Electric car

is it in my future? Yours?

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Electric car

#1  Postby The_Metatron » May 26, 2013 5:18 pm

All right, here's the situation: Next school year, both my boys will be attending the school on campus where I work. This is 8 km from my house. School bus is an option, still need to check on the price (stand by for that information). City bus is not, as there is no direct line, and I'm not about to let my boys hang out at the city bus station for 45 minutes twice a day waiting for a connection.

That pretty much leaves a car, for now. Here's what I own:

2003_subaru.jpg
2003 Subaru Legacy Outback wagon
2003_subaru.jpg (7.58 KiB) Viewed 2765 times


2.5L petrol engine. Goes about 30 miles to a gallon of fuel. Or just under 11 liters per 100 km. That's about seventeen euros worth of fuel.

Or...

A typical little electric car will use about 10 kWh for that same 100 km, at a cost of about €2.50. Just about a seventh of the fuel cost.

A few quick mental calculations gets me to an estimate that I would spend around €14,000 less in fuel over the next twelve years if I were running an electric car versus an air breather.

Ahh, except they aren't going to give me the damned thing, are they? €20K to €30K for an all electric car. A real car. About the same price as an air breather, really. But, on top of that, there's a monthly lease charge for the battery bank. Around €75 a month.

Well, shit. That eats up the savings in fuel costs quite handily. Never mind the vehicle purchase price.

So, here's what I'm thinking: I'd like to have the bragging rights of running an electric car. Way cool, way smaller carbon footprint, blah, blah, blah. But, my air breather is perfectly serviceable. I do not need a car right now. If I did, the electric is a better option. But, I don't. Not yet.

I think the environmentally sound thing (certainly the economically sound thing) to do is to run my Subaru until it is dust. It has a carbon debt due to its simple existence, and the best thing to do about that is spread that carbon debt over as long a period as possible to lessen its impact.

What say you?
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Re: Electric car

#2  Postby Beatsong » May 26, 2013 5:59 pm

I agree with you.

Electric cars are just not there yet. That business of having to lease the battery sucks big time - one wonders how they expect anyone to bother. But if you run your current car for, say, another five years, it's quite possible that electric or whatever eco-friendly technology wins out will be much more practical and affordable by then. There's a high price for taking up immature technologies, and it's not one you want to be paying just so you can drive 16km a day.


Of course in the good old days we'd have made the little buggers walk...
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Re: Electric car

#3  Postby campermon » May 26, 2013 6:07 pm

Take them on your motor bike!

They'll be the envy of their friends!

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Re: Electric car

#4  Postby The_Metatron » May 26, 2013 6:24 pm

Beatsong wrote:I agree with you.

Electric cars are just not there yet. That business of having to lease the battery sucks big time - one wonders how they expect anyone to bother. But if you run your current car for, say, another five years, it's quite possible that electric or whatever eco-friendly technology wins out will be much more practical and affordable by then. There's a high price for taking up immature technologies, and it's not one you want to be paying just so you can drive 16km a day.


Of course in the good old days we'd have made the little buggers walk...

I think the technology is good. But, that lease price for the batteries chews up whatever fuel savings there are, which makes it sort of pointless from an economic perspective.
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Re: Electric car

#5  Postby tuco » May 26, 2013 6:27 pm

If you use your car in city a lot - stop and go - hybrid might be good option. Recuperation is future IMO.
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Re: Electric car

#6  Postby The_Metatron » May 26, 2013 6:47 pm

Why? Why would one want the extra weight of another engine and its fuel?
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Re: Electric car

#7  Postby tuco » May 26, 2013 6:53 pm

There is a section, under the wiki entry linked, called Fuel consumption and there are other sources on the net which can provide information better than I ever could. You talked about environment and economy and hybrids try to address both issues.
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Re: Electric car

#8  Postby The_Metatron » May 26, 2013 7:02 pm

Written from the perspective of air breathers, not that of purely electric cars.

Hybrid has no stop and go advantage over fully electric.
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Re: Electric car

#9  Postby tuco » May 26, 2013 7:07 pm

Hybrids are most efficient when used in stop and go mode - that is where they can save fuel. On a highway, for example, your observation about carrying more weight was quite accurate. I was not saying that hybrids have advantage over electric, just offering another option as it was noted that fully electric are not there yet.
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Re: Electric car

#10  Postby Jakov » May 26, 2013 8:37 pm

Bikes? How old are your sons, can they cycle for the half an hourish it takes to cover 8km.
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Re: Electric car

#11  Postby OlivierK » May 26, 2013 10:27 pm

Totally agree about bikes: my youngest could manage 20km when he was 5, and now, at 6, regularly bikes 30km with me.

