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Will Green Cars Be Exciting To Drive And Enjoyable To Own?

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    Numbers Plentiful, Choices Limited

    "Just two companies, Honda and Toyota, have made most of the used hybrid cars, crossovers and SUVs. The majority bear a single nameplate: Prius. That's because Toyota's Prius is the best-selling hybrid by far in the U.S., accounting for about half of all hybrid sales since Day One, according to sales data compiled by Edmunds.com.

    There now are about two dozen conventional hybrid models on the market, and almost every major automaker has one or more for sale. But many only started selling the gas-electric cars and trucks in the last two years. Those models don't have much presence in the secondhand car market yet."

    Tips for Used Hybrid Car Shopping

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,053
    I see it as an extortion racket:

    LOS ANGELES -- Automakers are in the uncomfortable position of building mostly at a loss a class of small electric cars that garner a lot of attention but few sales just to satisfy rules imposed by one state, California.

    As a result, they've acquired the name "compliance cars."

    They include electric versions of such familiar models as the Chevrolet Spark, Honda Fit and Toyota RAV4.

    Most are being produced primarily or solely to meet California's mandate that large automakers sell a percentage of zero-emission cars in order to sell traditional cars in the state. Hybrids and natural gas cars aren't considered good enough, and hydrogen fuel-cell cars are still a ways off, so battery cars are the quickest way to comply.

    Last month, Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne said his company would limit production of the electric Fiat 500e because it will lose $10,000 on each. "Doing that on a large scale would be masochism to the extreme," he said.

    Like many of the other such cars, the 500e will be sold only in California when it rolls out this summer.

    The California rules apply to automakers that sell at least 60,000 vehicles a year in the state, which means the Detroit makers, plus Toyota, Honda and Nissan.


    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/05/09/electric-cars-compliance-car- s/2144853/
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    California's economy (GDP) is about the same at Italy's. Sergio probably has issues with Italian car regs but Fiat isn't going to walk away from that market either.

    Sounds like Italian smog problems are getting worse too. (italymagazine.com). Maybe Sergio can make some money selling 500es in Verona.

    So remind me, which side of "states rights" are we on this week? :D

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,053
    So remind me, which side of "states rights" are we on this week?

    Interesting question. When states rights interefere with personal freedoms I am not in favor. In the case of emissions it should be considered interstate commerce or EPA that administers. Air pollution knows no state boundaries. In this instance CA has done this before and it cost US all a lot of money. The EV-1 boondoggle comes to mind. CA has a history of social engineering using repressive tactics. How can you force people to buy these EVs that have very little practical value? Then penalize private companies when they do not sell enough to satisfy the mandate?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    Jerry can't force individuals to buy them so your personal freedom is intact. But California can (so far) force the automakers to offer them for sale. Health costs from smog cost us a lot of money too, so what are you going to do?

    Your choices are clean cars, clean gas, high fuel taxes, mass transit, shut down the rails and ports and factories and power utilities. Makes you step back and take a deep breath and *cough* wonder. :D

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,053
    Your choices are clean cars, clean gas, high fuel taxes, mass transit, shut down the rails and ports and factories and power utilities.

    We could all go Amish and use real horse power. I have fond memories of my time raising draft horses. Well except going broke in the process. Why is CA promoting pollution in other parts of the World to satisfy their misguided ideals.

    image
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    edited May 2013
    I guess we should all be glad that California is upwind of everyone else in the US, otherwise y'all would be suing every coal power plant from Jersey to 4 Corners. (And your pic isn't showing for me).

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    edited May 2013
    This last quarter, anyway.

    "2013 is off to a strong start," wrote Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a letter to shareholders on Wednesday.

    Tesla said it expects to exceed its prior target of 20,000 worldwide deliveries and feels comfortable raising guidance to about 21,000 deliveries.

    "We also completed various deliverables under the Mercedes Benz B-Class EV program which contributed to total development services revenue of almost $7 million," Tesla noted in its shareholder letter."

