View Poll Results: Would you buy a leaf for 25k?

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Thread: Is this the beginning of the end of super profits in the Oil industry?

  1. #1

    Default Is this the beginning of the end of super profits in the Oil industry?

    Nissan today, announced the launch of the "Leaf".


    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/08...electric-leaf/

    http://detnews.com/article/20090802/...t+electric+car

    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/08/01/2...pth-and-u-s-b/

    This car could cost as little as a Nissan Versa (less than 20k). Other news outlets say less than 30k. It will be released commercially (50,000 vehicles) around the end of 2010. Included in that price could be a battery lease (up front one payment lease perhaps).

    The significance? The stats seem a bit uncertain yet, but appears to be a pure electric vehicle that does 160km range, can charge overnight - 4 ((8?) hrs with 220v, 8 (16?) hours with 110, and 30 minutes at some locations (maybe Epcor will put some fast charge stations in its new Tower? - they have a lot to gain from this technology as it grows). It accelerates fast, and can do up to 140km/hr. To boot - it is a real car, not a toy - about the size of a Versa. I know for our family, this would be more than enough as the second car for around town.

    And as technology commercializes, it is going to get cheaper and cheaper. Exciting times! The Volt will be arriving soon too (Chevy's vehicle, with gasoline range extender, although that will be heavier / more complex / more expensive). Imagine never having to go to the gas station (well, excluding those long range trips/holidays)? Are you excited?
    Last edited by moahunter; 02-08-2009 at 05:06 PM.

  2. #2

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    The oil industry is more than petrol.

  3. #3

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    What is crude oil,
    and what is it used for?

    Crude oil is pumped from the ground in the Middle East (e.g., Saudi Arabian Arab Light), West Africa (e.g., Nigerian Bonny Light), the Americas, and Asia (Russia), pumped into ships called tankers, and sailed across the ocean to oil refineries on the Delaware River.
    Refining is the complex series of processes that manufactures finished petroleum products out of crude oil. While refining begins as simple distillation (by heating and separating), refiners must use more sophisticated additional processes and equipment in order to produce the mix of products that the market demands. Generally, this latter effort minimizes the production of heavier, lower value products (for example, residual fuel oil, used to power large ocean-going ships) in favor of middle distillates (jet fuel, kerosene, home heating oil and diesel fuel) and lighter, higher value products (liquid petroleum gases (LPG), naphtha, and gasoline).


    Furhter to that, even if we doubled or trippled fuel efficency via hybrids, electric cars (which not everyone will buy, but maybe it wil be the great second car) it doesn't change the fact that the population of India and China are going to want cars. This potential maked is HUGE HUGE HUGE! This future market is going to keep demand at it`s current level. I can`t see a world wide deminish, if there was going to be that I dn`t think you would see oil companies investing in the oil sands.
    Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 02-08-2009 at 06:00 PM.

  4. #4

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    ^I asked the question in thread title - is this the beginning of the end of super profits for the oil industry? I didn't say it was the end of oil, and I didn't say it would happen right away. This may be the start of a fundamental change though, gasoline stations in particular will lose business if these vehicles gain popular acceptance. Not to mention auto service (only scheduled maintenance may be brakes - no more oil changes, engine issues, fluids, belts, etc.). 50,000 autos, or even 200,000 won't have much impact, but as the market grows, things could change.

    The economics of this car are quite interesting. Take a Nissan Versa (small practical family car). Starts about 16k. Strip out the engine and gearbox. Make it more streamlined (ground effects, bodywork). Then add battery (expensive bit - perhaps 10k), add electric engine, plus some other goodies. It could come out around 25k I think (esp. with government clean air subsidies). As that battery drops in price to say, 5k, it will be even more competitive. At some point at least for small cars, an electric powertrain may become cheaper than a gasoline one. When that eventually happens, it will satisfy most of the demand all those emerging markets where small cars are prefered.
    Last edited by moahunter; 02-08-2009 at 07:13 PM.

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    Is this the beginning of the end of super profits in the Oil industry?

    Who cares!? This car is awesome!

  6. #6

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    ^I think so too! I'd buy one tommorow at 25k - this is the first hybrid or electric car I would say that about.
    Last edited by moahunter; 02-08-2009 at 07:17 PM.

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    I wouldnt buy the first generation of a new technology.
    also i have little hope in Nissan passing on increases in efficiency and cost savings on to the consumers. Sure they will be able to manufacture the cars for cheaper but they wont be lowering the price. imo anyway.

  8. #8

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    Still too ugly. 160km range is good for anyone that just drives in town. Not enough range for me personally, I rack up alot of KMs.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  9. #9

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    ^I like the looks (but I have a Versa, a car that is very practical for us, which it looks like, and basically is, so I am a bit biased). Agreed - range is too short for some, but supposedly enough for 80% of daily drivers in North America.

    There is a related video based on the mule (Versa), which shows some of the cool infrastructure that could build up (like induction charging in parkades)


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    I imagine that some of these oil companies will diversify into new technology, or they might partner with power companies. They could convert some of their gas stations for electric charging.

    For what it's worth, I think electric cars will be most popular in major cities. One look at a city during rush hour with zero emission vehicles means less greenhouse gases.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

  11. #11

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    to answer your question then.. No I don't think this is the end of mega profits, because it takes mega cash to extract oil.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cat View Post
    For what it's worth, I think electric cars will be most popular in major cities. One look at a city during rush hour with zero emission vehicles means less greenhouse gases.
    I think so as well. It will get some major support too, from electricity companies. Lets say that 80% of personal automobiles in the City convert to electric in the next 2 decades. I don't think that is unrealistic - just look at how quick LCD tvs took over in much shorter time (and polution regulations will get much tighter once these autos are economic). A large chunk of that 30 billion odd of profit that each Oil giant like Shell makes, will shift to electricity generators. Ideally, it will even pay for cleaner power generation. Today, the oil giants are the most wealthy corporations on earth. I remember when I was University one of my finance lecturers was fond of saying, they ruled the world (and that was a decade before Iraq and the Oil spike). In the future, if this technology is as good as it appears, it could be the power companies taking that on.
    Last edited by moahunter; 03-08-2009 at 08:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cat View Post
    I imagine that some of these oil companies will diversify into new technology, or they might partner with power companies. They could convert some of their gas stations for electric charging.

    For what it's worth, I think electric cars will be most popular in major cities. One look at a city during rush hour with zero emission vehicles means less greenhouse gases.
    I agree with you, these companies will learn to diversify into other forms of energy production / technology.

  14. #14

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    ^They are slowly starting to do that (per the ads on TV showing wind farms and similar). They will end up not being oil companies then though, more of a sort of pan energy company. That may not be easy, as others will be fighting for that market, particularly the power compaines who have the advantage of industry experience.

    Also, there is the image issue. A lot of people want to "stick it" to the oil companies - the ability to purchase a vehicle that runs purely on electricity is going to appeal to a large segment of society. I know I would rather give my money to EPCOR, they don't have any blood on their hands (e.g. Nigeria, not to mention middle east politics).

