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Let's talk about cars

Let's talk about cars

Old Jul 7th 2013, 12:35 am
  #76  
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Bob
There's getting smashed and there was getting smashed...
I see. Well the average SUV sure has plenty of sheet metal in it so yes they are built like tanks compared to the Tesla which is mostly aluminium. That said the Tesla is nearly 4700lbs thanks to the bank of batteries in the floor so it's hardly lightweight.

Similar to owning a Prius, but more so. The owners think they are doing something to solve global warming, so it eases their conscience. In the case of the Tesla, it also has "prestige value" - tells the world they can afford to blow $80k on a partially functional car. The Tesla is only good for somewhere between 260 and 300 miles on a full charge, so you can drive it round town, and out to the golf club, or even to the lake, but it is no use for a road trip, nor for a day driving in the mountains, nor a long drive to the beach. The promised charging stations may solve some of these issues, at least if you're willing to be tied to charging at the locations where the charging stations are built. Honestly, I see them as an expensive novelty, a toy, and not part of the long term future of the automobile.
I think your wrong but then I would say that wouldn't I? It'll be a while before all electric vehicles are mainstream that's for sure. It is genuinely zero emissions from the user end of things. Sure the power companies will be pumping out more energy to charge them but consider this. Where does gas come from? Oil. And that's it's only source. Electric on the other hand can and is generated by various methods including burning hydrocarbon fuels and here in FL, 54% of energy comes from natural gas. The new Supercharger stations being built are partially solar powered so they don't draw as much from the grid. Home charging is done mostly overnight at low electric rates and at a time when electric isn't in demand. If you add solar panels to your house it might even be free!

"Range anxiety" 240 miles on a 90% charge is a lot better than a Volt or a Leaf. 78% of Americans drive 40 miles a day or less. This is me. Chances are it's you too. I make a couple of long trips a year. The Supercharge network is currently available in CA and some of the Pacific NW, New England and part of IL. 3 new chargers are beginning to be built here in FL which should be operational by end of this summer and by end of this year it's claimed the I-95 corridor will be linked up. By 2015 they say it will be possible to drive coast to coast. Considering the network will be free...that's quite a deal.

Unknown to me until I did some research, there are already more than 5000 public charging stations dotted around the country. Most are "level 2" J1772 chargers running at 16-24amp so charge time will be slower. But they are there. Every Nissan dealer has them too. Campgrounds also have them, typically 40amp hookups. I suspect as Tesla's and other all electric cars become more common, it's possible third party charging stations like Chargepoint and Blink may expand and improve, especially in the less populated areas. The old adage "build them and they will come" applies.

With the slow rise of oil prices due in part to increasingly difficult to find "cheap" oil and OPEC control of the world market, alternative fuel vehicles will become more common I believe. Last but not least, last month, Tesla repaid their Government loan in full 9 years early. I don't think Tesla is a fad. They say the 3rd generation model due in 3-4 years time will be half the cost of the current Model S. Watch out BMW, Audi and Merc!
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 12:37 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Cape Blue
I looked at a new bicycle yesterday
Hey it's carbon emission free, no gas to buy or socket to plug into. A win!
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 3:52 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Similar to owning a Prius, but more so. The owners think they are doing something to solve global warming, so it eases their conscience. In the case of the Tesla, it also has "prestige value" - tells the world they can afford to blow $80k on a partially functional car. The Tesla is only good for somewhere between 260 and 300 miles on a full charge, so you can drive it round town, and out to the golf club, or even to the lake, but it is no use for a road trip, nor for a day driving in the mountains, nor a long drive to the beach. The promised charging stations may solve some of these issues, at least if you're willing to be tied to charging at the locations where the charging stations are built. Honestly, I see them as an expensive novelty, a toy, and not part of the long term future of the automobile.
Guess what most people actually drive on a day to day basis and "around town and out to the golf club" is all they need.

As for long trips I bet they said the same thing about gas powered cars until gas stations proliferated. You can't exactly just give your car a bale of hay and start driving the next morning can you?
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 5:49 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Pulaski
The owners think they are doing something to solve global warming, so it eases their conscience.
They do pollute less from birth to death (including the manufacturing process), so they're not wrong to believe that.

But you're also missing that these cars also appeal to techies who believe that the cars are innovative. (I personally don't see how a 100+ year old technology could possibly be considered to be disruptive or innovative, but I'm obviously not the target market.)

