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American Electric Vehicles

jamesf2jamesf2 Posts: 1
edited July 10 in Honda
I have been following the ev world for quite a while. As an engineer, with an aggravating mind, I have been totally unimpressed with all commercial hybrids except the proposed Chevy Volt - you better pull this one off GM!
Now, today I saw a blog post in wired news about American Electric Vehicles. I must disclose that I live in Colorado and am always happy to hear about a tech company making it in Colorado but this thing is impressive. They state that the range is 50 miles but it's an open air off road vehicles - not much for aerodynamics there!!!!
The price tag hurts a tad. Maybe I will sell a limb):
It's my first post to this forum but this thing got me pretty excited.
Why no straight up electric forum.


  • gfr1gfr1 Posts: 55
    I haven't researched all of these sites, so don't know if this article is new, or old, but --.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,853
    Nissan Motor Co. unveiled a new prototype electric vehicle Wednesday with batteries twice as powerful as conventional technology, aiming to take a lead in zero-emission cars.

    Japan's third-largest automaker said the front-wheel drive, boxy-shaped car has a newly developed 80 kilowatt motor with advanced lithium-ion batteries installed under the vehicle's floor to avoid taking up space.

    The laminated batteries, jointly developed with electronics giant NEC Corp., pack twice the electric power of conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries currently used in hybrid and electric cars, it said.

    Nissan aims to start selling an electric car in the United States and Japan in 2010 and the rest of the world in 2012. It will have a new "unique bodystyle" that is not based on any existing model, the company said.

    image ge=large
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    this was already a done deal, and that Tesla got the prize? Admittedly, they won't have a volume offering at the current $109,000 asking price, but that's another story! :-P

    I would love to see all the Big 6 get involved and offer small electric vehicles that are full-duty (highway-capable), not like these little GEM cars we already have.

    The first one to offer such a car for prices comparable to (if not quite as low) same-size gas-powered cars will have a huge hit on their hands, I would think.

    But what about supply bottlenecks on batteries? Is Nissan going to run into the same problems with supply that Toyota has with the Prius?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,853
    Has Tesla delivered to the first customer? Last I heard they were being sued for not paying the people that built the transmission. Also CA passed some law that took funding from Tesla they were counting on. I think they will go into the same book as Tucker.

    I think that Mitsubishi is close to delivering an EV also. I agree it will have to be priced right. If it is basic transportation it needs to be under $20k. I like the box design. Always seemed the most practical for everyday use. The first xB was cool. If they had not tried to rape me I would have bought one for a runabout. They are not worth $20k as the dealer thought.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I just read yesterday about some retrofit Tesla is doing on the first 40 cars it sold, so yes, I think they must already be in production.

    I would love to see Nissan produce an electric version of the Cube. They are bringing over the gas version next year (which may just put the final nail in Scion's coffin) and it would be such a practical car for their first electric model. Seats four adults comfortably, lots of cargo space, gas version only costs $15K. I would bet they could deliver the electric version for an asking price under $20K.

    iluvmysephia has been going on for quite some time about the Mitsubishi MIEV (is that the right name?), which is not too far off, from what I have gathered with only limitied interest. Funny that Honda, with working NG and fuel cell cars, not to mention hybrids, has made no mention of plans to develop an electric vehicle based just on household/roadside recharging.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,853
    There are literally 1000s of people using electric golf carts as their main mode of transportation. Many of the large retirement communities are ideal for that type vehicle. My thought with an open golf cart is what happens when it rains? Or how do you protect your stuff while in shopping? One of those little box cars that could also go out on roads up to 45 MPH would be great. Many of the fancy golf carts are pushing the $20k price tag with lead acid batteries. I think I would prefer the NiMH until the longevity of Li-Ion are proven. Unless they have a long warranty. Which is highly unlikely.

    Tesla must be alive and well. Says they are on track to deliver 560 cars this year. They have hired a high powered designer.

    We have obtained exclusive information about Franz von Holzhausen's next career move. On Thursday of last week, von Holzhausen resigned from Mazda, where he was Director of Design at the R&D Design Center in Irvine CA, to become the Design Director at Tesla Motors.

    "It's going to be an exciting adventure," von Holzhausen told us in an exclusive interview. "I'm looking forward to working at a new startup company that doesn't have the confines of a large OEM."

    Tesla will be looking to produce a range of new cars according to the famed designer. While the Tesla Roadster was designed by Lotus, Tesla founder and Chairman Elon Musk is "looking to produce electric vehicles for the masses and wanted to bring design in house."

    According to insiders, von Holzhausen was 'cherry picked' for that task.

    A graduate from Art Center College of Design, von Holzhausen began his career as Assistant Chief Designer in VW's Design Center California and was involved in various projects from the Concept One to the Microbus. He has also served as Design Manager at General Motors where he was responsible for designing and managing the concept and production design process for the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Chevy SS, and various other GM programs.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    But what about supply bottlenecks on batteries? Is Nissan going to run into the same problems with supply that Toyota has with the Prius?

    I think Toyota's battery supply problems are due to them keeping battery production in house and underestimating the demand. They are currently working on doubling their capacity but it will take a couple of years.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,853
    I suppose I should have named this thread "Who Will make the First Practical EV for the USA".

    There are a lot of EVs in our history. A couple came real close. Such as the RAV4 EV and the EV-1.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,853
    I think the Li-Ion is actually less hassle to build than the NiMH batteries used in all the hybrids. It is a matter of getting the right combination that will last and not overheat with Li-Ion. I would be satisfied with a battery built by NEC. They are a very High end electronics company in Japan. I did not know they were into Li-Ion battery research. They build some of the best Telco gear in the World.

    2010 is not that far off. We should see a lot of interesting technology by then.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Welll, did the RAV4 EV come close, or did it hit the target?

