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The Death of the Electric Car

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

  1. fairsheet

    fairsheet Senator

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    Yeah, I learned a lot from that piece NPR ran, around GM's NUMMI experience and the difficulty they had in translating the success they had there, to their other manufacturing facilities. Those with an agenda might be inclined to feeling that it was ALL labor's fault or it was ALL management's fault. But, it turns out that wasn't the case at all.
     
  2. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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    The K car was butt ugly, but Chrysler owned that dog, GM had the Citation, and it was even uglier. Early 80's did not have a lot of "collector cars", neither did the 70's for that matter.

    This guy at Motor Trend has a good list of 10 worst cars:

    http://forums.motortrend.com/70/7914930/the-general-forum/10-worst-cars-of-all-time/index.html
     
  3. fairsheet

    fairsheet Senator

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    I don't agree with the "convential wisdom" around the Pinto. The "inferno" issue, as unflattering as it was to Ford and their decision making process, was an easy $9 fix. That doesn't take Ford off the hook, but it shouldn't relegate the car itself to this ignominity - especially once the $9 fix was undertaken.

    I have anecdotal experience with people driving Pintos for 200k+ and I drove one well over 100k. They were simple, relatively reliable, and very easy to fix. I think the Pinto suffers from its conflation with the Vega, which was as genuinely lousy product from the git go - especialy in its original no-sleeve, aluminum block guise.
     
  4. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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    I remember when those 1974 Mustangs hit the lot, they looked kind of sporty, so I thought I would grab one for a quick test drive. It was parked on a part of the lot that had a small slope of maybe 20-30 degrees, I got in cranked it up and put it in gear(automatic trannie) and gave it a little gas and it did not move, at all, so I gave it a little more, same result. I finally had to gun it to get it to pull up that little slope. My test drive was over. It had the Pinto drive train if I remember correctly.
     
  5. fairsheet

    fairsheet Senator

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    That would've been more into the mid-70's when they started getting funky with the carburators and all that. The best cars -including Pintos - ran up through the '72 model year.

    Above, Trapdoor hints at timing belts snapping on Honda interference engines. Having owned Fiats, I know ALL about that! The 2000cc engine on my Pinto had a timing belt as well, but it was a non-interference engine.

    I remember one time over in Moscow, ID when my Pinto wouldn't start. It would crank over, but it sounded like it had no compression. I was looking under the hood for what...I didn't know. Some old farmer pulled up, listened for a minute, and told me I'd "flat spotted" the timing belt. He told me to hop in his truck, drove me over to the Ford dealer, and told 'em I needed a new timing belt ($20). He drove me back to my car with my new belt, dropped me off, gave me a few pointers, and wished me luck.

    It took me about an hour of dickin' around - I set the rotor 180 degrees off the first time - but once I got it right, it fired right up and I was on my way (for $20).
     
  6. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    TODAY they are... That wasn't the case 40 years ago (my experience on the management side is via vendors and and with the automotives as customers, - and that includes the Big Three as well as Toyota and Mitsubishi) - according to my late Father In Law (who was a big fish in the Street Rod industry).

    Agreed, the Honda engine required changing the timing belt every 60k miles or you broke stuff. But the engine - if properly lubed, would run 200+k miles with no need for a "ring job" or a "valve job". Compared to the 30k miles you needed between Valve Jobs on 1950s engines.
     
  7. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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  8. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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    True -- but it didn't help that the cars never sold very well, either. I'd like to have one of the little Saturn "Skye" convertibles, the sister ship to the Pontiac Solstice. They were under engined a bit, but they'll be collectible in just a few years.
     
  9. justoffal

    justoffal Senator

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    Pure fantasy....you do not understand the laws of thermodynamics this much is quite clear.

    You begin with the massively inefficient Piston motor that will lose seventy percent guaranteed before it converts a single foot poud to mechanical work. You cannot change this...and as has been pointed out already in an early series of posts on the new sixty percent efficient combustion models from europe....the heat is so intense that the motors only last a few weeks! You must lose the heat and you cannot....read this word correctly my friend...CANNOT..convert to work.

    Now then by the time you get to the coupling of the gen set you have already sacrificed 70 percent of the btu energy in the fuel.

    Tell me how you intend to mitigate that loss from this point... In point of fact you cannot tell me because up till now you have demonstrated a total disconnect from the actual physics that are in play.

    But....I will entertain your best effort to explain how that original waste can be recaptured to offset the additional and unavoidable 30 percent loss of the Gen-set from the remainder of the mechanical energy after the initial 70 percent loss....to the point where the combustion motor is more efficient driving the Gen-set than it is not driving the Gen-set.

    Oh...use real numbers when you do this btw.

    JO
     
  10. justoffal

    justoffal Senator

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    Well they don't rule out anything.

    Everything is subject to choice. If you choose to waste more than you have to...it's still a choice. Just don't fool yourself into thinking that a gasoline motor connected to a generator is more efficient as a couple than it is as a dedicated system. It can never happen.
     
