Contemplating an Electric Car

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Buster65
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Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Buster65 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:28 pm

Hello I have about a year before I will be selling back my Audi A3 TDI to VW/Audi due to emissions scandal. I'm seriously considering an EV option and will look at Tesla Model 3 ( deposit made), the 2018 Leaf and the GM Bolt. I'd like to hear what Bogleheads think about EV's and if they think now is the time to get one or if its best to wait. I will admit their is a part of me that says buy a 3 years old Honda or Subaru and call it a day.

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Cycle
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Cycle » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:45 pm

Consider a bike :happy

madbrain
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by madbrain » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:50 pm

Buster65 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:28 pm
Hello I have about a year before I will be selling back my Audi A3 TDI to VW/Audi due to emissions scandal. I'm seriously considering an EV option and will look at Tesla Model 3 ( deposit made), the 2018 Leaf and the GM Bolt. I'd like to hear what Bogleheads think about EV's and if they think now is the time to get one or if its best to wait. I will admit their is a part of me that says buy a 3 years old Honda or Subaru and call it a day.
Really not enough information about your driving patterns to help you make a decision.
I drove the 2012 Leaf SL for 32 months. Have been driving the 2015 Volt for 25 months. My husband drives a Bolt since January.

The 2018 Leaf is not available. When is Tesla saying you will get your model 3 ? IMO, the Bolt is a great car. So is the Volt. We are planning on driving them for a long time, at least 7 years each.

IMO, the main issue with the Volt is that it's a 4-seater. The Bolt is a 5-seater.

Volt has a limited electric range (about 40 miles) but has a range extender. Bolt has 240 miles range and no range extender. The CCS DCFC charging network for the Bolt is fairly limited. We hardly take any long road trips, but if we did, we would take the Volt, not the Bolt.

FoolStreet
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by FoolStreet » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:50 pm

Buster65 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:28 pm
Hello I have about a year before I will be selling back my Audi A3 TDI to VW/Audi due to emissions scandal. I'm seriously considering an EV option and will look at Tesla Model 3 ( deposit made), the 2018 Leaf and the GM Bolt. I'd like to hear what Bogleheads think about EV's and if they think now is the time to get one or if its best to wait. I will admit their is a part of me that says buy a 3 years old Honda or Subaru and call it a day.
I may consider the 2018 i3. They had some cheap leases, like couple hundred bucks per month. Bolts are 320ish/mo, no down if you are into that.

With global warming and traffic, I think we have to start thinking about electric.

Certainly a bike or not buying a new car is a great alternative.

madbrain
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by madbrain » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:54 pm

FoolStreet wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:50 pm
Certainly a bike or not buying a new car is a great alternative.
From an emissions point of view, it depends on your diet. The human body is not an efficient machine for walking or biking. If your diet is high in meat, it may be worse for you to walk vs drive an energy efficient car, or certainly, worse than zero-emission electric charged from renewable energy.

Slacker
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Slacker » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:36 pm

madbrain wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:54 pm
FoolStreet wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:50 pm
Certainly a bike or not buying a new car is a great alternative.
From an emissions point of view, it depends on your diet. The human body is not an efficient machine for walking or biking. If your diet is high in meat, it may be worse for you to walk vs drive an energy efficient car, or certainly, worse than zero-emission electric charged from renewable energy.
A pound of beef and a gallon of gas from a mix of sources (frakked, oil sands, conventional) have about the same GHG impact.
A pound of lamb about 50% worse.
A pound of pork is about 50% better.
You could eat around 6lbs of chicken for your one gallon of gas.

12 miles on a road bike probably burns around 650 calories. If you have a diet that is "typical" according to the USDA you are getting around 25% of calories from animal products (162 calories) and a pound of ground beef is around 1500 calories so you'd consume, on average, 1/9th of a pound of beef (if you chose the second worst possible meat for your fuel source) or roughly 1/9th a gallon of gasoline equivalent GHG. Given the 120MPGe of a typical electric vehicle you would use roughly 1/10th a gallon of gasoline worth of GHG from power sources...

So switch to pork, chicken, eggs, milk, turkey, salmon, etc and you beat the typically available power source GHG output form an electric vehicle all while improving your health and fitness.

Now consider how much worse it is for you to drive everywhere and never walk and/or bike -> sedentary lifestyles have major health impacts for longevity, mobility and health costs.

Slacker
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Slacker » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:42 pm

Buster65 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:28 pm
Hello I have about a year before I will be selling back my Audi A3 TDI to VW/Audi due to emissions scandal. I'm seriously considering an EV option and will look at Tesla Model 3 ( deposit made), the 2018 Leaf and the GM Bolt. I'd like to hear what Bogleheads think about EV's and if they think now is the time to get one or if its best to wait. I will admit their is a part of me that says buy a 3 years old Honda or Subaru and call it a day.
Now that the 2018 Nissan Leaf has vastly improved the aesthetics, in my wife's mind, it is back in contention for us as a possible second car a few years down the road. We may consider grabbing it a little earlier than we need to so that we can get full tax credits. Colorado $5000 credit + Federal $7500 credit makes for a sub-$20,000 brand new electric vehicle.

If you can't get one with incentives, I would personally wait until the vehicle "earns" back $7500 worth of value in battery and technological advances (or mass manufacturing cost savings). (i.e. if I can't get a Tesla Model 3 now with the full federal tax credit, I'd rather just wait to get a used one several years down the road or get one in 4-5 years when manufacturing gains can push the price of batteries down [hopefully]). That is just my odd way of considering it, since behaviorally I feel like I am "missing out" on the federal tax incentive.

Valuethinker
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:01 am

madbrain wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:54 pm
FoolStreet wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:50 pm
Certainly a bike or not buying a new car is a great alternative.
From an emissions point of view, it depends on your diet. The human body is not an efficient machine for walking or biking. If your diet is high in meat, it may be worse for you to walk vs drive an energy efficient car, or certainly, worse than zero-emission electric charged from renewable energy.
I am puzzled by that re biking.

Because from what I have read, the human being is quite inefficient in ordinary locomotion. But on a bicycle, they are way up there in mechanical efficiency-- highest of the mammals? I remember this Scientific American article on this, with a chart, around 1975 ish I would think. I think the chart became quite famous.

Re caloric burn biking. I think the key here is that we would use that time and energy doing something else, so it's only the incremental increase in energy burn, arising from travelling, that one needs to count. I have not gotten to the bottom of the reality of the calculations about caloric burn but I do wonder if they are cooked to prove a "contrarian" point of the type beloved by internet posters (war is peace, hate is love, etc. ;-)).

Valuethinker
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:02 am

gloss151 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:45 pm
Consider a bike :happy
Kidding aside, the choice to make a trip has a cost.

