Cars Tesla Model S

Published on October 13th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Gasmobiles Will NEVER Be As Good As Electric Cars (Reader Comment)

October 13th, 2013 by  

Tesla Model S

For nearly two months now, I’ve been planning to repost the excellent reader comment posted below. The comment came on an article by Shai Agassi regarding the lessons automakers should learn from Tesla Motors (and Apple, Ford, and other technological pioneers). That original post is worth a read as a preface. I was tempted to add an extra preface of my own, but the reader comment is so good that I think I’ll just add an addendum. Without further ado, here’s the reader comment:

A paradigm shift occurs when a product comes out that is *fundamentally* better than current products at a similar price point.

Typical cars will NEVER be as safe as a car with a crumple zone as big as a model S, it’s physically impossible.

A typical ICE car will NEVER be able to accelerate and generate as much torque as an electric car in the 0-60 range.

A typical car will NEVER be as efficient as an electric. An ICE engine maxes out at ~40% with energy conversion, an electric motor is above 90%.

A typical car will NEVER be as simple as a pure electric, there are simply more moving parts.

A typical car will NEVER be able to match the handling / AWD of a vehicle with two independently controllable electric motors that can dynamically send power to any of the wheels at any time.

A typical car’s suspension will NEVER be able to match the smoothness of an all air suspension.

A typical car will ALWAYS need more maintenance work.

No oil company is ever going to give fuel away for free, while Tesla will give electricity away for free forever.

The list goes on and on and on. These are fundamental improvements that all ICE cars cannot match, because they physically cannot.

My addendum: indeed, 80% of people who have driven an electric car in an EV trial program in the UK are open to ditching gasmobiles. I don’t really need to repeat the points above, but seriously: smoother ride, better torque (awesome to feel it), smoother ride (again, you have to feel it), fewer mechanical problems and maintenance needs, much more efficient, doesn’t require you to fund global warming and oil dependency, super quiet, you aren’t exposed to so many pollutants (which are smelly and obviously bad for our bodies and minds), you’re safer, and it makes you feel better about yourself. 😉

As far as the cost, for many people, electric cars are now cheaper than gasmobiles over the course of a few years (a shorter timeframe than most are likely to own the car). Depending on your projections for the cost of oil/gas in the coming years, as well as the EV charging options your utility (or solar-powered roof) provides, you might very well be in that “better and cheaper” consumer boat.

Of course, if cost isn’t an issue and you simply want an awesome car, the Tesla Model S or a host of electric supercars are available.

Many people say that we are not yet sure whether EVs will take the market away from gasmobiles, or if hydrogen fuel cell cars will do so. It’s seems beyond obvious to me that EVs will eventually dominate. Again, look at the list above, and also look at the cost trends. Tell me if I’m missing something (even after all these years covering EVs and listening to the pessimistic anti-change “critics”).

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.


About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Folks, we’re now over 100 comments and into the territory in which Disqus gets squirrely. People are posting comments which Disqus is not displaying.

    So I’m going to shut down comments. I’m sure there will be plenty of other times to kick this can back and forth.

    Now let’s see if this one displays….

  • Darin Selby

    I disagree. the electric car must die as well. Who killed the electric car? GM? Chrysler? Who really knows, but good riddance!

    Everything about Li-ion storage battery is centralized, exotic and toxic. Yes, the prized Li-ion battery is constructed of TOXIC materials, just like its predecessor, the illustrious Ni-Cad, more toxic than mercury, that just quietly went away into the local landfills. No recycling incentives, just one big global environmental disaster.

    A recycling incentive? You mean give people money for cleaning the place up where they live?

    For the burden to recycle is put on to the consumer, and not financially encouraged by local government. Give money to people who recycle their old batteries? Have a deposit on batteries just like soda bottles. What a concept, eh?

    How could people be encouraged to recycle and AUTOMATICALLY start cleaning up their neighborhoods and so forth? By making the stuff that they bring into the recycling station valuable. Have the local government subsidize this instead of paying workers.

    People would take pride in their areas where they live and reside. If not, then the ‘Landlord Syndrome’ can set in. “It’s the landlord’s job to fix that, I pay good money to live here!” blah, blah. Same with a country, enter the U.S. governing of the mental.

    What sort of recycling program does your exotic battery have ALREADY set up? Is history repeating itself once more with another form of industrial tyranny, the lithium-ion battery running rare earth metal motors?

    What about the intense magnetic fields that radiate from these electric motors, which the passengers are literally sitting right next to? What are the long-term health effects of being bathed in an intense magnetic field while driving?

