Econobox style – and electric too! Wonder if you need to put your name on the list for ten years to get one?

JimG1
Reply to  Y. Knott
August 24, 2018 6:29 am

If their car is like their rifles you won’t be able to stop it but if you aim for Saint Petersburg you may hit Moscow.

August 23, 2018 1:13 pm

“Electric car deficiencies are major, including high purchase price, short driving range, small carrying capacity, lack of charging stations, long charging times, and expensive battery packs that need to be replaced during the life of the vehicle.”
Pure BS : every claim in this statement is either false right now,or soon will be. The next wave of electrics will have charging times that amount to a few minutes. Actually most electrics are charged at home and can easilly have a full or heavy charge always available. Batteries will in most cases outlast the car – assume 15 year plus lifespans these days. Many of the coming wave of electrics are SUVs and have the same carrying capacity as ICE vehicles – BMW will be producing all of its cars in threee drivetrain modes – hybrid, gas, and electric – all of the cars are identical except for the drivetrains. I have no clue as to why anyone would think that electrics, which have more interior room than ICE vehicles, would have less carrying capacity.
Battery prices have dropped enormously over the past 10 years – the original Tesla Model S 70KWhr battery cost $45,000. The current 60KWhr Chevy Bolt battery costs about $160 per KWhr, or $9600 and has a driving range of 240 miles.The GM CEO recently claimed that she will see sub $100 batteries in the next year or so, droppng the price almost $3,000. Tesla claims to pay $150 these days and expects the price to drop well below $100 very soon. $100 per KWhr is the point at which analysts have always said that electrics become cost competitive in terms of sales price. The upcoming Volvo Polestar 2 will have a base price of $35,000 and have a 350 mile driving range. It should be able to recharge its batttery at a 120KW rate. The upcoming Porsche Taycan will have a driving range in excess of 300 miles and can recharge its batteries to 80% using a 350KW CCS charger in less than 12 minutes. CCS protocol chargers are being installed worldwide and is the upcoming standard – virtually every automaker is using the CCS protocol. These charging stations will be ready even before any cars show up that can use their high power. IN Europe five gas station networks have signed on to locate CCS IONITY chargers in their stations. Royal Dutch Shell has also acquired a charging company to supply their stations with CCS chargers. But for most electric car owners, the only time they would ever need to use a public charger would be on a trip. They spend far less time and effort charging their cars than a gas powered car owner does when he goes to gas stataions. The electric car owner simply plugs in his car in his garage or carport or driveway. And with 300 plus mies of driving range, one does not typically need to recharge their car every day or even once a week.

Reply to  kent beuchert
August 23, 2018 1:32 pm

His claim is entirely true about what exists today, hence the word “are”. You are talking about “will”. Each one of your counter-arguments is about what someone is projecting to happen. When EVs are cheaper, have a longer driving range, larger carrying capacity (we’re talking weight here, not internal space), quick and convenient charging, and cheap battery packs, then people (like me) will buy them. Until then, it will unfortunately be a tough sell.

David Long
Reply to  kent beuchert
August 23, 2018 1:33 pm

It’s funny how proponents are always comparing 100% driving ranges to 80% charging times.

Richard Patton
Reply to  kent beuchert
August 23, 2018 1:33 pm

And what is the point of an electric car? Pollution reduction? BS you just move the pollution to the power plant. Efficiency? again BS. Let us assume both your ICE and the power plant use Natural Gas. 70-80% of the nat gas’s energy goes to moving your car. If you move the point of converting nat gas to energy to the power plant and use an electric car, only 30% of the natural gas’s energy goes to moving your car. The rest is eaten up by generation and transmission inefficiencies.

gnomish
Reply to  Richard Patton
August 23, 2018 7:11 pm

electric automobile promises enormous reduction of parts count and the factory and employees required to make them.
they don’t grow on trees.
electric motor is vastly cheaper, simpler, more durable.

Roger Knights
Reply to  gnomish
August 23, 2018 9:16 pm

The battery packs are complicated and fiddly to build, and they require a sophisticated cooling system and charge/discharge monitoring system in high-performance EVs like the Teslas.

gnomish
Reply to  Roger Knights
August 23, 2018 10:25 pm

i know. it’s true. for the highest energy density lithium, each cell really needs a mcu to manage it. but the little mcu now are very cheap.

the important difference is that 1000 of the same part is a different factory than 1000 different parts.
automated factory is so much cheaper when it’s only one product.

check what you can get on amazon these days. nearly 200 Wh for 25$
it’s actually cheaper and better than building my own (and i have the tab welder)

MarkW
Reply to  gnomish
August 24, 2018 7:00 am

The motor may or may not be more durable. In many cars, the engine outlasts the chassis that is carrying them.

