Author Topic: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf  (Read 59854 times)

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Offline SgtRock

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #50 on: September 29, 2013, 04:01:07 am »
Greetings EEVBees:
--I love this thread. Nobody has gone totally mental, so far. A lot of good facts and well thought out opinion. Kudos.

--Dave, as always, has a very salient point; if your driving patterns do not fit the Pure EV, you might want to consider a hybrid. I would love to see someone from Leaf Marketing on the Amp Hour, "tis a consummation devoutly to be wished"  It seems likely to me that when Pure EVs and Hybrids finally reach their full potential, including price point, there will be a huge sudden tipping point, and all of the To and Fro Boxes will be EV or Hybrid. Working vehicles, Pickumup trucks and SUVs will take a little longer. But before that can happen, there are a couple of hurdles to jump. EV and HV must be weaned from the federal teat. They must make sense on a cost basis, to working, taxpaying, folks, who often have little money for political gestures. The day someone with a job can sign a 5 year contract for a $20,000 EV or HV with no worries, they will not be able to build enough of them quickly enough.

--To put things in perspective, at the bottom end of the market, you have used vehicles. Two years ago I bought an 86 Nissan Pickup Truck, with 70,000 miles for $2,000. I have replaced the Clutch Master and Slave Cylinders, Brake Master Cylinder, Alternator, Starter, Battery, Battery Tray, Brakes, Plugs and Wires, 8 plugs and 8 wires, Distributor Cap and Rotor, plus Bumper and Grille. I now have 80,000 miles on, and $3,000 in a truck that has a topper and a bed liner, and no rust. I also have a 2000 Kia, bought new, and no payments these last 8 years. The Kia has 100,000 miles on it and is going strong. It is a dumpster divers dream. My friend has an 86 Volvo 740 GL with 150,000 miles, which runs perfectly (I have helped him to do all of his work, including timing belt, over the last 5 years. I can buy the car for $500, or $300 if I want to be hard, but I have no need for it. If he goes to sell it for scrap I will buy it and park it in the shade, merely out of pure sentimentality. That is the kind of thing that is going on at the bottom of the market. It seems to us Shade Tree Mechanics, like money is falling from the sky. So, I will have to wait until the EVs, and the HVs show up on the used market, unless the powers that be bring back "Cash for Clunkers", in a big way, to destroy perfectly good machines, that need only a little love. I should add that as an intellectual matter anyone who is an EE should find ordinary auto mechanical repair child's play, but you do get dirty. The trick is to own one more used car and or truck than you need, just for emergencies.

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Offline Stonent

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2013, 04:01:41 am »
To go along with what Ian said, take a look at diesel engine technology in the past 10 years. Essentially unchanged for about 100 years, but now very rarely do you see diesels spewing black, greasy smoke any more. The ones that do are older. When you add in diesel particulate filters, ultra low sulfur diesel and selective catalytic reduction  (adblue or bluetec) to remove NOx you've removed nearly everything bad. Cummins-Westport even makes a diesel engine that runs on 95% natural gas and 5% diesel that produces the same power as a the original diesel only engine that it was based on. It is even nearly as safe to run these new diesel engines indoors as you would a propane forklift in a closed warehouse.
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2013, 04:08:34 am »
I can help but be surprise that a technology blog such as this one accepts the "e-car" eco-friendliness at face value with so little critical comments.

Driving the car is but a small portion of the pollution it generates.  From mining, to stamping the metal, to making the seat, to pressing the glass windshield, all consume energy and all put a cost to the environment.

Some years back (2007), some one (CNW Marketing Research to be exact), did a Dust to Dust analysis of Hummer vs Prius and the Hummer was found to be more eco-friendly than the Prius.  Dust to dust meaning from mining the metal to disposal of the vehicle.

They got yell down the the eco-people, but the eco-people missed the point.  One may argue with some of the assumptions they made (such as Prius lasting 12 years vs Hummers' 35 year life span - my LiIon cell battery didn't last more than 3), but the point they made is valid.  You can't just look at the driving part of it alone.  How much environmental cost does it incur to have new batteries every 5 years?

Have you seen the hole dug for mining?  How about lakes of waste water to enable metal extraction...

When the car is made like other cars, the moment the car roll out the factory, the major impact to the environment of the life of that car has already occurred save one - the disposal of its remains.  The rest are rounding errors.

EDIT - corrected two typos
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 04:10:46 am by Rick Law »
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #53 on: September 29, 2013, 04:30:10 am »
Nope, that's not what i said. Look at the Nissan Leaf web site. They do NOT advertise the Leaf for specific usage scenarios, but as an all-purpose vehicle... I did not try to argue whether an e-car is useful or not. My opinion is that e-cars are just not ready for mass-market. I do not want to imply that a current-gen e-car does not have a use.

