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

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    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: 28,678
    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: 5,423
    "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.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    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".
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    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.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    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.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    "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
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    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: 28,678
    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.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    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
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    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....
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    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!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    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: 28,678
    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: 1,349
    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.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,349
    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?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    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
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    180 mile range? So that's like buying a BMW 5 series with an 6.5 gallon gas tank. Would anyone actually buy one?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    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.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    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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