By on December 30, 2017

2018 Niro Plug-In Hybrid, Image: Kia Motors

The odds are still stacked against such a purchase, but next year stands to become the greatest year yet for vehicles not entirely powered by internal combustion.

In its look at industry trends for 2018, Edmunds reveals a number of no-brainers: the passenger car segment continues its sad decline, luxury SUVs remain a massive growth market, and the amount of new car buyers choosing to lease remains static at 30 percent.

One segment, however, stands to hit the accelerator next year. Green vehicles — covering the hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicle segments — will break out of the micro-niche category and catapult firmly into the “niche, but approaching mainstream” realm. 

In its study, Edmunds concludes green vehicles will top 4 percent of the U.S. new car market sometime in 2018. Energized in large part by the Tesla Model 3, plug-in vehicle sales are set to double next year, with the broader green segment ultimately reaching 4.4 percent of the market.

Conventional hybrids won’t benefit from the public’s newfound enthusiasm for electrification, but EVs sure will. From a U.S. market share of 0.61 percent in November 2017, electric vehicles will make up 1.7 percent of the new car landscape next year, Edmunds claims. Coupled with plug-in hybrids, sales of vehicles equipped with a charging port should surpass that of their hybrid brethren.

Still, timing is everything, and the Model 3’s bumpy ramp-up casts plenty of uncertainty over the prediction. Assuming Tesla reaches its goal of 5,000 Model 3s per week sometime in the second quarter of 2018, the numbers should hold. Helping green market share is a declining thirst for new vehicles. Edmunds predicts 16.8 million new vehicles sold in the U.S. this year, followed by another decline in 2018. According to The Detroit News, Cox Automotive sees 16.6 million vehicles sold in 2017; IHS Markit predicts 16.9 million.

Looking at last month’s sales, the green car take rate stood at 3.39 percent. Multiplying November’s volume by 12 brings an annual figure of roughly 16.6 million, similar to some predictions for 2018. If Model 3 production hits 5,000 vehicles/month over a period like November (with all other electric vehicles sales remaining the same), the EV take rate would stand at 2.15 percent.

Of course, the Model 3 isn’t the only factor. It’s the biggest, yes, but we still don’t know where Chevrolet Bolt demand will level off. There’s a new Nissan Leaf due for 2018. As well, dedicated green models like the Honda Clarity, Hyundai Ioniq, and Kia Niro are casting vehicles into more than one category at a time, bolstering the broader planet-hugging segment.

Mild hybrids with 48-volt electrical systems are also poised to enter the market. Though these systems barely have enough electric grunt to propel a speeding car under electric propulsion alone (and certainly don’t come with a plug or capacious battery), they still count as an electrified vehicle. We can’t say how low Edmunds set the bar for its hybrid category.

[Image: Kia Motors]

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95 Comments on “2018: The Year You Might – Just Maybe – Buy Your First (Sort of) Electric Vehicle...”


  • avatar
    emg77

    I bought a used 2014 Volt earlier this year. I never thought it until owning one, but electric really is the way things will be going. The Volt is nearly a perfect commuter car for me. I’ve gone about 5000 miles with it and used about 10 gallons of gas. I could easily make a Bolt or something with a 200 miles range work for me, as my office allows me to rent a car for trips greater than 200 miles.

    The Gen 1 Volts are a great used car buy. The depreciation on them is high, but they have a great warranty. My fully optioned 2014 stickered for a bit over $40k new. I purchased it for around $17k with 33,000 miles on it as a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle. I have 1 year/12k of bumper to bumper warranty, and the balance of a 5 years/60k powertrain warranty (my gas engine only has about 5,000 miles on it at this point) and an 8 year/100,000 mile warranty on all the electric propulsion system components and the battery. So basically, I got a 3 year old car with 5 years and 77k miles of warranty on much of the car.

    My oldest son starts driving in about a year, and I will certainly be considering an all-electric vehicle for him. There are so many of the California compliance vehicles with a 70-80 mile range that are so cheap used. I’m figuring he might get a used Fiat 500e or something similar, since they seem to go for about $5500 off lease, and he really doesn’t need to be driving farther than 15-20 miles from home.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Before I clicked on this article, I was looking at older Volts on cargurus and found a 2014 that was well-priced.

      I found the 2014 Volt brochure and I had no idea the warranty coverage was as good as it is and now you’re confirming it.

      I might need to look closer at a used Volt. I’ve been pretty sure I’m going to get a used regular C-Max until now but I’d love to just be able to have an electric car.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Around here the C-Max Energi often sell for the same price as the regular Hybrid so they are certainly worth considering if you can charge it at home, and even more so if you can charge it at work too.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        I truly don’t understand the desire to have a “just electric” car. A plug-in hybrid offers so much more. My C-Max Energi is electric when that’s most appropriate (stop-and-go in the central city, plus all short neighborhood trips) and gas-powered when that’s best (long drives across empty Western states). I can charge the relatively small battery at home, overnight, and my first 20 miles of driving the next day will be gas-free. Some days, that’s all the driving I do, so I effectively have an electric car. Over the first six months, I’ve recorded 67 mpg, not accounting for the kilowatts.

        Sure, I’d love to stick it to Big Oil. But EV owners are pugging in to the same industry that provides electricity from natural gas and coal, in my region. The Union of Concerned Scientists informs me that a 38 mpg car emits less the same CO2 an EV in my grid. Yours may vary, but unless you live in the PNW, your grid is not so renewable or clean as you might wish.

        So maybe the EV urge is just the longing for the Next Big Thing? Someday, when every restaurant has all the EV chargers that patrons need, we can talk about relying on electricity. But the plug-in hybrid seems like the perfect transitional compromise, always ready to drive anywhere, anytime.

    • 0 avatar
      mattwc1

      First off, congratulations on the purchase. It seems that the first generation Volt is an abject bargain in the used market. To me, it makes that case as a perfect commuter car. I also believe that electric cars are the eventual future.

