Electrci cars going backwards

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It has occurred to me that those responsible for making electric cars are focused in the wrong direction

we dont need cars that are capable of light speed
We dont need cars that look like ferraris
We dont need cars that cost over 100k

We need cars that are cheap
We need cars that can be plugged into any wall socket

IT IS THAT SIMPLE :?

WE also need governments to give up their addiction to oil revenue :(

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andrew's picture
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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

zx12r, we had a big argument on the old forum about this. Really good point.

The argument is that fast EVs/EV racing generate EV exposure. This exposure then leads to more interest which can possibly lead to more people willing to buy EVs or do conversions. There are also more people active in EV clubs (such as the EAA) and hopefully in the long run, people will put pressure on representatives to start putting money into BEV development.

Unfortunately, there just aren't going to be that many fast EVs on the road for people to see. And so what if it is fast? Most people are more interested in the features it can offer them to make life easier. They don't want toys, they want something that is useful while still being fun.

The truth is that performance EVs are not made to save the world, or accelerate mass market EV adoption. They are made to make money. Market analysis had proven that every attempt to make and sell a road-worthy EV (we will say >35-40 mph) has failed to really take off. This is because they just can't compete with ICE vehicles in terms of affordability, versatility, reliability, support, infrastructure, ect.

So they are targeting a new market. The features are the unique experience, fun, novelty, no guilt (of burning gasoline), and performance. I think this is a great business strategy to make money. Will it lead to mass market EV adoption? Probably not, but it just might help.

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Gman's picture
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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

I have to agree with Andrew, more exposure is needed.
If you notice for the last couple of years, more Automobile commercials seem to focus on speed. Some even seem to be above what would seem to be a safe speed limit for the area they are in, they even rise above traffic and seem to fly.
I was watching a program on Global Warming, and they talked about how as we are actually exporting the problem to other countries, where the standards and manufacturing cost are much lower.

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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

Good point .. however I think there's a difference between our true real needs and what we think we need.

For a daily commute do we really need a tank? But how many hummers do you see on the highway that people only use for commuting?

Many people buy their stuff based on something other than a rational analysis of their real needs, right?

WE also need governments to give up their addiction to oil revenue ... well, I'm sure you saw Who Killed the Electric Car and remember that line about there being somewhere around 1 trillion barrels of oil left. At $100 per barrel that represents $100 trillion worth of business left to perform. That amount of money is beyond comprehension, and represents a huge pool of money to draw on with which corporations can buy governments and cause wars to happen to preserve access to the oil which they need to ensure that business will be done by them.

Is the government the problem, or the corporations who bought the government the problem?

Has the government been bought? As proof I offer you the example of President Enron, Vice President Halliburton, Secretary of State Chevron, and other oil barons in the current administration.

- David Herron, http://davidherron.com/

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PJD
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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

Many of you may be younger than me, but for a few years, back in the 1970's, during and following the '73 arab oil embargo, EPA fuel mileage ratings were the number one thing promoted in TV and magazine ads for cars - they would practically brag how small the engine was. TV cop-heroes drove Ford Pintos to the crime scene. The reason for this was largely because industry itself was very, very keen on breaking the power of OPEC - once they were successful at this - they had to get people to desire bigger high-fuel consumption vehicles - but the federal CAFE (fuel economy) regulations limited the extent they could do this. But, and this was a big but; trucks and vehicles like suburbans, broncos and blazers (the term "sport-utility vehicle" wasn't invented yet) were exempt from the CAFE standards as well as a lot of annoying safety standards. So, the solution was obvious - crank up the PR and advertising machine to promote "trucks" and their variant which became known as SUV's as the new luxury statement! As someone who doesn't watch a lot of TV, so I am not conditioned to tune out teh ads, I find this stunningly obvious. At least 70% of prime time TV is spent promoting large (never small) V-8 powered pickups and SUV's. One would think people buy these things on a weekly basis!

So, to understand the problem EV's have, you have got to get free of the idea that consumer tastes, fashions and demand is driven by some kind of democratic clamor, and products and advertising is in response to that demand. Reality is exactly the opposite, consumer taste is nearly completely manufactured by the massive PR industry which manipulates taste (primarily via the "telescreen") to optimize profitability, or sell one more gadget or gimmick. A compact electric car, mass produced, would be too cheap, too reliable, and too energy efficient to produce the kind of profits for the symbolically connected auto-oil industry that a big SUV does - so of course they trashed their own electric cars as soon as they has beaten that California air pollution board into submission.

