By on December 30, 2016

nissan leaf charging electric car

Even though they’ve been around since the late 1800s, 60 percent of Americans surveyed this year said that they were “unaware” of electric cars. While one is forced to wonder exactly how the question was worded, no possible answer inspires confidence in the public’s knowledge on the subject of EVs.

It would seem, at least in this instance, that modern-day America is largely unfamiliar with the electric car. There is also an underlying range anxiety afflicting prospective buyers. That doesn’t bode well for the rapid normalization that many automakers are anticipating in the years to come. However, there is a silver lining for an electric future. 

While 80 percent of the 2,500 people surveyed by Altman Vilandrie & Company had never been inside an EV, most of those who had said they enjoyed the experience. Still, even those peoplehad complaints about the higher than average cost associated with battery-powered cars.

“While the EV adoption rate is low, there are signs of strong latent demand in the marketplace,” said Altman Vilandrie & Company Director Moe Kelley. “The auto industry still needs to make more low-priced models available to consumers, as well as finding a way for more drivers to try out an EV. If those things happen we should see the EV adoption rate accelerate.”

Some companies are doing that already. The Chevrolet Spark EV, Volkswagen e-Golf, Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf are all prime examples of more affordable electric options, though none have yet addressed the issue of range anxiety — which really harms EV adoption rates.

Of the surveyed group, 74 percent expressed fears that the battery might not provide an adequate range, while 85 percent worried that there wouldn’t be enough charging stations to make EV ownership worthwhile. While there are electrics on the market now with range limits exceeding 200 miles, they start at $68,000 and are only available from one manufacturer. Chevrolet’s $30,000 (after tax credit) Bolt, which is just rolling out in select regions before a full release in 2017, claims 238 miles.

“Price matters, and our analysis shows that more affordable models would go a long way to changing the perception that EVs are luxury items for the urban elite,” said Altman Vilandrie & Co’s Soumen Ganguly, who co-directed the survey with Kelley. “Both electric and self-driving vehicles are the future of personal transportation but carmakers need to make sure consumers are excited about going electric now, and that goes beyond the obvious environmental benefits.”

[Image: Nissan]

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198 Comments on “Range Anxiety is Real, and a Severe Lack of Familiarity is Holding Back EV Adoption...”


  • avatar
    OldManPants

    But at least these same folks maintain their high standards towards corner-carving, a planted suspension and general drivability.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    I can see an electric working fine in California. But what about Winnipeg in January, when it’s dark and -35C? When the headlights, seat heaters, rear defrost and blowers are on high to defrost the windshield, how will the range be then?

    Batteries never last as long in the cold as they do when warm, so what happens to range when you’re pulling 100 amps for all the heaters and lights and going nowhere stuck in traffic?

    • 0 avatar
      xtoyota

      You tow a gas generator to charge the battery as you drive… when weather warms up you leave the back up generator at home :=)

      • 0 avatar
        rolando

        A Standardized, rental range extender is a great idea! I might have gone electric with one. Even without, I rarely drive more than 100 miles a day.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          Towable generator is not a new idea:

          http://www.evnut.com/rav_longranger.htm

          I think coolant lines to carry hot coolant to the vehicle for interior heat would make a good addition to the project.

    • 0 avatar
      mike1dog

      They’re popular as taxis in Norway and there’s a taxi driver in Quebec city that uses one, and they don’t even have a supercharger there. He’s saved enough on gas that he’s more than paid for the difference. I’d guess it’s cold enough there.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My former Leaf drew about 6 kW for the heater when it was about 0 F outside (or colder), which dropped as the car warmed up. The resistive heater was very detrimental to cold weather range, but newer Leafs use a much more efficient heat pump.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    as i see it, people want to continue doing whatever they have been doing for the last few decades ie. put gasoline in their cars at any service station on every second corner

    i know its not popular in the US but here, you cant even sell that many people on diesel cars, even if they were the same price as they dont want to deal with a diesel pump

    with an EV, you’re asking people to do a mental sum every time they get into their glorified electric golf cart… if i need to travel 100 miles, will i make it there and back in a car with 238 mile range?

    do I chance it? do I even want to deal with these mental gymnastics I dont need to do with a gasoline car.

    the new wave of buyers like the alleged 300,000 wannabee Model 3 owners are obviously fine with these thoughts but is the average person?

    Hell I think you can introduce a 2020 Tesla Model XYZ with 500 mile range and people will still be gazing their navels wondering whether it “suits their lifestyle”…

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Tony,
      For EVs to be accepted EVs must be cheaper, as good or better, easier to own and operate than a fossil fueled vehicle.

      People will not be able to afford a SUV, CUV, pickup in the form of an EV. This is what people want.

      They are massive loss makers for auto manufacturers and the taxpayer.

      How many billions or even trillions are needed to make them viable for the masses?

      There are far better things to invest this squandering of the public purse.

      I would rather see the taxpayers money invested in transport infrastructure that would be far better in enhancing economic development. Even public transport, which is a more logical way to use electricity.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      I guess your assumption is that you are the average person.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “…if i need to travel 100 miles, will i make it there and back in a car with 238 mile range?”

      If this mythical EV was built like my former 12 Leaf, then no. Summer range was about 75-90% of stated, and winter range was about 50-60% of stated.

      “mcs” has had much better performance from his newer Leaf.

      I remember being at the 2013 Pittsburgh Auto Show, and a mail deliverer was wondering out loud if the Leaf would work for his 50-mile-a-day route. Right in front of the Nissan rep, I told him no, and explained how the Leaf’s ‘guessometer’ works.

      Planning is part of the EV ownership experience, and *nobody* should buy an EV whose range is only 2X their commute, particularly when you consider degradation.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    That garage is way to clean and uncluttered. Definitely the product of an OCD personality. I have no such affliction! However, anyone with that is welcome to come over and have at my garage.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    EVs still suffer from impractically long recharging times. Once you reach their range limit, you are stuck for several hours. That’s fine if you are stuck at home after completing your day’s driving chores. Long trips, during which you would have to recharge several times, are a different matter. Until engineers figure out how to give you two or three hundred miles in a few minutes at the recharging station, EVs will be limited to local service.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @kendahl: “Once you reach their range limit, you are stuck for several hours”

      That’s untrue. Recently, I’ve taken my 100 mile range EV on several 140 mile trips in sub-freezing temps and the charge time mid-trip at an ABB 50 kW charger has been 30 minutes. It’s at a shopping mall and I did some shopping while it charged. I had to actually rush through the shopping to get back before the car completed charging.

      Scientists have figured out how to give 300 miles charge in minutes. The Porsche Mission-E will probably be the first car to have it.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        mcs,
        I just drove a 2200kg pickup and averaged 39mpg or 6.4 litres per hundred over Xmas. With no bullsh!t like charging.

        I drove over 2500km in a 6 day period. All but one drive could of been done in an EV.

        Battery power is not best suited to our economies and lifestyle.

        They are a niche product. Drills, laptops, etc are ideal for rechargable use. Rechargable batteries are not the easiest to use in my TV remote, its easier to throw batteries in the trash.

        So much for batteries vs cost and unnecessary management. Batteries have limitations, like all forms of energy.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “Batteries have limitations, like all forms of energy.”

          Your mouth appears to have found one that doesn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            OldManPants – we are talking energy consumption and since the brain by mass is only 2% of our body but consumes 20% of one’s daily caloric requirements…….

      • 0 avatar
        markf

        “Scientists have figured out how to give 300 miles charge in minutes”

        Do they plan on sharing/selling that technology? where exactly are these scientists?

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    For me, its initial cost an time to recharge. I mean, I could care less if its 100 miles, can I get to the next town and get going in 15 minutes for the next 100 miles? I don’t want to wait hours to charge before I can go to the next city.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’m a Canadian and live in the East end of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). It can get really cold here. Generally in the winter months we hover around the freezing mark .Being on the North shore of Lake Ontario means very little “lake effect” snow. The big storms track either north or south from us. Oh yeah , deep cold, and nasty storms do occasionally impact us. For the most part, an EV would function quite well for my needs.

    For the benefit of the American readers I’ll do some rough math and convert metric to American.

    I have driven an EB Mustang (my only vehicle) for 15 months and have 7500 miles on the ODO. 80 percent of those miles are within 25 miles of my home. So for 80 percent of my driving an EV would work for me.

    As of Jan 1 the Carbon Tax comes into play. Gasoline will rise to $1.15 a litre = $3.25 USD per US..gallon. Electricity (already one of the highest rate in North America) will go up 5 percent. Heating fuel, natural gas, all going up.

