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.

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493 thoughts on “Electric Cars: Will Any Auto Company Make Money?

    • 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.

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

      • 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.

        • 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

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

      • 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.)

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

          • “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.

        • 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?

          • 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 …

        • 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.

          • – 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.

          • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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.

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

          Their kids however …

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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?

          • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

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

          • 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.

          • 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,…..

          • 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.

        • “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?

        • “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.

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

        • “Electricity storage will inevitably improve”

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

        • Electricity storage will inevitably improve

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

        • 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”

        • “Electricity storage will inevitably improve…”

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

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

    • 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.

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

    • 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%)

      • 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…

  1. 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?

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • Jtom

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

          • 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!

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • -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.

      • 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).

        • “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.

        • 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.

          • “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

          • 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.

          • “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.)

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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?

          • “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.

          • 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.

          • “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.)

          • 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.

          • “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.

          • 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?

          • “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.

          • “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?

          • “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.)

          • “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.

          • 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.

          • 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?

          • 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.

          • “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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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.

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

        • 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).

        • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

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

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

          • 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.

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

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • “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?

          • 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.

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

          • 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.

          • 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?

          • 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.

        • 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?

          • 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.

          • 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.

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

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

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

          • 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?

          • 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.

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

  3. 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.

    • 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

          • Ozonebust

            OK, we give in.

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

            Like Elon Musk perhaps?

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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_.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

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

          • 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    https://themoscowtimes.com/static/uploads/publications/2018/8/23/dcb3273614b04d3e93e8de9e611c9b11.jpg

  6. “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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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)

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

        • 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?

      • 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

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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!

      • 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.

        • 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.

    • “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.

    • “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?

      • 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

      • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

        • 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!

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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

          • 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.

          • 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.

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

          • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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!

          • 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.

          • 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?

      • “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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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?

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

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

          • 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?

          • “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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • @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?

          • 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.

          • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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 .

      • 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.

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

        • 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.

          • 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!

          • RM25483

            My millennial comment wasn’t a complaint, it was an observation.

            Fortunately I live in the UK where a petrol station is usually no more than a few miles away at most, unless you’re in the north of Scotland where it could be a problem.

            Nor do we have winters that get much below about -5° and summers just about reach 30°C. Our green and pleasant land no less.

            My observation on EV’s are also just that, observations. Whilst they may serve a purpose as commuters in and out of cities daily, they are insanely expensive for the task (virtue signalling by the wealthy). And if I wanted luxury and performance, I could buy a Porsche for the same price as a Tesla, with none of the inconvenience. I don’t even need to remember to plug it in at night, or make sure there’s a power supply available. I just pull up anywhere on my drive, or anyone else’s for that matter, jump out, lock it and it’s ready and waiting the next day. I could leave it for a year and it would probably still fire up (I have done it) and had I left it with a full tank of fuel, I can probably do 400 miles before stopping for petrol which will take me 5 minutes.

            EV’s will get there in terms of convenience, when market conditions prevail. But my objection is, as I have pointed out before, that mandating for them whilst the likes of Musk suck the public teat dry as early adopters, only to disappear with the profits when the teat is dry is not my idea of market forces.

            You have the advantage over me however. You appear to live in a house where it’s easy to adapt to an EV, with a drive, possibly a garage, and an easily installed electrical supply.

            So what do 45% of the British public do who live in houses with none of the above? You are preaching from the pulpit of “I’m all right Jack”. Nor do I think you shouldn’t take advantage of the facilities you have, but please don’t tell me that because EV’s make sense to you, they make sense to me. It makes you sound like some government official.

          • My apologies for the cultural difference, the phrase, “for Pete’s sake” is a sign of complaint and exasperation where I live, as in, at one’s wits’ end, so to speak. I know that we use the same words, but our language is fairly often quite different.

            And again, I agree with you about the mandates. In fact, I abhor them. But you make me out to be pushing an EV on you, I am not. Nor am I preaching that EVs should make sense to you; for most drivers (here, as well, many do not have garages or even driveways), I do not see a sensible solution to the charging-at-home need, without extensive public infrastructure changes. These changes are possible, and it is possible to make them safely, but it could take a great deal of time and money to accomplish, possibly needlessly.

            My response to Ian was regarding the presence of a technology that I concluded he was not as of yet aware. Your solution was to walk to a fuel station — so I described my environment, as your and Ben’s suggestions would not work for many here. Should you not also heed your own words about what makes sense to one in one’s own environment? I am not telling you what to do, and I appreciate the same respect from you. However, if one says someone is ‘screwed’, I might suggest a technological solution to the problem at hand.

      • You are forgetting about a particular type of owner. I have a 2011 Think City EV bought strictly for curiosity’s sake, out of the company’s bankruptcy at a 70% discount. I am anything but a virtue signaler. If anyone asks me about the car, I tell ’em it’s my electric toy, that I have a one-ton pickup back at the house, and that I’m the only electric car owner who will tell the God’s honest truth about these things.

        It’s true that EVs are “townie” vehicles. Nothing wrong with that. Most people spend 90%+ of their time in town. Mine is a nifty little grocery getter that will go 60 to 75 miles on 80% of the battery, depending on the season. Fuel costs an average of 3 cents a gallon vs. 7 cents for the equivalent ICEV before gas taxes. My diesel pickup truck costs about 19 cents a mile for fuel not including taxes.

        I don’t think EVs do a damn thing to improve the environment. I laugh at that argument. They are definitely more fuel efficient than current ICEVs, but the car companies will be upgrading the efficiency of their engines so that advantage might vanish in the relatively near future.

    • interesting post. lots and lots of will, claimed, upcoming, are being, upcoming, will be, will have, have signed, yet very little is. Sort of like the story of wind and solar energy. it is pretty good energy except when it is not producing energy. For me, I need a vehicle that will get me 400 to 1,000 miles now, thank you

      • tailspintom

        700 miles on Sunday to pick up all the crap my daughter accumulated at University and bring it back home. One stop for petrol, all of 5 minutes. Around 11 hours on the road amongst the Sunday trip road warriors, well, road hogs actually.

        I can’t conceive of that trip extended by hours whilst my EV charged and I wandered around a service station eating sandwiches and playing driving games.

        In short, EV’s make you fat!

    • Not everyone has a 200 ampere service at their home, but all the 10%er’s do. Do you have cost estimates for how much the local distribution systems would need to be upgraded if most people plugged in their cars at home? $100’s of billions nationwide? Expensive virtue signaling toys for the rich….Porsche Taycan price? oh well who cares, it’s not about money its about saving the planet.

      • In the US, electrical service is regulated by tariffs, similar to phone service. You don’t pay if your order for phone service (kindly remember the good old POTS days) exceeded the trunk capacity of your street; that was the phone company’s problem and they were required to run a new trunk cable if that was needed to service your new connection. You didn’t pay for that; you payed the standard install+monthly recurring fees specified in the tariff. Everyone who gets service under a tariff pays the tariff rate, regardless of what it actually costs for a given customer.

        Same thing for electrical service. The house I grew up in was build in the 1930’s and it had 60-amp/220V service, which was common for the time. When my parents decided in 1967 that the furnace had to be replaced and they wanted to add air-conditioning, they simply upgraded their service with the electric company to 200-amp service, which meant the electric company had to replace both the transformer serving our house and the pole on which it sat (my brother and I used it for knife and hatchet throwing practice, which may have had something to do with it). My parents payed for none of that; they did pay an electrician to replace the old 60-amp fuse panel with a 200-amp circuit breaker panel, but everything upstream of that was the obligation of the power company (Commonwealth Edison, IIRC).

        The same thing would happen with electric car charging: there would be a new regulatory tariff and everyone who signed up would get service at the tariff rate. The cost of upgrading distribution and generation infrastructure would be spread among all the customers in that tariff class. That is perfectly fair unless all those new costs are dumped onto the current residential tariff including all the people who don’t have EVs.

        • Kindly substitute “paid” for “payed”. English spelling makes no sense. I blame the wine.

        • Now imagine a situation where all the customers are having to upgrade their service at pretty much the same time, none of them pay directly, but the increase in base charges in there bill will still be there.

          PS: I am intrigued by the apparent attitude of joy at forcing others to pay for what you desire.

          • MarkW

            “I am intrigued by the apparent attitude of joy at forcing others to pay for what you desire.”

            Easy, until its their turn to pay, then they squeal like bitches. “It’s unfair”, “It violates my human rights”, “Let them eat cake”………

      • Dennis, here in Ohio, a significant proportion of homes built from the 1960s to now have 200 Amp service to support electric heat pumps for our annual cold season. One would be hard-pressed to sell a home here with 100 Amp service without a home inspection listing that upgrade as a recommendation.

        My electrician said he upgrades panels to 200 Amp service several times per week.

        • You would still need to upgrade if you ever wanted to run the heat pump and the charger at the same time.

          • “You would still need to upgrade [beyond 200 Amp service] if you ever wanted to run the heat pump and the charger at the same time.”

            MarkW, I suggest you post that to an electrician forum and see what they have to say. If you find a worthwhile response, I would be happy to take a look if you provide a link.

            So according to your calculations, if you are in an all-electric home in the winter with 200 Amp service, you cannot simultaneously heat your home and draw 32 Amps on a separate circuit. How does one dry their clothes in the winter months?

          • RM25483

            “……….if you are in an all-electric home in the winter with 200 Amp service, you cannot simultaneously heat your home and draw 32 Amps on a separate circuit.”

            How many wind turbines does it take to run all that to a city when there’s little wind?

          • “But there’s precious little nuclear power thanks to the bright greens.”

            That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I want more nuclear power too.

          • I have no idea. I spent a little time researching wind power, but only a little. It became obvious fairly quickly that it was futile.

            I have said this many times: There is no energy crisis, we solved the world’s energy needs at 10 minutes before 2pm, 18 miles southeast of Arco, Idaho, on December 20th, 1951.

          • It’s really simple, if you are the engineer you claim to be, you should be able to figure it out.
            You want your service to be large enough to handle everything at once.
            If you need 200 Amps to handle what your house has now, if you add another very big consumer of amps, you are going to have to upgrade again.

          • And who says 200 Amps is what is needed to currently support the loads in the home? The service levels are split into large tiers, they are not customized per home. Around here, old-old homes have 60 Amp, then old homes have 100 Amp, and anything in recent decades has 200 Amp. That does not mean that all newer homes with 200 Amp service are drawing 160 Amps (keeping the 80% ampacity rule), it just means that the expectation exists, i.e., worst case, that the sum of their loads is greater than 80 Amps (for 100 Amp service) and less than 161 Amps (for 200 Amp service). If one needs 10 more Amps, they do not get 210 Amp service…
            Could you draw 160 Amps constant on 200 Amp service? Sure, though depending on the breaker type (the Main), it may trip depending on temperature. Also, depending on breaker type / computer controller, you could load-match to exactly 200 Amps on 200 Amp service. But we are talking basic residential service here, tied to a neighborhood transformer with constantly changing loads, spikes from in-rush to compressors, etc.

