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Old 05-24-2013, 01:00 PM   #101
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And because green house gases are important to me, I have enough solar panels to generate enough energy each year to run both of our EVs.
I don't have time to go into it in detail now, but this is false logic in terms of justifying an EV. You can have solar panels with or w/o an EV. They need to be evaluated separately.


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The fuel I use is 100% American. It does not contribute to our national trade deficit and ZERO of the money goes to hostile countries or organizations.
Really? Where were your solar panels made? Where was the energy to produce those solar panels made?

-ERD50
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:05 PM   #102
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Driving our kids to college was a 200-300 mile trip one way, and we often returned the same day.

Stopping to pump in some 'noxious fluids' seems vastly more convenient than interrupter our trip for a charge, which probably means we can't do the round trip in one day.



To each their own, but this is why I probably will never buy an EV. EVs with > 120 mile range will probably be expensive enough for long enough I won't ever buy one. I put ~ 6,000 miles on a vehicle a year, the payback isn't likely to work out for me. And I make enough round trips close to 100 miles, with driving in between, that 'range anxiety' is a very real issue for me.

And I do find the smugness of that 'noxious liquids' comment you made to be a bit offensive. I'm sure the people living near a coal plant appreciate that some rich guy (anyone who can afford multiple Teslas!) won't be inconvenienced by having to stop and pump some gas. And that our country was put deeper in debt, providing subsidies for rich guys toys.


-ERD50
I meant no offense with the 'noxious fluid' comment. I apologize if you, or anyone else took it as a smug comment. It was not intended to be smug, but rather descriptive.

Ever smell gasoline while you are pumping it? That happens when you inhale it. The definition of Noxious is harmful or poisonous. Gasoline is exactly that.
And the exhaust can be deadly in select circumstances.

As for the rich quip, many people would say everyone on this board is rich.
Myself, I feel strongly that driving a locally cleaner car, for much of the US a lower green house gas emitting car, and doing less damage to national fiscal health and national security is critically important.
As such, I choose to put my money where my mouth is.

And this is another reason I went with solar panels. So nobody would suffer the consequences of my choices.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:17 PM   #103
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I meant no offense with the 'noxious fluid' comment. I apologize if you, or anyone else took it as a smug comment. It was not intended to be smug, but rather descriptive.
Apology accepted. It just struck me a certain way and pushed a button.

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And this is another reason I went with solar panels. So nobody would suffer the consequences of my choices.
I'll try to come back later when I have a bit more time to explain why this is false logic.

-ERD50
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:24 PM   #104
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But the reality is that it isn't happening, so is it really 'far easier'? We have computer controlled injection systems on cars, and catalytic converters on cars. We do not have catalytic converters on coal plants.

Compare the mercury, sulfur, and particulates of a coal plant versus a car.

If/when our electrical supply is clean, your comment will make sense. But until then, EVs need to be measured on where we are today.

-ERD50
Absolutely, and they must be measured by where the individual lives.

If you want the data, I highly recommend the paper at Global Warming Emissions and Fuel-Cost Savings of Electric Cars (2012) | Union of Concerned Scientists

This is based on the 2009 grid, which has gotten cleaner since then.
But in 2009, 45% of the population in 2009 lived in an area where the typical EV would generate less green house gases (GHG) than a gas car that gets 51+ mpg. Heck, in upstate NY the EV would get the equivalent of a 110mpg car.

Even on pure coal generated electricity, the typical EV would generate the same GHGs as a 30mpg car. The fleet average is less than that (26mpg as I recall).
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:30 PM   #105
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Apology accepted. It just struck me a certain way and pushed a button...
Thank you. I really did not intend to push any buttons and it looks like you were not the only one.

I do hope the others that felt that way accept my apology as well. Again, it was meant as descriptive, not to push any buttons.

I do get the PV panels are a form of pollution as well.
Everything we create is a form of pollution in one way or another. And the panels from China are incredibly poor in that regard.