    What could be an alternative solution to the upcoming Li-ion pollution?

    A solar/hydrogen, Stirling engine-assist hybrid. a trailer-mounted, fold-flat, ‘DUAL-MIRROR Solar Concentrator, and also this drawing:

    Lightweight graphite spring cartridges could best be utilized in a ‘regenerative braking’ capture when going down hills! Probably 30% or better of the lost inertia from going up the hill could be regained.

    The spring power engine could supplement the human power when needed for smoothing out the hills!

    Spring power, now made with new materials like graphite. Here is the US PATENT of the best designed wind-up energy storage
    device I’ve seen yet! Use it to make electricity, and to make
    hydrogen! It could be an individual walking stick, or stacked together with many others for an increased power duration.

    Lightweight wind-up graphite spring cassettes that just snap
    onto a dynamo/flywheel! No more caustic chemicals involved with storing energy now to produce electricity later.

    A stationary-mounted bicycle wheel could be filled with concrete to store kinetic energy in a dual-ratcheting arraignment

    How to even more efficiently change back-and-forth-motion into round-and-round? No problem if you have one of these linear-to-rotary mechanisms:

    And there are NO BATTERIES that are needed in these processes! This is
    making full use of kinetic energy stored in flywheels, levers and
    springs, and to also use pendulum gravity-assist designs,

    -with the power take-off being a flexible driveshaft, which will easily thread through tight spaces to remotely give rotary power at a distance.

    And with a PEM electrolysis system means that the proton exchange membrane eliminates the need for any caustic KOH electrolyte used in the H2O electrolysis process!

    I’m now focused upon building another balancing rig, with a hydrogen-powered ‘steam punk’ theme! And, once this next ‘Chariot’ with its H2-1hp Stirling engine hybrid is built, it could become a ROLLING STAGE to generate much more interest and participation! (videos)^

    Please, do share with me your thoughts, Darin

    • StefanoR99

      Why would there be a problem recycling li-ion car batteries?

      Something like 99% of the lead-acid batteries from cars (because remember EVERY ICE HAS A BATTERY) are recycled – sulfuric acid, plastic case and lead are fully reused. It’s a government mandated thing. No reason why li-ion can’t have the same fate.

      • Darin Selby

        Maybe in an ideal world. Though, unless there is a financial incentive to recycling toxic waste, people will half-heartedly do it. Now you multiply that by 10 or maybe even 20 times the amount of toxic battery material in an electric car over a ICE car.

        Solar, concave mirror, steam H2 electrolyzer leaves a large percentage of this toxic waste behind and not created in the first place!

        The vehicles have swappable H2 canisters, just like we already do with propane. A simple H2 burner and basic 3 hp Stirling engine. No different procedure with lighting the burner.

        Maybe a slower speed means a dedicated ‘slow lane’ for those who want to opt out of the driver’s license, insurance and travel at 25mph top speed.

        The major trade-off being energy independence and a minimal amount of toxic material was used in the process.

        • StefanoR99

          The end of life for a motor car is already heavily legislated and nearly every part is recycled. Every car that goes to the crusher is in the process of being recycled. This applies to EVs the same as it does for gas cars. Li-ion batteries will be recycled same as lead acid already are. Period.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Additionally, EV batteries will likely be sold to utility companies when they are pulled from EVs. Most will have 70+% capacity remaining so will be useful for grid storage and smoothing for many years.

            Utility companies aren’t going to be dumping their used batteries in the bushes along side country roads.

          • Darin Selby

            “Period”? On the contraire, the policies aren’t near what they should be with Li-ion batteries. You think your U.S. governing of the mental is going to do the job for you? Now multiply that by millions of users and you have a toxic, environmentally-disastrous technology unleashed onto an unsuspecting public that is given no incentive financially to recycle spent batteries, as opposed to just throwing them away.

          • StefanoR99

            Consumer devices are not cars, there does need to be more work done to recycle batteries in cellphones etc.

            However a car’s end of life is heavily legislated – really can’t say it any other way 🙂



            Cars are the no1 recycled product in the US. Again, something like 99% of lead acid batteries are already recycled. The same will apply to lithium ion.

          • Darin Selby

            Is it applying to recycling Li-ion as of yet?

            What incentive do consumers have to bring back spent batteries?

            Where do they presently bring them back to in your area?

            How easy is it for the average person to presently do?

            Is there a money incentive, or food credit incentive being offered for returning them?

            Where do you get your statement, “99% of lead acid batteries are already recycled. ” from?