That's silly.

What you are saying is akin to complaining that Ford never revealed that the Mustang would not make a suitable vehicle for a work truck, or that Chevy is obscuring the fact that an F350 won't be a good vehicle for autocross racing.

Vehicles have their purpose and their design goals.  If you live in the middle of the New Mexico desert 60 miles from the nearest gas station, would you buy a motorcycle that only goes 50 miles before needing refueled?  Of course not.  Nor would you buy an "e-car" if you require a vehicle to go a few hundred miles on a charge, or be able to be refilled between uses in a matter of minutes.

Complaining that those limitations make the car unsuitable for mass market use is like complaining that the Corvette is not not ready for the mass market because you can't fit your kids in the back.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2013, 04:34:20 am »
I posted this , because of the electronics used in driving that motor. The eco aspect is not my top priority. I am in the market for a new car. I am into electronics, so taking a look at an electric car with all its electronics is kinda interesting to see how it evolves.

Getting told bluntly that you need still need a second petrol driven car is basically an admission of defeat. It proves the current state of technology from the big car makers is a nowhere and they are doing only a mediocre job and put no real effort in it. It's only a small incremental delta step, just like they always do. 

Sad. Very sad. All the more while it is perfectly possible at a decent price point.
Strip the tesla of all its fancy user interfaces and super luxury and you end up at half cost ... Which is 38k to 45k$.

At that price, I'll go get a stack of greenisch cotton bills with pictures of dead presidents on em. Gimme one. I am in the market for a new car. I'd rather spend that 40k on electronics than on a dinosaur , made by dinosaur company, running on distillate of dinosaur leftovers ...
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #55 on: September 29, 2013, 04:35:26 am »
Otherwise an EV produces just as much CO2 as an economic car on fuel.

That is simply not true.  You can't make a valid comparison unless you know where the power is coming from in the first place, but the "well to wheel" efficiency of an EV is massively higher than that of a combustion powered engine.

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Over here they are going to close quite a few coal and gas based power plants because there is a lot of solar and wind energy coming from Germany. That would be nice one would think but a quick study shows the electricity companies will just sell their CO2 certificates so the net reduction for the CO2 emission is zero.

The CO2 certificate program is a useless sham in the first place, but solar and wind are not the answer either.  Fossil fuel plants can be clean.  The problem is everything costs... people want to save the planet, but they don't want to pay to do it.
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #56 on: September 29, 2013, 04:45:40 am »
N: 85 to 100 miles on a charge
FE. Ok.. So. I live here in an Jose and want to go for a little trip to Carmel. About 75 mile one way. You mean i can't get home ? Can i even get there as it's uphill over the santa cruz mountains ?
N: Well you plug it in over there to charge.
FE. Well, how long does it take ?
N: about 8 hours
Fe: so going for lunch, stay 2 hours and come back is out of the question then ...
N: Well yeah, but how many times do you do this a year ?
FE : about 10 times ... sometimes i drive to monterey to buy fresh fish off the boats and come straight back... 150 miles roundtrip.
N: well , in that case you use your other car.
FE: ... ?!? what do you mean your 'other' car ? you expect me to buy TWO cars now ? What if my other car ( assuming he ment my wife's ) is also electric ?
N: well , nissan has a program where you can rent a car for the day or weekend from the dealer.
FE:  <jaw dropping> now you want me to RENT a car ? I just bought a new car ... and what's that rental going to be ?
N: one of our standard gasoline cars
FE:  :palm:  ARE YOU INSANE ? you just touted how eco friendly the damn thing is and the first thing i want to do with it can't be done and you tell me you'll happily rent me gasoline powered one ? Where is your damn logic ? What's this thing run on anyway ? double A batteries ? Put some batteries in that thing. Lithium ion cells are about a 1$ a pop in mass quantity. A battery pack like tesla's has about 6000 in em, throw in some electronics and a charger and you end up at a cost of 10K for the battery pack. inverter and motor and a chassis (speaking about a compact car like the leaf), strip all the exuberant luxury and you can sell it at 35K and make 7K profit. I'll give you a check right here and now for one. But no you want me to buy not only your crap car but also a second , gasoline powered car. this effectively more than doubles the price of the Leaf ( cost of the leaf + cost of a gasoline powered car) and i am still tied to gasoline. What do you take me for ? an idiot ?


I really respect you and like your posts, but if this exchange took place as you state, I'm afraid I think you really made a fool of yourself in this case.  Challenging the guys at the booth on this would be like me going to try to take a pound of flesh out of the guys at the Ferrari display and hounding them about how useless their cars are because I am in construction and I haul sheets of plywood, etc, etc.  They must have thought you were a loon.

