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Thread: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

  1. #16
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    The future of driving is wireless. "Fender benders, rear-enders and those three-car pileups that back up traffic may be going the way of the buggy whip. Within a few years, cars whizzing down the highway will begin chatting among themselves. Once they all are equipped to join the conversation, every car will know the speed, distance and direction of every other car close enough to pose a risk...Just as it has changed so many other aspects of life, wireless technology is about to revolutionize the way we drive...It could cut highway fatalities and injuries by more than half, eliminating billions of dollars in medical bills. It could reduce by millions more what it costs to repair damage from the more than 6 million crashes each year. By governing the flow of traffic with real-time information, it can reroute drivers to avoid congestion and reduce time and fuel wasted while stuck in traffic." Ashley Halsey in The Washington Post.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47022657...n/#.T4ZOp9lmNV
    Owners of electric and hybrid cars just want plug in and charge up without thinking, but growing numbers of such vehicles could overload the aging U.S. power grid. A new project looks to stave off trouble by testing how cars and power grids can "talk" to figure out the best charging schedules.
    Such tests would show how Honda's 2013 Fit electric vehicles can delay or adjust charging times based on their own battery state and power grid conditions — all decided within seconds by the vehicles' onboard intelligence. IBM's online cloud computing will help the cars communicate with the U.S. power grid owned by the Pacific Gas and Electric Co., according to an official announcement scheduled for
    http://www.mercurynews.com/business/...ric-car-fisker
    Gilbert Passin surveys the 50-year-old factory where Tesla Motors plans to make electric cars, and he sees a manufacturing bargain.
    The former engineer for Toyota Motor, Volvo's Mack truck unit and Renault designed the secondhand Fremont plant. He equipped it with Ikea furniture and refurbished machinery to build battery-powered cars to take on the likes of BMW's 5 Series, starting in about two months.
    "The cost to set this up was very, very low compared to any new plant," said Passin, vice president of manufacturing for Palo Alto-based Tesla. "Everything we are doing has a very good value return."
    Holding down plant costs is crucial to the success of Tesla, led by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk and which has yet to record its first profit, because regardless of how many consumers may want environmentally friendly cars, no rechargeable vehicle will be economically viable unless it can compete on price with conventional models.
    With the going price to build a North American auto plant averaging $1 billion, Tesla may have spent less than a third that much to buy, renovate and equip its factory. It paid $42 million for the plant in 2010, spent $17 million for some of its presses and machinery, and got other used equipment at a "fraction" of the original cost from parts suppliers including Tower Automotive, said Passin, 51.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by riposte View Post
    Holly... I have used public transport daily in Dublin for 60 years. Throughout that period it has been, unreliable, expensive (to me) and inefficient.
    This is not a criticism of the principle of public transport only the poor way it is managed in Ireland.

    Quote Originally Posted by riposte View Post
    For all of that period the night-worker and the shift-worker have never been catered for and are still not catered for.
    Again, poor management.

    Quote Originally Posted by riposte View Post
    I have spent many thousands of hours standing in the rain for buses that disappeared without trace from the time-table.
    A common abuse of the public by unaccountable state-managed enterprises. Remember, public transport need not be owned by a state politburo.

    Quote Originally Posted by riposte View Post
    Try to complain?...... are you joking?
    Unfortunate citizens of communist countries know the frustration.

    Quote Originally Posted by riposte View Post
    Most of all ..... it has been my experience over the same period that those who advocate the use of public transport most vociferously..... never use it themselves.
    I use only public transport as I am too poor to own and run a car. It is for this reason that public transport in Ireland is not better as the selfish use their own vehicles, withdrawing demand for a better public service. Americans know all about this.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    Holly, I’m all in favor of public transport, and think it should be encouraged wherever possible, but it too has its downsides and limitations. When I’m in Dublin I have use of a car but always try to use bus and Dart. I’ll play Devil’s Advocate for a minute.

    This I believe to be an absolute fact; there isn’t a public transport system anywhere in the world that is self sustaining. They all need further taxpayer subsidy of some sort, and that’s what taxes are for. That’s not a criticism, just a fact. The most common source of such funding is petrol and other vehicle taxes.

    Take a hypothetical city with one million cars and one million daily public transport users in a system that is 80% self sustaining. Assume your goal is to reduce car drivers to 800,000 and increase public transport users to 1.2 million. Then you have 20% fewer drivers paying taxes on petrol so you have less revenue available for subsidy, but you have to provide service to 20% more people. So you have to increase both the taxes on petrol and the fares on public transport. And if you try to go to 600k drivers and 1.4M public it gets worse.