Originally Posted by Brit3964
It'll be a while before all electric vehicles are mainstream that's for sure.
Electric cars have been around for over 100 years. There are reasons why that they are still on the fringes.

Originally Posted by Brit3964
"Range anxiety" 240 miles on a 90% charge is a lot better than a Volt or a Leaf.
You can refill a Volt with fuel in about three minutes, and you can do so without harming the fuel tank. In contrast, it usually takes many hours to recharge an electric car, and the use of fast chargers (assuming that you can find them), particularly for deep recharging that maximizes range, will serve to shorten the life of the battery.

In any case, you're not going to get 240 miles of range if you actually use the car's performance capability. You can probably cut that figure by about 25% or more if you drive it like you stole it. Cold weather won't help, either, as the battery is used to power the heater, unlike a typical internal combustion engine car.

I'm sure that you'll enjoy the car, but Tesla has not solved the basic problems associated with electric cars. The recent battery swap PR event was essentially an acknowledgment that recharge time remains a problem. Range is only possible with heavy, bulky costly batteries that don't fit in smaller cars and that cost too much. Resale could prove to be a challenge -- if possible, you should look into leasing it, instead.
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 5:58 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by sir_eccles
As for long trips I bet they said the same thing about gas powered cars until gas stations proliferated. You can't exactly just give your car a bale of hay and start driving the next morning can you?
Gasoline was available, because it was used to operate machinery. (It started out as a waste product, until Standard Oil figured out what to do with it.) You could buy jars of it at the hardware store.

Initially, one of the main challenges for gas cars was that they were dangerous to start. A mistake made while using a hand crank could break a limb. Inventing starters that eliminated the need for hand cranking helped greatly with adoption.

In the early days, steam and electric cars were more popular, to the extent that there were cars. But steam engines could be unsafe, while electric cars had limited range and long recharge times. The disadvantages that EVs had back in 1900 are still with us today.
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 6:14 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Cape Blue
I had a TR250 when I first moved to California in 2003 - great fun.
The third car I ever owned was a 61 TR4A...first with roll up windows. Bought it a little more than a year old for $1,500. Sold my second ever car, 57 MGA (paid $400 for it), to buy the TR. Loved them both. Actually had two more MGA's later on, one for parts, paid $250 for one and $150 for the other in the early 70's. I do think the MGA was my favorite of all. It was just fun to drive. Pity it would cost so much to buy a good one now.

The TR4A story is funny. Fellow serviceman was being transferred and wanted to sell it. The price was a steal, even then. When I gave him the cash and he handed over the title, he said, "There is just one problem with the car." I'm like, uh-oh, what now?" He then proceeded to tell me that the clutch was really stiff in the cold. So much so that it took both feet to push it in. Made no sense, and the clutch is hydraulic. Then he volunteered that he had no clue what the problem was because he follows the instructions and puts castor oil in the reservoir. I'm like, what?????? He then says, that's what it says on the cap. Ummmm no. It says Castrol. The folks at the Triumph garage had a good laugh on that one as they flushed the system and topped it off with Castrol.

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Old Jul 7th 2013, 6:25 am
  #82  
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Brit3964
....Home charging is done mostly overnight at low electric rates and at a time when electric isn't in demand. If you add solar panels to your house it might even be free!
...
You get off peak electric rates and supply?

I've not seen that happening since leaving the UK
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 6:29 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Similar to owning a Prius, but more so. The owners think they are doing something to solve global warming, so it eases their conscience. In the case of the Tesla, it also has "prestige value" - tells the world they can afford to blow $80k on a partially functional car. The Tesla is only good for somewhere between 260 and 300 miles on a full charge, so you can drive it round town, and out to the golf club, or even to the lake, but it is no use for a road trip, nor for a day driving in the mountains, nor a long drive to the beach. The promised charging stations may solve some of these issues, at least if you're willing to be tied to charging at the locations where the charging stations are built. Honestly, I see them as an expensive novelty, a toy, and not part of the long term future of the automobile.
And that's exactly why I don't get it, pretty kinda useless then unless you are not much of a driver.....so your screwed, unless you really do an exact mileage distance for your trip, and know where you can charge up, hell no screw that idea give me a gas or diesel car anyday.
Thank you for the explanation!
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 6:53 am
  #84  
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Poppy girl
And that's exactly why I don't get it, pretty kinda useless then unless you are not much of a driver.....so your screwed, unless you really do an exact mileage distance for your trip, and know where you can charge up, hell no screw that idea give me a gas or diesel car anyday.
Thank you for the explanation!
The concept that the Volt uses is currently the best. Unlike the Prius where the gasoline engine is running all the time, the Volt gasoline engine only kicks in when the battery is low. Therefore with the Volt, you can get the equivalent of a 100 mpg if you only use it only for short trips but with the Prius, you can't get more than about 50 mpg.

