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The Death of the Electric Car

Discussion in 'Economics, Business, and Taxes' started by justoffal, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    I have to admit that a CAFE standard of 54 MPG by 2025 (ie in 13 years) is rather modest. What I'm more interested in, is in seeing the "Phase in" rate. that's a 30mpg improvement over 13 years. or roughly 3mpg/yr. Now if that is backloaded - it means nothing. So as it stands now, we are supposed to go from 24.5 mpg to 35.3 mpg in the next 4 years. http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/cafe/2017-25_CAFE_NPRM.pdf and then an additional 14 MPG over the next 8 years.

    That's actually fairly reasonable. Since what it does is somewhat "front load" the effort (2.5mpg improvement/yr for the next 4 years, then 1.7 mpg for the next 8 years). So in 4 years, the Gas Guzzler premium will be quite significant.
     
  2. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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  3. MaryAnne

    MaryAnne Governor

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    I think I said when the car switches over to gas,it is not running on gas,but is charging the battery.
     
  4. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    And in part, that's wrong.
     
  5. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Submit it all you want. You would be wrong.

    And again that is factually not accurate. Furthermore the PRC is aggressively - and I mean AGGRESSIVELY moving away from petro energy. Precisely because of the pollution and security implications it has. Right now if the PRC and the USA got into a conflict, the USA could essentially shut down the PRC's industrial capacity by interdicting oil tanker traffic
     
  6. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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    Mary, read the link I posted, it is Popular Mechanics so it is simple enough for us non-engineers to understand.
     
  7. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    No not quite true. A piston motor driving a Genset can be optimized for the load the Genset puts on it. And thus it will run at HIGHER efficiency than a direct drive piston motor running outside of its optimal performance band. For example, a motor running at 3500 rpm at full torque load is going to be much more efficient than one 1000 rpm below its power band and using only 1/2 of the available torque (1st-4th gear on most cars).

    Correct.

    You won't get all of it back, but you will get a lot of it back Enough that in comparison to the "out of operating band" Otto Cycle, you are very close to parity.


    Nope. because the 100mpg with direct drive
    1) has no regenerative recapture
    2) spends 75% of its time running at as much as 10% excess efficiency loss due to being out of band (during acceleration, shifting, idling, decelerating)
     
  8. PolitacynicNH

    PolitacynicNH Mayor

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    In the 80's USA shifted priorities from profit driven manufacturing to investor driven results. GM had a Cadillac 4-6-8 cylinder vehicle that was scrapped because it wasn't reliable. They also scrapped R&D for share holder returns. For a long time starting in the 80's GM's best ideas were leased and partnered with folks like Toyota. Mitsubishi helped Chrysler which had similar profit curve that replaced results with cost cutting savings to keep returns high. Today Chrysler has two engines thanks to Daimler that are show cases of what technology can do. The 8 cylinder 4-8 hemi producing HP and MPG and the Pentastar engines- again better HP and MPG. Oh yeah the new 9 speed tranny helps! http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120315/CARNEWS/120319913

    Conversely Toyota and Honda not having the same pressures from investors grew R&D and the dividends are evident in their product. Better mouse traps ie. Camry, Lexus and Acura(saved M/B and BMW in the process too), Accord, Civic, Prius, Insight... years ahead of domestics.

    Norm.
    This is what cynics see with most bailouts...

    For reality though; We b*tch about the bailouts and buy the stock... demand the returns and don't ask how profits are derived. We worry about CEO compensation but not about how the corp spends $ re-investing in tomorrow...
    The difference with automobiles is jobs here- every gallon we save today= cheaper tomatos, milks, fish and clothes tomorrow.


     
  9. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Respectfully I disagree. The shift to quarterly ROI for investors started under Nixon and by the 1980s was fully entrenched. I remember buying a 7.4 Liter 3/4ton Suburban in the late 1980s and it still had the fake "wood burl" interior design from 1972. They basically triumphed in Cup Holder technology.