    My point is that the appropriate balance is very difficult to find, otherwise someone would have figured it out ages ago.
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  4. #19
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    Some updates. Lots of EV’s to compete on high profile mountain race.

    http://www.torquenews.com/1079/elect...ikes-peak-race
    Obviously, the inherent value of an electric motor is its instantaneous full torque that is available as soon as it spins. As you can imagine, this make the electric motor a formidable tool for racing, whether as a single propulsion means or added motor as in hybrids. It becomes even more so when you are dealing with hill climbs where torque is more important, at least for the first few yards than raw horsepower. Pikes Peak adds an extra challenge to this, that of not only racing 12.42 miles and negotiating over 156 turns, but also climbing 4,721 ft from the start to reach 9,390 ft later the top of Pikes Peak. It averages grades of 7% over what used to be historically both gravel and some paved sections. Unfortunately, as of August last year, the highway is now fully paved from start to finish. In this particular instance, gas engines have to be carefully tweaked to take into consideration atmospheric altitude condition, going from high air pressure found at the bottom to the rarified one at 14,110 ft. Many teams opt for an optimum performance at either high or low altitude, but can never take full advantage throughout the race. An electric motor knows no such problems. Feed it electrons and it will deliver peak performance, regardless of altitude.
    US hybrid and all-electric sales up 53% March over March.


    http://www.freep.com/article/20120414/BUSINESS01/204140345/U-S-drivers-buy-a-record-number-of-hybrid-electric-cars-in-March?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s
    Americans are buying record numbers of hybrid and electric cars as gas prices climb and new models arrive in showrooms, giving the vehicles their greatest share yet of the U.S. auto market.
    Consumers bought a record 52,000 gas-electric hybrids and all-electric cars in March, up from 34,000 during the same month last year.
    The two categories combined made up 3.64% of total U.S. sales, their highest ever monthly market share, Ward's AutoInfoBank said. The previous high was 3.56% in July 2009, when the Cash for Clunkers program encouraged people to trade in old gas guzzlers for more fuel-efficient cars.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/au...u-plug-in.html
    IT’S a lot like one of those math problems that gave you fits in sixth grade: a salesman leaves home in Denver and drives his electric car to a meeting in Boulder. At the same time, a physicist driving the same model electric car sets out from her loft in Los Angeles, heading to an appointment near Anaheim.
    For both, the traffic is light, and the cars consume an identical amount of battery power while traveling the same number of miles. Being purely electric, they emit zero tailpipe pollutants during their trips.
    The test question: are their carbon footprints also equal?
    The answer may be a surprise. According to a report that the Union of Concerned Scientists plans to release on Monday, there would be a considerable difference in the amount of greenhouse gases — primarily carbon dioxide
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/dalebuss...-win-the-race/
    Under CEO Alan Mulally, Ford mostly has been a corporate hare. Over the last few years, it has leapt into the industry lead in hybridization among the Detroit Three, in automotive connectivity via Sync, in social-media marketing, and in other arenas. For the most part, that approach has worked.
    But when it comes to all-electric vehicles, Ford is a decided tortoise. And at this point in what has proven a devilish race for some participants so far, Ford’s steady-as-she-goes strategy could prove to be a winner just as an aggressive approach has worked elsewhere.
    http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainabilit...litical-pi-ata
    Good thing GM is planning to start building Chevy Volts again soon - March saw 2,289 of the cars sold, by far the biggest month ever for the plug-in electric, the company reported.
    

Nissan, meanwhile, said sales of its all-electric Leaf also climbed, though more modestly, from 478 in February to 579 in March [PDF].
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  5. #20
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    Ford’s First EV
    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/04...ocus-electric/
    Ford is at the onset of a massive push towards electrification. The Blue Oval estimates that between 10 and 25 percent of its products will be “electrified” by 2020, with a mix of traditional hybrids and plug-in versions joining a brace of new EVs. And its first all-electro-powered product is this: the 2013 Ford Focus Electric.
    Ford announced plans to electrify its Focus compact at last year’s CES and the automaker has already begun handing out its EV hatch to fleets, including the delivery of the first Focus Electric to Google. Later in 2012, Ford will begin selling the Focus to consumers in 19 markets across North America, with prices starting at $39,200 – or about $4,000 more than the Nissan LEAF before taxes and any state or federal government incentives.
    But do you want it?
    This all adds up to one of the most compelling EVs available from a mass-market automaker, combining a gas-free existence with a suitable entertaining driving experience. We’ve waited long enough for an automaker to deliver on both fronts, and Ford seems to have arrived there first. But we won’t make a definitive call until we can put the Focus Electric through its paces as a commuter-cum-corner-carver.
    More Good news
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...bnef-says.html
    T
    he average price of lithium-ion battery packs for electric vehicles fell 14 percent in the past year as production capacity exceeded demand, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.
    Batteries cost $689 a kilowatt-hour in the first quarter of 2012, compared with $800 a year earlier, the London-based research company said today in a statement.
    Prices for batteries have dropped 30 percent since 2009, making electric vehicles less expensive.
    “Batteries are one of the biggest drivers of the cost of electric vehicles,” New Energy Finance Chief Executive Officer Michael Liebreich said in the statement. “A sharp decline in price may be unwelcome for battery manufacturers, but it is essential for the long-term health of the sector.”
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    Some EV Updates