            I just read this tidbit of information: “While lead recycling is a well-established industry, more than 40,000
            metric tons (39,000 long tons; 44,000 short tons) ends up in landfills every year. According to the federal Toxic Release Inventory, another 70,000 metric tons (69,000 long tons; 77,000 short tons) are released in
            the lead mining and manufacturing process.[16]” and that is only the material that is reported.

            So why continue to practice an environmentally disastrous procedure when a much cleaner, simpler version is at hand? And that is, as I said before, what the solar hydrogen economy is all about.

            Sure, the hydrogen gas could be more efficiently utilized in a fuel cell. I believe that a basic liquid pistion, 3 hp external heat Stirling engine holds much promise. The pressurized hydrogen (200psi) is carried along in quick release tanks for easy swapping.

            But a couple of tanks that are safely filled with 200psi of hydrogen gas sounds a lot less toxic than lugging around batteries, wouldn’t you agree?

            And, once again I ask you, what about the intense magnetic fields that radiate from these electric
            motors, in which the passengers are literally sitting right next to? What are the long-term health effects of being bathed in an intense magnetic
            field while driving?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Darin, it would be a nice thing were you to read replies to your concerns rather than simply blathering away.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Again, Darin, used EV batteries have value. Utility companies want to purchase them for grid use. Users are not going to be tossing their batteries away.

            Furthermore it won’t be easy to extract a battery from an EV, they’re not like starter batteries. The businesses that replace batteries and that scrap cars will be the collection/sales points.

            You are not going down to your local auto parts store, pick up a new EV battery, and toss the old one in the alley behind someone else’s house.

  • dynamo.joe

    Bob is right. Building your EV with a long range is fairly stupid. All you really accomplish is lowering the efficiency of the vehicle with all the extra battery weight and incidentals.

    Nissan (Leaf) should just have a small two wheel trailer with either additional batteries to extend your range for long drives or even a trailer with a gas generator if you plan on taking a trip along some route with no fast charger network.

    You probably wouldn’t even buy the trailer, just rent it when you have a long drive coming up. Or maybe, as an early adopter in a rural community, you would have to (choose to) buy the trailer.

    I suppose it would even be possible for the trailer batteries to be your solar powered home’s main battery bank. So when you aren’t making a long trip it can power your house at night and when you are making a long trip, well then your house doesn’t need battery back up.

    This seems, to me, much more practicable than over-building EV’s.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Give the trailer a two point hitch and active steering and it would be a snap to back up. Eliminate the problems people have with trailers. We’ve already got backup video screens and cars are getting object detectors.
      Just set up rental/drop off lots at the main highway intersections.

      It’s yet another way to get around the range problem.

  • StefanoR99

    Add to that the potential longevity of the EV.

    A battery swapped Tesla in theory could hit the million mile mark with ease, with nothing more than routine maintenance of brakes and tires (maybe the odd bearing).

    Then factor in batteries that increase in energy density every couple of years, so that Tesla will end up with greater range / performance / lower weight / lower cost as it AGES!

    Once the used car market wakes up to this, the Model S used price (and future models they make) will simply flatten out at the cost of a battery pack replacement. Finally spending money on a car becomes a good investment.

    • Bob_Wallace

      It’s part of the solution as how we get to a more sustainable future. Rather than drive cars 130,000 miles build them to be driven a million. Every 150k/whatever bring them is for a refurbishing. Slap in a modular interior made of organic materials. Fresh coat of paint. New ride.

      • StefanoR99

        Agree 100%. You get the feeling that might be part of Tesla’s strategy. The model S seems highly upgradable.

  • JamesWimberley

    Minor niggle: ¨a vehicle with two independently controllable electric motors that can dynamically send power to any of the wheels at any time.¨
    If there are two motors, you can send power independently to two wheels. Four wheels needs four motors. But I´m not sure if electric 4WD conveys any worthwhile benefits.

    • Bob_Wallace

      James, it’s a little long, but IMO worth the time. Check out the level of control four smart motors can create.

      We might be able to greatly reduce snow/wet road accidents.

    • J_JamesM

      I had a bit of a quibble with that one as well. Arguably, the center of gravity from the battery placement is better for handling than a hypothetical configuration that, to my knowledge, doesn’t exist yet in a production vehicle.

      In addition, it ignores things that ICE cars can have like limited-slip differentials and other AWD traction-control tech.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Give this video a look. Some pretty impressive stuff can be done with four independently controlled motors.

        It’s a giant step past limited-slip and traction-control.

        • agelbert
        • agelbert
          • Bob_Wallace

            “Consider that if you have a low battery condition on more or less
            level terrain, switching to one motor only could instantly
            (potentially) quadruple your range.”