Jtom
Reply to  gnomish
August 25, 2018 9:25 am

But it will take an enormous number of man-hours to reinforce the electric grid to accommodate large numbers of EVs and a roll-out charging facilities. How long is the break-even point?

RM25483
Reply to  Richard Patton
August 24, 2018 6:43 am

Richard, I seriously suggest you go back and re-research your assessments of natural gas for vehicles. Here is a link to NREL with a pdf describing the distinct lack of efficiency of natural gas for automobiles: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/64267.pdf

And if you want to fill up at home via natural gas, as you can for electric, keep in mind the oft-unmentionable, yet constant, transmission losses: https://www.epa.gov/natural-gas-star-program/overview-oil-and-natural-gas-industry

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 1:53 pm

NREL should explain that the conversion efficiency of the NG plant is only about 45%. It may be true that a dated individual compressed natural gas engine is about 15%, giving the plant a 3x advantage, but state of the art CNG is more like 22%. A 2x plant advantage is more realistic. What NREL fails to do is show the cost advantage of CNG vs EV. Compressed natural gas at $5.00 mcf is half the cost of EV at $0.15 kwh (do the math with these current Cali prices) even at 22% engine conversion efficiency. Transportation of NG via pipelines is much more economical than electricity through wires. CNG refilling is fast and simple so the $100’s of billions of new electric distribution for home recharging is avoided. EV’s are a serious waste of money now that NG is once again abundant…they are a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist, the same as >30 MPG fuel requirements. Want to really be smart? Convert all USA vehicles to CNG and export refined gasoline to the rest of the world for their gasoline powered cars…except of course for those markets using coal-fired generation to power their EV’s.

RM25483
Reply to  Dennis Sandberg
August 24, 2018 5:59 pm

Dennis, great ideas.
Really? $0.15/kWh… sorry, man… I’m on contract for good, old-fashioned $0.05/kWh coal here in Ohio. Mmm, smell that? That’s stored solar energy over billions of years, and we are lucky enough to live during the time we’re going to release a bunch of it. Lemme just reach over and… ahhh, hit the down arrow on the A/C temp. Greenies are missing out.

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 11:17 pm

That $0.15 kwh is actually very conservative. My power is more because we use too much for something or other per PG&E…and it’ll get worse next year because of mandatory smart metering. Total insanity. Coal, great stuff, and we need the CO2 plant food. My Dad was a North Dakota coal miner for 40 years. Enjoy!

Old Engineer
Reply to  Richard Patton
August 24, 2018 9:38 am

Richard-
Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but in an IC engine powered car, 33% of the fuel energy goes out the tailpipe, 33% goes out the radiator, and 33% goes to power the wheels. Yes, things like turbochargers can change that ratio a little, but that’s the basic split.

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  Old Engineer
August 29, 2018 9:41 pm

The EV loses 1/2 the energy in the natural gas by needing the conversion to electricity, and losses are higher transporting electricity than natural gas. The EV also losses about 10% at the vehicle so using your numbers the EV is <40% efficient and the CNG is at least 33%. Almost a wash energy wise, BUT converting the NG to electricity costs $hundreds of millions! Insane waste of limited capital resources….not to mention "fill rates" in minutes for CNG vs hours for EV's.

Reply to  kent beuchert
August 23, 2018 1:34 pm

“Pure BS : every claim in this statement is either false right now,or soon will be.” The next wave … will be … will be. Pure BS? Look in the mirror.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  kent beuchert
August 23, 2018 1:39 pm

“The electric car owner simply plugs in his car in his garage or carport or driveway.” And what are the costs to upgrade the house to allow the charging station to be installed? And what does the charging station cost?

We recently discovered that the developer who built our home went very light on the electrical service, such that we are marginal, at best. Any attempt to add any real load will cost over $6K to upgrade the service. I wonder how many other folks might find themselves in the same situation.

Does each neighborhood have to have its electrical infrastructure upgraded to allow two cars charging simultaneously in every garage?

Ozonebust
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 23, 2018 1:52 pm

Retired
You are only talking about the street to your residence. There has be zero allowance for the carrying capacity of the substation to residential lines, substation capacity and the high voltage to the substation. Look at the petrol / diesel distribution infrastructure and capacity and the n look at the power lines. A complete conversion to electric vehicles could require a near complete rewire from the point of electric generation to point of recharge, especially in older areas, unless restricted to off peak recharge.
Regards

MarkW
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 23, 2018 2:14 pm

What about the 50% or so of people who don’t have a garage, carport or driveway?
Yes, each neighborhood will have to have it’s infrastructure upgraded. Everything between the home and the power plant will have to be upgraded, as well as adding more power plants.