If by bicycling, we take shorter journeys, that has a benefit. Above and beyond the benefits to ourselves.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:06 am

FoolStreet wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:50 pm
Buster65 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:28 pm
Hello I have about a year before I will be selling back my Audi A3 TDI to VW/Audi due to emissions scandal. I'm seriously considering an EV option and will look at Tesla Model 3 ( deposit made), the 2018 Leaf and the GM Bolt. I'd like to hear what Bogleheads think about EV's and if they think now is the time to get one or if its best to wait. I will admit their is a part of me that says buy a 3 years old Honda or Subaru and call it a day.
I may consider the 2018 i3. They had some cheap leases, like couple hundred bucks per month. Bolts are 320ish/mo, no down if you are into that.

With ********** and traffic, I think we have to start thinking about electric.

Certainly a bike or not buying a new car is a great alternative.
OK what I have exxed out is a forbidden topic on this forum. It is best not to use the words.

Electric will not help with traffic. In fact, electric may make traffic worse. More likely, autonomous vehicles will make traffic worse, because the main cost of driving is the time cost, and AVs will reduce the time cost for the commuter or other driver-- you can do something else whilst the car moves.

I still have the range anxiety problem, so I would go for a Bolt. I looked at the BMW i3, but it does not appear to be "electric" enough. That said, I think they look really cool in a totally quirky way, sort of the 1950s view of a 21st century car ;-).

And whilst leasing a car is normally not a sensible thing to do, the speed of technology change is now so great that obsolescence, particularly in the alternatively fueled vehicle arena, is now a real danger.

The realistic alternative to leasing is to buy a 2 year old electric car, thus minimizing depreciation by that route.

Valuethinker
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:10 am

Slacker wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:36 pm
madbrain wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:54 pm
FoolStreet wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:50 pm
Certainly a bike or not buying a new car is a great alternative.
From an emissions point of view, it depends on your diet. The human body is not an efficient machine for walking or biking. If your diet is high in meat, it may be worse for you to walk vs drive an energy efficient car, or certainly, worse than zero-emission electric charged from renewable energy.
A pound of beef and a gallon of gas from a mix of sources (frakked, oil sands, conventional) have about the same GHG impact.
A pound of lamb about 50% worse.
A pound of pork is about 50% better.
You could eat around 6lbs of chicken for your one gallon of gas.

12 miles on a road bike probably burns around 650 calories. If you have a diet that is "typical" according to the USDA you are getting around 25% of calories from animal products (162 calories) and a pound of ground beef is around 1500 calories so you'd consume, on average, 1/9th of a pound of beef (if you chose the second worst possible meat for your fuel source) or roughly 1/9th a gallon of gasoline equivalent GHG. Given the 120MPGe of a typical electric vehicle you would use roughly 1/10th a gallon of gasoline worth of GHG from power sources...

So switch to pork, chicken, eggs, milk, turkey, salmon, etc and you beat the typically available power source GHG output form an electric vehicle all while improving your health and fitness.

Now consider how much worse it is for you to drive everywhere and never walk and/or bike -> sedentary lifestyles have major health impacts for longevity, mobility and health costs.
I think another important factor is that your distances traveled will likely fall if you use a bike.

Journey times by human beings stay remarkably constant, it's simply how far that time takes them that has varied.

I remember reading that the average commute stays around 30 minutes *except* for professionals/ more affluent, where it keeps rising (but stays below 1 hour)-- i.e. people who are paid a lot more than average are willing to travel further and longer for that work.

Given that I live in London, England, with all the issues of commuting (people commute 100 miles each way by train every day), I found that stat to be remarkable and counterintuitive. Or think of traffic in Atlanta, say, a huge city with lots of affordable middle class housing, but traffic to go with it.

otinkyad
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by otinkyad » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:28 am

We have a 2007 Prius and a 2014 Leaf, and I think the technologies are pretty mainstream now. The question is mainly whether the ranges work for your needs.

The 80 mile range of the Leaf is fine for commuting, shopping, etc. A longer range for our second car is worth basically nothing to us. On the other hand, we would need both a 400 mile range and better charging options to make an EV viable as our trip car, so we'll stick with hybrids for a while.

We took a Labor Day weekend trip, and every Model S we saw was hypermiling it, getting passed by semis, and apparently just hoping to make it to their destination. No thanks.

I don't buy the leasing argument (pardon the pun). The technology is really pretty glacial (the old glacial), and my 10-year-old car is hardly obsolete, other than lacking Bluetooth. If I need a car with a 200 mile range, it hardly matters if I lease or buy a car with a 100 mile range, and if I need a car with a 100 mile range, as I said, a car with a 200 mile range adds no value.

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just frank
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by just frank » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:51 am

This is simple....test drive some EVs and see what dealers will do for you.

I am in a 2013 Nissan LEAF S, lease extended for 1 year to get an option at a 2018 MY LEAF, revealed yesterday. It has been the nicest most fun car we have ever 'owned'. The 2018 is same interior size, weight and MSRP....but has 40% more horsepower and 2x the range as our current one. Available in volume nationwide early 2018.

With such rapidly improving tech, get a lease. Nissan eats the depreciation, you get a discount (the residual price on the lease is way higher than the actual used car resale price, you pocket the difference).

By the time you get a Model 3 (unless you are a early res holder) the $7500 will be off, and the car will cost 50% more than the LEAF.

The Bolt is available right now costs 30-40% more than the LEAF.

By 2021 when your lease is up, the EVs will be even more amazing and cheaper. If Tesla is still around then, get a CPO Model 3 then, or a Model Y....perhaps they will be affordable.

hightower
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by hightower » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:41 am

Buster65 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:28 pm
Hello I have about a year before I will be selling back my Audi A3 TDI to VW/Audi due to emissions scandal. I'm seriously considering an EV option and will look at Tesla Model 3 ( deposit made), the 2018 Leaf and the GM Bolt. I'd like to hear what Bogleheads think about EV's and if they think now is the time to get one or if its best to wait. I will admit their is a part of me that says buy a 3 years old Honda or Subaru and call it a day.
I drive a pure electric BMW i3 and I absolutely love it. It's been the best car purchase I've ever made by far. It is so cheap to drive (I can plug in at work so I pay very little for electricity). It's also a blast to drive with all the torque EVs get. I will never go back to owning a gas car again. When Tesla's are more available I plan on getting a longer range Tesla as well so we can use it for road trips.

hightower
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by hightower » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:45 am

otinkyad wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:28 am
We took a Labor Day weekend trip, and every Model S we saw was hypermiling it, getting passed by semis, and apparently just hoping to make it to their destination. No thanks.
That's kind of a big assumption.

FWIW, the charging network is expanding every day and it won't be long before charging stations will be as plentiful as gas stations. 300 miles of range is perfectly normal for a large car. The problem isn't the car, it's the need for more charging stations. Regardless, when solid state batteries start making their way into EVs we're going to see these cars get 500+ miles of range and will be able to recharge much faster. That's when the mainstream will go "oh, maybe I should get an EV now."

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by carguyny » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:15 am

We have an i3 and have a plug in hybrid Cayenne arriving in a month to join it. Best thing about an EV is not going to the gas station.

The silence of the i3 is troublesome in parking lots - people do not know you're there at speeds less than 20mph. It also isn't that stable and safe feeling on the freeway. It really is a great car around town, but pretty limited. We've also grown tired of the suicide door design - especially with our son.

