For whatever it's worth, with 20K EV miles under my belt, I'm trying to look at this from the perspective of someone who mostly just wants a car they can drive, rather than someone like me who bought the Leaf for environmental and political reasons. I think we kid ourselves when we try and argue that range is not the main limiting factor. these cars need to perform better than ICE's, which they do, run more economically, which they do, and be essentially range unlimited, which they are not, in order for the masses to be willing to pay more for them, which they will! Price is an issue, but honestly I think it's the excuse people use when what they really mean is they want to see more value. It is not uncommon for folks to fill up a gas car when they reach a quarter tank, people value security very highly. if we can assume that the current 300-400 mile range of an ice is what it takes for people to feel extra secure, I think we need an EV with at least 250 miles of range, allowing plenty of miles on reserve to avoid close calls. for now, that actually would work well for how Li-ion batteries like to be treated. for day to day commuting the pack would be cycled in the middle, and for long trips it would be fully charged but still not run down to empty, but refilled when the "low fuel" indicator shows the reserve has been reached (avoiding using the reserve except when in a pinch). using the inner 65% of a 250 mile pack (idea for li-ion), leaving 37 miles (15%) in "reserve", and charged to 200 miles or 80%, would have a daily commute plus side trip range of roughly 162 miles round trip and cycle the battery perfectly for long life. a pack this size would have lots of buffer for range reduction due to inclimate weather, winter and summer TMS, winter time cabin heating, and long term "gradual" range loss due to pack aging. no matter how much we try and educate people on how the average commuter only drives 30 miles a day, I don't think we can get around what appears to me to be a basic instinct for security. bottom line: the Leaf needs at least double, maybe triple the range it currently has to deliver the kind of security people require. People want a car with enough range that they just don't need to think about it much, for most of the life of the car; they want to drive their car, they don't want their car to drive them.
TomT wrote:I think it is ultimately about both range and price, both for the Leaf and Volt. Electric range in the case of the Leaf, and the fact that the Volt has, for the small size and modest performance of the car, mediocre gas mileage when not electric. And both are expensive in the eyes of the consumer compared to the "competition."
I think it's wrong to think that price and range and MPG are all equally important. They're not. Price is the big driver. You can see that with the Volt. The financing and lease deals are driving the better sales numbers. Price is doing the same thing but in the opposite direction for the Leaf: Nissan raised the price. The CARB rebate was halved. Sales tanked. You know the song that goes "Boys Boys Boys"? Well in this case it's "Price Price Price".
Hard to see how the MPG numbers for the Volt would matter much. If you look at voltstats the median Volt driver is getting 175 MPG. If GM improved the MPG numbers to something above what you can get with the Prius it might move the median MPG to to 180. Doesn't seem very exciting.
Gasless: Silver 2012 SL, traded in for Lease on 1/13
Tesla S P85, Gray, pano, carbon fiber, took delivery: 2-9-13... LOVE this car!
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