    After I calculate the electric cost, vs gasoline, I don’t see significant savings. Then I need to consider the other 20 percent of my driving. 3-5 hour trips up north, where it does get really cold. Charging stations are few and far between. So I would probably need to keep the Mustang . With insurance, and plates, and to say nothing about initial cost , and depreciation . An EV would be cost prohibitive, for me , anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      orenwolf

      CAA[1] suggests about $0.05/km for an Ontario driver to charge their vehicle. While we have high hydro rates here, most people will be charging their vehicles overnight, which is $0.087 or so per kWh.At the Model S rate of 0.188kW per KM, you’re going to spend $9.40 to fill your “tank”, even if that rate goes to $0.10/kWh. Even at double that (let’s say peak rate + carbon tax), you’re still spending only about $20 per 500km.

      Of course, there’s delivery/debt fees & taxes on our hydro, but even if that raises rates 50%, you’re still paying half what gasoline would cost for a similar distance.

      Of course, the big problem right now is that there are no affordable long-range range EVs yet (well, save the not widely available Chevy Bolt). :)

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        “you’re still spending only about $20 per 500km.”

        With US gas prices, 500km (about 312 miles) is $15 in a Prius that’s $thousands less to buy. Fuel cost savings is not a huge incentive here.

        • 0 avatar
          orenwolf

          In the US, your energy prices are half ours.

          You’re assuming prii will always cost vastly less than an EV. as battery prices drop, the much simpler power train will balance that out quite considerably.

          That’s why I don’t get these “hybrids are the future” arguments. All the cost of an electric power train, and the ICE power train to boot, yet somehow these will be the CHEAPER option in the long run? Please.

  • avatar
    2manycars

    Let me know when I can buy an electric car for the same price as one with a gasoline engine, without subsidies, that has the same range and “recharge time.” Say about 400 miles and 5-10 minutes to fill back up. Also the batteries and electric motors should have the same lifetime as a conventional drivetrain with no serious degradation.

    Until then, no sale.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      So no BEV for you then?

      I think a hybrid is a better solution at this time. The Prius family, Accord/Camry/Fusion hybrids, plus the C-Max are all about as affordable as their traditional ICE powered family members/competitors.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        Not interested in a hybrid. The only real advantage I see to an electric vehicle is low maintenance due to the simplified drivetrain. I don’t care about the alleged, dubious environmental benefits that the “greens” keep spouting off about, or the direction that government goons want to push us into.

        With a hybrid you still have an ICE to take care of, so I don’t see a real advantage beyond using less fuel, which is not sufficiently compelling.

        When a fully electric car becomes a true cost-effective drop-in replacement for a gas-engined vehicle then I’ll consider giving them a look.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          “I don’t care about the alleged, dubious environmental benefits that the “greens” keep spouting off about, or the direction that government goons want to push us into.”

          OK. But just keep in mind that those government goons for the last century were pushing you into an ICE vehicle with all manner of government subsidies, so I’m not clear on why the much smaller subsidies for EVs would be meaningfully different.

          I’m trying really hard to ignore the ‘head in the sand’ attitude on climate change. I know it’s popular these days, but it still astounds me how many people are so vehemently opposed to science. And proud of it.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            Call it Global Warming not “Climate Change” Climate Change was a nice slight of hand when even alleged “Climate Scientists” had to admit that the Earth is not warming.

            People who doubt man-made global warming do believe in science, it is only people who are anti-science who must belittle anyone who questions “settled science” and spits out inane, moronic factoids like “98% of scientists agree” When you want to start prosecuting people for not “believing” that means even you know its a scam…..

            But of course, like ancient Europe insisting the Sun revolved around the Earth, calling Galileo a “denier”

            The global warming crowd is so terrified of any real scientific curiosity and scrutiny that it just calls folks “deniers” trying to link how they perceive global warming to the Holocaust, an entirely disgusting notion…..

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            “Call it Global Warming not “Climate Change” Climate Change was a nice slight of hand when even alleged “Climate Scientists” had to admit that the Earth is not warming.”

            “Climate Change” was a term adopted by House Republicans because it seemed less worrisome and easier to forestall action.

            “People who doubt man-made global warming…”

            …are generally getting their “science” from political sites and fooling themselves into thinking they’re getting “science.”

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          There are other benefits to the hybrid in addition to saving on fuel you do save on a lot of other maintenance. On our Fusion Hybrid the original brakes were at ~40% at 145K. Most also have extended oil change intervals as the engine is running less per mile than a standard ICE. On the 10-12 Fusion the only thing on the maintenance schedule before you reach 100K are oil changes and tire rotations.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @2manycars
      Could add batteries that mysteriously catch on fire or are safe in an accident

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      2manycars, I think you’re too rigid in the sale/no sale decision. If batteries were inexpensive, having to swap them out withing the lifetime of a gasoline engine wouldn’t be a deal breaker. Similarly, if electric cars accelerated faster than gasoline engine cars and put a smile on your face every time they threw you back in the seat, I could see some justification for choosing one. The problem is most EVs perform worse and cost more than the gasoline engine equivalent.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Really? My experience is that the i3 is a lot more fun to drive than a 320, and I’d take a Leaf over a Sentra any day of the week. To each his own, I guess.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          VoGo,
          What you state is true, but unlike fossil fuel energy you will deplete your battery rather fast, much quicker than hooning in a gas car.

          At least with fossil fuel you can “recharge” in a fraction of the time and continue hooning.

          The change from steam power to liquid fossil fuel highlights the challenges confronting EVs.

          The storage and transfer of liquid fossil fuel was more economical with the added benefit of greater power.

          Steam power was only viable with nuclear energy coupled with turbines.

          Rechargeable batteries are great for Smartphones.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Battery tech is improving rapidly. Don’t make tomorrow’s decisions based on today’s performance.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            “At least with fossil fuel you can “recharge” in a fraction of the time and continue hooning.”

            If my life was defined by “hooning” in my car, I guess that would be a serious drawback to EVs for me.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Kickstart,
            I drive a diesel, so I don’t hoon.

            My reference to hooning is in response to VoGo using the i3 as an example.

            The i3 will offer fantastic acceleration, for a very limited time.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “Battery tech is improving rapidly”

            Been hearing that for HOW many years now? Electric cars today have the same effectivel range as electric cars 100 years ago.

            But hey, battery tech is improving rapidly.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            What are you talking about? Show me a 100 year old electric car that can give super Ars a run for their money and wasn’t the size of an SUV.

            I work around lead-acid batteries every day beside our DMS-500 switch. You might want to google a bit about energy density before making more ludicrous claims like lithium batteries are no better than century old battery tech.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            markf, sarcastically, “But hey, battery tech is improving rapidly.”

            Is there a lead-acid battery in your cell phone? Ni-Cad? Ever wonder why?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “At least with fossil fuel you can “recharge” in a fraction of the time and continue hooning”

            I’m not a 19-year-old @$$hole, I’m not interested in “hooning.”

  • avatar
    Fred

    My commute is 32 miles at an avg of 50+ (rural Texas highway) no charging at work. I’d have to pay someone to wire up a charger at home. In the end I have car that would get me back and forth to work but not much more. Rebates or no, it seems like an expensive option to save less than the $30 a week I spend on gas to commute. Being green doesn’t count much either because my power is coming mostly from a coal plant.

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      “For an additional US$600, an Edison nickel-iron battery was available from 1911 to 1916. The cars were advertised as reliably getting 80 miles (130 km) between battery recharging, although in one test a Detroit Electric ran 211.3 miles (340.1 km) on a single charge. Top speed was only about 20 mph (32 km/h), but this was considered adequate for driving within city or town limits at the time.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_Electric

      Ok, so it only did 20 MPH, but the range is hardly an improvement.So a 1926 Detroit Electric Car took you 80 miles, 00 years years later I am supposed to be excited about 200 miles.

      Hey, but battery technology is always improving, right?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Damn, I just got a telegram saying my Edison nickel-iron battery is under recall.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        markf,

        If you care to take your head out of the sand, you might notice that affordable EVs 5 years ago had a range of 80 miles. Last year, 120 miles became typical. In 2017, that number is 200 miles. Do you see a trend? Or is the cloud of fossil fuel exhaust clouding your vision?