      I current have a 2nd gen Insight that is reliable and efficient but mind numbing but woefully underpowered. I have been eyeballing used Volts and CMaw Energies because I could plug in at work.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        What’s often missed about the C-Max is its power and performance. They claim around 190 HP, and an 8-second 0-60 time. That’s GTI-level acceleration, back in the days before they turbo’ed it. There’s not an on-ramp around here that shames me and my new car! Coming out of a Mk. V GTI, the performance I miss is the performance I could never access on the street. The Ford’s steering feel is also on par with a VW’s, and the cornering — up to about 6/10 — has a similar feel.

        Some folks might think it’s inappropriate to consider performance with a “green car.” Some, especially Prius owners, are proud of what their cars can’t do. It’s like a diet for them. But I want my vehicle to satisfy on all levels, and be a practical compromise.

    • 0 avatar
      emg77

      Brett,

      My Volt has been flawless so far. If you have someplace to charge, and your typical commute is under 35-40 miles, you’ll hardly use any gas. I can get 40-45 miles on electric in the summer. In the winter, it drops down to about 30, but if it gets below freezing and you run the heat, it drops to more like 20 because the heat takes a lot of energy. You can set it up to run the engine at idle (to use the engine heat to heat the cabin) and use the electric for acceleration when the engine drops below either 35 or 15 degrees. It does take premium gas, but considering I fill up every 3-4 months, it’s not a big deal. The C-Max Energie is popular too, but the all electric range is quite a bit less than the Volt. It’s worth looking at both though.

      Matt,
      The Volt might not look like it on paper (0-60 time), but it feels really fast. It’s very peppy in city traffic. With the instant torque and the lack of shifting, it feels very fast.

      Electric can’t do everything. Our other car is a 2017 GMC Acadia. We need it to haul around our family of 5 as well as tow our travel trailer for camping. But for the commuter car function and as a second car, the Volt is pretty much perfect. Even when I have to take a longer trip, I can get 37-40 mpg on gas miles.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “But for the commuter car function and as a second car, the Volt is pretty much perfect. Even when I have to take a longer trip, I can get 37-40 mpg on gas miles.”

        Could’t agree more. I’ve also got a Tahoe but unless I’m hooking a boat, camper or snowmobiler trailer to the back, it collects dust in the garage while the Volt gets the job done the other 98% of the time. RARELY does it leave the garage without towing something.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      I paid 16,500 for my 2013 Volt w/35K miles on it. It has every single option you could put on it that year including the Cadillac paint. Original MSRP was around $46K. Heck I even got a Volt car cover and sunshade with it.

      I tell people I love the way it drives and the technology in it. With gas so cheap there really isn’t much of an argument about any money it is saving me at the pump.

      I was tooling around today with the temp @ -13F (MN Resident) which means the engine runs as soon as it you turn it on due to the temperature. It’s still super efficient figuring in gas & electricity at those temps.

      Where I work they let me plug it in so even during the winter as long as the tempo is above 15F I’ll never burn gas commuting. And why not, one of the parts in my Volt for the battery was built there!

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @emg77: I’ve been pondering the same thing myself; when I get around to replacing our daily driver I may go for a used Volt. I’ve had a complete change of heart from where I was 10-15 years ago where I thought that hybrids were too hopelessly complex to survive daily driver usage. 15+ years of Toyota, Ford and other succeeding hybrid models have changed my opinion.

      I also have been trolling the classifieds looking for deals on used Volts. I recently moved to a (new to me) house that has a separate garage with a 240V service. My daily commute is 20 miles my wife’s is about 34. We frequently swap cars, so a Volt would cover both of our commutes in electric mode.

      • 0 avatar
        emg77

        @geozinger: I have no regrets. I really enjoy the Volt. I had a 2008 Astra stick shift prior, and I thought I would miss the ability to shift my own gears and the engaging driving experience of a manual transmission car, but the Volt is fun in a completely different way. Putting it in sport mode (which just remaps the accelerator, but doesn’t provide more power) and driving in in “L” which provides increased regen braking when you lift off the accelerator, is a fun way to drive. You can “floor it” all day long, and it really doesn’t significantly impact range as it does in a gas car My only minor complaint is the automatic climate control is a bit complicated to use.

        The thing that really sold me on the Volt was the way GM conservatively manages the battery. It only uses about 65% of the battery capacity, keeping it from every going “dead” and also keeping it from ever being near a full charge. It also heats and cools the battery pack. This keeps the battery very healthy.

        There’s a guy out there with over 400,000 miles on his 2012 Volt with no major problems.

        https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1112485_2012-chevy-volt-has-now-crossed-400000-miles-range-remains-steady

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Hybrids are definitely not electric vehicles.

    Anything that REQUIRES a plug is an electric vehicle.

    Anything that REQUIRES gasoline is NOT an electric vehicle.

    A plug in hybrid may be an electric vehicle if it can be driven normally on battery power alone.

    2018 may be the year of my second EV purchase.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      The usual breakdown is PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; battery and combustion engine) versus BEVs (battery electric vehicles; no combustion engine). Both are plug-ins, of course.

      Additionally there are vehicles where the batteries are charged while driving, but are not plug-in rechargeable. These are sometimes called hybrids too.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I won’t be buying a plug-in electric anytime soon. I have an all-electric household and just got a bill of $93.02 for 399 kWh. That’s double the $48.86 for 412 kWh just six years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Joss

      Lol your gas bill will add more to your total monthly than the EV’s charge…

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Maybe in San Frisco or New York, but it depends on what you’re driving and prevailing gasoline prices in your area, as well as how much you drive and where. I drive about 300 miles one way once a week on business, and gasoline sells for $2.60 at one end and $2.09 at the other. It’s mostly freeway travel, and my highway cruiser gets just under 30 mpg. You’re also missing a major point: electricity prices are going up, and will continue to do so.

