243 points by mfiguiere
2 months ago
Anytime society has an enormous demand for something, especially people/institutions with money, it gets done.
If there are hundreds of billions or even trillions riding on upgrading the grid and securing mineral resources/researching alternative solutions, it will get funded and figured out.
There will be $20,000 economy EVs with crappy everything but still go A to B. There will be grid upgrades to handle everyone charging (really topping off is more realistic, few drive more than ~25 miles/day, the upgrade to accommodate this might simply be "grid smart" chargers). There will be alternative chemistry batteries that don't need rare earths (like LFP in some Teslas).
Toyota is just stubbornly refusing to take the L on their 30 years of research into this. I don't blame them, but I'm not them, so I'll call it how it is.
EVs are definitely going to remain a first-world item for my lifetime at least. If everyone other than Toyota goes completely electric, Toyota is going to be the monopoly automaker in every underdeveloped country and will be laughing all the way to the bank. I’m with the Toyota CEO on this one. If you’ve stepped outside a devolved country for even a few days… I just can’t fathom how all-electric is going to be realistic
I live in Vietnam and we have EVs for "normal people" here.
EV doesn't mean "cars". The V is for vehicles. We've had electric scooters on the roads for many years. In some cities, especially in the north they are nearly the majority of vehicles on the road.
But even if you limit yourself to cars, a friend just bought a Volvo S90 Recharge electric car to drive in Ho Chi Minh City.
And the first electric bus route launched earlier this year.
Toyota will never be very popular in Vietnam. If anything the Kia Smile is probably the most popular car and will be for a long time.
If there's one thing I've learned is that one shouldn't underestimate the sheer speed at which a maturing technology cheapens itself in a drive downmarket.
Cars themselves went from being a rich person's curiosity to mostly-affordable to ubiquitous in the space of 50 years.
Airline travel went from a luxury for the rich to broadly affordable in about ~30 years.
For more recent examples see smartphones - in less than 10 years it's gone from exclusively high-end device to near-universal adoption across the world.
It's often hard to figure out what technologies will stick and what will never resolve fundamental flaws - but once it sticks in the high-end market there is a good bet it will rapidly drive its way down the price scale, at a far faster speed than you might expect.
LED bulbs is the one that still surprises me. The quality jump and price cliff from the flickery, blindness-inducing early bulbs was very fast.
What surprises me is how they managed to make them artificially degrade anyway through terrible cooling. We could have truly eternal LEDs for only minor increase in material cost but no, they have to overheat and burn out to secure profits for Philips.
One of the main reasons for this is research funding and regulation by the European Union. Something similar is probably going to happen with hydrogen production over the next years. (Not as fuel for cars but for industry)
Mandatory reminder that hydrogen as fuel for cars is an incredible waste of primary energy and will be for a long time.
A petrol car engine is inefficient due to constraints (small + no cooling source other than air).
An electric engine + battery is extremely efficient (the "downside" is you can't use the wasted energy to heat up the car in winter like an ICE).
An electric engine + hydrogen fuel tank brings back inefficiency, and you can't even reuse that wasted energy because most of this waste is electrolysis.
On the other hand, you can refill a pressurized hydrogen tank in seconds. Electricity itself is merely a mode of energy transmission. Energy storage has and will continue to be a huge innovation area as the current means of battery charging are either slow or low capacity. We’re getting really good at getting energy from the sun, and excess energy not consumed is wasted, so why not make hydrogen? Heck, why not have fuel stations in the middle of nowhere have a well (for water extraction) and an array of solar panels so the station can produce its own product to sell?
I can see a future where you can opt for a hydrogen fuel cell EV rather than a battery powered one. Efficiently using the hydrogen will be a non-issue if we are able to trivially produce a vast abundance of it.
It’s hard to say that an EV is just as good (for the consumer) as an ICE engine if I am taking a road trip and one of many fill-ups makes me wait for hours. There are these uncommon cars that opponents usually cite and are sometimes unfairly dismissed. I say this because we can and will make EV technology better and cheaper and I’m willing to bet money that hydrogen fuel cell in lieu of batteries will become a thing.
Solar power is 1.68% of the USA's primary energy mix in 2021. Wind is 3.89%, about 2.5% more than a decade ago, and the trend is not accelerating that fast.
It is not even 3 decades to 2050, which is the USA's target date for net zero carbon, so with conservative estimates primary energy from wind should increase by at least 10% per decade, so 4 times faster than last decade.
Where is the vast abundance of renewable energy that you are talking about? Now is not the time for deploying another massively wasteful technology just because some people want to go on road trips without taking a 30 min break (a recent EV fast charge does not take hours) every few hours.
I don’t think those extrapolations are totally fair. You’re assuming today’s technology is frozen, inflexible, and adoption is going to linear. If we have learned anything from the last decade it is that adoption curves are getting steeper.
If you recall from my original post, I said nothing about that hypothetical, abundant hydrogen being born from any particular source, but I did have solar in mind specifically. I personally think solar cells and panel arrays will get more efficient at producing power that we will eventually have a global excess. If we have grids producing renewable electricity when conditions allow, they can redirect some of the excess energy and use electrolysis to produce hydrogen creating energy reserves for when the power source is not available to them.
Hydrogen is still not super efficient because we have not even scratched the surface of optimizing it’s consumption. If we had concerted efforts towards that goal, we can get it to work for us in ways we never thought possible. I don’t think lugging around large batteries is the future, rather our fuel storage needs will be met by hydrogen tanks.
I'm not assuming linear adoption. I explicitly said that even if adoption was FOUR TIMES faster than now, the amount of renewable energy would barely reach the same amount of primary energy as we use now by 2050.
This is a optimistic scenario. Current trend is mostly linear. See:
Wind power generation, world: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/wind-generation?tab=chart...
Solar power generation, world: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/solar-energy-consumption?...
You can choose linear/log, it doesn't look exponential to me.
Add to this the fact that primary energy generation is increasing all over the world, so the share of renewables is increasing even less.
The target is 2050. There is no R&D that will get rid of electrolysis and Carnot cycles by then. Maybe by the end of the century if you want. But for the next 30 years, batteries will be in the lead.
Some updated figures through 2021
Solar = 2.8%
Wind = 9.2%
Total renewables = 20.1%, that includes hydro which may not be as renewable as we thought.
Just had this discussion but relative to why not re-invest in nuclear so we looked up the amount of nuclear energy (~20%).
Not sure if we are looking at different sources, they are counted differently, etc.
Source for this is;
Your source is counting the share of electricity generation. My source is counting the share of primary energy; including fuel, heating, etc. I believe the latter is more relevant for the current discussion (CO2 emissions and cars). Electricity is not even half of our primary energy use.
> We’re getting really good at getting energy from the sun, and excess energy not consumed is wasted, so why not make hydrogen? Heck, why not have fuel stations in the middle of nowhere have a well (for water extraction) and an array of solar panels so the station can produce its own product to sell?
We are nowhere near being able to satisfy 100% of our energy demand with solar or even a renewables mix, except for a unicorn scenario in which we have high winds and a sunny sky at the same time. On top of that, it is extremely wasteful to use that energy to produce hydrogen and then pipe it around, compared to storing it in batteries - either portable ones like in cars or bigger house or grid-sized ones.
If we have excess solar energy, it would be great to make recharging your car free at that time, although I know that's a pipe dream due to the profit motive.
I always figured the solution was a cantenary or third rail style system on major highways.
The EV trickle-charges and uses direct grid current while driving in between cities, and then a 200km range at the endpoint of the journey is more than ample.
You think you have two good points (refill time + H2 generation from water) but really you have nothing.
Hydrogen might fill a gap to replace large vehicles like buses or trucks but not passenger vehicles.
Those are great points, actually and your comment provides so little detail that I begin to question the intentions behind it.
We have yet to design many vehicles around a hydrogen fuel cell and we have yet to really realize it’s full potential as a power source, dismissing it on these grounds is simply short-signed thinking.
We can extract this resource from a very abundant resource, water, which is huge. With only energy (from the grid or a micro-grid) and water as inputs, you can produce a substance that is able to store energy for later use who’s only byproduct is water.
Semiconductors have HUGE upfront R&D cost, but marginal costs aren't that bad.
Same with PVs
I remember buying just a pair of bulbs for my first apartment in 2010 at $20 each, and now they're a dollar or two apiece.