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomkonra...e-assumptions/
    Pike Research just released a report on the Total Cost of Ownership of Alternative Fuel Vehicles for Fleet Operators. The report compares the purchase price plus lifetime fuel cost of mid-sized cars available in the US.

    Although the authors hesitate to declare any alternative fuel the cheapest option, the chart below clearly shows that the “BEV-100″ (Battery-Electric with 100-mile range, a.k.a. the Nissan Leaf) to be the least expensive option even at high electricity prices ($0.14/kwh) and low gas prices ($3/gallon.) However, the Leaf only has a clear lead when the $7500 tax credit is taken into account.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/ele...sEnabled=false
    Any doubts about the environmental friendliness of electric cars are completely unfounded.
    This is according a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which claims that electric vehicles are cleaner than any alternative, even when coal is used to generate the electricity.

    The report, released this week, is the first time researchers have addressed the question of the environmental impact of electric vehicles depending on what sort of method has been used to produce the electricity they are charged with.
    It is designed to tackle one of the charges often leveled against EVs by some skeptics that the vehicles have a high carbon footprint if they use electricity generated from a coal-burning power plant, for example.

    The study found that in every part of the U.S., electric vehicles outperform most gasoline-powered cars when it comes to emissions.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...hicles-1-.html
    China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, said it will provide financial support and individual subsidies to promote the use and development of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

    The government will broaden pilot programs, build recharging facilities and develop a plan to recycle batteries, as part of a drive to have 500,000 such vehicles by 2015, rising to 5 million by 2020, the State Council, or cabinet, said in a statement posted on its website yesterday.

    “This clarifies the direction for all participants, carmakers, consumers, regulators,” said Thomas McGuckin, Shanghai-based partner who oversees the Asia Pacific automotive practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. “The price point, infrastructure and consumer usage patterns will ultimately determine adoption.”
    http://www.eco-business.com/news/chi...-road-by-2020/
    China, the world’s largest auto market, wants to put 5 million hybrids and electric vehicles (EV) on the road between now and 2020, the government said on Wednesday, in the latest update of its green vehicle target.

    A green vehicle development plan approved by China’s State Council, also set the cumulative output level of such vehicles at the same level by 2020, according to a brief statement on the central government’s website.

    That compared with the 1 million 2020 EV output goal put forward by China’s science and technology minister Wan Gang in October 2010. Other officials had said they wanted to have half a million EVs on the road by then.
    Beijing has been pushing electric car industry with hefty subsidies. The government had also pledged to invest 100 billion yuan ($15.87 billion) to shore up the fledgling industry by 2020.

    Sales have been dismal due to high battery costs and lack of charging facilities.
    Output of hybrids and EVs came to merely 8,368 last year, with sales at 8,159, including those for government pilot programmes for e-taxis and e-buses, official data showed.
    China saw sales of 14.5 million cars in 2011. The country’s car market declined 1.3 percent in the first quarter, on the slowing economy and higher fuel prices.
    http://www.npr.org/2012/04/19/150923...drilling-rules
    Any doubts about the environmental friendliness of electric cars are completely unfounded.
    This is according a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which claims that electric vehicles are cleaner than any alternative, even when coal is used to generate the electricity.

    The report, released this week, is the first time researchers have addressed the question of the environmental impact of electric vehicles depending on what sort of method has been used to produce the electricity they are charged with.
    It is designed to tackle one of the charges often leveled against EVs by some skeptics that the vehicles have a high carbon footprint if they use electricity generated from a coal-burning power plant, for example.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/electric-cars-greenest-roads-power-source-study-article-1.1063629#ixzz1sW0IdGIv
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  7. #22
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    http://www.latimes.com/business/auto...,7766653.story

    Car shoppers will soon find two Ford Focus sedans sitting side by side when they visit the dealership — one with a gas tank and another with batteries.