We will replace the i3 with something else - ideally electric but unless you just commute on local roads I have a tough time recommending it. Jaguar i-Pace is probably the most interesting to me followed by a plug-in Hybrid C-class.

Valuethinker
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:36 am

otinkyad wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:28 am


I don't buy the leasing argument (pardon the pun). The technology is really pretty glacial (the old glacial), and my 10-year-old car is hardly obsolete, other than lacking Bluetooth. If I need a car with a 200 mile range, it hardly matters if I lease or buy a car with a 100 mile range, and if I need a car with a 100 mile range, as I said, a car with a 200 mile range adds no value.
The impact of rapid technological change is felt in falling prices for second hand equipment. Just because your 10 year old car is "hardly obsolete" does not mean that a 10 year old car in 2027 is "hardly obsolete" compared to what is available then. Car development moves in cycles, but I sense the rate of change has really picked up.

In 2006 a 10 year old mobile phone, a Nokia, probably was OK (I had a few, they broke before I was finished using them -- miss the 3210i s, a lot ;-)). However compared to a 2016 smartphone, a 2006 mobile phone is not particularly useful. The technology took a step change.

So, if you buy an EV with 100 mile range, and 5 years later they have 200 mile range, then your residual value is likely to be crushed.

If the EV with 100 mile range retains its utility to you, and you don't need to sell it/ upgrade, then in the long run the 200 mile EV and the 100 mile EV converge on the same residual value-- zero. Or put it another way if the 100 mile one is worth $1000 residual value at 10 years, and the 200 mile one $2000 residual value (twice as much) that's not so painful if you paid $20k for each.

One thing that is certain, and this is more of a European issue than an American one. Right now diesels are (were) more than half of all new passenger vehicles sold. I believe that by 2030 you won't be able to drive a diesel in inner London, and maybe any major British city*. Thus, buying a diesel car now is foolish-- the residual value market will react far more quickly than the actual pollution regulations once those are visible. It's either petrol or petrol-hybrid, with some strong leanings towards EV or EV + booster (a la BMW i3).

* there is the VW dieselgate and it turns out all manufacturers are implicated. In addition to that, the issue with NOx pollution has become serious. And the scale of the PM 2.5 particulate problem in terms of human health is just beginning to be realized. If we can ban indoor smoking, we can ban diesels in big cities. Mayor of London already moving that way, but I think, politically, this is going to be a real hot potato in years to come.

Valuethinker
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:45 am

hightower wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:41 am
Buster65 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:28 pm
Hello I have about a year before I will be selling back my Audi A3 TDI to VW/Audi due to emissions scandal. I'm seriously considering an EV option and will look at Tesla Model 3 ( deposit made), the 2018 Leaf and the GM Bolt. I'd like to hear what Bogleheads think about EV's and if they think now is the time to get one or if its best to wait. I will admit their is a part of me that says buy a 3 years old Honda or Subaru and call it a day.
I drive a pure electric BMW i3 and I absolutely love it. It's been the best car purchase I've ever made by far. It is so cheap to drive (I can plug in at work so I pay very little for electricity). It's also a blast to drive with all the torque EVs get. I will never go back to owning a gas car again. When Tesla's are more available I plan on getting a longer range Tesla as well so we can use it for road trips.
Does yours have the range extender petrol engine?

A friend rented one in Holland.

The battery capacity is about 1/3rd of a Tesla? They found they were using the extender most of the time -- what she called the "putt putt outboard motor" ;-).

Problem of being a car which is not quite an EV and is not a petrol engined car.

You can pick up 1-2 year old i3s here (London) at quite big discounts, around £19k (v. over £30k for a new one I think). Apparently they have not been selling well.

Teslas are rare in Europe-- friend had one of the first 10 of its model in England (he runs a Green Services company, powers it off the solar array on his warehouse, it's great for sales calls). Also saw one in the Austrian Alps. Saw my first BMW i8 the other day.

There seem to be quite a few i3s in and around London, especially corporate ones. I think they get concessions on the Congestion Charge (£12.50 per weekday 7am to 7pm, Central London) and maybe also on the parking (that can run you £25 per day).

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:55 am

The biggest practical question is range. Where and how do you drive. For people who are driving short distances to places where they can run an extension cord out of their office window to their car, sure. If you are in a sales job and you're needed NOW at a customer 150 miles away, are you going to scramble to switch out to an ICE car, or ask the customer if you can run your extension cord into his facility, or get a ride from someone with a more appropriate car? (this is my job, by the way. I know there will be gas stations along the way. I can't be sure that I can charge an EV). With a hybrid or car like the i3 that'll allow you to limp home with the generator running, at least you're not dead in a no-cell-service area.

For environmental impact as you mention, you really can't ignore battery manufacture and disposal problems on the environment. Studies have been done regarding the impact of these highly toxic batteries.

Energy has to be generated either way. An ICE keeps it within the vehicle, which is easy to calculate. How is your local electricity generated? 1/3 of the electricity in the US is still generated by coal, which is why I always ask my friends who own Teslas "How's your coal fired car running?".

Cost: It's worthwhile to do a cost analysis. Tesla has a good calculator as a baseline on it's site under the Model S. But look at the assumptions and do a comparison with a car that you would actually consider as a competitor. Their assumptions are way leaning towards a Model S, saying that in 100 miles of driving, one would save $8 based on electric rates, gas cost and MPG. I removed the assumptions and put in actual numbers for my own situation. Gas in my area is less than Tesla's assumptions, electricity is MUCH more expensive than they assume and my car gets 50% better gas mileage than their example. While their web page analysis shows a savings of over $8 per 100 miles driven (exclusive of car cost), my REAL calculations using their tool showed $0.83 per 100 miles. Given that there is no Tesla that I can buy for the $21k that a new Subaru Crosstrek costs (what I drive), I'm likely paying twice that amount for an available model 3 and will have to wait.....what? 2 years to even get one? I would also require an all wheel drive vehicle because I literally can't get up my driveway when we get 8 inches of snow during the day. I'm too old to hoof it up 800 feet, up a hill in the snow to start up my plow vehicle.

Overall, I think it's sort of a romantic dream to think that electric vehicles are the totally clean, cheap solution to transportation problems.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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just frank
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by just frank » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:06 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:55 am
For environmental impact as you mention, you really can't ignore battery manufacture and disposal problems on the environment. Studies have been done regarding the impact of these highly toxic batteries.

Energy has to be generated either way. An ICE keeps it within the vehicle, which is easy to calculate. How is your local electricity generated? 1/3 of the electricity in the US is still generated by coal, which is why I always ask my friends who own Teslas "How's your coal fired car running?".