I happen to think they do have a very valid point.  Honestly, I am baffled at how many intelligent people who really understand electronics and economics turn into willful luddites when it comes to electric cars.

The fact is that 85% of people fall into the perfect EV buyers - who mostly drive less than 50 miles/day and would rarely (if ever) need to recharge their vehicle.  For most of those folks (I am one), the rare times they need more range, a short-term rental would not be a problem anymore than me renting a pickup when I need to haul lumber back from the home store.  And if someone needs to operate outside the intended use of a vehicle often, then buying that vehicle would be a bit silly (like the aforementioned construction worker buying a Corvette instead of a pickup).  Complaining to the makers of the vehicle is a bit silly.

I also totally disagree about the problem of having a second vehicle.  I have multiple vehicles, and I bet the vast majority of homes (certainly in the USA) are multi-vehicle homes.  That is true for me and for almost everyone I know.  They could have a Volt and another vehicle for the use that falls outside the 85% times.  And that is not insane or inefficient at all - every mile driven in an EV is efficient and clean compared to a combustion engine mile driven. 

Also, I don't get why people say EV's don't make economic sense.  It's like these folks (not talking about you specifically, just folks in general) have uncovered some great hidden secret of the world that only they were smart enough to figure out and the average consumer, as well as all the sales/marketing/engineering/design folks at every major car manufacturer were too dumb to figure out.  It reminds me of the folks who look at some high-end piece of test gear and lambaste it for being so expensive and how nobody needs something like that, etc.  Frankly, it usually makes the person saying it look a bit silly - as if the test gear manufacturer and all their designers and salesmen and managers are not as clued in or knowledgeable about the nature of the market they sell in and their customers as random people on the Intarwebz who have it all figured out.   :palm:
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Offline zapta

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #57 on: September 29, 2013, 04:50:05 am »
And the noise of that porshe is deafening. haven't those guys heard about exhaust mufflers ? bunch of loud obnoxious rattlers. Noise pollution is pollution too.

Noise? This is ''noise, this is 'exhaust note'. Big difference! People pay thousands to improve it. Some lesser companies even fake it with electronic ammplification http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/bmw-m5-plays-engine-sounds-speakers-sure-know-170639427.html

 :)
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #58 on: September 29, 2013, 04:50:37 am »
Nor would you buy an "e-car" if you require a vehicle to go a few hundred miles on a charge, or be able to be refilled between uses in a matter of minutes.

Complaining that those limitations make the car unsuitable for mass market
Moment.
- Your corvette and ford pickup BOTH can do 300 to 400 miles on a tank. Your 'e-car' ? 75 to 100 with a lot of luck.
- i am not looking for an e-car. I am looking for a new car. Car . Period. I don't care what the powerplant is. As a prospective buyer it makes sense to me to look at all options. If i was still in Belgium i would be looking at diesels too , as they are cheaper to drive. Diesel fuel is a lot cheaper than gas. Electric is a lot cheaper then gas here in the US, so today i looked if a car with electric powerplants  would fit my criteria, and found that none of em, with the exception of the Tesla, are ready als an alternative for a combustion type power plant.

Don't seek more behind it. I'm not into eco , treehugging, and other fuzzy stuff.
The base is simple. Looking for a new cath with lowest usage price in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance. Electricity is way cheaper than 4$ a gallon gas. So let's look at electric. Ah, we're still in the overgrown golf-cart stage .. Bye ...

That's all. I got pissed off because they promote the car as a shiny green eco balloon and when you look at range the balloon pops. And you need a second gas fueled car. Keep your electric. Ill stick to gas then. Buying an electric is like buying a gas car with an 38000$ electric surcharge (38k$ being cost of the leaf). 38000$ in gas ... I can drive 15 years with the gasoline powered car. Stuff your leaf... Make soup out of it for all i care.

I'm all the more pissed because it is technologically and pricewise possible. Add 10000$ in extra batteries to a base leaf which is 28k$, add a few niceties, and you have a 40 to 45k$ Electric where the range shortcoming is gone. Yet they are dicking around with overgrown golf carts trying to woo the eco-geezers...
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #59 on: September 29, 2013, 04:56:11 am »
Driving the car is but a small portion of the pollution it generates.  From mining, to stamping the metal, to making the seat, to pressing the glass windshield, all consume energy and all put a cost to the environment.

Some years back (2007), some one (CNW Marketing Research to be exact), did a Dust to Dust analysis of Hummer vs Prius and the Hummer was found to be more eco-friendly than the Prius.  Dust to dust meaning from mining the metal to disposal of the vehicle.