Latitude
Reply to  MarkW
August 23, 2018 2:22 pm

..can’t be done

H.R.
Reply to  Latitude
August 23, 2018 4:54 pm

I beg to differ, Latitude.

It can be done, but it will take so much money that no one will have money left to buy a car… or the charging electricity… or food.

John Endicott
Reply to  Latitude
August 24, 2018 6:39 am

It can be done. But the cost will be enormous and it will require additional fossil fuel or nuclear power stations to be built. It certainly can’t be done with solar and wind alone.

RM25483
Reply to  John Endicott
August 24, 2018 11:29 am

I can only hope that a push for EVs will mean a renewed building surge for nuclear power plants. Now that I actually will push for with vigor.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  Latitude
August 24, 2018 11:43 am

It will be pretty easy if you have a target 30 years out. When you replace lines for maintenance, just beef them up. Trying to do it in 5-10 years, and it’s impossible.

MarkW
Reply to  Ben of Houston
August 24, 2018 1:45 pm

If you beef up the lines, you will also have to beef up the towers and poles that hold up the lines.
They don’t generally build those things with lots of spare strength, that costs money.

Jtom
Reply to  MarkW
August 25, 2018 9:32 am

Not to mention the equipment to haul and install those beefed-up (which can only mean thicker, heavier conductors) lines. The existing equipment is sized to handle standard transmission lines.

HotScot
Reply to  MarkW
August 23, 2018 4:15 pm

MarkW

“What about the 50% or so of people who don’t have a garage, carport or driveway?”

That’s me. We have 20 or so cars on our street. ‘Da gubbernment’ has said it will ‘electrify’ lamp posts to provide power. Shame there’s about two lamp posts to provide sufficient power for 20 cars.

Our local authority can’t even repair the GD potholes never mind provide several thousand extra lamp post charging points.

And I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the wankers who rush out to take a parking spot whenever its vacated will have their cars permanently hooked up to their own ‘personal’ lamp post!

RM25483
Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 6:55 am

You could rely on the charging network (Tesla Superchargers, CCS stations, etc.) much the same as you rely on the liquid fuel network now. Once a week or so, depending on your commute and the weather, you fill up at a station.

HotScot
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 7:41 am

RM25483

Yea right. Very convenient, not.

I have to toddle along to a charging point and hope there’s no other people like me, with no access, waiting in line to charge their cars as well?

Have you never fuelled up your car having waited for two cars in front of you to finish before you can start? That’ll be fun even if fast chargers do only take 20 minutes, there will be queues down the street waiting.

RM25483
Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 10:03 am

I agree, it would be inconvenient. As such, if I were to get an EV, I would make arrangements to charge at home, in a garage. The problem there is most certainly the mandates and the effect on the average driver without a garage.

If you’ll bear with a little back-of-the-napkin, we could retrofit or add more charging posts. If we put in dedicated circuits that run along the edge of the roadway and install charging posts not unlike parking meters, this can be done the next time your road gets reworked, even in older neighborhoods. Would it be expensive, sure, but I am thinking not really that much worse than what would be needed if those same classic neighborhoods wanted air conditioning in every home.

I’m a senior engineer, I am just thinking of how to solve; I do not care what you drive or purchase, and it makes my blood boil whenever anyone tries to mandate anything, as I imagine is the same for you.

HotScot
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 11:01 am

RM25483

The solution is to let market forces determine the viability or otherwise of EV’s.

If you have ever been to the UK you might understand the monumental task it would be to install charging stations at street level, particularly in many cities where the historical significance of building reigns supreme and even relaxed planning for a project of this magnitude would cause expense beyond belief.

The government is trying to ‘encourage’ energy meters in every house. Even at that modest level of technical expertise they have comprehensively screwed it up as meters from one supplier are unlikely to conform to the standards of another. Almost simultaneously, the government also encouraged ‘switching’ of suppliers via comparison websites so individual households can essentially search for the best deal for electricity and gas and switch every year. But no one in government thought to standardise meters across providers, so the whole concept is suffering a very slow, tortuous death.

They have spent £Bn’s on various IT systems to integrate, for example, the NHS, and Customs and Excise. They were unmitigated disasters.

Charging stations are on another technical level. How well do you imagine the UK government would do on that one?