            I do not need to figure it out, I have 200 Amp service and a geothermal heat pump… and I can dry my clothes in the winter without having to time it around the HVAC running. If I want to add another 30 Amp draw, I would (did) consult & hire a licensed electrician and alert the utility.

          • 200A service provides a large margin on the upside. Charging an electric car is the equivalent of running a clothes dryer.

        • Good to hear so maybe the top 30% owners could hook up their EV? Multi-family buildings would be hard pressed, but the biggest problem is upgrading the distribution system if 30% of the homeowners plug in after work. Smart metering might make it workable, but the bottom line is EV’s are not the answer….see an earlier post of mine and many other postings.,,,waste of money fixing a problem that doesn’t exist.

      • 100 amp service is the minimum in the U.S., but most new houses are built with 200 amp service. The typical EV is the electrical equivalent of an electric clothes dryer or kitchen oven, using 240v, 30 amps. No need to upgrade anything.

    • arthur4563
      I have no reason to disagree with you. Its called evolution, progressive development.
      Remember the Model A Ford, and before that the motorized buggy. Will they substitute every form of motorized transport such as trucks for interstate – who knows, but there are electric trains. Who knows what the future holds, that’s what makes life exciting.

      Whether folks use them and is the infrastructure there to support them is a completely separate discussion.
      Regards

    • In the victorian neighbourhood where I live, approximately 90 percent of homes don’t have a garage, carport or driveway. People park their cars on the street. And even getting to park in front of your house (assuming an EV proponent is going to tell me to just run an extension cable) is something that might happen once a week if you’re really lucky. And every time a homeowner converts their front yard into an ugly parking space, that’s one less street parking place available. So what do we do with EVs?

    • “… and can recharge its batteries to 80% using a 350KW CCS charger in less than 12 minutes.”

      At 600V it is a current of about 580A, and much more at 480V. That is some serious current requirement. The solution for long life harsh use and SAFE foolproof connector(s) used will be “interesting”.

      One thing I remember from industrial world is that the electrical grid hate occasional high current peak, the $$$ you pay is usually somewhat related the the max peak consumption.

      • 600A * 580V = 348kW.

        I wonder how much your battery is going to heat up under those kinds of loads.

        • Yes, another big problem.

          Every angles I look at the problem of very fast charging e-car have me convinced it is unrealistic…

        • Another point beyond heat is the size of the wire needed to carry that much current.
          According to this chart:
          https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm

          0000 wire is almost half an inch in diameter and is only rated for 300 amps.
          Assuming that all you need to do is to double the cross sectional area in order to double the current capacity, a wire big enough to carry 600 amps would be around 0.65 inches in diameter.

          That’s not a wire, that’s a bar.
          If you tried to make it a braided cable so that it could bend, you are going to have to increase the total diameter, I’m guessing close to 0.8 to 0.9 inches.

          A human couldn’t bend that, probably couldn’t even pick it up.

          So in addition to everything else, you are going to need the cost of some kind of manual assist so that you can connect your car to the charging station.

          Beyond that, you are going to need that 0.65 inch bar to run from the charging port to your battery. That’s a lot of weight to add to your car. And that’s before we start considering the weight and volume of insulation that’s rated for 580V.

          • Correct, before retirement I installed lots of #OO cable, get past that and it gets heavy in a hurry. Good point!

    • Electric drive cars are fabulous once you get to the motor, but the batteries spoil the parade.

      According to this article on Tesla Superchargers:

      As of August 2018, there were 1,317 stations globally, with 10,738 chargers. The Supercharger is a proprietary direct current (DC) technology that provides up to 120 kW of power per car (depending on circumstances), giving the 90 kWh Model S an additional 170 miles (270 km) of range in about 30 minutes charge and a full charge in around 75 minutes.

      There are certainly more than 10,738 gas pumps in the metro Atlanta area alone, given that according to this 1997 census report there were 1,702 gasoline stations in the metro area in at that time and it’s grown over 43% since then. I can’t recall seeing a station with less than 4 pumps and 12-20 pump stations are common.

      How many 350KW CCS charging stations are there today? Well:

      In November 2016, Ford, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche and BMW announced building a 350 kW (up to 500 A and 920 V) charge network with 400 stations in Europe,[23] and priced at €200,000 ($210,000) each.[24]Following this announcement the joint venture IONITY was founded which started to set up its first charging park in December 2017.

      “Announced” is not the same thing as built, and with just 400 stations for all of Europe, you’d better plan to take the train and leave your Tesla at home. And I’d love to know how they came up with that estimate of $210,000 per station — in the metro Atlanta area you can’t even buy the property and secure the necessary permits for an 8-pump filling station for that price. Oh, and if you pump 350KW @ 920 VDC into a battery for 12 minutes or more, you’d better have a way to keep it cool.

      I can fill my tank (that’s full and not just 80%) and be on my way in 5 minutes or less including payment. And then I’m good for 550+ miles. So how many 350KW CCS charging ports would it take to keep metro Atlanta on the road in electric vehicles? More than are currently planned for the whole world.

      As for charging at home overnight, keep in mind that many people live in apartments or other multi-family housing units which are more difficult to retrofit with sufficient charging ports. And then you have to supply adequate power to all those. The US is still tops on electric power consumed per capita (over 12 kWh / year), which means the US residential distribution loops have more capacity that loops serving the same population in other countries (probably because of the high percentage of US homes which have air conditioning). So if everyone had an EV and every homeowner had a personal charging station, in many areas you wouldn’t have the local distribution capacity to supply them all. All of which means you’re going to need those public charging stations and people will have to queue up around the available ports, which will probably have to be located in commercial / light industrial areas.

      I believe electric vehicles will eventually replace IC ones, but not with any current or on-the-horizon battery technology.

      • “… a 350 kW (up to 500 A and 920 V) charge network”

        Now we’re are approaching the kV!

        But nobody seem to talk about the reliability of such high voltage and high current chargers that will require LOTS of protections and complexity.

        I’m curious about up time vs down time waiting for repair/parts.

        Have heard couples big IGBT and industrial fuse blowup and you thanks God that at the time the cabinet was NOT open with you doing some inspection at the live system.

        • “But nobody seem to talk about the reliability of such high voltage and high current chargers”

          Well well well

          Ford has announced a significant recall for the charging cables that it delivered with 50,000 of its electric vehicles sold between 2011 and 2015.

          The automaker says that there’s an overheating risk that could lead to a fire.
          It virtually affects all of Ford’s plug-in vehicles, Ford Focus Electric, Ford Fusion Energi, and Ford C-MAX Energi between the model year 2012 and 2015.

          https://electrek.co/2018/08/22/ford-recalls-charging-cables-electric-vehicles/

      • As you say at a 30 minute charge cycle you need 6 times as many chargers as 5 minute cycle gas pumps to service the same number of customers.
        Which also means 6 times as many bays and six times the surface area, so where will they fit them in?

    • arthur4563: Pure BS :

      Yes aurthur, your post is pure BS. Thank you for labeling it as such, I always appreciate truth in advertising.

      arthur4563: every claim in this statement is either false right now, or soon will be

      No, every statement is true about the *current* state of affairs. Speculation about the future doesn’t change that.

      arthur4563: The next wave of electrics will have … assume 15 year plus lifespans …. Many of the coming wave ….will be producing…will see ….should be …The upcoming …will be ready …

      All speculative BS that does not change the truth about what currently *IS*.

      arthur4563: Actually most electrics are charged at home

      citation required. Even if true, that’s likely only because the few electrics that have been purchased have been by the affluent who own a really nice home in a really nice and affluent community. The masses who live in apartment high rises or in poorer communities don’t have that luxury.

      arthur4563: The electric car owner simply plugs in his car in his garage or carport or driveway

      Again, that’s true of the affluent. The masses who live in apartment high rises don’t have a garage or carport or driveway and don’t have the option to park anywhere near an outlet. And even many of the less affluent homeowners don’t have garages or carports either, and not every home that has a driveway has it situated near an outlet. having to run a long extension cord out your door or window and around the house to reach your car every time you need a charge kind of zaps the convenience factor a bit, particularly in cold or wet weather.

      • John Endicott,
        I am not trying to negate anything you said, and this is meant as Midwest comedy, but since when is a car port a sign of affluence? You should come visit me in Ohio, we have plenty of houses with car ports, and I can’t say that I can picture a one of them as an “affluent” home. Around here, when someone says they have a car port, we picture the house with the big dogs left outside all day, grass overgrown, and broken down cars parked in the grass.

        If you would like a car port so that you can look affluent wherever you are, let me know, as I can probably just pull one off of a neighbor’s house with my bare hands.

        • Garages (mainly) are more common in affluent neighborhoods (carports got lumped in by the OP and I didn’t separate them), that does not mean that they are totally non-existent in less affluent neighborhoods. Here in my neck of the woods, carports are not all that common full stop so can’t really say where they’d be more likely to be found. Most houses round these parts (I’m on the east coast, I fully understand that experience elsewhere may vary) either have a garage or nothing and the more affluent and/or newer the neighborhood the more likely it is for a house to have a garage. The less affluent and/or older a neighborhood is the less likely there is to be a garage.

    • “Actually most electrics are charged at home and can easilly have a full or heavy charge always available.” EXCEPT WHEN THE CAR IS CHARGING!

      Do you manage to only need a car when it is convenient? Can you plan your emergencies ahead of time to ensure your car is properly charged? Sorry, life is not that easy. I may never need to use a car in the middle of the night, but I may, and having a car ready to go has a value to me.

      If your spouse ever goes into labor in the wee hours, you may change your perspective on this.

      • Jtom, depending on the vehicle, the time to unhook the charging cable from your car varies from a few hundred milliseconds to several seconds while the computer shuts off the charging. This is probably less time than it would take to put away the gas pump WHILE THE CAR IS REFUELING! should your wife suddenly go into labor while sitting in the front seat. [Sorry, just poking fun at your use of caps.]
        In truth, the car is ready while charging, save for a few moments to unhook the cable.