  11. justoffal

    justoffal Senator

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    yeah...it's range was roughly comparable to the ranges we have today. Kinda funny don't you think?
     
  12. justoffal

    justoffal Senator

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    They are selling from the wrong direction and to the wrong market. The manufacturer is propagating a huge lie by inferring cost savings to the purchase. They simply do not exist. The electric car is not cheaper to own and to operate than the Hydrocarbon combustion counterpart. This is a very simple issue. It may work in special cases for commuters who have very limited needs but in any case where you must generate with the Gas driven generator you are gong to deal with compound loss that must be greater than the loss of the dedicated system. Nor can this loss be mitigated to any great extent by regenerative breaking. Regenerative breaking is a good idea btw....... albeit fabulously expensive from the mechanical standpoint of the actual machinery involved...... but you still have to get up the hill before you come down. Granted, while you get a small amount of the energy back on the way down by no means is this a major contribution ...at best it loss mitigation and certainly cannot regain the original energy profile that existed prior to climbing the hill.
     
  13. BrianDamage

    BrianDamage Council Member

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  14. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Don't need to. That loss is a given on BOTH VERSIONS of the Piston engine.

    But then you have ADDITIONAL LOSS on the Direct Drive Piston engine because
    1) the drive train is less efficient
    2) it is usually operating outside of its ideal band.

    So your Direct Drive Piston motor is running at more like 10%-15% of fuel efficiency vs. the Gen set.

    Meanwhile the Cruz first has to run down its battery (35 miles - ie roughly 1 gallon of gasoline) before the gasoline generator kicks in. And remember this was charged from a centralized powerplant running at 70% fuel efficiency.

    Yes there are line losses. But these are about 5% http://www02.abb.com/global/seitp/s...$FILE/Energy+efficiency+in+the+power+grid.pdf So we are still running at 65% efficiency on the first 35 miles, vs. 15% efficiency for the Direct Drive vehicle.

    Now on a standard car the 1 tank range is roughly 300 miles. To make numbers easier lets assume that its 10 gallons (that's above current CAFE Standards but below the most fuel effective cars). And that is run at an efficiency of say 12%.

    Meanwhile the Cruze runs at 65% efficiency for 35 miles, and then because of how the drive train is structured, it runs just like the Direct Drive Piston engine EXCEPT that we get to recover REgenerative braking energy. So that would put as at say 15%? So that's 265 miles at 15%.

    Right off the bat we are well ahead with the Cruze. And that's with the Cruze operating the Gas engine in the LEAST EFFICIENT mode. IF OTOH it operates as a generator for the batteries, it is running in its optimal powerband. So that puts us up to at least 20% efficiency...

    Sorry, the hybrid is more efficient.
     
  15. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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    We just delivered a new Volt, the guy got 7500 Fed tax credit and 2500 TN tax credit, brought the price down to the point it was about the same as a nice Malibu.

    Technical
    • 149 horsepower
    Fuel economy EPA highway (mpg): 90 and EPA city (mpg): 95

    Optional Equipment
    • Premium Trim Package - Includes Heated Driver & Passenger Front Seats
    • Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel Also Includes Perforated Leather-Appointed Seat Trim.
    • Rear Camera and Park Assist Package - Includes Ultrasonic Front & Rear Park Assist
    • Rear Vision Camera
    • Wheels: 17" 5-Spoke Forged Polished Aluminum
    • Radio: AM/FM/DVD-ROM w/Navigation - Includes 30 GB Audio Data Storage Hard Drive
    • NavTraffic & Local Forecast Also Includes Includes MP3 playback capability
    • voice recognition
    • Radio Data System (RDS) and timeshift function.
    • Front License Plate Bracket
    Exterior
    • Automatic Transmission
    • Front-wheel drive
    Convenience
    • 4 Doors
    • 0 liter cylinder engine
    • Keyless Ignition - Doors and ignition
    • Remote engine start
    • 4-wheel ABS brakes
    • Daytime running lights
    • Dusk sensing headlights
    • Head airbags - Curtain 1st and 2nd row
    • Knee airbags - Driver and passenger
    • Passenger Airbag
    • Signal mirrors - Turn signal in mirrors

    • Stability control
    • Traction control - ABS and driveline
    • Front seat type - Bucket
    • Rear bucket seats
    • Intermittent window wipers
    • Privacy/tinted glass
    • Rear spoiler - Lip
    • Air conditioning with climate control
    • Audio controls on steering wheel
    • Bluetooth
    • Clock - In-radio display
    • Compass
    • Cruise control
    • External temperature display
    • Multi-function remote - Trunk/hatch/door, remote engine start
    • Power heated mirrors
    • Power windows with 4 one-touch
    • Rear defogger
    • Remote power door locks
    • Speed-proportional power steering
    • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
    • Trip computer
    • Universal remote transmitter
    • Video Monitor Location - Front
     
  16. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Wrong JO. II spent some time measuring my drfing habits this past week. A TYPICAL day is 40 miles of driving with at least two 1 hour stops. a "heavy midweek" day is 50. So those would all be 100% electric ZERO Gas. so that's 5 gal of gas/wk that I don't have to buy x 52weeks/yr

    That's $1,000/yr just mideweek savings.weekends tend to be a bit more essentially 50 miles per day and they tend to be longer drives (to the ski hill, to Vancouver, to hiking in the mtns)
    So only about 1/2 of that milates will be full EV. so there we can use 90MPG.