That is an often cited criticism of EV's and completely untrue.  I would like to see a cite on an unbiased source for this article.  But it's easy to see the fallacy with some critical thinking.

-First, EV batteries do not need replaced after 5 years.  The Volt is guaranteed for 10 years, but like an LED, the failure mode is not that is just does not work one day - the failure mode is reduced range.  It would be at the discretion of the consumer if they replaced the battery and at what point.  An EV battery no more needs to be replaced every 10 years than an automobile engine needs replaced every 50,000 miles, even though that may be what it is warrantied for.

-Second, in an EV, you have essentially a single rotating part in the engine.  A combustion engine vehicle uses coolant, oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, gear oil, chassis lubes, battery acid and many other things.  Those things get replaced, reused, etc.  Many if not most can be eliminated with an EV. 

-Third, it is a common misconception that the chemicals in a modern battery are these horrendously toxic things.  They really aren't.  And as these batteries become more common in consumer vehicles, recycling will follow.  Just like electronics recycling was not important 30 years ago, but is today - the same will happen with EV's.



Not to mention the rapid pace at which EV technology is advancing.  There is already a lot of research that has led to lab proven results like a 10 times increase in battery capacity and a 10 fold increase in charge rate.  EV's today are not perfect - for sure.  But neither were the first gasoline powered cars.  Considering how new modern EV's are, it's amazing they are as close to cars as they are.  It will be a very short period of time until EV's are so far advanced that the next generation will laugh about how stupid old codgers like us poured explosive liquids into our primitive mechanical machines so we could drive them to work and back.  It will be as antiquated as lighting the gas lights in the street or turning the crank handle on the telephone to generate some power seem to us today.

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Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #60 on: September 29, 2013, 05:07:18 am »

Moment.
- Your corvette and ford pickup BOTH can do 300 to 400 miles on a tank. Your 'e-car' ? 75 to 100 with a lot of luck.

You are focusing on ONE aspect of the cars where there is the biggest discrepancy, suggesting that this data point is the most important (or the only important one), and extrapolating that this data point being unsuitable for you also makes it unsuitable for everyone else

It is exactly no different than me going up to the Corvette guy at the auto show and arguing that his car is shit because I can't even fit a single 2x4 in it.  It's not a bad car - it's just not the right fit for someone who needs that capability.

Lots of studies have been done and it's known that 85% of consumers would be fine with a vehicle like the Leaf that does 100 miles on a charge.  You may be outside that 85%, but you are in the minority, and it's unfair to heckle the guy as if your usage needs are shared by everyone else, because they aren't.


Quote
- i am not looking for an e-car. I am looking for a new car. Car . Period. I don't care what the powerplant is. As a prospective buyer it makes sense to me to look at all options. If i was still in Belgium i would be looking at diesels too , as they are cheaper to drive. Diesel fuel is a lot cheaper than gas. Electric is a lot cheaper then gas here in the US, so today i looked if a car with electric powerplants  would fit my criteria, and found that none of em, with the exception of the Tesla, are ready als an alternative for a combustion type power plant.

Yep, sounds like an e-car is not for you.  But that doesn't make them bad vehicles anymore than a Corvette isn't bad because you can't put your kids in the back and drive to church.

Quote
Don't seek more behind it. I'm not into eco , treehugging, and other fuzzy stuff.
The base is simple. Looking for a new cath with lowest usage price in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance. Electricity is way cheaper than 4$ a gallon gas. So let's look at electric. Ah, we're still in the overgrown golf-cart stage .. Bye ...

Frankly, because EV's are so new, you will be hard pressed to buy into one such that the total usage cost is lower than anything else.  That's like shopping for the best bang-for-the-buck computer hardware and complaining that you can't play the latest video games at 1920x1080 on three paneled screens.   The latest technology is rarely the cheapest.  A Volt would save you money on usage, but you'll pay more for it than a Toyota Corolla.. just the nature of the beast.

Quote
That's all. I got pissed off because they promote the car as a shiny green eco balloon and when you look at range the balloon pops. And you need a second gas fueled car. Keep your electric. Ill stick to gas then. Buying an electric is like buying a gas car with an 38000$ electric surcharge (38k$ being cost of the leaf). 38000$ in gas ... I can drive 15 years with the gasoline powered car. Stuff your leaf... Make soup out of it for all i care.

Again, with the utmost respect, it sounds to me that you just wanted to put the poor car guy in his place and show him how big your intellectual dick is.  He's there to promote the car... what do you expect him to say?  The car is very eco and very green.  You don't need to buy a second car anymore than you need a second car if you buy a Corvette.  You only need it if your usage needs are outside of the capabilities of the vehicle.  But what kind of person buys a vehicle that doesn't suit their needs and complains that they had to buy a second one to fill their needs, then blamed the issue on the car?  Come on...