        I see keeping your vehicle charged above a certain battery percentage / miles-of-range rating as no different than making sure you have at least enough fuel always in the tank for whatever emergency you may need to handle. If your hospital is 40 miles away, well, make sure your vehicle, electric or gas, has enough stored energy within its bowels to support such a trip. With gas, folks say it can always go 400+ miles. Well, can it? Doesn’t that depend on your refueling schedule? With a charged-at-home electric (per the example, I know some cannot charge at home), the daily commute is recharged at roughly 30 miles-of-range per hour of charge on a standard 240V 30+ Amp circuit. One could charge every night, or one could wait and charge every few days or once a week, whatever works for them, same as stopping at a fuel station. I am not saying one is better than the other, they are different products, but you just plan for what you need.

        And by-the-by, one gentleman to another, the vast majority of ‘goes into labor’ situations are not immediate, run-out-the-door-in-your-underwear situations. You plan for weeks or months ahead of time with a packed bag that is either sitting by the door or already in the car. Your OB/GYN undoubtedly has a 24-hour line for you to call when you think labor is imminent, and the vast majority of the time their answer is the same, “Calm down, time your contractions, call us back in two hours. If at any time you think labor is imminent or another medical danger arises, proceed directly to the hospital.” I guarantee any non-idiot expecting father-to-be will be topping off his tank on the way home from work almost every evening or keeping his electric charged to 80% as often as possible. Good luck, fellas.

  7. … big toys for rich boys.

    The wealthiest people might buy both — the electric for show and the fossil-fuel-powered for practical use.

    Meanwhile, those who can afford only the practical choice will end up helping to pay for rich-boy toys, by being forced to pay higher prices for practical transportation.

    The less wealthy get screwed again.

    • It’s worse than you think. Our beloved California PUC gave SoCal Edison permission to install 9K electric car charging stations throughout Southern California, and recover all the capital expenses from all rate payers, not just from the folks using the charging stations. Yet another hidden subsidy.

      • Another example of the “tragedy of the commons” everyone pays for access for a “common good” yet only a few actually may avail themselves of this common good. They few who do, do so at the expense of all those who are paying but cannot use it.

        • You’ve somewhat muddled the concept. The tragedy of the commons is where everybody uses a resource but no one is responsible for its upkeep or preservation, leading to the destruction of the resource.

  8. That depends on the level of marketing directed at tax credit seekers as the main buyers. Mass market sales and lower level models look foolish at this point–U.S. automakers struggle to make money on small cars with any format.

  9. Every last car makes with battery cars will lose money and every last battery car company will go broke until first, there is a huge breakthrough in battery technology that comes true. We have been waiting 150 years.

    • Most car manufactures buy their batteries electric motors, chargers, and motor controllers from other companies. They have no way of reducing those costs.

      In comparison publicly available tesla documents show they make a 20% profit on every car they sell. They are only loosing money because they have to increase production every year to keep up with demand.

      How is tesla able to make a profit on each car. Simple they make their own electric motors, motor controllers and chargers, battery cells and battery packs. As a result they can control costs at every level of the manufacturing process. This is exactly what henry Ford did when he established the Ford motor company and started selling the model T.

      Tesla built a battery plant that makes cells optimized to their design. They control costs at every level of the production process. They have automated as much of the battery pack assembly as possible.If something cost more than it should they dress it. No other car manufacture has done that yet.

  10. Burning natural gas to produce electricity to charge a battery that goes dead quickly and takes a long time to charge and doesn’t work in cold weather….sounds like something only a liberal could love. If the goal is to burn natural gas for a transportation fuel do it! But burn it in the car and avoid all the energy losses. Compressed natural gas for transportation makes a lot more sense then electricity.

  11. A reduction in electric car vehicle registration taxes in Hong Kong and Denmark caused demand to drop more than 80 percent in those nations.

    Something wrong here. Reducing electric taxes would not cause demand to drop….

    • Hi Juan. You are right, my mistake. Is should read “a reduction in electric car vehicle registration tax exemptions in Hong Kong and Denmark…”

    • Re-read your own quote. It doesn’t say anything about electric taxes, it references car registration taxes.

  12. My next door neighbors bought a two year old Nissan Leaf. I believe the new car price was at least $30K but it only cost them $6K! Worst depreciation I’d ever heard of. She plugs it in every night and drives the next day to her job in hospital administration. I doubt if her round trip distance is more that about a dozen miles. We she gets back home the charge instrument often shows less than 10 miles driving distance left. We have another friend who also bought a used Leaf. She likes the car but realizes that if she didn’t have access to a normal ICE car she couldn’t get to many of her favorite places and back home on a single charge. Has anyone looked at how many electric car owners have the electric as their only car? Not many I”ll bet. Maybe someone should print a bumper sticker for hybrid and electric owners. “My other car is a Ford F-250.”

  13. 7 out of every 10 new cars sold in the UK are company vehicles. So first the companies have to be convinced that they are suitable for their needs. I did 36000 to 40000 every year for 38 years with a longest, regular, daily run of 220 miles and occasionally runs over 300 miles. So I would have to charge an electric car up every working night just to be certain of getting home, without a long charging stop, the next night. This I would do at home mostly but, when staying away, I would have to charge it up at an hotel where, during the working week, most of the guests were business people like myself ergo the hotel will need one charging point per room and a similar number of parking places; not many hotels in the UK have that.

    Then comes the taxman. I could provide receipts for all petrol or diesel purchased and deduct private mileage at the agreed rate. Would the taxman accept the increase in the domestic electricity as the amount used to charge up the car? I doubt it. With our smart meters (not so smart really) eventually being able to charge cars, so they claim, at the cheapest , overnight, rate would the taxman demand access to our smart meter so that they can check on the amount claimed? It was bad enough sorting out private and business mileage for the company and taxman without the threat of the car being charged at different electricity prices.

    Now retired, thank heaven, I will watch the taxman’s approach to electric cars and the charging off with interest.

    Then comes the point if everybody is using the precautionary principal and charging their car every night how many extra power stations will we need for the 32,000,000 cars in the UK if they are all electric or the ever increasing number in the change over years?

    • Eric

      A salutary demonstration of practicality.

      My experience is not dissimilar. And were we to go back in time to when our company cars were an untaxed perk, EV’s might make some headway. But not when we must negotiate with our employers, and the government, as to the appropriate allowance for providing our own fuel.

      Meanwhile, we have our insane white van man brigade battering their way through the country on a company insurance scheme! Why on earth are harum scarum drivers allowed to drive on a company insurance scheme?!

      Sorry….drifted off topic.

    • I am also in the UK but I only did work related trips once a month, but the round trip was 300 – 500 miles.
      Occassionally that would be a there & back in a day trip as well.

  14. To my mind, we’re missing a crucial bit of information.
    Namely, are car-makers currently pricing according to what King Gillette devised to sell his razors – and recently used by makers of (home) computer printers.
    Esp: 2 part pricing.
    Sell the basic ‘thing’ very cheaply and make your profit on the consumables.
    Gillette sold razors at a loss but sold razor blades at an epic mark-up.
    Same with home PC printers. Printer itself is dirt cheap or even given away free but cartridges cost a bomb.

    Is that what car makers and dealers have been doing – giving the cars away and hoping to make money on parts and servicing.
    Electric cars are going to trash that cosy little setup.

    My ‘research’, buying a fresh dirty little diesel runaround recently, suggests that makers & dealers are ramping up car prices quite steeply.
    Pride of place in the VW commercial vehicle showroom I went to, was what the original VW hippy campervan has now become. Even the salesman I was talking with, under his breath, expressed disbelief at the asking price of £49500. What sort of hippies are going to be buying that?
    (In 1970 my father bought 255 acres of farmland including 3 houses for HALF that money)

    Also from VW was/is what was a very inexpensive little run-around, namely the Skoda Fabia.
    Previously a total East European Joke-Mobile, was given the VW treatment and became a very popular little car.
    Except it has tripled in price inside 12 years here in the UK

    Is that what they’re doing – quietly ramping up the price of new (petrol/diesel) vehicles to intercept the price of electrics, electrics which have to be sold at actual cost price of manufacture because they is very little in after-sales money/profit to be made?

    One might say that motoring is about to get *very* expensive *but*, does anyone actually tally the cost of keeping the things on the road?
    Maybe electric cars are actually a bargain!
    (Have seen 2 Teslas here abouts North Notts, a go-faster red one and a*very* shiny metallic grey and just pottering about town – not out on the motorway)

    • Not only the makers but the government is going to run into the knock-on effect when they find out that their gas tax income is going down. Electrics still need roads and traffic lights but aren’t going to be paying for them.

      • The road revenue issue has already become apparent here in CA where the largest portion of EVs are operating. The recently adopted car tax included a new registration fee for electrics, only a few hundred dollars, which I believe is too little for the effect these heavier vehicles have on our roads.

        • I bet the EV owners squealed like pigs when they found out they were going to have to pay more for their registration than normal car owners were. After all, they’re saving the planet so they are entitled.

        • Most of the damage done to roads is caused by the 80 ton trucks on the road . EV weigh about the same amount as regular cars

    • Peta

      Car dealers make money from servicing, not selling. I bought a new E class Mercedes estate in 2015. I did 25,000 miles before it needed 4 new brake disks. The brake pads were only 75% worn!

      It would have cost me £800 for a job that took around 2 hours to complete, but I made such a song and dance about it in the showroom they halved the price just to shut me up. Most of those miles were on motorway and I’m an ex traffic cop so I know how not to abuse a car. The service manager admitted that the usual rate of wear was around 10K to 15K!!!!!!!!!!

      I suggested they make the disk rotors of the material they make the pads from. The service manger managed a shrug and a feeble grin.

      And cars in the UK, like everything else in the UK, are expensive because we are in the EU. Go to France and get a very nice bottle of wine for £2.50. A crap bottle of wine in the UK will cost you at least double!

      And if you have a spare acre of land I could retire to, to build a nice house on, please let me know.

      • that ain’t happening where everything has been owned for 1000 years.
        the frontier remains elsewhere. america has plenty.
        if you don’t have to live where everybody else wants to live, the competition is much less fierce and prices orders of magnitude lower.
        i haz well and septic. i burn my trash. i can have goats and chickens.
        i don’t need no stinking permission.
        neighbors in the distance can have fun with their automatic weapons in the middle of the night and nobody cries. it’s the sound of freedom.

    • Here in the U.S., many new car dealerships are now regularly losing money on the purchase price of every automobile sold, except that taking a cut of the finance charges and doing the post-warranty maintenance/repairs keeps them in business, especially as lately augmented by lump-sum bonuses for enough monthly sales (at sufficiently further discounted pricing) from manufacturers that are much motivated to reduce their accumulating production inventories.

  15. You know, the interesting thing here is how the greens want to destroy the fossil fuel industry and an all-electric car industry goes a good way toward that without them even trying hard, assuming all the technology advances occur.
    I see the silver lining: less petroleum into cars means more for the truly important transport needs like big trucks, construction equipment, asphalt pavement, and especially airplanes. Maybe that way the world buys time to the roll-out of fusion energy. I can see always needing petroleum for some of the above, plus plastics.

