Author Topic: Electric vehicles and sustainable transportation.  (Read 859 times)

Drew0311

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Electric vehicles and sustainable transportation.
« on: February 07, 2017, 08:04:07 PM »
How many of you are big believers in the epic disruption that's about to take place in the automotive industry? How long will it take before EV's dominate the market? Will Tesla become one of the world's largest automobile manufacturers? Now that we have EV with 200+ mi range will you buy one?

Metric Mouse

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Re: Electric vehicles and sustainable transportation.
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 11:21:28 PM »
How many of you are big believers in the epic disruption that's about to take place in the automotive industry? How long will it take before EV's dominate the market? Will Tesla become one of the world's largest automobile manufacturers? Now that we have EV with 200+ mi range will you buy one?
I'm forcasting twenty years until EVs 'dominate' the market. Might be on the low end. Certainly they will be more and more popular in the coming decade, but 'dominace' seems unlikely to me for at least two decades.

The same pork skins and lemon peels that showed me that also showed me Tesla will not be a major player. The big boys will squeeze them out - see the Chevy Bolt.

I can't say if I'll buy one. If at the time I need to replace one of my vehicles an EV is the best choice, I will purchase one. If not, I will not be purchasing one just to say I did.

sol

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Re: Electric vehicles and sustainable transportation.
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2017, 11:38:56 PM »
While I recognize the disruption, I don't think it will be as big as some people expect.  There are still some use cases for which gasoline cars will remain the preferred choice.

Just like golf cars have always been electric, tractors have always been diesel.   Sometimes you need a family grocery car and sometimes you need to tow a trailer load of debris to the county dump, and the right vehicle for your life isn't necessarily the right vehicle for mine.

I wouldn't be surprised if electric cars surpass 50% of the vehicles in major metro areas, but I don't think they'll get to 90%.  Nothing gets to 90%.

And I think there's a good case to be made that the bigger disruption is going to be shared autonomous (electric) vehicles, which I think will end up like a subscription service.  If you live in NYC, you're probably better off paying $99/month to have access to a fixed number of autonomous uber miles within the city limits, just like a cell phone plan, than you are owning a private vehicle that will stay parked 95% of its life.  This technology means fewer cars in circulation, which means less traffic, better parking situations, and more garage space at home for everyone. 

Chris22

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Re: Electric vehicles and sustainable transportation.
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 07:33:36 AM »
And I think there's a good case to be made that the bigger disruption is going to be shared autonomous (electric) vehicles, which I think will end up like a subscription service.  If you live in NYC, you're probably better off paying $99/month to have access to a fixed number of autonomous uber miles within the city limits, just like a cell phone plan, than you are owning a private vehicle that will stay parked 95% of its life.  This technology means fewer cars in circulation, which means less traffic, better parking situations, and more garage space at home for everyone.

I think this will be the case for urban dwellers, and it will be highly touted and pushed as the new reality, etc, but for the vast swaths of the country that are suburban or rural, it will not be this way.  The convenience of YOUR car always at the ready for you is just too great.  And given the demand cycles (near-zero at 10AM, 100% at 8AM and 5PM) it doesn't really solve anything. 

I think the real cure for congestion, pollution, etc, will be an increasingly mobile workforce; either you work from home, or you work from a generic office building in your immediate neighborhood/town for your employer, and the guy in the next cube or office works for his different one, etc.  This doesn't work for the service industry or trades or manufacturing, but it works just fine for lots of us cubicle drones.

Syonyk

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Re: Electric vehicles and sustainable transportation.
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 07:19:41 PM »
How many of you are big believers in the epic disruption that's about to take place in the automotive industry?

Well, my first thought is, "[citation needed]," so you might be able to guess I don't expect that much in terms of radical changes.

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How long will it take before EV's dominate the market?

Dominate as units sold in very rich urban areas?  A decade, maybe more.  Dominate everywhere?  Eh.  Be the dominant type of vehicle on the road?  A long, long time.

One of the major problems is battery production - we simply don't mine enough materials for converting a large percentage of new cars over to batteries.