            Not really. It would still take the same amount of energy to move the car forward.

          • agelbert

            Well, maybe it wouldn’t quadruple your range but it takes more energy to run four electric motors than one so you would get some extra efficiency out of it as long as you aren’t straining the motor. That is why I pointed it it had to be on level terrain.

        • Jouni Valkonen

          That is great! First practical electric vehicle from big auto manufacturer! This would be real ICE killer if it had four door seden version available.

          It is curious that it is significantly less energy efficient than Tesla Model S 60kWh. It has only 250 km range, where as Tesla goes well above 300 km.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Perhaps you didn’t attend to the price. We’re still a ways from “practicable”.

            The LEAF, Spark and Focus have (according to some) too little range. The longer range EVs are too expensive for many new car buyers.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            The Mercedes is a race car. It is all about taking the corners faster than anything other car is physically capable of. So though it is heavy, lacks the acceleration of the Tesla Roadster’s rumored sub 2.5s 0-60 scores, or the economy of the Tesla S, it out does them all on the turns.

            This Mercedes would be perfect for James Bond racing up the hills of Monaco. I hope to see something like this in the next 007 movie.

  • Jouni Valkonen

    Unfortunately there is only one practical EV on the market and that is Tesla Model S. Anyway, good for Tesla. Bad for other car companies.

    Does anyone have an estimate what is the cost of 85 kWh Tesla powertrain, including battery pack, inverter, AC-motor and transmission? Is 35 000 dollars close?

    • brink

      Tesla needs to make the decision to move to a different power source. obviously it feels what is out there now is not ready for prime time. I argue they need to rethink using a battery pack and instead think of using a electric generator to power the vehicle

      • Jouni Valkonen

        Tesla explored electric generators before designing Model S, but they concluded that Chevy Volt approach is not economically feasible, because people do not want to buy hybrids. You will lost 80 % of the appeal of electric vehicle, if you fit ICE under the hood.

        • brink

          not a hybrid n not powered by gasoline. we are talking about a battery that is charged using electricity but totally different technology. electro static (electro magnetic) generator battery

          • Jouni Valkonen

            like I said, on board electricity generators are horrible for the fuel economy and they are not economically feasible.

            E.g. Fisker Karma was economic disaster although it was in pretty much in same situation few years back as Tesla was.

            BMW i3 has small range extender as an option, but I doubt that it is commercial success and very few people invests $3000 on range extender.

          • brink

            you have no idea of the technology i referred to do you?
            otherwise you would not have made that statement. these generators have 260wh/g for a comparable size configuration volt battery.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            Have you ever driven Fisker Karma?

          • brink

            i am going to end my conversation with you. you do not get it about this technology. it is the battery not an extender. DUH!!!

          • mds

            Picking another fight? Don’t have a cow man. Get some rest maybe.

          • mds

            Um you’re wrong about the Fisker Karma. They produced a PHEV like the GM Volt, but not as good, and tried to sell it at a higher price. That is why they failed. The GM Volt is selling fine.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            As Chevy Volt has no real competition among PHEVs, it should be a best seller car. But it is not. Over 90 % of cars sold are still non hybrid gasmobiles. Therefore Chevy Volt is not selling fine at all, but is a niche product.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Take an evolutionary step backwards?

        • brink

          no bob, what do you think is the drive train for the Tesla. i am talking about a drive train that itself is that is the power source

          • Bob_Wallace

            An “electric generator” means returning to the outdated technology of using tiny explosions under ones bonnet in order to propel their motor vehicle.

            How 20th Century….

          • brink

            like i said what do you think Tesla drive train is

        • J_JamesM

          I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that Brink is either a troll or suffers from some kind of disorder. He seems to have trouble distinguishing his beliefs from reality. For example, he’s convinced I’m a “Teabagger” despite my insistence to the contrary.

          • brink

            no you just talk like one

    • Bob_Wallace

      If you define “practical” to fit the Tesla S.

      People who have moderate length daily driving patterns and don’t drive long distances would find a “100” mile range EV quite practical.

      • Jouni Valkonen

        100 mile EV is good for the second car. Most people find 100 mile limit unattractive. Usually 200 mile is the practicality limit, because after 200 miles driving, people are already prepared to have a long coffee break or lunch break. Also range anxiety is serious issue and freezing temperatures may halve the actual range.

        • Bob_Wallace

          If I lived in Europe I’d be quite happy with a 100 mile range EV. With the excellent public transportation found there one doesn’t need to bother with driving long distances.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            You perhaps, but not most. I live in Finland and I definitely prefer driving. 300 km range is pretty much necessity in Finland due to cold winter.

