Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's 1999 (PlugIn 2010)

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reikiman
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I was at the PlugIn 2010 conference last week... the conference focuses on "plug in vehicles" primarily automobiles and trucks. Not bicycles or motorcycles, unfortunately. Anyway it's very interesting and the attendees are industry and government and business leaders, as well as journalists and other observers.

A repeated question many were discussing is - 10 yrs ago was the previous wave of electric vehicle adoption. This time it's much bigger. Why?

I wrote up a lot of reasons that were stated both at the conference and in some questions I tossed out on twitter yesterday afternoon.

Summary:-

10 years ago all the reasons to electrify weren't quite so apparent as they are today.

The technology has improved a lot over the last 10 years. One example is the electric racing motorcycles I've been following this year but it's much more than that.

Tesla Motors proved that electric vehicles can be fast, sexy, and capable.

The internet enabled online communities (like this one) to exist for information sharing (as we do) and mutual support.

Fleet owners have more tools at their disposal to understand the costs and recognize that electrification can pay off quickly.

..etc..

Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's 1999 (PlugIn 2010)

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- David Herron, Green Transportation Examiner, Green Transportation Info, The Long Tail Pipe, Electric Race News, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Charger bike (rebuilt), Electrified Electra Townie, 1971 Karmann Ghia

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Dauntless
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Re: Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's ...

You left out:

Most people never drove an EV1 and don't know how bad it really was.

Most people don't know cars like the Chevy Volt will be $41k, etc.

Most people voted for O Duce, and are ready to believe in speeches that have nothing to back them up. They even think there's going to be a car powered by hydrogen, can you believe.

And finally, the one thing that's more than just a negative working to our advantage - They've been so beat down by the gas situation and have been forced to realize that it won't do any good to shout down the people that are telling them there's going to be a problem, so they're at last taking a more positive view of finding a solution.

While I think it would be better if there were substantial numbers in $15-20k electric cars available, I have to admit there's an upside to there only being expenxive product for the moment. That being, the cars WON'T be junk. If the original Fiat 128 had been electric, there'd have been no Yugo. But because people were more accepting of the gas engine the comeback was possible. The electric isn't going to have it so easy. So we'll let the luxury buyers buy quality, if possibly overpriced, equipment, have the service people cut their teeth in catering to these people who can pay for it, and when someone FINALLY understands what it will take to produce an econobox electric that won't catch fire, we'll let the hoy polli have them.

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reikiman
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Re: Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's ...

Most people never drove an EV1 and don't know how bad it really was.

Define "bad" ... I got to test drive the EV1 twice and thought it was a beautiful wonderful machine. But both times was just a drive around the block. But I've seen plenty of evidence that the people who actually had them loved them.

This may be an example of how one persons "bad" is another persons "great" right? Depends on how you and I view what's good or not about a car right?

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- David Herron, Green Transportation Examiner, Green Transportation Info, The Long Tail Pipe, Electric Race News, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Charger bike (rebuilt), Electrified Electra Townie, 1971 Karmann Ghia

richardb
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Re: Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's ...

Dauntless wrote:

You left out:

Most people never drove an EV1 and don't know how bad it really was.

The EV1 was not a bad vehicle at all... it was just too far ahead of it's time. Battery technology was not advanced enough to give it the range people needed for a round-trip work commute, or to make the vehicle practical in cold weather. When we were developing the EV1, I drove them to and from work at GM's Proving Ground (24 miles RT) often, and was very proud to be part of the development team. But everyone who ever saw it felt it was too tiny, and they all owned SUVs and Pickup Trucks, which were the popular gas-guzzlers of the time.
Everyone who got a chance to lease the EV1 during that experiment eventually fell in love with it. Even so, there would never, at that time, have been sufficient demand to mass-produce that vehicle. GM subsidized the lease program, and in so doing, learned a lot more about the market for electric vehicles than anyone realized. Most of that knowledge, however, has been laid off.
Sorry.... I'm rambling.

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Dickey_b
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7circle
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Re: Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's ...

Plug-In Does that include Hybrids with batteries. - Of course it does.

@ reikiman : Have you driven a Plug-In Prius Yet.

Just a nudge for you to make a visit.

Maybe you have driven one but weren't happy with the EV features.

Prius Plug-In Future

Dauntless
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Re: Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's ...

So how 'bout it? You gonna head to Australia and drive his car?

In this kitcar building world we live in, I'm wondering if we'll see the replica of the EV1. I'm thinking of getting a new '69 Camaro with the Ecotech engine for 30mph on the freeway. Nodern replicas of the Porsche Spyder, (Weapon of self destruction for James Dean) AC Cobra and the Ford GT are actually faster than the originals. Handle better, too. They could make the EV1 better, too.

This company offers at about $7k. Street Beasts Some people do build electrics out of these.

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John Kelly
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Re: Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's ...

Before going with Street Beasts, you might want to read up on the all the complaints and lawsuits:

http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/search.php?searchid=3748423

John

piersdad
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Re: Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's ...

i was a pioneer in the 1980s and designed a car that had we been able to mass produce then (and the price of oil not dropped)
it would have led the world.
however i look on with horror at all the designes that are copied from petrol cars or golf carts with no real study into a real practical cheap commutor car with a range suitable to get a worker to work and back.
the electric car shoud be for the shopping and work commuting while the van or suv for the family on the rare occasions when only that vehicle is needed.

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Dauntless
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Re: Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's ...

Every kit car company out there is sued. They all have people complaining about them. But the link is about the owner suing SOMEONE ELSE. (???)

There's a whole lot more about Streetbeasts I could tell you that's not even in that thread. But it doesn't matter.

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John Kelly
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Re: Why electric vehicle adoption isn't partying like it's ...

Sorry about the bad link. I had intended to link to a page of threads about the company but it did not work. Anyone considering a kit car should search the internet exhaustively for patterns of complaints before they buy. There are many horror stories. Buying a kit from a private party who gave up may be a better way to go.

John

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