By on March 21, 2014

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Yes, we know water is wet too, but this study from the AAA provides some interesting findings regarding how extreme temperatures affect the driving range of electric vehicles.

Apparently, the extreme temperature problem cuts both ways

Vehicles were tested for city driving to mimic stop-and-go traffic, and to better compare with EPA ratings listed on the window sticker. The average EV battery range in AAA’s test was 105 miles at 75°F, but dropped 57 percent to 43 miles when the temperature was held steady at 20°F. Warm temperatures were less stressful on battery range, but still delivered a lower average of 69 miles per full charge at 95°F. 

AAA performed testing between December 2013 and January 2014. Each vehicle completed a driving cycle for moderate, hot and cold climates following standard EPA-DOE test procedures. The vehicles were fully charged and then “driven” on a dynamometer in a climate-controlled room until the battery was fully exhausted.

Anyone who has spent time in Texas in the summer knows that high temperatures are sufficient to render your phone too hot to use, and the cold is notoriously harsh on battery life for any electronic device, let alone an electric car. But how about the use of wipers, HVAC systems and other essentials for winter (and well, summer) driving, all of which requires battery power when used in an EV.

In temperate climates like Southern California, EVs will always be a viable, 365-day proposition. In cold countries like Norway, where driving distances are short, fuel is astronomically expense and taxes are high for gasoline and diesel cars, EVs can make sense. But given the drops in range when the temperatures hit either end of the scale, it’s tough to see how they can become a viable, mass-market proposition in the near future for much of the United States and Canada.

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112 Comments on “AAA: Extreme Temps Hurt EV Range...”


  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Since the early 1920′s nearly all motor vehicles have had electric starters. They run into well known problems when it is too hot or too cold.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I gotta buddy-a-mine who lives has one. After seeing this article, I asked him if that had applied to his Leaf. He keeps it in a garage. I’m not so sure this will apply unless you keep your car outside, overnight and it gets chilled to the core.

    If you’ve got the car plugged in, isn’t there a setting you can select so it stays “relatively” warm?

    • 0 avatar
      Sky_Render

      But what if he drives his Leaf to work on a 20*F day? By the time he leaves for home (or lunch), his car will be cold-soaked.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My Leaf is garage-kept. The only benefit is I charge it late at night (3 am) so the battery is a little warmer. Besides that, the battery basically operates at whatever ambient temperature is.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        Actually, 2102 Leafs and later have a battery heater, but it only operates in extreme cold conditions which would literally freeze the battery to the point that control electronics wouldn’t allow the car to move:

        http://green.autoblog.com/2011/06/17/2012-nissan-leaf-battery-heater-winter/

    • 0 avatar

      Wish that was true. Nissan went without adding temperature control of the battery. I think this is a mistake, some vehicles such as Tesla will keep the battery warm as along as it is plugged in.

      As for sitting outside at work, that does have an impact, but if the battery starts the day at say 70F it won’t reach ambient temperature for a long time, certainly more time than it sits outside at work.

      My next EV will probably be a Tesla because of the effect the winter had on the LEAF’s range. Fortunately I had somewhere to plug in at work making my return journey possible. In the spring/summer/autumn it doesn’t need to be charged at work to get home, just for the 10 weeks of winter.

  • avatar
    Pastor Glenn

    No, Rod, the problem continues to exist for electric cars no matter what, because cold batteries do not work as well as warm, and hot batteries do not work as well as warm. Cold is the worst “enemy” however. It doesn’t seem to matter which type of battery is involved, either.

    But, this is news?

    In other news, the sun came up this morning, there is oxygen in the air we breathe and we were all born of mothers.

    I’d considered getting a Leaf and realized the real-world daily range was down to about 40 miles in -20 degrees F. so thought – um, not quite enough safety measure for me to get to town and then home on icy snowy roads when I might not be able to plug in during the day. (Lots of people with “conventional” SUV’s and cars constantly parking in hybrid/electric only please parking spots around town, you see).

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I would not call these the “worst enemy” of EV batteries. This issue is a temporary one–simply warming up the battery restores its range.

      An article recently on Autoblog pointed out how quickly capacity diminished for Leafs in AZ. The purpose of the study was to compare fast charging to regular charging (which had a small effect), but there was a huge drop-off for both groups, most likely due to temps over 100 F causing permanent damage to the battery. I am not aware of such permanent damage caused by cold temperatures.

      • 0 avatar
        Carfan94

        That’s what i was wondering. I live in the south, and i would be much more concerned about the batteries getting too hot than too cold, Plus it seems like the a/c would eat up a lot of range.

        • 0 avatar
          Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

          AC really doesn’t impact range all that much compared to heating. AC at full blast is in the 3kW range, heater(s) at full blast more like 5-6kW.

          This is yet another reason I wish Volts had 6.6kW charging: you can exceed 3.3kW rather easily in cold conditions while doing a remote start.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      Reverend – Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average human. Non compos mentis.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I actually had a good look at a Volt last fall. Nice car, and the discounts and warranty were tempting. I had some concerns, about cold, weather,and winter driving in general.

    I would be a perfect candidate for a Volt. I’m retired, we live in suburbia. I figured, I could almost eliminate gasoline costs.

    Then I started thinking about, slush,and freezing rain, and extreme cold. A morning of running around town, you need wipers,,defrost,heat high fan speeds. I had doubts that the Volt battery could deliver all of the above, at minus 20 C {-2 F}. I would be using the gas engine.

    Here in Ontario hydro is not cheap. Norway has a climate similar to us. As Derek pointed out their gas costs are staggering. Up here were flirting with 5 U.S.D a U.S gallon. If it was 8 dollars a gallon, I might of thought different.

    I just couldn’t get my head around the Volt. I’m aware that battery tech is come a long way. So have 4cyl cars.

    I give up a lot of power, and convenience when I traded the 2ss Camaro, and my big a$$, gas pig of a truck, for a 2.5 Impala. I won’t live long enough to justify the deprecation costs.

    Handing over a 100 bucks a week for gas, was pi$$ing me off. The Volt was very tempting. I just couldn’t do it. I don’t see too many Volts on the road up here. Perhaps I’m not the only one, that doesn’t trust the EV technology against our nasty climate.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Did you drive the Volt? If you don’t want to get one, don’t drive it. Driving in electric mode is very seductive and you can get hooked pretty quickly. I’ve had my PHEV for less than three weeks and I don’t think I could go back.

    • 0 avatar
      Hillman

      Why not lease it? That way the battery will be GM’s problem in 3 years.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Mikey, you know the obvious solution. I go a long, long way on a hundred bucks’ worth of gas.

      ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      It’s a shame, the Volt works pretty well in cold weather. Plus, you can remote start it in a garage without worrying about CO poisoning, and it gets the cabin and battery nice and toasty before you leave. Electric range suffers, but you still end up using less gas year round, assuming your use case matches the Volt’s efficiency envelope (~80mi or less between charges).

