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

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,640
    So when does the $7500 tax credit end?

    Probably when the 54.5mpg CAFE number gets rolled back.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,094
    All the other tax credits had ending dates as well as sales limits. Seems like this is open ended into perpetuity or bankruptcy whichever comes first. At least it does give back money to the actual tax payers unlike so much of the green agenda. Kind of sad nothing with a tax credit now appeals to me. I missed out on the diesel credits. They were hardly worth writing home about. I think maximum $1150 on the Touareg TDI.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,640
    "If rear-wheel drive is one of your chief criteria for a true performance car, the 2014 BMW i3's got you covered; it's a trait no other series-production electric-drive car except the pricey Tesla Model S (and the soon-to-be-released electric version of the smart city car) currently can claim.

    BMW says the i3 nearly replicates the obligatory 50/50 weight distribution so ballyhooed for its conventional cars, although we figure the mass of the drivetrain being oriented close to the back wheels likely means the car could be somewhat rear-biased with its weight, leaving potential for 911-like acceleration and corner-exiting behavior - within reason, of course."

    BMW Unveils Production Version of Radical i3 Electric Car

    image

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,671
    I'm real curious how well it handles, with those narrow, tall (155 / 70 R19!) tires.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,094
    Nonetheless, the i3's starting price of $42,275 (including $925 destination) is more than $25,000 less than the Tesla's base price

    Didn't Tesla discontinue the cheapo 60KWH model? Base Tesla S starts at $80k. Though it is much better looking than the BMW model for the $38k price difference.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,671
    To paraphrase, "I've seen a Tesla, ant that i3 is NO Tesla!"
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,715
    edited July 2013
    Surely they aren't going to try and sell that thing, are they?

    At last, something an Aztek can point to and say "if you think I'M bad....."

    Well I suppose it could become one of those ugly duckling "cult cars". I scoffed at the Scion xB and it sold pretty well.

    they should offer a disguise kit for new owners.

    $41,000 for a car that goes 80 miles on a charge? This is progress?

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,640
    I'm real curious how well it handles, with those narrow, tall (155 / 70 R19!) tires.

    Those tires are nuts. Whaddya think - a couple of inches thick? Well, if they were solid rubber, that would help the mpg I suppose.

    Shifty, Magrath says it's "Another pod EV with sub 100-mile range" and a "styling disaster". Ed Hellwig is a bit more circumspect, calling it "interesting". :shades:

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,715
    With the xB, when I asked "what am I missing?" the answer was "The price point, Shifty, the price point"....and then I smacked my forehead and went OHHHHHH....

    So I'm asking the same question on the I3, and I'm not finding an answer yet.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,317
    I'm on the same page you're on, but history suggests that with game changing technologies sometimes the answer comes later.

    I believe that pure electrics will only become game changers when and if there's a major improvement in battery technology, making batteries lighter, cheaper and with greater range. Until then they'll be niche market vehicles, even with the addition of an extensive network of charging stations. For electrics to be more than niche vehicles they have to leap frog the huge advantages that gasoline, diesel and, to a lesser extent, hybrid powered vehicles currently enjoy for most driving needs.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    edited July 2013
    and their all-electric i.

    image

    What's nice is the price of the Mitsubishi i is coming down, around $22,000 at last check. Still, a range of 70-80 miles is not going to answer most people's needs for range. What you avoid in ghastly prices you have to pay in the impractability of finding away-from-home charging stations. The automotive industry needs to make more substantial progress in battery practicalities and technology. So even if it's a Mitsubishi product I'm having trouble getting too excited about the current all-electric renditions of the automobile, including too-expensive Tesla. I do prefer the Tesla S sedan over the coupe.

    As for the BMW i3, I'm impressed. This would be the only BMW I would even remotely consider - but this rig is too expensive, too. $41,000+? Ouch. I do like it's exterior and interior design and I like it's impressive array of electronics available. Still, the range is not long enough for convenient travel considerations. Is it? But as far as design you're talking to someone who likes the Nissan cube, come on!

    That's another discussion for another time. I'm sticking with my little red Mitsubishi racecar for now and loving it as always.