If they can only figure out how to get several hundred miles per charge using the Volt concept, then that type of car would be ideal for many people.
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 7:33 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Michael
The concept that the Volt uses is currently the best. Unlike the Prius where the gasoline engine is running all the time, the Volt gasoline engine only kicks in when the battery is low. Therefore with the Volt, you can get the equivalent of a 100 mpg if you only use it only for short trips but with the Prius, you can't get more than about 50 mpg.

If they can only figure out how to get several hundred miles per charge using the Volt concept, then that type of car would be ideal for many people.
Ummm, No. The gasoline engine on the Prius does not run all the time. It kicks in when the battery needs a minor charge (although more frequently than I would like to see) or when extra power is needed. It also uses regenerative braking to charge the battery. The new model has three modes, EV, ECO and Power. Each has a different relationship to engagement of the gas engine.

My biggest concern with the Volt is that 30 years of experience has shown me that GM was a failure in quality, in a big way. In 30 years in the business it's the one company that I refused to work for, for that very reason.

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Old Jul 7th 2013, 8:07 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by dakota44
Ummm, No. The gasoline engine on the Prius does not run all the time. It kicks in when the battery needs a minor charge (although more frequently than I would like to see) or when extra power is needed. It also uses regenerative braking to charge the battery. The new model has three modes, EV, ECO and Power. Each has a different relationship to engagement of the gas engine.

My biggest concern with the Volt is that 30 years of experience has shown me that GM was a failure in quality, in a big way. In 30 years in the business it's the one company that I refused to work for, for that very reason.
Maybe they changed how the Prius works but I thought originally the gasoline engine always ran to keep the battery charged (sometimes idling and sometime running faster depending on the charge needed).

I know nothing about the reliability of the Volt or whether it is a desirable car and that is why I said "Volt Concept".
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Michael
Maybe they changed how the Prius works but I thought originally the gasoline engine always ran to keep the battery charged (sometimes idling and sometime running faster depending on the charge needed).

I know nothing about the reliability of the Volt or whether it is a desirable car and that is why I said "Volt Concept".
My last four years in the business were with Toyota. It has always been that the engine only kicked in to charge the battery or under heavy acceleration. It will also kick in at highway speeds. You can start the Prius without the gas engine and drive away. It will kick in a bit later, briefly. I would have liked to see the gas engine used less, but it performs well. That said, it could be better.

In 30 years I saw so many quality issues with GM's that it was almost a joke. The worst of the worst in many cases. A company that once had more than 60% of the market in the U.S. and fell to around 20%. That happened for a reason. Their poor quality, service and frequent denial of warranty repairs drove their loyal customers away in droves.

They figured that if it said General Motors people would always buy it, no matter what. So, they put Chevy engines or Buick transmissions in Cadillacs, still charged Cadillac prices and kept the customer in the dark. Then of course there was the 4-6-8 Cadillac engine. That flunked badly.

They built the Vega, good for about 10,00 miles before it was worthless and rusted out with a pooched engine. Then the X body cars. Oye what crap. And of course Diesel, why build an actual one. Just convert a 350 gas engine to burn diesel...ooops. If one was lucky it might last 20,000 before the engine blew up from the high compression required and then GM would charge you two arms and a leg to fix it, or better yet install a new 350 gas engine.

Their mini vans, crap. So bad that they ultimately had to abdicate the market.

Delivered a fleet of new Toyota Tundras to a construction company that had 5 GM's that went through 8 transmissions, total, in one year, and were told, too bad. No help.

Customers with V6 engines that were so noisy you could hear them coming from a block away. GM says, not a problem. It won't break. Just keep driving it. So they would trade them in on a non GM product.

All of that is just the tip of the iceberg. So yes, while the concept of the Volt might be great, better to wait until another, more reliable manufacturer uses it. Although I will say that I truly wish that GM would get their quality under control. It seems to have improved to a point, but the trick is get even better to keep it that way. Not sure they have it in them.