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          VoGo’s Worldview Simplified (reductio ad absurdum):

          Republicans = Bad

          Democrats = Good

          Conservatives = Bad

          Liberalism = Good

          NeoLiberalism = Best

          Guns = Bad

          Global Warming = 100% Man-made

          Religion = Bad

          Urban Areas w/High Taxes & Nanny-Government = Good

          Rural (and suburban) Areas w/Lower Taxes & Less Regulation = Bad

          Global Government = Critical

          Sovereign Currencies = Evil

          Bill Maher = Genius

          Justin Amash & Ron Paul = Huckleberries

          Government-Forced Re-composition of Neighborhoods to Ensure Racial, Ethnic, Religious & Economic Diversity = Orgasm

          Government Edicts = Infallible

          Barack Obama = What Jesus Could Have Been

          Genderless & LGBTQ-Friendly Bathrooms & Locker Rooms = Mist Have Them; Segregation of Modern Times & Rosa Parks-worthy

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I have to admit, DW, you pretty much nailed it. You missed my support for less government meddling in social issues and my strong belief in communities.

            And I don’t support government forced recomposition of neighborhoods, although I do like the idea of equally funded schooling. I don’t particularly care which bathroom people pee in, but really wish legislators didn’t either.

            But overall, I’d say you know me.

            PS: Comparing Obama to Jesus seems unrealistic. Jesus never got healthcare insurance for 15 million people.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          Let me get excited, it only took 100 years to double the range of electric cars. But hey battery tech is improving so next we will be able to drive ONE MILLION miles on a charge.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “Let me get excited”

            Please don’t. Those pet odor eliminators seldom work very well.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Why is it that the less someone knows, the more eager they are to show it?

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “Let me get excited, it only took 100 years to double the range of electric cars.”

            You should start a fake science site; I’m sure you’d get rabid support for your theory.

            A modern battery powering an EV with all of the creature comforts, crash protection and highway speed capability has 8x-10x the energy density of an early 20th century battery in a horseless carriage. But, keep the lies flowing, it seems to bolster your worldview.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’ve been saying this for at least a year. Hybrids are the future with the more near term being a mix of them and cheaper to produce ICEs. The pure EV will never gain mainstream acceptance until there is an advancement in battery technology.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The Porsche Mission E will have 314 miles range and only take 15 minutes to add 250 miles of range to the battery. That’s going to be at the high end, but it will trickle down at some point. Probably around 2025 is my guess.

      • 0 avatar
        z9

        The Tesla Model S P100D has 315 miles of range and due to some new battery chemistry it uses, it can supposedly recharge at a supercharger about as fast as the upcoming Porsche. Oh and by the way it just happens to go from 0-60 faster than any other production car. Rumor has it that Tesla will be introducing a less expensive model with the same battery in a couple of weeks that will have an even greater range (due to the use of a smaller motor). They’ve also announced high-power superchargers that will cut recharge times significantly. Yes these cars are expensive but they’re available right now. All the incremental improvements are starting to add up. It’s not going to be some miracle breakthrough that tips the scales and makes an electric car the most attractive option. Right now Tesla has the highest owner satisfaction of any car brand (85% I believe). When I suggested to my wife that for the price of a new Tesla we could buy some really cool cars (even hybrids), she insisted she was never going to visit a gas station again. So another Tesla it was.

    • 0 avatar
      orenwolf

      We’ll see, I dispute your assertion, due to 1) declining hybrid sales[1], and the fact that EV sales, *assuming* demand equals what’s been pre-ordered for the Model 3, Bolt, etc (and that’s a big assumption), would come very close to hybrid sales in the US[2], and IMHO EV sales would cannibalize that number further (similar client base).

      [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_electric_vehicles_in_the_United_States#/media/File:US_HEV_market_share_1999_2014.png

      [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_electric_vehicles_in_the_United_States#Markets_and_sales

    • 0 avatar
      NetGenHoon

      Oren,
      Declining hybrid sales is likely due to the dearth of hybrid body styles. There is only one hybrid compact CUV, the RAV4. Most other hybrids are odd looking hatchbacks or crazy expensive high-end SUVs.

      I say this as a Leaf owner, that when my lease is up will likely be going back to a gas car, unless a PHEV CUV comes out, hopefully the XC60.

      • 0 avatar
        jberger

        It’s not body styles holding back Hybrids, you can get a Hybrid Camry, Avalon, RAV4, Highlander, Lexus has hybrid NX, ES, GS, LS, etc.

        Gas is cheap so people are not trying to save money on fuel. If gas doubled in price, Hybrids would be back in vogue.

        Modern cars have gotten so fuel efficient that folks are choosing power/size over mileage these days. A 292 HP Chrysler 300 gets 31 on the highway, the hybrid Avalon gets 39. It’s not enough of a delta to sway a buyer in a low priced fuel market.

        I haven’t bought an EV simply due to Range and Recharge times. My travel schedule often has me driving between states in a single day and I don’t want to tack on a 30 mins to 1 hour charge time to get back home, IF there is a charger available. I can pull into any gas station and be back on the road in 10 mins or less. Those extra minutes really matter at the end of a long day, it doesn’t matter at all when it’s parked in the garage overnight.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      I’ve been harping about it for 10 years: an electric motor at each wheel; a battery pack; and a small Diesel engine and fuel tank. With current ( no pun ) technology the ICE could charge the battery as needed, which could deliver power to the most efficient wheel(s). There could also be a propshaft from the ICE to two half-shafts for augmented direct Diesel drive, if so required. This set-up would work in everything from a Civic to a one-ton Dually.

      100% torque at all wheels at 0 RPM is a pretty sexy prospect.

  • avatar
    kobo1d

    I’m starting to get a little tempted with the glut of off-lease EVs flooding the market here in California right now. $6500 for a Leaf or 500e with 30k on the odometer! Disposable third car for commuting.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      This guy gets it!

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “Disposable third car for commuting.”

      A full on EV is a great choice for a 2nd or 3rd car in a multi-car family but are not viable as an only car for most.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        That’s really the thing. They work great to get to and from work in, but unless it’s a Model S.

        I’m with those that think a plug in hybrid is a good solution. I recently got to spend a week driving a plug in hybrid that my employer sells. I was able to drive home without using the ICE, but it was too cold to run on electric only mode too work. It worked well in either mode. It also looks like a normal car, instead of an ugly blob.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    No doubt. It’ll take folks knowing someone who drives an EV in a way similar to themselves, I think, before average joe even looks at them (think coworker or extended family member with a similar commute or use case).

    Some of that will come organically as Fast charging stations become more ubiquitous, as well, of course, as the prevalence of the cars themselves.

    How exactly do 60% of Americans not know EVs exist, though? That statistic seems suspect to me. Not having ever seen one? Sure. Know no one who has one? Also likely. But never *heard* of them?!

    • 0 avatar
      mdensch

      Depends on how you ask the question.

      “Can you name an electric car this is available for purchase in the U.S. today?” Or
      “Are you aware that major manufacturers such as Ford, Nissan, Fiat-Chrysler, and Volkswagen offer electric cars for sale in the U.S. market?”

      If six out of ten people hesitate, can’t think of one off the top of his/her head, then respond with “no”, you might interpret that to mean that 60% don’t know that EVs exist. (Frankly, I’d be surprised to learn that even half of the country is aware that Ford and Fiat-Chrysler sell all-electric vehicles).

  • avatar
    mcs

    “Price matters, and our analysis shows that more affordable models would go a long way to changing the perception that EVs are luxury items for the urban elite,”

    I think the perception that EVs are luxury items for the urban elite are exactly what will motivate the average driver to buy one. Weren’t Mercedes and BMWs once luxury items for the elite? Green and cheap to operate are a tough sell. Selling “status” is much easier.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @mcs
      Not much of a correlation. Diesel Luxury cars are big in Europe, but cannot see that as a motivator to purchase EV’s

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      I’m thinking you’re right. The holy grail was supposed to be an EV that goes over 200 miles on a charge, has plenty of power, and is priced at or below the average transaction price of a new car. The Chevy Bolt delivers exactly that, right now. They basically hid the equivalent of a Tesla Model S 60 inside a Euro style tall hatchback and put it on sale for half the going price for such specs. But half the EV community online turns up their nose at it…spouting complete nonsense about “compliance cars” (which the Bolt is not) or “the EV1” (which they ought to give GM kudos for developing, instead of brickbats for dropping). The real reason is pretty clear: a Tesla is sexy and a status symbol, and a narrow plasticky Chevy hatchback is neither.

      They don’t want a car that actually acheives all the targets. They want a car that will impress the neighbors. So they’re waiting (and waiting) for the Tesla Model 3 (or rather, their fantasy of what it will be). If you actually care about seeing wider EV uptake, it’s enough to make you bang your head against a wall.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I notice somebody over at Jalop has finally seen what we’ve been talking about here for months…auction prices on lease return evs are low…REALLY low. So if you want to ev, you can do it on the cheap. High school parking lots should be filling up with Nissan Leafs.