Engineering always has a solution to a problem, frequently it involves layering increasing complication over fundamentally dysfunctional ‘solutions’. Nor am I dissing engineers for that, they are often called in to patch up everyone else’s cock up’s and have no choice. I sometimes wish we had engineers as politicians in the first place, life would be much simpler!

And from that perspective, on a simple cost/benefit analysis, EV’s simply wouldn’t be considered at the moment. Hence government’s desire to mandate them because they think it makes politicians popular and electable, nothing to do with what’s right or wrong or whether something works or not.

“Every family should have the right to spend their money, after tax, as they wish, and not as the government dictates. Let us extend choice, extend the will to choose and the chance to choose.”

Margaret Thatcher

“The state has no source of money, other than the money people earn themselves. If the state wishes to spend more it can only do so by borrowing your savings, or by taxing you more. And it’s no good thinking that someone else will pay. That someone else is you.”

Margaret Thatcher

RM25483
Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 11:36 am

HotScot, agreed.

We engineers cannot be politicians, because:
We are too busy solving existing problems.
The solutions to some of the problems at hand are so obvious, we lack the patience to wait for everyone else to catch up and agree to the correct solution.
The most logical solution often involves eliminating problem creators; this does not go over well with a voting populace.

John Endicott
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 8:50 am

RM25483, at the range limit of current electric only cars, only once a week is overly optimistic for most drivers. When a full charge has the range that a full tank has, then and only then would relying on the charging network have a hope of comparing to using the current gasoline network. And even then, as HotScot points out the waiting in line time would still be far in excess of what you currently have at the gas pump.

MarkW
Reply to  John Endicott
August 24, 2018 9:47 am

You have visit the station more often and you have to wait 2 to 3 times as long.
What’s not to love?

RM25483
Reply to  John Endicott
August 24, 2018 6:14 pm

John, I think you and HotScot are right, the time at the pump would have to become a regular part of your commuting schedule.
I have seen YouTube videos of folks at Superchargers, many plug in and then go grab a bite to eat somewhere, and the navigation system tells the driver where charging stations are located, along with what food / restrooms / lodging is nearby. On the other hand, I have seen the cell phone footage of arguments at charging stations about people leaving their car plugged in too long (which Tesla now charges for, based on station capacity, per minute after charging completes), other people unplugging each other’s cars (which I think is impossible now), etc. I do not even like to take the 5-10 minutes out of my week to hit the gas station, to be honest, and I certainly do not like it when it is busy, but going off-peak also means I have to get wrapped up, warm up the car, and go out in the dark, taking time out of my evening.
I do not see a mandate being possible. Even if one were passed in the U.S., which I do not believe will happen anytime soon, it would be rife with delays, waivers, unenforceable verbiage, delays, confusion, restarts, and more delays – most would just ignore it, like texting-while-driving laws or stop signs.

Rhee
Reply to  MarkW
August 23, 2018 4:39 pm

What about those who live in multi-unit complexes which have common garage with assigned parking spaces. I cannot prevail upon the management to allow installing of a charger in the midst of an underground garage, much less figure how to properly run the electric circuit so the usage is on my utility bill. And by the way, my building complex was constructed in the early 1960s so the wiring may not even support a charger, much less a few dozens if my neighbors all want an EV.

MarkW
Reply to  Rhee
August 23, 2018 6:10 pm

They could set up a separate meter on each parking space, with then read both meters when it’s time to calculate your (now huge) bill.

OF course that still doesn’t deal with the cost of running heavy gauge wiring and installing the actual charging stations.

HotScot
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 11:36 am

MarkW

“OF course that still doesn’t deal with the cost of running heavy gauge wiring and installing the actual charging stations.”

Mate, you simply cannot imagine the social, political and practical mayhem that would cause in most UK cities obsessed with preserving crappy buildings constructed hundreds of years ago.

MarkW
Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 1:49 pm

I remember when I was in Barcelona, and visited a cathedral in the old part of town. The sign on the building stated that the cathedral had been finished in 992. It struck me that this building was already 500 years old, when Columbus sailed.

We in the US have a completely different take on what qualifies as historical.

HotScot
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 5:33 pm

MarkW

Heritage is both a blessing and a curse. I own a ‘Grade 2’ Listed building. There is only one grade above that, a ‘Grade 2*’ Listed building.

In theory, I’m not supposed to hang a picture on the wall without permission from our conservation Architect. We have ships timbers in the attic supporting the roof, if I tamper with them I can be fined a lot of money, assuming anyone but me knew they were there.

Not that I’m going to invite anyone into my dusty old attic to inspect them unless they pay me a lot of money, which they wont.

The building was going to be demolished in the 70’s until an enterprising developer bought and refurbished it. Shortly thereafter, our local authority decided they would List it.