    But I don't know what looks so weird ta you's guys about the BMW i3. Like I say, oh, and the fact that it's rear-wheel drive is also kind of cool. The high price (I know, but it's a BMW!) and the remaining issue of short travel range is going to help me tuck this little pup ta bed for...ever. I mean a long time!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,640
    edited July 2013
    My electric lawn mower is upside down on my patio right now. :sick:

    Blade's dull so I'm going to have to pull it and stick it on the grinder - there's just too dang much maintenance with these electric things. At least it's corded so I don't have to mess with that awful distilled water. :D

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  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    edited July 2013
    My electric lawn mower is upside down on my patio right now.

    Blade's dull so I'm going to have to pull it and stick it on the grinder - there's just too dang much maintenance with these electric things. At least it's corded so I don't have to mess with that awful distilled water.


    Funny you should mention electrical outside maintenance gear 'cause I just got in from out-of-doors wrestlin' with my electric weed-eater. Cutting the "lawn" weeds down that have poked through the plastic sheeting in my landlord's front lawn here in desert-ey Alamogordo, NM. Landlord won't let me spray Roundup-can't really blame her. But man, that weedy desert-grass is stubborn and persistent and won't go away.

    Can't hit it with the mower that I don't have because it's got rocks underneath the weeds. These weeds should have never poked up. Oh well, I'll get back at 'em tomorrow. It's getting to about 93° with thunderstorms lately as we go through our monsoon season here in south-central New Mexico. Storms have subsided enough and moisture stopped enough for me ta get out there and weed-eat a bit, knock 'em down.

    What d'ya mean distilled water for mower/trimmer "fuel"? What'cha talkin' 'bout, Willis? And, thinking again about our rental's lawn, if I owned this house I'd hit all of that with massive amounts of weedkiller. I know they're horrible for animals and the environment, but at this rate I'm signing myself up for weedeat mows every 3-4 weeks that are both obnoxious and sickening. :sick:

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,640
    edited July 2013
    Oh, you know how some car batteries need water now and then; probably not on uncorded rechargeable mowers though. Bet they are sealed.

    Are you talking about cheat grass? That stuff was a real pain in Boise. Set up a solar heater and boil them to death.

    We're trying to head out your way mid August. Hope the fires are slackening off. It's been so cool here our durn furnace kicked on one morning a couple of days ago. 93° sounds real nice. :shades:

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  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    edited July 2013
    Are you talking about cheat grass? That stuff was a real pain in Boise. Set up a solar heater and boil them to death.

    We're trying to head out your way mid August. Hope the fires are slackening off. It's been so cool here our durn furnace kicked on one morning a couple of days ago. 93° sounds real nice.


    I'd say cheat grass pretty much describes it well. I would happily boil this stuff to oblivion - I'll look into it!

    The fires must be out - Albuquerque news stations have finally stopped reporting on them. The wife and I went to Carlsbad Caverns yesterday. 754 feet down at a fairly steep angle - the arthritis in my left knee flared up when Mrsiluv and I stopped and sat at a bench part-way down. Once I got up and started walking again the knee pain went away, though. ;)

    That cave-system is incredible, though. The "Big Room" cave covers the space 14 football fields would. It is a lot of walking, I'll say that. I was happily snapping away with the digi-camera, and many of them actually turned out. If any of you all get a chance ta go one day don't miss this National Park in SE New Mexico! Blew the Mrs. and I away with it's grandeur and beauty. Wow!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,094
    2013 Chevrolet Volt (GM)

    General Motors Co. is slashing the price of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt by $5,000, making it the latest automaker to lower prices of electric vehicles in the face of lagging consumer demand.

    The Detroit-based automaker said it will cut the base price 12.5 percent, from $39,995 to $34,995. The price cut comes just weeks after the automaker announced a $5,000 give-back on the 2012 Volt and $4,000 on the 2013 model.


    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130806/AUTO0103/308060026/1148/rss25
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I think the Prius I drive is about as "exciting" driving down the highway, running kids around, going to work, etc... as any Accord, Carmy, Malibu or any of the other 95% of the cars out there. What's exciting to me is driving a car 20,000 miles per year for the past several years doing nothing but oil changes, tires and filter replacements and spending only $1500 per year on gas for those 20,000 miles. Not bad on a car with over 100K miles on it.