  • avatar
    George B

    The problem with electric cars begins and end with price vs. utility. They simply cost too much vs. their utility unless they give you solo access to carpool lanes. If they don’t give you a faster commute, an EV has the same utility as an old beater you use around town, but don’t trust for longer trips.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “same utility as an old beater you use around town, but don’t trust for longer trips.”

      EVs won’t poo on your garage floor. I’m past the days of driving anything that isn’t garaged.

  • avatar

    There certainly is a lot of ignorance and misinformation regarding EV’s which is enough to keep sales down.

    A colleague at work said he had considered getting a LEAF but his wife told him that wasn’t an option. Her reasoning was that someone she knew couldn’t start their LEAF one day and that it happened to all LEAF drivers. He saw my quizzical look and asked “so that hasn’t happened to you?”. Not in 100,000 miles I said, never been left at the side of the road once.

    It’s interesting to note that most drivers have on one or more occasions been unable to start a gasoline car, in fact its happens to them all eventually. Doesn’t stop people buying gas cars.

    People are scared of anything different to the status quo. Fear of the unknown is a very powerful force.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Interesting logic from your colleague at work. I wonder if she has ever heard of an ICE car not starting one day.

      • 0 avatar

        Its the same logic people use when they hear of an EV catching fire. Clearly they are dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

        The liquid bomb present in the car they use to transport themselves and their precious cargo of kids never concerns them however. Gas car explosions only happen in the movies, not to oneself.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          gasoline is not a “liquid bomb.” there’s no oxygen inside the gas tank and no ignition source, so unlike- say- a lithium battery it can’t spontaneously ignite itself and sustain combustion. exploding gas tanks really do only happen in the movies.

          Lithium cells are remarkably safe considering the reactivity of the materials inside, but as Sony and (now) Samsung have demonstrated, they’re very intolerant of manufacturing defects and mistreatment.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Somebody owes Ford a lot of money back for all those faked car fires…
            Gas tanks may not have much oxygen or any ignition sources inside them (apart from the electrical fuel pump fitted to all cars for the last 20-30 years) but for the first 130 or so years of ICE , fiery car crashes was something that happened from time to time.
            Smartphone technology has been constantly rushed for a decade, and they are a lot cheaper and more plentiful than EV’s, so cars exploding when charging shouldn’t be a common problem.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            You need to learn what “bombs” do and what “explosion” means.

  • avatar

    I end up laughing at some of the EV discussion.
    1) Why does everyone assume we all live in homes w/garages.
    Like a huge chunk of the population I live in an apartment and have street parking. Exactly where do I recharge at home? (And I can’t wait to see how many Apartment owners are going to pay for fast charging stations in the apartment garages.
    2) It’s less than $30,000 after tax rebates! Only if you’re paying more than $7500 in Fed taxes. This year I ended up paying less than $3000 in Fed taxes,so that’s all my rebate would be.
    I live in La,California and sales taxes are currently 9%. So a $36,600 Bolt would be $39,900+ w/taxes-and no delivery charges,dealer prep,etc. Eventually I would get $2500 from California and $3000 from Uncle Sam. So for me,the basic Bolt would be @ $34,400-hardly less than $30,000.
    So I can basically get a Chevy electric Fit for twice the price. At $5 a gallon of gas and 30mpg,it would be 96000 miles before I start saving money. Except I’d need to find a charging station to re-charge and the one VERY close to work charges $4 for a super charge. To get that 96,000 miles I’d need over 400 recharges. At $4/charge,it now works out to over 105,000 miles before I start saving and to say I’m leery of a Chevy holding up for 100,000 is a massive understatement.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Um, I don’t think there are a lot of carmakers who are marketing to people paying less than $3K in Federal taxes, regardless of powertrain.

      Also, if you wanted the Bolt and the full impact of the entire rebate, you could just lease, and the lessor would get the $7,500 and reflect it in lower lease payments.

    • 0 avatar
      2manycars

      My attitude is that if was any good it would not have to be subsidized. To me, the tax credits are a reason to NOT buy an electric car. They should compete on a level playing field with conventional vehicles. If they’re really better people will flock to them.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        I guess you never bought from Ford, GM or FCA, because they are all heavily subsidized by the US government.

        And I’m curious – do you refuse to use everything that is government subsidized on principle? Like, say, the internet, or public roads, or elementary school education…

        • 0 avatar
          2manycars

          The last car I owned from one of those companies was a 1964 Corvair.

          Your comparisons to other so-called “subsidies” are nonsense. None of those are attempts at forcing the market in a particular direction.

          If government subsidized everyone who bought any type of car, regardless of type, with tax credits I would not have much of a problem with it. That would not be an attempt at manipulating the marketplace in a particular direction and would reduce the amount the federal mafia extracts from the public. Instead they are choosing to directly “reward” only people who make what they consider to be the politically desirable choices. Besides, as I said – if electric cars are so wonderful they would not have to receive special subsidies. Consumers would be crawling over each other to buy them.

          Hopefully we will see some changes after January 20th when the adults are finally put back in charge.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “Hopefully we will see some changes after January 20th when the adults are finally put back in charge.”

            Edit 2: Never mind – we’ll see how that works out.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            I like adults!

            www1.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/Hillary+Clinton+
            Attends+Democratic+Caucus+g8V4Q713SKDl.jpg

            Rowrff! They shouldn’t be very busy now…

          • 0 avatar

            “Your comparisons to other so-called “subsidies” are nonsense. None of those are attempts at forcing the market in a particular direction.”

            OK I see your logic the bailouts were to save an industry that is important to the US economy. OK I’ll buy it.

            Now, realize that the car marketplace is worldwide and we certainly want to be a major player rather than import EV’s into the country; we could even export them. Genius. I totally agree, that’s why it is important to incentivize EV’s to ensure the US based car manufacturers stay ahead in a competitive worldwide marketplace. As a massive side benefit the balance of trade will get a huge shot in the arm if we can stop importing oil as the transition to EV’s occurs. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.

            Incentives are to steer the US into worldwide market dominance in an important new technology.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            “we will see some changes after January 20th when the adults are finally put back in charge”

            This is code for calling the current president “boy”

            BTW, last time I checked, it wasn’t so adult to lie constantly; refuse to take responsibility for your actions; hurl insults rather than debate issues; sexually assault multiple women and constantly cheat on your wives, taxes and business partners — but we’ll see how this turns out.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            >>This is code for calling the current president “boy”

            Somebody done filed a little too much off’n yer trigger notch.

            Their disparaging of the current cabal’s immaturity targets vastly more white people than kulluhds.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “The last car I owned from one of those companies was a 1964 Corvair.”

            if you’re that opposed to government subsidies and meddling then I hope you don’t have a Japanese, Korean, or German car. ‘cos those countries’ governments have their mitts far deeper into industries than we’d tolerate here.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Oh for crying out loud, not this tired sack of bull excrement yet again. Maybe you forget the sweet package of tax incentives W delivered for the oil industry during his term. Or our entire ruinously expensive military-industrial machine dedicated to propping up murderous but oil-rich regimes (that say thank you by sending us terrorism). Or the health costs of externalities from pollution. Think, Norstadt. Reason.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “I guess you never bought from Ford, GM or FCA, because they are all heavily subsidized by the US government.”

          Correct, never have and never will buy from any American car maker.

          “And I’m curious – do you refuse to use everything that is government subsidized on principle? Like, say, the internet, or public roads, or elementary school education”

          The EV subsidy, like say the Mortgage subsidy is designed to try to change people’s behavior to comply with what the Government thinks is best. All these tax credits/breaks should be eliminated, the Gov should not be trying to get people to buy electric cars or chose buying a house over renting.

          These subsidies do nothing for the public at large, where roads, bridges, water treatment plants, etc do.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          “And I’m curious – do you refuse to use everything that is government subsidized on principle? Like, say, the internet, or public roads, or elementary school education…”

          Or food.

          Don’t forget the Farm Bill and agricultural price supports and other farm subsidies.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        “My attitude is that if was any good it would not have to be subsidized…”

        Hmmm – Donald Trump has been subsidized by my tax dollars for 10+ years; I’d like that money back, too.

        If he would release his tax returns, I’d know how much I should ask for.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    This is the calculus I’m considering right now. When I buy new, I generally keep them for 10 or so years.

    I’ve had my current car for the last 8 years, and I’m thinking about my next one. I’m considering both hybrids and BEVs, but trying to gauge how much driving I need to do. Currently, my wife works 17 miles from home, I work 6. Something like a Chevy Volt, Bolt, or Malibu Hybrid would cover all of those needs.