Our local Church about half a mile along the road is mentioned in the Doomsday Book, a more dreary little church it’s hard to imagine.

But I live on the outskirts of London, and it’s just a ramshackle collection of really dismal old Victorian, Tudor and Edwardian buildings that form a network of streets that’s unfathomable to anyone but a black cab driver who spends years riding round it on a scooter to learn every street name by heart. No SatNav allowed.

Most other cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow are built on a grid, like many in America, but not London, it is the worst city in the world to navigate.

History is lovely but living with it is a nightmare. We Brits are obsessed by it.

Personally, I would rather dispense with most of it and build a modern city.

PS. Most of the domestic buildings in London haemorrhage heat through crumbling old brick walls and are freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer. Yet the authorities blame car’s for all the pollution, not entirely untrue, because there’s not a power station within ~20 miles of the centre of London, they are all farmed out to the countryside.

I wouldn’t mind, but Londoners persistently whine about air quality when they take no responsibility for their own energy consumption. There have been murmurings about London becoming a separate state from the rest of the UK, a bit like Monaco.

Fine I say, just put me in charge of energy provision and then we can start talking about air quality, climate change and the associated expense!

Surf
Reply to  Rhee
August 25, 2018 8:16 pm

Use a 120VAC outlet. It is definitely not fast but in general you don’t need fast charging when you are at home. no new wiring required. You may or may not need an extension cord. I charge my volt with 120V outlet. It’s fully charged every morning.

MarkW
Reply to  Surf
August 27, 2018 1:02 pm

How long is your commute. If it’s only a few miles it’s hardly surprising that you are able to charge overnight on only 120V.
Do you have a separate service for the charger? If not, what else is on that circuit?

What else are you trying to run at the same time?

gnomish
Reply to  MarkW
August 23, 2018 7:13 pm

their dependency has to be catered? renters don’t get upgrades…lol

RexAlan
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 23, 2018 7:07 pm

“The electric car owner simply plugs in his car in his garage or carport or driveway.” Not if he/she lives in an apartment block and parks in the street.

RM25483
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 24, 2018 6:50 am

Having an electrician run new 6/3 and install a new NEMA 14-50 240 Volt, 50 Amp outlet will run the gamut, depending on: length of run (copper + electrician-hours), local rates, etc. To have a somewhat long run put in my house for that setup (back of basement up to attic, to front, down into garage) for some welding equipment, it ran me around $900 in Ohio. There are numerous threads on the Tesla forums discussing this very topic and sharing prices and experiences.

That setup, according to Tesla, would work for home charging at about 30 miles of range per hour of charging.

HotScot
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 11:46 am

RM25483

I wonder how that would work when everyone in a neighbourhood does precisely the same thing.

I would guess that as soon as someone switched on a TV in the UK, the local sub station would trip and the entire area would be blacked out.

RM25483
Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 12:25 pm

I just went through this process to get 240V in my garage, so bear with me.

Where I live, it is required of the homeowner (though unenforced / unenforceable, and therefore not required) to contact the local utility to first perform an assessment of the service line to the home and to the neighborhood. Then the homeowner is to hire a licensed electrician to install the 6/3 line and 14-50 outlet, though the electrician cannot energize the line (other than testing) for the homeowner to use. Only then can the homeowner schedule an inspection from the county of the new setup, and only once approved can the electrician come back and energize the line.

I swear I am not making this up. That process could take months! I have work to do, so I made the courtesy call to the utility, then the electrician took a look, had it done in a couple of hours, energized and ready to go.

So while it would be bad to have everyone in the neighborhood run a new 240V line and start drawing an extra 30 Amps each, the actual timeline will take longer. As the utility sees stress on the equipment, they will send out mailers, contact electricians, and enforce inspections to buy themselves enough time to upgrade the lines and transformers and submit demands to the Public Utilities Commission to spread the cost to the customer base.

I’m not saying to go get an EV or to draw an extra 30 Amps willy-nilly, but there are quite a few neigh-sayers and contrarians on this site that are making the sky fall if people switch to EVs… What will happen is what always happens (at least in the U.S.) with government mandates: DELAYS. Just look how difficult it was to switch to digital television.

HotScot
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 1:20 pm

RM25483

Digital TV doesn’t draw down substantially increased amounts of power from the grid, thereby requiring upgraded sub stations and new build power stations.

But of course, some in the UK have the objective of replacing all conventional power sources with renewables.

Now, the number 2% is incredibly relevant here and I suggest you read an article by Matt Ridley on the subject of renewables and imagine what will happen in 2040 when the UK mandated switchover to EV’s ‘happens’.