    Further down the track - parts of North America that can produce electricity cheaply, could become more desirable. Particularly if superconductor research (which is finally moving again thanks to some new discoveries), results in a more efficient means to distrubute electricity. Places that have a lot wind (e.g. Southern Alberta), or solar (e.g. Nevada, depending on how that technolgoy improves) could do well. All the more reason to continue to invest in Carbon caputre, for we have that huge coal reserve, that would be valuable if it could be burnt "cleanly". At least the demand for natural gas is not going to go reduce anytime soon, so it is not doom and gloom for Alberta We need to adapt though as technology changes - maybe the Oil Sands won't be so valuable in the long term, after all? We might be better off promoting and investing in natural gas and coal instead.
    Last edited by moahunter; 03-08-2009 at 09:37 AM.

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    There are more than enough gasoline powered vehicles on this planet to keep the demand for gasoline at a profitable level for a few decades still. Not everyone will be driving electric cars just yet

  16. #16

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    ^True, but oil investments take a long time to come on stream. An upgrader built today, will need to cost in its payback over the next few decades, a period over which, the auto industry could transform. At some point, investment in assets to produce more gasoline, will no longer make sense, when demand is impacted in a meaningful way, by this technology. Each auto replaced by an electric, will have an impact.

    It all, of course, depends on how this auto does (and possibly others). I think it is groundbreaking though - if the first commercial version can really deliver a family of 5 around 160 km, for about 25k, just think what the second and third generations will do. And, these vehicles will be virtually maintenance free to boot (aside from odd brake change), and be very cheap to run as electric engines are incredibly efficient (perhaps a dollar or two to top up). Those will be powerful incentives for many families to upgrade (aside from just wanting to do the environmental thing).
    Last edited by moahunter; 03-08-2009 at 11:56 AM.

  17. #17

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    Electric cars don't mean no pollution or no hydrocarbons.

    The electricity will have to come from: coal, natural gas (e.g. liquified natural gas from the Middle East) or nuclear.

    They would have the advantage of separating the pollution source from the car, which would be an advantage in crowded cities.

    I also have to point out that people currently have the choice to buy small, minimally polluting vehicles yet they still choose to buy large trucks or SUVs. If a family of four today doesn't want to use a Nissan Versa as their main car (some do but most don't) then what will cause the sudden shift to accept a smaller car than the Versa as the main family vehicle?

  18. #18

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    As soon as superconductors get released there'll be a quick transition to EV's.
    The big problem is battery storage and recharging issues.
    I read a 'leaked document' the other day where the technology exists, it's just what to do with it is the question. If I had investment cash, I'd throw it at the Zenn company.

  19. #19

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    Oil companies are going rule for some time to come.
    There are still a lot of things to iron out on electric vehicles. Plus, semi's, planes, barges, cruise ships and a whole slew of other transportaion methods need oil.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  20. #20

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    A few more interesting things about the Leaf.

    Nissan is confident they will have 1 million on the roads by 2015:

    http://green.autoblog.com/2009/11/13...on-plug-ins-b/

    Also, parts manufacturers are worried. With electric cars, there will be far few parts, which could decimate the industry:

    http://green.autoblog.com/2009/11/21...rts-suppliers/

    I can't wait for this vehicle, it could easily be our second car. We probably want to keep one gas one for those longer trips, but this would do for my daily commute. Autos123 has a nice write up on some of the implications:

    http://www.auto123.com/en/news/car-r...id=113258&pg=1



    Dan Neil, perhaps the best of all auto writers, raves about it as well:

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...5609464.column

    The Leaf is definitely Car 2.0. Sweet, glycerin smooth, techy, frisky and even a little bit beautiful. It just feels like tomorrow. Perhaps the question is not "Will people buy them?" but "Can we build enough?"
    Last edited by moahunter; 21-11-2009 at 05:49 PM.

  21. #21

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    I'm not sure why people/Nissan thinks the demand for this car will be so big.

    If a family wants to buy a car today that uses 6 L/100 km, they can. If a family wants to buy a very compact and small car today, then can. If a family wants to buy a car today that gets over 1000 km on a tank of fuel (diesel), they can.

    However people are still choosing to buy cars other than Smart Fortwo, hybrids, Honda Fit, etc.

  22. #22

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    ^It is simple - electric is just better technology. Less moving parts, less maintenance (no oil changes, brakes and tires will be about it), and no more trips to the gas station (just plug in at night). Not to mention the environmental thing (although that has more impact in places where there is clean energy).

    This vehicle will cost about a washing machine in electricity each year. The only "problem" is that at least for the first generation or so, there will be a lease payment for the batteries (which will about match what would have been paid in gasoline per the articles). Battery technology will get better and better though, once it reaches similar range as gasoline, the combustion engine will go for all but the largest trucks.
    Last edited by moahunter; 21-11-2009 at 10:38 PM.

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    i wish all early adopters good luck cause i wouldn't get an all electric car until they are more mainstream and all the kinks are worked out. ten years seems like a good time-line.

  24. #24

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    ^the battery is the only thing there is a question mark over (which is why Nissan is proposing to lease it, so they take the risk). Everything else is simpler than an existing auto (as no noisy unreliable internal combustion engine, no gearbox, etc.).

  25. #25

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    Electric vehicles with our current technology.

    I believe you will find the Leaf and others coming down the pipe will be reasonably successful in cities with moderate climates...California and across the northern sunbelt, southern Europe and such.

    But in extreme climates both mechanical, technological and temp control problems will keep them at bay for a long time.

    It takes a tremendous amount of energy to heat a car at -30 or for that matter cool it from +30 that means dramatically increased energy consumption and with an electric a vastly shortened range...to the point of being impractical for vast amounts of the year in more extreme climates.

    As far as cost of operation being like a washing machine...I don't think so. A washing machine uses about 1/2 a hp to do its job...a sub compact car takes a dozen or more to just maintain a steady city speed, never mind accelerate, climb a hill or anything else...more hp = more energy needs= more cost and down time to charge.

    The electric will have its place, but as a replacement for the average compact car its a long ways away and in extreme climates its even farther away.

    Tom

  26. #26

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    ^It may be possible though to heat the car in advance while it is plugged in (I don't know though). The efficiency is supposed to be such, that for less than the price of gasoline in a regular auto, it will be possible to run the vehcile and pay for rental of battery (which is projected initially to have a 5 year life, droping to 80% power).

    Here is what is says on web site about the cold:


    Q:How does driving in cold weather effect the performance and battery life?

    A:Cold won't affect performance directly. But a/c and heater will affect the range a bit, like in a gas car
    http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/#/car/index
    Last edited by moahunter; 22-11-2009 at 01:32 PM.

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    Let's estimate electricity consumption by comparison with a hybrid that uses 5 L / 100 km. Burning gasoline produces about 32 MJ / L, and an internal combustion engine operates with an efficiency of about 25-30%. That's 32*5*0.3 = 48 MJ / 100 km. 1 kW.h = 3.6 MJ, so charging the car after a 100 km drive would require 48 / 3.6 = 13.3 kW.h, or about $1 worth of electricity.