Quote
I'm all the more pissed because it is technologically and pricewise possible. Add 10000$ in extra batteries to a base leaf which is 28k$, add a few niceties, and you have a 40 to 45k$ Electric where the range shortcoming is gone. Yet they are dicking around with overgrown golf carts trying to woo the eco-geezers...

You're a smart and well known electronics guy.  If you see a market opportunity for this, go for it.  Go get some venture capital and make it happen.  Or, do a Kickstarter or IGG to raise the money to retrofit Leafs with $10k battery packs that get your mileage needs satisfied.  If the market truly is there, as you say, you'll become very wealthy.  You want to be very wealthy, don't you?   >:D ;)
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #61 on: September 29, 2013, 05:10:38 am »

I really respect you and like your posts, but if this exchange took place as you state,
Yes it did, including me asking if it ran on double a's and why they didn't put some more in it ?

It started out very civilized , up till the point he told me to just buy a second gas powered car , or rent one. That is where i lost it.

Why do i need two cars ? I can only drive one at a time! I dont have room for two cars. And i'm single.
Why do i need to spend 38000$ on a leaf and spend another 38000 on a gas powered car to cover for the deficiencies of the leaf ?
Quote
The fact is that 85% of people fall into the perfect EV buyers - who mostly drive less than 50 miles/day and would rarely (if ever) need to recharge their vehicle. 
I am in that group.

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For most of those folks (I am one), the rare times
I drive longer trips almost every weekend, i like going to carmel or SF . You expect me to own a second car just for the weekends ? You expect me to go rent a car every weekend. 52 weeks a year, 10 years in a row. Do you have any idea what that would cost ? It would be cheaper to buy a gas fueled car and drive it all day. It would cover the car and the fuel... So there goes your eco friendly , cheap in power consumption car. Poof. Gone. Vaporised.

.
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That is true for me and for almost everyone I know. 
most of the people i know have two cars, but they are married or live together. Take a look at single guys how many own more than one car...

Anyway that point is irellevant. I dont want a second car. I want 1 car that does what my current car does (a chrysler sebring convertible). As i am looking at a new car i took a look at electrics.
And they don't compare to an average car. They don't have the range. It's as simple as that.

Getting told by the manufacturer that you simply need to buy a second gasoline car is illogical for me. It doubles the purchase price as i now need to buy a second car, store it, get insurance. It's easier to buy just the gasoline car and forget the electric. All the more since the combined purchase price of their leaf and a gas car gets me a base model tesla which is far more luxurious and doesnt have the range problem...

So, from my perspective : one car , their product not suitable.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 05:51:04 am by free_electron »
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #62 on: September 29, 2013, 05:39:09 am »

Again, with the utmost respect, it sounds to me that you just wanted to put the poor car guy in his place and show him how big your intellectual dick is. 
No it doesn't. If he'd told me. Well our car is targeted as a short commuter car or for people that want to use it as a second car, i would have thanked him and walked away. With those premises set : short commuter, or ise as second car it would have been acceptable.

Him going off telling me to buy a second gasoline powered car or suggesting me to rent one , and basically telling me i should find that acceptable is what set me off !

- Here is our new eco friendly LED light, same price as a normal lightbulb.
- Can i leave it on 4 hours a day ?
- No, but you just have to buy regular bulbs and use those for 3 of the 4 hours you want light.

Instead of:
Here is a low power eco friendly lightbulb made for those places where you only use light for less than an hour a day. With that sentence i know where i can use it. And i can decide. I wouldn't even have bothered the salesguy.No harm done.

Leaving the bit out about the max 1 hour a day and getting told to just buy a regular one as well when you inquire? And then telling me it's my fault because i want more than an hour of light? Illogical.
I got the money. You want to sell.. Customer is king. Don't tell your prospective customer he just needs to suck it up and buy another product to cover deficiencies.

All cars have , on average, the same operating range. With gasoline you pull up to a pump and off you go. With electric that process is a lot longer. So, they should focus solving that first. Everything else is irrellevant. I am not a car freak, i am not interested in a ferrari or corvette.

A car is a piece of machinery to drive me in comfort from point a to point b in a fashionable time. I dont need a truck either. I don't haul lumber or go off-roading. I drive to commute or for pleasure. An average regular petrol car like a toyota camry or my chrysler fits that purpose perfectly. Even if i need to transport a couple of two by fours, they will fit. In 10 years i have never had to rent a car because there was something i couldn't do with the one i have.

So why should it be acceptable to have to rent cars on multiple occasions because it wouldn't work with an electric ? I wont be doing anything i wouldn't do with an average car and car use.