          • mds

            What about Extended-Range PHEVs like the GM Volt? These are essentially EVs for normal short range commuting, but can be driven like an HEV for any longer distance, including 1,000 km ski trips.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            But you will lose lots of the benefits of EV. Including simplicity, performance and maintenance free.

            Like I predicted, very few are ready to pay $3000 extra for the BMW i3 range extender.

            Chevy Volt is not a best seller car and it has even hard time to compete with Nissan Leaf what has too short range for the most of the people.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You should check sales numbers and driving patterns.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If most of your driving days are within the electric range of a PHEV but you do take an occasional long trip then a PHEV could be right for you.
            You have no idea how many people will pay extra for a car that isn’t yet being sold.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            lol. 100 mile EV would usually work M-F but there are these two days called Saturday and Sunday. Then the 18 holidays. Then the 30 days of vacation. For M-F though it might just work but many people plan their lives for the days they are not at work.

          • mds

            Same comment:
            What about Extended-Range PHEVs like the GM Volt?
            These provide 90% of the fuel savings of an EV without any range anxiety.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Take another look at how we actually drive. If you know someone who routinely drives over 100 miles on their days off they may need to buy the Scramry300 rather than the Scramry100.

            And there must be people who are simply not driving very far, hardly ever….

          • Ivor O’Connor

            What is a scramry?

            “And there must be people who are simply not driving very far, hardly ever….”

            lol, yes, those would be the ones tied into the matrix. There are a lot of them. Healthy person though does something on the weekends.

          • Bob_Wallace

            A very fast Camry….

    • agelbert

      The BYD bus being built in CA isn’t practical? The Leaf isn’t practical? The BMW i3 isn’t practical? A whole bunch of EV motorcycles out there aren’t practical? The BYD EV taxis in Columbia aren’t practical?

      You need to do some research.

      • Jouni Valkonen

        If leaf was a practical car, it should be a bestseller car in United States, because it is a best and cheapest (due to incentives) car on its class. But it is no where near bestseller, because it is not practical due to too short range and lack of 120 kW supercharging option.

        Actually Tesla Model S is (soon) a bestseller car among electric vehicles in United States, despite that it is three times more expensive than LEAF.

        Tesla Model S is already the bestseller car in Norway because it is simply a practical car. It even outperforms Volkswagen Golf that is a popular midrange ICE vehicle and leaves LEAF into dust. In Norway, used Teslas are more valuable than new Teslas, because the queue for new Tesla is so long.

        BYD e6 EV is practical, but it lacks still supercharging network and is it even available for sale? And what is the price? And does it have 50 kWh battery?

        • Bob_Wallace

          Go back and look at the sales history of the Toyota Prius.

          Then reflect on how the Prius was not as great a leap to “newness” as the LEAF.

  • Tony Belding

    It’s clear that EVs offer a lot of compelling advantages. In particular, Tesla have driven a stake through the heart of the old conception that EVs were only glorified golf carts. (Remember the fad for NEVs a few years back? Seems quaint now, doesn’t it?)

    There are still some big obstacles for EVs to overcome, though, and we shouldn’t gloss over them. The cost of batteries is a problem. Range is a problem. Charging infrastructure is still being built out, with competing standards. Most EVs thus far have been converted from ICE platforms rather than designed to take full advantage of the EV’s technological benefits. Each of these issues is being worked on and will get better, but we aren’t there quite yet.

    • brink

      why is range a problem? isn’t that about one’s perception and daily use. I would argue the same (daily use) in terms of charging infrastructure. Most people have a gasoline car but they still hop on a plane to go any distance over 200 miles

      • J_JamesM

        The range IS a problem. It’s not that it is that ruinous just in and of itself, it’s that it’s still the one thing aside from initial cost that ICE cars are simply superior at.

        • brink

          what is a problem to you may not be to me. teabagger telling me what my problem is

          • brink

            i should have the right o chose you guys do believe in free market place. so just don’t buy one

          • J_JamesM

            What the hell did you call me?

          • brink

            you heard me. no self respecting liberal would tell me what i should feel 🙂

          • J_JamesM

            Oh, you did not just say that. It’s conservatives that live in a fact-free lala-land.

            Listen up, you twit. I did not tell you what you should feel. I simply pointed out the BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS and incontrovertible fact that electric cars cannot go as far as ICE cars. This is a problem, maybe not to YOU, but certainly to the EVs, as it’s one of the few areas they concede to ICE cars.