    In a milestone for the auto industry, an automaker will give consumers an option to purchase the same model of a vehicle with either a traditional combustion engine or one powered only by electricity. It will mark the first time that buyers can compare the different powertrains on the same car.

    An electric Focus, next to the gas version, provides, "more transparency to what it means to pay for an electric vehicle," said Thilo Koslowski, an automotive analyst at research firm Gartner Inc.

    Ford Motor Co.'s strategy of producing an electric car that shares the platform, body style and many components of the standard gasoline model is a departure from other automakers pioneering the electric car market. It will also make it easier for shoppers to figure out the economics of electric vehicle ownership.

    The first electric entrants — the Nissan Leaf and the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt — are stand-alone models designed from the ground up without gasoline-only siblings.

    "It takes away the apples and oranges comparison," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive. "To some extent it will be the same as offering both V-6 and a V-8 in the same model or an automatic or manual transmission. It becomes just an option."

    Consumers will find that the electric version is considerably more expensive, at least initially.

    The electric Focus has a sticker price of $39,995 with destination fees. That compares with about $25,000 for a similarly equipped gasoline model. But shoppers will also have to make adjustments for incentives, such as the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles, and regional inducements such as California's $2,500 rebate. Then they must add the cost of a home-charging station: about $2,000.

    Depending on the trim level of the gasoline Focus, the payback from fuel savings at current gas prices for the electric version will take seven to 11 years. When Honda comes out with the electric version of its Fit subcompact this summer, consumers will get a second vehicle that directly compares with a gasoline model.

    How to benchmark electric car prices against gasoline counterparts has been hotly debated by analysts, manufacturers and consumers.

    Mark Perry, Nissan North America's director of product planning, cringes when he reads comparisons between the automaker's Leaf and its tiny Versa, Nissan's budget-oriented, entry-level car. He points out that the Leaf has more interior space, features and technology than the Versa.

    But that was exactly the vehicle Lacey Plache, chief economist for Edmunds.com, used when discussing why the higher price of electric vehicles was a large barrier to consumer acceptance.

    "Compared to a Nissan Versa, a Leaf owner would have to hold on to the Leaf for seven years in order to recoup the price difference through fuel-cost savings" with gas at $4 per gallon, Plache said.

    When one online Leaf owners group discussed what gasoline vehicles best compared to Nissan's electric car, they came up with a disparate list that included a well-equipped Mazda3, the Volkswagen Golf, Toyota Prius and ironically, the gasoline Focus.

    In an interview with The Times, Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally said the company's plan to sell electric- and gas-powered versions of the same car gives consumers what he called with a smile, "the power of choice."

    Ford's approach to assembling the car allows the company to quickly scale up or scale down production depending on demand, he said.

    "We can't guess what the demand is going to be, but it's on the same line [with the gas-engine Focus] and 70% to 80% of the parts are the same, so you can imagine the efficiencies," Mulally said.

    The former Boeing Co. executive who built jetliners also acknowledged that for now, price presents a giant hurdle for consumer acceptance of battery-electric vehicles. Electric vehicles will be more expensive than their gas counterparts for the foreseeable future, he said. To close the price gap, automakers will need much greater sales volume and breakthroughs in battery technology.

    The battery is the most expensive component on what otherwise would be a roughly $22,000 compact car. The weight of the batteries is another issue because the extra pounds reduce an electric vehicle's range.

    Giving a rare peek at the cost structure of electric-vehicle production, Mulally said a 23 kilowatt-hour battery like the lithium-ion unit in the Focus and similar to what's going in other pure electric vehicles weighs about 600 to 700 pounds and costs $12,000 to $15,000 — more than half the retail value of a similar-size internal-combustion car.

    Hybrids, such as Ford's Fusion and the Toyota Prius, have retail prices much closer to conventional gasoline engine cars because their batteries are much smaller and add about $2,000 to the cost of the vehicle.

    "You can see why the economics are what they are," he said.

    Ford's strategy with the electric Focus reflects its overall goal to reduce the number of platforms it produces globally to drive volume and economies of scale and reduce manufacturing and design expenses. It also demonstrates the different ways automakers are approaching this nascent market, Koslowski, the Gartner analyst, said.

    With the exception of the distinctive "kidney" grill, the i3 electric vehicle that BMW plans to launch next year will share almost no components with the automaker's other vehicles. It is an entirely new platform that uses an aluminum chassis, carbon-fiber upper body and thermoplastic body panels, said Richard Steinberg, BMW's manager of electric vehicle operations and strategy.