I remember buying bulbs in 2010 at $20 each - I havent had to buy any since.
I do agree that EV's will eventually be much cheaper than ICE vehicles, since they're mechanically much simpler (they're basically a battery with an electric motors and 4 wheels). The devil is basically in the battery chemistry, which is extremely difficult to improve on.
Ignore all the "revolutionary" new batteries you hear about almost every week. None of them are heading for production for the same reasons: their capacity or durability are much lower than current Li-Ion batteries.
What we don't see here in North America are small cheap EVs for doing small tasks in the city. All EVs here are big and expensive. There is a huge proliferation of electric scooters in the city, in particular in low income areas, and while you may see the occasional 3 wheeler, you never ever see small 4 wheel EVs.
> In some cities, especially in the north they are nearly the majority of vehicles on the road.
lol, do you really live in Vietnam?
How many electric scooters do you see on the street in compare to the gasoline counterparts? Honda alone deliver about 2.7 million bikes per year in Vietnam. All of the Honda bikes are ICE. The number of new electric scooters is not even six figures.
> Toyota will never be very popular in Vietnam.
Recently Toyota is not as popular as some years ago. But they still ship the most passenger cars among other manufacturers last year.
Honda doesn't deliver 2.7 million bikes a year. Maybe they did a few years ago and your info is out of date? Sales of petrol bikes have been declining for a few years in Vietnam, as the market has become saturated.
Honda, Yahama, Suzuki, Piaggio, and SYM combined sold 2,492,372 units in 2021. And that wasn't a massive crash due to covid, sales were "only" down 8.1% compared to 2020. Honda is about 75% of the market. So around 1.8-1.9 million bikes.
> The number of new electric scooters is not even six figures.
Sure, I didn't say it was a big thing nationwide, I said some cities, so we're not really disagreeing. They make up 10% of sales now, not 50%, and even if they did it would takes year to replace all the aging bikes on the road.
I said there are some cities in the north where they are very popular; I'm not talking about Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. I don't pretend to know why some cities seem to have tons, whether it is local policy (I think this is what happened in central Hue) or because cheap Chinese ones have been available for a while (I think this explains some of the border towns) or what. Lạng Sơn is one place where I remember them being very popular.
> But they still ship the most passenger cars among other manufacturers last year.
Toyota sold 69,002 cars in 2021. Hyundai sold 70,518. THACO also technically sells more than Toyota but they sell under multiple brands so it's not really the same thing.
But you're right that I overstated things with Toyota; I was pushing back against the ridiculous claim that they will somehow have a monopoly and went too far.
Toyota sales from VAMA
Hyundai isn't part of VAMA so you need to see their sales from TC Motor
When you said "[electric scooters] especially in the north they are nearly the majority of vehicles on the road", it's definitely wrong. They are popular against certain demographic segments (e.g. students), but they're nowhere near the majority of vehicles on the road.
You have different opinions, bit rude to suggest the commenter is lying about where they live.
It's the internet. The entire state of the internet is to basically assume most comments and data are lies or at least partially true at best.
This is Hacker News. We hold discourse to a higher standard.
But implications of lying just divert the discourse from useful to emotive. HN is pretty good at trying to avoid that, long may it live.
Have to agree 100%. During my time there this year I saw maybe 1 or 2 electric scooters? I did see some Vinfast electric charging stations though.
Vietnam is still a relatively poor country (~$600USD/month average wage). It's going to take a long time before the current vehicles on the road are replaced with new ones.
It's still pretty common to see people riding around motorbikes from the 80's and 90's.
> But even if you limit yourself to cars, a friend just bought a Volvo S90 Recharge electric car to drive in Ho Chi Minh City.
The heck does this mean? Suddenly, vietnam is going to follow the trend and buy electric cars? This car costs something like $60k in Vietnam. The country gdp per capita is $2700. Most people who can buy cars will probably buy an old gas car.
The most common car I saw in Vietnam was some colossal Ford truck. Straight up American-sized and bigger than anything I’ve seen anywhere else in Asia.
Everything was either a tiny scooter, or a massive truck well oversized for the narrow and crowded roads.
In countries where wealth divides are big, people go all out on large and expensive items. I could see 60k electric cars taking off among the top 2%, which still amounts to millions of people.
Isn't that the point? That people in poor countries mostly buy old cars from other countries? Which currently of course means they are gas powered. But what about the day when old cars start to be mostly electric? Wouldn't electric cars become equally, if not more attractive to poor countries?
Electric cars don't age in same way as mechanic/based ones which we had 100 years to perfect. People buy those used cars from other countries because any skilled mechanic in dirt poor country can repair most of it, dismantle engine to last screw. And nobody is importing a Maserati for example.
I don't see this happening in EVs, at least not current generations. On super-proprietary cars like Tesla probably never.
Electric cars are made of the same metal and plastic that ICE cars are so we'll see. Wireless technology already allowed Africa to leapfrog over some of the mistakes of the west. EV vehicles backed by solar and stationary batteries may let them leapfrog again.
It absolutely happens with EVs as well.
I’m Ukrainian, here people have been importing totaled cars from US for years, including a lot of Nissan Leafs and Teslas. Some businesses restoring those totaled Teslas grew from a garage shop into large and successful enterprises.
I think this is a myth in several ways. First of all, modern ICE cars are anything but easily repairable with their complex exhaust treatment and turbo chargers. They are very delicate machinery and won't be on the roads for 40 years like cars from the 80ies might be.
And then, electric cars seem to be pretty easily repairable. Just look at all the home-built electric conversions. Or the guy who builds new Teslas out of totalled ones.
I think it is even the other way around. There was a startup in Germany which designed a small electric truck with Africa in mind. Basic, cheap, not only repairable but designed to be assembled by the customers. This is way cheaper to do with electric technology then with combustion engines.
Buses and taxis make the sense to switch to EV:s first, since they drive the most and the total lifetime cost is dominated by energy cost and maintenance, not the investment.
If you think about the limited battery supply chain, with the minerals, components, modules etc, it doesn't make so much sense to put them to huge battery SUV:s that mostly just sit on the driveway or office parking lot.
This too will eventually happen, but it's better for the economy and the climate to put them where they are actually displacing the most fossil fuels.
I think that's part of the problem I see with the discussion regarding EVs in that everything is framed with the concept of a car and that some how all cities across the world will have the same kind of infrastructure standards (aka US styled stroads, Euclidean zoning, and so forth). If anything, EVs like you stated are likely to be slimmer, slower, and more useful to get around on than just replacing the SUV's ICE components with batteries and electric motors.
Adding to that, vehicles with built in solar panels will also add some attractiveness to this for development countries. No need to pay for fuel/electricity.
Sure it might take up to a full day to get 50-100 miles in the battery, but with smaller vehicles (three wheelers, motor bikes etc) it will definitely work out. Certainly considering many development countries are mostly sunny places like south east Asia, Africa, and south America.
EV sales are going up everywhere, never mind op, its just the age old chauvinist speak.
Yes, but there's no profit in electric scooters for Toyota — anyone can make them.
Vietnam's transport stats are skewed by insane import and luxury taxes.
Dude, Tata just released a new EV, Tata Tiago, which has a range of 250 km, charges in 7 hours (or 1 hour fast charging).
Costs Rs. 9 lakhs, about 11,000 USD. They give a 7 year battery warranty.
For coty commutes, which is most of car usage in India, this is a perfect spot.
And Tata, has proven EV tech, via its Nexon EV range (400 km range, 22000 USD for the highest end version).
Tata cars have solid build quality, great resale value and are blindly trusted by many Indians.
It doesn't cost 9 lakhs. It costs 19 lakhs (about 23,000 USD). Tata cars never had solid build quality nor blindly trusted by Indians. Please state facts with sources than making false claims
> It doesn't cost 9 lakhs. It costs 19 lakhs
The source I found immediately showed a range from 8.5 to 11.8 lakh. If you're going to criticize someone for not providing facts and sources, you should do the same yourself.
 lot of ads warning https://auto.hindustantimes.com/auto/electric-vehicles/tata-...
GP is right, it costs nearly 18-19 lakh on road.
Auto websites are a much better source of prices.
However, there are cheaper EVs available from the Tata stable, such as Tigor EV for under 12 lakh, so the point stands.