            You see, in economics, superior products have the tendency to generate more demand. So long as range continues to mar the electric car’s otherwise-perfect résumé, then it will serve to decrease demand. That makes it a problem. Got it?

          • brink

            not true, that is why i called you a teabagger, global attitude is changing about what a good economical value looks like in a world of tradeoffs. for instance while you celebrate an EPA shutdown you will be the first one screaming when the air is chocking you like it did in the 1970’s, 80’s through early 90’s.

            maybe they should start fracking at your neighbors house all in the name of supreme gasoline. give me a break it is about citizens expectation and what they want this world to look like n your viewpoint is fast becoming a dinosaur. N no i don’t got it

          • J_JamesM

            What the hell is wrong with you? Calling me a Teabagger DOES NOT MAKE IT SO. And putting words in my mouth DOES NOT MEAN I SAID THEM.

            For instance, your bizarre claim that I am “celebrating the EPA shutdown” when I said noting of the sort is completely wrong. I am not a strawman, you lunatic. I do not support fracking or environmental deregulation. My “worldview” is not becoming a dinosaur, because that isn’t my worldview!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Gentlemen, and I apologize to those to whom the word applies, how about less name calling and more productive discussion?

            Dial it back a level and let your damaged fee-fees recover.

          • J_JamesM

            Pardon me for saying, but how is a productive discussion possible when someone is accusing you of advocating for something that you actually oppose?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m suggesting that you both dial it back.

            I do know how to use time outs to cool things off if necessary.

          • J_JamesM

            Fine. I’ll dial it back. It’ll prove my point better- namely, that this guy is a total nut.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Fine. Argue the points.

          • brink

            point taken

          • brink

            my,my its not that serious

          • agelbert

            “You see, in economics, superior products have the tendency to generate more demand.”

            That’s the Santa Claus version of economics. When actual costs from infrastructure costs to environmental to subsidy costs from government corruption and energy products gaming of the playing field are figured, the horse was always cheaper and more reliable than an ICE car. I realize that is an extreme example but the roads were not paid for by ICE car makers but by we-the-people. That is corrupt economics.

            Your “range superiority” = “ICE car superiority” is a cherry picking straw man.

            A true apples to apples comparison leaves the ICE in the dust on health isssues in metropolitan areas alone without getting into the rest.

            Here in Vermont, not exactly a state where everything is considered urban or close by in traveling distance, 25% of all commutes is less than 5 miles and about 70% is less than 25 miles!

            Yet you want to claim this is about economics?

            I suggest you review the term “cost accounting” to learn whether it is justified economically to have a polluting vehicle that can go 1,000 km or more when you use it less than 10 or 20% a year for that purpose.


          • J_JamesM

            What is with everyone jumping to conclusions lately? I never said ICE cars were superior to EVs. It’s plainly evident to anyone with half a brain that EVs are superior.

            But that doesn’t mean they’re superior in every category. The one edge that the incumbent ICE vehicles have is that they have better range and faster “recharging.”

            When you quoted me above, I was referring to range specifications alone. If someone were looking at, say, speed, reliability, operating costs, environmental impact, handling characteristics, safety, etc., then they would see that EVs outcompete ICEVs. Except in range. And that scares buyers away, whether that’s logical or not. Whether you agree with it or not, range and recharging hassles are the absolute #1 excuse people give when they turn down affordable electric cars.

            Ultimately, my point is that an electric car with ICE-competitive range is better able to compete with ICE vehicles by undermining the primary justification against their use.

        • Jake R

          The range is *not* a problem for everyone. Most trips are short anyway. You could rent a car for longer trips.

      • There are many things irrational about range anxiety, as there are with other forms of fear. Just because I’m not a xenophobe doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist as something very real in the life of someone crippled by the fear. Some people still fear running out of gas, and it does happen. Unfortunately this isn’t a perfect world and we aren’t perfect people. If we wish to move forward we will need to thoughtfully consider the weaknesses and fears of others.

        • brink

          buying a car is an individual decision so the market place will dictate. fortunately people are changing their world view of their needs in terms of excess. range anxiety do not buy one

          • Bob_Wallace

            Having read several first hand reports of people who have driven EVs for a while one sees that range anxiety goes away fairly soon. Right now with limited range and fewer public charge points it is necessary to do more pre-trip planning, but that will change.

            The most concerned about range will probably be the last to switch over. Some may go the PHEV route as a way to wean themselves from the pump.