Cost: It's worthwhile to do a cost analysis. Tesla has a good calculator as a baseline on it's site under the Model S. But look at the assumptions and do a comparison with a car that you would actually consider as a competitor. Their assumptions are way leaning towards a Model S, saying that in 100 miles of driving, one would save $8 based on electric rates, gas cost and MPG. I removed the assumptions and put in actual numbers for my own situation. Gas in my area is less than Tesla's assumptions, electricity is MUCH more expensive than they assume and my car gets 50% better gas mileage than their example. While their web page analysis shows a savings of over $8 per 100 miles driven (exclusive of car cost), my REAL calculations using their tool showed $0.83 per 100 miles. Given that there is no Tesla that I can buy for the $21k that a new Subaru Crosstrek costs (what I drive), I'm likely paying twice that amount for an available model 3 and will have to wait.....what? 2 years to even get one? I would also require an all wheel drive vehicle because I literally can't get up my driveway when we get 8 inches of snow during the day. I'm too old to hoof it up 800 feet, up a hill in the snow to start up my plow vehicle.

Overall, I think it's sort of a romantic dream to think that electric vehicles are the totally clean, cheap solution to transportation problems.
Ugh. And the 'studies' show that the embodied carbon/energy of the EV batteries is much smaller than the reduction in fossil energy, even using a US-average grid source.

In many states you can buy 100% renewable electricity, generated under contract from folks on your state's grid (not just credit trading) and it costs 1-2 cents more than conventional. Studies show that about 50% of EV drivers have rooftop solar. Even if you don't an EV has a carbon pollution per mile lower than a prius in all states outside appalachia. And other pollution emissions (from the plant smokestack nat gas or scrubbed coal) health impacts are way lower than from any tailpipe.

What is the problem here? Am I 'dreaming' ?

My LEAF EV is FWD and really heavy....and with snow tires it easily climbs my steep driveway covered in snow. And it is cheaper 'all-in' per mile than any similar, new ICE car you can name.
Last edited by just frank on Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kenkat
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Kenkat » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:23 am

The problem with 100% renewable electric is that while it is possible to buy, and the cost is reasonable, there is not nearly enough available if everyone wanted to buy it. We are a long way from being able to scale 100% renewable up to meet demand. So while choosing 100% renewable does encourage more development (which is good), it is still very much dependent on traditional sources to support overall demand.

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just frank
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by just frank » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:30 am

Kenkat wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:23 am
The problem with 100% renewable electric is that while it is possible to buy, and the cost is reasonable, there is not nearly enough available if everyone wanted to buy it. We are a long way from being able to scale 100% renewable up to meet demand. So while choosing 100% renewable does encourage more development (which is good), it is still very much dependent on traditional sources to support overall demand.
A good and important point.

The rate of electrical demand growth due to new EVs (adding ~0.1% of the US fleet per year, and less than 0.1% of electrical demand growth per year) is way smaller than the growth rate of RE in the US (which is 1-2% per year, currently).

Importantly, buying EVs funds the learning curve on batteries, lowering their cost, which will ultimately allow higher RE penetration on the future grid!

IOW, by the time we have mass adoption of EVs, there should be plenty of RE to keep up with it, and the two industries are synergistic.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:53 am

Kenkat wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:23 am
The problem with 100% renewable electric is that while it is possible to buy, and the cost is reasonable, there is not nearly enough available if everyone wanted to buy it. We are a long way from being able to scale 100% renewable up to meet demand. So while choosing 100% renewable does encourage more development (which is good), it is still very much dependent on traditional sources to support overall demand.
You have to look at the direction of movement, too.

100% renewable would, under current technology, have an extreme cost.

But high percentages are perfectly possible. The leading capacity additions in the US are solar and wind. Other countries are also moving blindingly fast-- the US is no longer number one in capacity installations. Consider that in 2006 wind & solar production of electricity in the US barely registered, and the growth has been exponential since then. In addition, cost per kw continues to plunge for both technologies (slower for wind, it is a more mature technology). And storage technology looks like it is beginning to move down the cost curve, from a position that solar was, say 30 years ago.

Even before we get there, though, the movement from coal to Natural Gas halves the pollutants per kwhr (more than that for mercury, particulates and NOx). That movement is more or less unstoppable-- it would be a rash Board of Directors of a utility company that would spring for a new coal-fired generating station, now, given that these things have 30-50 year lives**, the risk of Stranded Assets is just too large. And of course NG turbines are precisely the core of the back power system for a renewable grid*. And there's no suggestion the US is likely to experience shortages of NG in the next 30 years-- given the changes in fracking technology that have taken place and are taking place.

A renewable grid has no longer become an "if" but a "when". Granted, at current technology it cannot economically be more than 80%, say (I am aware of the academic catfight around the possibility of 100% renewables for the US that has been raging in the last few months with some Yay, some Nay). But that's a lot of ground to go for. Like the Space Race, you don't get to the Moon on the first launch-- much like the Moon landing when Mercury and Gemini and Apollo started, the technology for 100% renewables does not all exist, yet.

In terms of individual choice to buy renewable energy, if the profits from that activity are reinvested into new renewable construction, then it is increasing the proportion of the electricity supply that comes from renewables.

* pedantically the "Combined Cycle" that takes your efficiency from say 30% to 55% does not work well as reserve. But the number of hours your backup plant will actually run is small relative to the 8760 hours in a year.

** Kemper County Miss. unfortunately makes the case pretty strongly that there is not a future for thermal coal. c. $6.5bn writeoff, to be replaced by a NG station. I still believe in the underlying technology, and it works on commercial scale at other facilities such as Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan. But, again, for the moment, no utility is going to take the risk, not after Kemper, unless a government underwrites the entire risk. Same is true, see the AP1000s that were being built by Toshiba/ Westinghouse in South Carolina and are now cancelled, for new nuclear stations (Areva EDF are likewise several hundred per cent over budget and years behind in Finland and at Flamanville with their EPR).

It's probably worth knowing on the latter that the EDF-Areva plant Hinckley C, on the Bristol Channel, will be the most expensive power plant ever built anywhere in human history c. £35bn (USD 50bn say) in present dollars. I suspect a future British government will try to find a way out of that contract.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:10 am

just frank wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:06 am
My LEAF EV is FWD and really heavy....and with snow tires it easily climbs my steep driveway covered in snow. And it is cheaper 'all-in' per mile than any similar, new ICE car you can name.
I'll give you the cost per mile with a Leaf as I've followed them a bit and I know their value drops like a rock, so used ones cost close to nothing. I have to leave my office in eastern Massachusetts to meet up with group members in Binghamton, NY, then go see a customer in Rochester. I know there are gas stations along the way. There's a practical problem for me with a Leaf.

I guarantee you wouldn't get up my driveway in a Leaf. I have always run snow tires on all of my vehicles. I traded a Mazda 6 with Dunlop Graspic snows one year for a Subaru Legacy GT specifically because I drove home and tried for half an hour to get up the driveway. My driveway is unusual but I have to deal with it.
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Point » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:55 am

Use an electric bike. Save space. Park darn near anywhere. Get a bit of exercise to boot. And the environmental impact of building the bike and recycling the batteries is far less than a car. For small trips use a Segway by Ninebot and take it on the bus with you.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by stoptothink » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:14 am

hightower wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:45 am
otinkyad wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:28 am
We took a Labor Day weekend trip, and every Model S we saw was hypermiling it, getting passed by semis, and apparently just hoping to make it to their destination. No thanks.
That's kind of a big assumption.