The price comments are all talking about the Tata Tiago. The link you sent is about the price of the Tata Nexon, which isn't relevant.
I drive a Tata Nexon EV 30kwh battery, 3.5 KW charger which I bought for Rs 1.6 million (16 lakh). The new ones with 40kwh battery, 7 KW charger costs Rs 1.9 million (19 lakh). On road is lesser due to subsidies (not sure if there are any active subsidies).
Tata Tiago is priced much lesser. I would be vary of range as advertised (unlike many other countries). My car gives me practical range of 220 kms and the advertised range is 312 kms. I drive at 115 to 125 WH per km, my wife drives at 135 to 150 WH per km.
Tata Tiago (going to be released in 2023, announced yesterday) costs Rs. 9 lakhs. (11000 USD) - https://tiagoev.tatamotors.com
Tata Nexon EV (released a few years back) costs Rs. 16-19 lakhs. (23000 USD) - https://nexonev.tatamotors.com/
A medium model between the two also exists, Tata Tigor, costs about Rs. 14 Lakhs (17000 USD) - https://tigorev.tatamotors.com/
Tata cars are heavily built man. They are rock solid, have great safety ratings and many prefer them for their build quality.
What I understand is that in India
- Buy Maruti for efficiency and low cost of spares and service
- Buy Tata or Mahindra for build quality and sturdiness
- Buy Honda / Hyundai for good engines but high cost of spares and service.
I was originally going to bring up previous experiences (years ago) watching crash tests with Indian-market Tata cars being pretty much nightmares in crash tests, but looking at their recent stuff it doesn't look half bad. Good on all those engineers working hard to deliver a good product and save lives. If these EVs being talked about are on similar design platforms, they're probably pretty decent safety-wise.
You realize Tata's latest cars have the highest safety rating in India, right ?
All the Korean-Japanese makers otoh are selling sub-standard "tin-cans". Anyone who knows Hindi can check out what Indians broadly think of Tata (as opposed to say, Suzuki) on Youtube.
Their website lists 9 not 19 as the base price, as does multiple other sources. https://tiagoev.tatamotors.com/
Yeah, I don't know if I would associate Tata cars with "solid build quality, and blindly trsuted".. Cheap, less safe, but made for Indian roads - sure..
India's car industry is a bit of a sad story. The market is flooded with cheaper cars that would never think of showing up to any safety tests. The Volkswagens, Toyotas, and Fords that do come to the market are "made for India" models which means they are severely handicapped in the safety department in order to cut the costs to compete. VW at least a few years ago when I knew would sell you the same car platform, but good luck trying to get service for it anywhere in India without paying near German costs.
I have been living outside India for a long time, so my impressions may be outdated.
I mean, something has got to give. Of course we can also shift the goalpost by adding safety to any degree (and then we could do the same with the average gas driven cars used in the region you are looking at).
However, the claim merely stated: "EVs are definitely going to remain a first-world item for my lifetime at least". It's pretty safe to say, looking at what we already have and how quickly it scaled in the last years, that this is complete nonsense and will be increasingly so.
I don't excuse less safety-minded construction, but a lot of what makes modern cars in the West safer is equipment like side airbags, traction control, cameras and sensors, which in turn costs money. Construction standards haven't changed much since the invention of monocoque chasses.
Also, most traffic in India and other 3rd-world countries drives at much lower speeds than in the US etc.
> EVs are definitely going to remain a first-world item for my lifetime at least.
The largest EV market right now is China, and in India and other similar markets battery-swapping auto-rickshaws are increasingly common.
EVs in developing markets won't look like EVs in North America and Europe, but that doesn't mean that they won't be massive EV markets.
EVs have already hit it big in China now for more than a decade in the form of electric bicycles (the cheap kind, not the fancy > $1k ones we want in the west).
I guess all their coal fueled power stations produce lots of cheap electricity.
In India there are some relatively cheap EVs on sale, and they're all picking up stream.
By cheap, this is what I mean: the price of Tata Nexon EV is slightly over the price of Hyundai Accent (called "Verna" over here) and maybe equivalent to the price of a Kia Seltos. The Nexon EV is now a fairly common sight in Indian cities.
Then there's the slightly more expensive MG ZS EV, which at this point I'm seeing on the roads fairly frequently.
Haven't seen too many Hyundai Kona on the road. Tesla is unfortunately not in India yet. There are some super-expensive EV models from Mercedes and the likes, but those are very expensive.
(Disclaimer: I'm NOT affiliated in any way with any of the brands I mentioned).
While they are starting to sell more EVs in India, as soon as you travel even half an hour outside of a major city the infrastructure gets... rather average. While people who live in New Delhi will be able to charge their car, that's not the case in the majority of the country.
It's way easier to charge your EV in rural areas using local small scale wind/solar/hydro than it is to lug around immense amounts of liquid fuel to said remote areas.
You don't need hectares of panels to charge an electric rickshaw or a scooter.
You have to keep in mind that India’s best selling cars are usually under the 8 lakh price barrier. EVs are not there yet, but its only a matter of time before they go under that mark.
Tata is releasing Tiago EV in 2023, starting at 8.5 lakhs.
Tesla will have cars capable of driving across the country 100% autonomously by 2018.
Maybe The Tiago EV will ship for 8.5 lakhs, but I'll believe it once I actually see meaningful shipments at that price. Cool if they do though, don't get me wrong. But plenty of promises in the car industry get left at just promises.
I don't think you know how India works.
Tata has awesome reputation. Also, they have a 23000 USD Car, 17000 USD car and now they are taking bookings for this.
Also, the said car already has a gas version. This EV version is modified version of that, the exact thing they did with the other 2 EV cars (Both have gas versions)
Check out their website. Its not a concept car. It has actual production facilities and will be modified for EV versions.
I don't doubt the car will exist. I just wonder what the price will be when it ships in volume. Prices seem extremely variable these days.
I guess it would have been better to show the Model 3's $35k price point as example. Or the massive hikes the Mach E has had. Keeping car prices low has been challenging, especially EVs.
Good on them if they can keep those prices low for a while though!
Different countries entirely. Tata's vehicles may undergo some price inflation, but they're not suddenly going to become $50k vehicles intended for the US market. As for Tesla, why on Earth would they bother selling a $35k car when they're having trouble keeping the $45k one in stock? Same with the Mach-E and the F150 lightning.
> Tata's vehicles may undergo some price inflation, but they're not suddenly going to become $50k vehicles intended for the US market.
I get that, and I get the car mentioned will probably never even get close to $30k+USD equivalent.
> As for Tesla, why on Earth would they bother selling a $35k car when they're having trouble keeping the $45k one in stock?
As for Tata, what if they similarly can't keep the 8.5 lakhs version in stock? Why would you bother selling it for 8.5 if your entire output of those cars could sell for 9.5 or 12 lakhs? What's the secret sauce that means Tata can manufacture infinite cars while everyone else is seemingly so supply limited? How are you so sure Tata won't experience the same kinds of pressures Ford and Tesla and everyone else seems to be experiencing IRT making EVs?
And it's a no brainer from that point onwards. No need of being stuck at CNG pumps, no clutch, fully smooth automatic. Adoption is gonna happen fast.
The no clutch and better performance is a huge plus, and I don’t think Indians truly realize it because most haven’t driven decent automatic cars.
There are absolutely NO good cars with CVT or DCT transmission under 10 lakh. There used to be one model, Maruti Baleno, but that’s now switched to AMT instead.
If I can get CVT-like performance (or really, much better) for under 10L, I’ll take it. The EV is just the cherry on top.
In cities, Nexon EV has become a common sight. And Tata has made good effort to ensure EV and Non-EV look and feel the same.
It will be all electric because electric cars will be the most affordable. You can buy decent $3000 electric cars from alibaba.com today.  Check out this article about it. 
They're great assuming you'll never be on the road with any other 1 ton vehicle that might impact you at 30mph+. Then they're fiery death traps that you'd hope to never experience again, if you survive.
100Ah 12V battery? So an electric golf cart, supposedly rated to go up to 50mph, with a "bed" and four seats and a lot of extra weight and drag. You're barely going to go 10 miles at 30mph in this even without four people and cargo in the bed of this "truck".