      There was a cold spell a few weeks ago where the roads iced up and ambient temps caused my Volt to run the engine for heat. The car handled about as well as any other in that situation, though I had to drive it in D rather than L because the higher regeneration settings would cause my front end to wobble while decelerating (torque steer + black ice).

      • 0 avatar
        Blackcloud_9

        Dr. Ken,
        Do you normally drive your Volt in “L”? I use Low for heavy stop-n-go traffic but otherwise I leave it in Drive.
        I know it doesn’t hurt the electric motor or transmission to leave it in L all the time although I find it’s urgency to decelerate harder to modulate.

        • 0 avatar
          Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

          I drive it in L at all times, except (now) for black ice conditions. I prefer stronger regen and IMO it’s probably a little bit safer since you get a bit more braking when you’re taking your foot off the accelerator and transitioning to brake.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex Mackinnon

      If you keep it plugged in it keeps the battery warm. About 5°C. When you tell it to preheat the car (like a remote starter), it heats the battery up to 10ish °C. A 220V charger is a good idea for this though.

      Canadian Volts don’t seem to be doing bad on Voltstats.net. There aren’t even that many out here in BC, which has perfect EV weather.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Up until a few weeks ago, I was thinking that a pure electric car was the way to go. After driving a plug in hybrid for the last 15 days, I’m thinking otherwise. Cold weather does a double whammy on electric cars in that it reduces the amount of electricity available and increases the demand because of the need to heat the cabin. With a PHEV, you get the best of both types. Cold weather? Use the cabin preheat while the car’s plugged in, it’s warm when you get in. Need more heat along the way? Start the engine, use the waste heat to warm the cabin. Slow traffic? Use the battery. Highway travel? Use the engine. Short trip? Use the battery.

    You do pay a certain price in complexity, as you’ve added a charging system to an already complex hybrid car, but there are a few parts the car doesn’t have (starter, alternator), and the the electric motor/ engine/generator based CVT is a brilliant and elegant solution.

  • avatar
    autojim

    Dammit, Kreindler, you put my “In other news, water is wet” rejoiner in the lead.

    Well-played, sir. Well-played.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’ll bite, so here is my $0.02 (as a 2012 Leaf driver in western PA):

    1. HVAC is the only meaningful draw on the battery, besides the motor. All the other accessories total up to nothing, essentially. Cabin heating draws a lot of power, but the ’14 Leaf now uses a heat pump which is supposed to be substantially more efficient.

    2. After some consternation, I’ve figured out that my car is following the expected performance for hot and cold, and battery degradation over time (cycles). The Leaf’s gas gauge is called the ‘guess-o-meter’ on the forums; it basically lies. This winter, I learned to multiply the displayed range by about 0.6 to figure out actual range remaining, which turned out to be quite reliable. With the warmer weather, that factor will rise to about 0.8-1.0.

    3. Unlike the Tesla vampire drain problem (now basically solved), the Leaf shows no loss even while sitting outside all day in the frigid cold.

    4. Thermal effects have been well-documented by many people, but this chart is quite useable:
    http://news.fleetcarma.com/2013/12/16/nissan-leaf-chevrolet-volt-cold-weather-range-loss-electric-vehicle/

    5. NOBODY should purchase an EV thinking that the new-battery range only needs to be equal to their round-trip commute. The mfrs can and should do better about communicating this, starting with a graph like FleetCarma devised.

    6. I don’t know what ‘mass market’ is, but I guess selling 100k+ Leafs and 50k+ Teslas isn’t ‘mass market’. The Leaf outsells the Porsche 911 and many other mainstream cars generally considered to be ‘mass market’. It doesn’t need to sell like a Corolla to be successful.

    7. Another red herring: People always say they’ll consider an EV when the range is (your number here). EVs don’t need to have the range of a Passat TDI to be successful. They just need to work for the person who buys them. My 18-mile round-trip commute is quite compatible with an EV whose range is compromised due to the cold. I have other cars for the occasional longer trip.

    8. Refill rate is the real problem for EVs, even Tesla’s Supercharger. Battery technology just isn’t there yet.

    9. A secondary problem for EVs will be resale value. Even I’m not sure I’d want to buy an EV used.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      SCE to Aux – - –

      The EV reduction in range with cold temperatures is not new. What is new os the degree of failure.
      The AAA reports that as much as a 57% reduction.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/03/20/cold-sharply-cuts-range-of-electric-vehicles/6622979/

      But EV’s may soon be a thing of the past, thankfully.
      Mazda’s new versions of “SkyActive” technologies are creating a diesel-like petrol engine that is alleged to provide comparable “well-to-wheel” CO2 and milage as EV’s without all the EV problems.

      http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/next-generation-mazda-engines-eclipse-electric-cars-emissions

      —————

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Of course Mazda’s calculations will show their future SkyActive engines are ‘cleaner’ than an EV, but I frankly don’t believe it. Of course, Mazda has no EV in the works, so they have to sell what’s in the box. Everybody has their own formulas for EV ‘greenness’. And the Mazdas certainly won’t get 100 mpg.

        As for the AAA report – none of it is new.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @SCE to AUX
          It’s apparent that you are an EV supporter.

          But there are some misconceptions you have regarding EVs.

          I don’t know if you drive one to be a Greenie or because of the socialist handouts to make them competitive.

          If you are driving them to be a greenie, you are a very mislead person.

          First you stated that you garage your EV. This keeps it warm. So, how much greenhouse gasses do you consume to achieve this?

          You also stated that you can’t understand how an internal combustion engine can be greener. It’s quite simple.

          How much carbon is produced to charge your car? Also, what is the energy loss during this power transmission?

          How much additional greenhouse gas is created to manufacturer your vehicle?

          How is the vehicle recycled? I don’t think many would realise how polluting modern electrical and electronics are during manufacture.

          How green are EVs in reality?

          It might make you feel warm and fuzzy driving these vehicles. But EVs aren’t the future. They have been ‘manufactured’ to be the future by government interference.

          Without the wasteful government handouts these vehicles would still only be used as pavement sweepers, forklifts and golf buggies and remote controlled buggies and cars.

          Lithium should be saved for ipads, laptops and cordless drills. These are more useful in the real world.

          How much more taxpayer dollars will be wasted to make a better battery?

          Mankind is most efficient and creative during war. Like war, when and if we ever have the requirement for EVs we will find a solution.

          Why waste taxpayers money?

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            EV’s have the capability (through solar panels and windmills) to be powered *entirely* by renewable sources, loosening the hold that oil, gas and coal have on our lives – we just have to decide to change.

            Imagine a world where Putin’s natural gas would hold no power over people, who could thumb their noses at pr!cks like him and companies like ExxonMobil who just signed a HUGE deal with the Russians to drill in Russia, giving them even more sway over world energy policy.

            In other words, EV’s, solar and wind power is a way of giving a gigantic middle finger to these manipulators, and all of those who support their control over the world for the sake of profit over people.