Also, if batteries are a concern (and they should be, on more than just cost grounds), then run the Subi into the ground and wait for one of Peugeot's Hybrid-Air cars, due in 2016. Stop and go power from using regenerative braking to compress air, rather than charge a battery. They're aiming for 2.0 l/100km, which would almost match electric for cost, too.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... car-future

http://www.psa-peugeot-citroen.com/en/i ... em-article
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Re: Electric car

#12  Postby klazmon » May 27, 2013 12:42 am

The_Metatron wrote:All right, here's the situation: Next school year, both my boys will be attending the school on campus where I work. This is 8 km from my house. School bus is an option, still need to check on the price (stand by for that information). City bus is not, as there is no direct line, and I'm not about to let my boys hang out at the city bus station for 45 minutes twice a day waiting for a connection.

That pretty much leaves a car, for now. Here's what I own:

2003_subaru.jpg


2.5L petrol engine. Goes about 30 miles to a gallon of fuel. Or just under 11 liters per 100 km. That's about seventeen euros worth of fuel.

Or...

A typical little electric car will use about 10 kWh for that same 100 km, at a cost of about €2.50. Just about a seventh of the fuel cost.

A few quick mental calculations gets me to an estimate that I would spend around €14,000 less in fuel over the next twelve years if I were running an electric car versus an air breather.

Ahh, except they aren't going to give me the damned thing, are they? €20K to €30K for an all electric car. A real car. About the same price as an air breather, really. But, on top of that, there's a monthly lease charge for the battery bank. Around €75 a month.

Well, shit. That eats up the savings in fuel costs quite handily. Never mind the vehicle purchase price.

So, here's what I'm thinking: I'd like to have the bragging rights of running an electric car. Way cool, way smaller carbon footprint, blah, blah, blah. But, my air breather is perfectly serviceable. I do not need a car right now. If I did, the electric is a better option. But, I don't. Not yet.

I think the environmentally sound thing (certainly the economically sound thing) to do is to run my Subaru until it is dust. It has a carbon debt due to its simple existence, and the best thing to do about that is spread that carbon debt over as long a period as possible to lessen its impact.

What say you?



The batteries really are expensive and have limited life -that's why the lease price is so high. Improvement of battery tech price/performance is the key to making it viable.
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Re: Electric car

#13  Postby Beatsong » May 27, 2013 7:18 am

The_Metatron wrote:
Beatsong wrote:I agree with you.

Electric cars are just not there yet. That business of having to lease the battery sucks big time - one wonders how they expect anyone to bother. But if you run your current car for, say, another five years, it's quite possible that electric or whatever eco-friendly technology wins out will be much more practical and affordable by then. There's a high price for taking up immature technologies, and it's not one you want to be paying just so you can drive 16km a day.


Of course in the good old days we'd have made the little buggers walk...

I think the technology is good. But, that lease price for the batteries chews up whatever fuel savings there are, which makes it sort of pointless from an economic perspective.


Well yeah, that's kind of saying the same thing though. There are a lot of technologies that are "good" but prohibitively expensive for what they provide. One of the big selling points of electric cars is supposedly low running costs, and that needs to compensate sufficiently for the disadvantages over a conventional car (need to recharge; upfront expense of the vehicle; maintenance risks of owning something non-mainstream etc.)

When I refer to the technology being "there", I mean being deliverable at a price (including all factors, such as batteries) that makes the economics add up. Sometimes that's a question of the designers and manufacturers just patiently chipping away making little aspects here and there more efficient - which is a technological challange, not just an economic one.
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Re: Electric car

#14  Postby I'm With Stupid » May 27, 2013 7:37 am

Buying something new is rarely going to be more environmentally friendly than keeping something old. Having said that, it's unlikely that your existing car is going to a dump, so it's not like someone won't be using it who might otherwise have bought a new car. The other thing to consider is that electric cars are massively overpriced atm. Not only does that make it expensive now compared to buying an equivalent new car, but I suspect the depreciation on one of these first generation electric cars is going to be huge.

