Buying electric vehicles at Wal-Mart???

I thought this was quite an interesting article on yahoo

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=440939&topart=hybrids

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davew's picture

I take everything Hybrid Technologies says with a grain of salt. They have a great record of promising products, but failing to deliver them in any sort of volume. I haven't seen a sign that HT is beyond the prototype stage on anything. George Clooney also has possession of a Tango electric car. It was #2 of the three prototypes that have been built so far. It's nice for him, but it doesn't mean the cars are generally available.

I think press like this is a mixed blessing. It can stir people's interest in EVs, but it could also cool people's interest in EVs if companies keep promising products "next year" than in reality are many years away from volume production and unlikely to make it that far anyway.

"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"

Quote "I think press like this is a mixed blessing. It can stir people's interest in EVs, but it could also cool people's interest in EVs if companies keep promising products "next year" than in reality are many years away from volume production and unlikely to make it that far anyway."

Right, I completely agree with you on this particular comment Dave;
Mostly because "next year" is just around the corner.......
In reality companies who will produce EV vehicles will also have to complete performance tests and liability issues.
Just like any other car/truck dealership :)

I just read the article. I guess what kind of disappoints me is about making the "electric conversion" a high end add on. What we already know is that electric cars even with existing technology are perfectly acceptable and can meet the demands of 90% or more of folks driving needs. When is a company going to just take the leap and begin offering an electric that is VERY affordable, dependable, no frills, etc. for daily driving...that's more than a glorified golf cart??? I know it can be done and my good sense tells me somebody should know how to make it profitable.

And I couldn't agree more about how these companies tout that a product is coming "next year"...and you find out they haven't even built a real prototype yet!

gushar

Gus

Quote "and you find out they haven't even built a real prototype yet!"

Ah yep, that's advertising for you! Just so you can look at their site but you gotta read carefully because
sometimes there wording can be a bit tricky and on purpose :)

andrew's picture

It can stir people's interest in EVs, but it could also cool people's interest in EVs if companies keep promising products "next year" than in reality are many years away from volume production and unlikely to make it that far anyway.

Given how so many things are changing, whats now likely is also changing. I wouldn't be surprised if volume production success is fairly likely if they can just develop a reliable model and start selling it.

What we already know is that electric cars even with existing technology are perfectly acceptable and can meet the demands of 90% or more of folks driving needs. When is a company going to just take the leap and begin offering an electric that is VERY affordable, dependable, no frills, etc. for daily driving...that's more than a glorified golf cart??? I know it can be done and my good sense tells me somebody should know how to make it profitable.

I could not agree more, and am anticipating this a lot. I would really like an enclosed (non-scooter/mc) electric to meet my needs. The main problem is keeping it affordable and profitable. Its hard for those two to go together now and compete in a market that has standardized mass production of the ICE long ago extremely cheaply.

Many companies have tried in the past and failed. The market for the most part wasn't ready, and the technology has come a considerable way. What's needed is a lot of money for development. The EV1 is still the best EV ever developed IMO because of the billions that went into it. We need an EV2, but the goverment now is pissing away your tax money on useless crap, and the commercial marketability may not justify spending the money needed to develop an EV for those with money. But the technology is changing rapidly, and that is the wild card now. Small companies to develop something might hit it big and become the next auto giants if the big 3 auto companies don't get their crap together.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

What I am interested in is; when motor vehicle companies begin to come out with new EV's for the future,
how would you service those types of vehicles (like what type of maintenance is required?)
and what type of equipment would you use to service them?
Is it easier to maintain an EV vehicle than a regular combusitble engine? which I imagine would be.

reikiman's picture

how would you service those types of vehicles (like what type of maintenance is required?)
and what type of equipment would you use to service them?

EV's don't need much service .. supposedly. Well, I have seen by now dozens of stories about problems with EV's. The batteries can go bad, or various bits and pieces of the electrical system can go bad. Such as the controller going haywire or whatnot. So you'd need all those parts available as spare parts.

Is it easier to maintain an EV vehicle than a regular combusitble engine? which I imagine would be.

Um, it's hard to compare with a combustible engine -- because once you've combusted an engine it's just a pile of slag metal that's more useful as a paperweight than to move a vehicle.

I suppose you mean "Internal Combustion Engine"...? ;) ;) ;) An ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) requires service every 3000 miles (oil change etc) which (theoretically) an EV doesn't require.

In the book Convert It (Books about electric vehicles) there is a chapter in the end which goes over a comparison between EV and ICE maintenance. That you don't have to do the every 3000 mile service gives you a money/time/hassle savings but every so often you have to replace the battery pack which is a large cost. According to the book the two even out in the end, over time.

andrew's picture

how would you service those types of vehicles (like what type of maintenance is required?)
and what type of equipment would you use to service them?
Is it easier to maintain an EV vehicle than a regular combusitble engine? which I imagine would be.

If it is well engineered and tested, the batteries, motor, and controller shouldn't require any maintenance, just replacement when they fail. This can be compared to all of the engine and transmission maintenance (if the EV has no transmission).

Everything else will require maintenance as normal including: tires, brakes, non-engine related fluids, and drive system including differential oil and CV or U-joints.

The awesome part is that it would be a lot easier to maintain a well engineered EV. But to get to that level is going to require lots of time and money for development and testing, and possible several production models with improvements. You are looking at not having to do anything but check the tire pressure and replace the windshield washer fluid for 50,000 miles or more. If you have regen you can reduce brake wear to never needing to replace the brake pads or discs.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

I suppose you mean "Internal Combustion Engine"...?

Yes that's what I mean ;) :)

In the book Convert It

ehem; I remember someone having that book :) and I was supposed to borrow it and read it, especially that chapter.

Okay out of curiosity,what what would happen if rain affected things such as batteries and the controller while you are driving?
I am not sure if I would feel safe driving one in a storm :?

If you have regen you can reduce brake wear to never needing to replace the brake pads or discs.

Replacing brake pads or discs can be pricy, depending on what type of model vehicle you have ugh!
Don't forget Roters! Fun! So if maintaning and EV would be inexpensive, than probably the only huge cost would be replacing the batteries and possibly the controller. Interesting
If fluids needed to be changed along with an EV it wouldn't really be that much of a process, huh. okay
but isn't the point of having an EV is to get rid of certain vehicle fluids such as oil??

reikiman's picture

Okay out of curiosity,what what would happen if rain affected things such as batteries and the controller while you are driving? I am not sure if I would feel safe driving one in a storm

It's better if rain simply doesn't get into the circuits. The thing is water conducts electricity, so if an electric circuit gets wet then .. shorts .. basically things can get messed up.

It's better if rain simply doesn't get into the circuits

Right, you'd obviously might need more than just the hood of your vehicle to keep the rain from getting to the batteries, but what exactly?? Some type of special cover I would assume, definetly not a milk crate :P :D


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