FWIW, the charging network is expanding every day and it won't be long before charging stations will be as plentiful as gas stations. 300 miles of range is perfectly normal for a large car. The problem isn't the car, it's the need for more charging stations. Regardless, when solid state batteries start making their way into EVs we're going to see these cars get 500+ miles of range and will be able to recharge much faster. That's when the mainstream will go "oh, maybe I should get an EV now."
I think you and I have different definitions of what a long period of time is. It will be decades before charging stations are as plentiful as gas stations. Despite their growing popularity, still less than 3% of cars sold in the U.S. last year were electric. FWIW, two career family and we share one car; almost all my commuting is by foot or bike, so my wife is doing the huge majority of the driving. In a few years we'll likely need another vehicle because towing my kids around in the bike trailer will no longer be feasible and I am dead-set on picking up an off-lease electric.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Slacker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:16 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:55 am
Energy has to be generated either way. An ICE keeps it within the vehicle, which is easy to calculate. How is your local electricity generated? 1/3 of the electricity in the US is still generated by coal, which is why I always ask my friends who own Teslas "How's your coal fired car running?".
...Overall, I think it's sort of a romantic dream to think that electric vehicles are the totally clean, cheap solution to transportation problems.
Xcel Energy in Colorado recently stated that financing and building new renewable energy production is cheaper than providing electricty from their existing and fully paid off coal power plants. Their current plans have them at 55% renewable sources by 2030 or so...
just frank wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:06 am
...My LEAF EV is FWD and really heavy....and with snow tires it easily climbs my steep driveway covered in snow. And it is cheaper 'all-in' per mile than any similar, new ICE car you can name.
Not quite - the depreciation hit may make it the same "per mile" compared to a new ICE depending on how well the ICE maintains its value. That is the one back eye for EVs at this time -> they lose value fast (however I bet if you subtract the $7500 tax credit value from the original purchase price of a used vehicle, the depreciation hit won't be nearly as bad considering the actual out of pocket cost).

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by FoolStreet » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:19 am

otinkyad wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:28 am
We have a 2007 Prius and a 2014 Leaf, and I think the technologies are pretty mainstream now. The question is mainly whether the ranges work for your needs.

The 80 mile range of the Leaf is fine for commuting, shopping, etc. A longer range for our second car is worth basically nothing to us. On the other hand, we would need both a 400 mile range and better charging options to make an EV viable as our trip car, so we'll stick with hybrids for a while.

We took a Labor Day weekend trip, and every Model S we saw was hypermiling it, getting passed by semis, and apparently just hoping to make it to their destination. No thanks.

I don't buy the leasing argument (pardon the pun). The technology is really pretty glacial (the old glacial), and my 10-year-old car is hardly obsolete, other than lacking Bluetooth. If I need a car with a 200 mile range, it hardly matters if I lease or buy a car with a 100 mile range, and if I need a car with a 100 mile range, as I said, a car with a 200 mile range adds no value.
They might not have been hypermiling, but rather using autopilot set to a higher safety tolerance.

Leasing a tesla is 850-1150/mo. That is just a bracket I am not in. I think the range of 200-400/mo might be attractive way to appease my moral drive to do my part to prevent human causesdglobal warming. The damage of Harvey is just crazy!

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:22 am

just frank wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:30 am
Kenkat wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:23 am
The problem with 100% renewable electric is that while it is possible to buy, and the cost is reasonable, there is not nearly enough available if everyone wanted to buy it. We are a long way from being able to scale 100% renewable up to meet demand. So while choosing 100% renewable does encourage more development (which is good), it is still very much dependent on traditional sources to support overall demand.
A good and important point.

The rate of electrical demand growth due to new EVs (adding ~0.1% of the US fleet per year, and less than 0.1% of electrical demand growth per year) is way smaller than the growth rate of RE in the US (which is 1-2% per year, currently).

Importantly, buying EVs funds the learning curve on batteries, lowering their cost, which will ultimately allow higher RE penetration on the future grid!

IOW, by the time we have mass adoption of EVs, there should be plenty of RE to keep up with it, and the two industries are synergistic.
To be clear, that is 1-2% of electricity demand per year? Production of renewables (ex Hydro) electricity taking 1-2% more of total consumption share each year?

Actual capacity growth is several times that. Renewables (ex hydro) were nothing on the US electricity grid in 2006, now they are something.

There's normally an S Curve with new energy technologies, and so growth should flatten out in percentage terms. Ex policy responses (and that's at a Federal level, states and cities seem to be all systems go) the growth should continue at linear rates, if not exponential, for wind.

For solar it's reasonable to expect exponential growth rates for some time to come, due to falling prices of the technology.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Cycle » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:22 am

Point wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:55 am
Use an electric bike. Save space. Park darn near anywhere. Get a bit of exercise to boot. And the environmental impact of building the bike and recycling the batteries is far less than a car. For small trips use a Segway by Ninebot and take it on the bus with you.
I have an 18 mile commute, and so when i sold my car i built an ebike to provide more range to my biking. Turns out I never use the thing. I've used it four times. I like the idea of electric bikes and see the value in certain circumstances, but in flat midwestern cities with good public transit there is risk that they will collect dust.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by FoolStreet » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:25 am

Slacker wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:16 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:55 am
Energy has to be generated either way. An ICE keeps it within the vehicle, which is easy to calculate. How is your local electricity generated? 1/3 of the electricity in the US is still generated by coal, which is why I always ask my friends who own Teslas "How's your coal fired car running?".
...Overall, I think it's sort of a romantic dream to think that electric vehicles are the totally clean, cheap solution to transportation problems.
Xcel Energy in Colorado recently stated that financing and building new renewable energy production is cheaper than providing electricty from their existing and fully paid off coal power plants. Their current plans have them at 55% renewable sources by 2030 or so...
just frank wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:06 am
...My LEAF EV is FWD and really heavy....and with snow tires it easily climbs my steep driveway covered in snow. And it is cheaper 'all-in' per mile than any similar, new ICE car you can name.
Not quite - the depreciation hit may make it the same "per mile" compared to a new ICE depending on how well the ICE maintains its value. That is the one back eye for EVs at this time -> they lose value fast (however I bet if you subtract the $7500 tax credit value from the original purchase price of a used vehicle, the depreciation hit won't be nearly as bad considering the actual out of pocket cost).


I agree which is why leading seems like the only way to go.

I am researching hybrid or plug-in hybrid SUV in case our 18 yr old SUV bites the dust.