Most of the world only needs a car that will do 45mph with a range of about 50 miles. Both the model T and model A would have struggled to do 50mph. Those cars effectively built the suburbs. About 50% of them are still on the road today, even though the last Model A rolled off the assembly line in the early 1930s, and the model T before that. LiFePO4 batteries are rapidly dropping in price, 100 miles of range is plenty for most families. Especially globally.
> Those cars effectively built the suburbs
Streetcars built the suburbs, then cars of the 40s and 50s expanded that. Model T and A proved the performance of cars, but they were still largely toys for the wealthy or workhorses. Not necessarily white collar workers commuting to the office.
Plus, suburbs didn't come into full force until after WWII in the US. Show me the massive amount of suburbs which were founded in the 1920s or earlier which were only accessible by car.
Most of the world only needs a car that will do 45mph with a range of about 50 miles.
What people need most of the time is basically irrelevent though. If you need a car to drive 20 miles a day for 364 days of the year, and 300 miles 1 day a year, then you need a range of 300 miles. It's the outliers that determine the requirements, not the typical use cases.
Nope, no they don't. You can rent a vehicle or use public transport for the 1 day special trip.
I did this calculation when I switched from ICE to a cheap EV. With just the money I save a gas+maintenance yearly our family can _fly_ to our yearly vacation spot (~1200km away) and rent the biggest fanciest Mercedes for the week. And we'll still have money left over.
Or we could load our EV on a night train, wake up at the destination and drive around all week.
Or we could rent an ICE car for the week.
There was zero point in spending ~20k€ more for the car just to match that once a year event.
With just the money I save a gas+maintenance yearly our family can _fly_ to our yearly vacation spot (~1200km away) and rent the biggest fanciest Mercedes for the week. And we'll still have money left over.
And if you need to do a second trip that year? Or a third? Or 10 extra trips? The marginal utility of a cheaper EV starts looking really expensive. This is how people think. Owning a car that can cope with the outliers is a hedge against a period where you have to make lots of unexpected long trips.
People enjoy the freedom of ICE cars and their ability to go on essentially unplanned long journeys. Giving that up to use a cheaper EV will be a very hard sell.
Unless employers suddenly start handing out extra months worth vacations, an extra family trip sounds unlikely, let alone 10.
I'm in the UK. 28 days of paid vacation time is the legal minimum (22 vacation days, plus 6 bank holidays). I get quite a lot more. Some places around the world have higher legal minimums. People in Brazil all get at least 30 days.
And people's plans are already made for whatever days they get, so unless there's a sudden influx of vacations, more trips just won't happen. That is of course expecting people can also afford extra trips, the locations themselves often being quite expensive.
And people's plans are already made for whatever days they get...
Maybe I'm unusual but I rarely have any plans further than a couple of months ahead. Whether I'll be going on any long trips in the next 12 months isn't something I have any idea about yet. It depends on loads of factors (money, weather, work, whether I can pick up a bargain, etc.)
Going anywhere where EV couldn't reach would most often require some sort of reservations; hotels, skiing resorts, museums, sight seeing etc all require some sort of planning if you don't want to absolutely burn money buying things ad-hoc, which would go counter the point of saving money with an ICE anyway.
A month or two in advance is just fine, most people can do as much. They do know how many days of vacation they get though, and it's unlikely to change, so any plan you have you keep.
I think you're vastly overestimating the resources the average person (read: income under 40k) has to do things like drive 300 miles in one direction, multiple times a year
The VW ID.Buzz is the only vehicle at the moment that could handle all the outliers of my life. (And maybe a Model X Tesla, but I'm not made of money).
I could go camping with it, I could use it to haul stuff. It can fit seven adults and two dogs at the same time.
But for daily driving it'd be a huge pain. I don't need a car that big 90% of the time, a smaller, nimbler car is much more practical.
I like to think about needing to daily drive a box truck because, hey, sometimes I move and need to take all my belongings from one place to another!
No, I don't. I'll rent a u-haul every now and then, and own the 95th+ percentile transportation machine.
Only if you assume that there are no alternatives to your personal car that can take care of that usecase. For example, I don't own a car despite needing to move heavy objects once or twice a year. I simply rent something, or ask a friend. That's much cheaper than owning something that I only need rarely.
Is it? My car doesn't go fly or go 600 mph, so it's basically useless to me on that yearly outlier trip that takes me cross-country to visit relatives. Somehow I manage though.
That's assuming you have the money to overfit to your 1% use case. Otherwise you're paying $xx,000 to drag around batteries that you don't need most of the time.
In a perfect world 90% of those massive vehicles would be replaced by golf carts, in cities with temperate climates at least.
Entirely depends on your point of view of a "perfect world" and the realism of that. I'd love to just have transporters entirely powered by 100% renewable energy capable to send me anywhere at light speed, but that's not the world we live in.
Does a "perfect world" imply me missing birthdays? Does it imply me missing lunch with close friends? Does it imply me not taking a job outside the local bus line? Does it imply me not visiting a dying relative? If I'm limited to either entirely public transit or a vehicle which can barely do 10 miles at 30mph then yes, I'll miss many of these things.
Covering only 95% cases means you save a lot of money, part of which can be used for those rare events. Does taking a taxi to see a dying relative a couple hundred miles away cost a lot? Sure, but owning a ton of unused capacity for years costs a lot more.
> EVs are definitely going to remain a first-world item for my lifetime at least
I disagree. iPhone remained a first world item. Smartphones are being adopted even in the poorest countries.
I'd argue that it's in the third world where the advantages of the EV are particularly important. Lower operating costs, simpler maintenance, local power sources.
Most of the developing world is where there is a lot of solar radiation. Solar PV has already the lowest generation costs. It's already the power source that requires the least capital investments, and works the best in the regions with underdeveloped infrastructure (see stories about Afghan farmers).
Yes, 50K vehicles are too expensive for countries with a GDP of < 10K per capita. They are even too expensive for most of the EU. But eventually the cost parity will be reached, and at some point it will be more economical to produce budget and low margin EVs than to support a legacy supply chain of ICE vehicles.
Even the bleakest estimates predict EV cost parity in 10 years. 20 years for nearly complete fleet replacement. So in 30 years or so an ICE vehicle will be like a steam engine. TCO parity will happen sooner, and most vehicles are replaced after 10 years, so the majority of the cars will be EVs in 15 years or so (in high GDP countries). And if the majority of the cars produced are EVs, and they are less expensive, the developing world will switch too.
This is a very narrow view that probably stems from the fact that people in the US tend to think only of Teslas and other luxury cars when they think of EVs. Low end EVs, of kinds that either wouldn't obtain road safety approval in the US or appeal to consumers who are looking for large comfort cars, are rapidly emerging and are poised to dominate China, India and other non-Western countries in coming years
In many ways cars are basically a first world item, even today. Go to various urban centres worldwide and you’ll find a majority of other vehicle types.
That's roughly my thinking on Toyota's strategy if we give them the benefit of the doubt. They want to own a larger piece of the ICE pie as it shrinks. This is a great strategy. What they might not appreciate is that the oil pie will also shrink and that both of these industries will have increasing costs across their entire supply chains as volumes diminish. Their vehicles will suffer for both ICE tech and gasoline propulsion and be completely outcompeted on cost and convenience. This will happen over a much shorter time frame than they expect.
Green solutions are part of the continuing decentralization through technology and will be just as popular in developing countries as in first world countries. One practical example of this is that green tech can be financed in bite-sized chunks, compared to the large commitments needed for power plants.
I think you're greatly underestimating momentum for the change. China and India are first hand feeling the effects of climate change, global warming, cyclical warming or what ever we want to call it. They may not be able to switch off of fossil fuels immediately, but their politicians and bureaucrats aren't walking around blindfolded either. Meanwhile russias barbaric war in Ukraine and energy (and food) blackmail has put Europe (and really rest of the world) on notice about relying on fossil fuels. Europe will never go back to fossil fuels at least in pre Feb 20200 capacity, and is on overdrive to move to non-fossil fuels. Fossils are out, electricity is in. And so will be EVs.
How much longer are you planning to live?
EVs WILL be the VAST majority of autos sold globally in 30 years.
Depending on the curve, ICE vehicles could still make up the majority of vehicles on the road - but the writing for them will have been on the wall for a long time - probably within 10 years.
> EVs WILL be the VAST majority of autos sold globally in 30 years.