    As for heating and cooling, I think preheating while plugged in would be essential for this climate. Heat is nearly free with a gasoline engine (it comes from that 70-75% of the energy that can't be used to move the car), but heating an electric car will compete directly for the same electricity you need to go anywhere, and there is only about 15 kW.h stored in the batteries.

  28. #28

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    What we know about batteries and electric motors in Alberta style cold.

    1) Battery effectiveness goes in the toilet...thats why if you forget to plug your car in at -25 you don't get much of a chance to get it started before the battery is in trouble. It is also why for prolonged cold we need battery blankets to keep them from freezing.

    Now the new tech batteries are much better than the old lead acid, but they are subject to the same problems.

    2) The efficiency of the electric motor goes up we know this for a fact from other applications...problem is everything it drives the efficiency goes down due to the cold. This translates to everything from bearings and other mechanical drive units to some of the electronic controllers and other electrical bits.

    So overall your net efficiency drops in our kind of cold, which is seen in gasoline engines by a typical drop in mpg during the hard cold...so it translates.

    This is why electrics will make a reasonable choice in temperate climes but have issues in the extremes.

    Titanium48

    I haven't bothered to work the numbers but my gut tells me the gap ain't gonna be that wide especially after you factor in the battery lease etc.

    The poor old infernal combustion engine is a pretty efficient energy user in this day and age, my little Metro gets 61 mpg hiway as a norm (an that ain't at the speed limit) so electrics will have an uphill battle when heat and cold become issues.

    When you add the fact that most of our electricity is coal and the many losses from generating station to the wheels it isn't even that clean yet...just moves the pollution somewhere else.

    In the near term I see them becoming a practical city car in temperate climes but they still need a major break through to turn the masses.

    Don't get the idea I am opposed to alternatives, far from it, but after spending a huge part of my life in the auto/internal combustion world I don't see the electric break through yet.

    Tom
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 22-11-2009 at 04:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post

    The poor old infernal combustion engine is a pretty efficient energy user in this day and age, my little Metro gets 61 mpg hiway as a norm (an that ain't at the speed limit) so electrics will have an uphill battle when heat and cold become issues.
    Relative to what? from what ive read internal combustion engines are pretty poor overall, sure there have been strides in new technologies but going from 20% to 40% is still pretty terrible. most of the energy is just wasted as heat
    (those numbers are just made up to make a point)

  30. #30

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    RichardW

    When you combine all factors
    cost, range, servicability, performance etc there is a reason that the infernal (intended) combustion engine still rules.

    Nothing to this point has come close to offering the low cost, long range, ease of refueling (recharging) or overall versatility.

    If there was it would now dominate the market.

    Early in the 20th century electrics dominated...but all the factors that play against them now defeated them 100 years ago as the internal combustion engine was refined to be easy to use.

    Eventually a new technology will over take but till then its still the king.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    What we know about batteries and electric motors in Alberta style cold.

    1) Battery effectiveness goes in the toilet...thats why if you forget to plug your car in at -25 you don't get much of a chance to get it started before the battery is in trouble. It is also why for prolonged cold we need battery blankets to keep them from freezing.
    Batteries don't lose their stored energy at low temperatures, they lose the ability to deliver it as quickly. Warm the battery up and it can deliver full power again. While this contributes to the difficulty of starting your car in the cold, the main problem is that the oil becomes very viscous in the cold, making it difficult to turn the engine over. Plugging your car in warms the oil, not the battery, and then your car starts just fine at -30°C. In an electric car, the reduced maximum output will compromise the car's ability to accelerate quickly, not the driving range. In the days of carburetted engines there were also issues with getting just the right amount of fuel into the engine (you need more than normal because the fuel is less volatile in the cold, but too much is no good either), but that is not the operator's concern with modern fuel injection, nor is it relevant to electric vehicles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    The poor old infernal combustion engine is a pretty efficient energy user in this day and age, my little Metro gets 61 mpg hiway as a norm (an that ain't at the speed limit) so electrics will have an uphill battle when heat and cold become issues.

    When you add the fact that most of our electricity is coal and the many losses from generating station to the wheels it isn't even that clean yet...just moves the pollution somewhere else.
    You make good points about electric cars moving pollution elsewhere rather than eliminating it. Power plants are more efficient than car engines, but factoring in transmission losses, charge-discharge losses and electric motor efficiency will probably make them about equal. It is easier to control emissions from a powerplant than from thousands of cars though.

    I used to own a Metro too, but I could never get that kind of fuel economy except when I went to BC and slowed down to 90 km/h. I got closer to 50 MPG on highway 2. Nonetheless, the Metro performed very well with an engine that dates back to the mid-1980s. If GM / Suzuki brought it back with a modern engine it could compete with any hybrid. The pre-1995 models were marvels of efficient space design - room for 4 adults (5-door version) in a 750 kg package (only 30 kg heavier than a Smart fortwo). Hybrids may have regenerative braking, but they have an extra half-tonne of weight to haul around.
    Last edited by Titanium48; 22-11-2009 at 06:52 PM.

  32. #32

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    Titanium48

    Well my experience and your summary on winter performance on batteries differ greatly, having had a series of vehicles with remote mounted batteries (out of the warm block heated engine bay).

    The Geo/Suzuki is a pretty remarkable 1.0L. In non turbo form I have had them up over 100hp and reasonably reliable, turboed they can far exceed that. Power to weight is amazing (currently have about 1/2 dozen flying in ultra light type aircraft) and with a 5 speed 60ish mpg seems to be the norm kept in tune.

    More importantly the point is that $ for $ and performance and range the electric has a substantial way to go before replacing the gas for the average person.


    I won't disagree that theory should be 1 plant is easier to control emissions that many cars...but you still have the same owner problems of if people keep their vehicle in proper condition gas or electric. Allow them to fall out of spec and the efficiency drops
    on both.

    Alternatives time will come...but its a ways off and since when is moving pollution a solution to the actual problem? If there is a problem.

    Should we use less energy...of course...will we...time will tell but I doubt it, we will just find a different source.

    Tom

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    100 hp!?! I could have used that on the Coquihalla a few times. I'd ask just how you go about doubling the power of a 2 valve, TBI engine but I suppose we should keep the thread on topic.

    You raise an excellent point about the price to performance ratio. 25 k for an electric Versa makes it $10,000 more than the gasoline version. It's going to be awfully hard to save $10,000, 100 km at a time, plus the limited range means you need another car for highway trips.

    I don't buy new cars anyways (I don't typically have $20,000 burning a hole in my pocket and I don't like the idea of financing a depreciating asset), but waiting a while and buying used brings up the problem of battery life - replacing the battery pack will not be like regular maintenance or even a typical major repair, they're half the value of a new car! Leasing batteries is no solution either - welcome to the land of perpetual car payments.

  34. #34

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    Titanium

    Much like you I won't make car payments.

    Wife and kids get the nice machine, Dad never spends more than a grand.

    But after many years of racing and flying I don't like my rides to be completely boring.

    The first step to reducing energy use is to use less but certainly don't see a rush to do that on any level. Hybrids, electrics, hydrogen, alcohol are all feasible forms of power for transportation but, to date, not embraced due to various inconveniences with each. Till the public is willing to accept the product and until the costs and inconveniences can be minimized alternatives are not going to get a critical mass...it will eventually happen but unlikely in the near future.