            Anyone who uses the term “greenies” in a way that implies that they are being manipulated by the government fails to see the tyrannical yoke that the fossil fuel industry is desperately trying to maintain, and where much of the anti-EV hype likely originates.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @Big Al:

            I’m not a greenie; I’m actually a proud member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. I don’t buy the myth of man-made global warming for three reasons: 1) leftists’ solutions to it always include more regulation and taxation, 2) all the other planets are warming, 3) the Earth’s energy system is far larger than what Man can affect.

            But I will challenge the worn argument that EVs are dirtier than ICEs. This subject has been studied extensively. Even the dirtiest coal-generated electricity is a little cleaner than an ICE, and cleaner electricity is even better.

            As for the money, in principle I don’t support taxpayer subsidies. But the subsidy did seal the deal for the Leaf since the money was on the table, and I’m now spending only $20/month US to drive the car.

          • 0 avatar

            > 2) all the other planets are warming,

            Apparently according to some temp is too hard to measure with a global network of probes, but easy to measure with no probes.

            > 3) the Earth’s energy system is far larger than what Man can affect.

            I thought engineers were taught how to compare numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            u mad scientist – - -

            1) Max atmospheric Martian temperature, at ground level, ~ at the equator, 11 Feb 1978, “Viking 1″ = 35 deg F.

            2) Max atmospheric Martian temperature, at ground level, ~ at the equator, 25 Jan 2004, MERS-B (“Opportunity”) = 71 deg F.

            Mars is the “canary in the gold mine”, since its thin atmosphere is super-sensitive to heating through small changes in solar output and emission cycles.

            ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_Mars, and others.

            ————-

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            Shaker – - –

            1) Yes, EV’s could be powered by electricity from wind, as I have said many times. But that is not the point. The point is the deficiencies of running the bloody things. One way to get around that, and still produce light-weight, nicely performing vehicles, is the use of the Audi process that harnesses wind-powered electricity for hydrolysis of sea water, to react resulting H2 with CO2 taken from the atmosphere, to create CH4 (or gasoline later). Then run your manual transmission ICE’s happily knowing that you are reducing CO2 and saving the planet, if you wish.

            http://www.wvcoal.com/Research-Development/audi-is-using-renewable-energy-to-convert-co2-into-methane.html

            2) I happen to enjoy my yoke. Everyone has one of some type. I have a little jar of Shell V-Power gasoline (ETOH-free) sitting on my kitchen counter. I open it and sniff it every morning in deep appreciation (or maybe I sniff it deeply in appreciation?). It reminds me of the substance that powers our civilization, our mobility, our victories in war, and our freedoms at home.

            So, every time I see an EV and the societal degeneration it represents, I am overcome by feelings of nausea and revulsion. Now I have take an aspirin and lie down for a while…

            ———–

          • 0 avatar

            > 1) Max atmospheric Martian temperature, at ground level, ~ at the equator, 11 Feb 1978, “Viking 1″ = 35 deg F. 2) Max atmospheric Martian temperature, at ground level, ~ at the equator, 25 Jan 2004, MERS-B (“Opportunity”) = 71 deg F.

            In a way it’s harder to address claims of 2+2=22 than 2+2=5 because one is just so wrong that it’s questionable the claimant grasps what numbers are nevermind where these specific ones come from.

            So perhaps instead of me making more fun of this, you can reveal what crackpot site made it up because they sure didn’t get it from any kind of science paper.

            > Mars is the “canary in the gold mine”, since its thin atmosphere is super-sensitive to heating through small changes in solar output and emission cycles.

            I’ve sufficently summarized this before in http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/cadillac-elr-sells-just-99-units-in-february/#comment-2895345

            and have specifically made mockery of it in
            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/cadillac-elr-sells-just-99-units-in-february/#comment-2894297
            and
            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/qotd-toyota-not-tesla-as-a-force-of-disruption/#comment-2893145

            People who aren’t technically minded just aren’t going to understand this science stuff. Better leave it those who can.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            NGOM:
            1. The fact that Audi’s technology will keep ICE’s pretty much as they are, and this tech is being touted (edit – derided – I should read things) on a “pro-coal” website makes me wonder, and I’m sure that fossil fuel companies would ensure that this technological advance stays prohibitively expensive for as long as necessary. It’s certainly a way to keep ICE cars on the road a bit longer.
            2. Sniffing gasoline (especially Shell V-Power) before breakfast increases the likelihood that one will NASCAR their way to work, snaking around EV drivers that clog up our freeways (Just remember to replace the lid on the jar afterwards) :-)

            Edit: My point is that if we continue to burn fossil fuels in our daily commutes, these fuels will require more expensive (and environmentally destructive) methods for extraction, and fossil fuel addiction (as President Bush so eloquently stated) will gradually ruin our economy, to the benefit of the few. If we can divert an increasing amount of transportation demand to renewables, we can stem this tide and keep fossil fuels available and affordable for the necessary industrial, chemical and plastic production use without having to drill an additional million holes in yours and my backyards.

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            Shaker, again – - -

            You said, “The fact that Audi’s technology will keep ICE’s pretty much as they are, and this tech is being touted (edit – derided – I should read things) on a “pro-coal” website makes me wonder, and I’m sure that fossil fuel companies would ensure that this technological advance stays prohibitively expensive for as long as necessary. It’s certainly a way to keep ICE cars on the road a bit longer.”

            The Audi CO2 Process has been reported for at least the past year, mostly on “green” websites. It is a coincidence that I chose a “coal” website for this reference. Go to Google, and enter “Audi e-gas” for any other references you wish. And yes, I certainly hope that glorious ICE’s can be kept on the road forever…. running on sea water** if necessary (^_^)!….

            ** i.e., the Audi e-gas process.

            —————

        • 0 avatar
          css28

          SCE to Aux: “I don’t buy the myth of man-made global warming for three reasons: 1) leftists’ solutions to it always include more regulation and taxation…”

          What do “leftists’ solutions” have to do with the veracity of man-made global warming?

          Why not own up the truth that you can’t deny that man had some effect on it but you don’t want to do anything about it?

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            css28 – - –

            “Man-made Global Warming”, by rigorous scientific terminology, does not even hold the status of a “Theory”. It is a “Hypothesis” at best; and an “Explanatory Suggestion” as a more likely classification. It lacks direct functional (of a function) experimental evidence; it has some phenomenological and correlative indications. That’s all. (But so did the stock market in tracking the phases of the moon in the 1960′s, with r^2 =0.94.)

            The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), largely a wealth-equalization political group that “votes” on what climate science is, has been remarkably ridden with corruption, suppression of opposing arguments, and absence of qualified scientists in the very topic under consideration. This especially applies to long-term atmospheric and archeological climatologists. Look at the membership credentials yourself.

            Hardly a credible organization to lead the nations of the world into economic disaster…and China knows it, even if we don’t.

            ————-

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …So, every time I see an EV and the societal degeneration it represents…

            You could not be more wrong. EVs are hardly a universal answer, but if you want to see society degrade, just stay with the status quo of drill baby drill.

