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Thread: Electric cars

  1. #1
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    Electric cars

    On Monday of Last week an automotive startup called Rivian released two new vehicles. At the LA auto show they released the R1T and the R1S. The R1T is a crew cab short bed electric pickup with some amazing specs. 0-60 in 3 seconds, and a range of over 400 miles. This is comparable to a Tesla model X. It promises to have tremendous offload capabilities with a 14 inch ground clearance and a 3 foot wading depth. 750 hp and 10,000 pound ft of torque. They also released a 7 seat SUV with similar specs. Pricing starts at 69k, and 100k for a 180 kw/hr battery. The company has bought an old Mitsubishi plant in Normal, IL and has 500 employees, in IL, CA, and the UK. They are taking preorders now, and plan to start production in 2020. This is the first serious electric pickup to be released.

    I think electric vehicles are soon going to take over our roads. Honestly, I'm somewhat excited about the prospects. Electric cars have better performance than ICE. What are your thoughts on Electric Cars?
    A doctor buries his mistakes, but I burn mine.

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  2. #2
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    I'm all for it and clearly that's the trend. But it's going to take a lot more time for EV to become more ubiquitous on the road. Right now, the entry cost is still too high but that should mitigate as battery technology continues to mature and improve and economy of scale kicks in. That's also required for support infrastructure to happen, too. I'm glad to see more players trying to make a go of this and the big vehicle manufacturers are also pouring development money in that direction, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    I was choosing between a "cheap" and "nice" oil filter wrench, recently, and realized that it didn't need to be a "lifetime" tool for me, because 5 years from now, I'll probably never need to change a oil filter, ever again.

    As soon as some of the noise settles, I'll be replacing both our gas cars with electrics. I already replaced our lawnmower with a cordless electric, and could not be happier.

  4. #4
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    I listened to a radio talk show a couple years back (Under The Hood?).
    A local Sioux Falls man bought an electric car-Tesla. He drove it between SF and Sioux City IA for his job.
    He really liked it, fast, quiet, no fuel costs....
    Winter came and he left SF for SC one particularly cold morn--well below 0* F.
    No problems going down but nearly froze to death on the way home, he said it was fully charged leaving SF.
    I would certainly hope battery tech advances to the point of keeping us warm up here in the cold zones.

    Bruce
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  5. #5
    The changes in electric storage and efficiency of motors has gone a long way in the past 25 years. A jr high school buddy had an electric bike his father built. Car starter motor, a car battery and a creude rheostat for speed. It would go a half mile before we had to push it back home. Not a glowing prospect for the future of electric vehicles. However, the advances made, in light weight alloy frames and plastics could do alot for such vehicles. I am still amazed at the crazy compressed air car sold in India. Uses a weed wacker engine to compress air in a tank and then the compressed air drives the vehicle for a number of miles before it has to "rest" and let the engine build up the pressure again. For commuting and running short hops, I seems ideal.

    One of the ideas I liked was the old Sparrow, electric vehicle. They had two wheels up front and a single drive wheel in the back. Sat one person in a low airplane cockpit type cabin. Would go up to 70 mph. I saw two of them used to commute in and out of DC 25 years ago.

  6. #6
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    There is a fallacy in the 400 mile range specification. This was pointed out in a documentary I watched on Youtube involving two guys going cross country from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast in a Tesla model X. The fallacy has to do with the number and distribution of charging stations compatible with the vehicle. Suppose I am planning a trip between 2 cities 450 miles apart. Further suppose there are two charging stations, one at 185 miles from the start and one at the destination. This distribution is typical of of Tesla and closer than some areas of the country. What that means is my range is really 185 miles because I will be forced to stop for a protracted time period to top off my batteries before proceeding to my destination. I don't know whether Rivian vehicles are able to make use of Tesla charging stations, but if they are not, then the cross country trips might be impossible from a practical sense. In the documentary, the guys charged their vehicle in Las Vegas but were unable to go by the Grand Canyon as planned because there were no charging stations that would allow a round trip that far. I would not want a vehicle that required me to plan my trips around charging stations but that is exactly what happened in the documentary.
    Last edited by Art Mann; 12-03-2018 at 11:36 AM.

  7. #7
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    Electric golfcarts are way better than gas. Someday this may be true for automobiles as well. Probably not within the near future however. To me, they are just a rich persons novelty.