If we are going that deep into the energy generation, the only thing I would ask you to consider is the production of the oil drilling, transport, refining, transport as well.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:57 PM   #106
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If we are going that deep into the energy generation, the only thing I would ask you to consider is the production of the oil drilling, refining, transport as well.
That is our world today, for the vast majority of people that can afford a car. The ICE will not be replaced overnight. Until they can design a semi that can haul 40 tons and run on electricity, well this is the hand we are dealt.

On a side note, how do you feel about ethanol blends? A $5 billion a year subsidy that produces premature engine wear, lower mpg, etc. Yet we are told it is a "clean fuel". Funny, my BIL lives near an ethanol plant, lots of petroleum being used by the plant itself and all those semis to transport the stuff......... Is it lowering greenhouse gas emissions? Hardly......

BTW, I think EB would help LA more than Minneapolis at this time.......
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:04 PM   #107
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Absolutely. I don't see ICE vehicles being replaced overnight.

I just see Model Ss placing a lot of Mercedes S class, BMW 7s, Audi A8s and such

I don't think EVs will EVER be widely used in semi trailers. That is just one of the areas where EVs are sorely lacking.

I really don't like corn ethanol at all. Wasteful system, saves no GHGs, heck may cost some. Added government regulations and subsidies for no positive results with the exception, I suppose, of reducing our gas imports by 5% or so.
Which is good, but could be achieved a lot less expensively.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:15 PM   #108
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As for 400-500 mile range. I don't think you will ever see it. Not because it isn't possible, but because so few people require that kind of range that such a market is just too tiny. I would rather have a 200-250 mile range car that costs 2/3rds the cost of the 400-500 mile range car.
Maybe because you don't care about the 400-500 mile range and perhaps because of where you live you don't understand the people for whom this is a deal-breaker.

I happened to be discussing it with DH just this week. We saw a Leaf while we were out and about and he mentioned the negative of driving range and I pointed out the Tesla driving range. He immediately shook his head. Basically he isn't interested in a vehicle where the driving range is lower than what he sometimes would want to drive in a day. Several times a year he drives over 400 miles (but less than 500) to go get my mother for a visit (he does a round trip in a day). For vacations, I don't happen to like flying so we drive. Being able to drive at least 400 miles a day is imperative.

I mentioned to him that when EVs were more affordable we could have an EV and a "regular" vehicle. But he - like many people - doesn't like the idea of paying more to have a vehicle that you can do less with. We do actually own a Prius (well - we have now given it to our son) and we did pay more for it than we would have for a non-hybrid. But if someone had said we could only drive 200 miles a day with it then we wouldn't have bought it.

Having to recharge the EV isn't so much the issue for me. It is the range.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:42 PM   #109
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Maybe because you don't care about the 400-500 mile range and perhaps because of where you live you don't understand the people for whom this is a deal-breaker...

Having to recharge the EV isn't so much the issue for me. It is the range.
Couldn't agree more, the range is always going to be an issue for some people. And it will always NOT be an issue for others.
And as the range increases more and more people will fall into the 'not an issue' category.

Price, as you mentioned is also a factor for many.
My point was not that a 400-500 mile range is not useful for anyone.
My point is that the number of people for which:
1. A 250 mile range is not sufficient and
2. A 500 mile range is sufficient and
3. The additional price of a 400-500 mile range vehicle is not an issue
will be so small that such a vehicle could not support itself.

For my wife and I, our 300 mile trips are limited to about twice a year. At first we went with one EV and one extended range vehicle.
After 8 months we realized we could get by very easily with 2 EVs for about 750 trips a year and either swap with one of our neighbors or rent for the other two trips.

If we had to do that frequently we certainly would have held on to our extended range vehicle.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:43 PM   #110
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For my wife and I, our 300 mile trips are limited to about twice a year.
Frankly, I'm jealous. I would dearly love to use one, but it's impossible. I love to drive, and average over 20,000 miles a year. I take multiple trips each year of over 1,000 miles each way. If I had your travel habits, I would be doing exactly what you do.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:18 PM   #111
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I think people need to lighten up a bit.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:32 PM   #112
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I think people need to lighten up a bit.
+1

Noxious thread...
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:34 AM   #113
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I've notice that certain posters here (long on my ignore list) are drawn to electric / hybrid discussions like a bee to your iced tea glass. It is a great opportunity to unload their usual one note piano political / philosophical diatribe.