It boils down to: electrics are not up to par with an average car...yet. Especially on range. It is less than half and the charging time is extremely inconvenient.

All while it doesn't have to be. The technology exists (tesla is proof of technology). It's just not being rolled out.

Don't seek anything else behind my comments. It is what it is.

I am looking for a replacement of my current car without change of usage.
Does electric work for that? No .
Why? Not enough range for my usage.
Did i get angry about lack of range ? No. It is what it is. Fine. I'll look elsewhere

What did i get angry about then? Being told i should find it normal to have to purchase a gas powered second car as well if i want the 'privilege' of driving electric. It was my fault. I should have had as econd car or be willing to rent one... While the shortcoming is theirs.

The customer is ALWAYS right.. Except when it comes to an electric car. Then the customer is wrong and he should also buy a second car or be prepared to rent one. Big sales fail guys...

If, i stead of telling me 'use your other car, or rent one' he would have told me. "This car is intended for commuting and not for general purpose use. " It would have been no problem. Fine. I understand that it has limitations and that's it.

But don't try telling me it is my shortcoming because i don't have a second car... Or rent one.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 05:53:00 am by free_electron »
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #63 on: September 29, 2013, 09:31:28 am »
Driving the car is but a small portion of the pollution it generates.  From mining, to stamping the metal, to making the seat, to pressing the glass windshield, all consume energy and all put a cost to the environment.

Some years back (2007), some one (CNW Marketing Research to be exact), did a Dust to Dust analysis of Hummer vs Prius and the Hummer was found to be more eco-friendly than the Prius.  Dust to dust meaning from mining the metal to disposal of the vehicle.


That is an often cited criticism of EV's and completely untrue.  I would like to see a cite on an unbiased source for this article.  But it's easy to see the fallacy with some critical thinking.

-First, EV batteries do not need replaced after 5 years....

-Second, in an EV, you have essentially a single rotating part in the engine....

-Third, it is a common misconception that the chemicals in a modern battery are these horrendously toxic things....


Not to mention the rapid pace at which EV technology is advancing....

Who said anything about toxic stuff?  It is not the battery, you are missing the point.  When you are creating something anew, it takes energy.  Energy is the currency of nature.  You can't avoid it.

Whether you are digging a hole for the metal (steel), or rubber (tire), or melting glass, all takes energy.  Looking at just the SMALL difference of how it stores the energy is completely missing the point.  That is rounding error comparing to the total energy consumed in creating that car.

The amount of cost to create the car is in tens of thousands (USD).  The cost of fuel is in thousands over the life of the car.  That alone should tell you that the cost of creation of the car consumes an order of magnitude more resources.  Just maintenance cost alone exceeds the fuel cost over the life of the car.  Energy is the currency of nature.  You can't avoid it.  The tens of thousands spend goes into creating yet more pollution.  The car salesman use his commission to take his kids to dinner, that is yet more energy consumed...  The car maker use his income to fly to Disney, that is yet more energy consumed.

Want to be less an energy hog?  Buy the cheapest of anything.  The less it cost, the less resource was consumed in creating it.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #64 on: September 29, 2013, 11:27:28 am »
Otherwise an EV produces just as much CO2 as an economic car on fuel.

That is simply not true.  You can't make a valid comparison unless you know where the power is coming from in the first place, but the "well to wheel" efficiency of an EV is massively higher than that of a combustion powered engine.
As usual you have no numbers to back your claim and you are twisting my words. I already posted the mathematical proof an efficient car with a combustion engine produces just as much CO2 as the average EV on fossil fuel electricity. The gas and coal needed to feed a power plant need to be mined, processed, transported as well. So that goes into your EV 'well to wheel' efficiency as well. Not to mention the extra amount of energy needed to produce an EV. So if you want to make an EV really more efficient then you'll need to source electricity which has a very low CO2 footprint.

Other things you claim aren't true either. For starters an EV needs a complicated cooling/heating system to keep the batteries ar their most effective operating temperature. Also the electronics need fluid based cooling and electronics must stay a lot cooler than an combustion engine. To cool the EV's electronics a heat pump (air conditioning) is required. Inside the combustion engine the temperatures are so high that keeping the coolant at 85 deg. Celsius is enough to cool the engine by just pumping the coolant through the engine and a radiator. If you just compare the motor of an EV a combustion engine then the combustion engine looks massively complicated. If you look at the big picture an EV is just as complicated as a car with a combustion engine. Each have their own unique problems to solve.