          • brink

            frankly if i knew my daily routine was 25-30 miles and i have a range of 140 miles i am not sweating it. i will just make sure i plug up every night

        • Bob_Wallace

          Agreed. But as we move into an electric and wired world our cars will be able to reassure us that all is well. They’ll inform us that it is time to stop for a charge and guide us to the best place (easy to drive to, available, wifi, clean restrooms, place to walk the dog, and food of our choice).

          Those of us who like our safety nets a big closer to the wire will probably be able to set the warning level higher, get notified when they’re down to 30 miles, not 15/whatever.

          And for those who aren’t good at heeding warnings we can design the head rest to administer a dope slap.

          • I’m buying stock in the company that comes up with the patent on the head rest with the “dope slap”!

  • andhavarapu

    I have a thought. Yes, in all those you are absolutely correct. But will an electric car ever sound as good as an ICE? NO. And as for today, will an electric car get you a 1000km range? No. Perhaps, I could top up along the way? NO.

    • Jouni Valkonen

      I think that EV sound better especially on lower speeds when I do not hear a thing but I still have full torque available.

      1000 km range is very possible with Tesla. You can drive first 400 km. Then stop for 20 min coffee break and get 250 km additional range. Then after 250 km have another coffee break and supercharge 250 km additional range.

      Or are you unhappy with that idea that you need to have two 20 min coffee breaks on 1000 km journey? Do really think that it is a real constrain?

      • andhavarapu

        Actually, I hadn’t completed my comment. I agree with you in terms of stops. That is a viable solution, and far more comfortable.

        • agelbert

          [img width=140 height=080][/img] [img][/img]

    • brink

      how many people make it a routine to drive 1000km even once a year

      • Jouni Valkonen

        In Finland it is very common that people drive 1000 km from Southern Finland to Northern Lapland when they go for skiing holiday on spring. It is far cheaper and convenient to drive with family than to fly and rent a car for a week.

        • brink

          we are in America dude not Finland. i am sure they have nice trains in Finland so I am sure it would not be an inconvience

          • Jouni Valkonen

            Are you sure that andhavarapu is from United States? Not every people live in US. You may be the only one in this discussion.

          • brink

            doesn’t matter he gets my point. if he lives in Europe he makes my case stronger due to their more convenient n more abundant rail n bus systems

          • Jouni Valkonen

            the point is that on vacation, you need still rent a car, because renting car is far more convenient than using public transit. Even in Europe, only poor folks use public transit.

          • brink

            what is wrong with public transit? obviously you do not use on a regular basis. it is still more convenient n Europe than US. so on vacation rent a car better yet an EV

          • brink

            not everyone riding the bus is poor either. how closed minded are you? no wonder there is a so called class war, folks like you look down on people”because they use public transportation?” a lot of people in NY would be offended by you looking down your nose at them

        • andhavarapu

          to be fair I think what Jouni is trying to get at is that, there are situations where you go with your goods and stuff that public transport is ill suited for.

      • andhavarapu

        Actually it is quite common. Not exactly as 1000 km. But more of a situation where you drive somewhere that does not have the charging infrastructure you would need to get back.

        • Bob_Wallace

          That’s a temporary situation. Early in the days of the gasmobile there weren’t enough places to refill ones tank. On some trips people had to carry additional jerry cans or ride a horse.

          When Interstate 5 opened up in CA the government contracted with gas companies to get them to install stations every 35 miles and subsidized them until there was enough traffic on the highway to make them profitable.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Will ICEVs sound like last century?

      Why, yes they will. 20 years from now we’ll point and laugh when one goes down the street.

      Range greater than 200 miles/300 km is greatly overrated.

      • J_JamesM

        Overrated or not, battery technology is going to make 500 mile range a reality eventually.

        • Bob_Wallace

          It may and that will be fine. But it really isn’t needed. All we need from EVs is the ability to drive a reasonable amount of time before stopping for a reasonable amount of time.

          A 200 mile battery pack with <20 minute 90% recharging lets one drive 500 miles with two modest stops. On a 500 mile driving day almost everyone is going to stop once for a meal and once to refuel with a gasmobile. With an EV the second stop might be a bit longer than tanking up would be, but an extra few minutes is not going to be an issue.

          Unless batteries get very cheap and very light there's no reason to purchase and haul all that extra capacity if you use it only a handful of times per year. People who drive long distances regularly might find it worth the money to them to buy more range.

          Look at how infrequently we drive more than 200 miles in a day…

          • J_JamesM

            I think there is a strong economic incentive for cheap and powerful (or cheap and lightweight) batteries. As fast as they’re getting, charging times are still a pain in comparison to filling up a gas tank, and few places are equipped to handle superfast charging times.