  16. Because of CAFE rules, automakers can afford to lose lots of money on each electric sold, because it gives them credit to sell the kind of cars that people want and do make a profit.

  17. The real question is would anyone buy them if not made to?

    Real world sales are microscopic, and would probably be nanoscopic if ideological government purchases were taken out of the figures.

    The problem is energy density. The energy density of a battery is about a 20th of a $10 plastic gasoline tank. To double the range of a gasoline car it might cost an extra $5 for a bigger tank. By contrast the battery is massive and complex and extremely expensive. It also fails after only about 8 years and has to be replaced, whereas a gasoline tank almost never wears out.

    Nothing the EV designers can do will overcome the hard-wired physics and chemistry constraints.

    As for the idea that the “fuel” is cheaper for EVs, here in Australia the electricity price has rapidly risen due to renewable energy installation.

    A Tesla S uses about 20 kWh/100 km. My car with a 2 L engine uses about 7 L/100 km. The cost of that 100 km for me would be $6 for the Tesla and $9 for my car. But almost one third of that gasoline cost is government excise levied for road wear and tear, which isn’t applied to electricity. Eventually that excise would also have to be levied on the electricity, since EVs wear out roads too.

    So arguably there are no real savings running a Tesla vs a conventional gasoline car, even before battery replacement costs etc are factored in.

  18. As of now, the Tesla Model 3 is blowing comparable sedans out of the water in the US, outselling BMW 2 Series, BMW 3 Series BMW 4 Series and BMW 5 Series COMBINED. This is not posers, virtue signallers or greens. This is the sea level dropping before a Tsunami.

    https://thumbor.forbes.com/thumbor/960×0/https%3A%2F%2Fblogs-images.forbes.com%2Fniallmccarthy%2Ffiles%2F2018%2F07%2F20180730_Tesla_Sales.jpg

    Tesla can do this because they had the guts in 2013 to start building a battery plant with a projected output of 35 Giga-watt hours – equal to the entire WORLD output of lithium ion batteries in 2013. No other Western manufacturer today has access to a supply of cells anywhere near this. VW, Mercedes, BMW, GM – they are all bit players until they can solve this problem.

    Meantime as I have repeatedly warned on this blog, China are manoeuvring to crush Western industry in this area. Forget all the greenwash garbage, if a lot of the anti-EV, anti-Tesla attitudes expressed herein prevail, what remains of the Western auto industry will join Kodak.

    And please don’t tell me about F150 sales as of 2018. If Ford don’t get their act together, by 2040 all the US pickup sales will be electric and made by BYD or SAIC.

      • Probably better than the competing EVs in the US – Federal EV subsidies phase out after 200k units which Tesla have about reached: their competition still enjoy the full subsidy

        • That’s one subsidy, far from the only one.
          The mandates still remain.

          Get rid of all of them and see what happens.

    • If ALL those vehicles will be electric by 2040 (21 years from now) just where will the materials come from for all those batteries? We aren’t talking the currently miniscule 80,000 vehicle sales noted above but the necessary tens of millions to have an effect on the aforementioned F150 sales.

      • Bryan – materials are not the bottleneck (the amount of lithium in batteries is tiny by weight and there are chemistries with no cobalt) – for the next few years the issue will be manufacturing capacity. To build 23 million cars worldwide, each with (say) a 100 kilowatt hour battery will require 2300 Gw hours of cells or more than 10 times the projected 2020 output

        • Yes there is very little lithium in a battery cell by weight but there are 8200 cells in one 100Kw Tesla. If all of Fords annual Production were replaced by them there would be 1.2m per year or 98,400,000,000 … 98 trillion insignificant quantities of lithium. 2017 saw around 100m annual autos manufactured, that would be 820,000,000,000 … 820 trillion insignificant quantities of lithium …annually

          • Yes but the future demand is still orders of magnitude less than the available resource. The ocean can supply this much lithium for generations. And when you facto in recycling the demand will be less than you estimate.

          • That would be interesting and costly if the extraction process were powered by green energy. Considering that in 2017 there were 1.2 Billion operating automobiles worldwide that would need to be replaced. 1.2B x 8200 battery cells would require the manufacture of 9,840,000,000,000,000 … 9.84 quadrillion insignificant quantities of lithium
            + busses, motorcycles, Delivery Trucks, boats, trains, airliners so you can pretty well quadruple that figure

          • Not to worry, the oil and gas industry is here to provide the lithium for all these expensive toys for rich boy virtue signalers.
            from the web:
            Extracting lithium from petroleum brine is exponentially faster and more environmentally friendly than solar evaporation. It’s also a less expensive way of harvesting lithium than conventional hard-rock mining.

            This recovery process was specifically designed for the highly mineralized brine associated with oilfield lithium brine and promises to reduce lithium brine evaporation times to less than one day. This represents a decrease of more than 99% over traditional solar evaporation techniques, which traditionally take up to 18 months.

            The process is designed to operate in oil and gas fields by integration with existing environmental and disposal systems, whether they are standalone or centralized environmental facilities.

    • Huh? “Estimated” sales. Are those NEW sales? or delivery of the backordered pre-sold vehicles? And what is a model 3? An “affordable” $35k electromobile … or a “loaded” $60k model 3.67? Wake me up when Tesla can afford the $$ LOSSES of delivering the originally-promised $35k Model 3. It hasn’t happened yet.

      • tesla only makes a car when someone orders one. They only book the sale when the car is derived and said for. Most other car manufactures list a sale when the car is derived to the dealer where it may stay for days or months before someone buys it.

    • “This is not posers, virtue signallers or greens.”

      In large part it’s bargain-hunters, rushing to take advantage of the full federal tax credit before it is halved in January.

      “This is the sea level dropping before a Tsunami.”

      Maybe, maybe not. Hybrid sales got off to a fast start when they were first introduced, then bogged down.

      “if a lot of the anti-EV, anti-Tesla attitudes expressed herein prevail, what remains of the Western auto industry will join Kodak. And please don’t tell me about F150 sales as of 2018. If Ford don’t get their act together, by 2040 all the US pickup sales will be electric and made by BYD or SAIC.”

      First, you should distinguish between anti-Tesla and anti-EV sentiments. Musk’s deceptiveness and braggadocio have won him many critics. On the Seeking Alpha Tesla page, some anti-Tesla regular commenters make this distinction, and praise competing EV brands, like Jaguar’s I-pace and the Arizona start-up Lucid (manned in part by escapees from Tesla)—see https://lucidmotors.com.

      And it’s a false dilemma to say the only alternatives are today’s ICEs vs. EVs. In between is a continuum of greener vehicles, starting with “mild hybrids” using a 48-volt supplemental electrical system. They supposedly provide 2/3 of the fuel economy benefit of a hybrid at 1/3 the cost—and also providing more pep and other ancillary benefits. These are projected to take between 10 and 15 percent of the global auto market by 2025. Google for the term or see https://www.google.com/search?num=50&newwindow=1&client=safari&rls=en&ei=szh_W5veA6mL0gK-053gAw&q=48v+mild+hybrid+cars&oq=48-volt+car+electrical+systems&gs_l=psy-ab.1.5.0i71k1l8.0.0.0.618545.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0….0…1..64.psy-ab..0.0.0….0.gtrX2Z5fFTI

      Next are “serial hybrids” or Extended Range EVs (EREVs), which cost less than today’s parallel hybrids, by getting rid of the ICE-powered drive train. Instead a tiny ICE (a rotary in Toyota’s in-the-pipeline vehicle) running at a constant speed recharges a smallish ithium battery. Nissan has sold a million of these in Japan in the past yer, in its e-energy series. Presumably it’ll be exporting them here soon.

      There are also radical new ICE engines coming in 2019 from Mazda (its SkyActiv-X engine) and GM (using two opposed pistons in a single cylinder). See https://gas2.org/2018/01/30/mazda-says-new-skyactive-3-engines-will-clean-electric-cars/

      Bosch has demonstrated tweaked diesel engines that eliminate NOx emissions. Bosch claims these are greener, all things considered, than EVs. See http://bit.ly/2I1MRC1

      • Let’s see. Kodak made a mistake and failed to take advantage of new technology.
        Therefore any company that refuses to jump on the latest tech bandwagon is going to be another Kodak.

        If that’s the limit of your ability to think, why should we take anything you say seriously.

      • In large part it’s bargain-hunters, rushing to take advantage of the full federal tax credit before it is halved in January.

        Indeed. My bother bought his Volt on the back of the federal tax credit. On top of that, his workplace has charging stations, so he powers up on his company’s dime so it costs him nothing to drive his Volt to and from work and around town. He only pays for the gas required to go on long distant trips, quite the bargain for him. If my company offered free charging stations, I’d consider a tax-payer subsidized plug-in hybrid as well. Still might if I ever see one cheap enough, as my commute is just about short enough to fit within the electric range of a fully charge hybrid with a little extra to spare

    • I call BS on your table. No sales figures are posted anywhere for BMW 1-series for July 2018, but the June 2018 figures for the 1-series alone are 12,696, which you’ve (or more accurately, the shills for EV at CleanTechnica) omitted.

      And do you really think the Model 3 is in the same class as a Jaguar XE or XF? Did someone hit you in the head with a brick today, ’cause that’s the only way to explain that equivalence.

    • Didn’t it take a few years to build up a waiting list that size to sell those cars once they finally managed to produce them?

      • The tesla model 3 racked up over 100,000 reservations in 1 day. A few months later it was 400,000 reservations. Note those are not sales just reservations. that require a $1000 dollar refundable deposit. Then when tesla is ready they inform reservation holders to enter the configuration they want and the car is built. Once the care is paid for and delivered is the sales listed in the quarterly financial statements tesla releases.

        • W O W… 400,000 suckers…PT Barnum was correct. At the rate Tesla produces automobiles, that is 15 years production

  19. Can anyone think of a time when any government dictate was ever right about the future? When has any government ever correctly picked winners and losers going forward?

    Put another way, when has an arrogant government ever been democratic?

    “Government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which got out of its own way.”