Not that it annoys me.
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:42 AM   #114
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Absolutely, and they must be measured by where the individual lives.

If you want the data, I highly recommend the paper at Global Warming Emissions and Fuel-Cost Savings of Electric Cars (2012) | Union of Concerned Scientists

This is based on the 2009 grid, which has gotten cleaner since then.
But in 2009, 45% of the population in 2009 lived in an area where the typical EV would generate less green house gases (GHG) than a gas car that gets 51+ mpg. Heck, in upstate NY the EV would get the equivalent of a 110mpg car.

Even on pure coal generated electricity, the typical EV would generate the same GHGs as a 30mpg car. The fleet average is less than that (26mpg as I recall).
Ok, got some time to get back to some of these points, but first:
To the some other posters to this thread, yes, I (and a few others) find the subject very interesting. I don't go into other thread topics that don't interest me (and there are plenty of them) and tell those people to 'get a life' and make snide comments about 'ignore lists'. Back to the thread...

Yes, I saw a bit of the link you referenced. I'll try to check it out in more detail, but it does seem a lot more favorable than the one I had been referencing from Scientific American (edit/add: link ). I didn't get the impression that the SA article had an 'ax to grind' (it's pretty easy to find those if that is what one is looking for), and I don't know if the UoCC might have any tendency to bias to the positive or not. It's complicated and might just be legitimate differences in methodology.

Either way, while EVs may be positive for the environment, in many cases it's going to be pretty marginal. So even using their numbers, from the below quote, we could also say that for over half the country (55%; 38% plus 17%) a high mpg hybrid vehicle would be as good or better for GHG (and at a lower purchase price, and no 'range anxiety'). And in 17% of the country, the EV would produce more GHG than a high-mpg hybrid.


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Nearly half of Americans (45%) live in the “best” regions where EVs produce lower global warming emissions than even the most fuel-efficient gasoline hybrids on the market today (greater than 50 mpg).

Another third (38%) live in “better” areas where EVs produce emissions comparable to the best gasoline hybrid vehicles (41 – 50 mpg).

A minority (17%) reside in “good” regions where emissions from EVs are comparable to the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid gasoline vehicles (31 – 40 mpg).
And what about sulfur, mercury, particulates, etc from coal? GHG isn't the only concern. It seems that would weigh it towards ICE/hybrids. And I would think the ecological impact of coal mining is worse than oil drilling.

Re-reading that quote, I have to say that my 'bias detector' is twitching a bit. Forty-five % is 'less than half' - period. Calling it 'almost half' looks like subtle attempt to plant a positive in the reader's mind. And look how they change the comparison mid-stream from 'the most', to 'the best' hybrids to 'non-hybrids'. As the grid gets dirtier, they keep lowering the bar for comparison.

But even if an EV is better overall, the average delta nation-wide doesn't look to be that huge, even with these GHG numbers. Couple that with the reality that EVs are expensive, and that range anxiety is very real for very many people, and that means we really can't expect EVs to make up any significant % of vehicle miles. So the benefit to the environment per vehicle is going to be a fairly small percent times a small % of vehicles. So why all the hoopla over EVs?

RE 'range anxiety': I've thought about that ' I'll just use me second car ' approach before, but I've had too many times when I had to expectantly switch from my one car to my another, so I need both cars to handle range. I'm not keen on paying a premium for a car that can't fill all my needs. Getting a rental or making other arrangements at the last minute would have been a real pain. Personal choice.


I also object to the 'Zero Pollution' title that the govt has assigned to EVs. A lot of people will take that at face value, and I think that has increased public support for EVs, and it is not legitimate. You and I know that really means 'zero tailpipe emissions', but even that would be interpreted incorrectly by many.