They won't. You underestimate the amount of investment needed to upgrade grids, add capacity to account for EVs, and the cost of upgrade to new cars.
Edit: and the cost of scaling up battery production
We already have a lot of excess capacity at night. Slowly charging EVs could even be a net-boon for required peaker plants if people could cover their own needs for the 15% of the day
Without the current economies of scale, petrol production will explode in price and become completely unaffordable.
That was my first thought. Once the world's richest economies hit the EV tipping point where automotive gasoline becomes a shrinking market, gas costs are going to go crazy, especially since things like refining capacity will go down as costs are cut and new investment goes to zero.
The market for cheap electric cars and scooters/bikes will explode as consumers worldwide see the price of gas get higher and higher. Many of these cheap EVs won't be sold (or even legal to sell) in North America, but someone somewhere will meet that demand.
The telling fact is that oil companies refuse to start new oil fields even when they have the permissions.
Opening up a new field costs mucho $$ and it takes a while to pay it back before it'll start making a profit. And it seems that their analysis shows that 25+ years in the future they're not making as much as they are today so there's no point in spending money up front.
It's easier just to sell their existing inventory at insane prices.
I can totally imagine underdeveloped countries where you’ll find a lot of:
- Used Chinese EVs which costed around 10-15k USD new.
- Used and older upmarket EVs.
- Low speed and low range EVs that cost around 1-2k USD new.
This is ignorant of the facts. China has many very cheap EVs for from scooters to bikes to trikes to small carts to small cars all the way to buses, and they are used across the entire economic spectrum.
Getting gas is not easy. But have a solar or wind slowly charging an easier to maintain vechicle … why 1st world. In fact due to apartment living some cannot go there.
Apartment living + EV is not a technical problem, it's 100% a political/social one.
> Apartment living + EV is not a technical problem, it's 100% a political/social one.
It is not 100% political. In a single family home you can (usually) put enough solar panels on the roof to charge an EV. An apartment has only one roof for dozens (or even hundreds) of apartments, so that's not going to work.
Why would you need panels? You just need a power plug that's connected to the same grid as the home/apartments.
It's a technical problem, too. You can't just run an extension cord and happily power vehicles for an apartment block.
Depends on your aparment blocks of course. Over here we have parking spaces for residdents living in apartments, which have electrical outlets. The space is already there, just needs an electrical upgrade
"just" carries a lot of weight in that sentence
Considering we've switched from overhanging wires to putting our electric infrastructure underground (very, very expensive), I think we can pull off upgrades in parking lots too.
You need to run a fancy extension cord and use a professional to do it. That's pretty much it. You can spend a little extra to get load balancing if needed, the tech is multiple decades old.
The only issue is people being against it politically/socially.
Ah yes. Let's forget about the additional load on the grid. All we have to do is run a fancy cord
The chargers can either do it by themselves (adjust load to match hookup to grid) or the power company can manage it. Usually it's a lot easier just to manage it locally.
Ah yes. That's probably the reason that you "just" need to install a separate substation next to charging stations. Because it's "just" easy with a 50+ year technology.
Ah, we seem to have differing views of what is a "charging station".
You're thinking of the fridge-sized units with the wrist thick black CCS cable. Yes, those need very specific grid hookups.
I'm thinking of, you know, a household plug. The kind an American would plug in their dryer to. You don't need a separate substation to run a dryer, right? Even if an apartment building has 20 of them.
One of those can charge 100-150km of range to a car overnight easily, which is more than the average person drives every day. YMMV.
> You don't need a separate substation to run a dryer, right?
Oh yes, you do. If too many people run too many electrical appliances, the grid needs to be upgraded.
In truly underdeveloped countries, the gas infrastructure is worse than the electric grid. EVs give the country an excuse to focus on one infrastructure instead of two. Underdeveloped countries are in a decent place to leapfrog the developed world on EV adoption because there's less reliance/inertia in existing gas infrastructure and vehicles.
(Just as some underdeveloped countries have been able to jump over transitionary steps in internet infrastructure and where they are seeing investments in internet infrastructure it is often faster on average than developed world averages because they jump straight to fiber everywhere skipping over many copper wire intermediaries.)
>If you’ve stepped outside a devolved country for even a few days…
I've noticed, especially recently, that a lot of tech people are hilariously out of touch with anything outside of first-world metropolitian environments.
Americans are famous for not realizing that there's an entire world outside their borders. They think everyone needs to go 80 mph on the highway, sorry _freeway_ for 1-2 hours to get to their job.
It's not necessarily Americans.
For example, anytime I see someone espousing the virtues of EVs and lambasting pickup trucks and SUVs, or how <popular> infrastructure should be just erected, nearly every time they are only concerned/knowledgable with city life and don't have a single clue what life in rural/undeveloped regions are like. Sometimes I wonder if they even understand how the world functions in general.
Incidentally, yes, some people do need to drive an hour or two down the freeway to commute. Not everyone has the luxury of, nor necessarily likes, city life with decent public transport and tight population density.
Most of the world's population lives in cities, and the trend shows no sign of abating, even with the pandemic. It is completely fair to prioritize energy and land usage there.
A rural/suburban lifestyle where you commute hours a day is inherently energy-intensive, and the rising price of oil is going to put a serious cramp in the lifestyles of wannabe ranchers. Not to mention that roads and oil is pretty seriously subsidized by governments as they are essential for commerce. What happens when oil gets too expensive even after subsidies? Let's see. So far the SPR of the US has had the biggest drawdown in its history just in 2022 in an attempt to rein in the price of oil. I daresay that ends with the Midterms.
You can have decent public transport with low population density, it just costs more (but probably less, or at least not more by a lot, than alternatives, if all externalities are included). Switzerland has villages of hundreds of people served by regular frequent rail (and it's pretty much the norm). Bulgaria, the poorest country in the EU, has that too (in very specific cases, not as a general rule, but still).
> Toyota is going to be the monopoly automaker in every underdeveloped country and will be laughing all the way to the bank
You are probably aware that ICE vehicles can run on LPG or hydrogen and even diesel cars can run on synthetic dimethyl ether (DME). A PHEV with a 10 kWh battery or an EV with a small backup combustion generator make total sense as one can charge at home with a wall charger. Use the car regularily for urban trips of less than 50 km and run on some sort of fuel when one needs extended range for extraurban trips. Renault did exactly this with the new Captur PHEV. In markets where suffcient H2 infrastructure becomes available, automakers could sell a variant with a H2 tuned engine and fuel tank, in other markets they could continue to sell the gas version or gas/LPG. Of course, if one wants people to use LPG rather then gas, the gas tank can be made smaller as it's only required at power startup. Others automakers targeting first world countries with sufficient H2 infrastructure will use fuel cells combined with a smaller battery to accomplish the same thing and fully ditch the ICE.
I too think Toyoda-san has the right market approach. They also have a headstart in H2 tech.
Hydrogen is a totally different beast than LPG or NG, needing much different fuel lines and engines.
Toyota has demonstrated this on the Corolla H2 Concept. Their CEO, Akio Toyoda also raced this car to emphasize safety. The engine is not fundamentally different from e regular ICE engine, probably other seals, fuel lines and injectors. A quote from the press release:
The car utilizes the turbocharged inline-3-cylinder engine from the GR Yaris, but with a few alterations to accommodate the hydrogen fuel.
Because the hydrogen is delivered in pressurized gas form, the same kind used in its Mirai FCEVs, Toyota teamed with Denso to develop special fuel injectors that could safely and efficiently introduce the hydrogen—which has a higher ignition temperature than gasoline and eight times the combustion speed—into the combustion chambers.
“Controlling abnormal combustion is the key to hydrogen engines,” said Naoyuki Sakamoto, the Chief Engineer of the project. “The abnormal combustion has the potential to add stress to the engine hardware. Therefore, we developed high-heat parts as well as adjusted the ignition timing and fuel ratio for the Corolla Sport H2 Concept.”
There’s a reason why many countries are transitioning to EVs, and it’s not mainly for the environment. With the end of cheap oil and the rise of economical EVs from companies like Tara, I feel that you’re wrong on this one.
Toyota is living in the past, and resting on their laurels just like GM did decades past. I used to be a Toyota loyalist. Not anymore when it’s clear where the future lies
> EVs are definitely going to remain a first-world item for my lifetime
Lithium-ion cars, sure. The EV category, however, is far larger. Economies of scale go both ways. If "everyone other than Toyota goes completely electrics," maintaining consumer gasoline-distribution infrastructure becomes solely Toyota's problem.