    • 0 avatar
      nvinen

      That’s cheap electricity. I pay nearly double that. I ran the numbers on owning a Leaf and I would pay more for the electricity to charge it than I would for petrol or diesel to fuel a comparatively sized vehicle. A hybrid would definitely be cheaper for me to run.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Throw in the higher cost of electricity generated by mandated renewables (Solar king Germany pays twice the price of the European average for electricity), and EV driving all of sudden becomes considerably less attractive relative to gasoline. Then you can also count on governments around the world deciding to tax EV electricity to pay for roads, etc. Add the 50 cent to several dollar tax per gallon equivalent to a kWh of electricity and any remaining EV fuel savings will certainly disappear, while the short range, slow refueling speed, and terrible EV resale value remain.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        Another dollop of misleading claims by the resident coal industry representative.

        “Solar king” Germany’s base cost of electricity is in line with other European countries. That Germany chooses to tax electricity more than their neighbours is a policy decision. Taxing energy is a great idea to discourage wasting it, and allows lower taxation in other areas.

        If you don’t think Germans know how to run a country, I suggest you go there and see how things work.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          Once again another unsubstantiated comment from the Al Gore disciple – I only hope you have made as much green from your green beliefs as Al. Germany does not charge more tax for electricity than other European markets, and the price difference is totally due to the costs of the subsidies and higher costs of renewables. There is more energy poverty in Germany than any other country in Western Europe.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @stingray65:
            Here you go:

            https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/what-german-households-pay-power

            https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=18851

            Have your crew do some research after they sober up in the morning.

            Perhaps the high taxes and fees on electricity in Germany compared to the US is why Germans consume far less energy per capita than Americans while enjoying higher quality of life. This disparity, already great, is increasing.

            As for “energy poverty” in Germany, it’s your turn to prove it. The proportion of disposable income Germans spend on electricity is stable.

            Tell your backroom boys to do a better job providing you with boilerplate. Perhaps they were a little tipsy tonight and are rolling around laughing at the stuff they get you to post.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Brand Loyalty: Don’t you actually read your own links? The 2nd biggest component of German electricity bills is the renewable surcharge, which is even higher than the price of the electricity (i.e. the renewable subsidy is higher than the market price of electricity), and is the only part of the power bill that has risen substantially over the past 10 years. Given that your link is again a biased pro-renewable source, it actually supports my points.

            As for energy poverty, follow the links below to understand that some of that lower electricity consumption that you are excited about is because many Germans can’t afford to turn on the heat in the winter. “This means that in 2011 roughly one quarter of German households was afflicted by energy poverty as they actually spent more than 10 per cent of their income on energy (Heindl 2013, p. 20). Given that electricity prices have further increased since 2011, this share is likely to have been topped.”

            http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/high-costs-and-errors-of-german-transition-to-renewable-energy-a-920288.html

            http://fuelpoverty.eu/2014/07/09/energy-poverty-in-germany-highlights-of-a-beginning-debate/

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @stingray65:
            What people pay for electricity and what it costs to provide it are two very different things. Where I live electricity costs more than it should because the government skims hundreds of millions of “profits” off the public utility every year. On the other hand, they then allow the utility to put billions into “deferred accounts” so they don’t show up as part of the government debt. Which makes the power artificially cheap.

            So when you want to compare cost of electricity, you really need to use the base rate of what it costs to provide it. Not the “gamed” final price. Which is why my earlier comment that the German base rate being typical for Europe disproved your point that German power is outrageously expensive. And it should come as no big surprise that there will be an initial capital cost to shift from dirty to clean sources.

            Your data on German energy poverty is from 2011. According to the source you provided Germany had a typical rate of energy poverty for European countries back then. European countries have a wide range of electricity generation and pricing, so this would indicate German energy policies were not disastrous back then.

            Since your data is outdated, let’s look at newer stuff:
            https://climatecrocks.com/2016/08/10/germany-and-the-energy-poverty-crock/amp/

            The graph at that site shows not only that Germany has the lowest rate of energy poverty in the countries compared, but also that it has not changed over time. Less than 1% of Germans annually have their power cut off for failure to pay their power bills. One area where the data gets fudged is by confusing the number of incidents of customers missing one or more payments, as opposed to actually having the power cut off. Probably this is where your “25% of households” vs .09% comes from.

            That this is the case while Germany bootstraps itself away from nuclear and toward sustainables just goes to show they have chosen the correct path. Once the transition is in place, wind and sunlight are mostly free. Not to mention the reduced damage from climate disasters. That there is so much bs on this subject just goes to show how deeply some vested interests are threatened by what they are doing. That this picture is so different from what you have to say leaves you with the absence of credibility you deserve.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Brand Loyalty: Perhaps you should get out of your mommy’s basement and see the world, because your total reliance on pro-climate change websites is giving you a very inaccurate picture of what is actually going on. Perhaps if you paid your own way in life you would realize that having sky high electricity bills is difficult for the poor, even if they somehow manage to keep paying to avoid having their power cutoff. The inelasticity of demand for power is why governments put big taxes on electricity (and gasoline), because they know people will continue to pay for it even with the added burden of taxes. If you understood economics, perhaps you would also know that renewable surcharges are the cost of power, because they have to be paid by power users so that the solar and wind developers get their promised subsidy. Perhaps you should ask you mommy for some money so you can take a Econ 101 course at your local community college.

            Do you notice that none of your climate change gibberish comments ever generates any supportive comments in response? Perhaps you should consider the lyrics from the Beatles song Revolution:
            “You say you want revolution
            Well, you know we all want to change the world…
            But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t going to make with anyone anyhow.

            If you aren’t sure what these lyrics mean, ask your mommy.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @stingray65:
            It really gets under your skin when your claims are exposed as the trash they are.