            “There’s no reason to purchase and haul all that extra capacity if you use it only a handful of times per year.”

            I would actually tend to disagree. The peace of mind would be there constantly, and having high(gas-competitive) ranges would be attractive to first-time buyers. It’s like a smartphone battery- the Droid Razr, for example, prides itself on having about two days’ usage of battery life. Even if people would very rarely use such a capacity, it clearly informs their decision to buy one.

          • Bob_Wallace

            A 200 mile range Camry for $20k or a 300 mile range Camry for $25k.

            People who are making their first EV purchase might spend the extra $5k due to range anxiety. Next time they might question the logic of spending that extra money when the only trips longer than 200 miles they take are to Granny’s for Thanksgiving.

            There are multiple solutions for the range-thing. Designing EVs to hold 300/400 mile packs but selling them with as little as 100 mile packs then making additional packs rent-able along travel routes would be one. Better Place has the technology to swap out batteries in less than two minutes.
            Plenty of rapid charge stations along the way is another. I’m now thinking Level 3 “food courts”. Parking lots shared by a variety of restaurants from fast food to something of higher quality. Multiple outlets per charger so that people don’t have to unplug and move as soon as their cars are charged. Other facilities such as dog walks supplied by the restaurants and shops.

            And there’s on-the-go inductive charging that South Korea is now testing with a couple of buses on a 15 mile route. Wire about 10% of our roadways for inductive charging and give EVs just enough battery capacity for normal ‘around town’ driving, pretty much what the LEAF has.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            I see inductive charging a big selling point for the garage. Who wants to plug in? Plugging in is like opening and closing your garage door by hand. Disgusting. Give me an inductive charger built into the garage floor. Done!

          • Bert:Prowell

            Yes you may be right on that logic but what is logic, when I spent my money on solar power I loss money, 6 years later the price drop, my logic was not sound, if I new that the price would drop to less then 50 cents a watt I would of waited.

            Same with electric cars buy now or wait to the price to drop, buy now with 200 mile rage or wait to the 400 mile rage come in 6 year time. How ever we look at it nothing make logic. The only thing I can say is have it now or wait later, any way most people waste money on sports car that are more then $100,000K so what is $5K to most people today around the world, it only those at the bottom end that count such little money.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            I’m hoping batteries become cheap enough to come standard with a 1 to 10K range. Hope I live that long.

          • TJ Cans

            What we need is more oil to burn so cars don’t need battery to run 200 miles. Just like solar power try to build a solar power car and drive it 1 mile. That why we need oil, to run the chainsaw to cut trees down, to burn in the fire place.

            Solar power will never replace oil.

      • agelbert

        “Will ICE Vs sound like last century?

        Why, yes they will. 20 years from now we’ll point and laugh when one goes down the street.”


        • Ivor O’Connor

          ICE Vs are already din-o-saur-o-bils. Nobody wants them unless they have to have them for special purpose transportation.

    • Steve Gaddis

      The sound of an ICE will soon amount to nostalgia.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Like horse farts…. ;o)

        • Ivor O’Connor

          As nostaligic as carefully picking a path through the streets of yesteryear when horses did more than just fart.

    • SteveEV

      i have experience. my EV sounds much better than any ICE i have owned. it also drives better and costs less. i can’t think of any good reasons to remain dependent on gasoline.

      • agelbert

        Well said. And there is another bit of disruptive technology on the way with EVs that will make ICE cars be considered safety hazards!.

        What is the new technology? It is, due to the low sound levels on an EV, a device that can Doppler in on the sound of a rapidly approaching vehicle on a collision course and initiate evasive maneuvers or at least warn the driver to turn away from it. Aircraft have this with radar. We can get a cheap and safe version with a type of passive sonar. Just think what that would do to avoid highway accident injuries or death and car repairs. Having an EV (this would be only available on an EV) would slash car insurance too!

        The future is renewable energy electric with 100% EV transportation. On cold days, people like you can now get in their EVs inside the garage and get warmed up with seat and or car heat before they open the garage door with the remote!
        Thank you for making the world a better place.

    • StefanoR99

      My everyday 4-banger sounds like dogshit, which replaced my nice sounding BMW 6 cylinder due to fuel costs.

      In fact most cars sound like crap. Nearly all 4 cylinders. Have you heard diesels that now cover europe? UGH.

      Only a few exotics sound nice with v8, v10 and v12 and maybe flat 4s along with inline 5 and 6s. I would prefer that gas is kept for those cars rather than waste it on a daily commute. Keep gas for Ferrari F40s for example.

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