    Tom

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    But after many years of racing and flying I don't like my rides to be completely boring.
    If you read that Dan Neil article, his point is that electric is anything but boring.

    During my all-too-brief drive, the Leaf prototype (clad in Nissan Versa bodywork), with three people on board, shot across the stadium parking lot like it had been pinged with a BB gun. Zero-to-40 mph acceleration, I estimate, is in the mid-5-second range, which would suit a decently sporty little car....

    Electric motors are instantly and almost infinitely variable, and are vastly more articulate with regard to changes in traction. This is why the Tesla Roadster, which can maintain almost 100% traction at the rear wheels under acceleration, corners harder and faster than the Lotus Elise upon which it is based.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...5609464.column

    Electric cars are perfect for city driving, with maximum torque from 0 - they accelerate best where acceleration is most needed in stop go driving. I truly believe that the advantages of electric will result in the internal combustion engine disappearing over the next few decades for most vehicles, including:

    - minimal maintenance / fewer parts
    - fantastic torque
    - no local pollution
    - more quiet / refined
    - much higher energy efficiency (the reason gasoline engines "heat" so well is because they waste so much energy in heat)
    - much simpler manufacture.

    The hold back has been batteries and range but lithium is still new, once these vehicles are up and being produced on mass, they will improve quickly. Over time, range extenders may become better propositions as well (be they hydrogen fuel cell, or just gasoline like the Volt although that adds weight / complexity / cost).
    Last edited by moahunter; 23-11-2009 at 12:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    The hold back has been batteries, but lithium is still new, once these vehicles are up and being produced on mass, they will improve quickly.
    Batteries will continue to be a barrier until they have a lifetime comparable to a modern internal combustion engine (300,000+ km, 20+ years) without increasing the cost, or become inexpensive enough to be replaced every few years for <$500. I hope that happens soon.

  37. #37

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    ^Even if they are recylcled every 5 years or so, it can still make sense as long as the cost is less than the savings compared to running with gasoline. I think it is almost close to that already (or at least, Nissan thinks so - their theory is that the lease payment will be less than the higher cost of running with gasoline - in effect they are shifting profit from big oil, to big battery/auto). Like anything that goes into mass production though, costs are going to decline rapidly as this scales up.

  38. #38

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    I think the biggest issue continuing to be unaddressed so far is simply dealing with the batteries themselves.

    Regardless of type they are all a hazardous waste, expensive to manufacture and deal with (I am told $10,000 for the Prius Battery pack exchange).

    Even something as common as having to deal with them at an accident scene

    In many ways we are exchanging one form of pollution for another.

    I do agree change will come over the next 3-5 decades but as Titanium pointed out a break through is needed and not yet on the horizon.

    That or a major cultural shift and I don't think that is on the horizon yet ether.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^Even if they are recylcled every 5 years or so, it can still make sense as long as the cost is less than the savings compared to running with gasoline. I think it is almost close to that already (or at least, Nissan thinks so - their theory is that the lease payment will be less than the higher cost of running with gasoline - in effect they are shifting profit from big oil, to big battery/auto). Like anything that goes into mass production though, costs are going to decline rapidly as this scales up.
    i think the leaf will be a succesful automobile and in most world markets (europe as well as asia) it would be considered a "full size automobile" if not a large car (and is better looking than a lot of the completion) but your condition is the real 64,000 question. it's just that i'm not sure that i wouldn't rely on exxon or shell or suncor to provide affordable diesel or gasoline fuel to a miserly internal combusion engine a lot more comfortably than i would like to rely on bolivia to manage a virtual lithium monopoly that would provide affordable batteries.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    That or a major cultural shift and I don't think that is on the horizon yet ether.
    Do you really think Nissan would be pushing it so hard if that were the case? Their soution is very elegant. Buy a Nissan electric, and you guaranteed to have better battery technology every 5 years, and per Nissan, the running cost will be less than a gasoline vehicle (even with the battery lease). The auto will actually improve over time as the batteries improve - different from a conventional auto.

    Nissan says they are working on recycling the batteries at the moment - the goal is a fully renewable car. They are gambling that they can make the battery industry (which they have some interest in through NEC) improve / work, time will tell, but I wish them well. If they pull it off, and the lease model catches on, they will one day be raking in the superprofits, so the incentive is huge for them.
    Last edited by moahunter; 23-11-2009 at 01:11 PM.

  41. #41

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    "Do you really think Nissan would be pushing it so hard if that were the case?"

    Yes I do...

    All the majors have been down this path with varying degrees of success.

    Nissan is likely counting on high domestic sales and areas of temperate climes with extremely large cities to drive the initial sales forward.

    Add in the fact they are using existing chassis and systems already on an assembly line and their risk factor and needed production is quite low compared to a NEW design.

    Frankly it strikes me as a low risk way of testing the market.

    Tom

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    EV's will come out.

    ...but until an EV can drive 600 km+, with the wipers on, defroster on, and headlights on...

    ...not for me...this is Alberta after all...and there is a heck of a lot of dark in December.
    Onward and upward

  43. #43

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    Nissan has released pricing for the U.S. (US$)

    http://www.insideline.com/nissan/lea...-released.html

    FRANKLIN, Tennessee — Nissan released full details today on pricing and equipment options for its 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car. Available as a traditional purchase or three-year lease, the Leaf will be priced at $32,780 without delivery fees, which have not yet been announced.

    But the Leaf's starting MSRP is before the federal tax credit, which could bring the price down $7,500, to $25,280. Plus, certain states are eligible for additional credits. Of course, buyers will need to consider the cost of installing a home charging dock, which Nissan estimates will cost $2,200 before a 50-percent tax credit.

    Leasing a 2011 Leaf will require a $1,999 down payment, plus $349 per month, prior to the cost of the charging dock. As the lessor and therefore actual owner of the Leaf, Nissan receives the applicable tax credits, factoring the savings into the customer's monthly payments.
    Another $2,000 or so for a home charging dock. It looks affordable, and will suit some people as a second urban / commuter car, or perhaps even a first car if they get by without one now.

    Like any new model, the price is going to come down over time, perhaps significantly given this is new technology. Nissan has decided not to lease the battery in the U.S.:

    “I think it’s an excellent price,” said Paul Scott, a founder and board member of the EV advocacy group Plug-In America. “I think Nissan is going to have a hard time keeping them on the showroom floor, especially in states that have additional tax credits. In California, it’s going to be a hell of a bargain at $20,028. They’ve really nailed it. It’s very, very affordable.”


    We must note that these prices are for the United States only, and Nissan is offering the Leaf for sale or lease only as a complete package. It is not leasing the battery separately from the car here in the United States, though it might do so elsewhere.

    ...

    Lifecycle ownership costs of the Leaf over five years is $28,180 versus a Civic at $28,338 and the Prius at $29,358,” said Trisha Jung, chief marketing manager for the Leaf. “That’s the cost of the vehicle, the cost of the charging station and the cost of the electricity.”