Tesla is having to invest huge amounts of money to sell, hopefully, a few hundred thousand cars a year (and it's likely to take them a while to get there).  Globally, 88 million cars and light trucks were sold in 2016.  That's a lot.  Yes, mining will adapt, but it's something that takes a while, especially with cobalt (which, if you're not familiar, 50% of the world production comes from the Congo, and a lot of that is mined by hand in awful working conditions).

What I think we'll start seeing more of are Volt-like vehicles, with 40-50 miles of battery range and a gas motor for long range work.  Quite a few people (especially in cities) don't live somewhere they can charge the cars, which is a problem for BEV ownership.  Something with a gas engine can, worst case, be run as an efficient gas car, and charged opportunistically when you get a chance.

You can build 5 of those with the cells from a single 100kWh Tesla, and the auto makers are pretty darn good at making engines.

I do remain entirely stunned that Toyota missed the boat here.  They could have just added battery capacity to the Prius every year as prices came down and had the entirety of the "extended range hybrid" market to themselves, and they entirely missed it, likely due to their rather absurd corporate fascination with hydrogen.

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Will Tesla become one of the world's largest automobile manufacturers?

Probably not.  They're still working on the details of making a halfway decent car.  Yes, the early adopters who pay $100k for a car think they're glorious, and don't see a problem with having been to the Service Center a dozen times in the first year for a huge range of issues, but I don't think people are going to be as forgiving with the cheaper cars.

There's also their bizarre view of "ownership" in which the "peon" owning the car doesn't really have any rights to it, can't service it, can't even view diagnostic screens, etc.  They enforce this with their always-on VPN connection to the mothership.

Again, not a big problem for people who buy $100k cars as toys, but the lack of independent shops and the rather long waits for service will be a problem if Tesla doesn't figure something out.  "We don't run the service centers for profit" is all well and good, but the costs for service are still absurd out of warranty.

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Now that we have EV with 200+ mi range will you buy one?

No.  I am, however, rather excitedly watching Leaf prices get beat down, and plan to pick one up as a short range runabout for my wife and daughter to use when they head into town for the library/groceries/etc.

A 200 mile range EV doesn't solve any useful problems for me.  Most of our driving is short-ish range, and that which isn't is either much longer range, or, likely, involves towing or hauling heavy/bulky things.

Just like golf cars have always been electric, tractors have always been diesel.   Sometimes you need a family grocery car and sometimes you need to tow a trailer load of debris to the county dump, and the right vehicle for your life isn't necessarily the right vehicle for mine.

Always been diesel? :p  They started out with steam, went through an era of "If it's some sort of flammable liquid, we'll burn it!", spent some time with gas engines, and are now, certainly, heavily diesel.

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And I think there's a good case to be made that the bigger disruption is going to be shared autonomous (electric) vehicles, which I think will end up like a subscription service.  If you live in NYC, you're probably better off paying $99/month to have access to a fixed number of autonomous uber miles within the city limits, just like a cell phone plan, than you are owning a private vehicle that will stay parked 95% of its life.  This technology means fewer cars in circulation, which means less traffic, better parking situations, and more garage space at home for everyone.

I'll go with a [citation needed] for "less traffic" - traffic isn't affected by total car count in an area so much as the miles driven.  A single autonomous EV, replacing several personally owned cars, will be on the road a lot more, and will have a significantly greater number of dead head miles than we currently have.  Adding a significant number of car-miles to an area (empty miles for pickups/dropoffs) isn't going to make traffic better.

And, of course, the lower price remains to be seen.  Since we don't have any of those rolling around right now, and the moderately successful self driving cars are running insanely expensive sensors (Google/Waymo's fleet is rolling hundreds of thousands of autonomous miles, nobody else, Tesla included, is anywhere close), we'll see what happens.

Yes, I'm aware that Tesla has claimed that their current cars have the capability to be self driving, and, no, I don't entirely believe they can do it with their current sensor suite.  Elon claims a lot of things via Twitter.

I think the real cure for congestion, pollution, etc, will be an increasingly mobile workforce; either you work from home, or you work from a generic office building in your immediate neighborhood/town for your employer, and the guy in the next cube or office works for his different one, etc.  This doesn't work for the service industry or trades or manufacturing, but it works just fine for lots of us cubicle drones.

Unfortunately, even tech companies with really good remote working infrastructure don't allow people do that, so I don't see this as likely in the moderate future.