The cheapest car is always the one you own, so that is a concern for my frugal nature. But having the safety features of autonomous driving for long road trips is a huge benefit. I am impatient and like to take action. Not good attitude for 10hr road trips on thanksgiving. But if I can push a button to turn on autonomous driving, it would allow me to mentally let go.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:27 am

gloss151 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:22 am
Point wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:55 am
Use an electric bike. Save space. Park darn near anywhere. Get a bit of exercise to boot. And the environmental impact of building the bike and recycling the batteries is far less than a car. For small trips use a Segway by Ninebot and take it on the bus with you.
I have an 18 mile commute, and so when i sold my car i built an ebike to provide more range to my biking. Turns out I never use the thing. I've used it four times. I like the idea of electric bikes and see the value in certain circumstances, but in flat midwestern cities with good public transit there is risk that they will collect dust.
FoolStreet wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:19 am
otinkyad wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:28 am
We have a 2007 Prius and a 2014 Leaf, and I think the technologies are pretty mainstream now. The question is mainly whether the ranges work for your needs.

The 80 mile range of the Leaf is fine for commuting, shopping, etc. A longer range for our second car is worth basically nothing to us. On the other hand, we would need both a 400 mile range and better charging options to make an EV viable as our trip car, so we'll stick with hybrids for a while.

We took a Labor Day weekend trip, and every Model S we saw was hypermiling it, getting passed by semis, and apparently just hoping to make it to their destination. No thanks.

I don't buy the leasing argument (pardon the pun). The technology is really pretty glacial (the old glacial), and my 10-year-old car is hardly obsolete, other than lacking Bluetooth. If I need a car with a 200 mile range, it hardly matters if I lease or buy a car with a 100 mile range, and if I need a car with a 100 mile range, as I said, a car with a 200 mile range adds no value.
They might not have been hypermiling, but rather using autopilot set to a higher safety tolerance.

Leasing a tesla is 850-1150/mo. That is just a bracket I am not in. I think the range of 200-400/mo might be attractive way to appease my moral drive to do my part to ******. The **** of *** is just crazy!
Again I would encourage you to delete those parts of your post, as above, as these are forbidden topics on this Forum.

I always believe it is more important to support groups that research and lobby for good policy, than to "virtue signal" by one's personal choices. This is true in investing (Social conscience funds) and also true (to an extent) in personal consumption decisions*. One buys the car that works for one's financial resources and needs.

I would suggest the Union of Concerned Scientists as an example.

* I do not eat less and less meat to save the planet, although that is nice. I do so because animals suffer in the production of food that I eat, and by eating less meat, I reduce that suffering. Conversely since plastic bag laws came in in stores here, I have been able to significantly reduce my usage of disposable plastic bags. But none of these activities costs me money particularly.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:30 am

gloss151 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:22 am
Point wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:55 am
Use an electric bike. Save space. Park darn near anywhere. Get a bit of exercise to boot. And the environmental impact of building the bike and recycling the batteries is far less than a car. For small trips use a Segway by Ninebot and take it on the bus with you.
I have an 18 mile commute, and so when i sold my car i built an ebike to provide more range to my biking. Turns out I never use the thing. I've used it four times. I like the idea of electric bikes and see the value in certain circumstances, but in flat midwestern cities with good public transit there is risk that they will collect dust.
Out of curiousity how many Americans live in cities with good public transport? If you live in Minneapolis I would have thought the *weather* was a bigger problem for commuting by bike?

My general impression in America is only poor people take the bus?

The striking exception is of course New York City. Almost the exception that proves the rule, in that NYC is in concept very much a "European" city (that's not quite true, it's a city laid out on very New World principles, like Philadelphia but not so much Boston, but it has the density of a European city and a scale that's really only matched in the emerging markets (other than London, Paris, Tokyo mainly).

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by ThriftyPhD » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:47 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:30 am
If you live in Minneapolis I would have thought the *weather* was a bigger problem for commuting by bike?
Not really, Minneapolis is a very well regarded city for being friendly to bike commuting, often topping rankings. For example: https://www.bicycling.com/rides/adventu ... inneapolis

It turns out that cold isn't that big of a deal for biking, and as long as there are places to ride that are plowed, you'll be fine with a little bit of preparation. I was without a car in a northern state for several years and got around by bike. Warmer clothes and studded tires let me ride through pretty much everything.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by KlangFool » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:52 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:10 am
Slacker wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:36 pm
madbrain wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:54 pm
FoolStreet wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:50 pm
Certainly a bike or not buying a new car is a great alternative.
From an emissions point of view, it depends on your diet. The human body is not an efficient machine for walking or biking. If your diet is high in meat, it may be worse for you to walk vs drive an energy efficient car, or certainly, worse than zero-emission electric charged from renewable energy.
A pound of beef and a gallon of gas from a mix of sources (frakked, oil sands, conventional) have about the same GHG impact.
A pound of lamb about 50% worse.
A pound of pork is about 50% better.
You could eat around 6lbs of chicken for your one gallon of gas.

12 miles on a road bike probably burns around 650 calories. If you have a diet that is "typical" according to the USDA you are getting around 25% of calories from animal products (162 calories) and a pound of ground beef is around 1500 calories so you'd consume, on average, 1/9th of a pound of beef (if you chose the second worst possible meat for your fuel source) or roughly 1/9th a gallon of gasoline equivalent GHG. Given the 120MPGe of a typical electric vehicle you would use roughly 1/10th a gallon of gasoline worth of GHG from power sources...

So switch to pork, chicken, eggs, milk, turkey, salmon, etc and you beat the typically available power source GHG output form an electric vehicle all while improving your health and fitness.

Now consider how much worse it is for you to drive everywhere and never walk and/or bike -> sedentary lifestyles have major health impacts for longevity, mobility and health costs.
I think another important factor is that your distances traveled will likely fall if you use a bike.
Valuethinker,

How about a folding electric bike? Or just an electric bike.

I am working on substituting all my short drive into my folding electric bike drive. I believe that it could be faster and healthier.

KlangFool

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Cycle » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:58 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:02 am
gloss151 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:45 pm
Consider a bike :happy
Kidding aside, the choice to make a trip has a cost.

If by bicycling, we take shorter journeys, that has a benefit. Above and beyond the benefits to ourselves.
When one buys groceries via bike, what ends up in the shopping cart ends up changing as well. Specifically, I no longer buy cases of canned soda as that would take up way too much of my limited basket space. These tangential benefits are often not accounted for in the efficiency calculations of biking on a 30lb bike vs. driving around in a 2500 lb piece of metal.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:01 am

ThriftyPhD wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:47 am
Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:30 am
If you live in Minneapolis I would have thought the *weather* was a bigger problem for commuting by bike?
Not really, Minneapolis is a very well regarded city for being friendly to bike commuting, often topping rankings. For example: https://www.bicycling.com/rides/adventu ... inneapolis

It turns out that cold isn't that big of a deal for biking, and as long as there are places to ride that are plowed, you'll be fine with a little bit of preparation. I was without a car in a northern state for several years and got around by bike. Warmer clothes and studded tires let me ride through pretty much everything.

And as a Minnesotan, I am terrified of hitting a winter bicyclist who is riding on the ice and slush. And sometimes the rider does slip a bit.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by lazydavid » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:02 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:06 am
I looked at the BMW i3, but it does not appear to be "electric" enough. That said, I think they look really cool in a totally quirky way, sort of the 1950s view of a 21st century car ;-).
How is it not electric enough? The 650cc two-cylinder engine is a $4,000 option!