          • 0 avatar

            > “Man-made Global Warming”, by rigorous scientific terminology, does not even hold the status of a “Theory”.

            To the contrary the fundamental mechanisms of warming are better understood and more empirically demonstrable than evolution or the big bang.

            To be fair though to people who don’t know any science they’re equally mystical magic differing only by the perceived authority of the practitioners, so denying any one is no different denying voodoo or the loch ness monster.

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            golden2husky – - –

            Please see my comment to “shaker” above. I agree that “drill baby, drill” by itself is no long-term (>2050) solution, but the Audi method may be or is:

            One way to get around that, and still produce light-weight, nicely performing vehicles, is the use of the Audi process that harnesses wind-powered electricity for hydrolysis of sea water, to react resulting H2 with CO2 taken from the atmosphere, to create CH4 (or gasoline later). Then run your manual transmission ICE’s happily knowing that you are reducing CO2 and saving the planet, if you wish.

            http://www.wvcoal.com/Research-Development/audi-is-using-renewable-energy-to-convert-co2-into-methane.html

            ————–

          • 0 avatar

            > http://www.wvcoal.com/

            To clarify the whole climate situation, the necessary existential stance of the fossil fuel industry is that CO2 is not a pollutant despite all evidence to the contrary.

            That’s why a plurality of “scientists” who deny AGM are chemical engineers and such in their employment, not unlike the tobacco “scientists” of yore.

            These are people with a lot of money, and concocting “science” which is indistinguishable from the real thing to complete laymen is well within reach. This isn’t stuff that comes from research, but rather con artists whose only job it is make official looking PR with sufficiently large words that dummies are impressed.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        That will totally depend on how the electricity is generated. If that EV is located in a region in China where almost all the electricity is from coal, then the diesel might have lower total C02 emissions. If it located in France where almost all the electricity is from nuclear power, not a chance.

        At least in the US, the tendency is for electric generation to become cleaner, while worldwide the tendency is for oil production to become more energy intensive. There’s also a tendency towards more renewable electric generation. The amount of renewables in our diesel fuel supply is miniscule, and unless one of the algae based biofuel efforts pans out, will remain that way.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          And what if it is located in Japan. Yes, the nuclear energy is clean CO2 wise, but do I get a per mile rating for Iiodine 131 and Cesium? No free rides unfortunately.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            Depends. If you build a reactor in a seismic zone and only engineer it to tolerate a moderately severe earthquake, when a severe one comes along, you just might.

      • 0 avatar
        css28

        After 8 months and 7,600 miles of Volt ownership I’ve used less than 20 gallons of gasoline (38 mies a day in metro Detroit).
        There’s a study somewhere that states that Volt owners log more electric mies than Leaf owners (despite having half the reported battery range. Why? Because we can use it without range anxiety.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          What I’ve read is that Volt owners make much heavier use of public chargers than Leaf owners, because they’re trying to minimize their use of gasoline – not because of range anxiety by Leaf owners.

          Leaf drivers never have to brag about how little gas they use. :)

          • 0 avatar
            Carfan94

            +1

          • 0 avatar
            css28

            My take is that a (smart) Leaf owner isn’t going to put himself in a situation where he *has* to use a public charger to get home. Volt owners use them because they can (but don’t have to).
            Just about any public charger that charges for its use (say, $1/hr) doesn’t make economic sense for me (vs. using the gasoline engine).
            I use free ones if I go to a movie (or stop at Meijer on the way home) because I want to encourage the retailers to offer them and because I *can*.

          • 0 avatar
            Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

            “Leaf drivers never have to brag about how little gas they use. :)”

            They also can’t go from Austin to Snows BBQ and back on the same day.. Unless they take their backup cars ;)

    • 0 avatar

      > The Leaf’s gas gauge is called the ‘guess-o-meter’ on the forums; it basically lies. This winter, I learned to multiply the displayed range by about 0.6 to figure out actual range remaining

      It probably assumes a certain optimal driving circumstance. If a linear reduction makes it accurate, I guess the voltmeter on their li-on battery works.

      > People always say they’ll consider an EV when the range is (your number here). EVs don’t need to have the range of a Passat TDI to be successful. They just need to work for the person who buys them.

      Driving range is not a fixed point but a distribution. EV as an only-car simply doesn’t work for the long tail without a support infrastructure:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/qotd-toyota-not-tesla-as-a-force-of-disruption/#comment-2895713

      > 9. A secondary problem for EVs will be resale value. Even I’m not sure I’d want to buy an EV used.

      Other than the battery a used EV should be better than ICE drivetrain. A battery can be easily tested.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    This is news?

    Perhaps to congresscritters, MSM low-SAT dwellers, and other scientifically illiterate types.

    But readers of this blog yawn……

  • avatar
    George B

    Climate also affects hybrid car fuel efficiency. People living in a city with horrible traffic and a moderate climate probably save money driving a hybrid. Add in tax incentives and solo access to HOV lanes and I’d probably own a plug-in hybrid in Los Angeles. However, all batteries seem to die prematurely here in Texas if they spend all day in the sun on a concrete parking lot. Tried a bunch of different what-if calculations using Excel and I can’t get the hybrid to win at current battery and gasoline prices. The issue is non-hybrid fuel efficiency has improved rapidly while EV batteries have remained very expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      All gasoline engines also lose efficiency at cold temp extremes. I see a 10-15% efficiency reduction from November until March in my gasoline powered vehicles. I see the same % drop in my hybrid. Most gas electric hybrids will not let you run in full EV mode until the gas engine is up to a certain operating temp.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        If you do a lot of short trips where the car has time to get cold again, then I would expect to see that kind of loss, but in my 25-mile-each-way commute, where my car takes like 6 miles to get up to temp on each leg, I am not seeing anything like a 10%-15% drop and I can’t think why I would.

        ICE vehicles take a hit when it’s cold out, but nowhere near what EVs take, and they don’t take a hit when it’s hot out (except for A/C use…and all vehicles take that hit, however they’re powered).

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          My hybrid has only had a 1 mpg drop in overall MPG during the “polar vortex” winter. Why? I start it and then walk my dog before I drive to work at 5:20AM. I don’t do than normally. Other than the cold start bit, I’d imagine a heat engine would be more efficient the greater the temp delta. In the old days, my Fury would have more power during really cold (single digit) weather.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        What are the cold temps in your area? In my area the winter temps are from just under freezing to mid 40′s and my conventional gas engine vehicles do not loose any significant efficiency. Now my Wife’s 2010 Fusion Hybrid does see a 10% reduction in MPG in the winter comapared to what it gets in the Summer. It takes much longer for the engine to reach the minimum temp for engine shut down to occur and once it does the HVAC sucks the heat out of the engine so quickly that it restarts much sooner than it does when there is no heat demand.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Quentin – - –

        Average mileage drop, 77 deg F > 20 deg F, ICE car = 12%;
        Average mileage drop, 77 deg F > 20 deg F, pure EV car = 33%;

        “Fuel economy tests show that, in short-trip city driving, a conventional gasoline car’s gas mileage is about 12% lower at 20°F than it would be at 77°F. It can drop as much as 22% for very short trips (3 to 4 miles).
        The effect on hybrids is worse. Their fuel economy can drop about 31% to 34% under these conditions.”

        ref: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/coldweather.shtml

        By “under these conditions”, I assume the article means usual short driving, not the very short trips, to keep the comparison the same.
        I also would like to see the % MPG drop for both types of vehicles, changing from 77 deg F to 20 deg F and, starting stone cold, for:
        1) 2-mile trip
        2) 5-mile trip;
        3) 10-mile trip;
        4) 25 mile trip;
        5) 50-mile trip;
        6) 100-mile trip.

