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View Diary: Updated x2 - CNBC/CNN put Tesla to the Test. NY Times Fails. (230 comments)

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  •  As much as I'm in favor of Electric Cars (6+ / 0-)
    Both showed that if you charge the car and manage your mileage like you would do a normal IC car you won't have a problem reaching your destination.  
    This above is the big problem for electric cars. I personally didn't have a huge problem with the NYT's review/conclusions. If you can't treat the Tesla the way you would any other car... if you have to "manage" it to the worrisome extent that a minor detour and some lousy weather screw you over that badly... that IS a valid big point against EVs.
    The writer clearly didn't properly report the story, which is the real problem. But the results of his trip are particularly illuminating, in light of all the hubbub.

    Most of the trouble, it seems, can be resolved by increased infrastructure support for EVs, and maybe even re-training society's habits (we did all learn to plug our phones in every night, for example). Regardless, until you can use an EV mostly the same way you'd use a combustion vehicle, we need to be made aware of these possibilities. We shouldn't be encouraging people to buy EVs if there is a reasonable chance that the thing is going to crap out on you midway through any given trip simply because you weren't babying it or planning your whole trip around it.

    When I go on a road trip, yes, I know I need to get gas at certain intervals. Ditto that I have to charge an EV. But from the sound of things, you run a higher (if still improbable, given the average person's driving habits) risk of running out of juice in an EV. People should be well aware of that.

    My style is impetuous.
    My defense is impregnable.
    YOU'RE NOT ALEXANDER!

    by samfish on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:08:13 PM PST

    •  Something else I read... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shotput8, MPociask, Ian S

      Was that it wasn't recommended to use these superchargers more then 3-4 times a year as they shorten the life of the batteries. shrug

      The reason I won't get one, at this point, is that I don't want to spend at least an hour "filling up". And that's even at one of these superchargers you're not supposed to use very often.

      We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

      by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:14:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Things are changing really fast (3+ / 0-)

        There's EV charger infrastructure going up all over the place.

        Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

        by yet another liberal on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:36:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here in Central Florida (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radical simplicity

          There's free public charging stations popping up all over the place.  Within a 30 mile diameter of my house there's about 50-60 stations including at shopping plazas, parking garages, restaurants, banks, etc.

          If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

          by coracii on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:49:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nope... (3+ / 0-)

        The supercharging is fine for the batteries. The thing that they said to avoid was charging to 100% and draining to 0%. So for normal driving they say to charge to 90%, which is the default behavior. But for occasional long distance trips, charge to 100%.

        Note that normally you'd charge overnight at your house, so no "waiting". Unlike a gas car, you don't have to go to a station to refuel, you just plug in overnight, so it doesn't particularly matter how long charging time is. The "superchargers" are for fast recharging for long distance drives.

    •  why is it a problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      that the electric car works if you manage mileage the same way you do an IC car?

      Your comments reads as though you got the opposite meaning from your quoted text.

      If you aren't outraged, you are an idiot

      by indefinitelee on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:39:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because its apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

        Managing your mileage with an internal combustion vehicle is pretty much an afterthought. We have seen multiple instances demonstrating that this is not the case yet with EVs.

        My style is impetuous.
        My defense is impregnable.
        YOU'RE NOT ALEXANDER!

        by samfish on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:58:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i think we have (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Just Bob, happymisanthropy

          different definitions of "manage"

          or you don't agree with the statement you quoted that if you manage your EV the same way you manage your ICE you will be fine.

          If you aren't outraged, you are an idiot

          by indefinitelee on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:05:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  How is it not the same? (3+ / 0-)

          Both ICE and EV technologies have range limits imposed by the power source. The differences are:
          - Electricity is much, much cheaper than gas (per mile).
          - You have electricity at hour house, so you can recharge overnight, while you need to buy gas at a gas station.
          - Recharging (electricity) is much slower than pumping gas.
          - There aren't many public charging stations yet.

          The first three are fundamental, the fourth is a matter of market maturity. So for cross-country travel, an EV isn't great. But for driving near your home EVs give you extremely low cost transportation without the requirement to go to gas stations.