    The design allows BMW to mount the battery low in the car, which improves handling and allows the automaker to maximize interior space.

    Nissan, by comparison, also designed its Leaf from scratch to maximize space but eschewed expensive materials such as carbon fiber to keep the price low. The Leaf retails for $36,020 with destination fees, about 10% less than the electric Focus. BMW has not discussed pricing.

    Koslowski said the dedicated "ground-up" approaches of BMW and Nissan "probably create a superior driving experience in an electric vehicle but is much more of a gamble because of their greater expense and the fact that the demand for electric vehicles is still a big question mark.

    "Ford's plan is more cost effective, and probably safer."
    http://evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=27818
    Mass adoption of Electric vehicles might only be a few years away. The key to adoption of electric vehicles is the acquisition cost, infrastructure and range of the vehicles. Current range of most Electric Vehicles (EV's) in the market is equivalent to having a 2 gallon fuel tank. Although most of us do not use 2 gallon of gasoline in our everyday commute, we would all have a range anxiety if our cars had only 2 gallon fuel tanks. We would immediately demand gas stations are built near our workplace, shopping centers, airports and homes, before we purchased an automobile.

    Similar is the case of range anxiety with electric vehicles. Lot of consumers, are not aware that we are only one generation of battery chemistry away from a six (6) gallon fuel tank equivalent. The next generation battery will also solve the infrastructure issues related to electric power grid. Imagine a 6 gallon tank equivalent EV, which would be equivalent to 250 mile range on a single charge, sufficient for EV users to come home charge their vehicles during off-peak hours. This would require much smaller home chargers that do not need upgrade of home infrastructure, and does not impact electric grid during peak hours. Similarly, businesses will be able to adopt EV's for distribution applications, charging their trucks, vans or other vehicles at their business facility during the night.
    READ COMPLETE ARTICLE >>
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  8. #23
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...e-in-june.html
    Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the electric-car company founded by Elon Musk, said its first-quarter loss widened to $89.9 million before the release of a new model and as sales of Roadster sports cars ended. The company said a new supply agreement with Daimler AG (DAI) also may boost sales.

    Revenue dropped 38 percent to $30.2 million from the year- earlier quarter. Tesla said it’s advancing Model S sedan deliveries to June, rather than July, and that it has more than 10,000 orders for the battery-powered vehicle.
    “At this relatively early stage, things do look promising for Tesla,” said Ed Kim, director of analysis for Tustin, California-based AutoPacific Inc., an industry researcher. “Coming out ahead of schedule with Model S, securing orders and deals, they’re attaining the goals they need to.”
    The startup named for inventor Nikola Tesla wants to be the leading producer of premium all-electric vehicles with the addition of the Model S, followed by the Model X sport-utility vehicle in 2013. The addition of those products and supply agreements to Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Daimler may bring Tesla’s first profit by next year.

    Tesla’s agreement with shareholder Daimler is “to create an entire electric powertrain for a new Mercedes-Benz EV,” Musk and Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja said in a statement. “This program is expected to exceed in value the sum of all powertrain agreements signed in Tesla history.”
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  9. #24
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    I'm pretty sure no country can benefit from American example when it comes to conservation of energy.

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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    I'm pretty sure no country can benefit from American example when it comes to conservation of energy.
    I dunno Holly, things are changing, maybe not as fast as we would all like, but changing nonetheless. I now send about twice as much thrash to recycling as to the landfill. If Ireland had solar potential, I bet you’d get lots of takers for this Google inspired deal. Free Solar Panels.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/bu...-converts.html
    HOLMDEL, N.J. — Jay Nuzzi, a New Jersey state trooper, had put off installing solar panels on his home here for years, deterred by the $70,000 it could cost. Then on a trip to Home Depot, he stumbled across a booth for Roof Diagnostics, which offered him a solar system at a price he couldn’t refuse: free.
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  11. #26
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    I dunno Holly, things are changing, maybe not as fast as we would all like, but changing nonetheless. I now send about twice as much thrash to recycling as to the landfill. If Ireland had solar potential, I bet you’d get lots of takers for this Google inspired deal. Free Solar Panels.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/bu...-converts.html
    The big car story here today has been the permit for driverless cars in Nevada. Also run by Google.

    If a car has to be in Nevada, I guess driverless is the best way for it to be.

    I had a friend who ran out of gas there once, and nearly died of heat stroke.

  12. #27
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    The big car story here today has been the permit for driverless cars in Nevada. Also run by Google.

    If a car has to be in Nevada, I guess driverless is the best way for it to be.