        Each would use the EPA “city cycle” to avoid just cruising down the highway. Should make a tidy plot. Anyone?

        —————-

        • 0 avatar
          NMGOM

          CORRECTION/ADDITION – -

          “I also would like to see the % MPG drop for both types of vehicles, changing from 77 deg F to 20 deg F and, starting stone cold, for…”

          … could be changed (for greater ease of measurement and reality) to:

          “I also would like to see the % Range drop for both types of vehicles, changing from 77 deg F to 20 deg F and, starting stone cold, for…”

          Example: Nissan Leaf, a 5-passenger hatchback car:
          (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf);
          versus Ford Focus, a 5-passenger hatchback car:
          (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Focus)

          —————

      • 0 avatar
        boomhauer

        There are several reasons for the winter loss of MPGs, but don’t forget that winter blend gasoline contains less energy also.

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/02/07/cold-weather-hurts-mpg/5287561/

        • 0 avatar
          NMGOM

          boomhauer – - –

          Yes, Winter blend contains less energy because of the substitution of volatile hydrocarbons like pentane to increase vapor pressure (hence vehicle starting ability) of the blend. But the difference in energy content is only 1.75% (using “Summer” as the denominator), so richer fuel mixtures (“choke” on, although we don’t have chokes anymore), and increased lubricant viscosity, are the primary factors. (One could also say that Winter air, being cold, is more dense, so drag from air resistance of cars in the winter is higher, — but I don’t know how much that matters at city or even modest highway speeds.)

          BTU’s/gal Summer Blend…..114,500
          BTU’s/gal Winter Blend………112,500

          ref: http://www.ehow.com/info_12071245_low-gas-mileage-winter-due-blending.html

          ————-

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      @George B
      Hybrids’ batteries have proven to be extremely durable. Unless there are almost no hybrids in Texas, and IF there is a high replacement rate on them, it isn’t enough to show up on the overall replacement rate. While common ambient temperatures in Texas may exceed the limit for battery life while in use, the batteries are cooled when needed. The common Texas ambient temperatures probably are not high enough to damage the batteries when not in use. Leaving utility batteries in a hot car interior is completely different from how hybrid car batteries are managed.

      If you want a hybrid and don’t want to pay the hybrid premium, just buy a used one. The myths about battery life etc. keep the used prices down to equivalent non-hybrid pricing. A used Camry Hybrid is a very nice car and you’d pay the same as a non-hybrid Camry.

  • avatar
    cycleguy55

    I’d guess the range in a Canadian prairies winter would be dreadful. There’s a lot of power required to drive a vehicle at -30C into a headwind, provide heat to the occupants, defrost the windows and run the lights because you’re commuting in the dark. Couple that with reduced battery output at low temperatures and the range could be pretty short. Has anyone done any real tests in these conditions?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You are correct.

      See this link:

      http://news.fleetcarma.com/2013/12/16/nissan-leaf-chevrolet-volt-cold-weather-range-loss-electric-vehicle/

      But bear in mind that the Norwegians love the Leaf and Model S.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ SCE to AUX…..With the price of gas in Norway, I can understand why they love the Leaf

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          That, plus the government is running a giveaway program in which EV buyers don’t pay sales tax, and some other taxes like annual or road taxes – I’m not sure. Anyway, the car suddenly becomes very economically attractive to a buyer, and there is a perfect storm of infrastructure, short commutes, and cooler weather that make it viable.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    “Anyone who has spent time in Texas in the summer knows that high temperatures are sufficient to render your phone too hot to use, and the cold is notoriously harsh on battery life for any electronic device, let alone an electric car. But how about the use of wipers, HVAC systems and other essentials for winter (and well, summer) driving, all of which requires battery power when used in an EV.”

    I’ve spent the last ~2.5 years driving an EV in Texas, and the summers impact range somewhat, but not nearly as much as the winters (such as there are). My Volt’s electric range in:
    spring/fall (~72F): 39-44mi
    summer (~100F): 35-40mi
    winter (~35-40F): 25-29mi

    All but the last allow EV travel both ways for my commute, with a current electric mileage above 90%.

  • avatar

    Not really energy efficient if they need to use electricity just to regulate the battery temperature now is it?

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Still more efficient than using gasoline to do it, on a miles/kWh basis.

      It’s just that internal combustion is so inefficient that using waste heat actually improves system efficiency slightly.

      At $3.36/gal delivered, the power in a gallon of gas costs 10 cents per kWh, which is about what electricity costs on average, delivered. An EV gets 3-4 miles for that kWh, while an “economy” car will get a bit more than 1, and a pickup truck more like 0.5.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        I drove a Ford Focus for 12 years, car almost always got 25 mpg in suburban traffic, unless things got gridlocked, or the weather was very hot or very cold. At $3.35 per gallon, that’s 13.4 cents per mile. I’m now driving a Ford Fusion Energi in the same conditions, and my blended fuel cost, including super cheap nighttime electricity, some less cheap evening/weekend electricity, and some gasoline, is working out to less than 5 cents per mile. And that’s in a roomier, more comfortable car

        The EV driving experience almost makes traffic tolerable, it’s so much nicer.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      @bigtruck………

      You’d probably also say that geothermal hvac systems are inefficient because the heat pump uses electricity.

      bigtruck….:”I’ll consider an EV only once they meet all of my demands.”

      You wouldn’t know they don’t meet your demands unless you’ve already considered one. Your demands and priorities may change. Regulations change. EV’s/phev’s/hybrids will only improve and the shift toward them is unstoppable. Are the number of models of these cars increasing or decreasing?

      • 0 avatar

        #1. Geothermal energy is cheap and renewable. I have no problem with it.

        #2. My demands are pretty steep and thus far, only SRT meets them.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        brandloyalty – -

        1) “You wouldn’t know they don’t meet your demands unless you’ve already considered one.”
        There are no EV’s that meet my demands: RWD, Manual Transmission, 500-mile range, and “Vrrrooom” engine music. Go ahead. Try to find me one. Make my day. (^_^)…

        2) “EV’s/phev’s/hybrids will only improve and the shift toward them is unstoppable.” Mild Serial Hybridization of ICE vehicles, along with turbo/supercharging, diesel-ignition of petrol with direct injection at high temperatures — yes: makes sense. But EV’s are niche vehicles for typically urban/city-car functionality, and cannot be general-purpose vehicles (unless you never go very far). Having said that, Fuel-cell vehicles may help get over that hump if the H2-infrastructure can be developed.