The other option would be to sell your Subaru and replace it with a more economical (second hand) petrol or diesel car, such as a Golf Bluemotion (88mpg for the latest one, 65mpg for the first generation and 74mpg for the second generation). Just did a quick search on Autotrader, and they start at about £5k in the UK for a 2009 model.
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Re: Electric car

#15  Postby Scot Dutchy » May 27, 2013 7:41 am

Surely Jesse 8km. is an easy trip on a bike. You are such a keen cyclist I am suprised you are thinking about alternatives. Keeps thjem fit as well.

Opposite my appartment on the other side of the street is an electric charging point. The most cars I see are Opal Amperas.

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Bit of an overkill for 8kms.
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Re: Electric car

#16  Postby LucidFlight » May 27, 2013 7:51 am

The Opel Ampera is rather swanky, innit? You can buy a lot of bikes for 40-odd thousand euros.
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Re: Electric car

#17  Postby Scot Dutchy » May 27, 2013 7:54 am

LucidFlight wrote:The Opel Ampera is rather swanky, innit? You can buy a lot of bikes for 40-odd thousand euros.


One of the best selling world wide apperently. It has various names though.

Despite the price there is at least four that use the charger here.
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Re: Electric car

#18  Postby The_Metatron » May 27, 2013 8:12 am

I'm With Stupid wrote:Buying something new is rarely going to be more environmentally friendly than keeping something old. Having said that, it's unlikely that your existing car is going to a dump, so it's not like someone won't be using it who might otherwise have bought a new car. The other thing to consider is that electric cars are massively overpriced atm. Not only does that make it expensive now compared to buying an equivalent new car, but I suspect the depreciation on one of these first generation electric cars is going to be huge.

The other option would be to sell your Subaru and replace it with a more economical (second hand) petrol or diesel car, such as a Golf Bluemotion (88mpg for the latest one, 65mpg for the first generation and 74mpg for the second generation). Just did a quick search on Autotrader, and they start at about £5k in the UK for a 2009 model.

Ahh, you bring up some ideas I've also been pondering. Of course I wouldn't be scrapping my Subaru, and it would remain in service with someone else.

I did find the same overpricing situation. This has to be market driven, not technology driven. Electric cars have simpler components than air breathers, and a hell of a lot fewer of them. I think they are charging whatever the market will bear for them now. At least the big name manufacturers seen to be doing so.

This disappoints me greatly.
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Re: Electric car

#19  Postby The_Metatron » May 27, 2013 9:13 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:Surely Jesse 8km. is an easy trip on a bike. You are such a keen cyclist I am suprised you are thinking about alternatives. Keeps thjem fit as well.

Opposite my appartment on the other side of the street is an electric charging point. The most cars I see are Opal Amperas.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Opel Ampera
Image


Bit of an overkill for 8kms.

It's not the distance that concerns me, it's the traffic.

For the part of my ride illustrated in this map, there is no shoulder or bike path. Quite unsafe for kids. I've never seen kids biking on that Rue de la Lanterne, lots of big trucks travelling to and from a cement factory a few more kilometers to the north. On the way up Rue Grande, there is a bike path on the right. But, on the way down, there is nothing for bikes. Towards the bottom of that hill is where I nearly got killed last year, and have had other incidents since then. Not a good path for kids on bikes, let alone every day.

This situation may also change, as The_Metatrix has suggested buying a different house, closer to where I work, but more to the north or northeast, instead of on the other side of the Nimy-Blaton canal.
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Re: Electric car

#20  Postby Scot Dutchy » May 27, 2013 9:52 am

The_Metatron wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:Surely Jesse 8km. is an easy trip on a bike. You are such a keen cyclist I am suprised you are thinking about alternatives. Keeps thjem fit as well.

Opposite my appartment on the other side of the street is an electric charging point. The most cars I see are Opal Amperas.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Opel Ampera
Image


Bit of an overkill for 8kms.

It's not the distance that concerns me, it's the traffic.

For the part of my ride illustrated in this map, there is no shoulder or bike path. Quite unsafe for kids. I've never seen kids biking on that Rue de la Lanterne, lots of big trucks travelling to and from a cement factory a few more kilometers to the north. On the way up Rue Grande, there is a bike path on the right. But, on the way down, there is nothing for bikes. Towards the bottom of that hill is where I nearly got killed last year, and have had other incidents since then. Not a good path for kids on bikes, let alone every day.

This situation may also change, as The_Metatrix has suggested buying a different house, closer to where I work, but more to the north or northeast, instead of on the other side of the Nimy-Blaton canal.


I agree with your point. Looks very dodgy to me. Knowing Wallonians I dont think consideration of other road users is high on their agenda.
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