    We have a sedan and a minivan (I have some hobbies and side gigs where I really need the hauling capacity), but I think the sedan will be replaced, not the van. Even in our cold Michigan winters, I think even a Nissan Leaf would be sufficient to get my wife the 50+ miles a day she drives (business meetings & etc.).

    I really want a BEV like the Bolt (I’m not quite wealthy enough for a Tesla, but find them fascinating), just because I thoroughly like the idea of fueling up my car from the house current, and the fact that there will be less maintenance necessary with a car like that. The only real drawback to the Bolt is the Pontiac Vibe size of the car, I’d like something a little bigger, like a mid size car.

    I need to choose carefully, I think. At 54 years of age, if I buy a new car in the next year or so, I will keep it 10 years +, right into retirement age. I need something that will meet my needs, but be economical to run, like my current car has been.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “The only real drawback to the Bolt is the Pontiac Vibe size of the car, I’d like something a little bigger, like a mid size car.”

      I read that the Bolt has a Tardis-like quality – you may want to give it a chance; people describe it as “open” and “spacious” for its size. It has an elevated height, but the flat battery pack means a lower CoG, so it should be more fun to drive than the average CUV.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Yep, I’m hoping it’ll have some Honda Fit going on inside.

        I’m also hoping that one eventually makes it to my tri-county area for a test drive before they yank my license.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @shaker: It’s not out of consideration at all. I *do* need to see one just to see how it feels.

        But the only ones I have seen are in photos, so it’s kind of hard to get an idea of the car’s size and capacity. I liked the Vibe, if the Bolt has similar characteristics it could get my dollars.

        The conventional side of me thinks that something like a Malibu Hybrid might do well, just because of it’s larger size alone.

        I definitely have to see one before I make any judgments…

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          The Bolt is smaller than the Vibe. If you go expecting a C-Max, you’ll be disappointed. If you go expecting a Fit, you’ll be pleased. The Bolt leverages its electric powertrain for a VERY short hood, enabling excellent rear legroom…but the body is pretty narrow (and so are the front seats for that matter).

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “but the body is pretty narrow (and so are the front seats for that matter).”

            Preliminary numbers suggest that the Bolt slightly larger than the Fit on the inside; I’m waiting for Consumer Reports to test the Bolt to see a side-by-side comparison (the manufacturers cheat a little on interior measurements other than volume).

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            “The Bolt is smaller than the Vibe.”

            Ah so. The pix I’ve seen of the Bolt indicated to me that it was Pontiac Vibe-sized.

            So, it’s a little larger than a Fit? It still might be doable. I’ll see one at the car show this year.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    So what if people are slow to adopt electric cars? Is this really a big problem?

    What’s funny is all my life I was told that a Big Oil cabal was keeping the electric car a secret because everyone would buy one if it was available. Yet here we are using tax dollars to pay people to buy them, and they still have problems getting them off of lots.

    Eventually, electric cars will be the dominant way passenger cars are powered, I really don’t have any doubts about that. Enough of the tax payer giveaways and making automotive companies buy “mileage” credits that get passed on to the consumer. My kids will probably be the last generation that uses a gas powered car.

    And after the electric car has almost universal adoption, the next “crisis” will be cars that are “electric hogs” that consumer too much electricity. Mark my words.

  • avatar

    OFF TOPIC

    Matt’s first paragraph brought something to mind concerning the “public’s knowledge” in general. A recent broadcast of a talk show carried by the station I work for talked with 2 self described “liberals” (mother and teen-aged daughter) with the intent of getting their views on a number of recent events. The talk veered into a topic which presents the question of moral right and wrong quite often. After a comment by the daughter on the topic she was asked how she determines what is morally right (acceptable) and what is morally wrong (unacceptable). Her response was that whatever the culture determined in the moral arena was the determining force for her. Another hypothetical question was posed which asked something to the effect “If the culture decided at some time in the future that killing redheads was acceptable, would you adopt that standard into your moral compass?” The daughter did not give an answer related to the question and simply dismissed the general idea as absurd.

    What came to mind was the Holocaust, where it became acceptable to some in that current culture to adopt an “absurd” moral stance. Many of our citizenry do not seem to find value in being “well” informed on issues nor do they consider thoughtfully those issues and the differing sides taken so they can arrive at an informed conclusion. More often than not the stance taken is “if you don’t agree with MY opinion, you are a hater” instead of hearing the differing view and reasoning with the individual to come to a conclusion which may or may not end with an agreement between the two. If agreement is found – good and well; if not then toleration is advised and necessary.

    While I personally find it hard to believe that 60% are unaware of EV’s, given what I’ve experienced first hand from some in this culture I’m not that surprised either.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I gave little faith in surveys. They are loaded and can be produced to give information they are seeking, ie, a question will be “do you like X or Y?”. X or Y might have little to do with your belief, want, need, etc.

    The truths why EVs/hybids are not accepted are;

    1. The fossil fuel vehicle ain’t broke, so why fix it?

    2. Even with massive industry/taxpayer support they don’t represent value.

    3. Usage is constrained by the very nature of EVs.

    4. People buy SUV/CUV/pickups. How much will it cost to buy one of these, even with the huge socialist market controls (handouts)?

    5. EVs are NOT the future. They will not satisfy the need or meet the expectations of the average vehicle owner. If they do they will be unaffordable.

    So much for biased surveys.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      1. The fossil fuel industry IS broke – it’s heating our planet beyond its capacity to maintain life as we know it

      2. EVs are great values to those who buy them. And, as I have pointed out SO many times here, taxpayers have been supporting ICE in much greater amounts for much longer. Be informed, Al.

      3. Usage is not constrained by the nature of EVs, it’s constrained by today’s battery tech, which is improving rapidly. Five years ago, 80 miles was the limit for an affordable EV. Last year it was 120. In 2017, it’s 200 — see the trend?

      4. People buy lots of body styles, including sedans, CUVs, etc. Have you heard of the Tesla Model X?

      5. If EVs aren’t the future, then why is EVERY carmaker with any hope of surviving the next decade investing so heavily in them? Maybe they know something more than some 400 lb. guy on a couch in Oz or Alabama or wherever.

      So much for biased responses.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        The “evidence” people give for ICE subsidies are complete nonsense. Like every war being the fault of SUVs, or something.

        Compared to the federal government and also many state governments actually handing people cash to buy electric cars. And that’s not even going into all the other subsidies in the background for these companies like Dept of Energy loans, R&D grants, subsidizing charging stations, making other car companies buy mileage credits, etc.

        “Green” endeavors are textbook examples of corporate welfare lining the pockets of billionaires.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          whitworth,
          Irrespective of the country (generally OECD) EVs would not exist without the massive taxpayer funded handouts and regulatory controls.

          The wasted money, trillions globally on highly visible, nothing achievements like EVs and other “socialist feel good green ventures” could of been better utilised.

          A classic example would of been to have subsidised natural gas for heating and power generation in the Rust Belt and NE.

          The construction of nuclear power stations.

          This would of reduced far more carbon than a “few” EVs for the socialist feel good doers that have enough to invest in a new vehicle anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Some of what you suggest already exists. For example, government loan guarantees for nuclear power stations, because the liability is so great that no private insurer will cover them.

      • 0 avatar
        markf

        “1. The fossil fuel industry IS broke – it’s heating our planet beyond its capacity to maintain life as we know it”

        Absolute and utter nonsense.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          markf,
          I fully agree.

          My view is the available resources could be far better invested to reduce carbon.

          This is quite obvious in my statement.

          We have existing technology that would give us a “better bang for our buck”.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            Yup, “Climate Change” is just another scheme by the elites to transfer wealth and tax us all into submission. If a scheme like carbon credits were don in the private sector every one involved would be in the Federal Prison….

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            Why people always want to equate BEV’s with climate change as their only reason for existing is beyond me.

            – smog causes health issues for people across the globe. NY and similar cities spend millions cleaning soot off of their buildings.
            – major wars have been fought over petroleum, and terrorist organizations funded from your gas dollar.
            – more than a few ecological disasters have been caused by tankers, spills, and uncapped wells.

            BEV’s in contrast are:

            – Lead (mostly) by US corporations
            – use an energy source that could be 100% domestically generated
            – are exported to the rest of the world.

            But go ahead, keep arguing only treehuggers want them.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Shhh, stop telling the p-r-o-l-e-s the t-r-u-t-h.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “another scheme by the elites to transfer wealth and tax us all into submission.”

            Well, if they’re elites then they’re already wealthy and if you’re not one of them then you’re already in submission.

            Game over. Why didn’t you try harder?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Climate change is occuring. The issues to resolve/tackle climate change are political.

            Sticking your head in the sand is ridiculous.

            Solar, wind and even hydro are very dependent on the environment.