    78 mph top speed, 117 mile range, using NiMH batteries, drove just like their gas counterparts except for the lower top speed, and offered the same interior utility.

    Sticker, of course, was $42K, but tax credits at the time brought the real-world price down below $30K. They mainly leased them but they did sell a few.

    The EV1 was pretty fab too, but unlike Toyota GM chose not to sell any and to pull them all off the road at lease end and crush them. I still see a RAV4 EV every once in a while. I think their owners loved them, and they must be REALLY loving them now!

    The RAV4 EV was pretty practical. You may think that at $30K they were not a good value, but they had practicality in spades.

    I can't wait until Nissan brings out the first one that is affordable to all.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,853
    I think the RAV4 EV was a great example for the others. I think it has all the speed and range needed for most commutes. If you have a commute longer than 50 miles each way, the EV is probably not for you. The battery was and is for those that have them the killer. I think the automakers were probably relieved when CA pulled the mandate for ZEV vehicles Last I read the battery life was about 100,000 miles. Toyota had a replacement cost of $20k. That is a tough sell for the automaker or owner to accept. One poster here looks at it from a per mile basis on battery replacement. With the best economy cars costing about 50 cents per mile over 5 years the 20 cents per mile added by battery deterioration may not be that significant.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    .... that a company called Baker made and sold electric cars more than 100 years ago. Jay Leno owns one, and drives it occasionally. Any company that presents an electric car today as "new" or "innovative" is just a century behind the curve.

    Now, I could credibly argue that if automakers chose to develop electric motors 100 years ago instead of gas/diesel engines, we'd STILL be no better of today than we are with OPEC. Some other cartel would have developed to restrict the supply of electricity. The government would still tax it several times between the producer and the consumer, just like oil and gasoline. And we'd still face an occasional "crisis" during which politicians would seek higher taxes and new powers for themselves.

    But maybe the air would be a bit cleaner.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,853
    You are correct that electric cars and trucks were around 100 years ago. As was the hybrid. Porsche had a racing hybrid. In fact Dr Porsche built his hybrid about 109 years ago. I think if they were practical they would have survived and flourished. I think they faced the same problem then as today. Storing energy.

    I think practical means different things to different people. A practical all around EV may still be 20 years in the future. A practical commuter car less than a year. Just as a CNG car is good for commuting, they are not practical to head cross country with.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Last I read the battery life was about 100,000 miles. Toyota had a replacement cost of $20k. That is a tough sell for the automaker or owner to accept.

    Yeah. I ran the numbers a few years ago for building my own electric car, and the cost to replace the battery pack every 3-5 years (a bigger pack would last longer but cost more up front) was something like 3x the cost of fuel and maintenance on a gas car in that timeframe.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I don't know which manufacturer will make the first practical EV for the US market but I'm pretty confident it won't be Honda. As far as I can tell they aren't even pursuing an EV that doesn't involve hydrogen fuel cells. The general consensus is that it will be a long time, if ever, for hydrogen to be a practical method for energy storage.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    "As far as I can tell they aren't even pursuing an EV that doesn't involve hydrogen fuel cells."

    I agree. I think Honda has done its thing with gas-electric hybrids (they were one of the first), and they don't want to dump a bunch of R&D and money into more stepping-stone vehicles. They want to leap ahead to the ultimate clean car, that runs on the most plentiful resource in the universe.

    I think they're going to drive fuel cell development full speed ahead until it works for enough people that they can sell 'em. Honda wants to be the first company to take the last step in alternative fuel vehicles.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,853
    Honda wants to be the first company to take the last step in alternative fuel vehicles.

    They better get to work. That is a big mountain to climb. That and Nissan has just passed Honda in fuel cell development. I still would not count on them being mainstream for 20 years.

    Despite their unsettling X-Trail Fuel Cell Vehicle Nürburgring record run recently, Nissan is making serious developments with a new fuel cell stack with double the power density of the previous generation stack. Additionally, the stack uses half the amount of platinum, a key material, resulting in 35% cost savings. Nissan test prototypes carrying the improved fuel cell stacks will be operational by the end of this year.

    August 6, 2008 5:00 PM by Brian Potter
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,121
    ....beat everybody to the punch!

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,853
    Good looking but much later than the ones from the 1800s.

    Between 1832 and 1839 (the exact year is uncertain), Robert Anderson of Scotland invented the first crude electric carriage. A small-scale electric car was designed by Professor Stratingh of Groningen, Holland, and built by his assistant Christopher Becker in 1835. Practical and more successful electric road vehicles were invented by both American Thomas Davenport and Scotsmen Robert Davidson around 1842. Both inventors were the first to use non-rechargeable electric cells. Frenchmen Gaston Plante invented a better storage battery in 1865 and his fellow countrymen Camille Faure improved the storage battery in 1881. This improved-capacity storage battery paved the way for electric vehicles to flourish.

    France and Great Britain were the first nations to support the widespread development of electric vehicles in the late 1800s. In 1899, a Belgian built electric racing car called "La Jamais Contente" set a world record for land speed - 68 mph - designed by Camille Jénatzy
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Yes I drove the RAV4-EV and it was a totally practical, good performing EV with great acceleration and a range well over 100 miles (a working range I mean, not a limping range).

    So I think Toyota has already won this competition.

    Used RAV4-EVs regularly sell on eBay for more than their MSRP. The one I drove had about 75,000 miles on the original set of batteries, no problems so far.

    As far as I can tell, this "old" EV would outperform the Volt and just about anything else on the road other than the Tesla. And it's a full size truck, too. Looks exactly like a regular RAV-4. Well it IS a regular RAV-4, but not AWD of course.


This discussion has been closed.