            Your frustration reduces you to spewing insults and claims that, just like your bs about every progressive subject, could not be farther from the truth. Your suppositions about my age, net worth and life experiences expose only your own idiocy and immaturity. I assure you, you are utterly wrong. So wrong that if you have any sense at all you will take our clash as a critically important sign that you need to reconsider your own prejudices and where you get your information.

            I could have cited data from mainstream sources, but the progressive site had the data in a graph that put the whole works in one simple graph.

            I don’t really expect a lot of backup for my thoughts on a car website. People like you do a good job of trying to keep the field of motoring a prized possession of those who check many of these boxes: climate denier, Trump supported, 9/11 inside job believer, chemtrail believer, redneck.

            Well, times are changing. Young people are showing up here who are interested in cars but are not invested in fossil fuel engines or the coal industry. Their thinking processes are not as muddled by chronic carbon monoxide brain poisoning. Ev and hybrid owners are finding their reality is very different to what is claimed on ttac and other such sites, and are starting to have the guts to fight back. So slowly but surely you will find resistance to your turf grab. There is nothing intrinsically redneck about cars.

            Your handlers should fire you for this outburst.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “That Germany chooses to tax electricity more than their neighbours is a policy decision. Taxing energy is a great idea to discourage wasting it, and allows lower taxation in other areas.

          If you don’t think Germans know how to run a country, I suggest you go there and see how things work.”

          I moved back less than 2 years ago from living in Germany for 5 years. I can tell you for a fact there is no “lower taxation in other areas” and yes, Germany has the highest electricity rates in Europe (not sure about the UK)

          The taxes have increased to hep defray the costs of the Solar experiment (not very sunny there) and windmills, many of which are shut off because they kill protected Eagles and Hawks…

          Germany is not some sort of paradise, I suggest YOU go and live there for a while….

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @markf:
            Such as education or health care?

            Actually Denmark charges more for electricity. But more than half the price in both Denmark and Germany is not what it cost for generation.

            Germany has enough sunlight for farming, and it gets warm inside cars there even on cloudy days.

            Bird kills are an important matter and are being managed. Far more birds are beung wiped out by climate change.

            I spent some time in Germany this summer. Although there is more litter and graffiti than I expected, and the trains are sometimes a bit late, they do pretty well everything else a lot better than North Americans. That’s why they have a higher dollar value of exports than the US.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “Bird kills are an important matter and are being managed. Far more birds are beung wiped out by climate change.”

            So its ok to kill Raptors as long as a windmill does it. How, exactly is that being managed? What possible proof can you offer that global warming is killing Raptors (and more than Windmills)? You can’t just make s**t up and present it as fact.

            “Such as education or health care?”

            What are you referring to?

            “Actually Denmark charges more for electricity. But more than half the price in both Denmark and Germany is not what it cost for generation.”

            That’s nice, good for Denmark

            “Germany has enough sunlight for farming, and it gets warm inside cars there even on cloudy days.”

            Problem solved, let’s generate electricity from warm car interiors…

            “I spent some time in Germany this summer. Although there is more litter and graffiti than I expected, and the trains are sometimes a bit late, they do pretty well everything else a lot better than North Americans. That’s why they have a higher dollar value of exports than the US.”

            So your summer in Germany showed you that they do everything better there……….

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I won’t be buying a plug-in electric anytime soon. I have an all-electric household and just got a bill of $93.02 for 399 kWh. That’s double the $48.86 for 412 kWh just six years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      This is a duplicate of an above comment. I requested it be canceled, and it’s still “in moderation”.

      There IS no moderator. All these comments were written by Franz Kafka. There is no deletion. There is no escape. You Can’t go home again.

  • avatar
    Joss

    It seems to be the way to go. The dust still hasn’t settled on battery technology. Early adapt folks seem to be able to pass the hurdles. ICE leasing should pick up once combustion becomes heavily depreciating with a heavy disposal fee.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      Joss
      That’s actually the next big hurdle for electric cars to overcome, once range and charge time are handled. Resale value is fairly awful, at least for pure evs.

      Why would there be a disposal fee for ice cars? You can sell any car for recycling value and more importantly,there’s a very healthy market for used ice cars obviously. Unless I misread that?

  • avatar
    dwford

    As a full time Uber driver, plug ins are useless to me. 20-30 miles of EV range would get used up in the first hour or 2, so why bother.

    Despite the slight increase in sales, hybrid/EV sales are still being subsidized at every level – at new by the states and federal government, and at used by the poor first owner’s who take a bath on depreciation.

    I happily bought a cheap used Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for 2/3 off MSRP 2 years ago, and will do so again once I run this one into the ground.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    Were I to buy one it would have to be AWD and with the same clearance as my F-150 on tall General A/T2s so I can get to work in the Winter. If it could recharge on standard 120V I’d charge it at work but it would have to handle the odd 18″ snowdrift at 30 mph – like my Ford did today and yesterday.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ll buy an EV once there is one available that shoots lightning like a Sith Lord out of its side scoops and makes a thunder clap at WOT.

    and it should look kind of like this:
    inspirefirst.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/i2p8.jpg

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Our 2016 C-Max Energi has gotten us hooked on the EV life. The lease is up in April 2019, and unless there is a compelling new EV entry between now and then (which is entirely possible) its replacement will probably be a Bolt Premier.

    That said, the Lexus (or a gas-powered replacement) isn’t going anywhere. We can’t do all-EV yet, because of road trips.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Was pretty interested in a Model 3 (made a reservation), but am disappointed in the dash/lack of gauges and the lack of performance. Tesla S has “up to supercar” level acceleration. Model 3 has “up to GTI” levels.. Was hoping there’d be a top-level AWD “really fast” model..

    Now looking at a CTS-V/Charger SRT/similar as my last-fun car and mid-life crisis “practical” car that can still haul 4 people comfortably..

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    More liberal socialist Steph Willems BS:
    “2018: The Year You Might – Just Maybe – Buy Your First (Sort of) Electric Vehicle”

    Over my dead body, whose clinched fingers you’d have to untwine with pliers from my ICE steering wheel….