            Nuclear and natural gas are great, but so would the stopping of slash and burn agriculture, cows farting and burping.

          • 0 avatar

            @orenwolf.

            Amen!

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          “I don’t want to believe it” =/= “it isn’t true,” sorry to say.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        EVs aren’t a great value for those who buy them, who are the people who don’t drive them. They’re sold at a great loss to people who are compensated for taking on the onerous task of living with them. Then they’re disposed of at another huge loss. Right now, off-lease Fiat 500e models are available with 18K-35k miles for $4,200 to $4,500. That means that Fiat rented them at a massive loss to people paid by their fellow taxpayers to drive them. Then, Fiat or their financing arm will take another huge, tax deductible loss to move them closer to their natural state as a component of a toxic waste dump. Their total cost to society is difficult to adequately capture.

        • 0 avatar

          @ToddAtlasF1

          Heavy EV depreciation merely charts front end losses in value.

          The fate for all cars is that they will depreciate down to zero, it’s just a question of when and how quickly. Therefore the ultimate depreciation for all vehicles is the same. 100%.

          EV’s are no better or worse in their “cost to society” in this regard.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Nobody had to subsidize Honda to build the cars in my driveway. Nobody had to bribe me to buy them. The oldest one is a 2004 that has twice the mileage of the most used off-lease 2013 Fiat 500e and it is still worth 50% more than a Fiat EV that was priced higher new. If a real car travels 500 to 5000% further on its journey from new car lot to recycling center than an EV whose construction was subsidized by people who never utilized it, then it is costing society far less while providing a much greater benefit. That’s how transportation’s worth is assessed. What else do you have no useful knowledge of? Abraham Lincoln had some worthwhile advice for EV advocates about remaining silent and being thought fools.

          • 0 avatar

            @ToddAtlasF1

            I see your argument concludes with a personal putdown. Classy.

            Well as this thread comes to its natural conclusion here’s some food for thought.

            You mention benefits to society of ICE over EV. I can think of several.

            Exxon Valdiz.
            BP Gulf Oil spill.
            VW diesel emissions 20x declared amounts.
            Paris and Sao Paulo having to restrict vehicle access to their cities by 50% due to dangerous smog levels.
            World Health Organization lists air pollution as the number 1 killer globally.

            I take it these are the benefits to society you aspire to.

            Count me out.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            ToddAtlasShrugged,

            “Nobody had to subsidize Honda to build the cars in my driveway.”

            Uh, yes, the Japanese government heavily subsidizes its own industries and distorts its own markets in favor of them. But I don’t expect you to understand that.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Off lease Fiats are that cheap because they are Fiats and gas prices are low.

          If we are talking full life cycle the fact is EVs will never depreciate as much as a conventional ICE powered car since they have a lot of higher value commodities in them.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “the onerous task of living with them”

          <3 Oh, Todd <3

          The EV owners who weigh in on TTAC, especially SCE and mcs, don't appear to have been very oneroussed.

        • 0 avatar
          NomNomChomsky

          Toxic waste dump? More of a BEV is recyclable than any combustion vehicle. This is part of what contributes to the very low overall life cycle impact of these vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            It’s a decade-old bit of FUD anti-BEV folks have passed around that batteries are “toxic”. Because, on their face, they are. But that was before we were *all* carrying these “toxic” batteries around in our pockets. Ever wonder why recyclers will pay you more than $100 for your old phone? Because those components have created a pretty amazing reuse/recycling ecosystem on their own.

            BEV batteries are the same – they are incredibly recyclable, and only the batteries need special attention – the rest of the car is basically raw materials, unlike the gas, oil, antifreeze, and transmission fluids found in an ICE car.

            But, don’t take my word for it:

            https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jinqiu_Xu3/publication/222418348_A_review_of_processes_and_technologies_for_the_recycling_of_lithium-ion_secondary_batteries/links/56a098e608ae4af5254aa4ca.pdf

            It’s true – most of these processes didn’t exist ten years ago. But now, with literally billions of batteries with precious metals in them, recycling has become a lucrative industry on its own (and yet another area North America has fallen behind in, sadly).

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            If you hate EVs you really should read orenwolf’s referenced paper to see what a moonshot is profitably recycling LIBs and how they’re metaphorically still in 1962 with it.

            Offering it as evidence is a splendid example of tunnel-vision evangelism.

            But I still wanna test drive a Bolt!

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            The thing is, it’s just a paper. Companies are literally making millions recycling Lithium Batteries. It’s not a moonshot – we’ve landed on the moon and setup a healthy colony complete with its own evonomy in precious metals.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I personally love the irony of the alt right blowhard criticizing Federal subsidy of industries ON the internet.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Orenwolf, I respect you in exactly the same way that I respect my highly intelligent religious friends.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            The difference is that orenwolf is right.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Absolute perfection in timing and content, VoGo!

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            lithium isn’t particularly valuable as a recycling target. most efforts go towards recovering the *cobalt,* and as manufacturers drive the costs of cells down by eliminating expensive materials like cobalt the economic incentive to recycle cells goes away.

            http://waste-management-world.com/a/1-the-lithium-battery-recycling-challenge

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Yep, his own reference paper makes that stuff clear.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            Only the alt-right, when presented with the reality of events *actually happening* in the world, would patch on to their own interpretation of a paper to prove that the world is, indeed, flat.

            Batteries are being recycled, effectively, safely, and profitably. I know you’d prefer it to be otherwise, and I’m sorry that your worldview is dated and no longer matches reality.

            You’re more like your “religious friends” than you think.

            I’ll keep off your lawn, though. Promise!

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Now see you my Greatness!

            I am called both alt-right AND an SJW!

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            then who are these companies who are “literally making millions” on recycling lithium batteries? If they’re there, you could have pointed us to at least one by now instead of repeating assertions.

            I mean, the (university) research paper you posted talks solely about the processes for recycling lithium batteries and doesn’t really get into the financial side of it *at all.* YOU are the one taking it and making the leap to claiming companies are out there “making millions” on it. I’ve at least shown one industry source which is saying it isn’t worth it right now especially as newer, cheaper cell designs eliminate costly materials like cobalt. Then when pressed you fling accusations of “alt-right” towards people for whom it couldn’t be f***ing further from the truth.

            so simple- show me who is making “millions” on recycling lithium batteries and I’ll concede the point.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            You’re kidding, right? In my very first comment on this topic, I pointed out that there are a plethora of cellphone recycling companies that have sprung up to recycle the components of a cellphone, including it’s largest one next to the screen, the battery. I’m not going to google those for you.

            Better yet, read some of the articles[1] on how the rest of the world is mopping up by recycling all our western electronics (including, of course, BEV components, which was the original point of this thread).

            You can keep trying to pick apart the meta of my comments but the fact is BEVs are *highly* recyclable, and the special handling for the batteries, while certainly specialized, does result in recoverable components, unlike, say, antifreeze/transmission fluid and (to a lesser extend depending on the use case) motor oil.

            my *point* is they’re not toxic waste dumps. That’s a flat-out fabrication by people that, for reasons I can’t fathom, don’t want clean, domestically-fueled and designed vehicles to gain traction in the market.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            OldManPants is actually Kek in disguise.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Ugh, your tap-dancing is getting tiring. you posted a paper about recycling BATTERIES, and claimed companies are making “millions” recycling BATTERIES. No, wait. you first said battery recycling “will be lucrative,” then one post later it turned into “are making millions.” then when asked for a cite for these companies who are “making millions” on battery recycling, you start talking about companies recycling cellphones. Well, I’m not asking about cellphone recyclers, because I know what electronics recyclers are making money on. Copper, gold, and to a lesser extent, aluminum. Gold is lucrative to recycle due to its rarity, copper is lucrative due to its demand, and aluminum is lucrative because recycling metallic aluminum is easy and cheap compared to refining it from ore which is noxious and takes tons of energy. on the other hand, it’s cheap enough to source virgin lithium where recycling it from batteries isn’t yet economical. those cell-phone/electronics recyclers are most likely shucking the batteries off for someone else to handle.

            just like motor oil, trans fluid, and antifreeze; they’re all completely recyclable too but virgin material is too cheap and abundant to make it worthwhile.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            I’m not tap dancing. Do you guys really believe the electronics recycling industry is operating at a loss? Or that the second-largest component of those phones is worthless? Why are they paying literally $100 or more for your old phone to recycle then?

            I’m not getting dragged further into this meta-discussion because clearly you’d rather focus on the report I posted, and pick it apart, than to look at the real world and see that BEV’s *are not toxic waste dumps*, they are instead highly recyclable. No matter WHAT I post, it will be unacceptable because, I can only assume, we’re into ideology and faith now instead of looking at what’s in front of you.