    The "Hemi" engine is a crock. The Original Hemi was a way to boost HP, but it sucked gas and was an inefficient burn. The modern Hemi is only kinda hemispherical and would be more efficient if they didn't have to throw in the "truth in advertising" paen to the old Hemi. It really is mainly a marketing gimmick.

    I agree with Chomsky's assessment. OTOH, the problem is that the bailouts were necessary precisely because it would have been worse had we not done them. And that of course is because the deregulation allowed massive socialization of risk.
     
  10. PolitacynicNH

    PolitacynicNH Mayor

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    We mostly agree. But check out the Hemi fuel ratings- that ain't hyperbole it's real. The 4-8 is not a marketing ploy- it saves gas. Your Suburban had a "NA" stamped where mpg would have been- I know I sold them. Probably had 4.10 rear axle? Could pull the house off the foundation. Plus no luxury tax.

    I admit I strayed some but the point being- 4-6-8 was not given a chance. The Hemi 4-8 is working and save gas. The 8 and 9 speed transmissions are just going to help more. Our ROI as you say quartely killed R&D.


     
  11. fairsheet

    fairsheet Senator

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    For the record, "Accord, Civic, and Insight" are NOT the height of the current auto market. We shall see what the new Accord brings, but reviews for the Civic and Insight hint at an auto maker that seems to feel that it's maximized its branding and is resting on its laurels and seeking to wring as much profit out of its offerings as possible.

    The "Prius'' is a somewhat different case as in it, Toyota didn't just maximize hybrid tech, but it specifically marketed to those interested in making a statement. However...as other manufacturers expand their production of hybrids in guises more familiar to the mass-market (the hybrid Fusion for instance), it will be interesting to see how much success Toyota has with trying to expand its line beyond just the standard Prius.
     
  12. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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    I peddled a lot of bad cars made by GM and Ford in the 1970's and 1980's. The Vega was the worst, the Pinto close behind. By the late 80's the cars were improving, still not great, but better. GM used their partnership with Toyota, it was a separate corporation called NUMMI(New United Motor Mfg, Inc) Both companies benefited, GM from Toyota mfg processes and Toyota because they wanted to evaluate American workers to see if they could build cars as well as Japanese workers. Both Companies won, GM builds better cars and Toyota has happily opened more plants in the US, with defects numbers as low as Japenese worker built vehicles. Todays American cars measure up to any cars built in the world. Buick is building some of the finest vehicles in the world, and is one of the biggest selling car in China. Check out this Buick Enclave:

    http://www.buick.com/enclave-luxury...IMG_Buick_Enclave_|_Sitelinks_|_photo_gallery

    4 year 50k bumper to bumper warranty and 5 year 100k powertrain warranty.
     
  13. PolitacynicNH

    PolitacynicNH Mayor

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    I will agree about this model year for Civic- it is already in redesign after a year... Accord is more from the quake but we'll see if GM is cutting in??? The Insight was in reference to the 3 door spaceship- not the Prius look a like of today... My reference in general was the brand for the past 10 years... I have faith this is a minor blip for Honda is short term. Honda's quality and reliability is better than MB in my opinion. The noise cancelation technology is genius but needs work. The CVT was genius and ahaed of its time too!
    As far as Toyota/ Lexus expanding product- not sure how much more they can? The technology was/is there and product is too- unfortunately they are marketing to the "CHOIR". They need to market to "joe the plumber" and road rage Roger. That Prius campaign a few years ago was misplaced and a waste of money. I wish they spent the money selling Prius to the masses and not to the folks they already owned! Multi Millions poured down the drain.

    Risk takers are not in Honda or Toyota vocabulary.


     
  14. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Sorry I should have been more clear. The reason they have to go "4-8" is beause without it, they can't get the MPG they need. Its the HEMI part that is the marketing ploy. If they had gone with a more modern cylinder/head design, they would have had even more fuel efficience

    Yeah it had the towing axle. On the highway in the flats it was 12MPG. Hauling 4 horses, tack and a week's worth of hay and oats into the mountains up a steep grade that dropped to 10mpg...