And, I see no way under the current "system" that this is ever going to change.

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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

Quote:

A compact electric car, mass produced, would be too cheap, too reliable, and too energy efficient to produce the kind of profits for the symbolically connected auto-oil industry that a big SUV does - so of course they trashed their own electric cars as soon as they has beaten that California air pollution board into submission.

I agree that the auto industry doesn't care for EVs. But, I haven't seen any evidence supporting the claim that mass produced electric cars would be cheaper than mass produced ICE cars. Additionally, to drive an EV is slightly more expensive per mile than an ICE vehicle.

Don't get me wrong. I really dislike what the auto industry did to the CARB mandate. The measures imposed would have spread throughout the country.

Quote:

And, I see no way under the current "system" that this is ever going to change.

Its really quite simple. Find a way for EVs to compete with the ICE. Tesla has done it by offering what I stated above. Unfortunately I can't agree that we are living in some nightmarish world where we are all being controlled. Influenced sure. But we still make economic decisions based on facts.

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reikiman's picture
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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

Unfortunately I can't agree that we are living in some nightmarish world where we are all being controlled. Influenced sure. But we still make economic decisions based on facts.

I think there's a couple ways of looking at this.

If we just think about the cars for a moment ... In the U.S.A. someone can choose to drive a car that is driven in another way than oil. Ask yourself what chance do they have for successfully implementing that choice?

It's difficult for them to go to a car dealer to buy an EV, because the usual car dealers simply don't stock EV's. It's a little easier to find cars that burn propane, natural gas. It's a lot easier to find cars that burn diesel and then use biodiesel in them. But an EV? Hmm...

There's a range of alternatives you can go to specialized dealers and buy. The NEV's are the easiest but 25 miles/hr is a very draconian speed limit which isn't very workable. The Xebra is an up-and-coming decent alternative which can handle a much broader range of uses than a 25 mph NEV, but it doesn't meet the normal "I can drive 80 miles/hr for 250 miles and have a brief pit stop to fill the tank" model that seems to be what people think is typical driving. And if you hunt hard enough you can find a number of used four wheeler EV's that are highway capable.

If that person doesn't find what they want as an already available vehicle their only alternative is... to build their own. Hmm.. building ones own EV that's highway capable etc, that's a really hard project. So they might, like me, decide to work on smaller vehicles because those are easier to build. Then they have to go through a ton of compromises over range and speed which get in the way of directly replacing typical driving habits ("I can drive 80 miles/hr for 250 miles and have a brief pit stop to fill the tank").

In short.... while we have freedom of choice in this country, we have very poor practical ability to implement that choice. This is because a decision was predetermined by the system that everybody would drive oil burning cars. And other predetermined choices were made to downgrade the mass transit systems so that they don't offer a practical alternative choice. The environment we live in offers a range of predetermined choices which are the paths of least resistance that most people follow. e.g. the path of least resistance for personal transportation is some kind of four wheeler car, and driving around on highways. There are a few places in the U.S. having a different path of least resistance, such as Manhattan having such a good subway system that some New York City dwellers don't own cars and rarely drive. What? Don't drive? Are they Unamerican?

In other countries the environment in those countries is different and the predominant vehicles are different. In India the people typically use two-wheelers and the default drivers license is a motorcycle license. They have to go through extra training and testing to have a drivers license that covers four wheelers. And often the mass transit system is much better, or the environment for walking around is much better, etc. In Brussels there are a lot of bicycles on the road, and I think I posted here about a company that's offering ubiquitous bicycle rentals in several European cities. They also tend to have good subway systems. That's partly due to more condensed cities, and that in turn is partly due to governmental decisions about land use and infrastructure.

This model of predetermined choices limiting our freedom of choice applies to other things. For example Insurance companies predetermine which forms of medical care they will cover, and then the people tend to only use the medical care that is covered by Insurance. That means other forms of medical care get less usage regardless of of the value of those forms of medical care. For example the types of food we eat is largely determined by the owners of grocery store chains or restaurents. Of course those business people are in some measure responding to market forces, meaning that if or when peoples buying habits change the food providers tend to change what sorts of food they provide .. but this isn't always the case.

- David Herron, http://davidherron.com/

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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

Thats true to some extent. I agree that whats offered (or the "system") does influence personal choice. However, personal choice also influences the system.