            As one of many, many examples, look at Umicore. Their entire business is recycling, they’re a 3 Billion euro business, and they just entered into an arrangement with Tesla to recycle their batteries in the EU into lithium cobalt oxide for reuse in future batteries. Apparently you think they’re doing this at a loss.

            https://www.tesla.com/en_CA/blog/teslas-closed-loop-battery-recycling-program

            This is the last post I’m making on this subject, because it’s clear to me that no matter *what* I post, it won’t be sufficient. Because, despite what you’ve said, I’m sure you’re actually going to concede nothing.

            The fact is, BEV’s are being heavily recycled, and if “toxic waste dump” == “unusable, hazardous materials”, then you are going to be sorely disappointed. But I can’t change the minds of the near-religious-zealotry who want to ignore all the recycling going on around them and instead stick to their faith that the cars are toxic waste dumps, and I’m done trying.

          • 0 avatar
            Kevin Jaeger

            “Why are they paying literally $100 or more for your old phone to recycle then?”

            Stop it, you’re killing me. A $100 discount on a new purchase isn’t paying $100 for a phone that’s going to be recycled.

            Try finding someone that will actually pay you for a complete but non-working cell phone destined for a recycler. A cell phone weighs what, 8 or 10 ounces? You’re talking on the order of $200/pound or $400,000/ton for waste material into recycling?

            I think you should probably stop talking about the finances of the recycling industry. It’s obvious you don’t have even a passing familiarity with the business.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I don’t think the alt right EV-hating oil lobby gets to claim that lithium is too expensive for EVs to work, and also that lithium is too cheap to recycle.

            It’s like saying that Obama is passive and does nothing but play golf, but also that he usurps power from other branches with illegal executive orders.

            Or that we were too pacifist in Syria, but also that we should be staying out.

            I just ask that that Breitbart make up your minds already.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “I just ask that that Breitbart make up your minds already.”

            That that Breitbart does great undercoating!

          • 0 avatar
            Kevin Jaeger

            Sigh. Facts are stubborn things that don’t go away just because you wish them to be untrue.

            You can read about the process from a company that actually does attempt to recycle Lithium batteries:
            pmr.umicore.com/en/batteries/our-recycling-process

            The lithium ends up as slag to be used in the construction industry, not for reuse in new batteries. Cobalt and other valuable metal alloys are reused.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “The lithium ends up as slag to be used in the construction industry”

            Imagine the Chinese use for theirs…

            “Heavenly Lotus Potency Powder… Better Than Rhino Horn!

            One Jar, Many Son!”

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            Ut oh, Left wing talking point alert, “Alt Right”. Maybe the Russians hacked your brain

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            “Maybe the Russians hacked your brain”

            Nope. My brain and the election are different things.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          “Nobody had to subsidize Honda to build the cars in my driveway…”

          Apparently you are not familiar with the history of the Japanese auto industry.

    • 0 avatar
      mtmmo

      Big Al all great points. Unfortunately when you state commonly accepted facts it only attracts the leftist fascists who demand you agree with them or you’ll get bullied. It’s how the leftist children operate before they run back to their safe space.
      If you haven’t already you should check out Bark & Jack’s site Riverside Green. No bs tolerated, especially leftist bs, and the stories/posts are definitely worth reading.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I still think with battery current battery tech and the fact that in Minnesota public charging doesn’t exist in the city much less rural area (which is where you need it most with an EV) that a car like the Volt is the way to go.

    Basically an EV with the ability to drive anywhere you want to go like any other ICE car if you need to. I logged many 60-70 miles days last summer using nothing but the 115 VAC outlet in my garage. And my range indicator usually indicated anywhere from 45-50 miles of EV range A little over 20 gallons of gas to log just under 10,000 miles so far. And when I’m burning gas it usually means I’m on the highway so I still have a car that delivers mid 40’s fuel economy. Plus it drives and rides better than most luxury cars. In fact that’s what I love about it most, the way it drives. Smooth, effortless torque. I always drive it in “sport” mode because I like how responsive it is. Quiet is the new cool! Exhaust note from an ICE be dammed!….LOL

    • 0 avatar

      I’m glad you are enjoying your Volt and hope you get many years of enjoyable driving from it.

      I’ve seen similar logic to yours to justify a PHEV over BEV and it always puzzles me. WIth just 45-50 miles of range you have only used 20 gallons of gas in a year, so doesn’t it follow that if you could have double the available range, say 90-100 miles in the morning then you might not need gas at all and hence do just fine on a BEV? A BEV with 90-100 miles range would handle your many 60-70 mile days without the need for a charge until you returned home.

      I understand the psychological crutch the range extender provides but I think in many cases that’s all it is, a crutch. Many times I see Volt drivers insisting they need the range extender then in the next breath boast how little fuel they are using with the limited electric range of the Volt.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        Can’t you just let him be happy with what he has? He didn’t buy the damn thing for you.

        • 0 avatar

          You mean something like this?

          “I’m glad you are enjoying your Volt and hope you get many years of enjoyable driving from it.”

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Here’s the deal. If you drive an EV you know how cold temperatures absolutely kill your battery range. Add to that the extra load of heating the cabin and the range becomes absolutely miserable compared to what you’ll see on a summer day. Really the biggest problem with current battery tech IMHO, not recharge time. I live in MN, I like the fact that my Volt can still be driven on the coldest of days. Or if I leave town and head into rural MN or WI. Forget bout public charging in those areas it just doesn’t exist and won’t for a long time. If I had a Leaf it would mean I’d be starting one of my other V8 powered FS trucks to get me around more often. So with a Leaf I’d actually burn more gas than with the Volt over a years time.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            That was one sentence. Which you followed up with two paragraphs criticizing him for not buying an EV.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    I was speaking to someone I know at well known UK car maker who told me that in the next 2 years they will launch a car with a 15 min recharge time and a range of 300 miles. For me that would be a game changer and would signal the death of petrol.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    My biggest concern about getting another EV is the depreciation, which is directly related to battery degradation.

    This is why Leafs are so cheap, but Tesla resale is more like ‘normal’ cars.

    The 75% depreciation (after 3 years) on my leased 12 Leaf would have been a choker if I had actually bought the car new.

    • 0 avatar

      As odd as it may sound, the heavy depreciation is the reason I decided to pony up for a replacement battery in the 2011 LEAF I bought. I decided to drive it to the age where a normally depreciated car would be for the same age/miles.

      Once It reaches 10 years old it will be worth about the same as other 10 year high mileage cars.

      The gamble is not writing it off between now and then.

      Certainly the high depreciation on LEAF’s (the worst of the worst) other BEV choices will be considered before looking at another Nissan BEV. Thankfully many choices are coming our way in 2017 and beyond.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Wow – you did?!

        You’re probably right about the depreciation at the 10-year mark.

        I will admit to being torn while walking away from the Leaf for the last time. At age 3, it was in excellent condition (except for the repaired front end damage…). But the buyout price was ridiculously high even after the $5k reduction offer, and Nissan wouldn’t budge. Besides, when the lease was up I didn’t really need a third car (or the payment).

        I suspect that long-range EVs won’t suffer from as much battery degradation because they aren’t deep-cycled as much. At the moment, it’s hard to discern whether Tesla’s low degradation is due to their huge battery, or other factors like chemistry or battery management.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    After reading most of the comments related to this article I see the dreamers and the realists.

    The dreamers are totally ignoring the negative aspects of EVs.

    EVs will be available only for the better heeled in our society.

    EV vehicle life will need to be decades, not years. Because of this the auto industry will take a hit.

    Because there will be less vehicles on the road and all driverless the whole of the transport industry will take a massive hit in employment.

    EVs will need to be small. Weight is a big factor.

    In Australia the major cities are rapidly developing major population nodes along existing transport corridors, rail being the main form of chosen transport.

    I don’t see a bright future in the automotive/transport world.

    Automotive consumerism will decline. Buying a vehicle will become as exciting as choosing a fridge.

    The problem with electricity is our ability to store this energy. Because of this electric power transport is most efficient when the enerhy is deliver on demand via conduits (powerlines).

    To those that deny climate change is not occurring. Just take in a local example like Atlanta. Atlanta’s urban sprawl has a significant impact on its climate, this is without pollutants. Sydney is the same.

    I believe how we are tackling climate change is half assed. EVs are not the answer.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “To those that deny climate change is not occurring.”

      I, Kek, ban you from this Planet!

      For you are a Simpleton whose Mind flitteth like a Moth and who refuseth to give Due to Grammar.

