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

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    True, but the best deal for a Cruze for most drivers remains the standard gasoline version, because it would take the average driver many years to recoup the incremental cost of the diesel option.

    On a side note, there are a decent number of Prius taxis in certain metro areas, such as Santa Monica and Vancouver, BC, but I have yet to see a Volt taxi. Have you seen any? I think the configuration of the two-passenger back seat of the Volt is a problem for taxi use, but maybe the cost-of-ownership, even under intensive use, is less for the Prius than the Volt.

    It'll be interesting to see whether there's a market for Cruze taxis. In addition to fuel economy, engine life is a factor for taxis. Have you seen any Jetta or Passat taxis?

    Diesels are very popular in Europe's taxi fleets, but the fuel tax proposition favors diesels there. In the U.S. the cost of diesel versus gasoline is a disincentive for diesels.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    The problem with a Volt Taxi would be gas mileage along with size. A taxi would run out of electricity within in a short time and then be stuck with rather poor gas mileage burning Premium gas. The Prius hit a sweet spot for taxi cabs as did the Escape hybrid. I am not sure a diesel taxi would be well accepted in the cities. And they do not excel mileage wise in stop and go like a hybrid.

    If you buy a Cruze eco equipped like the standard Cruze diesel the premium is about $1500. May be hard to justify on purely fuel costs. The diesel has more HP and Torque than the turbo gasser. The non turbo Cruze gasser has to be gutless. 125 ft lbs of torque in a 3100 lb vehicle does not seem adequate to me. Should not be allowed on the Interstates.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,577
    "I'd consider a Volt, but only if the total cost-of-ownership were comparable or, preferably, lower than the Cruz over 100,000 miles"

    Now you're being rational, shame on you! Over at another sites discussion board there's a Volt thread, with Volt owners chiming in about how they like it better than their former BMWs! One thing they referenced was a USA Today article putting the Volt in the top 10 Best Upscale Midsize Cars.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,855
    Well if you putt around in the mall in your BMW, then sure, a Volt might seem comparable; but if you drive a BMW as the Germans intended, you would never be satisfied with a Volt.

    As far as taxis are concerned, in NYC Prius and Ford Hybrids have an obvious lock on that market.

    Taxi fleets need more than MPG---they need durability and very little "down time".

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Taxi fleets need more than MPG---they need durability and very little "down time".

    I might add the Prius and Ford Hybrids share the same basic hybrid technology. I don't think hybrid systems like Honda & GM have used are very good.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,855
    edited June 2013
    I like the new Volt system, from what I've read. It runs initially on electric but when the gas engine kicks in, in fact the battery is not depleted, so it can still aid in acceleration and it still gives you electric power at stop lights (engine shuts off) for getting underway again.

    The Volt would really pay off for someone who say commutes 25 miles a day. You'd never use any gas theoretically.

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  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,550
    "Hybrid vehicles cost more without much benefit to the environment if you do the bulk of your driving on the highway, a new study shows.

    But for drivers who spend a lot of time in stop-and-go traffic, a hybrid "could lower lifetime costs by 20 percent and cut greenhouse gas emissions in half," said the study by Carnegie Mellon University."

    Hybrids Make Little Sense for Highway Drivers, Study Shows

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,577
    edited June 2013
    Here's my comment for that article:

    Pretty negative way of presenting what we've ALWAYS known - if you drive mostly freeway a hybrid isn't for you. EARTHSHAKING NEWS! Why isn't the headline: "City drivers stand to save 20%!!"?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Pretty negative way of presenting what we've ALWAYS known

    Yes, We've been aware of these shortcomings and benefits of hybrids. I don't think 90% of the car buying public are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of hybrids. A salesman is not likely to tell a potential customer anything negative about any car they have to sell.

    The Mellon report could have gone even further and given percentages. When does a hybrid make sense? At 60%/40% City/Hwy? Or maybe 70% city vs 30% highway driving.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,550
    A lot of posters here saw this coming, but few thought it would be that fast.

    "It took just 93 seconds to swap the Tesla Model S's batteries during Thursday night's preview event. That's 93 seconds from driving onto the stage until leaving the stage. The actual battery swap process was only part of that time."

    Tesla To Launch EV Battery Swap Network

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,577
    edited June 2013
    To me, swappable EV batteries is a big 'so what'. We already had one company go bankrupt (flushing what, a BILLION $$ down the drain?) pushing the swappable battery idea. Imagine how much a swappable Tesla battery would cost - $30,000? And who takes the risk about battery quality? And how many would you need to make any sort of economic sense?