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/wind-still-making-zero-energy/

Assuming you have read Matt’s article, I’ll point you to the late David MacKay’s TED talk on the subject. A committed green mind you, but demonstrating the futility of renewable policy. It’s short but incredibly illuminating.

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_mackay_a_reality_check_on_renewables

So, 2040 arrives. Subsidies for renewables in the UK are being cut as we speak and new applications have withered to nothing. There is only one nuclear power station being built in the UK and it’s 20 years behind schedule with no real prospect of it being finished before 2030, at the earliest.

Other than that single station, I’m not aware of any new coal fired stations being built and fracking is only just being tentatively investigated. Indeed, in Scotland it’s only just being discussed after it was discovered the SNP government lied when they told the public fracking was banned, it never was and apparently can’t be, but even Cuadrilla believed them.

So, pray tell, how is the country going to implement their 2040 mandate to electrify transportation when they can’t support the basic infrastructure required?

RM25483
Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 6:30 pm

I agree with you regarding the UK’s (and others’) ridiculous mandates. I guess my experience with the U.S. government mandates has been different from yours in the UK. Here, the more the federal government tries to intervene into our daily lives, the more it gets ignored and becomes marginalized. The louder the activists shout, the farther away D.C. appears. They get so far away that they are completely blindsided during election time, if you recall. And California and its laundry list of in-your-personal-life rules, hah, we consider California a separate country. We cannot regulate personal behavior, we can at most tax it.

If you like that reality check on renewables, it might be worth looking into Google’s failed RE<C project.

HotScot
Reply to  RM25483
August 25, 2018 3:36 pm

RM25483

Not sure what you meant by this “And California and its laundry list of in-your-personal-life rules, hah, we consider California a separate country. We cannot regulate personal behavior, we can at most tax it.”

And I’m familiar with the Google project. We see everything else about Google’s evil ways in the media, but funnily enough, that particular event has barely been reported.

Jtom
Reply to  HotScot
August 25, 2018 10:09 am

I think all of you are missing what I believe the true intent of the UK’s EV mandate. Those in power want a de facto ban on the private ownership of autos of any kind by the average citizen. Parking and traffic have become too difficult; enforcement and road maintenance, too expensive. They want you off the roads because you are an inconvenience to them. The cry will be, save your children from the horrors of climate change, give up your fossil-fueled vehicles.

HotScot
Reply to  Jtom
August 25, 2018 4:27 pm

Jtom

I think you are giving them far too much credit for being able to conceive of a plan to do anything. Part of the solution is staring them in the face, modernise public transport instead of simply refurbishing it and people in major conurbations will flock to it.

But why stop there, move the houses of parliament out of London to somewhere more central. Move Whitehall to another city in the UK, divide up all other central government to other areas of the country and use modern technology to communicate.

UK broadband is limping along with 76 Mbs as the achievable maximum from BT (British Telecom) who have been compelled to lease their infrastructure (it used to be a public company) to new providers over copper lines. Virgin Media (now owned by Liberty Media) allows faster speeds but is much smaller.

A senior technical engineer from a major telecom company set up a rural broadband network in the north of England where they were still using dial up. They can deliver fibre to the house with 1,000 Mbs for £30 per month. https://b4rn.org.uk

Meanwhile, Soros follows in it’s wake! https://www.prolificnorth.co.uk/news/digital/2018/08/gigabit-broadband-service-raises-£250m-uk-rollout

But that’s OK because the solution to crap broadband is an eye wateringly expensive rail line up the centre of the country that might cut the journey time from one end to the other by 20 minutes. Woooooooo. Except it’s not one end to the other as it stops at Hadrian’s wall and Scotland is excluded from this ‘amazing’ technology.

In light of Turnbull’s ousting in Australia over energy policy, I suspect there will be more to follow in which case, the UK’s ‘EV revolution’ will be quietly shelved as 2040 approaches and successive governments fall out of love with EV’s and renewables.

That’s the Brexit, Trump and Turnbull effect demonstrating that politicians are completely out of touch with their electorate and energy policy is becoming central to every western governments election manifesto. Germany is in political crisis over the subject and when it finally rolls over in acceptance, the whole gig is up for Europe.

EV’s have had their moment in the sun. They failed to capture the imagination of the public. The western world is changing once again and my belief is, we are slowly getting back to practical solutions for, amongst other things, energy and transport, and governments who don’t wake up to that soon, won’t be around in 20 years.