    A word on the math: Nissan figured electricity costs at 11.64 cents per kilowatt-hour and gasoline at $2.94 a gallon and assumes you drive 12,000 miles a year. The purchase price come down further if you include the tax credits or rebates several states offer. California and Georgia, for example, offer a $5,000 tax credit.

    Read More http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/03...#ixzz0k5afUQjI
    Last edited by moahunter; 03-04-2010 at 07:10 PM.

  44. #44

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    I wonder how the resale values of electric vehicles will match up with regular automobiles?

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    EV's will come out.

    ...but until an EV can drive 600 km+, with the wipers on, defroster on, and headlights on...

    ...not for me...this is Alberta after all...and there is a heck of a lot of dark in December.
    And how often do you go on the 600km trips?
    Most people use their cars in a fairly standard route and many people can get by just with an EV. If battery companies were able to come up with a standard that can be swapped like a server hard drive, then replacement batteries and charging stations could become a standard.

    I usually rent cars when I go on road trips. It's more affordable and reliable than my car. The insurance is worth it, and I get to drive different vehicles.

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    ^if you look at the video at the top, it looks like there is a nifty device in the GPS that tells you the range. I agree, most comuters in Edmonton won't travel 160km per day (and its refilled each night, perhaps even while at work), they won't come close to that. It won't work for all trips, but will for most of them, which is what will make it the ideal second vehcile for many people.

  47. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    I wonder how the resale values of electric vehicles will match up with regular automobiles?
    I don't know, in a way, it should last much longer, at least the engine, and the batteries could be swapped. Most vehicles depreciate to about 0 in 15 to 20 years though, they aren't an asset, they are a cost, so what is more important is how the total cost works out over the lifetime. If it comes out equal (which it might per the comparison to a Civic above), then that's great, because many people would probably be willing to pay a premium for something that is much cleaner (at least, for local pollution), more convenient for local commute (no more trips to gas station), and breaks down less often (less moving parts than a combustion engine).
    Last edited by moahunter; 04-04-2010 at 12:01 AM. Reason: Not all vechles (there are classics), most

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    Quote Originally Posted by armin View Post
    And how often do you go on the 600km trips?
    Once a month, at minimum.

    Most people use their cars in a fairly standard route and many people can get by just with an EV. If battery companies were able to come up with a standard that can be swapped like a server hard drive, then replacement batteries and charging stations could become a standard.
    I don't know about the Leaf off hand, but typically the batteries in hybrids weigh hundreds of pounds and are integrated in to the chassis of the vehicle. At some point down the road I suppose it's possible, but currently not at all.

    EV's are certainly interesting and I hope they do well in terms of sales, so that further innovation and improvement is fostered. But as of right now I wouldn't consider one due to their limitations and especially our climate. There was another thread on these boards where I did some simple math and from where I stand, an EV just cannot work adequately in our climate due to the heat requirements.

  49. #49

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    ^
    Hybrids are junk technology. Switch to electric and work on decreasing the weight. With hybrids, you have a gas and electric engine. Having a redundant petrol system is pointless for many urban commuters who just need a quick, light vehicle to go from point a to point b.

    New tech is making batteries last longer. If you had a hotswap system, you'd have cars that are relatively plug and play. EV's are extremely simple. You have a chasis, a body, an engine, and batteries. They're extremely simple vehicles in comparison to traditional vehicles. There's just not enough standardization and too much manipulation from oil companies.

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    ^heat isn't an issue for most people as well, as the vehicle will remain heated while it is charging (or a timer to switch on in the morning). You hop into a warm car for commute in morning, arrive at parkade, plug it in again. It won't work for all people for all commutes, but will work for many people for most commutes, which as I said, makes it the perfect second car.
    Last edited by moahunter; 04-04-2010 at 05:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^heat isn't an issue for most people as well, as the vehicle will remain heated while it is charging (or a timer to switch on in the morning). You hop into a warm car for commute in morning, arrive at parkade, plug it in again. It won't work for all people for all commutes, but will work for many people for most commutes, which as I said, makes it the perfect second car.
    The heatloss of a typical car as I established in that other discussion is several kilowatts. There are no practical batteries now or in the near future that can accommodate that kind of sustained power draw for anything more than extremely short trips lasting less than an hour.

    Maybe that works for some people, but to me it makes them a complete non-starter.

  52. #52

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    Perhaps the question is not "Will people buy them?" but "Can we build enough?"

    People questioned the popularity of the Prius when it was first introduced; from 2001 to today, Toyota still struggles to keep up with demand.


    I wouldnt buy the first generation of a new technology.

    Good thing EVs are at a second or even third generation now. Electric driven vehicles have been around just as long as gasoline and steam powered ones, since the turn of the last century.

    GM, Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Honda all started producing and leasing Electric Vehicles in the mid 1990s. The only technology that has changed significantly since then is the battery storage, and traction assist to a certain degree.

    Almost all the vehicles were recalled by the manufacturers and crushed/shredded. Speculate all you like as to why. (I think it was so auto manufacturers and oil producers could ride the previous financial boom with overpriced SUVs and other bigger, less fuel efficent vehicles)

    The general public is a lot smarter and more cautious about buying a vehicle these days. Expect EVs to be a huge hit in the next 10 years.


    As for milage concerns, 160km should be more than enough for most city dwelling folk as a main commuter vehicle. Even at half that range with heat, defrosters, lights and radio going, most don't travel that far in a day.

    Now, I can drive 1000km a day for work, sometimes 1500km with overtime. Same with someone on a driving trip for vacation. I wouldn't expect an EV to suit that purpose. The point here is having a BIG 7 seater V6/V8 SUV or minivan waiting for that task, when 99% of the daily driving you do is a 20 minute commute for work, school and groceries is pretty silly these days.

    Especially with $1.50 a litre gasoline, mark my words, we may see in the next year or so...

  53. #53

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    Alhough I started this thread with the Leaf, I thought this interesting about the range of the Volt (which is aiming for 40 miles before the engine kicks in):

    http://gm-volt.com/2010/04/13/update...ing-mpg-goals/

    Farah did explain that consumers will experience about a 20% variability in electric range depending on three variables in the following order of importance:

    “Driving aggressiveness is number one, terrain is number two, weather and temperature is number three,” he said. Bly noted in cold weather a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.

  54. #54

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    Below is a fun Leaf video. One of the features will be the ability to pre-heat the vehicle with a text from cell phone.



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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Alhough I started this thread with the Leaf, I thought this interesting about the range of the Volt (which is aiming for 40 miles before the engine kicks in):
    Yup, that's what I've been saying. Good thing the Volt has the backup gas engine. I just don't see all electric cars being viable as primary vehicles for years, if not decades, unless something incredible happens with batteries or capacitors. Secondary vehicles sure, I guess.

  56. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Yup, that's what I've been saying. Good thing the Volt has the backup gas engine. I just don't see all electric cars being viable as primary vehicles for years.
    But with most families having more than one vehicle, they will be popular for many people as a second car (which is what I have said). The range issue will be interesting, because batteries are finally improving quite quickly (the progress since advent of cell phones has been remarkable).