This is because the market is not a static system. It didn't pop into existence, it evolved. People are constantly testing new ideas, starting new businesses, and businesses are failing. Just because you think something should be offered doesn't make it economically viable for a business to sell it. Why can't I go to the local corner store and buy a personal jet pack?

You could start a business selling electric cars. If you want to sell a highway capable vehicle, than you'll need to make it or have someone make it for you from a donor chassis. This will probably cost at least $15k. Then you can sell it for maybe $20+k. Almost noone would buy it. You'd be lucky to get 2 sales a year. Or you could start a business selling gas vehicles which would probably do very well.
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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

well here in Victoria the Government invited some dr to build an electric car that was viable

when he did it they refused to legalize the car for sale and now he is packing up and taking his electric cars with him to another country

ive got the link to his car at work, i cant seem to find it here at home

you guys would most prolly know more than me

so things like that (government) sure make it hard

Gman's picture
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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

`Howard killing the electric car?
John Howard recently stated that he didn't want to see production of an electric car in Australia because, as he put it, it would create major unemployment in the automotive industry, particularly in regards to maintainance and spare parts. Electric cars need little of either, but is that reason enough to prevent production of such vehicles?
Jim Arian was invited to Australia to develop a fully electric vehicle for the Australian market. He successfully drove a prototype from Melbourne to Ballarat, a distance much greater than most commuters would travel on a working day. Since then, he's developed the vehicle to a point whereby the new prototype can travel at speeds of 160kph and can be "quick-charged" in approx 6 minutes. The latest version can travel distances of up to 300 kilometres and yet sadly, he's had no backing from Federal Government (Jim is based in Victoria) which is surprising considering Howard was caught on the back foot re: climate change. This is proof positive that John Howard thinks more of lining corporate pockets than seeking a sustainable future for our children and their decendants.
Jim Arian is now in the process of packing up and heading to England where the Government says it is happy to accomadate production of his vehicles. Another lost opportunity for Australian GDP and employment.
I'm not sure of all the details and I'm offering this post hoping that somebody can fill in the gaps. I believe the Victorian Government who invited Jim Arian to develop the vehicle here in the first instance, is not responsible for the lack of backing. It's the Federal Government who steadfastly refuses to legislate standards for electric vehicles, however, I will write to both State and Federal Labor parties within the next week to seek their version of the need for electric vehicles in Australia.

Read More>>>>>

Peace Out,
Gman

Now that we have clarified our beliefs, your invited to join us as we begin building on them to define our Community Mission Statement

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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

zx12r,

I agree with what you wrote to start this thread. Look at the most sucessful EVs today: NEVs. Although not necessarily cheap, they provide convenience and ease of use. Sure, they only go 25mph, but plenty of people buy them. NEVs are basically glorified golf carts, but the market is there. How about expanding on that market by offering something a bit faster and a bit more sporty? What we need is a modern, electric cabin scooter like the Messerschmitt KR-200, a cheap vehicle designed for short trips around the city. Forget the freeway driving, as that's where petro engines are most efficient anyway. Don't try to replace the gasoline car, use the electric for short errands. The ZAP Xebra is pretty close, but it's backwards, the single wheel should be in back. Show me a 2F 1R vehicle like that for the same price point as the Xebra and I'll buy one right now.

-Crusher300
Silver EVT 4000e San Mateo, CA

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reikiman's picture
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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

For what it's worth 1F2R is extremely common in India... ubiquitous.

In any case, what do you think about the BugE?? Supposedly he's nigh on ready to be shipping kits. It looks extremely interesting to me.

http://blueskydsn.com/BugE_Concept.html

- David Herron, http://davidherron.com/

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- David Herron, Green Transportation Examiner, Green Transportation Info, The Long Tail Pipe, Torque News, electric race news, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- EVT 4000, Charger bike (rebuilt), Vego 600sx (rebuilt), Electrified Electra Townie
- Lectra motorcycle, 1971 Karmann Ghia

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Re: Electrci cars going backwards

David,

the BugE looks great, but unfortunately, it's too small for da Crusher. I contacted Bluesky, and it's only rated for 200lbs. That 300 at the end of my handle is my approximate weight in US pounds, so the BugE is right out. Also I'm looking for a two seater, preferable tandem style seating. The Cree SAM looks great, but I need to find out three things:

1. Do I fit into one (6' 4", ~300lbs)?
2. Is one of the approx. 87 existing vehicles available for sale?
3. What would it cost to ship from Switzerland to the USA?

http://www.cree.ch/

-Crusher300
Silver EVT 4000e San Mateo, CA

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