    ======================

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That’s a bit unfair. Steph isn’t an EV promoter; he’s merely reporting on the growth of the market segment.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      I think we can all agree automotive writers almost universally took every opportunity to disparage hybrids, and now ev’s.

      That relentless drumbeat of negativity and misinformation surely impacted acceptance of electrified vehicles.

      I don’t see them in a hurry to claim credit for their accomplishment.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    As far as green cars go we are on our 3rd Hybrid and can’t imagine not having one. The problem with a EV at this point is that I have a detached garage at my current primary residence with only a single 20a 110v circuit feeding it. I haven’t looked to see if the existing conduit is large enough to support a 60a sub panel in the garage. Unfortunately the conduit runs under a walk way so replacing it would not be an easy task.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      And this right here will be a limiting factor for EVs for years to come. People may want an EV, but the lack of infrastructure at people’s residences and the expense of adding it (not to mention evolving charging standards) will limit adoption.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Sorry, Captain Planet, no dice. Every time I start my R/T, God kills a Prius. Besides, I averaged 14.5 mpg. last week, and that was in the snow. Drill, baby, drill.

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      Every time I start my 550i, I wish I had another EV. I gassed it up today — it was disgusting and annoying. Thankfully, I only do it about once a month now that have have an EV to drive every day.

      I love my 550i but as soon as it wears out, I am getting another EV.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “it was disgusting”

        I adore mechanical vulgarity.

        I may one day enjoy electric vulgarity but I’m not sure if that will ever be a served market.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        I hope you don’t eat out at restaurants because if you know what goes on in their employee restrooms….

      • 0 avatar
        I_like_stuff

        “Every time I start my 550i, I wish I had another EV. I gassed it up today — it was disgusting and annoying. ”

        You are a very delicate flower.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Well he’s right. it’s flu season and you’re grabbing this grimy handle while standing on sputum spattered cement with brain dead music blaring at you in the wind. It’s on par with public restrooms: I use it because I have to, not because I want to.

    • 0 avatar
      nvinen

      How is putting petrol in a car disgusting or annoying? Pull up at pump, stick nozzle in, hold lever for a minute or two, swipe credit card, drive off. Most of the time it’s quick and easy.

      My car is a guzzler but I spend 100x more time in traffic than I do filling up. It’s hardly a hassle.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        Yeah, pumping gas is a breeze these days, my Charger doesn’t even have a gas cap to monkey with. The only hassle is that you can’t smoke like you could in the old days…just kidding. There is a “disgusting” aspect however, what is it about pumping gas that makes people spit? The ground near a gas pump is a Petri dish, if I were to drop my Amex I’d leave it there. Uggh.

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        It is annoying because one has to do it. While an EV is always full and ready every morning, an ICE car MAKES you get gas. Once you get used to never needing to worry about finding fuel, it becomes extremely annoying.

        It is disgusting because it smells like gas and diesel. Once you are used to clean air with your EV, you notice the disgusting smell a lot more.

        Just sharing my experience.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          VVK: The EV is only full if you remember to plug it in when you finish with the car, and have a fast enough charger to top off the battery before you need the car again. If you forget to charge your EV, its a 30 minute to 24 hour mistake to fix, but if you forget to fill your gas tank, its a 5 minute problem to fix.
          Furthermore, if you don’t have off-street parking and/or access to an outlet, the recharging task is not so easy. In nasty cold weather, dealing with a dirty, super stiff power cable and dirty frozen shut “fuel” door everyday (or multiple times per day) may also make the task less than pleasant.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            Stingray65: Do you have a problem remembering to lock your car when you leave it? Why do you think ev owners would forget to plug them in? Have you heard of a single report of this happening?

            It may take 5 minutes to gas up a car, but you have to include the time to get to a gas station. Most gas stations are not as close as your garage.

            Have you heard of complaints of stiff charging cables or iced-up charging ports? About as likely as iced-up gas flaps, no?

            Ev’s usually have some level of charge left in them. They are not always charged from zero. And they often don’t need a full charge to complete the next drive. So most charges don’t need the time for a full charge.

            How about giving the anti-ev snark a rest? It’s far past being tiresome.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Brand Loyalty: I must be the only one that has ever forgotten to lock my door – guess forgetting to plug in could only happen to me. I guess I must also be the only one that has ever dealt with cold extension cords in -30 degree weather, because apparently it doesn’t happen to anyone else in Northern climes.

            How about stopping with your non-substantiated nonsense regarding EVs – you make all kinds of claims but you never back them up (unless they are bought and paid for by the EV industry). There are reasons why 99% of people don’t buy EVs, even after subsidies, and if you think that everyone that chooses to not buy an EV is working in the coal industry – you are the one that is sadly deluded.

          • 0 avatar
            vvk

            > The EV is only full if you remember to plug it

            I think most adults do have the mental capacity to take 10 seconds to plug the car in when they walk past the charge port on the way to the door.

            > in when you finish with the car, and have a
            > fast enough charger to top off the battery
            > before you need the car again.

            Overnight is plenty of time in vast majority of cases. 200+ miles is more than enough for a single day in vast majority of cases.

            > Furthermore, if you don’t have off-street
            > parking and/or access to an outlet, the

            This is a legitimate concern and for people in this situation an EV is not a practical choice. People who don’t live in a house with off street parking should absolutely keep driving ICE vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @stingray65:
            “I guess I must also be the only one that has ever dealt with cold extension cords in -30 degree weather, because apparently it doesn’t happen to anyone else in Northern climes.”

            Have you ever considered how many connect block heaters in cold weather?

            “How about stopping with your non-substantiated nonsense regarding EVs – you make all kinds of claims but you never back them up (unless they are bought and paid for by the EV industry).”

            Nothing makes as good a defense as a lie. I back up what I say and other than concern for the planet I have no interest in unpleasant tasks such as dealing with people like you and the parties you shill for.