You need to factor in that China is pushing heavily for EV and Chinese car manufacturers will handle part of the demand for cheaper EV in China and other countries.
Same for India, Tata will probably not stop making combustion engines for a while but they will have to produce cheap EV for their market and abroad.
Toyota may resist for a while but they will lose market share in luxury and middle-range cars as combustion engines get banned or at least restricted in wealthy countries and will remain too expensive for emerging markets.
So Toyota may end up producing the cheaper models of ICE cars only.
I think once they figure out self-driving, car ownership will plummet and most family cars will be replaced with self-driving taxis and shuttles, which will be electric.
Society subsidizes car ownership to an extreme degree, from the environmental impact, parking space to road infrastructure etc.
A lot of people live in cities, and in a lot of cities, there is just not enough space for cars.
There is no way humans give up control over their own vehicle. This isn't a practical issue it's a psychological one.
I'm from Sri Lanka and Nissan Leafs are everywhere. Even I used to drive one a while back. My brother still drives one.
They aren't that now. You can get a used Leaf for $6k.
Would love to know where all the $6k Leafs are hiding now. Your statement was true before the pandemic and the used car market becoming wild. Now cars that would sell for that price are being listed for $12-15k…
Yea and it will have a range of ~50 miles if you’re lucky.
You can spend $3.5-6k plus labor to replace a leaf’s battery with a reconditioned battery. It can work out to a reasonable investment.
So 10k+ in for a 5+ year old car with a “reconditioned” battery that should last another year or two for 100 miles range on a good day? All the early Leafs suffer from short range along with terrible battery degradation. Where’s the value in that against my current paid for ICE car that will last me another 100k plus miles with no range degradation and that can charge to 400 miles in less than 5 minutes?
If you compare "your current paid for ICE" to any other vehicle ever made, it's always a bad proposition. No calculation in the world will make it worth it.
ICE used cars have similar problems, at least with the used EV I know mostly what I’m getting myself into. ICEs don’t degrade, they just break.
Sure, but they usually don’t cost so much to fix. Most engines don’t catastrophically fail and in the given scenario an ICE car would be a better choice than a used electric with a reconditioned batter.
Labor these days is super pricey. Like parent, they tacked on $6k to install a $4k battery. The same thing is happening in auto shops if you can’t DIY a cheap part repair.
What kind of similar problems are you referring to? A punctured gas tank? That seems fairly obvious to me.
What do you mean by break? Everything at some point breaks. If you do your research to buy a quality and cared for vehicle in the first place, keep it maintained, 300k miles is of minimal cost and effort.
That would get plenty of people to work and back in a lot of cities.
I suspect we'll see an overlap in wealthier households of a petrol or plug in hybrid for longer journeys, and a second hand EV for the daily commute, idling in traffic wastes significant petrol.
> EVs are definitely going to remain a first-world item
And that's fine. Remember, EV cars don't just compete with ICE vehicles. They compete with walkable cities, bicycles, scooters(ICE or EV), busses and other mass transit. They will face that competition even in the first-world.
Android is doing well in non-first world countries and Android takes a ridiculously small portion of the global handset profits.
I feel like we are also quietly ignoring their large investment into fully EV vehicles.
Why do you think this? It seems unrealistic and unsupported to me.
Good points. Plus, there are many countries and districts where it is just not feasible. Wander into the deserts or jungles and tell me how to reliably operate and refuel EVs in those harsh environments. Toyota leads the way with offerings like the Land Cruiser, Prado, Hilux, etc.
How do you refuel ICEs in harsh environments? Someone has to drive the huge tanker full of fuel over there a bunch of times a week, right? What if there's a some kind of weather event and the roads are unavailable for two weeks, how does the Land Cruiser get refueled then?
With EVs people in remote locations can have local infrastructure to generate what they need locally.
You can carry gas tanks with you on long desert crossing trips, and refuel in minutes. How are you going to do that with an EV? Not to mention that the high heat (45+ C) might take a toll on the range of batteries.
I can grab a generator and jerrycans full of diesel =)
But seriously, if you're doing a bunch of long desert crossing trips it's a good idea to keep using an ICE.
People in hot countries still tend not to drive several hundred mile trips trough the desert, they work reasonably close to where they live. For whatever around-the-globe fun trip you can of course rent whatever you want
>There will be $20,000 economy EVs
The mindset of the group of people that think $20,000 is economy (and that it "will" definitely get done) reflects everything that is wrong with a lot of recent ESG propaganda and policies. That is, ignorance of the state of most of the world outside of rich, first class bubbles.
New ICE cars are also $20K these days. That's also unaffordable for a lot of people, but they don't buy new cars.
The problem is that EV cars have a finite lifespan on the most expensive component of the car... the battery. It is not modular despite being composed of several individual cells, and often you are not allowed to work on it yourself. Once the battery is dead that's it. You either pay 3k or bust.
> EV cars have a finite lifespan
But the same is true of ICE cars. Transmission, engine, catalytic converter, fuel pump, alternators (not to mention routine maintenance like oil changes). EV's win on ongoing maintenance, and even if you have to replace a battery at an authorized dealership, you will still come out ahead versus the maintenance cost you would have otherwise paid.
In terms of 'catastrophic battery failure' compared to 'catastrophic engine failure' - not sure the EV would lose that battle either.
In short, yes, EV's have a finite lifespan, but so do ICE cars, and ICE cars are much more complicated, with many more expensive components that can fail, and are extremely expensive to replace.
Engines and transmissions last 15+ years, easily 20+ with regular maintenance. Everything else you mentioned is cheap and easy to replace.
Yes, other than the battery, EVs are very low maintenance. But that doesn't matter at all to low income people who usually buy 10 year old cars. They are guaranteed to owe a large repair bill on any car that is available to them.
Batteries last a long time too. The Leaf is a bad example because they messed up the battery management somehow, but there are Teslas on the road with lots of miles and very little battery degradation.
Batteries last well when you have a large one (daily commute is a 15% discharge, not a 90% discharge) and active thermal management.
The EVs I see on the second-hand market for $2000 have neither. It'll be a few years before I can get a used tesla for $2000.
I don't think many people claim that the used EV market is very good right now. It will become a lot better in another ten to twenty years though.
There's an interesting statistical bias in the Used EV Market that first owner life statistics are way up on average versus comparable ICE models. We're edging past the point where that's likely "just" a symptom of early adopters and it may indicate easier maintenance curves on EVs and longer useful lifetimes for EVs and that the used EV market may look very different than the used ICE market. Though as stated, it will likely be another decade or two before we have a stable market to figure that out.
What you're saying doesn't make any sense. Catalytic converters, fuel pumps, and alternators are easy to replace. This doesn't mean that ICE cars just disappear from the road when those components fail.
Anyone with mechanical knowledge, tools, and patience can rebuild an engine or a transmission. It really is not that difficult.
When you have a vehicle with a monolithic conformal battery pack, once you can't buy a new one the car is junk. Unless you just so happen to own a factory you can afford to retool.
There will be a huge 3rd party industry replacing and upgrading batteries for EVs.
It doesn't exist yet beyond some small enterprises because there isn't enough volume: even 10+ year old EVs are still going strong with very few battery issues. We need to wait longer to get any business going.
There was a dude in Finland who replaced and upgraded Nissan Leaf batteries, he had to stop because it was a) impossible to get new batteries due to huge demand b) ran out of customers.
I've thought about doing this, but I envision the legal headaches and DRM that will inevitably creep into the batteries being not worth the effort. It's even possible to DRM at the cell level, and I fully expect OEMs to do that.
You can't get DRM "at the cell level". The batteries are just simple Panasonic 18650s, adding some DRM component to each and every one of them would be cost-inefficient and would also cause a huge problem if the chip fails during warranty.
The controllers are black boxes though, but you can get 3rd party units for Tesla batteries _today_. JerryRigEverything on Youtube built his own EV Hummvee on the military chassis using some Model X batteries and all 3rd party electronics.
It wasn't plug and play, but perfectly doable in a semi-well stocked home garage.
The bigger problem is batteries have moved into "structural elements" in the current "skateboard" designs. Removing the batteries potentially damages the foundational structure of the car and may need expensive mitigations.