    I had a friend who ran out of gas there once, and nearly died of heat stroke.
    After a slow start, because of a failed attempt in the early 90’s the concept of EV’s is taking off again in the US. I just thought Europe would be farther along because the much higher price of petrol provides greater incentive. Looks like the Dutch as is often the case in transport matters are the European innovators/early adopters.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/justinge...rom-16-cities/

    Global leaders want to have 20 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road worldwide by 2020. Last year, some 40,000 EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) were sold around the world. If the J-shaped growth expectations are to be realized, the cost of advanced batteries must continue to fall and smart policies must accelerate the adoption of EVs in urban areas.
    A new report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) tackles the latter. The EV City Casebook (PDF), compiled by IEA with the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Electric Vehicles Initiative, and C40 Cities, details best practices from 16 cities in nine countries.
    The profiled cities, from Shanghai to the tiny Goto Islands of Japan, account for 30% of the EVs on the road today. The other cities profiled are Amsterdam; Barcelona; Berlin; BrabantStad (The Netherlands); Hamburg; Helsinki; Kanagawa Prefecture (Japan); Los Angeles; New York City; North East England; Portland (Oregon); Research Triangle (North Carolina); Rotterdam; and Stockholm. (For more detail about efforts under way to promote EVs in Portland, read my profile of Electric Avenue and distillation of 10 EV charging lessons learned published at this blog in March.)
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  13. #28
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    Hmm! Looks like the EV market is not taking off in the UK like it is in the US. I find this surprising given that fuel is so much more expensive in Europe.

    http://www.energylivenews.com/2012/0...o-go%E2%80%9D/

    Experts say the UK still has a “long way to go” with developing electric cars, on the back of news earlier this week that Oxford is to get a large number of EV charging points across the city.
    Lorna Pimlott, Ernst & Young’s Head of Electric Vehicles & Infrastructure said: “It’s very encouraging to see that Oxford is playing such a leading role in promoting the acceleration of Electric Vehicles (EV) in the UK. However, the overall EV market still has a long way to go.”
    She said the “scarce supply” of electric models means prices are high, beyond the reach of most household, adding: “What we really need to see now is the automotive, infrastructure, technology and utility sectors working more collaboratively, to reduce the overall cost of EV ownership, so as to encourage mass market appeal for cash strapped drivers.”
    http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/05/...iciency-goals/

    FedEx Express announced this week that its entire vehicle feet is becoming more energy efficient at a faster rate than the company had originally planned. While the logistic giant’s diesel trucks have improved their overall mileage and emissions performance, FedEx has added more electric vehicles while experimenting with new engines, more sustainable transportation options and composite materials.
    The slow but steady shift towards more fuel efficient vehicles is important because despite all the calls to “buy” local, the truth is that Americans are buying online: over $200 billion annually and growing. With more consumers spending more time on eBay, Amazon, and even Etsy than at the local shopping mall or farmers’ market, the pressure is on the logistic companies to demonstrate that they are doing more to ameliorate the effects their business has on the environment.
    http://www.hybridcars.com/news/merce...nch-46065.html

    According to Sascha Simon, head of Advanced Product Planning at Mercedes-Benz USA, the company is on track to launch an updated B-Class F-Cell for 2015 in California, with a “regular” sedan slated to follow in 2017.
    However, Mercedes-Benz is adamant that its fuel cell vehicles look and feel like regular passenger cars as much as possible, thus the sedan is likely to be a derivative of the E-Class. The reasoning is that customers are more likely to consider fuel cell vehicles if they’re familiar with the shape and form of the car, despite its method of propulsion.

    “We are not intending to build a particular fuel cell sub-brand that looks and feels different,” Simon said. “Our customers would like to drive our E-Class as a fuel cell car. It would work beautifully in a regular sedan shape – normal Mercedes luxury but filled with hydrogen.”
    Simon is also convinced that ultimately, hydrogen fuel cell technology “has the potential to take over the internal combustion engine, together with pure battery EVs in their niche.”
    However, despite his views, persuading the federal government, particularly Energy Secretary Stephen Chu on the merits of fuel cell technology might prove tougher.

    Three years ago, the Obama Administration essentially abandoned a program launched by the preceding U.S. Government which focused on hydrogen fuel cell technology as the de-facto choice for future vehicle propulsion; Chu instead chose to direct efforts into EV and battery development, with the idea it would help wean the U.S. off oil consumption, lower emissions and boost domestic manufacturing.
    That said, in recent months, Slate magazine says Chu has apparently softened his stance on fuel cells, according to information gleaned from the incoming chairman of the Department of Energy’s Technical Advisory Committee John Hofmeister. This could help increase viability of the technology as a major future source for vehicle propulsion.

