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Old 03-30-2012, 04:13 PM   #81
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Don't know how accurate they are and have not checked the details. But two reports show that an electric vehicle is actually more expensive to drive and does more harm to the environment that gas cars. There is the cost of the batteries, about $3000 to replace, the cost of the electricity, the fact that over 50% of our electricity is coal fired and then the disposal of the lead acid batteries. I would guess we will see several of the studies moving forward as more and more electric cars are available, but I want more information before I change.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:35 PM   #82
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I'll let y'all take the usual post about European gas prices as read.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:05 PM   #83
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Don't know how accurate they are and have not checked the details. But two reports show that an electric vehicle is actually more expensive to drive and does more harm to the environment that gas cars.
What I've seen shows that electric vehicles are less harmful to the environment than the average ICE, about 97% of the vehicles on the road.

When compared to true hybrids - I've also seen here (ERD) that electric vehicles are about equal to hybrids when the source of electricity is coal, but electric vehicles are less harmful to the environment with any other fuel source (nat gas, hydro, nuclear).
There is the cost of the batteries, about $3000 to replace...
That sounds like the cost of replacement for hybrid batteries, not an EV. EV batteries are about half the total cost of the car for the Volt, Leaf - or about $15K?
the cost of the electricity, the fact that over 50% of our electricity is coal fired
bout right, but there hasn't been a coal fired plant built in many years, and the expectation is that any new plants will not be coal, more likely nat gas or another fuel.
and then the disposal of the lead acid batteries. I would guess we will see several of the studies moving forward as more and more electric cars are available, but I want more information before I change.
That contradicts what I've read, care to share these reports?

Your info looks like a mixture of several unrelated facts (see above - actual links to all the above have appeared here in other threads).

I am not a fan of EV's, but I'd rather we try to share accurate information as much as we can.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:11 PM   #84
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I'll let y'all take the usual post about European gas prices as read.
But, but, but the Europeans can just about walk to anywhere they want to go. Well, they may have to take the intercity trains, but they do not really have to drive. And then, when they go camping, they use something like this.



In our trip last year, when on the spur of the moment that we decided to stop by the Grand Canyon on our way home, we parked in a slot in a commercial RV park next to a couple in a rental van like this.


Looking at the logo on van and at the husband sitting on the outside bench studying a map, I figured that they were European. So, I pop'ed a beer and offered it to him to make an introduction. In the ensuing conversation, I learned that they were German, and were taking a special offer from their government program which paid for a long vacation for people with young children to take time off work. It appeared that it was a social program to encourage people to have children. He said that was the only way he could afford to take a few weeks off work to go see the US.

Anyway, his rental van was by a company called Escape Camper Van. It had a comfortable sleeping bed for the couple with their infant, a sink with running water, a propane burner, and a cooler. No toilet of course. By American standard, this is fairly spartan.

He asked me what "full hook-up" meant, as it applied to the US RV park descriptions, and I explained it to him. He said that a couple of nights earlier, they spent the night in Lake Havasu. Good grief! We were in nearby Laughlin, and the temperature was 105F (41C) there. Our AC ran nearly non-stop when we stayed at a commercial park for the night, and had nearly the entire park to ourselves. All the snowbirds already fled north long ago. This poor German did not know that he was not supposed to be there in August, and submitted his family to torture (the only AC he had was when the engine was running), by sleeping in that heat in an RV park where he paid for "full hook-up" facility, of which he could not use. He asked how people could live in the SW, and I said that the early settlers just toughed it out, while the later sissies like us had AC running nearly non-stop. He just shook his head. He said that he had a tough time sleeping that night, as he sweated so much the sweat drained into his ear and filled it up. Good grief!

Anyway, here in the US, we have this vast "wild wild West" that just takes a lot of gasoline to explore. And then, being delicate princesses, we are so used to pampering and comfort. I felt bad parked next to this couple, and I only had a modest MH.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:51 PM   #85
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Don't know how accurate they are and have not checked the details. But two reports show that an electric vehicle is actually more expensive to drive and does more harm to the environment that gas cars. There is the cost of the batteries, about $3000 to replace, the cost of the electricity, the fact that over 50% of our electricity is coal fired and then the disposal of the lead acid batteries. I would guess we will see several of the studies moving forward as more and more electric cars are available, but I want more information before I change.
I just got the new issue of Road and Track in the mail today. In the "tech tidbits" section the bottom half of the page had some interesting facts about hybrids and plug-ins and their batteries.
The Lotus-Effect - Tech Tidbits by Dennis Simanaitis for May 2012 ? RoadandTrack.com
Looking at the table it would seem that the Hybrid Prius with Nickel Metal Hydride batteries makes more economic sense than the plug-in vehicles with superior but still very expensive lithium batteries.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:01 PM   #86
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But, but, but the Europeans can just about walk to anywhere they want to go. Well, they may have to take the intercity trains, but they do not really have to drive.
Looking forward to doing that again in a few months. Except right here in America. Only $62 a month for unlimited rides on the San Francisco muni and lots of walking opportunities! I might even ditch the car.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:03 PM   #87
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SF is a nice town that we have visited perhaps a dozen times over the years.