      I would of done it sooner but I was taking a Nap.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Amen, brother.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Sorry VoGo,
          I don’t see EVs in their current form as the answer.

          If you look at how and when electrical energy is most efficient is when electricity is produced on demand and not stored.

          Steam power as I pointed out is similar. Steam is viable in large installations.

          Society (taxpayers) and manufacturers can not sustain a constant propping up of the EV industry.

          Add to this the protective stance the US has with the manufacture of large heavy vehicles, makes EVs less attractive.

          The cost of charging infrastructure is huge. To make EVs viable you will need to have some form of charging available everytime the EV is stationary.

          You guys keep on dreaming at the financial burden of your family, friends and neighbours.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Big Al,
            You are missing two important trends here.

            1. Solar is fast becoming the cheapest form of electricity production, and of all energy, esp. when you take into account the externalities (pollution, war) of fossil fuels.

            2. Battery tech is advancing quickly. Cheaper to build, higher capacity, faster charging.

            We can debate until the cows come home, and it won’t amount to a hill of beans. EVs are coming, because they are rapidly becoming superior vehicles. Whether B&B likes it or not.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            VoGo,
            Like EVs the energy must be stored with solar and wind. This is costly and inefficient compared to fossil fuels.

            The state of South Australia has moved heavily towards green energy, solar and wind.

            Not only do Sth Aussies pay twice as much for electricity than I do in QLD their supply is unreliable. A month or so ago a storm went through SA and brought the state to its knees for weeks. SA is on the grid with the state of Victoria and Victoria could not supply the whole state of SA.

            SA needs to run in parallel a base load system with the green system. This is not economical.

            Due to the cost of electriciy in SA industry has left and now the green good doers expect the Federal government to subsidise them. Why? SA chose this outcome. They were warned by experts in the power industry and economists about what is ocurring right now.

            But SA is full of people like you who and other economic terrorists who want to lower our standards of living. Then expect to have your life subsidised, like the EV industry and states like SA.

            On demand power is what is needed. The best, most efficient, economical approach is to convert to NG and nuclear energy.

            Batteries are only good for low power consuming portable devices and RC toys.

            Google the green energy issues in SA.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            South Australia?

            Look at the Tesla solution: a bundle of roof shingles that receive the solar energy, a battery to store it and vehicle to use it. Complete cycle.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            VoGo,
            So are Pod Racers. I have looked into solar and batteries on my home. The amount of money required would actually make electricity unaffordable. The cost would be around $30k, plus interest. This is for a 10 year period. To borrow and pay this down is unviable as my electricity bill is $200-$250 per quarter or $10k in 10 years.

            I think you are confused with what’s possible vs viable.

            Going to the moon is possible, but not viable. To be viable the outcome must outweigh the cost. The US went to the moon and produced a positive political outcome, with some technical outcomes.

            The cost of all the missions would of not occurred for only the techbnic outcomes. It would of not been cost effective.

            EVs do not represent the same national urgency as the Moon mission. The Moon mission was pursued for national pride and national security.

            Your blind support is based on subjectiveness. I’m looking at green energy objectively.

            As I stated I do believe in climate change. The cheapest way to reduce greenhouse emissions is to target stationary sources first.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You convinced me, Big Al,

            When you explained that you were an objective realist, while I am just a subjective dreamer, I realized you were totally right and I was foolish to have my own opinion.

            Pod Racers sealed the deal.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            VoGo,
            I’m going to buy a Pod Racer next week;)

            As long as it’s not FCA!

            VoGo, The total cost of EVs and the other green energies are expensive.

            Lithium prices are rising and lithium batteries have one of the highest material cost for a manufactured product.

            Combine this with lithium mining being reliant on potash and the rarer metals only being viable with base metal mining, I don’t enviage the future you do.

            Battery prices will easily doyble or triple in price. Whether you buy a cordless drill or EV car the battery is a major component of cost.

            You just don’t mine litium, if you do then the price must rise to offset the oversupply of potash.

            70% of the cost of a battery is material cost, with the price heavily dependent on lead, copper, silver, etc demand. Cobalt is just a “by product” of lead mining.

            Reality.

            So nuclear and natural gas on large and/or stationary generation and use should of been our first port of call, not EVs.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “So nuclear and natural gas on large and/or stationary generation and use should of been our first port of call, not EVs.”

            *sigh*

            Would of, could of, should of.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Big Al, Just in case you are willing to consider an alternative perspective:

            https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-03/for-cheapest-power-on-earth-look-skyward-as-coal-falls-to-solar

    • 0 avatar

      @Big AL From Oz

      You claim

      “EVs will be available only for the better heeled in our society.”

      How so?

      With 2013 LEAF’s for sale secondhand for about $8,000 I don’t see why they are limited to societies elite.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        He also said no one except rock stars, sultans and senators would be able to afford the aluminum F-150, or something to that effect.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Plus $6,000 for a battery, plus several hundred for new tyres, plus new brakes, etc.

        Hey why not buy a new Focus?

        How much cheaper is a second hand ICE car?

        So EVs are more expensive, even second hand.

        I can also buy a cheap second hand …… anything.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          No those $8,000 Leafs at least in my area only have 20K~35k on the clock with full battery bars and a lot of time and miles left on the 8yr/100K (10yr/150K in some states) battery warranty.

          So no need for brakes for a long long time thanks to regen braking. Tires should be good for a while longer.

          I’m seriously considering a Leaf or Focus Electric to park right between our V8 powered crew cab 4×4 and AWD SUV. Perfect for my wife’s commute and much of our daily driving.

          For me that means that I could keep it 6 years and the savings vs buying gas will cover the bulk of the depreciation maintenance and repairs.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Scoutdude,
            My initial comment regarding the price of EVs is the vehicle style.

            If EVs are mainstream, larger vehicle are needed. These will be unaffordable to most in the foreseeable future.

            It seems the people present counter arguments when discussing pickups, SUVs and CUVs state the US market is large vehicles.

            Now it seems small EVs are the rage according to some of these people.

            If EVs become more than a niche or novelty the handouts can’t be maintained.

            Also as I pointed out the cost of batteries will become unaffordable.

            Even solar cells will be competitive per kilowatt in 20 years. But this is only generation (only when the sun shines). Storage will be needed, along with other infrastructure.

            EVs are not different. They require batteries as well. This will place massive supply and demand issues on the metals and minerals for manufacture will industrial/domestic batteries.

            You then will require several chargers per EV.

            You might be able to afford to operate several vehicles, but you are not the majority.

            Electricity is great for transport. But only when the electricity is delivered to the vehicle and not stored in batteries.

            I support any innovative and new ideas, but they must sustainable, without handouts. People who want EVs must pay the true cost of what they want. Why should others pay for a slice of someone else’s car? Especially when the cost of an EV is more than enough to buy an alternative NEW ICE car?

            Like I stated there are far more effective and cheaper alternatives in reducing CO2 using existing technologies.

            If the US and many other nations are serious about redicing CO2 emissions you would not be driving such large vehicles. Reducing vehicle size will reduce CO2 at a faster rate than a few EVs. But then how can the US maintain large vehicle manufacture?

            EVs are a bulls!t ploy by government to convince the public its doing something whilst producing large protected vehicles. This is the truth.n

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Beeah!

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I’d like to have an electric car for commuting, but my round trip is 60 miles. Something tells me the heat in Houston will hurt the battery a little, meaning something like a $6,000 used Leaf or 500e with an 80-90 mile range would just barely make it each day. I simply don’t want to deal with that calculation. I’d love a Volt but they’re still twice that price and it won’t make financial sense until the price of gas goes up another dollar or so.

    • 0 avatar

      @IBx1

      I used to commute 72 miles round trip in my LEAF. I did need destination charging to make it.

      High ambient temps aren’t a huge factor when it comes to running A/C, the A/C is quite efficient. (Heating in the winter is a killer in the older LEAF’s and the S models). We get 100+ F in the summer in Nashville and the LEAF handles cooling the interior without issues.

      If an EV truly had 80-90 miles range, then it will do the 60 mile round trip no problems even in Houston heat. I doubt a second hand LEAF would have anything close to that range, the heat impacts the LEAF battery pack causing premature degradation and permanent loss of range. Not sure how the 500e’s are holding up in hot climates, probably worth researching/considering.

      Don’t be put off by the need to use AC in the summer.

      • 0 avatar
        IBx1

        I’m more worried about what the remaining battery capacity is when these examples have 40k-60k miles. I’m not worried about the car itself with that mileage, or the motor, but if the battery can barely squeak by on the commute I’d be more comfortable with a range extender. The newer EV’s have higher capacity batteries, but they’re still too costly for a dedicated commuter car.


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