Oils4AsphaultOnly wrote: ↑
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:19 pm
GRA wrote: ↑
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:30 pm
Oils4AsphaultOnly wrote: ↑
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:16 pm
Strawman argument. BEV's never had that cost/mile advantage until gas stayed above $2/gal AND BEV's were made with lithium-ion cells. Cost/mile factors in fuel/energy costs, depreciation of the vehicle, AND any maintenance costs like battery replacements (previous BEV's used lead-acid and we're too expensive).
BYD dryage trucks and municipal busses are succeeding, because of their low cost/mile, despite the short ranges and long charge times.
On the contrary, BEVs did have cost/mile advantages from the earliest days, for both commercial vehicles and (from about 1910 on) personal use in cities. See both of the following from my EV Bibliography page:
"The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History"; Kirsch, David; 2000. An academic treatment (originally a PhD. dissertation) of the above, but also includes info on EV developments and use in Europe, commercial use of EV taxis, trucks, streetcars, contemporary cost comparisons between EV, gas and horse commercial vehicles, details of electric utilities boosting or ignoring EVs, etc. Fans of battery exchange ala 'A Better Place' will be interested to learn that mechanized battery exchange was first used by NYC electric taxicabs in 1897. Occasionally a bit slow-going, but well worth it.
"The Electric Vehicle: Technology and Expectations in the Automobile Age"; Mom, Gijs; 2004. Similar to Kirsch, but with greater coverage of early European developments, especially the use of EVs for commercial (taxi/bus/truck) and government use (fire/street sweeper/garbage trucks etc.). Like Kirsch, it's written by an academic so can drag a bit at times, and translation from the original Dutch results in occasionally awkward syntax, but lots of great info here for those with patience.
As noted above, David Kirsch's "The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History" has comparable costs of BEV delivery vehicles vs. horses and ICEs. Within their best radius (in between the other two), BEVs were cheaper/mile. But ICEs could cover all three radius rings, so even though they were more expensive at shorter ranges, companies with only a small fleet came out ahead because they only needed one type of delivery vehicle instead of two or three
, with the advantages in spares/maintenance/dispatch flexibility that the ICE provided. So the individually most expensive per mile option won out.
Current commercial BEVs still rely on subsidies for purchase and often O&M; their advantage is in emissions, not yet a demonstrated, reliable cost advantage (BYD buses suffered one major failure to perform already, where they were taken out of service and the company was sued). They will be able to achieve cost advantages widely at some point, but they aren't yet at a point where they're the obvious answer.
Your ancient historical reference, which wasn't relevant anytime in the 100 years afterwards, only solidifies the cost/mile point. You're only thinking in terms of operating costs, but your example points out that capital costs shifted the cost/mile away from BEV's.
Edit: So no, BEV's never had that advantage, or if they really did (it's hard to judge based on such old historical data during a time when information only traveled as fast as the pony express), that advantage was temporary and combustion vehicles eventually gained the cost/mile advantage until only recently.
Nope, BEVs had a cost/mile advantage regardless, but ICEs could go out further without refueling, expanding the territory covered in a given time (which was already expanded over horse coverage by BEVs); even installing intermediate depots for BEVs was cheaper than ICEs, but the time and flexibility factors were judged more important than the cost (cf. Amazon today, or why people buy SUVs they'll hardly ever need). Note that truck delivery was strictly an urban phenomenon, as there were no hard-surfaced roads outside of cities, and the rubber available at the time meant heavy vehicles like trucks had to have solid rubber tires, so they had limited speeds regardless. It didn't hurt that BEVs didn't have to be hand-cranked (the "Ford Fracture" being a common injury, when the crank kicked back) and were also quiet (mufflers not being a requirement), which is one reason they were often used by doctors, who often made house calls at night. But those same doctors often owned ICEs for touring.
The development of better tires, and the invention of the electric self-starter in 1916 (by Charles Kettering's Dayton Electric Labs Co., or as it's far better known nowadays, Delco) eliminated many of the BEV's advantages, and mass production of the go-anywhere ICE brought its costs down enough that along with better roads, it was the no-brainer choice for trucks, even though it was still more expensive per mile than a BEV.
In cities (the only place where there was electricity), personal BEVs were also cheaper per mile, but they couldn't tour, and that was what private car owners wanted to be able to do then as now, even if they did so rarely or never. In short, we're experiencing a "Back to the Future" moment.
BEVs retained their cost advantages all through that century plus,and were used for a few jobs which still matched their capabilities (milk floats in the U.K., etc.), and those are much the same jobs we're now seeing modern commercial BEVs re-acquire: mail and package P&D and similar jobs where frequent stops, low speeds and limited range with overnight charging at a central depot are acceptable, and quiet, zero emissions and low operating costs are significant pluses. As batteries and costs continue to improve the range of jobs for which BEVs are best suited will expand.