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:59 am

lazydavid wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:02 am
Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:06 am
I looked at the BMW i3, but it does not appear to be "electric" enough. That said, I think they look really cool in a totally quirky way, sort of the 1950s view of a 21st century car ;-).
How is it not electric enough? The 650cc two-cylinder engine is a $4,000 option!
I had a friend who rented one in Holland. She said that they had the range extender engine running most of the time.

The battery pack has about 1/3rd the capacity of a Tesla?

Tron. The movie Tron (the original). That's what they remind me of.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by FoolStreet » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:09 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:02 am
Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:06 am
I looked at the BMW i3, but it does not appear to be "electric" enough. That said, I think they look really cool in a totally quirky way, sort of the 1950s view of a 21st century car ;-).
How is it not electric enough? The 650cc two-cylinder engine is a $4,000 option!
The new Mini Countryman All4 Electric is an interesting experiment. No real mileage savings compared to regular mini, but the plug can get you 12 miles - about enough to get to work. But it is 4wd and about the size of an X1 (station wagon)? But the engine emissions don't qualify for carpool stickers. Probably a good experiment for someone who "wants it all" but it is priced the same as a Highlander Hybrid, so... why? Its the plug, I guess. Once you can stop sipping fuel and assuming your electric grid is powered by sustainables, you can really start reducing greenhouse gasses and impacting the environment.

For me, I'm considering:
* stay with my prius for a few more years
* get an i3, 530e xdrive, mini all4,
* upgrade to a highlander hybrid, maybe the new lexus rx450h with the 3rd row seat. I had looked at the volvo xc90 with the costco rebate (leases were in the $3-400, but plug-in was more expensive and I didnt' want to rush - those deals seem to have diminished
* or just keep driving what i have

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:18 pm

I think the OP should dip a toe in the electric arena with a used electric or plug-in hybrid.

We had a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi (Plug-in model with ~22 mile all electric range) for 2 years. I enjoyed driving the car. The range in all electric was short, but it did work very good for short trips to stores, school, activities. Once the all electric battery was drained, it was a hybrid with a 350 mile + range. We often got 700+ miles in combined driving on a single tank.

Some things to consider:

1. Your electric rates matter a lot. Figure out what a KwH will cost you at various times during the day. We were 11 cents/ KwH. Our electric company offered no electric car charging options. I did see that very recently they are finally coming out with a tiered plan with offpeak for electric vehicles. It is about time.
2. Is your house "electric ready"? Do you have 220/240v in your garage? Our house was terribly designed and the electric panel is on the opposite side of the house. Getting 220v to the garage for a fast charger was impossible. It would require a second meter and a bunch of new wiring. Because of this, we only charged with regular 120v. It was fine because the C-Max charges in about 5-6 hours. The bigger battery cars require a fast charging system. You can't have your car take 22 hours+ to charge and have it be anything other than a spare vehicle in my mind.
3. Weather - Ranges drop in cold weather. The C-Max went from 22-24 in the summer to a 14 mile range in the winter. You can drive with the heat off, use seat warmers, keep the temp very low to trick the system, but ranges are lower.

The C-Max got to 125k miles and we sent it down the road to a new owner. They were thrilled with the car. Batteries were still performing just like new. I was very happy to have tried out an electric option. The C-Max had a great ride and options. Cargo area is small and no spare tire which make it interesting for longer trips.

We went from 4 cars down to 3 and my car is now a RWD, V8. I am really enjoying the smooth powerful ride. Gasoline ends up being such a small part of the budget, that I'm not sure when we will dip back into electric. Perhaps if gas prices go back to the $4 to $5 range it will make more sense.

Good discussion. I'm still a fan of electric options and like to see the prices come down and technology improve.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by crit » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:34 pm

Buster65 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:28 pm
Hello I have about a year before I will be selling back my Audi A3 TDI to VW/Audi due to emissions scandal. I'm seriously considering an EV option and will look at Tesla Model 3 ( deposit made), the 2018 Leaf and the GM Bolt.
Have you looked at the A3 e-tron? We traded in my A3 TDI for the e-tron after looking at a hybrid Accord, hybrid Camry, and some others. The e-tron has a 22 mi. battery, which means for most weeks I go without using gas. Charges overnight on 110V (will be faster if we do end up hooking up a 220V to the garage), and our electric bill is not different (!) on average yet. The 1.4L engine gets 39 mpg and so total range is ~350 miles. We've ended up averaging 45-55 mpg over each tank of gas.

They still qualify for a $4500 tax credit, since Audi has only just gotten started in hybrid tech here. I picked up a last-model-year with 400 mi. on it, dealer demo car, for a big discount. Space and interior is the same, ride is nice and quiet. The dashboard/etc was miles ahead of the touchscreen (ugh) in the Accord. The Accord's fatal flaw for me was that its backseat could not fold down due to battery placement.

I haven't seen many around here, but they're a super nice option in my opinion.

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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by FoolStreet » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:38 pm

crit wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:34 pm
Buster65 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:28 pm
Hello I have about a year before I will be selling back my Audi A3 TDI to VW/Audi due to emissions scandal. I'm seriously considering an EV option and will look at Tesla Model 3 ( deposit made), the 2018 Leaf and the GM Bolt.
Have you looked at the A3 e-tron? We traded in my A3 TDI for the e-tron after looking at a hybrid Accord, hybrid Camry, and some others. The e-tron has a 22 mi. battery, which means for most weeks I go without using gas. Charges overnight on 110V (will be faster if we do end up hooking up a 220V to the garage), and our electric bill is not different (!) on average yet. The 1.4L engine gets 39 mpg and so total range is ~350 miles. We've ended up averaging 45-55 mpg over each tank of gas.

They still qualify for a $4500 tax credit, since Audi has only just gotten started in hybrid tech here. I picked up a last-model-year with 400 mi. on it, dealer demo car, for a big discount. Space and interior is the same, ride is nice and quiet. The dashboard/etc was miles ahead of the touchscreen (ugh) in the Accord. The Accord's fatal flaw for me was that its backseat could not fold down due to battery placement.

I haven't seen many around here, but they're a super nice option in my opinion.
I would love any advice on tips/tricks for negotiating the a3 etron demo/loaner? What did you actually pay, if it is not too much detail.

crit
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by crit » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:44 pm

We got a 2016 prestige plus with sports and tech packages for ~$38k. Sticker was $45k or so for that set of options/model. Then the $4500 fed rebate, and I got $1000 from our state, means it was a pretty straight comparison to the Accord even in price.

I'm not sure how you'd seek out the dealer demo cars. The dealership we used only had a few e-trons at all, and they were getting a next-year demo soon, so were looking to sell that one.