        3) “Are the number of models of these cars increasing or decreasing?” As a group of EV-like vehicles, it’s growing slightly and irregularly, with declines and spurts. Percent Market share, including Hybrids, PHEV, PEV’s BEV’s:

        2007 = 2.99
        2008 = 2.34
        2009 = 2.78
        2010 = 2.37
        2011 = 2.33
        2012 = N/A (??)
        2013 = 3.81
        2014 = 3.17 (January and February)

        But Percent Market Share, Battery EV’s only:

        2010 = 100*(19/11,588,783) = 0.00016
        2011 = 100*(10064/12,734,356) = 0.079
        2012 = 100*(14251/14,439,684) = 0.099
        2013 = 100*(47694/15,531,609) = 0.31

        So, the class of BEV’s by themselves is growing. The question is: After the surge from early adopters, city dwellers, and greenie-weenies, — and considering the large improvements in ICE’s using diesel, CH4, and gasoline — what is the steady-state % market share from BEV’s alone? 2%, 5%, 10% ??

        ref: http://electricdrive.org/index.php?ht=d/sp/i/20952/pid/20952

        ————————

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          1. Never mind, you missed my point entirely.
          2. How about “gas stations” where you take a minute to swap out your battery pack? Vast improvement in battery tech is much more likely than fuel cell vehicles becoming viable. Even if they do, fuel cells have enormous safety and leakage problems (would you insure a building with underground parking full of fuel cell cars?). And H2 is a storage medium, not a fuel.
          3. Regulations will take care of growing market share. Regulations are just an indirect form of common sense. No sense spoiling a perfectly good planet just to heat up brake discs.

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            brandloyalty – -

            1) I addressed your point quite faithfully, in my view.

            2) “How about “gas stations” where you take a minute to swap out your battery pack?” Why would I want someone’s marginal 10-year old battery pack in my pristine new Tesla?! (^_^)… And taking “a minute”? Not a chance! Ten minutes, maybe.
            There are limits with current battery chemistry and physics that seem inescapable. The use of super-capacitors coupled with batteries can reduce charging times, not capacity. But that would be yet one more complex system to include. “H2 is a storage medium” is what we have all heard before: the difference between using H2 and using gasoline is, in reality, semantic. If I “burn” H2 in a fuel cell (> combine with O2 to give electricity to provide motion by an electric motor), how is that substantially different in function compared to burning gasoline (> combine with O2 to give volume increase and heat to provide motion by an ICE)??

            And when BMW “burned” H2 directly in its “Hydrogen 7″ cars, was H2 behaving as a fuel or as an storage medium?

            Conversely, when plants of the Cretaceous decayed to give up their O2 to produce oil, how is that not a storage medium compared to reducing H2O from seawater to produce H2?

            3) Regulations are somebody else’s imposition of their view of reality and prejudices on the market place, stifling free trade and commerce. Some regulations to insure certain standards are useful (e.g, FDA regulation of food purity or drug quality), but to blot out entire mobility technologies, based on a shoddy hypothesis is, IMHO, inappropriate. What you are essentially saying is that EV technologies can’t survive in large numbers by themselves without the forceful proclamations and tax incentives from a socialist government.

            —————–

          • 0 avatar

            > “H2 is a storage medium” is what we have all heard before: the difference between using H2 and using gasoline is, in reality, semantic.

            The gas fuel cycle of consumption by plants and crushed under the earth before dug up and burned is millions of years long.

            The hydrogen or battery recharge cycle is order of orders of magnitude shorter.

            Again, people either incapable or too dishonest to compare simple numbers shouldn’t be in this science business or doing technical work at all.

            > Regulations are somebody else’s imposition of their view of reality and prejudices on the market place, stifling free trade and commerce.

            Worth noting this is what all polluters teach their shills to say. People who want to restrict dumping waste in the river obviously hate Murica. The worst part how simple they assume the audience to be, and they’re often right on this.

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            brandloyalty (again) – - -

            You said, “How about “gas stations” where you take a minute to swap out your battery pack? ”

            This issue needs additional treatment. It represents mythology that has gotten propagated for at least two years. Let’s do some comparisons based on realistic estimates and projections.

            A) Refueling an ICE vehicle. This afternoon, I went over to my local Shell station and filled up with 13.7 gallons of gasoline. According to my stopwatch, that took about 1:35 minutes, during which I checked the oil, brake fluid (visually), and radiator-fluid overflow-container (visually). I went inside, and paid the cashier; came back; and drove off.
            The whole process, from entry onto the station’s property to exit from the station’s property, took 6 minutes (1:32 to 1:38 PM).
            That station has five islands, with two pumps each, and two operational sides per pump. That means that 5x2x2 = 20 cars can be accommodated at any one time.
            I have NEVER had to wait, but let’s just say that 1 out of 20 times I have to wait: that is 5%, or 0.95 success ratio.
            Now let’s say that the simple pump mechanism is not error free, and that breakdowns occur: say, 1 out of 20 pumps has a bag over the handle when I get there, reducing my pump availability by 5%, or giving me a 0.95 success rate, on the average.
            And let’s say that 1/2 the time, I have to wait for a minute before I can pay (assuming I do not use my credit card at the pump), and that adds about 1 minute 50% of the time, or an average of 30 seconds for every visit.
            So, now, my expected non-perfect time is 6/(.95*.95) + .5 = 7.1 minutes, on the average.

            B) EV Battery Swap-out Station. We will consider a directly comparable station that can accommodate 20 EV’s at once. That means 20 service bays. That means a warehouse attached by conveyor systems to move new batteries to the vehicles, and take the old ones to storage/charging. That means self-service is impossible, and attendants/mechanics are required. That means either 20 lifts (or 20 open pits like the “EZ-Lube” stations) are essential. [Let me stop for a moment to ask: Do you have any idea what the capital outlay for a station owner would be for this operation??]
            Well, here we go. Little Joanie college student takes her nice new little EV, that daddy gave her, to the station. She looks for the green light representing an open bay, and pulls right in (30 sec). The attendant puts the vehicle on the lift (that can accommodate various sizes of EV’s, unlike the open pit), and that takes 2 minutes. He unscrews the protective plastic under-plate used to stop fires through battery damage (2 minutes). He then decouples the electrical system (30 sec.). He moves up the floor jack system to engage the batter pack and retrieve it (2 minutes – it’s heavy). It gets placed on the conveyor as another one is shuffled over to the jack. It gets installed (2 minutes – it’s heavy). He re-attaches the protective panel and does the electrical connection (2 minutes). The car is driven out, and Little Joanie goes over to pay (2 minutes). So far, we are at .5+2+2+.5+2+2+2+2 = 13 minutes.
            But, let’s say, as with the ICE case, that 1 out of 20 times, Little Joanie has to wait, a 0.95 success ratio, And let’s say that this elaborate conveyor, jacking and transfer mechanism, having thousands of parts, has a much higher repair frequency than the simple fuel pump in the ICE case. Say that at any given time, 3 out of 20 bays are inoperable (a conservative number). That is a 3/20 (15%) failure rate, or a 0.85 success rate. And again, let’s say that the driver has to wait to 1 minute to pay 50 % of the time, adding 30-seconds to her average process.