Also EVs are not new. Not by a long shot. Over 100 years ago when cars got invented the ratio between EV and combustion engine powered cars was 1 to 1. Later on the combustion engine 'won' because of the range and ease of re-fuelling. Car manufacturers around the world have been experimenting with EVs since then. If you use Google you can find most of them have a web page showing their early attempts. All unsuccesful because of the range and excessive cost. The only reason EVs are affordable today is because governments hand out money to people who buy them.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 11:38:07 am by nctnico »
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #65 on: September 29, 2013, 12:10:25 pm »
Before CD-ROM burners there were no external storage formats with the same mix of low media cost, rapid read access and compact size. The market paid for something that had no competition.

There, you see the pattern. The market would not pay for something that has an established competition that is as good.

I don't think you are getting it. The market will pay to solve a problem that is not yet solved.

But that is not the case here. The problem of personal road transport is solved.

What can you do with an electric car that you cannot already do with a conventional car?

Is it faster? Irrelevant, there are speed limits.

Is it cheaper to buy? Electric cars today are twice the price of comparable conventional cars. No advantage there.

Does it have a longer range? Demonstrably not.

Is it quieter? Sure, but current cars are quiet enough. If cars are too quiet people don't hear them coming, and anyway surface road noise is the biggest contributor to traffic noise in the environment.

Does it pollute less? Yes, but catalytic converters have essentially solved that problem already.

Does it have a lower running cost? Not if you take the battery renewal cost into account.

So really, what is the point of an electric car? There is no market for them except among people who want to make a personal statement or who want to experiment with something novel. And that's a very small niche.

You definitely have a point here, and i see that i picked my examples poorly  :palm: in an attempt to illustrate that new tech usually has high entry cost which will drop if mass production picks up. Sorry about that. I am trying to stay away from making silly metaphors ;)
In the end, essentially we are having the same opinion of e-cars not (yet) being a viable mass-market product, incapable to compete with petrol cars yet.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 12:13:31 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #66 on: September 29, 2013, 12:24:50 pm »
Want to be less an energy hog?  Buy the cheapest of anything.  The less it cost, the less resource was consumed in creating it.

Not entirely true. Cheap products come from cheap labor too, not just because they needed less resources to make them...
And you can't really compare the cost of a manufactured product (where labor costs are a substantial part of) with the cost of a (processed) natural resources -- it's like comparing apples and oranges...
 

Offline amyk

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #67 on: September 29, 2013, 12:39:28 pm »
EVs is one area where China has focused a lot of development effort on, and it shows in their price/value (if not safety). They are a lot more common there and there are many more manufacturers producing them. For example, this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BYD_e6
 

Offline ElectroIrradiator

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #68 on: September 29, 2013, 03:19:53 pm »
Want to be less an energy hog?  Buy the cheapest of anything.  The less it cost, the less resource was consumed in creating it.
...and the cheapest car is frequently the one you already own.

Both cars and fuel are very expensive in this country, due to heavy taxation on both. Yet despite this, then it still makes economic sense for me to keep my Lexus LS-400 running, compared to buying practically any new car. Despite paying higher 'green taxes' due to the (much) larger engine, a premium on insurance and triple the gas consumption, then I am still paying less for the annual upkeep on the Lexus, compared to paying the fixed expenses on a new loan plus upkeep for even a VW Up!, or any comparable compact city car.

The only reason why it is even a race this year, is due to the Lexus needing a trip to the paint shop before the winter for some touch up work. Plus the engine is due for its /80'000 km valve adjustment (mechanical valve lifters).

Of course this only works out, because my driving needs are fairly low, ensuring the fuel bill doesn't kill the Lexus budget. The comparison might come out completely reversed, if I had a long, daily commute.

I know which eco car I prefer... :D
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 03:37:36 pm by ElectroIrradiator »
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #69 on: September 29, 2013, 05:51:42 pm »
Want to be less an energy hog?  Buy the cheapest of anything.  The less it cost, the less resource was consumed in creating it.

Not entirely true. Cheap products come from cheap labor too, not just because they needed less resources to make them...
And you can't really compare the cost of a manufactured product (where labor costs are a substantial part of) with the cost of a (processed) natural resources -- it's like comparing apples and oranges...

(I probably should not have posted that first note I did.  I was waiting for an email and it was late and I was tired and cranky.  Be that as it may, now that I opened the pandora's box...)

Yeah, it is not entire true.  The statement is merely an "in general..."  Like saying: "in general, the more expensive DMM will likely be the more accurate one."

I was just taken back that folks here would judge the quality of a DMM by the probe alone.  Probe - the part we touch and use.

No doubt the probe has a measurable impact.  But a lot more goes into the accuracy of a DMM beyond the probe.  But what should be self-evident is that there is a lot more to DMM's accuracy that is inside beyond the parts we touch.

Labor is energy too.  Human need to eat.  The people need to be moved from place A (home) to place B (factory).  Everything is energy.  Making the windshield is energy, making the tire is energy.