A fine example of sleepwalking politicians, whilst Brexit burns brightly, what is the labour party contributing? A row about the wording of their anti Semitism policy. A row that is threatening destruction of their party (please God yes!). I don’t want to give the labour party any clues here but, seriously, change the fucking wording to the internationally recognised version and the problem will go away.

On that note, I’ll refer you back to my first paragraph. Not a single UK political party could organise a piss up in a brewery right now never mind think beyond the next election about the future of road transport.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 11:47 am

Look, you’re not fooling anyone. We can all tell that you are employed by Tesla. What? PR Department or just dedicated?

RM25483
Reply to  Ben of Houston
August 24, 2018 12:37 pm

Ah, there it is. If you talk about something or try to stem the flow if mis-information on a topic that relates to a specific field or company… then you must be a shill. All to common a go-to on the Internet as of late.

I am a longtime reader of WUWT, and I know Andy likes stories related to EVs. What I see in the comments over the long haul are many of the same questions, concerns, and rants about EV capabilities, charging, effects on the grid, and government mandates. When I see or have such questions, I research; I am a senior engineer in a non-automotive field. I am, however, somewhat interested in EVs in general, so I have spent some time researching them. After seeing the same discussions over and over, I decided to join in and at least shine some light on answers that I have found through my own, independent research. With so many great minds (Javier, Dr. Spencer, etc.) that land here at WUWT (many, many thanks to Andy and his team, by the way), does it not make sense to educate one another and try to solve some of the EV-related questions? Or is it better to just rant about how we think physics should work, disregard the viewpoints of others, and call one another names?

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 12:52 pm

“Ah, there it is. If you talk about something or try to stem the flow if mis-information on a topic that relates to a specific field or company… then you must be a shill. All to common a go-to on the Internet as of late.”

If you argue a point about temperature records that doesn’t condemn the idea that things might be getting hotter and it isn’t all a scam, you’re an alarmist.

If you believe that electric cars can be profitable you’re a shill.

If you say that Jim Hansen didn’t arrange for the air con to be turned off at his hearing, you’re a dirty liberal.

The ideological purity test will be used to decide whether or not what you said makes you an alarmist, or a shill, or a liberal or whatever, not the correctness of what you said, or whether you are arguing in good faith.

I never cease to be amazed at people who with one breath will call you an alarmist if you say you think the temperature will probably rise by a couple of degrees, and in the next breath say that a few degrees of warming is nothing to worry about.

HotScot
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 24, 2018 1:44 pm

Philip Schaeffer

“I never cease to be amazed at people who with one breath will call you an alarmist if you say you think the temperature will probably rise by a couple of degrees, and in the next breath say that a few degrees of warming is nothing to worry about.”

Perhaps therein lies a basic misunderstanding of yours.

I don’t believe it’s anyone’s intention on this site to ‘deny’ climate change or warming. The question is, to what degree is warming happening and with what effect.

Your ‘alarmist’ colleagues present 2°C as a catastrophic result of man made atmospheric CO2, yet mankind has been there, or thereabouts, with nothing but positive results.

Sceptics on the other hand, have identified that if CO2 is the cause of global warming it’s effects have largely been exhausted as its a logarithmic effect and most, if any ‘damage’ has already been done.

Alarmists make predictions of catastrophe in the immediate future from warming that has already been found to be beneficial. Those catastrophes have been predicted for the last 40 years and none have manifested themselves.

So you see, it’s not the fact that you make the claim that temperatures will rise by 2°C, it’s the song and dance you make about it’s effect on mankind when we know the feature effect is positive.

MarkW
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 24, 2018 1:56 pm

1) There is simply zero chance that CO2 can increase temperatures by several degrees.
2) The world has been 3 to 5C warmer in the last 10K years and life thrived.
There isn’t anything contradictory between those two, true statements.

Hansen said he did, then he said he didn’t. If you believed him the first time, you are a dirty denier.

Once again, the shill has to lie about what others are saying. Nobody is saying that the world hasn’t warmed over the last 150 years. So for you to make that claim is just proof that either you are an idiot, or you have no intention of telling the truth.

The argument is and has always been about how much of the extremely mild warming the world has enjoyed over the last 150 years is due to CO2.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 9:10 pm

@MarkW

“Hansen said he did, then he said he didn’t. If you believed him the first time, you are a dirty denier.”

For the last time, that was Wirth, not Hansen!

@HotScot

Where have I predicted catastrophe?

Where has Nick Stokes predicted catastrophe?

Are you sure you aren’t judging him on the basis of what other people have described as catastrophic?