RE Subsidies: I'm going to skip the political issues, and for this conversation let's just hypothetically assume that most everyone thinks the govt should be supporting the adoption of EVs. Even given that, I would say that purchase subsidies are the absolute worst use of that money.

I can't imagine that the subsidy was a make/break deal for even a handful of people who bought a Tesla. C'mon, a specialty vehicle at +$100K that screams 'green' to many people? They bought it because it was an EV, and/or for the performance, and/or for 'green' bragging rights. That's fine, but they would have bought it w/o a $7,500 incentive. You have to be a person of some means to even be thinking about a +$100K sports car.

And even if some of those sales were due to the subsidy, what does that accomplish? A few incremental sales will not significantly move the cost curve for production. That money was thrown away. It would have been far better to use it to fund research on batteries (though I think there is already plenty of research and motivation to produce better batteries).

And if the subsidies are supposed to be helping to improve the environment, why not limit them to those areas with the cleanest power grid?


This is already too long, so I'll leave the solar panel and EV discussion for later.

Just to end on a positive, I must admit I'm a bit jealous of your ability to buy a Tesla. All other points aside, it must be a real kick to push the accelerator on that thing and feel the torque going to work. Or cruise along in near silence knowing you can punch it if you want! It's an impressive vehicle for sure.

-ERD50
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:09 PM   #115
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Assuming ERD50 and the SA analysis is correct, I think his conclusion is also accurate EVs provide only a marginal ecological advantage over a high mileage gas or hybrid vehicle. Over the years ERD has shared some pretty thorough analysis on a variety of subjects, the few times I've double checked his work have tuned out to be a wasted effort.

In fact in the case Tesla, I think the green benefits will be minimal just because they made the car so damn much fun to drive. The Edmunds guys made a rough calculation that jamming the pedal to the metal loses about 1 mile of range per second. So going from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds means 5 miles less range. I doubt there is a Tesla owner out there that doesn't do that pretty often.

Likewise in the Tesla forum,there is a thread devoted solely to owners talking about how instead of taking the 20-30 minute route home from work they take the 1 hour route home. Folks looking for excuse to run errands for the wife, or just taking the car out for a joy ride. My 2003 Accura RSX is a pretty fun car to drive, I've averaged 6,000 mile/year, being retired and living on an island. I'd be shocked if the first 2-3 years of my Tesla that number doesn't go up to 7 or 8,000 and possibly much higher. While a fair number like myself will have PV panels so it will be guilt free joyriding. It will be joyriding none the less. For those without PV, I can safely say those who will always drive their Tesla in a ecologically friendly manner will be near 0.

Yesterday I was with about 15 accredited investors (aka millionaires) looking at startups. Beside myself 3 others had bought Tesla one of which in California. So the popularity at least among the wealthy is growing. With 9 million millionaires just getting 5% of them to buy a Tesla as 2nd car is a nice market.


The subsidies are an interesting question. Individually, I think they are pretty indefensible. In Hawaii there is a mandate that large parking structure have EV charging stations, ok that makes sense especially for EVs with limited range. But there is no reason they have to be next to the prime handicap spots or that public parking lots let EV owners park for free.

The $7,500 rebate is slightly different, back in Dec when I ordered my Tesla I was truly on the fence. I only pulled the trigger cause on Jan 1 the price was going up. It was a easier to rationalize a 56k vs a 63.5K car. Although, I will say after the glowing reviews that have come in recently, I doubt I would have resisted much longer. But considering the other Hawaii owners all bought fully loaded Tesla (instead of my bare bones car), I think ERD is right the rebate probably makes minimal difference overall for Tesla sales, and maybe not even that much for Leaf, and Volt owners.

The California has a state tax credit for EVs $2,500, plus access to commuter lanes, I think has helped pushed Tesla to be the #3 best selling luxury car in California. There is some irony in CA raising taxes on the wealthy, and then giving it back in the form of EV credits and other perks for EV drivers. Plus Tesla is directly helped by selling credits for its zero emission vehicles. I don't have the data but my gut tells me this is a very costly way of reducing pollution. California cars are probably two orders of magnitude less polluting than when I was a kid growing up in smog filled LA in the 60s and 70s. Replacing an 2013 gas car with a Tesla probably has only a minimal impact on air pollution (excluding CO2).