    I fear for my taxpayer wallet on this....
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,550
    I think it's a critical mass kind of thing. It works well in warehouses for electric forklifts. And for swapping propane tanks at the convenience store.

    The million dollar price tag per swapping station is a bit steep though!

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,714
    edited June 2013
    That's the first thing that I thought - what's the cost of that battery?

    I wonder if the ~3%er who bought the car would get yet another tax break for an extra battery. More trickle up economics. I am not seeing much sign of this tech coming down to the real world just yet,
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Let me get this straight. About every 100 miles on your trip you pull in and swap your depleted battery for a charged one? And it cost about the price of 15 gallons of gas or about $60 in CA where all these rich nut jobs live. Or I can own a plush say S class Mercedes and go 450 miles on that 15 gallons of gas. I am with those that see another gigantic tax payer rip-off.

    Owners of Tesla EVs will pay the price equivalent of 15 gallons of gasoline for the service.

    Just another instance proving some people have way too much money, and way too little common sense.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,376
    Some of these questions have been asked to Musk during the launch event.

    I've read that the price per swap is targeted to be $60-80, and superchargers will remain gratis. Roughly 90 seconds to swap.

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,376
    Let me get this straight. About every 100 miles on your trip you pull in and swap your depleted battery for a charged one?

    100 miles? Why?

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    100 miles? Why?

    Ok, so you get out on the interstate and cruise at 55 MPH for up to 300 miles. What are the odds you will find a swap station just when you need it most. Of course the answer could be the rest of US will supply you with FREE charges if you are wealthy enough to own the Tesla Model S.

    What’s good for Tesla may be good for the EV industry as a whole. Yet the supercharging stations are built to power only the Model S. Not even the Tesla Roadster can handle the charge.

    http://cars.chicagotribune.com/fuel-efficient/news/chi-tesla-connects-midwest-to- -transcontinental-supercharging-network-20130530

    It gets better, the 300 mile range is more of a sales gimmick than reality.

    How far does the Tesla Model S go on a charge, 300 miles, right? If you read Consumer Reports’ celebrated rave review, giving the car 99 out of a potential 100 points, you’d think it was 200 to 220 miles. But range is a slippery slope, and some clarification is helpful here.

    Maybe they were talking about the 60-kilowatt-hour car, Tesla said in an email. No, that’s not it. Consumer Reports Eric Evarts told me, “All our testing was on the 85 kWh model. We averaged 200 miles—about 220 in temperate weather, no heat or A/C, and as little as 180 in the winter with the heat on. We did not use the Max Range charging mode, because we think most consumers won't want to assume the risk to their batteries, at least most of the time, and think they want to know the typical, not max range.”

    Stretched to the Max

    As we all know, the Model S claims 300 miles on a charge, but Max Range charging is a big part of that, because it allows the battery 15 percent more capacity, extending the range. But that shouldn’t be something owners do routinely. As CR points out, “In general, we heed Tesla’s advice against charging for ‘max range’ due to the adverse effect on battery life, as any other owner would, and charge in ‘standard’ mode.”


    http://www.plugincars.com/tesla-model-s-range-and-charging-some-clarification-12- 7409.html
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,855
    180 mile range? So that's like buying a BMW 5 series with an 6.5 gallon gas tank. Would anyone actually buy one?

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    I don't think they have sold as many to the public as they would have US believe. With one required as loner at each dealership cuts into the total sold. That said, it is obvious they are a rich persons play toy. Not meant for the rest of US. They are spending millions of our tax payer dollars on FREE charging stations across the country. That will only work on the $100k+ S model. So those that buy are probably close to one of those tax payer supported fast charge stations. Showing just how the rich get richer and that corporate welfare is alive and well in the Green Agenda.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,855
    I have no problem with the government jump-starting new technology. As I may have pointed out before, ALL governments do this. And the governments don't have a job---they get their money from taxpayers mostly.

    The Internet you are now pleasantly typing on is a government baby, and once reserved only for the scientific and military elite---and for a while, not competitive with fax machines and Fedex.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    The Internet you are now pleasantly typing on is a government baby

    Ah, but there is a huge difference in government R&D spending and handing over $500 million in tax payer dollars to a crony that just happens to have contributed to getting you elected.