MarkW
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 27, 2018 1:06 pm

Regardless, he still said he did it, then when he got criticism from his leaders, changed his story.
He’s an admitted liar, and you chose to believe that lie that doesn’t crater your belief system.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  MarkW
August 28, 2018 10:30 am

MarkW said:

“he still said he did it”

Who is he? Wirth or Hansen? Please provide a quote and name the person you attribute it to.

Jake J
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 26, 2018 10:43 am

I own a 2011 Think City EV and a 2013 Ram 3500 diesel pickup. The former bought strictly out of curiosity in a bankruptcy sale, and the latter bought after 3 years of research by renting every pickup you can rent. I have no interest or incentive to lie about any of it. The short version: You’re wrong about the home charging issue. Electrically speaking, charging an EV at home is no different than running an electric clothes dryer. I will demonstrate this in detail below.

The Think City has a 24 kWh battery, same size as a Nissan LEAF, and the same performance and range: on 80% of the battery, 60 miles in winter and 75 miles in summer. The home charging infrastructre is trivial; if you need a $6,000 upgrade to charge an EV, then you have terrible, antiquated wiring.

I charge my EV from a 240 volt, 20 amp plug. I use a charger cord that draws 14 amps in use. The newer EVs, such as a Chevy Bolt or the latest LEAFs, use 30 amp plugs and charging cords that draw 28 amps in use. This is the same as my electric clothes dryer, which uses a 240v, 30 amp circuit.

To charge the EV, my “charging station” consists of a cord that I bought on Amazon for $214. I also paid $84 for a meter from EKM Metering to measure how much electricity the car uses; this isn’t necessary to operate it, but I’m a curious sort so I wanted to know. It takes 6 hours to charge my battery to 80%, i.e. to add 20 kWh of juice to the battery. Like most EV owners, I try to keep it from dropping below 20% state of charge. A Chevy Bolt, discharged to 20%, would take about 7 hours to add 49 kWh to the battery.

In times gone by, the typical American house had 100 amp electrical service. Today’s houses have 200 amp service. The only reasons an EV owner would need an expensive upgrade would be if his electrical service was old, i.e. 100 amps, or if he splurged and bought an EV with a faster charging mode that required a higher level of electric service. This wouldn’t make much practical sense, but I suppose there are some Tesla owners that did this because they have money to burn.

The bottom line is that, whatever else you might say about EVs, it’s absurd to claim that they pose a particular burden when it comes to recharging them at home. Electrically speaking, they are no different from operating a clothes dryer.

Ian W
Reply to  kent beuchert
August 23, 2018 1:43 pm

And yet all electric vehicles have the same problem: if you run out of charge you are screwed. No one can give you a gallon of charge, you cannot plod down the road to pick up a can of charge. The vehicle is a brick. Anyone who needs reliable transport when escaping a natural disaster will need an ICE driven vehicle.
Electric cars are for virtue signaling townies, not for anyone who _needs_ transport to be available 24/7 .

Reply to  Ian W
August 24, 2018 2:21 am

Yes, very true. For emergencies you need options, not restrictions.

RM25483
Reply to  Ian W
August 24, 2018 7:32 am

Ian, I suggest researching AAA’s mobile charger trucks. They can spend 15 minutes with a dead EV, enough to get it to a nearby charging station. This service, while not ubiquitous, has been available for several years in the US Pacific northwest.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 11:48 am

And in Texas, we have a gas can and running shoes. Works just as well. No Several-Hundred Dollar charge.

HotScot
Reply to  RM25483
August 24, 2018 11:50 am

RM25483

Or as Ian W points out, one could take a bracing walk to the local petrol station.

Our millennial’s are calling the AAA to change a tyre for Pete’s sake.

RM25483
Reply to  HotScot
August 24, 2018 12:56 pm

Well, I don’t think complaining about EVs or Millenials will change current behavior.

I see folks calling AAA for a gallon or more of gasoline when they run dry. I do not see the difference between that and needing a charge. Not everyone can hike it to the nearest gas station, which could be a day’s walk away, by the way, even here in Ohio. Good luck in the winter, after you’ve spent your fuel warming up the engine, walking in that same cold for many miles (same applies to EVs, the battery needs to be heated to run at all efficiently and cannot even apply energy from regenerative braking when cold). Do you walk 6 or 7 miles to the nearest station in Texas in the summer? Does the same person that runs out of fuel / charge think ahead far enough to keep water in the car? Extra gloves?

Ian said someone that runs out of charge is screwed. I simply suggested looking into a possibility that perhaps he had not seen yet. Have you seen it? Talk about entrepreneurship — idjits running off battery power allowing themselves to be dead in the water, I have an expensive rescue solution for ya!