    I don't think the Volt is going to do as well as Leaf, because:

    1. the combustion engine / fuel tank adds weight which reduces range when on electric
    2. the combustion engine adds complexity, so all the maintenance / moving parts of combustion engine still there
    3. it will cost a lot more than leaf ($10,000+), thanks to two engines instead of one
    4. It is smaller than Leaf - it only seats four (leaf seats five)

    Mind you, over time, the Volt type platform might improve with other forms of range extendor (like fuel cell if it ever got cheap enough, natural gas, etc.). Of course, range extendors could be bolted to a future model of Leaf or other electric models as well, but would add cost.
    Last edited by moahunter; 14-04-2010 at 01:51 PM.

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    Ninja edit!

  58. #58

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    I do it all the time The market reaction is going to be very interesting, I am guessing it will take a few years before Nissan or GM have enough production to get a significant number of cars to Canada though. There is a demand, what we don't know yet is how mainstream that demand will become, and how soon.

  59. #59

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    Edmunds just did a review:

    http://www.insideline.com/nissan/lea...nissanleaf.0.*

    This bit attracts me to electric, especailly for daily comute in town, where range is no issue:

    But there's another saving, too. Where a conventional car needs an annual checkup, the Nissan Leaf effectively looks after itself. In fact, Nissan says the only routine maintenance required at the dealer will be the renewal of brake pads, and since the Leaf's regenerative braking system minimizes pad wear, it could be some years before the car needs any maintenance at all.

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    The highest profits are made on the goods most in deficit. The oil companies will be around for a long time yet.

    Don't believe me? And you are proud of your sustainability? Don't be. You are completely dependent on oil and/or gas and/or coal.

    Even if you tossed out all the plastic and rubber things you have (including your computer), switched off your electricity, and heated your house with... with what? Some other burned substance? ... You would still be entirely dependent on oil/gas/coal.

    Unless you grew all your own food, and never took a train, bus, car, airplane, or ship to go anywhere.

    So give up. Oil consumption's not gonna go away until there's no oil left to consume. And believe me, you don't wanna be around when that happens.

    And until then, catastrophes, trendy electric cars and sustainability programs notwithstanding, you too are an oil addict and the companies shall have their profit.

  61. #61

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    ^nobody is saying that the oil industry is going to stop making profits. If you look the coal indsutry, or the steel industry, they continue to make profits, even though they don't make the "super profits" they once did when they were more critical and the technology was new. My point is that we may be starting to move to a situation where the automakers, battery makers, or perhaps power generators start to be the ones who are raking it in the most - hence my question, is this the begining of the end of "super" profits for the oil industry? I think it might be, but we won't know for a while yet.
    Last edited by moahunter; 04-05-2010 at 09:49 AM.

  62. #62

    Default Would you pay $61,000 for a 2011 Chevy Volt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Yup, that's what I've been saying. Good thing the Volt has the backup gas engine.
    It is looking more and more like the Volt might be a dud / overengineered:

    http://blogs.insideline.com/straight...hevy-volt.html

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    The article is about the price of the vehicle, and how there's so much demand that dealerships are gouging people. It says nothing about it being "overengineered", whatever that means. How you take "dud" away from an article about how there's so much pent up demand for it, I have no idea.

  64. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^nobody is saying that the oil industry is going to stop making profits. If you look the coal indsutry, or the steel industry, they continue to make profits, even though they don't make the "super profits" they once did when they were more critical and the technology was new. My point is that we may be starting to move to a situation where the automakers, battery makers, or perhaps power generators start to be the ones who are raking it in the most - hence my question, is this the begining of the end of "super" profits for the oil industry? I think it might be, but we won't know for a while yet.
    Are you suggesting that the"oil Industry" is a static industry thrust amongst a plethora of dynamic shape shifters?
    Perhaps we should be discussing how industries change as the environment changes.
    After all... whose got the bucks?
    "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand;they listen with the intent to reply.

  65. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    The article is about the price of the vehicle, and how there's so much demand that dealerships are gouging people. It says nothing about it being "overengineered", whatever that means. How you take "dud" away from an article about how there's so much pent up demand for it, I have no idea.
    The price is a result of the engineering (and the profiteering by dealerships). The leaf by comparison is aiming for a 20k price in the U.S. (after government incentives and similar). The problem with the Volt, is it basically has two power trains. Its like having a diesel and gasoline engine in one vehcile, I just don't think that will work, but time will tell.

  66. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dawg View Post
    Are you suggesting that the"oil Industry" is a static industry thrust amongst a plethora of dynamic shape shifters?
    Perhaps we should be discussing how industries change as the environment changes.
    After all... whose got the bucks?
    I expect it will change, much the way the steel and coal industry changed. The glory days where the giant oil companies basically run the world, may be coming to an end though over the next few decades, just like what happened with steel and coal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter
    The price is a result of the engineering (and the profiteering by dealerships).
    Again, what leads you to believe it is over engineered, rather than it simply being expensive to produce a medium sized electric vehicle (and platform)? The Leaf isn't very comparable, it's a fair amount smaller and certainly isn't intended to "blend in" with conventional vehicles like the Volt is.

    The problem with the Volt, is it basically has two power trains. Its like having a diesel and gasoline engine in one vehcile, I just don't think that will work, but time will tell.
    Not correct. Conventional hybrids like the Prius have two power trains. A conventional gasoline powered one, complete with all the requirements of a gear box and the like. And then electric motors that run off batteries.

    The Volt has only the single electric powertrain, and as such has eliminated the conventional powertrain associated with a gasoline engine. The gasoline generator is just that, a generator that will re-charge the batteries. It does not supply mechanical power to the vehicle.

  68. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post

    The problem with the Volt, is it basically has two power trains. Its like having a diesel and gasoline engine in one vehcile, I just don't think that will work, but time will tell.
    Not correct. Conventional hybrids like the Prius have two power trains. A conventional gasoline powered one, complete with all the requirements of a gear box and the like. And then electric motors that run off batteries.

    The Volt has only the single electric powertrain, and as such has eliminated the conventional powertrain associated with a gasoline engine. The gasoline generator is just that, a generator that will re-charge the batteries. It does not supply mechanical power to the vehicle.
    A generator is still part of the power train, by contrast, the Leaf only has electric motor. The generator will need maintenance like oil changes, just like a gasoline engine, in addition to the electric battery maintenance, it is duplicating matters.

  69. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post

    The problem with the Volt, is it basically has two power trains. Its like having a diesel and gasoline engine in one vehcile, I just don't think that will work, but time will tell.
    Not correct. Conventional hybrids like the Prius have two power trains. A conventional gasoline powered one, complete with all the requirements of a gear box and the like. And then electric motors that run off batteries.

    The Volt has only the single electric power train, and as such has eliminated the conventional power train associated with a gasoline engine. The gasoline generator is just that, a generator that will re-charge the batteries. It does not supply mechanical power to the vehicle.
    A generator is still part of the power train (it provides part of the power for the Volt), by contrast, the Leaf only has electric motor. The generator will need maintenance like oil changes, just like a gasoline engine, in addition to the electric battery maintenance, it is duplicating matters. I think this extra complexity makes the Volt more challenging than the Leaf, and the projected price differential between the two reflects that (Volt has always aimed around 40k for a four seater and might be higher now with greedy dealers, Leaf is around 25k for a five seater). As it has only one power train, the Leaf should in theory end up cheaper than todays hybrids, and initial price projections suggest that is the case. I think it will be the ideal second car for a family, meeting perhaps 90% of the average persons driving needs (with the other 10% met by the other car).
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-08-2010 at 12:45 PM.