    Actually in some ways GM sowed the seeds of its own destruction in 1919 with the creation of GMAC. Initially this was a way to sell the more expensive Chevy's against the Model T and A Fords. But by the 1970s, GM's per vehicle profits were essentially a "noise function" on top of their operating costs. Their whole profit strategy was focussed on Avis and GMAC. They would churn huge fleet sales out to Avis which in turn sold the vehicles out into the used car market, and GMAC is where the profits on both new and AVIS Used car sales were made.

    This meant that quality could suffer (at least it appeared it could) becuause much of middle america could not afford to buy a car without GMAC. What they did not figure out was that folks like me - having one experience with a crap GM product, would never ever ever buy another.

    I admit I strayed some but the point being- 4-6-8 was not given a chance. The Hemi 4-8 is working and save gas. The 8 and 9 speed transmissions are just going to help more. Our ROI as you say quartely killed R&D.[/QUOTE]
     
  15. PolitacynicNH

    PolitacynicNH Mayor

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    Ok for an empty headed Lib you know the car biz! ;0) I'm impressed.

    I have my own GM horror story- but they gave me an Acura Legend to drive for a month while they fixed it. That was a catalyst for my new career. Imagine selling Acura next to Chevrolet- JD Powers best next to the worst...

    I have to say Ford suffered less because it did a better job marginally. They have some problems ahead with Eco-boost but will be fine. The
    Fusion HB is more Toyota technology than Ford but it works... The Fiesta is not marketed enough either. 40 MPG from non-HB!!! They should be eating Kia's lunch!
     
  16. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Worse yet, I'm blinonde ... Oh I Don't know!!

    The "GM's Profits are a noise function" came to me as a direct quote from their VP of PLM who was a direct report into the CTO, in roughly 2004.

    Actually the best predictor of quality for ALL the major automotives is the "number of fasteners per vehicle" (according to one of the studies from CPDA http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...gun0DA&usg=AFQjCNE0z17nz_ILrzZb79Uxqh_Qfi--_Q ) and FORD had the lowest Fastener/vehicle count of The Big Three. GM had the highest.

    This only makes sense because the more fasteners, the more opportunity for one to not be properly fastened. And that means a failure or a rattle at some point
     
  17. PolitacynicNH

    PolitacynicNH Mayor

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    Fasteners? Huh- and I thought it was big wheels and Sandlewood new car smell... go figure!

    I have to believe some of it is Market positioning- Can't sell Ford next to Lincoln if they are exactly the same. Ford folks just play the music louder and have a hearing deficit vs Lincoln folks...???

     
  18. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Well there was also that stupid idea that we can slap a different label and some options on the same car and call it "luxoury"... It really is the fastener count. And that was one of the big innovations from Honda and Toyota. Instead of screwing on a fender with 10 machine screws - each requiring a locking nut, that if it went wrong, became a source of an annoying rattle, they instead came up with 4 positive connection, one way snaps. Yes you had to replace the whole fender if it got dented, but they figured out that this was CHEAPER than pulling the dents.

    The thing that really really really pissed me off about the Suburban - was not the 1970s interior (though that bugged me) but there was something in the way the suspension was designed so that when you accellerated hard and then let off the gas, the right rear suspension let out a "BONK" that sounded like something was falling off. When I brought it into the dealer and asked them to check that - their answer was "Suburbans have been doing that for years"!!!???!!!

    WTF!!!???!!! - you have something that in a then $30k car (now $70k) has been an aesthetic problem for years and you don't have a fix???!!!???
     
  19. PolitacynicNH

    PolitacynicNH Mayor

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    LOL! Try walking into a restaurant and have the owner verbally tackle you about a water leak... apparently the salesman told her the leak in her Jeep was "normal"???

    After 20 years in the business when you think you've seen everything- an h20 specialist to find leaks is part of Chrysler Jeep's standard operating proceedure. Really? We have to have a water guy here every week to find source of water leaks? Coming from Toyota, Honda and Acura that is so foreign to me! IDK?

     
  20. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    YEah but it was Union Salaries that caused the demise... uhuh...
     

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