    So I'm using 2 gal of gas on the weekend vs. 5. So I'm saving 8 gall/gas PER WEEK. x 52 = 420 gal/yr. ==> $1,600/yr at current prices. And averaged over the next 10 years, that would e more like $2,000/yr for the next 10 years.

    That's $20k. JUST IN GAS SAVINGS.
     
  17. PolitacynicNH

    PolitacynicNH Mayor

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    Justoffalittle post was about 'the death of the electric car'... a premise that is naive and way off base. To the point of 'the report of my demise has been greatly exaggerated...' Since 2008 at under 2.5% to 2012 at just 3.14%. Not bad if you think it was 0% in 2000
    Not only are electric and hybrids alive and well the numbers are going to grow 'leaps and bounds'! More jobs, better scale of economy and more choices.
    Having said that- market positioning is going to be key for success. Each manufacturer is racing to find their niche...
    Starting with a new survey of market demands;
    In a new survey designed to take the pulse of consumers and their purchasing intentions, the Deloitte consulting firm found that 59 percent of Gen Y respondents showed an interest in buying an electrified vehicle.
    "For the first time it looks like Gen Y is saying: 'We're the ones that, if we could, would be purchasing that hybrid technology,'" said Craig Giffi, automotive practice leader for Deloitte.
    Gen Y -- consumers age 19 to 31 -- represents nearly 80 million consumers in the United States, Deloitte estimates, and could account for 40 percent of all vehicles sold over the next 10 years.
    “When millenials are ready to buy a vehicle, they consider nearly twice as many vehicles as baby boomers,” said Mark Fields, head of Ford Motor Co.'s Americas unit. “This is a generation of consumers that has to be reckoned with.”
    The survey found that 57 percent of Gen Y consumers expressed an interest in hybrid vehicles; 2 percentwere interested in pure battery vehicles; and 37 percent favored vehicles with a traditional gasoline-only powertrain.

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20120118/OEM/120119825#ixzz1qhk7BUYG
    http://www.autonews.com/article/20120118/OEM/120119825


    Then scale of economy;
    The next logical question is the replacement cost, which has been very difficult to determine—but the numbers are in. The cost of a new Honda hybrid battery pack ranges from $2,000 to $2,500 depending on the model. Toyota currently sells a Prius pack for about $3,000. Installation costs are approximately $900, according to the Newsweek article. Both companies plan to substantially reduce the cost of the replacement packs, as they reach economies of scale on battery production.
    http://www.hybridcars.com/components-batteries/first-numbers-hybrid-battery-failure.html
    http://www.hybridcars.com/news/february-2012-dashboard-42085.html
    More choices;
    http://www.hybridcars.com/2012-hybrid-cars#ev-choices

    http://www.hybridcars.com/2012-hybrid-cars

    Nope! Not dead- just learning to walk...

     
  18. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    yeah but 40 years ago you were not a "preferred customer".... the point that FS and I were talking about was how GM, Chrysler and to a lesser extent Ford, got stuck in the mentality of churning metal through customer's hands and making the profit on the financing side. And how they carried that MENTALITY (though not the customer service side) forward as the Japanese and German cars focussed on improving quality.


    And again we are talking about "generally true". My parents drove every one of their VWs into the ground in excesss of 180,000 miles - as well as their Hondas. The only US car they had that lasted more than 100k miles was a "Dodge" Colt, which really was a Mitsubishi if I recollect correctly. The quality of their Ford Falcon was so poor they got rid of it at 50k miles.

    I admit the American cars had a lot more "get up and go"... but Bang For Buck, from the late 60s onwards, US MFGs started steadily losing the quality war - precisely because they did not think it was a meaningful battle.
     
  19. justoffal

    justoffal Senator

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    Good posting...I always encourage this kind of effort and research....very informative stuff .

    Here's why I think the electric care will fail.... The expense of copper versus the cheapness of the Iron alloys that are both far more available and far less in demand. The tripling of electric rates as the green wave takes hold. The fact that peak oil has now been discovered to be a hoax....the eventual collapse of the EPA.

    However I did thoroughly enjoy your post and your effort. Let's do more of this! This is the kind of stuff I love!
     
  20. justoffal

    justoffal Senator

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    Well yes...you are right about that particular. My viewpoint was offered exclusive of mass produced power because I think that the next bubble will be in KW hours. But yes! You are right about the mechanical losses and most probably correct about the 15% efficiency rate. I agree.

    I am especially appreciative of the effort in your research. I never, ever toss a viewpoint aside until I have looked at it inside and out. Too often have I made that mistake in the past.
     

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