            So, we have Final Average time = 13/(.95*.85) + .5 = 16.5 minutes. NOTE: This is a very realistic scenario, not even counting the added cost that the station owner must impose for more attendants since self-service can’t work, far above the rental fee for the newly charged battery.

            That Time Value is 100 * (16.5-7.1)/7.1 = 130% higher than refueling an ICE vehicle!!

            Or using another method: 16.5/7.1 = almost 2.5 times longer.

            ———————-

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @NGOM
            My first point was to bigtrucketcetc, who said he would not consider an ev because… The fact he took a look at them and rejected them as not meeting his immature needs means he has already considered them. He has to consider them to reject them, so he can’t say he didn’t consider them. Yes, just semantics.

            If the people who developed automated car washes had asked you if they would be viable, there would be no such car washes.

            The barrage of detail in your analysis does not conceal that it is fundamentally preposterous. A battery-swapping depot would be less complex than a car wash and take less time than a drive-thru.

            Compared to the $1-2 million needed to build a hydrogen filling station, battery swapping stations are perfectly viable.

            Gas companies will not build hydrogen filling stations because of the cost, and cash-strapped governments fortunately are not going to do it for them. Without the filling stations, the technology is stranded.

            Note that Ballard Power Systems tried for decades, with huge subsidies, to make a practical and affordable hydrogen automotive system. They failed. Yes, there were some transit buses, but Whistler BC just got rid of theirs because they were less efficient than diesel buses.

            As for fear of people getting someone else’s crappy battery, people would/might own the cars but not the batteries.

            In addition, there could be a gradual move to electric cars because there is the intermediate step of being able to recharge them, although slowly, anywhere. The cars would be usable without battery swapping depots all over the place. There’s no way equivalent small hydrogen outlets can be economic, let alone be as universal as electric outlets. So electric cars have a far easier adoption path.

            And none of this broaches the topic of insurance. If you live in an apartment, would you rather be above a garage of hydrogen cars or electric cars? Or next to a hydrogen refilling station or a battery swap/charge station? If hydrogen transportation starts to get anywhere, I think the insurance industry is going to want a very large chunk of flesh.

            There are other issues also, like the cost of the power needed to make hydrogen, the difficulty of containing hydrogen, and conversion losses. Why not use the same electricity to run the cars directly without all the dangers and conversions and hassles of laundering it through hydrogen?

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            brandloyalty – - -

            It surely is nice to toss around epithets like “immature” and “preposterous”, when you have no specifics, no solid estimates, or no calculations in return to base it on, isn’t it? Frankly, and I’m sorry, but you have added nothing but rhetorical hand-waiving, misunderstanding, and a poor analogue.

            So, in conclusion on this over-worked topic:

            1) I was just using the Fuel-cell combustion of H2, or the direct burning of H2, as an example for why the term “energy carrier” is not more applicable to H2 than gasoline. That’s all. Functionally, it does not matter what the term is:
            2H2 + O2 > 2H2O , + heat and electricity to move vehicles;
            2C8H18 + 25O2 > 18H2O + 16CO2, + much heat to move vehicles.

            What I did suggest most directly to “Shaker” was the use of the Audi process which does generate H2, but not for use by itself. H2 is combined with CO2 from the atmosphere to create “e-gas” (methane); and that will be used in ICE’s, just as is happening now. The link I referenced talks post facto: the plant exists!

            2) Automatic Car washes! You surely must be kidding. There is no analogue to a battery-swapping operation and a car wash. The masse transfer and hazards are small in car-wash, and transfer occurs in small amounts through piping and nozzles; the mass-transer and danger in a battery-swap are higher, and the transfer occurs with a lift system and centering hardware for emplacement of the single, heavy battery mass. As though that is not enough, the last time I went to an automatic car wash, even that ideal process took at least 10 minutes anyway….hardly the “1 minute” you fantasized about.

            3) You said, “A battery-swapping depot would be less complex than a car wash and take less time than a drive-thru.” This is sheer nonsense. It is wishful allegation. You have no data, no measurements, no estimates, and no references to back this up.

            4) You said, “There are other issues also, like the cost of the power needed to make hydrogen, the difficulty of containing hydrogen, and conversion losses. Why not use the same electricity to run the cars directly without all the dangers and conversions and hassles of laundering it through hydrogen?”

            Read the bloody reference. The generation of H2 in the Audi process comes from the wind-powered electrolysis of seawater, and that has little to do directly with “cost of power” in order to do it, since the cost of power is essentially zero! (beyond plant installation and maintenance).

            5) Again, all your comments concerning direct use of H2 are a bit of paranoia. The Honda Clarity, as an experiment, has already shown that H2 Fuel cells are safe, and no incidents have been reported. But the reason for using CH4 in internal combustion is to save weight and complexity, and allow safe ICE technologies to work in a more environmentally friendly way.

            OK, I’m done with this. And I fear that you just will not “get it”.

            ————

          • 0 avatar

            > when you have no specifics, no solid estimates, or no calculations in return to base it on, isn’t it?

            > The masse transfer and hazards are small in car-wash, and transfer occurs in small amounts through piping and nozzles; the mass-transer and danger in a battery-swap are higher, and the transfer occurs with a lift system and centering hardware for emplacement of the single, heavy battery mass.

            Is this some kind of joke? Bluest of collar forklift drivers nevermind automated machines move heavy stuff around with consummate easy in every warehouse every day.

            Consider getting the easy stuff right before onto equations and such.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    “But given the drops in range when the temperatures hit either end of the scale, it’s tough to see how they can become a viable, mass-market proposition in the near future for much of the United States and Canada.”

    I’m glad that a AAA investigation into a well known caveat results in this here-to-for unknown conclusion. Why are they even wasting time on EV’s? I mean, Diesel and Gasoline fueled vehicles have never experienced problems operating in temperature extremes, nor has the convenience of specific aspects of a technology ever overruled the inconveniences inherent therein…

    At least most of the Hybrid/EV news and discussion from the editorial side on the site avoids making idiotic conclusions under the guise of a bad Jalopnik-esque repost…

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      “wasting time on EV’s?”

      You know there are all sorts of electric utility vehicles, golf carts, even electric trains. Surely some application of this technology in cars makes sense.

      Other people here have posted real-life examples of living with ev/phev/hybrid cars, and it doesn’t sound too bad.