GM won the JD Powers quality survey this year, but that is, frankly, meaningless. Why? It is an Initial Quality survey. Problems that crop up in the first 90 days. Nothing to do with long term ownership, or even reasonably short term ownership of one year. It also does not give weight to the seriousness of any complaint. For example, Ford got a bad quality review primarily due to functionality of the radio system. So a manufacturer with transmission problems, or other major mechanical problems can do well against a brand with a lot of radio complaints. Meaningless award.

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Old Jul 7th 2013, 9:52 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by RoadWarriorFromLP
Electric cars have been around for over 100 years. There are reasons why that they are still on the fringes.
I did say it won't happen overnight but there's only so much oil available in the world and much of the cheap and easy to get at stuff has already gone. Shale oil is a complex process and is likely more damaging to the environment than conventional oil drilling rigs.

You can refill a Volt with fuel in about three minutes, and you can do so without harming the fuel tank. In contrast, it usually takes many hours to recharge an electric car, and the use of fast chargers (assuming that you can find them), particularly for deep recharging that maximizes range, will serve to shorten the life of the battery
If you have no choice but to use J1772 stations or even 120v then yes charging will take some hours. Using the Supercharger network, it will take 45 mins for a full charge or 20 mins for a half charge. In general you don't do a max range charge as that will shorten the battery life. The standard rate is 90% charge. Tesla claim a 1% reduction in efficiency per year and their unlimited battery warranty covers the battery for anything except intentional damage.

In any case, you're not going to get 240 miles of range if you actually use the car's performance capability. You can probably cut that figure by about 25% or more if you drive it like you stole it. Cold weather won't help, either, as the battery is used to power the heater, unlike a typical internal combustion engine car.
You must have read the NYT article earlier this year where the reviewer did exactly that. Others did the same route in similar conditions afterwards and didn't have the problems he claimed. Later the writer admitted he screwed up by using imprecise notes and bad judgement...

http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.co...in-tesla-test/

The recent battery swap PR event was essentially an acknowledgment that recharge time remains a problem. Range is only possible with heavy, bulky costly batteries that don't fit in smaller cars and that cost too much. Resale could prove to be a challenge -- if possible, you should look into leasing it, instead.
I don't know what PR battery swap you saw but in the one I saw they swapped 2 Tesla batteries in the time it took for 1 Audi A8 to fill up. The average time was about 1 min 30 secs to do each. Apparently BMW have bought a Model S to find out how they did it with regard to the battery technology. Mercedes supply the steering control column and have bought stock in Tesla. Not to mention Toyota have quite a large investment in them too. That doesn't sound like a car company that's destined to be on the fringes to me.

Check the resale values for the Roadster. The oldest are now 5yrs old and you'll be hard pressed to find a low mileage one much under $80k.

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/10...esla-roadster/

You get off peak electric rates and supply?
Here in FL you do. The lowest rate is .09c per Kw/hr which is .02c below the national average.
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 10:02 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by dakota44
So yes, while the concept of the Volt might be great, better to wait until another, more reliable manufacturer uses it. Although I will say that I truly wish that GM would get their quality under control. It seems to have improved to a point, but the trick is get even better to keep it that way. Not sure they have it in them.
The Volt hasn't sold as well as they had hoped. Who wants to spend $40k+ for a Chevy which isn't a Corvette and looks like the regular Cruze? No wonder they've just introduced a turbodiesel version of the Cruze.

Nissan have had problems with their Leaf. The range advertised was nowhere near what some owners were getting in the real world and the battery efficiency loss was as much as 30% in one year in some cases. They even launched a class action suit against Nissan...

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/money/consu...mpany-responds
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 10:16 am
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Default Re: Let's talk about cars

Originally Posted by Brit3964
The Volt hasn't sold as well as they had hoped. Who wants to spend $40k+ for a Chevy which isn't a Corvette and looks like the regular Cruze? No wonder they've just introduced a turbodiesel version of the Cruze.

Nissan have had problems with their Leaf. The range advertised was nowhere near what some owners were getting in the real world and the battery efficiency loss was as much as 30% in one year in some cases. They even launched a class action suit against Nissan...

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/money/consu...mpany-responds
I actually think Tesla is the one that is going to bring about the best electric option. They are being innovative in ways other manufacturers are not. Of course their initial offerings are huge money. So was my first PC in comparison to what I can buy today with 100 times the capability for a quarter of the price. I'm rooting or them. I think eventually they will partner up with, hopefully Toyota, and bring an affordable model to the market.
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