  70. #70

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    The EPA has proposed new labelling rules that you can comment on:

    http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/label.htm

    This is a possible labeling for the Leaf:


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    The price of a Leaf in the US before tax credits will be nearly $33,000: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf

    The Volt will carry an MSRP before tax credits of about $41,000: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt

    Approximately 25% difference in MSRP, with the Volt targeted as a mid-range sedan, while the Leaf is targeted as a replacement for entry-level compacts. The difference isn't nearly what you claim it is, and appears to be based upon inaccuracies in what you think the vehicles are being sold for, especially on the Leaf's price. You say the Leaf is cheap and include the government tax credits/subsidies and will sell for as low as $20,000, and the Volt is expensive while not including the credits AND using the price that dealers are gouging people at $61,000 due to high demand. Based upon that absurd comparison, you declare the Volt an over-engineered "dud."

    Strange to say the least.

    It's bizarre that you seem fixated on this supposition that the Volt is "over-engineered" and that's why it costs more. They're two different concepts, and we'll see the merits of each when they're released. The Leaf is not a practical vehicle for any highway driving whatsoever, while the Volt very much is. And talking about extra costs due to design, the Volt's battery is half the size and weight of that of the Leaf. Whether that weight or cost difference is made up by or exceeded by the cost of the gas generator is likely outside either of our ability to determine, unless you're a secretly disguised automotive engineer and can do a detailed cost benefit analysis.

    They're two quite different vehicles targeted at different markets/purposes/people. Either way, both will be amongst the first largely electric vehicles sold commercial in large numbers, which is certainly a good thing no matter which suites your preferences.

    edit: actually, Leaf's battery pack is nearly four times as heavy as the Volt's. One has a range of 160km at best, the other 500+ with the gas generator (up in the air at the moment, I believe). The Volt's engine is approximately 30-40% more powerful. All in all, again, they're very different cars with different purposes, and writing one off as an "over-engineered dud" before it's even seen the light of day seems silly at best.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 31-08-2010 at 10:50 AM.

  72. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Approximately 25% difference in MSRP, with the Volt targeted as a mid-range sedan, while the Leaf is targeted as a replacement for entry-level compacts.
    ??? Leaf is a 5 seater. Volt is 4. How many mid-range sedans are 4 seaters?

    Time will tell Marcel, lets look in a year or two at which is the bigger sales sucess. I like the no compromise pure electric vehcle approach of Nissan, and I think there is a clear market as second car (it doesn't have to do everything). But it will be up to consumers at end of the day.
    Last edited by moahunter; 31-08-2010 at 08:51 PM.

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    Lots of mid-size cars have gone with four seats. While my car is a coupe (335xi), it's the same size as the sedan version and has a console in the middle of the back seat, making it a four seater. Heck the X5 is also a four seater, and it's a pretty large vehicle.

    Regardless though, SAE has a definition of "mid-size" and the Volt falls under it. Although after looking at dimensions, the two vehicles are pretty much identical in terms of dimensions, so perhaps it's not accurate to say that the Leaf is a compact, even if that's what it's marketed/targeted as.

  74. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    also perhaps it's not accurate to say that the Leaf is a compact, even if that's what it's marketed/targeted as.
    I own the Nissan Versa (our second car) which is what the Leaf is based on. Its classed as subcompact / compact. But, its interior size is actually mid-size class, it is a clever package that has used height and compact design to create interior space, like a lot of modern small cars. By using a proven platform, the issues for Nissan will largely be restricted to heating and the power train.

  75. #75

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    Ontario has announced it will provide a $8,500 incentive for the Leaf:

    http://nissan.ca/vehicles/ms/leaf/en...5#/leafnewsext

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    That applies to any electrical vehicle that qualifies, it's not specifically for the Leaf.

    Some other interesting reading:

    http://www.dailytech.com/Chevy+Volts...ticle19718.htm

    http://www.dailytech.com/Tesla+CEO+C...ticle19286.htm

    http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2010/0...s-battery.html

    Battery prices are dropping from around $750/kwh to $500ish, but that still means a typical battery for an all electric vehicle (30-50kwh) is going to make up a very significant part of the cost of the overall vehicle. For the Leaf it could well be half the price of the final car.

    So until either battery technology improves by at least a factor of two, or gasoline doubles in price, it's likely that electric vehicles will remain mostly niche cars.

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    This is pretty big news: GM was lying about the Volt's powertrain all along so they could patent it without tipping off their competitors: http://www.dailytech.com/GMs+Chevy+V...ticle19852.htm

    Long story short, it's a plug-in hybrid, and NOT a battery-electric vehicle as GM had been claiming all along. But if anything, it's a good thing, since it gets around the battery limitations in hot and cold climates. It'll be interesting to see the general reaction to this.

  78. #78

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    Here's another article, along the same lines. If gives a good description of how the volt actually works:

    http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/...olt-works.html

    I find it a bit surprising that the 4th mode was needed, just for when speeds are over 70mph. The set up with various clutches and similar (no doubt all needing lots of maintenance, being a GM), isn't really the more elegant idea that GM sold the public on. That idea, being an electric vehicle with a generator to provide more electricity when the battery runs down.

    It will be interesting to see how the Volt does versus the Leaf. The new Sonata hybrid, that uses a lithium polymer battery (better battery tech. than Nissan or GM) will be interesting as well.

    I also wonder whether at some point an EV like the Leaf, might be range extended with a bolt on generator, i.e. something more akin to what the Volt was supposed to be, or if the battery tech will improve enough to make generator redundant for a 1st car (as opposed to 2nd car, which is what Leaf aims to be I think).
    Last edited by moahunter; 17-10-2010 at 10:19 PM.

  79. #79

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    Looks like people have been counting chickens before they've hatched:

    Combined global sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are expected to total 5.2 million units in 2020, or just 7.3 percent of the 70.9 million passenger vehicles forecasted to be sold worldwide by that year, according to a report issued by J.D. Power and Associates. For comparison, global HEV and BEV sales in 2010 are forecasted to total 954,500 vehicles, or 2.2 percent of the 44.7 million vehicles projected to be sold through the end of 2010.

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...105857988.html
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    Keep in mind those percentages are annual sales, not proportions of the total fleet. Meaning electric vehicles aren't likely to make up even a single percent of vehicles on the road in the next 10 years.

    Then again, those are just projections, and we might look back in 10 years and think "wow did electric vehicles ever get adopted fast!" But I doubt it.

  81. #81

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    ^agreed. If we went back 20 years, how many people were predicting hybrids to make as many sales as they do today? (I realize its only a small percentage, but Im sure most projections were "0"). I don't think anyone really knows until we see these vehicles on the road in the next few years, and how consumers react. Until then, we don't know if its "the beginning of the end" as I wrote in the thread title, or just a fad. I think it might be the start of a fundamental shift, but we will see.