Not following you here: Your suggestion for evidence that 3rd party batteries will be available is that some guy in Finland couldn't get enough supply?
A single hobbyist in Finland could run a profitable business replacing Nissan Leaf batteries unofficially. The dude managed to install a 25% larger battery in the car and fool the on board computer to accept it.
Just imagine what can be done with actual resources and R&D.
The current limiting issue isn't skill or technology, but available new batteries. They can't make them fast enough even for new cars, never mind for spare parts.
But when battery production ramps high enough, there's absolutely nothing preventing people from upgrading existing batteries with more modern tech - bigger battery capacity in the same space.
There will also be a huge industry converting "dead" EV batteries to in-house battery backups. A car with 50% battery degradation is a bit iffy, but the battery will still have tens of kWh of usable capacity. Enough to run a house for a day or two in a pinch - or just store cheap energy and sell it back to the grid when the price goes up.
"But when battery production ramps high enough"
If we're talking hypothetically, why not just expect someone to develop a battery that lasts forever?
There are no technological or supply barriers to the battery production ramp-up.
It just takes time to build enough factories to produce enough.
>Anyone with mechanical knowledge, tools, and patience can
Just like everyone with a PC and an internet connection can become a software developer; there are a few steps in between why it doesen't "just" happen
I don't think he is making the argument that anyone can/will do it, but that there is and will be plenty of mechanics willing and able to do the work and able to procure the parts, which he saying will not be the case with replacement battery packs on old cars.
There is some reason to believe this; stories like this  are going around, where EV owners have been told they need to replace the battery pack but, by the way, the part cannot be procured.
Why are you assuming that new batteries will not be available?
> Transmission, engine, catalytic converter, fuel pump, alternators
I have driven approximately 700k miles across five vehicles and never touched any of these, nor have I ever been concerned about them, except with the vague idea such things can become a problem around ~250-300k miles.
What I have had enormous trouble with in all ICE cars is the electronics, which if anything are more populous in EVs.
The idea that "EV maintenance is clearly superior to ICE maintenance" seems like a baffling canard to me, aside from relieving me of the very minor burden of changing my oil twice a year or so, and some even more infrequent $20 filter replacements or simple spark plug replacements I've had to do exactly once which required only a deep socket. I've done more maintenance on my desktop computer.
Which miles were you driving on those ICEs? The first 100k will have few issues. Same applies for EVs.
I have driven similar amounts and I've had to replace:
- Turbo (~1k€)
- Radiator (300€)
- Dual-mass flywheel (1.5k€ combined with the clutch)
- DPF (would've cost upwards of 2k€, bypassed it for 500€)
Dunno if you always drove brand-new cars or were really lucky.
For my current EV (2,5 years of ownership) I've had to replace the cabin filter twice and I've filled the washer fluid a half dozen times. That's it.
I’ve had a few electronics failures happen within two years of owning a car. Let’s give your EV a lot longer than two years before we pass judgement on it, though. I’ve had displays fail at 30k, that’s obviously not an ICE problem. (It was bad solder.)
None of my cars stayed with me longer than 220k, but I have never heard of anyone that wasn’t driving cars from the 70s and 80s having to do those things, or with very high mileage.
The drivetrain in an EV is WAY simpler than any ICE. That alone will provide a ton of reliability. There's pretty much just one moving part in the engine and it's pretty binary. It's either working or it's completely broken.
No more weird running issues where it works just fine to 2000rpm, but at 4000rpm makes that weird noise. Or the transmission rattles a bit at exactly 3700rpm, but is fine on other rpms.
Yes, an electric motor is conceptually simpler. Yes, there’s less moving parts. But the powertrain in modern cars is engineered to a point where it is incredibly reliable and can be expected to last to the point where the rest of the car is falling apart too.
There will be plenty of “weird running issues” from software bugs and electronics failures, which are the worst and least reliable parts in ICE cars as well. An EV is not just a simple electric motor packed into a case.
Finally, as I noted elsewhere in the thread, Tesla is offering the same powertrain warranty on Model 3s that Kia is offering on their ICE cars. Clearly Tesla doesn’t have any more faith in electric powertrains than Kia has in ICE powertrains. If the EV powertrain was really so much more reliable than ICE, Tesla would be offering a standard 250k mile warranty on the powertrain instead of the same 100k warranty offered by some ICE manufacturers.
Engine work, transmission maintenance or rebuild, replacing fuel pump, belts, alternator, etc. these are all totally standard and very common repairs for ICE vehicles no matter how many miles you say you’ve driven without having to touch them…
EV maintenance costs have been well studied at this point and are lower than ICE, and for very sensible reasons, it’s not a mystery or a canard.
There have been many many studies. Here’s a random one;
Very common? You have anything to back that up? I don’t even know anyone whose had to do any of that. I know that people do, but certainly not “commonly” unless they’re driving a very old, high mileage car they don’t want to part with.
I’ve seen lots of electronics failures. This will only be worse in EVs, or at least EVs like Teslas, where things like door handles have been motorized.
The average age of a car is ~12 years in Finland. Out of the 7 people I often interact with that have cars, 7 have had those, and a lot of other parts fail
Either there is something especially harsh about Finland's environment, or whatever cars they're making there are uniquely bad. That's absolutely unheard of where I live. 12 years is definitely not what I meant by "old".
Of course a sufficiently old car will be falling apart, whether it's part of the "ICE" or not - the suspension and shocks will be need to be replaced, door seals degraded or positively worthless, interior will be faded and cracking, wheel bearings fail, AC compressor goes out, various sensors fail (my favorite so far was the antitheft sensor)...when everything starts going bad, that's when I would expect the engine to be just be worn; basically, I would expect the ICE to last as long, or outlast, the rest of the car, save any issues on the left hand of the bathtub curve from manufacturing defects that should be covered under warranty. What you're saying is totally wild and alien to me. Mechanics must get a lot of business there.
If EVs are so reliable and maintenance free, why is the Tesla drivetrain warranty only 100k miles on the Model 3? That's no different than many ICE cars (eg I know Kia has the same warranty on ICE cars), and also well within the middle of the bathtub curve for an ICE car.
A thing to consider is the average means there are tons of older cars in the mix, but some new ones slowly creeping in. There are lots of cars from the 90s or even 80s driving around where I'm from. Weather can be quite unforgiving for cars here, temperature ranging from -25C(-13F) to +30C(86F) year round. Lots of salt and some types of pavement seem to be exceptionally bad for timing gears. Owning a car is likely the most expensive thing a normal person can do in Finland.
I think it's fair to say, based on your own link which is about research into why timing belts are not lasting as long as everywhere else (a third to half the time!), some of this is outlier. And they note that this dust would also abnormally wear brakes, anything rotating, and the car's painted surfaces, which EVs also have.
But for the rest of it, like temperature differences...this is still going to be a major impact on EVs, and like ICE cars, it won't be just the engine you have to worry about.
As I noted upthread, Tesla has the same powertrain warranty that, say, Kia has. It isn't much of a testament to the vaunted EV reliability that the most famous EV manufacturer doesn't have more faith in their electric powertrains than Kia does in their ICE powertrains.
There are teslas getting half a million miles on them already..
Okay. I know a guy with 500k on his Ford Ranger. That doesn’t tell us anything about average maintenance in that time, or over time.
Years matter as well, not just mileage. I have a 20 year old truck and the interior is basically just destroyed from sunlight and time.
Each of those components can be replaces for much less. I recently spent 700 on replacing the alternator, 12v battery, engine pulley, and spark plugs. That's significantly less than replacing an EV battery.
EV batteries generally don't die outright. They just lose capacity. So instead of a 300 mile range you have a 250 or 200 mile range. It's still a useful vehicle, just not as valuable.
> EV batteries generally don't die outright.
True. But since every point has at least three counterpoints (true, false and anywhere in between), I will provide a counterpoint.
> They just lose capacity. So instead of a 300 mile range you have a 250 or 200 mile range. It's still a useful vehicle, just not as valuable.
This is true for urban environments where infrastructure is plentiful, and making it to the next recharging station is not a problem.
There are, however, many places on this planet that have resisted urbanisation (for one reason or another). On the A87 highway from Adelaide to Alice Springs in Australia, service stations can be up to 300 kms apart in some places. Losing 150 km of the driving range out of 450-500 kms on a brand new battery means that the vehicle will not be able to make it to the next service / recharging station.