    Henry David Thoreau

  20. As Tesla hits production numbers of 5000 cars per week some information leaked that showed 4300 of those produced needed some extensive fit and finish work to complete the cars. Many problems are showing up with the Model 3 that will require some major upgrades and retooling of the production line to correct. The Tesla fan boys are not happy with the product and some of the faults leave the car unusable. The article below is a very reveling look at how not to build a car. If you want to see how Ford developed the new 2015 Mustang for the 50 anniversary it is on Netflix under The Fast Horse. The unique look in the design, engineering, prototyping and production of a car from start to finish. It is interesting to see how many problems crop up with the car and how they are fixed. Tesla seems to have missed a few steps somehow.

    https://ca.yahoo.com/finance/news/wall-street-analysts-tore-down-132624419.html

    • I am not defending Tesla specifically: they just happen to be the guys out in front. There is also a huge amount of money shorted on Tesla which no doubt leaks into bribing the media to run negative stories

      • “There is also a huge amount of money shorted on Tesla which no doubt leaks into bribing the media to run negative stories”

        By that logic, “long” money leaks into bribing the media to run puff pieces—of which there has been an enormous number until recently.

      • Now you really are joking, th media have been singing the praises of both Musk & Tesla for years, especially here in the UK.

      • Fascinating, the reason the media is running negative stories, is because they’ve been bribed. Despite the fact that media has bought into the AGW nonsense whole hog is is in general very positive towards the notion of anything that replaces fossil fuels.

        So we can add paranoia to your list of mental attributes.

        • Ayup,
          The media runs negative stories on Tesla because the product generates situations which create the negative stories.

  21. More evidence of agenda 21/2030. But the deniers of this very real conspiracy scoff with their head in the sand

  22. I have been “studying” this for quite some years, now decades. The question(s) are always along the lines of:

    • (1) Can the e-car industry make a profit?
    • (2) Will consumers flock to the vehicles?
    • (3) Can the government step in to incentivize buyers & providers of juice?
    • (4) Is it possible to achieve ‘per mile parity’ with ICE vehicles?

    The economics of cars (and trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, etc.) is critically dependent on the cost-of-production and the overhead of the chain-of-delivery from plant to buyer. Moreover, the supply-and-delivery chain is complicated by the caprice of buyers in accepting “last year’s car” as an attractive purchase, EVEN with discounts. As it is, Kia, Toyota, Subaru, and Volkswagon have stockpiled millions of unsold new vehicles in vast desert open-air parking lots … awaiting I-don’t-know, maybe the second coming of Christ? Just shows the point.

    The ICE car industry has built the pricepoint for vehicles around a very simple formula: somewhere between 3× and 5× the cost of the materials going into the vehicles. This 3× to 5× in turn powers the capitalistic distribution and showroom circuit, along with sufficent profits to the maker to fund wages, retirement plans, health care, and the necessary overhead of management, marketing and legal defenses.

    Somehow — amazingly (to me, an entrepreneur and engineer) — somehow, lower-case detroit has managed to deliver cars at the present between $13,000 to $35,000 or so for low-to-mid grade competent vehicles. If one takes the median markup (3.5×), then those cars have component comprising costs ranging from $4,000 to $10,000. There is a lot of internal overhead for labor, automation, research and development, shipping, inventory control, and so on. The cars clearly cost more than $4,000 to $10,000 to produce. But how much more?

    IT MATTERS…

    № 1: Can the e-car industry make a profit? … depends a lot on whether it can bring down manufacturing costs (and distribution-and-delivery costs) to the point where its cars are about the same sticker-price on the showroom floor as the very competent ICE vehicles sitting right next to them, or at the next dealership on Auto-Row. Consumers, ever mindful of their many and various life expenses, “have a number” in their head for what they’ve targeted as their affordability point, and when a car is 2× more expensive than that … well, they’ll move on to other dealerships.

    So, the e-car industry must massively control costs, AND — as has been done by Tesla in no small paradigm — and to remove the many layers of the conventional distribution-and-investor chain, and appeal more directly to the public. Remove layers, allow a more-expensive-to-produce vehicle compete at the same sticker, lower markup price with the other dealers on The Auto Runway.

    Yet, there are some components of the electric vehicle which very tightly govern the cost-basis price. Those batteries are a biggie. Competent 200+ mile batteries (and more like 300 to be competitive with ICE runabouts) are big, heavy, intricate and dâhmned expensive. Almost irreducibly expensive… because of the somewhat squeezed supply of lithium, uncommon metals, very tight hermetic sealing requirements and near-bomb-proof necessity of having mechanical protection in the form of a large, tough, reasonably light-weight durable module. Tesla is dealing with 85 kWh batteries that weigh over 1,200 lbs (7,100 lithium ion cells). This size battery gives the Model S a range of over 300 miles. But at what production cost?

    Clearly the production cost is high enough that it takes special leasing terms to buy a Model S for something around a competent engineer’s reasonable disposable income. And what do you get for it? CA and Fed subsidized energy credits, making recharging essentially free. And a subsidy for the actual interest paid to the car “mortgage”. And a lease deal that places fairly high (and in my mind unsupportable) residual value on the thus-paid cars. (Leases work by estimating future value, and ONLY financing the depreciation over the lease term. The less the depreciation, the lower the monthly payments, all else equal.)

    № 2: Will consumers flock to the vehicles? — I have separately made the pitch that … “it depends” on conquering the Big Four natural (cited or not) aspects of e-car ownership:

    • (2a) Refilling anxiety
    • (2b) Range anxiety
    • (2c) Cost-of-ownership gotchas
    • (2d) At-home storage-and-recharging complexity

    (2a) is handled by plenty of “smartphone apps” to guide the hapless consumer to a ready-and-waiting local recharging vendor kiosk to hook up and get a charge. But today, the comparison to ICE vehicle refueling couldn’t be more intimidating. The charging stations are either distant (for “super” ≡ fast) and a hassle to get to, or they’re lower in capacity (only delivering 20 to 30 “miles per hour” of charge time.). Maybe you can, in a 15 minute wait, get an additional 7 to 10 miles of range … to make it to grandma’s, but otherwise, you have to find a Big Supercharger station.

    (2b) range anxiety, can only be dealt with, with high capacity batteries. And high-capacity batteries are a BEAR to reduce the price on. Oh, you might be able to get a cute, orange, glorified golf cart (Fiat 500-E, say), with 90 miles of range, perfect for commuting to work and back home, IF you also hook into the work parking lot free charger. Otherwise, 90 miles is pathetic. Soccer moms “do that” on a busy Saturday. Easily. So… big batteries. Big costs and mass.

    (2c) Cost-of-Ownership gotchas are what present e-car owners tell each other. Cost of being late to meetings due to needing a quickie charge. Cost of replacing tires, because the vehicles are pretty heavy, and burn thru rubber. Cost of reporting — and being uable to “correct” — air conditioning systems that don’t output much cold (or warm) air. Cost of being charged for what “should” be free electricity (subsidized) by enterprising public garage operators. And so on.

    (2d) At-home recharging hassles also abound: the vampire tap chargers (utilizing a the electric-dryer plug) tned to pop big breakers, wear them out. And its a beast when you wake up expecting The Car to be Full, and find it near-lifeless due to a silently tripped breaker. Kills your commuter caffeine buzz quick. Buzzkill. And the chargers tripping due to odd little “ground current” protection drop-outs. No one ever diagnoses these… they’re just gremlins.

    № 3: Can the government step in to incentivize buyers & providers of juice? — We’ve tried on this. We really have. E-car owners can obtain nearly-free electricity to charge their vehicles with rebates and tax credits. And the banks that underwrite their leases have bent over backward (in believing the cars are not going to precipitously depreciate) to deliver reasonable monthly lease-hold payment schedules. But in the end, once the subsidies run out, once people have to hold-and-drive their vehicles on the same playing-field of costs as ICE owners, will they still be swooning for the e-cars they have?

    № 4: Is it possible to achieve ‘per mile parity’ with ICE vehicles? — And that then becomes The Big Question. Whether the actual monthly lease, ownership hassle, refilling costs and anxiety-in-use overhead can burble along near where similarly priced ICE vehicles deliver from over 2 dozen brands and hundreds of models.
    _______

    My thought is that it is not likely, anytime soon. There is simply too great of a funding need to finance by private industry. And in the current thinking of governments, a hands-off-but-we’ll-give-you-temporary-power-subsidies is about all we might hope for. And that is NOT ENOUGH in my mind, to answer “yes” to the original posting’s question.

    Just saying
    GoatGuy

    • To expand on (3), governments have caught onto the fact that EV’s don’t pay fuel taxes and they have started investigating other ways to get this pound of flesh from EV owners.
      That particular subsidy won’t be around much longer.

    • Interesting writeup. I live in california drive a volt and and know a lot of people that drive full EVs. Most of what you have written isn’t not true. Especially the ownership hassles the free charging. There is no law making charging free. Every one pays to charge their cars And I never got a subsidy for the interest I paid. Yes tesla does off free supercharging but that is a business decision they made. No one required them to do it and they don’t get any government money specifically for free charging.

      as to Cost-of-ownership gotchas. Cvs weigh about the same as SUVs and small trucks and many larger cars. Tire life is about the same. and you forgot to mention long break life and very few oil changes needed. Mostly you just check oil and fluid levels an replace when needed. Which means you can go years between oil changes. Air conditioners work exactly the same as regular cars and are equally effective. I have never seen anyone use the charging excuse for being late to a meeting. Most people make sure they car they buy has enough range to get them to and from work without recharging before they buy it.

      • Took two road trips recently, 1 from Sonoma County up to Seattle Wa. and the other to Las Vegas. The Seattle trip was 734 miles 14 hours and required 3 refueling stops of 7 minutes each. Las Vegas was 612 miles 12 hours and also required 3 refueling stops at 7 minutes each. Both trips were …leave at 6am and drive in a single day. Can your ‘Lectric car do that in a single day trip?

  23. Unless some revolutionary propulsion technology emerges in the next decade or so, electric vehicles will continue to replace internal combustion engine vehicles. Federal subsidies aside, electric motors have numerous advantages. They are incredibly efficient, smaller, lighter and more powerful. The drivetrain is vastly simpler and maintenance is significantly reduced. All of these reasons and more mean greater efficiency and lower cost. Electric cars are still more expensive than internal combustion ones for only one reason: batteries. Technological innovation will inevitably solve the battery problem. I am always in favor of more efficient and practical technology. With improved battery technology, electric motors will become more practical than internal combustion for cars.

    • The car itself is more efficient, but when you consider well to wheel for both vehicles, the difference disappears.

      They aren’t lighter.
      When the battery can outlast a motor, then you can proclaim that maintenance is simpler.
      The vast majority of things that get repaired or replaced on most cars have nothing to do with the drive train.

      Give me a call when your miracle battery arrives. We’ve been waiting for it a lot longer than fusion power.

      • The newer EV batteries will outlast the cars they go into. This is really a function of the battery capacity.

        Treated as directed, i.e. discharged to 20% state of charge before recharging, a lithium battery will last for 2,000 cycles before degrading below 70% of its original capacity. A Chevy Bolt with a 60 kWh battery will — conservatively estimated — run for 150 miles per charge, which puts the battery life at 300,000 miles. The rest of the car will wear out before then.