            “There are reasons why 99% of people don’t buy EVs, even after subsidies, and if you think that everyone that chooses to not buy an EV is working in the coal industry – you are the one that is sadly deluded.”

            Do you even bother to read over what you post? Americans don’t buy more ev’s for a number of reasons. One is the success of the deep-rooted alt-right organizations and massive lies put in place by the Kock’s, Mercers etc. You may personally know something about that.

            It’s like an entire country gone somewhat stupid. Not only is this stupidity going to vastly increase the costs of dealing with climate disasters, the US will fall behind economically as other countries develop clean technologies. Quite a shame, really.

            Another reason is that the most badly informed and aggressive American “car people” staked out “cars” as their turf. Auto journalists, who could be forward-thinking, chose to foster backward views on cars. So first they ran endless misinformation and lies about hybrids, and now turn that bs on ev’s. They called Prius styling “virtue signalling”. What is a Hellcat or all the detailed equipment logos on German sedans if not “virtue signalling”? What about all those hybrid batteries that would last 3 years and cost $8,000 to replace?

            You don’t suppose this disinformation had an effect on hybrid and ev sales? And then you and they point to poor sales as proof of impractical technology. No, it’s a marketing war and the US is being damaged by the success of the wrong side. It’s going to be very costly indeed when the piper has to be paid.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            ” In nasty cold weather, dealing with a dirty, super stiff power cable and dirty frozen shut “fuel” door everyday (or multiple times per day) may also make the task less than pleasant.”

            Just completed 260+ miles in single digit temps. Mostly “destination charging” on the trip. Meaning I plugged-in at where I was going and did the charging while working or sleeping. Most of those locations were 120v 20a outlets and a few 50kW quick chargers. The 120v locations were not a problem since I was at those locations for several hours. The car was 100% each time when I got in. Lots of stops on the trip, with maybe 80 miles the longest. The main goal of the trip was to harvest some parts to support my vintage gas guzzling ICE hobby.

            Only one really stiff cable to deal with. I brought my 60 amp level 2 along but used it only once. That cable is clean though and wasn’t too bad, but yeah, some wrestling was involved. The quick chargers and my little 15a weren’t a problem at all.

            Frozen charging port door hasn’t been a problem with my car. I do have a snow cover for the port that I use if there is a storm and it’s parked outside. Other than that, you usually plug-in after driving and the road salt does a good job keeping it thawed. I really haven’t had a problem in 58k of driving so far.

            On the way back, I did stop for a 15-minute quick charge on the way home. Without it, I would have had maybe 10 miles left when arriving home, but I’d rather have the extra padding and in extreme cold, I didn’t trust the estimate. Besides, I had to catch up on texts and hit the bathroom. I probably only needed 5 to 10 minutes of charge, but bathroom and texts took 15, so I ended up there a little longer than needed. Other quick charges were while working or shopping. I’d have been at those locations even if I had the gas car.

            As far as forgetting to plug it in – that has never been a problem. If you lose power or forget to plug it in at charging location, you get a text and/or email from the car. Some public charge stations email you on start-of-charge and when your car is done. I’ve had 58k miles without a problem. In fact, it’s much easier for me to keep my EV charged than it is my phone. The car charges faster and doesn’t have the connector problems the phone has.

            On one of the longer legs, I encountered at least 10+ ICE cars that experienced “sudden unintended range anxiety”. Don’t know why they were dead on the side of the road. It just seemed like more than usual. ICE cars don’t handle cold well either. In fact, while I was gone, the cold got to the alternator of my daughter’s Toyota.

            As far as heat goes, it was fantastic. My heat pump really performed well at sub-zero temps and heated the car quickly. I think my worst power consumption was about 2.8 miles per kWh. I was mostly getting 3.7 on 55 mph roads at the speed limit at +5f degrees.

            Looking forward to replacing this car with a 100+kW battery car. The public chargers in my area are starting to get crowded and I want to eliminate any dependency. Used to be just me or maybe another car. This trip there were usually 2 or 3 Bolts at the major stops to keep me company. Didn’t have to wait for a charge, but I’m getting concerned. Especially since I suspect people were just charging to get a close parking space at the mall.

            I think that once we get IONITY and Shell over from Europe, we’ll have really good charging. IONITY is the German manufacturers partnering with Shell for HPC charging. Once Shell starts, we’ll probably get a few other oil companies involved. I think that by the mid-2020s we’ll have minimum 300-mile range cars with gas station 350-400kW charging. That’s when we’ll see a much bigger market penetration of EVs. Then again, if Iran and Saudi Arabia start blowing the crap out of each other’s oil facilities, it might happen sooner.

            By the way, I drive an EV primarily because I like the driving characteristics. I’m not trying to save the world or money. I’m willing to put up with a little inconvenience to experience what I think is the most enjoyable way to power a car. Some of the critics need to get some seat time in an EV to see what it’s all about. That smooth quiet torque is awesome and we’re hardly the first auto enthusiasts to put up with a few issues in order to enjoy a particular type of drivetrain that we like.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @mcs

            Thanks for the first-hand input.

            That some people will grasp at straws and cite stiff charge cables and frozen port covers as reasons ev’s are dumb, just proves how desperate they’ve become.

        • 0 avatar
          nvinen

          I like the smell of petrol. Not saying that I would sniff it but getting a whiff once a week does not bother me. Diesel exhaust is another issue (or petrol exhaust from a car with no catalytic converter). That is truly disgusting and I can’t avoid it walking near roads.

          As for annoyance, I bet if I had to plug in my car when I got home every day and unplug it before driving off, that would take at least as much total time than I spend filling up. 10 seconds X twice per day X 7 days = over two minutes a week. That’s about how long I spend at the petrol station each week.