    Tesla Posts First Quarterly Profit

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,053
    Here it is again...

    image
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    Someone snuck in and stole the horn off that unicorn.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,053
    My favorite draft horses are the Shires. And that is a rare white one. Here is the standard of the breed. Much better breed than Clydesdales. The Shires were almost wiped out when the tractor took their place. Their come back has not been as fast as the Belgian, Clydes and Percheron.

    image
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    Crappy (literally) range and high maintenance.

    No thanks. :D

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,053
    Crappy (literally) range and high maintenance.

    The people farming and using real HP seem to be doing well during this poor economy. They keep their farms spotless and don't have the huge payments on the big 4wheel drive John Deere. My problem was mixing the two and letting the modern farming deplete all my savings. I would try it again if I was younger and not so lazy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah but at least they have soul. ;)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    Fun rebuttal from the car guy at the Wall St. Journal.

    "RECENTLY, CAPITALISTS were scandalized when Fiat and Chrysler Group Chairman Sergio Marchionne revealed that his company loses $10,000 apiece on the Fiat 500e, an electric retrofit of the wee-posh 500 built solely to satisfy California's zero-emission vehicle mandate and sold, for now, only in the Golden State. This sickening perversion of market forces—whereby a tiny fraction of a company's profits are used to mitigate harm caused by its products—was labeled "masochism" by Mr. Marchionne.

    Yeah, well, tough. It's the cost of doing business in the biggest vehicle market in the U.S., and a plain-fact acknowledgment that the automobile has public costs—impacts on air quality, climate and health, infrastructure, injury and death. Lest we forget. You can take issue with California's zero-emission vehicle methodology, and you can reach different conclusions with regard to electric vehicles' value to consumers; but it's inarguable that car companies have an obligation to clean up the mess they make."

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,053
    but it's inarguable that car companies have an obligation to clean up the mess they make."

    I suppose you could make that argument about most everything we buy. What is the total impact of the iPhone on the Planet? Or the Solar panels and wind generators? And don't get me started on GMOs and Ethanol.

    If we become entwined in the World GW move, why don't we create emissions standards for all the automakers. So they don't have to engineer for every Tom, Dick and Moonbeam?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cue the Prius c killing its owner, by The Onion:

    http://youtu.be/bXEddCLW3SM
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,231
    edited May 2013
    The price of Tesla (symbol TSLA) stock has been soaring. The stock's spike may portend future success for the company, or or it could be a bubble. We'll know in time.

    CR's endorsement may give a number of wealthy fence sitters sufficient confidence to buy a new Model S, especially now that they have some assurance regarding depreciation.

    While I won't have a Tesla in my garage any time soon, I'm not as dismissive of this car as I had been. Also, I'd be inclined to wait for the introduction of a more mass market model than the S.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    edited May 2013
    TESLA is successful because they make a good CAR, not a good electric car.

    As for California, no automaker's CEO is so ignorant that he doesn't know that California has the 8th largest economy in the world. :surprise:

    One isn't marketing to a state, one is marketing to a country, so to speak.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,231
    edited May 2013
    The fact that Tesla is a domestic company that makes good cars in our country will appeal to some people.

    Will Teslas be competitive without government assistance and tax subsidies?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    Excellent question. I have no idea what their actual margins are per car.

    But subsidy in the market place is not a new idea....I mean directly or indirectly gasoline and mortgage payments are "subsidized", through tax breaks for instance.

    There are still too many "What Ifs" to judge the future of pure electric cars like the TESLA.

    What if gasoline goes to $10 a gallon

    What if there is a huge breakthrough in battery technology, driving efficiency up and cost down

    blah, blah

    Some folks compare Tesla to say Tucker but I don't think that's fair, because the Tucker was not a well-sorted product, but I have to say the Tesla seems every bit as good a car as a BMW or Audi or Lexus.

    As for California "pushing pollution to other states"----well, that is true of anyone using an electric car anywhere in the USA.

    In Texas, for instance, your electric car would actually be powered by natural gas, being burned....somewhere....