- More money = more resources.
- More resources = more energy
- More energy= more pollution.

Looking at energy consumption of driving alone and think you are doing the environment a favor is like getting a DT830B at $5 and spend some $ on a $60 fluke probe and think you made your DMM better is true - but well, it is ill-advised.

To argue that a better probe help or not is silly.  I know it helps.  It is just not the best way to deploy our money (mony = limited resources).  You will have far better result getting a $65 DMM than $5 for the DMM and $60 for the probe.

If you keep that old clunker and drive it to the ground, you are doing the environment a much bigger favor than abandoning a working product than starting the pollution cycle entirely anew with small changes in the rounding error.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #70 on: September 29, 2013, 05:52:32 pm »
For those who aren't ready to buy a new car, consider "ecomodding" your existing one. And don't forget hypermiling, which can be very effective in any car.
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Online Mechatrommer

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #71 on: September 29, 2013, 06:11:20 pm »
5 pages huh, i dont care... i want to file a complaint can i?... i cant find one single car that:
1) so spacious that fit all my kids and family, AND...
2) 4x4 so i can go to jungle and rough road, AND...
3) fuel economy as economic as a scooter, AND...
4) can fly.

no! you wont get everything what you want, and above all you wont get a car that satisfies all people. pick what suites you and move on. probably there is reason why only one company that choosed luxurious and long range ecar out of many. probably they played with statistics (or probability thereof) and pick there side ??? lets see which company survives this 5-10 years to come, you and i are waiting. and, if a company needs 5-10 years from meeting to manufacture, then they deserve to be bought, hire a new boss or something, our local company can do alot better.

btw, if i have to choose between 1x double priced car and 2x regular priced cars that have different purposes, i'll choose 2x regular priced cars, and i bet the decision will be similar to 99% of community in my state, the normal joe type guys, not the electron wrangler nuts type ;)
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #72 on: September 29, 2013, 06:31:30 pm »
Nissan cannot give you bigger batteries, as if the batteries were bigger, more people would buy the car, and they just don't have the capacity to make that many batteries. It is simple economics. Ina few years, majbe the leaf will have bigger range.
Tesla sells fraction of the number of cars. They have the luxury to outsource the battery factory. Nissan doesn't. Also, 1/3-1/2 of the cost of the car is the battery. If they make it twice the size, it will be ridiculously expensive.
Also, you are comparing the running costs of the cars, while you live in the US. The region called ROW, has fuel prices that are simply the double what you have there. It is simply cheaper to drive an electric car here in europe, where they ask 1.7 EUR for a liter of gasoline. 120 km is not a bad reach also. it covers 95% of my daily commute. I would only need a different car if I go to the next country.
And leasing a battery is like having an insurance on the most expensive part in your car. Battery cells do brake, and I dont want to drive my car around praying for Jesus Christ. I just drive to the nearest swap station and replace it with a good condition one if something breaks.
So if I use my car 100.000 Kms and I spend half on fuel, it is well worth. Not to mention the tax brake, and here there are cities, you park free, and charge free. And I would expect to ban not hybrid or electric cars from the downtown area of most cities.
 

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #73 on: September 29, 2013, 06:44:56 pm »
I drive a '99 Crown Vic and get ~18mpg city (24mpg highway)


But I've driven from LA to DC and back to LA in it, hauling a trailer! with nothing worse than a flat tire. Give me an electric that can match that level of reliability, and an electric charging infrastructure that can let me charge even if I'm out in the middle of goddamn Nowhere, Bupkis, and I'll sign on. Until then... Well, I might buy one for around-town driving if it makes economic sense, but I'm gonna keep my Ford until the wheels fall off.
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Offline woodchips

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #74 on: September 29, 2013, 07:25:21 pm »
Perhaps the secret is in the words 'don't fit a bigger battery' in where does it go? Are there really thousands of cells in the battery? Each is some few cubic centimetres, or inches, and that adds up to a huge volume. Perhaps the impressive electric car, can't remember what it is called, is a sportscar simply because it is the only body style with lots of room to hide lots of batteries. Remember seeing the engine in an E type once, that sort of thing.

There also seem to be minor problems like the recharging current. If you are the only person with an electric car, then fine. But when the whole road gets them then the mains distribution is not going to like the consequent current being taken.

They are an obvious place we are heading to, but aren't there lots of intermediate steps first? Like regenerative braking, a DC generator dumping the power into some fast charge batteries or supercapacitors. The electronic engine management takes an astonishing current draw, I measured over 10A on just a simple ECU, so this generated power can be used quickly, within minutes. If you are in a jam then the regenerative brake can also do duty as a motor to trickle you along. Seems pretty basic, and simple, to me but no car has it. Why?
 


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