  82. #82

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    Here is another article on how fast electric will take off, some projections are more ambitious than others:

    Billions and billions are being invested in developing electric vehicles all around the world, but nobody really has a clue how much of the market they will take. Here are two recent examples: Deloitte says at least 20 per cent of world vehicle production will be electric by 2020, Johnson Controls Inc. suggests it will only be 3 per cent by then.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle1775402/
    Last edited by moahunter; 01-11-2010 at 12:08 PM.

  83. #83

    Default U.S. utilities thrilled and worried about electric cars

    Not since air conditioning spread across the country in the 1950s and 1960s has the power industry faced such a growth opportunity. Last year, Americans spent $325-billion on gasoline, and utilities would love even a small piece of that market.
    Very interesting article that discusses many of the upgrades that are going to be needed:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle1809347/

  84. #84

    Default Electrics in the real world

    Ford has just announced its electric, which will go on sale this year, same range as Leaf but half the charge time:

    Ford Motor, which displayed its pure-electric Focus here, was among the makers working to shorten recharge times. Sherif Marakby, director of electrification engineering, said the company’s vehicles would charge in about half the time needed by cars like the Volt or Nissan Leaf — a feat made possible by an onboard 6.6-kilowatt charger and by work the company had done to ensure that its charging cycle would not damage the battery.

    Ford says its battery pack will be good for at least 10 years and will withstand a minimum of 5,000 rapid charge cycles. For its first-generation electrics, Ford intends to limit rapid charging to 240 volts of alternating current, a level known as C2, rather than moving to the higher-voltage C3 direct-current charging. Customers will be able to get the 240-volt Ford-branded rapid charger installed for about $1,500.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/au...6TECH.html?hpw

  85. #85

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    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...aneftegaz.html


    BP and Russia don't seem to feel the threat of electric cars yet. That's one heck of a lot of money to go looking for oil and gas in one of the world's worst environments.
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    Default GM tries to get ahead of the green car curve with Volt

    The piece near the end of the article about the emerging Chinese market is quite interesting.

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    considering that the sales of trucks are up and hybrid/electric sales are barely increasing im gonna have to say no.

    F-150 number one selling vehicle in canada, curious.

    http://www.driving.ca/microsites/aut...984/story.html
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    That's sad to see so few people vote no.
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    not sure if this has been covered but all-electric vehicles technically would not pay gas taxes to help pay for the roads
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Approximately 25% difference in MSRP, with the Volt targeted as a mid-range sedan, while the Leaf is targeted as a replacement for entry-level compacts.
    ??? Leaf is a 5 seater. Volt is 4. How many mid-range sedans are 4 seaters?

    Time will tell Marcel, lets look in a year or two at which is the bigger sales sucess. I like the no compromise pure electric vehcle approach of Nissan, and I think there is a clear market as second car (it doesn't have to do everything). But it will be up to consumers at end of the day.
    Looks like neither has been much of a success. However the Volt appears to be outselling the Leaf 3 to 1, at least in North America (or maybe they're global sales, article isn't clear:

    http://www.dailytech.com/General+Mot...ticle25106.htm

  91. #91

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    ^its interesting, the Leaf got off to a faster start, then declined, and the Volt went ahead. Only North America though.

    Toyota has hit the sweet spot with the Prius C though, outselling all Volts and Leafs in only 3 days:

    http://blogs.insideline.com/straight...hree-days.html

    Prius C actually seems to make financial sense (first time for a hybrid I think), when you consider the price of about 20k. Its taken sometime for Toyota to get the costs down that much, I expect will be a while before Leaf or Volt do as well.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle4095598/
    Last edited by moahunter; 05-07-2012 at 10:18 AM.

  92. #92

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    TESLA S could be a sign of things to come:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle4631378/

    426 kms of range.

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    I'll be very, very curious to see what that range is at -20C or +30C with heat or AC on.

  94. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    TESLA S could be a sign of things to come:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle4631378/

    426 kms of range.
    What sucks is the industry is being held back by the dinosaurs who protect the market by limiting what auto makers can release.

    Tesla was working on superconductors a few years ago with another company and rumoured to have developed one that can charge a deep cycle battery in like 10 minutes. Except because they were getting funding through DARPA, the US military scooped the tech so we probably won't see it for another decade.

  95. #95

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    Here is an interesting technology, aluminum air (being developed here in Canada):

    http://green.autoblog.com/2014/06/03...or-real-video/

    Basically, you would have a lithium ion plug in vehcile, but it would also have catrages of alluminum that you would be able to swap at a service station (apparently quite cheap, but this will be the big question I guess), which gives you range extension up to 1,600 kms. The catrages then get recycled.
    Last edited by moahunter; 04-06-2014 at 11:31 AM.

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    I prefer my Subaru impreza 2007 sw. And only cost me 10K second hand.

  97. #97

  98. #98

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    The compelling reasons to buy electric will get hurt every time oil prices crash causing the existing technology to be more competitive from resource extraction, materials development through production and into operation. Some cost reductions will apply equally to creating electrics however, they still face the require the to charge for the full cost of the storage unit up front whereas with gas, you only pay for an empty metal tank.

    Worse for electrics is the ongoing improvement in the reliability of current vehicles meaning that the fewer parts advantage won't count for much in the eyes of the consumer. Still, I'd love an all electric car, as long as it could pump out the heat in the winter - I love my heated seats!

    Advances in hybrid technology also pose real issues for the adoption of all electric. Hybrids though reduce oil demand but slowly compared to a large scale abandonment of the old technology for the new. So would oil prices crash or just flatline or something else? Hybrid technology adoption along with depletion might change the dynamics of oil prices.

    Lastly, oil may be plentiful but only at higher and higher prices. Depletion will likely occur fist for the lowest cost, highest profit oil reserves, thus pushing up the cost of future oil production. This cost increase should increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of all electric, but only slowly.
    Last edited by KC; 25-02-2016 at 08:39 AM.

  99. #99

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    ^I think hydrogen fuel cells are interesting as well, as it could potentially become a clean fuel for larger vehicles as well (trucks and similar). What strikes me about that presentation though, is how only a small decrease in demand could have a massive impact on price of oil. We have seen that a little bit now on the flip side where a small excess in supply causes a collapse. When I started this thread in 2009 I suggested beginning of end of super profits in oil industry, the point being, eventually oil and gas might become like other commodity industries, like for example, Steel, where you don't see the crazy salaries and similar.

  100. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^I think hydrogen fuel cells are interesting as well, as it could potentially become a clean fuel for larger vehicles as well (trucks and similar). What strikes me about that presentation though, is how only a small decrease in demand could have a massive impact on price of oil. We have seen that a little bit now on the flip side where a small excess in supply causes a collapse.
    And the resulting cheaper prices are likely killing the ability to raise money for investment in cool new alternatives.

    Then self-driving cars and the possibility of mass uber-like transport will potentially shake up everything. Cars could easily be pulled out of service for extended charging periods (if still required), but operating costs will paramount to businesses as compared to the current ownership model.
    Last edited by KC; 25-02-2016 at 08:45 AM.

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