        I don’t know what most car repairs are for. I only know what mine have been for: oil changes and fuel system maintenance (fuel filters in my diesel truck, air filters in both the truck and cars I’ve owned), tranmission repairs, and exhaust system replacements. None of those are necessary for EVs. No “check engine” light.

        That said, EVs use other things equally, like tires, busted windows, heater/air conditioners, windshield wipers, suspension components, and 12-volt batteries.

    • ” Technological innovation will inevitably solve the battery problem. “

      That’s been the case ever since electric cars were invented in the 1800s. That innovation still hasn’t solved the battery problem in over a century, and doesn’t look like it will in the foreseeable future. As such, pure electric vehicles will *NOT* “become more practical than internal combustion for cars” any time soon. Plug-in Hybrid vehicles, on the other hand, I could see having a real chance at competing with the ICE cars as they offer the advantages of both to offset the disadvantages of each. The non-subsidized price, however, needs to come down before that can happen. We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.

    • “Electric cars are still more expensive than internal combustion ones for only one reason: batteries”

      Further to the “Technological innovation” chimera already discussed, you dismiss the battery costs as if it’s a minor thing. It’s not, it’s the bulk of the cost. Even if they can make smaller, lighter, longer range batteries that eliminate all the other disadvantages of electric only vehicles, the batteries will still be amazingly expensive, that “technological innovation” you are counting on doesn’t come cheap nor does it happen overnight. Electric cars will continue to be more expensive (without subsides) with shorter range than comparable ICE vehicles for quite some time. And if that “revolutionary” battery innovation you insist is right around the corner doesn’t emerge in the next decade or so, electric only vehicles will continue to be a small niche market for virtue-signalers.

  24. There seems to be one major sticking point that will potentially limit a wider use of electric vehicles until the charging time is less than 5 minutes.
    Much talk of late has mentioned the concept of automobile transportation on demand, a service which has for decades been the market for taxi cabs. With the advent of other ride hailing services using personal automobiles this has expanded greatly, to the point where many urban and suburban dwellers are eschewing car ownership in favor or ride hailing services.
    Along these lines of thought, it has been mentioned that self-driving automobiles will take over this market. This would essentially allow for much greater use for autos as mostly they sit around in parking lots. Slow charging effects this greatly. Until the charging issue is solved they still must sit around in parking lots charging and not generating revenue miles.
    So it will be a race to see which enabling technology arrives first, fully reliable autonomous cars or faster recharging cycles.
    Until then they’re “not ready for prime time”.

    It wasn’t in my lifetime but there did exist a period where horses and automobiles shared the roads.
    Are we in such a time yet again where there is a mix of modernizing and extant modes of transportation?

    • The “charging time problem” is fundamental to electric vehicles: the amount of power the car needs to store on board is related inextricably to the range the manufacturer (and consumer) decides is adequate for the vehicle.

      Say you’re the designer. 300 miles range? Sure!

      Since electricity deliver 3- to 5+ miles per kilowatt hour (mi/kWh), then 300 / (3..5) is 100 to 60 kilowatt hours required for the battery, respectively. How to get 5+ mi/kWh? Lighten the car, make it smaller, closer to the ground (like a race car), lower front-area facing the wind. Smooth curves, good aerodynamical shape. How to get less than 3 mi/kWh? Emulate that absolutely laughable “new e-car from Russia”. Massive weight, aerodynamics of a brick, etc.

      But that is the deal. 3 to 5 mi/kWh. So our design requires 60 to 100 kWh of battery.

      And THAT is the irreducible issue. Lets say 85 kWh (the Tesla Model S top-end battery). And of course, let’s be realistic and accept that no one really waits until the battery is empty, or necessarily requires it to be completely refilled. 75% refill is good enough.

      3 min charge? (85 × 0.75) / (³/₆₀) = 1,275 kW (1,250,000 watts!!!)
      5 min charge? (85 × 0.75) / (⁵/₆₀) = 765 kW (765,000 watts!!!)
      8 min charge? (85 × 0.75) / (⁸/₆₀) = 480 kW (480,000 watts!)
      10 min charge? (85 × 0.75) / (¹⁰/₆₀) = 380 kW (380,000 watts!)
      15 min charge? (85 × 0.75) / (¹⁵/₆₀) = 250 kW (250,000 watts!)
      30 min charge? (85 × 0.75) / (³⁰/₆₀) = 125 kW (125,000 watts!)
      45 min charge? (85 × 0.75) / (⁴⁵/₆₀) = 83 kW (83,000 watts!)

      2 hr charge? (85 × 0.90) ÷ 2 = 38 kW (38,000 watts)
      3 hr charge? (85 × 0.90) ÷ 3 = 26 kW (26,000 watts)
      6 hr charge? (85 × 0.90) ÷ 6 = 13 kW (13,000 watts)
      8 hr charge? (85 × 0.90) ÷ 8 = 10 kW (10,000 watts)
      12 hr charge? (85 × 0.90) ÷ 12 = 6.5 kW (6,600 watts) about an electric dryer

      My point isn’t to bowl you over with bûllsnot, but to show “the problem” is physics limited. Perhaps you’ve not had experience installing “home appliances” such as electric dryers and electric stoves, but they are typically hooked into 40 amp, 240 volt plugs having heavy thick copper wiring and stout, heavy plugs. Only 6,000 to 8,000 watts! Compare that to the above…

      That cannot be “cured” by technological magic.

      And that’s a problem
      GoatGuy

    • The biggest problem with taxis, whether driven or autonomous is waiting around for them after you have called for one.
      Electrics will not change this. If you drive a lot, this wait time adds up quickly. Imagine a soccer mom that not only drives the kids to school every day, but each of 3 kids has to be driven to 1 or 2 separate after school activities pretty much every day. Not to mention shopping several times a week. Weekend activities. Etc.
      That’s why people prefer to own their own cars and store it at their location.

  25. One missing disadvantage was the intolerable load on the electricity grid that renewables will never meet. So how is the environment saved? The madness continues.

    • Yes, the madness continues. So many hopeless wind/solar/EV souls out there. Liberal voters without a clue.

    • Renewables never stood a chance before EVs… here’s hoping EVs closes that lid just a little further. +1 for EVs to kill renewables, anybody? =p

    • Convert all 115 million U.S. automobiles to batteries (this being purely a thought experiment, because it won’t happen anytime soon, if ever), and electricity use would rise by about 11%. Most EV charging is done at night, when power plants are running far below their capacity. It wouldn’t put any appreciable strain on the grid to go all-EV.

      There would be plenty of other issues, but not that one.

  26. As long as your government can force people into using/buying EVs of course they’ll make money as the only other alternative is to go out of business. Next step would be government ownership of EV manufacturing but that would only be for the elites that can afford it. The real goal is urbanization of all and mass transportation. People need to read Agenda21 and understand what the UN is pushing on the world. It’s already taking place stealthily right under your nose and you don’t even realize it. Evs for the elite are nothing but one of the precursors to the “plan” that is there for anyone to see. Go ahead, won’t be the first time I’ve been accused of being a conspiracy theorist.

    • Mark is spot on. It looks like this:
      Multi use dense Urban highrise- Denver. I know, I’ve glazed three new builds. Union tower west, Quincy, and 17 Chestnut. Union station and all the train services are saturated, home prices far exceed the ability for single payer household.
      Forest service using lies about Forest fire to ban shooting. Banning easy access camping. Changing rules for zoning to live rural, won’t permit tiny homes, cashless system, full surveillance, 5G plus S.M.A.R.T. interface, can’t travel without approval and enough digital credit, soon to be social credit like China- facebook already rolling out similar social credit rating, my phone sucks takes forever to type with this new cookie acceptance bs. Much much worse and all the crap covered here is the evidence. Everyone is too comfortable to take action. The great culling will happen when the grid and next generation are sewed up, and they aren’t far away

      • “Everyone is too comfortable to take action.” Exactly. By the time they realize their comfort zone has been destroyed it will be too late.

    • Essentially what I have been saying: an attempt of a de facto ban on car ownership for all but the elite class. That would solve so many other issues: compliance costs, cost of accidents (including medical), road and bridge construction and repairs, air pollution, traffic jams, inadequate parking, and more. Best of all, the elite could drive and park as they please without putting up with the rest of us.

      That is the only thing that explains why there has been virtually no action on reinforcing the electrical grid or installing charging stations; they know those things will not be needed.

    • No one is being forced to by EVs in the US. If you decide to get one there is a tax incentive that doesn’t that doesn’t cover most of the purchases cost.. but no one is being required to get one and that is really about it. They are selling in most cases because people want them.

      • Nobody is being forced to buy EVs. However CA is talking about outlawing anything that isn’t an EV.

        You aren’t being forced to buy and EV. If you don’t want one you can always walk or ride a bike.

      • Nobody is forced to buy an EV.

        Tell that to the taxpayers who are forced to help pay for your toys!

  27. When fuel cells replace batteries as primary fuel system, with a small buffer battery, then the electric car will make sense.

      • LOL You know, I’ve followed the fusion promise since the 70’s, and no matter when I checked, fusion has stayed at least 50 years in the future. I’m not saying it won’t come to pass, but there might be starships flying around when it happens. 🙂

        • LOL You know, I’ve followed the fusion promise since the 70’s, and no matter when I checked,

          I have been following the fuel cell promise for about as long and it looks like engineers have made as much progress as the fusion scientists.

  28. Ever see the musical theater play and/or the movie “The Music Man?” Harold Hill is a conman in Iowa in the early years of the twentieth century. He comes to River City. There he convinces the town folks that what they really need is a boy’s marching band. And he is the man to sell them the uniforms, the instruments and to teach them to play them. He runs into his old companion Marsellus who tells him the town doesn’t have any troubles. Harold Hill replies “We’ll just have to make some.” He then proceeds to convince the towns people that they have terrible trouble in River City and that what they need to solve this trouble is a boy’s marching band. But of course Harold Hills is planning to get the money for the uniforms and the instruments and skip town with the money. Well his con fails when he accidentally falls in love. But it’s an entertaining story with some great music.

    Isn’t the electric car the same story? Just substitute Elon Musk for Professor Harold Hill. And the rube Californians and Governor Jerry Brown for the towns people. I can just imagine Elon Musk singing and dancing to Jerry Brown and Barrack Obama that “you got trouble, right here in River City” and that what will solve their trouble is a $35,000 electric car. Of course the $35,000 electric car will never be delivered. But it was an entertaining musical.