Eh, I don't think we have been told the story behind your move.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:18 PM   #88
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I just got the new issue of Road and Track in the mail today. In the "tech tidbits" section the bottom half of the page had some interesting facts about hybrids and plug-ins and their batteries.
The Lotus-Effect - Tech Tidbits by Dennis Simanaitis for May 2012 ? RoadandTrack.com
Looking at the table it would seem that the Hybrid Prius with Nickel Metal Hydride batteries makes more economic sense than the plug-in vehicles with superior but still very expensive lithium batteries.
Sounds right. 'Regular' hybrids capture wasted energy from braking, and use it to assist the ICE with acceleration. That doesn't take a huge battery. That also means you can have a smaller ICE. Looks like they make some economic sense if you drive enough miles/year.

But EVS don't make economic sense today for most drivers. And a plug-in hybrid is just a step towards an EV. So every step closer to pure EV is just weighting the average further away from economic sense.

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Old 03-30-2012, 10:41 PM   #89
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But, but, but the Europeans can just about walk to anywhere they want to go.
.
.
.
.
.

Anyway, here in the US, we have this vast "wild wild West" that just takes a lot of gasoline to explore. And then, being delicate princesses, we are so used to pampering and comfort. I felt bad parked next to this couple, and I only had a modest MH.
I expect most of the miles driven by Americans are city miles. A few years ago we hired a car in Spain for 2 weeks. It's a pretty big country.


Europe is 3,930,520 sq miles

USA is 3,794,100 sq miles

Area of Texas is 268,820 sq miles

Area of France is 260,558 sq miles

Area of Spain is 194,607 sq miles




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Old 03-30-2012, 10:48 PM   #90
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It looks like the Volt is selling better in Europe, which makes sense. The higher gas prices are, the more sense a Volt makes--

Chevy Volt demand high in Europe | The Car Tech blog - CNET Reviews


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Sounds right. 'Regular' hybrids capture wasted energy from braking, and use it to assist the ICE with acceleration. That doesn't take a huge battery. That also means you can have a smaller ICE. Looks like they make some economic sense if you drive enough miles/year.

But EVS don't make economic sense today for most drivers. And a plug-in hybrid is just a step towards an EV. So every step closer to pure EV is just weighting the average further away from economic sense.

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Old 03-30-2012, 11:19 PM   #91
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OK, I stand corrected. Europe is a large continent, if we count the area that used to be called the Soviet Union. And yes, part of the Soviet is still as wild as Alaska with very few roads.

When I made the post, I was thinking more of the "old world" Europe (not sure if it is the right phrase), and it is a lot smaller than the following map. I was also not thinking of Scandinavian countries.



Anyway, my impression is that Europeans do not have the habit of driving great distances like US citizens, who think nothing of driving coast-to-coast distances. It could be because of the lower cost of gasoline that "shorten" the distances.

When I talked to the German camper I described in earlier post, I recommended to him that he should take his family to Yellowstone to enjoy the cooler weather up there. He looked at his map and kept shaking his head that it was too far away. It was 1000 mi between Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, and I did not think that would be a big deal to an American, but it was to him.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:20 PM   #92
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Eh, I don't think we have been told the story behind your move.
The story has a lot of twists and turns. I bored the other mods enough with it over the past few months, so I'll give you the short version:

DW was set to retire in 2013 and we had planned everything with that in mind. We had just finished paying off and renovating what we thought would be our retirement home when we got the call that turned everything upside down. DW was unexpectedly offered an attractive career opportunity in California. She was very excited about it - and I was not so much. Since this opportunity could lead to DW's "dream job", I came to the realization that, for her, pursuing that opportunity was more important than retiring. So, while we are keeping the retirement home for when she is ready to retire, we'll be living on the west coast for the foreseeable future. I am now pretty excited by the prospect.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:34 PM   #93
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I would do that just by taking a water excursion if we go by RV.
Absolutely.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:36 PM   #94
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There's nothing wrong with working a few more years if one enjoys the new job and the new environment too. I do not know if there is anything to tie your wife to the new job if she changes her mind and wants to ER again. But then, if one is really ready to retire, there would not be any dream job that would get him/her interested.