    Mercedes-Benz has so far been one of the most significant proponents of fuel cell technology, thanks to developing a slew of concept cars and engineering vehicles. In fact, Simon says that because of the progress made “it is as easy to build a fuel cell car today as an ICE (internal combustion engine) car.” Currently Mercedes-Benz USA has 37 B-Class F-Cell models being leased by Southern California customers and served by several hydrogen fuel cell filing stations. Availability of the B-Class F-Cell, which delivers an estimated EPA driving range of 190 miles and a refueling time of three minutes, will expand to Northern California next month.

    Although developing an adequate infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles remains a major obstacle, with little vested interest by oil companies in complimenting existing filling stations with hydrogen pumps; Simon says that a bigger incentive for fuel cells versus EVs; boils down to the cost of fuel stacks relating to electric battery packs.

    “If you obviously have a price premium for batteries that is not going down over the next 10 years, I would argue that a pure fuel cell vehicle is more efficient versus a plug-in,” he said. “If you look at the plug-in world right now, the current numbers don’t bode so well. We haven’t seen a drop in prices in batteries we’d like to see.”
    http://www.latimes.com/business/mone...,3950552.story

    Tesla Motors Inc. said it will begin delivering its first mass production electric car -– the high-end Model S to customers starting June 22, about a month ahead of the expected schedule.

    The Palo Alto-based company says it has more than 10,000 orders for the battery-powered car but that not all will be delivered this year.
    The announcement of early deliveries by the company co-founded by tech industrialist and chief executive Elon Musk came on the same day that SpaceX, another Musk company, became the first private business to launch a spacecraft to the International Space Station. The mission is the first test of NASA’s plans to outsource space missions to privately funded companies.

    Tesla announced the Model S news in a company blog post in which it also explained that the vehicle will offer a high degree of personalization to individual driving habits.
    For example, electric vehicles such as the Model S as well as hybrid cars come with what is known as regenerative braking systems, which feeds braking energy back into the battery to preserve the vehicle’s charge. Some drivers complain that such systems can be abrupt, slowing a vehicle with a feel that’s similar to a sudden down shift in a car with a manual transmission.

    Tesla said Model S drivers will be able to adjust the braking feel, but warned that a lighter touch to the brakes will feed less energy back to the battery and reduce the electric car’s range.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  14. #29
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    Honda’s FIT 118 mpg equivalent

    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/...ectric-vehicle


    A battery maker is claiming a breakthrough. "On Tuesday, A123 Systems will unveil a new battery technology that the company says is a breakthrough in the industry. The advance uses a new chemistry that could permit the creation of a simpler, lighter, longer-lasting battery pack that does not require a system to cool or heat it. The success or failure of the new technology may well determine the fate of A123. It will also render an early verdict on Mr. Obama’s broader push to promote electric cars and build a domestic industry to develop and manufacture advanced batteries to run them. The president’s prediction of a million electric cars on the road by 2015 seems unattainable...So far this year, combined sales of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Nissan Leaf electric car total less than 10,000 vehicles...Yet the major automakers remain committed to electric vehicles so far, and G.M. has given A123 the contract to supply batteries for the Chevrolet Spark, an all-electric minicar due next year." Bill Vlasic and Matthew Wald in The New York Times.
    The self driving electric car.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...lf_driving_car

    Is the electric car then history? Will the Leaf and the Volt go the way of the ill-fated EV1, General Motors' electric car from the 1990s? If the status quo persists, they very well might. There are, however, reasons to believe that electric cars might find a viable niche after all -- if we use them in the right way.

    For the last several years, Google has been testing self-driving cars, primarily in California and Nevada. Its vehicles use lasers, radars, and other sensors to establish their position and identify objects around them. This data is interpreted by artificial intelligence software that enables the vehicle to drive itself. Google's vehicles have now proved themselves in hundreds of thousands of miles on the road. And Google's not the only game in town. Bosch is also developing the technology, and Cadillac has promised to have a car capable of driving autonomously on the highway by 2015. Self-driving technology is gradually moving to commercialization, and when it does, it will liberate the car from its driver, enabling a vehicle to serve more users.

    According to the Transportation Department, the average U.S. vehicle is used less than one hour per day -- a utilization rate of about 5 percent. Many Americans only drive their cars to work, park, and leave them until they drive home at night, making them essentially unavailable for use by others for most of the day. But if the car could drive itself, it could return home to take the children to school, members of the family shopping, and seniors to visit friends or keep appointments. If the vehicle served even one additional passenger, its utilization rate would double, and its capital cost per user would fall by half.