  8. #8
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    Besides infrastructure (which, if given the demand, will be built by entrepreneurs), where is all the energy to charge the electric cars going to come from?
    I could go on, but this is the largest stumbling block for wide spread adoption of electric vehicles.
    Mike
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mike holden View Post
    Besides infrastructure (which, if given the demand, will be built by entrepreneurs), where is all the energy to charge the electric cars going to come from?
    I could go on, but this is the largest stumbling block for wide spread adoption of electric vehicles.
    Mike
    Most people will use their electric vehicles for commuting and errands during the day and charge them at night. At night, there's an excess of power available. The electric companies are giving incentives to EV owners to set a timer on their charger (at home) so that the charging occurs after midnight and before about 6am.

    A bigger question is how will we tax electric vehicles to pay for the roads. Today, we pay tax on fuel but there's no "road tax" on electricity (yet).

    Mike
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  10. #10
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    What are your thoughts on Electric Cars?
    They are the future. Hopefully they will be in mine.

    Currently they do have a frightening aspect. My neighbor has a Chevy Volt. It is often silent as it rolls along the road. Our road has no sidewalks and it is a bit scary after dark going out to check the mail and wondering if they might be rolling up behind me.

    jtk
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    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Our road has no sidewalks and it is a bit scary after dark going out to check the mail and wondering if they might be rolling up behind me.

    jtk
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike holden View Post
    B...where is all the energy to charge the electric cars going to come from?
    I have access to a fusion reactor in the sky.

    For people who continue to slander electric cars, what is the big plan after we run out of gas, coal, clean air and clean water? We can't just do nothing about it when there are options available.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    A bigger question is how will we tax electric vehicles to pay for the roads. Today, we pay tax on fuel but there's no "road tax" on electricity (yet).
    I'm happy to pay extra for annual registration, and I think there's a senate bill for that introduced by Sen. Barrasso(?). It will be solved and is not a big problem. The bigger question is all about how to make electric cars more affordable and drive up its adoption.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Yathin Krishnappa View Post
    I'm happy to pay extra for annual registration, and I think there's a senate bill for that introduced by Sen. Barrasso(?). It will be solved and is not a big problem. The bigger question is all about how to make electric cars more affordable and drive up its adoption.
    I'm not sure that a fee at registration would be the fair way to do a road tax. My opinion is that the tax should be based on how much you use the roads and not just on the ownership of a vehicle. Today, the fuel tax is an indirect way of taxing use. It also charges people who purchase vehicles that use a lot of fuel more than those who purchase vehicles that use less fuel.

    I participated in a study here in CA where they're looking at different ways to charge for the use of the roads. One way was to do it by miles driven, which you would report each year. While someone could lie, we have vehicle inspections for pollution every couple of years and mileage is reported as part of that inspection, so they'd catch people who under report.

    But taxing simply on mileage does not capture some other things that a fuel tax captures. Heavier vehicles, which put more stress on the roads, generally use more fuel and thus pay more tax. People who purchase a vehicle which is not fuel efficient (and thus emits more pollution) pay a higher tax.

    A "perfect" alternate road tax would continue these effects but I don't know what that system is yet.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  14. #14
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    Love electric cars. I've been driving electric cars almost exclusively for the last few years now and I'm excited to have more options on the market today than when I got my first electric car. In my family, our daily drivers are all electric cars (note the car maker's juvenile sense of humor in names of their cars) but there have been times that I wished I had a gas car. Electric cars today are terrible at hauling and chargers are not built for cars towing something (see picture of me trying to charge while hauling one of my father-in-law's cars). Hopefully that will be solved sometime, but today there's always an option to rent/borrow a gas-powered car like I've done on a few occasions.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post

    But taxing simply on mileage does not capture some other things that a fuel tax captures. Heavier vehicles, which put more stress on the roads, generally use more fuel and thus pay more tax. People who purchase a vehicle which is not fuel efficient (and thus emits more pollution) pay a higher tax.

    A "perfect" alternate road tax would continue these effects but I don't know what that system is yet.

    Mike
    In New York, heavier cars pay more in registration already. For electric cars, the equivalent to gas mileage is kWh -- heavier cars like the Model X use a lot more power for the same distance traveled when compared to lighter cars like the Bolt or the BMW i3. So, taxation can be on kWh rather than miles.

    We didn't have gas tax on day one of gasoline cars, or even the first few decades. I believe it was sometime in the 1930's or 1940's when they started taxing gas? So, we'll get there. Even electric cars need good roads... unless there's a drone revolution on the horizon. :-)

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