    The problem with plug-ins is the higher up-front costs in buying the car and setting up the at home charging stations. Plus issues with the longevity of lithium batteries as compared to the old fashioned nic-cad used in most Prius.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,671
    Good point re: excitement. Certain folks just seem to go out of their way to come up with reasons to criticize hybrids, the Prius in particular. Like you said, the great majority of cars on the road aren't more exciting, and that's not important for what most of do every day, anyway. On top of that there's the 'attitude' thing, where folks ascribe some negative characteristic to the Prius driver. Nothing to do with the car, and largely incorrect.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,715
    I totally agree with the first premise that a Prius is no more or less exciting than the vast majority of cars on the road; as for "characteristics" of the Prius driver, I wouldn't admit to any "negative" feelings, but I will admit to ascribing the quality of "cautious driving" to them.

    My reaction seems to be similar to how I used to react when I found myself behind a VW van. I had no negative feelings but I was anxious to get around them as soon as possible.

    Is "pokey" a negative attitude? Am I really only hallucinating? (quite possible).

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,671
    I won't argue with the 'pokey' label. I've found myself driving in a more 'relaxed' manner in my hybrid, with no change in my daily trip time.

    What I was referring to is the claim that Prius and/or hybrid owners are self righteous, arrogant, etc., etc.

    In my experience some fraction of ALL owners fits that description...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,094
    What I was referring to is the claim that Prius and/or hybrid owners are self righteous, arrogant, etc., etc.

    I think they switched from Volvos ;-)

    Now Prius drivers cover most demographic buyers. I see them racing down the freeway at 80 MPH like most everyone else. It is less frequent to see them in the Left lane staying right on 55 MPH, like when the Prius first became popular. I think those types found out they were not making converts to their thinking.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,190
    Of course, things like this don't help

    Come to Seattle, you'll find LLC Prius.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,671
    Oh, yeah. About 1% of all drivers are just NUTS!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,715
    All stereotypes have a grain of truth in them.

    I think cars like a Prius do, in fact, "sedate" most people, merely by the nature of the beast---flinging a Prius around curves is not much fun and acceleration is leisurely at best.

    Self-righteousness appears in many forms, from the "I'm saving the planet" cognitive dissonance of the Prius owner who drives a 1.5 ton machine running on gasoline to pick up a bag of taco chips at Costco, to the Porsche owner who believes that somehow the car's precision and abilities are transferred to him personally.

    Hopefully, most hybrid owners have less noble aspirations and will confess to buying such a car to "save a buck" (eventually).

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,640
    Seen at the Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa.

    image

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,715
    How's the Smug level in the midwest?

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,640
    Prii keep blowing by me on the Interstate as I tool around. :-)

    But there does seem to be a lot of pride in the Volt.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,715
    i like Volti--I'm anxious to drive one.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,640
    edited August 2013
    Guess the owner gets lots of questions - this was on the side window:

    image

    Fitting thing to spot considering we're house-sitting at our NM friend's off-grid house this week. Yep, this is a solar post (although TaosNet, a great ISP here, is still on the grid).

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,094
    Did Tesla Just Make Its First Big Mistake?

    Tesla has succeeded at just about everything it has tried so far, and there’s no reason to think it can’t pull this off too, if that’s the company's top priority. There’s just one problem with Tesla’s ambitious goal of building a self-driving electric car in three years. Tesla already had an ambitious goal, and that was to build an affordable electric car in three years.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57599474/elon-musk-tesla-to-make-affordab- le-electric-car-in-three-to-four-years/

    Tesla backers may insist that Musk can do it all: make Teslas self-driving, make them affordable, put a man on Mars, and build the Hyperloop in his spare time. Perhaps he can: There is no one more dynamic executive in the auto industry today, and perhaps not in the technology industry either. Clearly the engineering team he has built at Tesla is formidable.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/09/18/tesla_self_driving_car_is_thi- s_elon_musk_s_first_big_mistake.html
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