Finally, a few thoughts on the government loan guarantee. Elon Musk says that Tesla IPO would have happened without the loan, but it would have been less successful. My main issue with the loan is just how bad a negotiators the government is. When Buffett loaned money to GE, Goldman, BofA during the crisis (technically preferred shares). In addition to a nice interest rate he got warrants. Everybody has paid off Buffett, but Warren made very nice profit on exercising all of the warrants.

Elon Musk correctly notes that government a made a decent profit of $12 million with the loans. What he didn't point out was that by paying off the loan early, he deprived the government an opportunity to exercise warrants worth $270 million if the stock remain the same price in the next 5 years (and obviously more if the stock goes up.). Anyway I'd have less problems with government loans to business, if the terms were negotiated by Warren Buffett.

So I share ERD skepticism about the wisdom of all of these subsidies.

On the other hand, without any or maybe all of them. I can't imagine how Tesla would have survived. I don't think it is any exaggeration to say that Elon Musk is a 1-in-a-billion entrepreneur, and his success not just mere luck. Yet despite Elon Musk at the helm, Tesla barely survived, and hey they still could disappear if the Model X isn't a hit also.

There is a decent chance that Tesla will become the dominant electric car company in the world, and I think the international market for electric cars is much bigger than domestic. Higher gas prices and shorter distance. Obviously having these jobs in the US is good for America. But even if that doesn't happen. Right now, every car company in the world has purchased a Tesla and is tearing it apart trying to figure out how they can build a Consumer Reports 99/100 car. Just as all consumers,not just Apple customers, benefited from the innovations that Jobs came up with, I think all car buyers will benefit from stuff the Tesla did right.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:37 AM   #116
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IMHO

If someone wants to buy an electric or hybrid car, they are under no obligation to justify it to anyone. If you don't agree with subsidies, 1) don't take them and 2) write your legislators to share your opinion.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:38 AM   #117
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Congratulations Cliff!

Chuckanut, what would you like to know? We have one with over 11k miles on it and just took delivery of our second to replace our gas guzzling Volt

I'd be happy to share any experiences with them, but I could go on forever
Just rereading all the posts and wondered what was your take on the Chevy Volt? I considered one prior to deciding on the new Prius V which we love. Every time I see a Volt (which isn't often) I wonder what the owners thnk about their purchase. Would they do it again? The Volt really wasn't a serious contender for us as my wife hauls "stuff" around and didn't want to be lifting stuff up into a trunk. The Prius V is considered a station wagon and serves the needs. We're getting 43 mpg and we are very happy about that. Would just like some thoughts on the Volt's pluses and minuses. I know that it can't compare to the Tesla but then is wasn't meant to.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:39 AM   #118
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......... Every time I see a Volt (which isn't often) I wonder what the owners thnk about their purchase. Would they do it again? ......
Owners continue to hate it.

Chevy Volt again tops Consumer Reports Owner-Satisfaction Survey - Autoblog
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:46 AM   #119
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Every time I see a Volt (which isn't often) I wonder what the owners thnk about their purchase. Would they do it again?
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Yep, only 92% say they would buy a Volt again. Lots of hate there...
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:53 AM   #120
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I'd like to know what Zathras thought about their Volt. I'm not a great fan of Consumers Report. We had a 2011 Honda CRV that Consumers Report LOVES and I thought it was one of the WORST cars I ever drove. Poor gas mileage, cheap leather, not very good ride quality and a lot of road noise. What I hated the most was getting in the car. My right foot always got caught under the brake pedal. Yeah I know, why didn't I find that on the test drive? My bad.

A lady stopped me in a parking lot the other to see how I liked the Prius V. Said she was looking at one because she hates her CRV. Guess I'm not the only one.
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