rcm4453 wrote: jjeff wrote:
Half the pack of a Volt in PHEV Escape? You'd be lucky to get 20 miles AER! Anything less then 40 -50 miles AER seems pointless to me in a PHEV. I had the first gen Volt and got around 38 miles AER, wasn't nearly enough when you factor in winter, heater use, strong headwinds and freeway speeds. I found myself constantly burning gas, which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place. Plus once you get spoiled by the silky smooth EV drive it's like nails on a chalkboard when that loud vibrating ICE kicks in! Now after driving a BEV for almost 2 years I could never go back to a PHEV unless it had an AER equal to or greater then a 30kwh Leaf. Most people don't consider the driving experience of pure EV over ICE, it's just so much more "refined". Now when I drive the girlfriends Malibu it's like driving a tractor!
I somewhat agree, but as Toyota says with the Prius Prime "22 miles will accommodate 51% of its customers' daily driving range" so if 51% is good enough, why try and exceed customers needs
I believe the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV has a 16+kwh battery which is supposed to give it a ~ 30 mile EV only range, the Prius Prime only has a 8.8kwh battery. I also like the longer range afforded by the Volt, just wish it were a larger vehicle, even if that meant compromising some range or preferably had a larger battery
Here's the problem with only having 22 miles of AER, what are you getting when it's 10 below in January on the freeway going 70mph with the heat on? I don't know maybe I'm different but wouldn't someone's reason for buying a PHEV be to enjoy the EV drive and not be buying gas all the time? Otherwise why not just buy a hybrid or plain ICE if you don't really care about the EV drive aspect? All having the Volt did for me was make me crave more EV drive and less ICE drive, once you get a taste of pure EV driving you don't want the ICE EVER kicking in! With 22 miles AER the ICE will always be kicking in, making it pointless to buying the PHEV in the first place. If a PHEV has around 100 miles AER it makes more sense as 99% of your daily driving would be in pure EV mode with the ICE only needed for road trips.
Here's the way I see it. The biggest barrier to mass acceptance of PEVs is their price, so providing the smallest AER at the lowest cost and least hassle, which still covers at least half of the population and which is large enough that most people will plug them in, is what's needed to get PEVs to cross the chasm to mainstream consumers.
As GM noted some years back, a 20 mile AER covers the routine daily driving needs of 50% of U.S. drivers (35 miles covered 75%, and 40 miles 78%; Toyota's apparently claiming 22 miles AER covers 51%, so the numbers are in general agreement). So what's going to have the greatest impact - providing more AER to the 1% of the population who want to drive as much electrically as they can (and are willing and able to afford a car that allows them to do so), or getting as many people as possible into PEVs as early as possible? There will still be PHEVs with longer AERs for those who need it, but they will be too expensive (for now) for many people. The lowest cost PHEV is the one with the smallest battery that meets someone's routine range requirements, with a bit excess to allow for degradation. Right now, a Volt pack probably costs around $215/kWh ($145/kWh at cell level), so the 18.4 kWh pack should cost about $3,956, and you can knock 1/3rd - 1/2 off for the 1/2 size pack, depending on whether or not the BoP costs drop proportionately. As manufacturing costs typically make up about 50% of MSRP, the price reduction will be about double that.
As battery prices come down and energy densities improve, AER will increase for the same price/weight/space allowing those who need it to afford more, those who don't to afford the cars for the first time (e.g. the Prime), and/or people who are now used to plugging in can switch to BEVs if their needs are met by them.
A 20-30 mile AER PHEV has the following benefits compared to one with longer range (if it isn't needed):
Covers routine daily driving needs of 50% to maybe 65%? of U.S. drivers.
Thousands cheaper than a PHEV with twice the AER, which will be particularly critical once the subsidies expire. Also, can be fully charged overnight using only L1, which saves buyers even more money through not needing to buy an L2 EVSE (say $500) and even more money and a lot of hassle if they need to upgrade their electrical system, even assuming any of that's an option for them (for most renters it isn't).
A couple of hundred lbs. lighter, which should boost efficiency and/or performance in both EV and hybrid modes.
Less space taken up by the battery, so more room for people/cargo.
The Ford Fusion and C-Max Energis, despite being half-assed implementations of 20-mile AER PHEVs, sell quite well - in fact, together they typically sell about the same and sometimes better than the Volt, both because they're cheaper and because they offer 5 seats. I have a friend who's on his second Fusion Energi, and he informs me his routine driving is all on the battery - clearly its AER is a good fit for him (as he's 6'4" a Volt is too small, even if he needed the extra AER). The A3 e-Tron also sells reasonably well, despite being considerably more expensive and rated with only a 17 mile AER (although it usually seems to manage 20 or a bit more IRL per owners), and the Golf GTE is a best seller where it's offered with its 31 mile AER (probably NEDC, so say low 20s EPA). As I've said before I expect the 25-mile AER Prius Prime will probably be the top seller among PHEVs (and maybe all PEVs, depending on how quickly the Model 3's production ramps up) this year in the U.S., because its base price is $6k less than the Volt's. There is no question the market for 20-30 mile AER PHEVs is there, but what's lacking is a reasonably affordable AWD CUV PHEV, which is where the biggest market is now. But we know that where such a car (the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV ) is for sale, it's the best selling PHEV, and often the best selling PEV overall, despite its modest performance.
The only way to settle the argument over which will sell in greater numbers would be to produce such a car while offering two different battery sizes/AERs. If GM were to offer a Voltec-based small AWD CUV with the choice of say 4 seats/50 mile AER/40 mpg Hwy for a base MSRP of say $35k, or an otherwise identical one with 5 seats/26 mile AER/42 mpg HWY for $31k, which do you think would have a bigger market? I'd love to see some company give people the option, but if a single company doesn't, different companies undoubtedly will provide such competition.