      Diesel and gas fueled vehicles contribute heavily to disastrous climate change, and something has to be done about it. Even if it means losing a bit of convenience. Hurricane Sandy caused some inconvenience also.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Really? Sandy? You know some monster hurricanes hit the Northeast long before the automobile I won’t get into the debate on if man made global warming is happening, maybe it is. But when one tries to take every weather event and blame it on “climate change” they make folks wary. I remember in 2005 they said the hurricane season was the new normal and we could expect that sort of activity and even more Katrina like storms. This did not materialize.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          I understand the difference between weather and climate. “Hurricane Sandy” was shorthand to refer to consequences of climate change, many of which will entail “inconvenience” that will make ev range seem trivial.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            I fully believe that man made climate change is a 100% reality, but I’d be hard pressed to say that Sandy happened because of it. The data is not there to make such a direct connection.

            More interesting is if you ask most of the people how much colder this winter was than average. You’ll hear 20, 30 or more degrees colder. Yet, at least where I live, the actual number is closer to 7 degrees, simply because between those really cold weeks were some rather warm weeks as well. Kind of puts what a 1 or 2 degree permanent change into perspective…

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            golden2husky – - –

            “I fully believe that man made climate change is a 100% reality…”

            Yup. You hit the wording right on the head.
            Instead of appropriate data and solid relational equations, Man-made Climate Change is based on belief.
            That’s called religion. All bow down.
            A lot of people believe in tooth-fairies too…

            ————-

          • 0 avatar

            “Instead of appropriate data and solid relational equations, **evolution** is based on belief.
            That’s called religion. All bow down.
            A lot of people believe in tooth-fairies too…”

            This is a more accurate statement, yet just as dumb for some reason.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        News flash: the planet stopped warming about 17 years ago, and there’s no scientific proof that CO2 caused the mild warming observed in the latter part of the 20th century.

        • 0 avatar

          > News flash: the planet stopped warming about 17 years ago, and there’s no scientific proof that CO2 caused the mild warming observed in the latter part of the 20th century.

          It’s not really news that people will deny any scientific certainty including evolution/age of the earth/greenhouse effect/big bang, etc. as long as they’re ignorant enough.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “Yes, we know water is wet too,…”

    This probably IS news to all the idiots in government and their soccer mom constituents who’ve been sold a bill of goods on alternative energy, as if we use fossil fuels because of some “Big Oil” conspiracy. We use fossil fuels because they’re better, period.

    Now if you want to spend the cash on a plug-in hybrid with a 10 year payback period, that’s up to you, but it’s time to end the government subsidies and draconian CAFE regs that are forcing expensive technologies down everyone’s throats.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I’ve figured the payback period on mine as being a little over five years, excluding any tax incentive. Not everyone can use the tax credit for PHEVs.

      CAFE is good from both a national security and an economic standpoint. It solves the free rider problem that occurs when some people invest in fuel saving technology while others don’t, yet everyone benefits from lower prices brought by lower demand.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      My used Escape Hybrid came with no payback period, because used hybrids don’t cost more than equivalent non-hybrids. Win-win for me.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        But they cost more than used non hybrids. That’s like saying my base model Frontier has no payback period because it cost less than the Pro 4x model with the fancy lockers and stuff. Hell I could argue I saved 10 grand by buying a new truck using that logic.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          I did not simply make a statement as you have. I’ve done my research, both for a 2010 Prius and for a 2009 Escape Hybrid. I was surprised that used hybrids carry no price premium over equivalent non-hybrids, since claims that hybrids retain their value are common. I assume used hybrids are surprisingly cheap because of the myths, such as $6000 battery replacements. If you wish to disagree, please do some research yourself first.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            My mistake. I misread your post. I thought you said used hybrids were the same price as new non hybrids. Your post as written does make sense and is somewhat surprising to me as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Carfan94

            That’s what makes hybrids the best used bargains. When i was looking for a used car, i only looked at the hybrid versions of certain cars (civic,camry,highlander) not only do they get better gas mileage but the hybrid versions of these cars usually come fully loaded with more features and look different than their regular versions.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Actually certain Hybrids, Honda Civic Hybrids of certain years actually depreciate quicker than the standard model. They also provide a smaller increase in MPG than a Ford or Toyota Hybrid so it is a loose loose situation on those.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @mkirk
            Ok, I see what happened. I was starting to think you were just another grumpy Internet nut case.

        • 0 avatar
          NMGOM

          Hey mkirk – - –

          Off topic:

          The important thing is that you have a really great Frontier.
          So do I. Got the stick shift. Love the thing.
          The only other Manual Transmission truck I could find was the Ram 2500 w/Cummins Diesel, — but I didn’t have $55K to toss at it.

          ————–

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    I would think that more EV’s will come out with a solution at least when plugged in and charging. In the winter a few hundred watts diverted from charging to keeping the batteries warm. In the summer powering an air fan, or if absolutely necessary, a chilled water line from the a/c, though that would probably draw closer to 1,000 watts.

    In any case, yes, it is an issue, and no, it’s not a deal breaker that renders EV’s permanently handicapped beyond all consideration.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      AFAIK all EVs do this while remote starting. I know Volt does, and I think Tesla lets you do stuff like maintaining set cabin temps etc. remotely.

    • 0 avatar
      Sky_Render

      Charging a battery DOES warm it up. You’re putting current through it, after all.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My ’12 Leaf does what you describe. On the down side, it took me a second winter to realize that the heater draws more power than the ’12 Leaf’s on-board charger can deliver. This means that the battery loses some range if I pre-heat the cabin in extremely cold conditions. :( Newer Leafs with the 6.6 kW charger don’t have this problem.

      The car also has a battery warmer that supposedly turns on in extremely cold weather, but even once at -10F, I’ve never seen that happen.

  • avatar

    > Apparently, the extreme temperature problem cuts both ways

    Audience gasps as they discover more than one physical phenomenon can effect a process. All their one-dimensional life narratives now in doubt.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    So one could argue that global warming is good for the electric car I suppose then.

  • avatar
    Detroit33

    Mkirk, thanks for that. I was all comfy and now I have to go pour myself a glass, too.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Real life input from the B&B ,with their everyday EV experience’s are to me information that you can’t get anywhere else.

    My financial guy tells me to “quit buying cars for awhile” As a 60 year old I’m still in awe, at how the engineers, can get 150 CU IN engine to move an Impala around.

    As EV/ battery technology improves, I’m certainly not going to rule out an EV in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      The same engine moves my 2013 Malibu around well enough, but an Impala seems like a bit much (at least in hilly terrain).
      I was getting an oil change at the dealer the other day, and there wasn’t a 4 cyl Impala on the lot, and the 7 or 8 V6′s that were there started @ $34,000. That’s a bit of a jump from the previous generation.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ I bought an 09 Impala LTZ as part of my package, when I retired. It was great car. I had no complaints.

    IMHO, and many wouldn’t agree, the 2014 is a whole different car. We don’t have a lot of hills in southern Ont. I did drive through an area,we call the Ridges. Yup..thats when you get reminded your driving a four banger.


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