Plug-In Vehicle Roundup | Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited September 2014 in General
imagePlug-In Vehicle Roundup |

The number of plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles continues to grow. But does anyone have this new and growing market segment figured out?

Read the full story here


  • mitt_zombie1mitt_zombie1 Member Posts: 32
    "We owned one for 16 months, but it was in the shop more than once."

    Understatement of the century...

    That thing was in about a dozen times and had its motor and other major parts swapped out.

    That is like getting stage 4 lung cancer and saying "it was a bit worse than a cough".
  • airpowerairpower Member Posts: 28
    edited September 2014
    Article Quote: "It should therefore be no surprise that the battery is large enough that you'll need to invest in a 240V Level 2 charge station at home. Other plug-in hybrids can get by on the supplied 120V charge cord, but not the Volt."


    Certainly not true. You are forgetting that the Volt has two levels of 120VAC charging available, 8 amps and 12 amps. A simple push on the touchscreen sets the 12amp mode (the 8amp mode is the default). My Volt is charging outside my office right now at 12 amps on a 120v cord. The 12kw needed (a full charge) will take about 7 hours. You really do not need the optional 240v charger for normal circumstances.

    Assuming a 240v charger/installation cost of $1000 and electricity cost at 9 cents a kw, you can plug-in to 120vac and get the equivalent of 35,185 miles of electric propulsion for free.

    In addition, you failed to mention that Volts built after January 1st, 2014 have a 17kw capacity battery, up slightly from previous years (although only 12kw is available for use). GM also left the 2015 model pricing unchanged. See chevy/com/volt for more details. I have 4300 miles on the car with an 89.6% electric only use rate.

    One more thing to note: Here in New York, ALL of the government incentives are subject to sales tax. Sales tax on the $7500 maximum incentive here in New York comes to: $ 665.63. That buys almost 7,000 free miles of gasoline for a ICE Chevy Cruze or Fusion.

    The Volt is a fantastic vehicle, I would lease one again without a second thought.
  • se_riouslyse_riously Member Posts: 94
    I agree with much of your rankings, and certainly it's up to the buyer to determine which vehicle serves their needs and desires. That said, the cost difference between a regular Prius and a Prius PHEV can be reduced significantly depending on incentive offers, federal rebates, state rebates, and county rebates. In May / June / July, it was actually cheaper to purchase a PHEV over a regular Prius - which made it the absolute steal of the year for carpool lane access.
  • jim_njjim_nj Member Posts: 11
    Article Quote: "It should therefore be no surprise that the battery [in the Chevy Volt] is large enough that you'll need to invest in a 240V Level 2 charge station at home. Other plug-in hybrids can get by on the supplied 120V charge cord, but not the Volt."
    Airpower: Certainly not true.

    I totally agree with Airpower, as do the majority of Volt owners. According to Larry Nitz, GM Powetrain Executive Director, 60% of volt customers only charge on 110v rather than 240V. See details in article linked below.
  • cmaxaconcmaxacon Member Posts: 1
    We have owned a Ford C-Max Energi for one year and we love it. It's roomy and for a 6'5" driver, has incredible leg space and well proportioned distance to steering wheel. As far mileage, we average around 64 mpg. We charge it every night and on days when it's just used to go to store, it uses no gas. When the gas kicks in, it is smooth, and even on electric alone, it accelerates really well. The interior is plush, comfortable and well designed. On long trips where we don't charge it, we get closer to 60 mpg but that's still great, and much better than the article states.
  • rickmayberryrickmayberry Member Posts: 1
    I have been driving a 2014 Fit EV for about seven months and have only good things to say about it, save for the range of about 90 miles most days. At 6'5" and 225 pounds I'm not exactly petite, but I have to make no concessions for fit or comfort. I do have to give some thought about planning for a longer trip and hope that some jerk in a Yukon hasn't parked in a charging station, but that hasn't proven to be much of a problem. A price tag in the mid $20Ks and a range of 150 miles or better would make this a wonderful car to buy. I hope that Honda hasn't given up on the notion of an EV entirely!
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming.

    Ethanol isn't so green, either.

    "It's kind of hard to beat gasoline" for public and environmental health, said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. "A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean ... are not better than gasoline."
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    More reason to retire coal. B)
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I don't think so. Germany is building a lot more coal generators using the real dirty lignite soft coal. The downside of shutting down their nukes. If they could come up with an economical way of making diesel from coal that might help.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited December 2014
    We're getting quotes for a solar carport on the south side of our house here. I mentioned to my wife in passing that we could keep the van for the road and get a Leaf for running around town (with "free gas") and she perked right up.

    Surprised me....

    I loaned out my Kill-A-Watt a while back and it's getting mailed back to me soon. Going to try to lower my usage down to your standards. I really have a hard time seeing how solar would pencil out, but who knows. The shade in front of the attached garage would help with house cooling and I could get a couple of electric space heaters and mostly mothball the propane furnace. Another expense (besides doing a carport instead of solar on the existing rooftop) is that our electrical service is only 100 amp and it's maxed out. That's another two grand.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Solar carports make a lot more sense to me than penetrating your roof to mount solar panels. Around here the companies are just offering a fixed price for electricity with solar. Nothing down and you don't own it. Pay the kwh charge and that is it. I may look into it. I cannot see an EV except for commuting. They need to be used or the battery could go bad.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited December 2014
    It's surprising how many roofs need work here in spite of only getting ~6 to 9 inches of rain a year. My wife feels the same way about roof penetrations as you do, yet we have the AC and furnace on the roof, plus five skylights.

    The bad thing about this house is that it's 15 minutes from town. I'm just about ready to flip it next year and move close in so I can switch back to my bike and sneakers. We did more walking for errands in the UP even with 144 average inches of snow on the ground. Unfortunately my wife loves it. B)
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I thought you moved into the middle of town. If you get a leak around a skylight or AC unit. No big deal to go and fix it. You get one under your solar panels and it is a major fix. Electricians to disconnect panels. Then someon to remove them and try to find the leak. You would not want to put them on a roof that will need to be replaced in a few years. The Car Port is ideal. Kill two birds with one stone. Our Kaiser did that over much of the parking lot. Cooler parking and they generate a lot of their own electricity for the hospital.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited December 2014
    The middle of town was house #2 that we didn't counter on. :D The lure of the new national monument lured us up the hill. Great hiking but not to the post office.

    Yeah, good points about the electrician being needed to remove the panel(s) to fix or replace the roof (or a micro-inverter if you go that route and one dies), and the cooling air flow under the panels on a carport helps the solar efficiency. We have plenty of yard to put panels in but we figure why pay for a copper run when you do a carport for a bit more (the existing electrical panel is at the end of the garage too).

    Oh, one installer we talked to has a C-Max Energi like @cmaxacon has. Loves it for the road and in town; major downside is the lack of storage in the back since the battery takes up so much space.
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