We had quite varied experiences even trying to see one. Our local Audi place had sold their fleet of e-trons to CA, because they weren't selling here, and even though they were still on the lot, they wouldn't let me even sit in one (they sure did lose that sale). I cold-called a further-away place, and a saleswoman was willing to drive one up to us 60 miles away so I could test whether the battery would make my trip to work [it has a 'hold' mode where she could force the car to use gas driving up to us, leaving a full battery to test here]. She ended up earning the sale. Several other Audi places I tried, even through Costco, were quite unresponsive to my specific requests, aside from the daily "Hello how are you today?" emails I am still getting ;-)

itstoomuch
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:59 pm

For the Total Eclipse of 21August2017: One incident where the EVer decided to make the journey from the far reaches of CA. So did 50+ EVers , at the same time. This EVer, eventually had to call Mom & Dad for execution of plan Z. Apparently the charging locations are spaced and located where the EVs eventually bunch up at the worse locations.

The story is even more funnier with details.
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Cycle
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by Cycle » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:27 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:30 am
gloss151 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:22 am
Point wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:55 am
Use an electric bike. Save space. Park darn near anywhere. Get a bit of exercise to boot. And the environmental impact of building the bike and recycling the batteries is far less than a car. For small trips use a Segway by Ninebot and take it on the bus with you.
I have an 18 mile commute, and so when i sold my car i built an ebike to provide more range to my biking. Turns out I never use the thing. I've used it four times. I like the idea of electric bikes and see the value in certain circumstances, but in flat midwestern cities with good public transit there is risk that they will collect dust.
Out of curiousity how many Americans live in cities with good public transport? If you live in Minneapolis I would have thought the *weather* was a bigger problem for commuting by bike?

My general impression in America is only poor people take the bus?

The striking exception is of course New York City. Almost the exception that proves the rule, in that NYC is in concept very much a "European" city (that's not quite true, it's a city laid out on very New World principles, like Philadelphia but not so much Boston, but it has the density of a European city and a scale that's really only matched in the emerging markets (other than London, Paris, Tokyo mainly).
I ride my bike to the express bus and do the bike/bus combo commute. Lower income people take the bus, but so do millionaires like myself. I also take megabus/spirit airlines, so those also aren't just for poor people either. Minneapolis winters are cold, but that's what boots and gloves are for. I have carbide spikes on my tires to deal with the few snow days, but most people get by with a little wider tire.

There needs to be pretty high density to make a city walkable. There needs to be moderate density to make it bikeable. My walk/transit/bike scores are 71/48/88 according to www.walkscore.com. I would like our next neighborhood to have a walkscore closer to 90. We're going to Copenhagen in a couple weeks where 4/10 Danes own a car and 9/10 own a bike.

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deanbrew
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by deanbrew » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:59 pm

hightower wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:45 am
FWIW, the charging network is expanding every day and it won't be long before charging stations will be as plentiful as gas stations. 300 miles of range is perfectly normal for a large car. The problem isn't the car, it's the need for more charging stations. Regardless, when solid state batteries start making their way into EVs we're going to see these cars get 500+ miles of range and will be able to recharge much faster. That's when the mainstream will go "oh, maybe I should get an EV now."
It won't be long? I find that hard to believe. The tremendous benefit of gasoline is how much energy is packed into a small volume, and the convenience of the gasoline engine is the ability to refuel for another 300 to 500 miles travel in five minutes just about anywhere. I realize there are belief systems and priorities that make an EV attractive to certain people, but EVs seem to be little more than expensive second or third vehicles, IMO. People talk about how their commute is 15 or 30 miles, or how they seldom leave their city. OK, fine. But many of us use cars not just for commuting or errands, but for travel. I regularly drive hundreds of miles a day for work, and will be driving 250 miles one-way for a mini-vacation this weekend. There is no way I am buying a car that has a limited range that I cannot refuel/recharge within 10 minutes to continue on my way for several hundred more miles. As quoted above, that's when they will be mainstream enough for most buyers.

To summarize, I suppose, the finite limited range of EVs make them impractical for most people.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

emoore
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by emoore » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:51 pm

deanbrew wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:59 pm
hightower wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:45 am
FWIW, the charging network is expanding every day and it won't be long before charging stations will be as plentiful as gas stations. 300 miles of range is perfectly normal for a large car. The problem isn't the car, it's the need for more charging stations. Regardless, when solid state batteries start making their way into EVs we're going to see these cars get 500+ miles of range and will be able to recharge much faster. That's when the mainstream will go "oh, maybe I should get an EV now."
It won't be long? I find that hard to believe. The tremendous benefit of gasoline is how much energy is packed into a small volume, and the convenience of the gasoline engine is the ability to refuel for another 300 to 500 miles travel in five minutes just about anywhere. I realize there are belief systems and priorities that make an EV attractive to certain people, but EVs seem to be little more than expensive second or third vehicles, IMO. People talk about how their commute is 15 or 30 miles, or how they seldom leave their city. OK, fine. But many of us use cars not just for commuting or errands, but for travel. I regularly drive hundreds of miles a day for work, and will be driving 250 miles one-way for a mini-vacation this weekend. There is no way I am buying a car that has a limited range that I cannot refuel/recharge within 10 minutes to continue on my way for several hundred more miles. As quoted above, that's when they will be mainstream enough for most buyers.

To summarize, I suppose, the finite limited range of EVs make them impractical for most people.
I think your summary is incorrect. Limited range of EVs make them impracticable for a some people, most people don't drive hundreds of miles a day. There isn't going to be a sharp transition from ICEs to EVs, it's going to be much more gradual. A few car companies have already come out and said they won't make pure ICE cars starting in 2020 or so. Also major cities are going to or are planning on banning pure ICE cars. I think by mid to late 2020s all new cars will by a hybrid or all EV. Then eventually all cars will be EV but that won't happen for a while.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by WhyNotUs » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:00 pm

I have a 2013 Leaf and it has been a good car for us. Better than expected in the snow and the battery has been great. 46,000 miles and almost all capacity left. Colorado has a strong tax credit and the dealers are competitive. Right now the 2017s are selling at embarrassingly low prices and Nissan is offering 0% loans.

There are excellent ICE cars such as the Prius to consider as well but you did not share your driving needs so don't know whether that would make more sense for you.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

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deanbrew
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Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Post by deanbrew » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:07 pm

emoore wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:51 pm
I think your summary is incorrect. Limited range of EVs make them impracticable for a some people, most people don't drive hundreds of miles a day.
But do most people want to spend $30k or $40k on a vehicle that CANNOT drive hundreds of miles a day? That is a very significant limitation. A critical limitation to me.
There isn't going to be a sharp transition from ICEs to EVs, it's going to be much more gradual. A few car companies have already come out and said they won't make pure ICE cars starting in 2020 or so. Also major cities are going to or are planning on banning pure ICE cars. I think by mid to late 2020s all new cars will by a hybrid or all EV. Then eventually all cars will be EV but that won't happen for a while.
I agree to some extent with your hypothesis. I think hybrids and plug-in hybrids make sense for some people. At least you shouldn't get stranded somewhere. Pure EVs? Not with current ranges and recharging limitations. And, yes, I realize that things will change down the road to make them more practical. But at this point, they are expensive toys for early adopters.

I also don't see traditional internal combustion vehicles disappearing completely, at least not for decades. Certainly not by mid to late 2020s.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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