I am only doing my part-time work because it is more like a hobby. If an assignment sounds like too much hassle, or involves too much travel, I would just walk. And a job would also have to be really interesting to interfere with my vacation plan.

In short, I do not think your wife is ready to ER. But it is better to let her take the chance with the new job now, then to regret later. I took a chance with having my own business ventures with close friends. They were failures, but if I did not take the risk, would spend the rest of my life wondering.

Anyway, good luck and enjoy your new life episode in a different city. ER or not, as long as life is not dull, one has no reason to complain.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:47 PM   #95
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Absolutely.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I was thinking of a more affordable and touristy method.



Anyway, back on the high cost of gasoline, it is already decided that the RV trip this year will only take us up to Banff. The Alaska trip will be next year. By the time I can go, the gas cost will be even higher. Sigh...
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:45 AM   #96
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Anyway, my impression is that Europeans do not have the habit of driving great distances like US citizens, who think nothing of driving coast-to-coast distances. It could be because of the lower cost of gasoline that "shorten" the distances.
I agree, but there are more than you might think. 3 years ago we flew to Europe and met up with DW's sister and BIL at a house we were renting close to Pamplona in Spain. They drove almost 2,000 miles to join us from their home in Edinburgh, Scotland. They are retired and often drive to Spain and the South of France. DW has various other whacky relatives that drive great distances in Europe - her parents once drove from Stockport, Cheshire to Sarajevo (a few years after the recent war) Google maps says it can't even calculate the distance!!.

The best story we heard was when our DD and SIL went to Italy a few years ago. At the end of their vacation they took a 7 day cruise out of Venice. They met an American couple who were supposed to be meeting their daughter, who was a student in York University, but because of the ash from the Icelandic volcano grounding all aircraft in N. Europe they never expected her to make it. Her English boyfriend drove her all the way there, then immediately drove all the way back as he had to return to work. 7 days later he was there to meet them again. That's 1,100 miles each way, TWICE in a week. Must have been true love
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:29 AM   #97
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I still say screw the cost, because to me sitting on a boat watching the ice for an entire trip is boring.
Depending on the "cruise" you take, it's not all on the water (here's a picture from our Alaska sojourn, taken a few years ago - and yes, it was booked as a "cruise") note - click to expand:
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File Type: jpg Alaska Cruise 069.jpg (526.9 KB, 5 views)
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:51 AM   #98
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Anyway, back on the high cost of gasoline, it is already decided that the RV trip this year will only take us up to Banff. The Alaska trip will be next year. By the time I can go, the gas cost will be even higher. Sigh...
If (and that's a huge "IF") gasoline is $1.00/a gallon less next year than this year, how much will you save?

Banff to Fairbanks = 4,000 miles round trip. At 8mpg that's 500 gallons, so you'll save a whopping $500 at $1/gal by stopping at Banff. Is that enough to prevent you from making a trip you've been talking about taking for years?
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:34 AM   #99
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I expect most of the miles driven by Americans are city miles. A few years ago we hired a car in Spain for 2 weeks. It's a pretty big country.
But my impression (which could certainly be wrong) was that Europe had less 'suburban sprawl'. I guess the issue is not anecdotes of so-and-so driving a long or short distance, but what is the average commute for a European versus the U.S.

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It looks like the Volt is selling better in Europe, which makes sense. The higher gas prices are, the more sense a Volt makes--
Yes, I keep saying that if EVs are not taking off in Europe with their high fuel prices, how can they be ready for the US market? Makes no sense to me. Maybe we are beginning to turn that corner in Europe now, but we need to see if demand remains high. There are always the early adopters who just have to have something, pretty much regardless of other factors.

It's another reason I'm so against the subsidy here in the US, just let Euro demand drive the early adoption. Why pay to make it 'artificially' attractive here, when it should be attractive in Europe w/o the subsidy?

? Does Europe provide any subsidy there?

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Old 03-31-2012, 10:49 AM   #100
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If (and that's a huge "IF") gasoline is $1.00/a gallon less next year than this year, how much will you save?

Banff to Fairbanks = 4,000 miles round trip. At 8mpg that's 500 gallons, so you'll save a whopping $500 at $1/gal by stopping at Banff. Is that enough to prevent you from making a trip you've been talking about taking for years?
+1 You should go to Alaska! I am not eager to travel, myself, but I can recognize a dream when I see one. I think you should go to Alaska now, while you still can.
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