    This is exactly the solution needed to remedy the poor economics that currently stymie electric vehicles. Even if better or cheaper batteries are not developed, electric cars could still be economically viable if their utilization rates were double those of today's gasoline-powered vehicles.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: New Lower Priced Electric Cars Coming

    Two big developments in the electric vehicle industry recently.

    1: The Chinese led consortium that have bought Saab, say they plan to turn it into an exclusively electric vehicle producer.

    A Chinese-Japanese investment group agreed to buy Saab Automobile and convert the bankrupt Swedish manufacturer into a maker of electric cars.
    The first vehicle under the plan will be based on Saab’s 9-3 car and will go on sale early in 2014, with China as the main market, purchaser National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB and the bankruptcy administrators for Trollhaettan-based Saab said today in a joint statement. The parties agreed not to disclose the price of Saab’s sale.

    We’re striving to be a world-leading company for electric cars,” Mattias Bergman, a spokesman for National Electric Vehicle Sweden, said at a press conference in Trollhaettan. “It’s not only about China being a big market for electric cars, it’s also about China having the ability to make the investments required and build the needed infrastructure.”

    The purchasing group consists of Hong Kong-based renewable- energy power-plant builder National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., which owns 51 percent, and Japanese investment firm Sun Investment. The Swedish manufacturer would be entering a market that includes the Chevrolet Volt, made by former Saab owner General Motors Co. (GM), and Fisker Automotive Inc.’s $103,000 Karma hybrid gasoline-electric sports car, models that have been the subject of U.S. probes following vehicle fires.
    Read more
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...utomobile.html

    2: Tesla Motors of California began deliveries of its mid range Model S beginning at around $50K and delivering the functional equivalent of 87mpg at US petrol and electricity prices. A battery charge has a range of just under 270 miles. Tesla got 10,000 people to drop a $5k deposit on the car two years ago. They plan to deliver all 10,000 in 2012, and a further 20,000 in 2013.

    They have one more mid range model to come, and in about two years plan to have a sub $30k compact that will deliver the equivalent of 120mpg+.

    FREMONT, Calif.--Lined up before me were 10 examples of the Model S, newly off the production line, the result of years of investment and development. This silent herd awaited a group of journalists eager to finally get their hands on the wheel and foot on the accelerator. We were here to see if Tesla had fulfilled its promise of building an electric car that could compete with those from likes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.

    Certainly from the exterior, the car looked desirable. Although it's billed as a sedan, a hatch sat between the Model S' big rear fenders, opening up a large cargo space with optional rear-facing seats. Its smooth, sensuous lines and minimal exterior adornment spoke of expensive design.
    Body-flush door handles might seems like a styling gimmick, but they actually served the purpose of improving the car's aerodynamics. Tesla says the Model S makes an astoundingly good .24 coefficient of drag, better than even the Toyota Prius.

    The cabin also showed a minimalist luxury, emphasizing smooth surfaces. Necessary pieces, such as interior door handles, had unique shapes to give the car its own character.

    The dashboard was left very bare, the single 17-inch touch screen dominating the middle, with just one solid button for the emergency flashers. Other automakers have tried putting all cabin controls on a screen, but relented with things such as climate control and volume knobs. Tesla is sticking to the touch-screen paradigm, albeit with a row of climate controls always docked at the bottom of the LCD. And there is volume control on the steering wheel.

    I sat in the car with a Tesla minder in the passenger seat and CNET photographer James Martin in the rear. Getting myself situated, I expected the power seat controls just because of the general sense of luxury in the cabin. I was pleased to find a stubby stalk on the steering wheel column that let me adjust its position. Unlike the Nissan Leaf, which minimizes creature comforts to maximize range, Tesla offers the accoutrements one would expect from a premium car.

    I happened to be sitting in a Model S with the Signature Performance trim, which meant a larger inverter than the standard model, giving it 0-to-60 mph acceleration of 4.4 seconds. It also had the 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack, which is good for an EPA-rated range of 265 miles.

    Put in Drive with the selector stalk, the car began to creep forward, at a slow pace fine for stop-and-go traffic or seeking a space in a crowded parking lot. Then I touched the accelerator. The response was instantaneous. A push of my foot, and the car surged forward. It took very little to make the car move, and in my initial flirtation with the Model S, I felt the accelerator might even be too sensitive, at least for crawling around residential streets at the posted limits.
    Read more

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7...-satisfaction/
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

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