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,231
    I believe a big breakthrough in battery technology will be required for electric cars to go mainstream, without special subsidies. It may happen, and probably will, but there doesn't seem to be anything beyond lithium ion batteries currently. In the meantime, ICEs and transmissions continue to become increasingly efficient.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    there's a piece of the USA market for every type of vehicle and we'll be seeing an increasing "salad" of gas, diesel, hybrid gas, hybrid diesel, hybrid electric, pure electric and of course the occasional gyro-gearloose pedal cars, sail cars, perpetual motion machines, spring cars, flywheel cars, solar cars, etc.

    Actually flywheel technology isn't out of the question as part of hybrid tech.

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,647
    How 'green' is an EV when wind power is part of the equation?
    Wind farms get pass on eagle deaths
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited May 2013
    Will Teslas be competitive without government assistance and tax subsidies?

    I think so...this is a $90k car once you equip it, $7500 makes little/no difference at that price.

    Also, it's price competitive with flagships from BMW & Mercedes.

    A Volt costs $40k, while the Cruze costs half as much. Volt is even based on the Cruze, only smaller, 4 instead of 5 seats.

    So in that segment the EV costs 100% more to make.

    Tesla costs the same as other flagships, not any more.

    Here's the CR review. 99 pts makes it the best scoring vehicle ever:

    http://youtu.be/458TLFRkAlk

    Here's a sit down with the senior editors, they list some of the reasons they like it. Like shifty said, it's a good car, period. Not just a good EV.

    http://youtu.be/EXP4Do1xPGk
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    It's an interesting question. I'm a firm believer in assessing energy companies for all environmental damage.

    The oil spill fines are a different matter--that was just carelessness. But electrocution of eagles or vega-matic-ing them is another type of consideration.

    Having a fondness for owls, I know that a pair of mating owls can easily gobble up over 600 rodents while hatching their young, so wiping out all the eagles in the world might not be a great trade-off for energy independence. It's really a subject beyond my knowledge.

    Interesting to think about though. Not something we see in the electric car ads, now is it?

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dodge should bring back the Hemi dude with the mullet, have them drinking beers on the hood of a Challenger. Then they see a (fake) Eagle get electrocuted on a power line, and call the po-po using the UConnect interface.

    I should be in marketing. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think this guy owns a wind farm, the eagles were getting back at him!

    http://youtu.be/MoqOYACbFjI
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,053
    How much of that new car you bought subsidized some fatcat's new Tesla????

    Tesla’s biggest windfall has been the cash payments it extracts from rival car makers (and their customers), via its sale of zero-emission credits. A number of states including California require that traditional car makers reach certain production quotas of zero-emission vehicles—or to purchase credits if they cannot. Tesla is a main supplier.

    A Morgan Stanley MS +0.41% report in April said Tesla made $40.5 million on credits in 2012, and that it could collect $250 million in 2013. Tesla acknowledged in a recent SEC filing that emissions credit sales hit $85 million in 2013′s first quarter alone—15% of its revenue, and the only reason it made a profit.

    Take away the credits and Tesla lost $53 million in the first quarter, or $10,000 per car sold. California’s zero-emission credits provided $67.9 million to the company in the first quarter, and the combination of that state’s credits and federal and local incentives can add up to $45,000 per Tesla sold, according to an analysis by the Los Angeles Times.

    It’s all just another government scam aiding special interests. Crony capitalism at its worst.


    http://www.calwatchdog.com/2013/05/26/tesla-just-a-tax-funded-government-project- /?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    edited May 2013
    All governments invest in industries that are new, bringing them from R&D to "commercialization". In a sense, the government becomes the venture capitalist on behalf of the nation because private capital (especially now) is very risk averse. Every major industrialized government puts money into winners and sometimes into sink holes. They do this because they don't want their countries playing "catch up" in technologies of the future.

    Also keep in mind that government and private capital are teaming up on projects. Many of these companies one reads about are by no means getting all their capital from government.

    Right now, Green Tech is more about "progress" than "BoomTown". Tesla has a plausible business model and a good product; Fisker did not.

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