          And yes I do find having to plug my phone in to charge each day to be a hassle.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            It’s not just trips to gas stations. Given that the demands of ownership of an ev will be lower than an ice-only car, you need to factor in your time for service visits and the time it takes you to earn the after-tax dollars to pay for such things.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            MCS – thanks for the long detailed description of your cold weather EV experience. Yes, ICVs can also struggle in cold weather, but it is usually battery related, which means an EV has the same problem except you can’t jump start an EV. Fuel doors can also freeze on an ICV, but since you only have to use it every week or two it is less of a problem. Early technology adopters, who are typically enthusiastic about the technology, and above average in IQ and wealth, also are less likely to forget to plug-in and more likely to have a garage to keep their charging cables warmer, clean, and flexible, but the same won’t be true of many mainstream buyers. E-mail/SMS warnings from your car regarding low charge, won’t always save you because they require the car to be plugged in, and/or that you are are monitoring your phone/computer (which many people do not while they are sleeping). Your journey also illustrates the limitations of the EV – many people want to be able to go 300+ miles without stopping for fuel or food or bladder reasons (or at worst only take 5-15 minutes to do those tasks). I certainly don’t want to have to stop every 1-2 hours for 30-45 minutes to recharge, and I found the following video very interesting to illustrate this point.

  • avatar
    red5

    We bought a used 2014 Fiat 500e this year (to replace my Mazdaspeed 3) and it’s been a brilliant commuter car. Even in Dallas Suburbia it gets us into the city and with plenty of charging stations, we can juice up during lunch. I won’t say that electric cars are for everyone, but for probably 85%, they are the perfect car. The future is electric.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    If you live in a mild climate and drive 7 miles to work, alone, each day….great. But not everyone has the same transportation needs.

    As soon as someone makes an electric vehicle that holds a charge in sub-zero temps with the heater on, for 100+ miles, has ground clearance for a foot of snow, AWD/4WD to go up a mountain in said snow and can tow a boat in the summer….then I’ll look into it.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Sure. And as soon as someone makes a one-ton diesel dually that I can pedal on mountain bike trails, I’ll buy one.

      I never understood the point of comments like this. Every vehicle is good at some things and bad at others. Buy one that meets your needs.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        Or two, if you can. An EV plus that big truck for your occasional manly exploits would cover all the bases. Otherwise, it’s, “I’m shopping for some shoes. But they have to be ones that can climb Mt. Everest.”

        • 0 avatar
          I_like_stuff

          “An EV plus that big truck for your occasional manly exploits would cover all the bases.”

          Occasional? I guess if by occasional you mean driving November to April. I know this might be news to you, but not everyone lives in LA and commutes 7 miles to work in 60 degrees.

      • 0 avatar
        I_like_stuff

        “I never understood the point of comments like this. Every vehicle is good at some things and bad at others. Buy one that meets your needs.”

        Uhm, what? That is exactly what I said. EVs on the market right now don’t meet my needs, therefore I will not be buying one, until someone makes one that does meet my needs.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Inspired by your example, I visited The Truth About Commercial Trucks & Buses blog, clicked on an article about how double-decker bus sales are expected to grow, and left a comment that I’ll buy a double-decker bus as soon as they make one that fits in my single-car garage and gets 32 MPG. I’m proud of myself, I think I really added value to the conversation over there.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    The big problem with the new EV market is that it primarily attracts people that already own a green vehicle (i.e. hybrid or EV), so all the new EV models coming on line are mainly competing with each other and not for the 98+% of the market for “regular” vehicles. Thus the Model 3 (if they ever get production up to speed) will likely mainly attract model S, Bolt, or Leaf owners rather than Camry, CRV, or F-150 owners. Tesla, Nissan, and GM are also soon going to lose their Federal tax credits (look for them to lobby for higher sales limits soon), whose loss will make a significant difference to sales in the lower-end markets especially. Terrible resale value also means EV leases will not be attractive unless they are heavily subsidized by manufacturers, who already lose money on every one they sell, so that party will end as soon as Trump rolls back CAFE standards. As long as gasoline prices stay reasonable the EV will be a tough sell.

    On the other hand, as several commenters have noted, used plug-in hybrids and EVs are awesome used car buys as long as you can live with their limitations. A 3-4 year old C-Max, Volt, i3, Leaf, e500, etc. can be had for literally pocket change, and are generally pretty nice driving vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      “A 3-4 year old C-Max, Volt, i3, Leaf, e500, etc. can be had for literally pocket change, and are generally pretty nice driving vehicles.”

      True dat. Last year I was searching for my daughter’s first car. She wanted a hatch or wagon, and I wanted something under $15k with less than 50K miles. The C-Max came up prominently on those lists. I’d never considered a hybrid. (You should have seen my furious pout when my wife test-drove a Prius a few years ago.) But it seemed like a good choice for the kid. Even Consumer Reports approved! To my surprise, after I drove my daughter’s C-Max for a few days, I wanted one too. It felt good and made more sense. Now we’re a two-Ford family.

      As for the poor resale value, that’s a direct result of the tax incentives. In my state, the buyer of a new EV or PHEV can get one-third of the cost back in taxes, which lowers the net cost of my $30,000 car to $21,000. The same car two or three years old isn’t eligible for that tax credit, so the used car price has to come in significantly lower than new. A used price of $15K seems competitive. Compared to list price, the car has depreciated 50% in three years, and that’s bad. But compared to real-tax adjusted pricing, it’s lost only about 30% of value.

      If your state offers EV tax credits (everybody gets the Federal $4007 credit for a C-Max Energi), you might be better off buying new. Don’t forget that Ford’s offering zero percent financing. I felt like I couldn’t afford not to buy one!

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “On the other hand, as several commenters have noted, used plug-in hybrids and EVs are awesome used car buys as long as you can live with their limitations. A 3-4 year old C-Max, Volt, i3, Leaf, e500, etc. can be had for literally pocket change, and are generally pretty nice driving vehicles.”