    Grants to study at Universities, defense and NASA research are much easier for me to justify than what has been happening in recent years. We are batting a very low percentage with the Green Agenda. Battery technology today is not much better than it was 20 years ago. There is just something wrong in my mind with our guaranteeing half a billion dollar loans and having the company go bankrupt in less than a year. That looks to me like a planned transfer of tax dollars to friends in high places. I don't think you can find many permanent jobs created in the middle class from the $billions spent on the Green vaporous mist.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,855
    he's not a "crony"--he is what he is, which is brilliant, and he put his own money and his brains where his mouth is. If Musk is a crony, may god give America thousands more like him!

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    edited June 2013
    Musk is brilliant. He is also a big political donor, not only to the current WH resident, but many others.

    Where I see his brilliance is in scamming the state of CA out of $85 million in Carbon Credits the first quarter of the year. No way would Tesla be profitable without the CC scam. I see him as a brilliant entrepreneur and visionary more than an inventor. He is obviously able to convince people to invest in what he is doing at the time. From PayPal to space exploration.

    He has been able to excite the stock market for TSLA to about 25% of the value of General Motors while selling less cars than the Corvette. Now that is brilliance. Will he be able to maintain his current high with lawsuits and legislation aimed at him? If you bought the stock it may be a good time to unload it.

    Pending law would block Tesla sales in New York

    Tesla's battle with dealership owners is coming to a head in New York, where legislators are considering a bill that would block the electric-car maker from directly selling vehicles in the state.

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/21/autos/tesla-new-york/index.html?section=money_to- - pstories&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fmoney_- - topstories+%28Top+Stories%29
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,855
    It's not "carbon credits" by the way. I think you (and many people) confuse CC with “green credits”,which are sold to other automakers through a California program that requires a certain number of pollution-free cars per manufacturer.
    Also, these credits will be decreasing from now on, and there will be none for Tesla's planned overseas sales.

    The battle in New York and other states certainly suggests cronyism on a massive scale between legislators and automobile dealers, wherein the buying public will be prevented from eliminating the "middle man" in their new car purchases.

    Basically, as I see it, what we have here is a political defense of a archaic system of franchise protectionism---a throttling of free market commerce, in other words.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Basically, as I see it, what we have here is a political defense of a archaic system of franchise protectionism---a throttling of free market commerce, in other words.

    I did not realize so many states had such laws. It also seems to me it would be easier to sell franchises for the Tesla to existing dealers than set up these little kiosk type dealerships. I have never seen a Tesla or a Tesla dealership. Looks like it is in someone's home here in San Diego.

    I would be more concerned with service after sale. But if you have enough to throw away on a Tesla you can buy a service man to keep your car running.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,550

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,855
    Dealers could still service direct sales vehicles. In fact, the service departments of most dealerships are the major, and in some cases, the ONLY branch of their business that makes a profit.

    Direct sales might diminish the number of dealers somewhat but the ones that stick around could become more profitable than they are now.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    So the big question for Tesla can they survive in only 5 states soon to be 4, if NY passes legislation against them. Looks like it is a case of hundreds of dealers with lots of political clout against Elon Musk and his fancy EV car for the rich.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    It's not "carbon credits" by the way.

    Hmmm, seems that is what most folks consider them. You can call the scam on the people of CA anything you like.

    Tesla Motors (TSLA): ZEV Carbon Credits, Subsidies and the Fake Economy
    Tesla Motors (TSLA) has zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) carbon credits manufactured by bureaucrats to thank for giving it some net income along with subsidies or tax breaks to car buyers for helping out the top line.

    Carbon Credits saved Tesla

    Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq:TSLA), the Palo Alto-based maker of the sexy Model S electric sedan and the 2014 Model X SUV, made a considerable amount of its revenue this year not by selling electric cars, but by selling carbon credits to other automakers.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/teslas-first-ever-profit-came-thanks-selling-zero-emissio- n-credits-competitors-it-insists-its-not#

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-13/tesla-profit-aided-by-sales-of-californ- ia-u-s-emission-credits.html
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,550
    edited June 2013
    And if the tide turns and Tesla gets a bunch of state franchise laws overturned, those Costco dealer programs could change so that you'd actually be buying from Costco (or at least from the manufacturer using Costco as the middleman).

    Next, Chinese built cars sold at Walmart.

    No wonder the dealers are running scared and hiding behind their community Little League contributions (they never say that it's money out of our pockets that's funding their charities of choice though).

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