  29. Some technical realities, from someone with several global patents in this general field.
    1. Electric storage technology is reasonably well understood after several hundred years. There are just four basic types: electrostatic (Layden jar, most caps), Helmholtz double layer (Tstorms and super caps), Fardic pseudocapacitance (nothing major commercially, a few military single side band radar exceptions from Dave Evans), and Faradic true Allessandro Volta batteries.
    2. Within Faradic batteries, all the conceivable electrochemical systems have been experimented with. The most commercially familiar are lead acid PbA and LiIon. Others like something air all have major problems like dendritic growth lifetime.
    3. There are probably no ‘miracles’ in newish nanotechnology (a subject of several of my own now globally issued patents). There is one possible exception, detailed in a guest post a couple of years ago at Climate Etc. Concerns the hybrid LiC device (real and commercial in small quantities) using nanodoped laser scribed 3d graphene (itself a new patented nanotechnology). Alas, not even a lab scale demo device yet after 4 years. Conceptually possible not the same as techically feasible not the same as commercially practical.

    Until some unforeseeable technical miracle solves Ecar range anxiety and cost, aint gonna happen. Anybody disagrees, bring your counter facts after reading several chapters in The Arts of Truth.

    • An electric car does not necessarily need a battery. Any source of electricity would do. My favorite is a fuel cell. Imagine a self-driving car running on ethanol – due to a better efficiency, it would have a range longer than a combustion engine. Clean, environmentally friendly, user friendly. Should you, God forbid, run out of fuel, you could share your scotch with the car.

      • Ethanol environmentally friendly, you gotta be kidding. Even the greens know it causes more environmental damage than oil/gas when land use, fertilizer, water consumption etc is included. They want it to go away. Do you grow corn or work for an ethanol company? Bad for everyone else,

    • How many materials / combinations did Edison try in his light bulb? I’ve seen the remake of his lab, dozens of workers, buckets of materials & chemicals, thousands of failures. In the end, the most basic solution (carbon filament) combined with a vacuum solved the problem.

      EVs aside, I have faith that we will produce better batteries when something completely different is tried. Until then, we get mere slim improvements in existing battery technology due to tweaking chemicals, materials, and blends.

      • Unless someone invents a new atom, everything has already been tried in terms of making batteries out of them.

      • That was a completely new concept, Batteries have been under development for 200 years, I think most elements have been tried during that time.
        But it still comes down to Energy Density.

        • Maybe we don’t need a new atom… there’s always… Uranium. 🙂
          Ok, I kid I kid.
          I am familiar with the shortfalls of battery improvements, particularly with graphene. But what I mean is a completely new technique, like using a Eduson’s vacuum _instead of_ finding a new material blend that never did what he wanted.

          Here is an example from Brown University from some time ago: http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/2006-07/06-022.html

          They built a multi-layered cake of basically static-charged plastic, each layer with many pockets acting as mini capacitors.

          “The result is a hybrid. Like a capacitor, the battery can be rapidly charged then discharged to deliver power. Like a battery, it can store and deliver that charge over long periods of time. During performance testing, the new battery performed like a hybrid, too. It had twice the storage capacity of an electric double-layer capacitor. And it delivered more than 100 times the power of a standard alkaline battery.”

          I have not seen much on this since then, so I assume that it did not pan out. However, this is the sort of completely different thinking to which I am referring.

    • For ecars, perhaps swappable batteries could be an answer to sudden end of range. Maybe they they could be quickly hooked to small trailers.

    • A Chevy Bolt will go 140 to 200 miles on 80% of its battery, depending on the season. This makes it useful for urban commuting.

      • Hydrogen can and will leak out of even the tiniest of cracks or improperly fitted seals.
        Heck, it doesn’t even need cracks, under the right conditions it can migrate right through the metal itself.

      • I used to work in a chemical plant that had a Hydrogen stream as a waste product. We utilized this waste stream to make HCL acid in a burner which we sold as a product to end users. To actually use the Hydrogen we had to gather it in a header, remove the excess water and compress it to feed it into the burner at 50 PSI. The number of fires and explosions that occurred in this area of the plant was to say the least disturbing. Try as we might you could not keep the H2 in the pipes. It leaked from everywhere regardless of how many types of sealing products and different gaskets were used on the pipe joints and flanges. The compressor building would shed its walls with a regularity till we gave up and left the water ring compressors outside in the winter. Lots of insulation and heat tracing to prevent freezing was applied to the compressors and piping. The excess H2 was vented into one of three stacks and it would light off in a glorious fire all by itself during thunder storms or one time snow hitting the stack caused enough static electricity to cause it to ignite. The stability of this element is too volatile for the everyday consumer to use. I see people who have a hard enough time pumping their own gas at a service station to believe that this element would become a widely used fuel.

    • Did you read the article? Splitting hydrogen from water consumes vast amounts of energy. Burning hydrogen produces water vapour. And they claim transporting hydrogen in the form of ammonia also consumes vast amounts of energy.

      It’s pie in the sky stuff and not a surprise from the CSIRO.

  30. Punters (Suckers) here in Aus have already paid an AU$1500 deposit a year ago for a Model 3 and they will still have to wait a year or more to actually receive their right-hand drive version.

  31. “Tesla also promises to attain profitability in the near future”
    — I believe they only indicated an expectation to be cash flow positive. That’s a much lower hurdle.

  32. After a while all sorts of problems arise with electric and hybrid cars that are expensive to fix. Rich people hate being sold a pup.

    Virtue signalling with your new electric car is great for urban dwellers – rubbish for anyone doing more than 30 mile journeys regularly over hilly terrain and in places without charge points. An extra 25-35% cost and everyone saying “you’ve just moved your emissions to the power station’s exhaust pipe” and “your battery is made using expensive materials mined in dreadful places” isn’t making them attractive.

    • While I agree that a fair amount of virtue signaling goes on with EVs, I’d note that vehicles have always “signaled” various kinds of status. Just look at the car and truck ads. I’d also point out that a Tesla EV signals not just virtue, but wealth, same as any other luxury sled.

      And you’re wrong about 30 miles. Even the first-generation, small-battery EVs will typically go for 60 to 80 miles on 80% of the battery. The newer EVs (i.e. Chevy Bolt) will go for 140 to 190 miles on 80% of the battery.

  33. The difference in costs is actually not that big. I own a diesel BMW, and you can look up for yourself what different parts cost – http://de.bmwfans.info/parts-catalog. Motor (7k) plus manual transmission (2.7k) are roughly 9.7k Euro for my car. For the electric I3 motor costs 1400, transmission 300, battery roughly 11k. Or roughly 12.7k for everything. The difference is 3k or ca. 10% of the total car cost. However, I3 is rather comparable with automatic transmission, which costs 4k, so we are at 11k vs 12.7k.

  34. The Bolt battery pack costs about $10,000‒$12,000
    ========
    Over its lifetime the battery will store and delivery about $12000 worth of electricity. Which is the energy equivalent of about $12000 worth of gasoline.

    In other words the economy of an electric vehicle is hugely negative once you add in the cost of the battery. You would need double the efficiency of an ICU just to break even.

    • Possible solution — use 20 standard lead-acid batteries in series for a 240V motor. Cost of each battery ~ $100, so $2000 for a total replacement. Viola!

      I actually saw an article where a motorhead had built & was running just such an EV — in an old Camero body IIRC.

      • The original EV conversions ran on lead-acid batteries. I once test drove a converted Ford Ranger pickup that used them. EVs that run on lead-acid batteries have very short range, and the batteries take up much more space, on account of very low energy density relative to lithium-ion batteries.

        Lead-acid batteries also have much shorter life. Yep, the cost of the batteries is lower, but you’ll buy a lot more of them. The practical range of the Ranger conversion was 25 miles in good weather (lead-acid batteries have the same sensitivity to ambient temperatures as lithium-ion, so winter ranges are lower), compared to a smaller battery in my Think City EV, which has a practical range of 60 miles in winter and 75 miles in summer.

        A note about range. To preserve battery life, a lead-acid battery shouldn’t be drained below 50% of capacity on a regular basis. A lithium-ion battery can be drained to 20% of capacity. When both are treated well, a lithium battery will last at least four times as long as a lead-acid battery, and when put into a vehicle in realistic configurations, will have a much longer range.

  35. At 60kwh the Chevy bolt battery is the energy equivalent of just under 2 gallons of gasoline or $ 6 worth of electricity.

  36. Over a 1000 charge cycle lifetime the bolt battery will only store and return $6000 worth of electricity or gasoline equivalent. The economics are worse than I thought.

    • It should last 2,000 cycles, and if discharged to 20% state of charge it will take 96,000 kWh, which will cost ~$9,000 where I live. The car will go ~315,000 miles on that amount of juice. Obviously, the rest of the car won’t last that long. So let’s call it 1,000 cycles like you wanted to, and 155,000 miles, and 48,000 kWh costing $4,500 in my neck of the woods.

      On the fuel side, where I live the Chevy Cruse, roughly equivalent to the Bolt, will use 5,000 gallons of gasoline to go 155,000 miles. At today’s gas price ($3.40/gallon where I live), it will cost $17,000 for the fuel.

      The Bolt will be much cheaper to maintain, because it won’t need oil changes, transmission repair, or exhaust system repair. The only downside to the Bolt will be its range, and to me that’s a big downside if the Bolt is someone’s only car. But as a second car, it’ll save at least $15,000 over its lifetime.

      Pretty good economics even without a subsidy. Results will vary by location, obviously.

      • Don’t forget that over half the cost of gasoline is taxes. The fact that you aren’t paying these taxes is just another of the many subsidies EVs get.
        Anywho, most governments are looking for ways to add taxes to EVs to recover this lost revenue. The notion that EV’s are cheaper to run is going to end really soon.

        As to cost of repairs, that is no where near as high as most EVers like to believe.
        Most IC engines outlast the chassis they are in, I’ve never needed to repair a transmission and I’ve owned cars for almost 40 years.
        Never needed to repair an exhaust system.
        I only change oil twice a year, and that’s only two switch the weight as the seasons change. If I lived in an area with less climatic variability, I wouldn’t even do that much.

        • “over half the cost of gasoline is taxes”
          ..
          The current average price nationally of a gallon of gas is $2.83
          ..
          The current NYMEX quote for a gallon is $2.07
          ..
          You flunk 8th grade math.

          • Consider “taxes” as “money paid to a government to stay in business or get something that required the taxes, but the government provided no value” So crude oil being pumped requires money and an investment in the tools, facilities, and drilling and exploring. But the “government” in EVERY oil patch taxes the oil as it leaves the ground, taxes every step of the transportation, refining, and distribution, and then taxes the sale of the oil. It taxes the payroll, the savings plans, the full cost of their social security, medical, and their houses …

            Yes, more than half of the price per gallon of gasoline is taxes in one form or another.