      True, one of the limitations of my Volt is that I can’t tow my 4 ton 25′ SeaRay boat with it!…..LOL

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      Your pockets must be very deep. And yes, I don’t understand why people have a difficulty using the word “literal” properly.

  • avatar
    2manycars

    The mere fact that a band of violent, armed lunatics and control freaks (government) wants me to “go green” is sufficient reason not to do so. When government thugs try to nudge me in a particular direction I push back hard the other way. I can guarantee that there will never be a hybrid or electric vehicle in my garage.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      Climate change is real, it changes four times a year where I live. That Al Gore documentary gets sillier with each year that passes. We were supposed to be fishing for Marlin off the coast of Nebraska by now. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Volvo now that they’re planning to do away with combustion engines, they may be the canary in a coal mine as far as EV’s go.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      For many years to come, there will be plenty of internal-combustion-engine cars to choose from. It’s just that most of them won’t be *new* cars.

      Although I have the means to buy a new hybrid car for my children, I am instead buying yet another 2006-08 Forester for them. The environmental impact of the car’s construction happened a decade ago, and the advantages (incredible visibility, good safety record, very maneuverable, driving position not too low or high, no touchscreen, etc.) far outweigh the environmental impact of getting only 22-25 mpg.

      Despite that, I agree that PHEVs and BEVs will become increasingly common, because of the efforts of governments around the world to make setting up charging stations easier (and to increase the proportion of public fast chargers). When my kids are older, they won’t miss internal-combustion-engine vehicles at all. But we might as well use up the ones already in existence, as long as they pass emissions testing.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        Have you been out shopping for a used Subaru yet? THat’s what my daughter wanted too, “for the lifestyle.” But here in Colorado, I’ve been told we have the highest Subaru resale values in the nation. At the $15K price she paid for her Ford hybrid, she could have had a Forester of twice the age, twice the miles (getting into head gasket replacement territory) and double the fuel running costs. And less safe- Subaru was very late in adding stability control, which wasn’t standards until ’09.

        My kid —I kid you not — has ordered a Surabu logo sticker to cover over the similar blue oval on her Ford. It’s a joke, she says, “For the lifestyle.”

        • 0 avatar
          gottacook

          Yes, I know about high Subaru resale values – on the east coast it’s not as extreme as Colorado, I’m sure. Found and test-drove an ’07 Forester offered by a semi-rural small firm that buys older Subies at auction, refurbishes and resells them with a 6-month warranty. They’ve already replaced the head gasket as a precaution, likewise the timing belt and associated parts; also new tires, radiator, battery, rotors, hoses, belts, etc. Most ’07-’08 Foresters currently offered in a 500-mile radius are very high mileage indeed, but this one only has 67K miles, drives like a much newer car and is fairly priced.

          Regarding electronic stability control, the center of gravity of 2009 and later Foresters is noticeably higher than in the 1997-2008 Foresters, and I’d rather have the latter, stability control or not.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            Back in ’06 when we bought a new Suzuki Grand Vitara, it was a lot more vehicle for thousands less than the peer Forester. For those who can make use of a low range you couldn’t even get that on the North American Foresters. And the ’06-’14 Grand Vitara has turned out to be extremely durable.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          And Subaru, despite the image they cultivate for their brand, advertises on Fox.

          • 0 avatar
            I_like_stuff

            “And Subaru, despite the image they cultivate for their brand, advertises on Fox.”

            The image thing is for people in Los Angeles and Miami. They buy the car for “lifestyle”. And by that I mean virtue signaling at the Whole Foods parking lot. If 1/20 of those cars ever see a dirt road I’d be shocked.

            But there’s another segment of the population that buys it because it’s an awesome winter car. Those are for people who live in flyover land where it’s rural cold and snowy. I live in a very conservative area, and seems like every other car is a Subaru.

            Crossteks are amazing when it comes to resale. You can see that in leases, where residual rates can be as high as 70% for 3 year leases. Most other brands, you’d be lucky to get 55-60%.

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          What is the Subaru “lifestyle”? Is it the Birkenstock, Patchouli, and coexist bumper sticker lifestyle? Or the put the dog in the car and go camping lifestyle. It could also be the backward baseball cap, dude-bro, fast & furious lifestyle. Then again it could be the hung up, safety conscious, Mr. Normal lifestyle. They’ve got the lifestyle thing covered.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      @2manycars
      Crossing his arms and stamping down with one foot.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Following horrific mudslides that flattened three California beach towns, local “control freaks” operated dusk to dawn for days rescuing dozens of people by helicopter from smashed-up houses, cars, and trees, using heat sensors to find signs of life from the air. If a disaster ever happens where you live, and the chopper comes to save you, I’m sure you’ll refuse to get into the sling, because when they want you to do something it makes you not want to do it.

      There are many vile, corrosive elements of our modern political discourse, but demonization of public servants is among the worst.

  • avatar
    deanst

    So disappointed – what happened to salmon-panted boy getting electricity?

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Told the wife my plan is to drive my 2000 Lexus GS a few more years, replace it with a 2006 Lexus LS and mile that out, and then, get an electric car. By then the technology will be so far advanced there will be no question about the viability of electric cars.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    I took the plunge this year with a 17 Accord hybrid. It’s been great- it has power, got over 50 mpg until the deep freeze set in , and was deeply discounted. It’s a great car.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      I’m sorry to see the buzz about electric cars distracting people from the excellence of some of the current hybrids. Within my electrical grid, the hybrid offers most of the environmental benefits with no compromise in your driving habits. They’re just not the Next Big Thing anymore, so not so much fun to talk about.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        At least there’s no more talk of everyone driving a hybrid trying to hypermile with it. The Prius is now a secretary’s car, and they drive them like a bat out of hades, just like they did in their Corollas.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    “Secretary’s car”, I haven’t heard that term in ages. That’s what they used to call 6-cylinder Mustangs waaaay back when I was a kid.


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