GRA
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The Tricky Balance Between EV Range and Cost Continues in 2018

Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:55 pm

From Brad Berman at plugincars.com: http://plugincars.com/tricky-balance-between-ev-range-and-cost-continues-2018-133549.html

CNN last week declared that 2018 will be “the year of the electric car.” This proclamation happens nearly every year—despite the fact that electric cars remain about 1 percent of the new-car market. CNN rightly states, “Americans (in 2018) will finally be able to buy reasonably affordable and widely available electric cars that can hold enough power to breeze through their daily routines with no worries. . . .”

As EV advocates have long argued, the average U.S. commuter drives only about 40 miles per day. So then, what’s the magic number for the amount of range needed to satisfy the desires, if not the actual needs, of American car buyers—at least enough to turn them into EV drivers?

That will be a key question for the Ford Motor Co. Its chairman Bill Ford, speaking at this week’s annual auto show in Detroit, said the company would offer 16 fully electric vehicles and 24 plug-in hybrids by 2022. “We're taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we're electrifying them,” said Ford. “If we want to be successful with electrification, we have to do it with vehicles that are already popular. . . . ”

Pushing More EV Models or Longer EV Range?

It will be fascinating to see how Ford spends its promised $11 billion EV investment—whether to increase the number of available EV models or to dramatically bump up the range of those vehicles as well.

Of course, splashy announcements at major auto shows will be put in check by auto-industry bean counters evaluating the cost of added EV range. General Motors and other automaker believe that long-range EVs will be profitable as soon as 2021—when the cost of batteries reaches an acceptable level—but there is little consensus on that topic.

Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, continues to assert—as he has for several years—that electric cars are money-losers, and that nobody knows when they will become profitable.

“I don’t know of a (business) that is making money selling electric vehicles unless you are selling them at the very, very high end of the spectrum,” Marchionne said at the Detroit Auto Show on Monday. “Whenever we end up going to auto shows, the intensity with which we make these proclamations goes up exponentially. So making an announcement at the Detroit auto show that we’re going to have X-number of vehicles that are electrified in the future, is that a wise economic thing to say? The answer is probably no. . . .”

While adoption of electric cars has slowly increased in recent years—and will likely continue in this fashion—any so-called tipping point is hard to predict. “It's not going to be a straight shot to that point,” wrote Matthew DeBord last week in Business Insider. “EV market penetration is now pretty weak, much weaker than predicted 10 years ago.” He argues that profitability is challenging because the scale of production remains small. Meanwhile, car companies continue to produce electric cars to meet fuel-economy and emissions laws—and unfortunately, annual EV sales grow incrementally rather than having a breakthrough year.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

WetEV
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Location: Near Seattle, WA

Re: The Tricky Balance Between EV Range and Cost Continues in 2018

Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:40 am

GRA wrote:
—despite the fact that electric cars remain about 1 percent of the new-car market.


Amusing. Plug in cars just exceeded 1% of the market for new _vehicles_. A higher percentage of _cars_ as cars are less than half of the vehicles.

Tesla sold 200 Roadsters in 2007. There were less than 100 conversions sold, and some small number of home made conversion cars. Not very close to 1%.

There were 199,826 plug in cars sold in 2017. Over 1% for the first time. Almost 1000 times growth per decade.

GRA wrote:
Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, continues to assert—as he has for several years—that electric cars are money-losers, and that nobody knows when they will become profitable.

“I don’t know of a (business) that is making money selling electric vehicles unless you are selling them at the very, very high end of the spectrum,” Marchionne said at the Detroit Auto Show on Monday.


Even more amusing. Sergio is changing his tune. Yes, incrementally, but that is a change. And enough incremental changes add up. If Sergio didn't want to lose money on electric cars, he would make a Fiat Spider electric. Rather than a 500.


I like these two links. (From email)

Gas cars are slow, cheap, and noisy.

https://youtu.be/W0-vFUdeiDU?t=58

Electric cars are fast, fun and quiet.

https://youtu.be/c4MRydmz86E
WetEV
#49
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red (Totaled)
2014 Leaf SL Red

GetOffYourGas
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Re: The Tricky Balance Between EV Range and Cost Continues in 2018

Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:13 am

You have to wonder why Sergio is the quoted so much. He is the most vocally anti-EV CEO out there. And the fact that even he is starting to change his tune is very telling.

It is true that we haven't seen the rosy predictions from 10 years ago come true. It is also true that EVs haven't really been marketed. Here we are in 2018, and I still regularly run into people who have no idea that electric cars even exist.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

cmwade77
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:04 pm
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Re: The Tricky Balance Between EV Range and Cost Continues in 2018

Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:52 pm

The problem is the old business model of selling vehicles at near cost and sometimes below and then making a fortune off of maintenance and repairs doesn't work with EVs.

Honestly this is the part of the equation that Tesla has correct, instead of using dealers, sell direct to the consumer and that cuts out a huge chunk of cost on the vehicles.

Alternatively, dealers could setup showrooms that have plenty of "free" EV charging at them. These showrooms could not only showcase new vehicles, but could have somewhere to buy food (there is rumor of a GM/Panera partnership at a couple of locations in California), drinks, automotive accessories, etc.

Doing this would actually allow the dealerships to make a decent profit on EVs.

GRA
Posts: 7925
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: The Tricky Balance Between EV Range and Cost Continues in 2018

Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:39 pm

GetOffYourGas wrote:You have to wonder why Sergio is the quoted so much. He is the most vocally anti-EV CEO out there. And the fact that even he is starting to change his tune is very telling.

It is true that we haven't seen the rosy predictions from 10 years ago come true. It is also true that EVs haven't really been marketed. Here we are in 2018, and I still regularly run into people who have no idea that electric cars even exist.

And many of those who are aware of them still have minimal understanding of them, as numerous anecdotes posted here and elsewhere attest.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

rcm4453
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Location: Wayzata, MN

Re: The Tricky Balance Between EV Range and Cost Continues in 2018

Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:52 pm

SUVs/CUVs and trucks are extremely popular in the U.S. If consumers were to get interested in EVs they need to make them in these popular form factors (e.g. Nissan Rogue EV, Honda CRV EV, Toyota RAV 4 EV).

Then there's the problem of the average Joe thinking an EV needs 400 - 450 miles of range and a 5 minute charge time to be useful. I run into these types of folks all the time, most of them don't like change and will never buy an EV even if it had a 1,000 mile range!

The worst of them all are the alpha males in their big jacked up coal rolling pickup trucks that floor it past you just to let you know what they think about EVs! Good luck EVER convincing them to buy an EV!

rmay635703
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:43 pm

Re: The Tricky Balance Between EV Range and Cost Continues in 2018

Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:15 pm

Vehicle weights can be cut in half if we lengthen design cycles to reduce die costs.

Cars and trucks must get lighter and more aerodynamic if we want to continue reducing pollution and increasing efficiency.

This is what is needed

Simply moving consumers into inefficient oversized EVs won’t be effective enough as our population continues to grow,
Nor can we continue to subsidize an overnight delivery by semi system that uses 10x the power compared to rail.
we don’t have the will to address these issues but inevitably that’s where we have to go.

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