I don't even HAVE the LEAF yet, and am amazed at some of the reactions I get when I talk about it.
Does it look... umm... you know, weird?
Aren't electric cars like REALLY expensive?
Right, so you can go over 80 miles, but you can only go like 40MPH right?
Sure, but where are you going to plug in it?
...well there ARE a few outlets around.
But you need so much power you'll blow all the fuses!
...or I'll need to be sure there is a charge controller doing the thinking.
...and I figure I'll save $50 a month on gas ...sure but your electric bill is going to go up too. So that's just gonna cancel out.
Right, but I already accounted for the $15 increase in electric when I quoted the $50 in net savings. But that's me, I don't drive as much as the national average. How much do you spend on gas in a month? ...well, I don't know.
So how do I try and explain that the car saves you money to someone that apparently doesn't care how much their car costs? ...unless it costs "more" than ICE. THAT they care about.
How do I explain that 80 miles is plenty, when they have no idea how many miles they drive?
I think perhaps it's better NOT to try and explain. The answers quickly get more complicated then they are interested in, and for the rest of their life electric cars will be "complicated".
I'm thinking maybe I need to keep it simple, more like this:
But you can't go as far in winter right?
Right, just like an ICE car. I can still only go twice as far as I need to.
But how do you know what sort of plug to use?
It's about like deciding which gas pump to use.
But what if your battery catches fire?
Well, then I'll do the same thing you would if your fuel line catches fire... RUN.
But how do you know you will save on maintenance when BEVs are such new and unproven tech?
Well, they've been using heavy duty electric motors in factories for many decades. But I also know that the last 5 things I paid to fix on my ICE do not even exist on the LEAF.
But you'll have to replace the batteries!
Right, and it's still cheaper.http://cleantechnica.com/2013/04/07/nis ... mparisons/
But the batteries are toxic waste.
Actually they plan to repackage them into grid storage for wind farms, and then will recycle them after that.
But the batteries are really heavy, so it can't be very efficient.
Actually, the lithium batteries have 5 times the power density of the batteries you are thinking of. And I don't have to lug around 100 pounds of gas, and tank everywhere I go.
Sure you have no exhaust pipe, but you're just pushing the pollution to the dirty coal power plant
. OK, I've read government studies that show BEV is still less CO2 and that coal isn't as dirty as it used to be... but I'm not gonna go there. My car charges (will charge) at night, and you know all those windmills over in the neighboring towns? Well there's lots of wind at night. And more and more wind and solar all the time on the grid. So, let me just claim that my car will get cleaner and cleaner over the next decade during it's life, and an ICE car will not.
But you are going to put stress on the power grid and it will crash
. See above, wind power. I'm using nighttime grid, the grid we worry about crashing is daytime.
But you can't go as far when you go fast.
Right, just as with your ICE.
So why don't you just spend $5,000 less and drive a hybred?
Because even with all of the added complexity of having both an engine and fuel system and a battery and electrical system, it still doesn't get noticeably better mileage then my 1994 Honda Del Sol.
So it gets over 100 MPGe, but there's no gas, so how do they even KNOW that?
, they look at the energy available in the fuel, and the energy that actually drives the wheels and figure it out. And they figured out that 80% of the energy in your gallon of gas goes in to heat rather than driving the wheels. Did you ever notice how HOT your ICE car gets? (and I'm curious to see how hot my LEAF's "engine" compartment will get, can I suggest they put their hand there to see it is not so dangerously hot?)
Sure my ICE is only 20% efficient, but your power plant has line losses before the power even GETS to your car.
(OK, how far to take this one?), The line losses are typically about 7%, which is actually about the same as the fuel used to bring your crude oil from halfway across the globe to a refinery where they burn fuel to boil it all and make gasoline, and jet fuel and etc. How much energy do you think it would take to boil a barrel of oil? They use so much energy in the refining process that you could instead put that in to run my inefficient power plant, cross the inefficient grid, charge my car, and I'll still have enough to go 10 miles just on the energy used to refine
a gallon of gas. So in any comparison with gas, you have to keep in mind that I always start 10MPG ahead of you. Oh, and some electricity comes from hydroelectric, solar, wind, and nuclear (well at least we can say nuclear doesn't produce large amounts of CO2). These (ok nuclear is a mess, but the other 3) don't require fuel to bring across the globe, they don't require fuel to refine, they don't require fuel to pump in and out of tanks, they don't require fuel to bring to the gas station. Does that sound more efficient?
What do you think, are these answers inline with what the person asking is ready to grasp? They KNOW oil is dirty, they KNOW a semi truck burns diesel to bring their gas to the station, they KNOW their car gets VERY hot, they can SEE all of the moving parts in their ICE, they've PAID for repairs to things that don't exist in a BEV. But a LOT of what they KNOW is 30 years old, or simply miscomparisons of numbers. For example, they confuse electric line losses with overall efficiency of producing electricity. They know coal is dirty. They don't see a comparison of electric to gas as fair, because you haven't accounted for where the electricity comes from, yet they fail to try and apply the same logic to their gas.
So, I'm thinking the more I can turn the question around and ask them about their ICE, the more they might start to realize they are picking nits or believing hype. What do you think?