          • Get a clue RACookPE1978……..the NYMEX price already includes everything you are complaining about. Do you understand how markets work????
            .
            NO, you are wrong. Most of the cost of a gallon of gasoline is reflected in the price of a barrel of crude (the raw material).

          • Which is why Mr. RACook when the price of a barrel of crude goes up 10%, the price of a gallon of gas also goes up 10%. The taxes are pretty much fixed and are independent of the cost of the raw material.

          • You see Mr. RACook, if you are a gasoline wholesaler in Spain, you can purchase gasoline on NYMEX at the quoted price, irrespective of the taxes that Spain will impose.

          • Lastly Mr. RACook, the price determined by NYMEX is independent of national boundaries. It is the price that Saudi Arabia can obtain for a gallon of gasoline on the open market. This aspect of reality makes anything you’ve said moot.

          • “A typical 42-gal barrel of oil will yield about 45 gal of petroleum product because of refinery processing gains”. Not all gasoline because it’s more economical to produce, 20% gas, 20% diesel, etc. but at $68 bbl crude looking at $1.50 gal…and this $1.50 includes taxes on exploration, production, refining etc. so yes, $3.00 gas is > 50% tax.

        • I own a Think City EV and a Ram 3500 diesel truck. I live in WA State. A gallon of regular gas goes for $3.399 at the local gas station. This incudes $0.678 in taxes, which is 19.9% of the price. Diesel goes for $3.499, including $0.738 in tax, which is 21% of the price.

          On a per-mile driven basis, a gas car equivalent to the EV would be a Scion iQ. It gets 37 mpg, which comes to 1.83 cents tax per mile. The diesel truck gets 16 mpg, which comes to 4.61 cents tax per mile.

          The state charges a flat $150 a year fee on EVs, ostensibly to replace the gas tax. It actually does a lot more than that. The per-mile tax depends (obviously) on how many miles a year you drive an EV. The average EV is driven 9,000 miles a year; I drive mine 4,000 miles a year. Therefore, the average EV pays 1.67 cents a mile, while my EV would pay 3.75 cents a mile.

          In either case, this is grossly unfair, given that my EV gets ~110 equivalent miles per gallon. Gas and diesel taxes implicitly reward fuel economy. If EV taxes were levied on the same basis, my EV would pay not 3.75 cents a mile but 0.61 cents a mile. This is why I evade the EV tax by registering my EV in Oregon, which current does not levy an EV fee. I don’t think EVs should get any preferences, yet nor should they be penalized.

          When I originally presented the numbers, I excluded taxes on both sides of the equation because of the comparability issue that I just detailed. I hope you don’t paint me as any kind of EVangelist, because I’m not. I own the EV strictly out of curiosity, and because I was able to get it for a 70% discount when Think went out of business in 2012. Nor should you paint me as any kind of fan of the thieves who run WA and OR’s state governments.

  37. Building the $12000 bolt battery is likely to produce 2x the CO2 than the bolt can save in its lifetime. Assuming the electricity comes from a zzero CO2 source.

    If the source is not CO2 zero then the bolt likely produces closer to 3x the CO2 excluding motor and charging efficiencies.

  38. Tesla also promises to attain profitability in the near future, but the firm is about to face rapidly growing electric car competition.

    A competition increase would not be a problem for Tesla at this moment, as they cannot produce as fast as their customers demand. Actually, some reduced demand for some time would make the people that do buy the Model 3 happier, as waiting times would drop. The only reason why they are not selling more right now is that they cannot produce faster.

  39. Governments and the eco-terrorist aligned media ignore the real hazards of giant batteries on the highways, high current electric shock deaths and driver-emulation by battery self-combustion.

    First responders ‘at risk of electrocution from hybrid and electric cars after serious accidents’ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2254602/First-responders-risk-electrocution-hybrid-electric-cars-accidents.html

    Federal agency will investigate Tesla crash that killed two young students http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fort-lauderdale/fl-sb-engulfed-flames-car-crash-20180508-story.html

  40. one of the wags at zerohedge named the Teslas “the crematorium on wheels”
    guess the saving on cremation might make it a seller for some?
    hmm?

  41. “Battery electric vehicles comprised only 0.8 percent of the 86 million cars and light trucks sold globally in 2017.”

    It is so low because of the vehicles they choose to include in the definition of ‘electric’. The number of electrically powered vehicles is far greater treated than 0.7m counted here. Far more.

  42. I notice, below, that everyone’s talking cars — should be talking batteries! When the only allowable fuel is electricity, ‘mommy earth’ is gonna get hit!

  43. Steve, one trouble with the cost of electric cars is they make them like IC cars with all the bells and whistles. Actually, when they came out with the IC cars over a century ago, they looked like horse drawn vehicles – even were called horseless carriages. UK called their highways “carriageways” not long ago. Since the push is for a more spartan low environ”mental” society, a pragmatic design to get you from A to B would do. Make a $20k vehicle and you’d find customers for it. Look at every aspect, from wheels/tires upwards and break from the swooshy streamlined look. Think like a backyard mechanic. I put this idea forward as a forecast.

    • Make a $20k vehicle

      Considering the cost of the power system (mainly the battery) eats up the vast majority of the $20k, that doesn’t leave the manufacturer much to cover the rest of the vehicle (windows, mirrors, lights, tires, seats, frame, etc) and still have a hope of making a profit for themselves and their dealers (without heavy govt. subsides)

      Not to mention the customers will be looking at what they are getting for $20k (IE a bare bones EV) and comparing it to what they could be getting for $20k elsewhere (IE ICE vehicles that have much more in the way of “the bells and whistles”). Which do you think will look like a better bang for the buck? the bare bones EV? really? Outside a small niche of virtue-signalers, I rather doubt it.

    • “break from the swooshy streamlined look.”
      You do know why they are “streamlined”?
      So you do not want any infotainment, heating, cooling etc.
      Why do you think you do not get IC cars built like that?

      • Indeed, there’s a reason manufacturers continue to include many “bells and whistles” such as “infotainment, heating, cooling, etc.” It’s because car buyers actually want many of those things. If you live in a hot state (like Texas for example) good luck trying to find a buyer for your $20K EV that doesn’t have AC.

    • Cool. An assault car! I assume it has selectable semi-automatic/automatic transmission, a 30-round removable battery pack, and an optional flash-suppressor for the front….

  44. Typical bad research here at wuwt.

    if you want to understand the future of EVs
    start with BYD.

    largest in the world.
    a local company here in China.

    ah..

    warren buffet has owned 10% since 2008

    • Typical drive-by post from Mosh.

      If you have a problem with the article
      try articulating what the article got wrong in your opinion.

      ah…

      but it’s easier to toss meaningless barbs instead.

      • i did.
        the article failed to cover the lsrgest EV maker.

        duh.

        and buffet knows better than you.

        duh.

        • I don’t think you are qualified to speak on behalf of Buffet.

          duh.

          And you still haven’t articulated any problems with the article. How exactly does not mentioning BYD change anything about the article?

          hint: it doesn’t, so just more meaningless drive-by posting from Mosh

          duh.

          Just saying “you didn’t mention X” isn’t articulating anything, it’s just a non sequitur.

          duh.

          • I strongly suspect that Buffet’s ownership is part of a larger political deal.
            It’s China after all.

    • So the future of EVs is that of in-town taxis capable of less than a 200-mile range, and a 100% quick-charge time of 40 minutes?
      Your future of EVs is bleaker than most here.

  45. If you are really interested in purchasing a fully electric car, just wait a few more years, and there will be a deluge of yet-unsalable electric cars at dealers’ lots for yet-unheard-of discount prices to choose from for the sensible consumer. The writing is on the wall with bright red, ten feet high letters. Everyone not seeing this and willing to pay the full price now for any of the actual or coming fully electric cars is an absolute fool.

  46. If I wrote an article about electric cars, it would exactly mimic this one. As has been demonstrated, sales plummet when the government subsidy is removed. What would happen if the manufacturer’s $5,000 to $7,000 subsidy isv also removed? No one in government is able to accept the truth that the public does not perceive EVs as a practical substitute for conventional cars. They only suit a niche market which is people who only make short journeys and happen to live in a dwelling which can accommodate a charging facility.

    • Manufacturers are willing to sell EVs at a loss because of the very large CAFE credits they get from them.

      Then there is the fact that they use the roads without paying any road taxes.

  47. “Hybrids can’t be plugged-in and charged.”

    ??? You contradict that in the next paragraph.

    • Perhaps he should have included (HEV) and (PHEV) in the respective paragraphs when he named the type of vehicles he was talking about at the start of those two paragraphs in order to avoid your confusion.

      so the starting sentences should have read:
      Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), such as the Toyota Prius, …

      Plug-in hybrid electrics (PHEV), such as the Chevrolet Volt, …

  48. At least in the EU no car company can fulfill present or future CO2-emission requirements – that is why they pay fines, without making a fuss about it. Every electric car sold counts as one or even two zero-emitting cars, which lowers the total fleet emission.
    That is the main reason for producing electric cars.

    • Most EVs get charged at night. Shouldn’t require more power plants. By the way, the efficiency numbers quoted in your link are wildly inaccurate.

      Today, the efficiency numbers are:

      – Gasoline 22%
      – Diesel ~30%
      – Electric 47%

      Gasoline is poised for a major increase that will surpass diesel and challenge electric, but your link’s quotes are wrong. I’ve researched this side of things in detail, using industry numbers and Dept. of Energy numbers.

  49. I sure hope EVs fail. The USA is thousands of megawatt-hours BEHIND the power it can produce, every day. We import huge amounts of electric power from Canada and Mexico, mostly Canada, each day to keep our antequated grid shored up with enough power to run your houses. Follow eia.gov’s statistics on your computers to see the truth about electric power generation vs. power consumption. Add a few million charging EVs at 60 KW a piece and it will bring our old grid to its knees. Once electric power is SCARCE, economics 101 kicks in and you’ll be paying $5/KwH to cool your house!
    How stupid……..

  50. I don’t think many green energy programs are going to last much longer. Didn’t Germany already announce that green energy programs will no longer be subsidized soon? I know the new provincial government in Ontario (Canada) has already announced that the green energy programs there (primarily wind and solar) will be scrapped. I believe that was that premier’s first announcement after taking office this year. I also know that without those subsidies that things like solar energy would be way out of my price range…but a pretty useless investment where I live too :-).

    What worries me too is that in spite of major subsidies in the EV industry, and many rebate incentives, these vehicles are still at least 30% more expensive than standard ones. Of course, mass production may correct this in the future (if the industry ever reaches that level of sales of course)…but after watching what has been going on in the auto industry over the years I don’t see any vehicle becoming “less” expensive to purchase :-).

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