          Come to think of it, when gas cars were new (and the infrastructure wasn't built out), people worried about running out of gas before reaching their destination. And people on horseback worried about reaching the next place to feed/water their horses. Airplanes run out of fuel. In fact, I can't think of a form of transportation, including walking, where range before refueling never matters. The only reason we're even thinking about this for EVs is that it's a new technology. If anything, EVs have it a bit easier than gas, since they leverage the electrical grid which is already in place, so people can charge at home or at work, and all they need to do is deploy a few charging stations on major highways for long distance travel, whereas gas cars took nearly 50 years to develop a ubiquitous network of gas stations.

          •  "much, much cheaper"? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund

            I don't see that.  I do watch various EV sites, and especially note the estimates of electric power (kWh) consumption for gas-equivalent vehicle performance, and when that is multiplied by unsubsidized (retail) electric prices the "cheaper" all but disappears.  There are plenty of ICE vehicles that cost less than ten cents/mile for fuel (at current prices) . . . how many kWh does it take to move an EV a mile (average, normal driving) and what does a kWh of electricity cost (unsubsidized) where you live?

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:12:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can travel (4+ / 0-)

              about 40 miles minimum (I usually get at least 45 since my trips are on flat, low traffic roads) on only electricity in my Volt and it costs about $0.95 to charge it.  So, for about 40 miles of range on electric I pay ninety cents, for a car that gets 30mpg like my wife's that same 40 miles costs $5.20 based on the cost for a gallon today.  Takes me about 4 hours to fully charge the Volt off the 240v charger I installed.

              If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

              by coracii on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:56:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  since a "full" recharge (0+ / 0-)

                will take about 15kVA that suggests that you are paying about 6 cents/kWH for power . . . I sure wish I could buy electric power at that price, but where I live "baseline" is twice that and the top marginal rate (which regular charging of an EV would push me into) is over 30 cents/kWH.

                6 cents/kWH . . . damn, that's a steal.  If I could get that price I'd buy an electric car just so I could run my house off the charger . . .

                Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:46:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're almost exactly right (0+ / 0-)

                  I pay about 6.2 cents per kWH according to my last bill.

                  If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

                  by coracii on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:12:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Where are you (0+ / 0-)

                    that power is that cheap?

                    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                    by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:44:57 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Central Florida (0+ / 0-)

                      My first 1000 kWH per month is 6.2047 cents per unit and anything above that is 8.7613 cents per unit (for a 2300 square foot house we typically average about 600 units in the late fall, winter and early spring and about 900 units in the early fall, late spring and summer.  HVAC costs are a killer here with the temps constantly staying in the mid to upper 90's for most of the year.

                      If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

                      by coracii on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:32:22 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I get between 34 and 58 miles per charge... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coracii, radical simplicity

                in my 2012 Volt, depending on the weather.  My commute is 40 miles round-trip, and I plug in at work, so it usually isn't a problem for me to go all electric every day (every day above 25 degrees, that is).

                Anyway, I pay $0.055 per kWh.  I get between 3.5 and 6 miles traveled per kilowatt hour, again depending on the weather, traffic, etc.  A full charge costs me $0.44. I don't even notice a bump in my electric bill, especially since half my charging occurs at work.  I used to drive a car that got about 30 mpg.  I drive 13000 miles per year.  That 433 gallons x $3.75 = $1,625.00 per year in gas.  I plan on keeping this car 6 years.  I'll spend about $1000 in gas over six years and $500 on electric.  That's $8250 in gas savings.  I have 82% oil life after 19 months, so it's possible I won't have  to change the oil even once.  I won't have to get new brakes (I down-shift in Low to brake more often than not), transmission, or any normal IC maintenance.  A  car that cost me $40,000 to buy, minus $7500 federal tax rebate, and $4000 state rebate will end up with a total cost of ownership at way less than $20,000.  

                If gas prices stay at $4.00/gal, or if I was driving a car that got 25 or 20 or 15 mpg, the savings calculation adds up even higher.

                Let me tell you, it' s a sweet ride either way. (And no charge anxiety).

    •  People who commute (5+ / 0-)

      with vehicles with a range of 100 miles or less are also known as "motorcyclists." I did it for nearly five years. Sure, all you have to do is go to a gas station, but subtract to that the fact that all you have is a low fuel light that turns on and basic arithmetic together with your best estimates for fuel mileage. I never did run out of fuel, it never was inconvenient, and a vehicle that is re-fueled by plugging it in overnight is much more convenient.

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