People going across South Australia into Western Australia on the federal highway bring extra fuel along because there are no service stations in between. Yes, people still travel by cars and, no, they can't bring a spare battery with them but they bring extra canisters filled up with petrol/diesel. Also, going up the coast in Western Australia can be a pretty harrowing or even lethal experience if the vehicle runs out of power especially at the turn of dry and wet seasons when weather turns a holiday road trip into a gamble with life.
Cape York in Far North Queensland is not electrifed at all, and is powered locally by diesel generators. Electric vehicles are of no use in Cape York.
I imagine there are multiple similar fringe areas in countries such as Canada, the US (Alaska certainly comes to mind), Argentina, Brazil, Russia, west and nort-west of China and probably many others that require the infratructure to be built first and, until that happens, the liquified hydrocarbons are still the only viable option.
Service stations can be 300 km apart because this seems to be an acceptable distance with gas powered cars. If there is a demand for service stations every 150km, wouldn't you think they would be built?
The remote regions you describe, currently powered by diesel generators (where does that fuel come from?), isn't there an incentive to power them by solar and also charge electric cars that way?
And even if there are some remote spots on earth where electric cars are not useful, how large is the market share for cars for these regions? If Toyota continues to make land cruisers for those regions, what does it matter for eletrifying 99% of all other cars?
Generally with far apart service stations they can't be closer because everything between is desolate. These stations are already on the outskirts of civilization, there isn't support to have people drive an extra 150km to man a service station.
Depending on geography diesel comes from boats, tanker trucks or planes. Solar might start getting some niche use, but it's not reliable even with batteries at a reasonable scale. The main benefit to diesel generators is it's pretty easy to fix and maintain them with minimal equipment. The amount of diesel per person for a generator isn't that much, even smallish planes can carry about a week of diesel for about 10-20 people.
Service station distance is also a factor of gas supply chains. You need gas trucks to stop at stations every so often. They could be closer together, but that means more truck stops and that means more labor costs, etc.
EV charging stations just need an electric grid connection. Some maintenance/labor is still a good idea, but it isn't necessarily the same regularity and overhead costs of a trucking-based supply chain.
Being able to point out niche situations where stock EVs with degraded range would, right now, be a problem is not an argument against shifting to a mostly- or completely-EV world over the course of several decades. It's an argument in favor of making the kinds of changes to our infrastructure that such a transition will require and support.
Maybe these situations will require more service stations be built. Maybe they'll require the development of better towable battery packs. Maybe they'll require the development of specialized vehicles for the, relatively speaking, very small number of people who need to make these trips on a regular basis.
What they don't require is maintaining our horribly-wasteful fossil fuel based transport system indefinitely.
This is true, but an EV that needs a battery swap is still carrying along a ton of mechanics that, compared to an ICE vehicle, are likely to be in generally better condition.
People used to do powertrain replacements on used cars, after all. (Maybe still do? The used cars I see are generally in better mechanical shape these days.)
> The problem is that EV cars have a finite lifespan on the most expensive component of the car... the battery
Then they get less range, they don't die completely..
This is one of those statements which are true only if you live in California.
A 5-6 year old EV battery is unusable in winter at low-ish temperatures. Not only do you lose range when parked, you can be in real trouble if you’re stranded in a snowstorm.
These issues are manageable with a new car of course!
> This is one of those statements which are true only if you live in California.
I definitely don't live in California.
> A 5-6 year old EV battery is unusable in winter at low-ish temperatures.
A brand new EV gets less range in winter. A used EV gets less range in winter. A used EV in winter gets less range still.
But that doesn't make it unusable, it just changes the use case. A 300km range (when new) EV might reliably get 50% range in winter, and 70% range when 6 years old, combining for 35% of new range when used and in winter - plenty of buffer for an average driver's commute, but wouldn't want to use it for a winter road trip.
> you lose range when parked
Same applies whether it's a new EV or a used. If I were driving an EV in the winter (gets to -20C here regularly), I'd definitely be looking to park somewhere I could plug in - which are pretty common. As is, I drive an ICE, and I have to turn my car on for a few minutes to warm the engine before I start driving (or else the windshield becomes an unusable fogged-up mess before the end of the block)
> you can be in real trouble if you’re stranded in a snowstorm.
Yes, monitoring weather is important regardless of your vehicle choice. The only time I've been stuck in a snowstorm was when knowingly going for a weekend camping trip when a blizzard was forecast. (the solution was bring extra food in case we got stuck)
> These issues are manageable with a new car of course!
Or used. It's all about anticipating a situation.
ICEs have less range in winter too and you're always in trouble if you're stranded in a snowstorm.
3k is pretty cheap for what is effectively an overhaul of the vehicle. You can easily spend 3k on an ICE car in repairs in the same span of time.
A reconditioned EV battery is literally an old EV battery with new cells. The old cells are recycled, their lithium is mostly reused.
> It is not modular despite being composed of several individual cells, and often you are not allowed to work on it yourself.
At least with current tech, battery chemistry makes such replacement extremely tricky without a full replacement. You can technically swap individual packs in a Model S/X battery, but it'll inevitably die because of how voltage balancing works.
Packs each with their own BMS would be interesting but I'm sure the automakers have already considered the tradeoffs for a lot of ideas like this.
This is quite amusing. Unless the battery has some cliff where it stops working (very unlikely) my anecdotal experience is that the battery has a very slow degradation rate (2-3% over 5 years - great considering I have a 75mi roundtrip commute).
On the other hand, I don't pay for: oil/fluid changes, filter replacements, transmission/engine rebuilds or smog checks. Probably forgetting a half dozen other things too.
Add all that up and it's a free battery replacement in 10 years which I don't even think I'll need.
What does fundamentally prevent a battery from being worked on? Finite lifespan applies to anything. Not being modular seems like an odd criteria to impose. Surely you can open a battery and work on its sub-parts. Not allowed to work on it? I don't know if you're being sarcastic or not, but vast majority of the world does not have the same set of laws and regulations.
The economics just seem different. The batteries lose capacity with time, compared to ICE cars that wear out with miles.
3k? That’s a Prius salvage battery.
EV batteries won’t get replaced in 20k cars anymore than engines are. You total it out at that point.
It's a pipe dream that we could have regulatory sense, but if they were standardised this would not be a problem, you'd just pay $200/kWh or whatever the going rate is at the time.
I don’t want standard boring in my phones (I iPhone) and I don’t want standard boring cars in my car (I Tesla). In both cases I opt into vendor repair lock-in for a better product.
Proprietary monoliths where you have to take or leave the entire package based on what is most profitable is not how you get creativity and innovation.
If you had to rent your cell phone off of ma bell with no other equipment allowed on the network we wouldn't have iphones.
If roads had ford specific infrastructure like the future elon imagines we wouldn't have tesla.
A balance between interoperability, end user control, and freedom for manufacturers is how you get innovation. In the current auto market you have none of the above.
That's not too far off from the cost for a replacement for the Model S packs. It can be much less expensive than $200/kwh for third party shops, as the bad battery can be refurbished often offsetting much of the cost.
In both of those cases the cost is $x and a mostly functional battery. This is substantially higher than $x and will track with the cost of dealing with whatever anti repair countermeasures tesla puts in place, not the cost of storage..
For all the talk of "anti repair countermeasures", its not really something that we've seen in practice. Refurbishing batteries just isn't a cheap thing to do.
It sounds like there may even be a fully new battery option available for early Model S vehicles in the near future.
Engine replacements are complicated. Many specific parts.
Battery replacements may be much easier to complete.
> Engine replacements are complicated. Many specific parts.
If you buy a full replacement engine (as opposed to parts to rebuild an engine), replacement is quick and easy in an ICE. In endurance racing an engine can often be replaced in less than 30 minutes. In non-racing conditions you'd do it a bit slower but it's not hard.
I would imagine that cars built for endurance racing, where this is known to be a common thing, would be designed to make it easy, while cars built for the general public will not have such a guarantee—some will be easy, some will be annoying, and some will be outright pains.
> I would imagine that cars built for endurance racing
At the higher end of professional racing, those are custom built cars.
But for most categories of racing, endurance race cars are just regular street cars. Hondas, Mazdas and BMWs are what I've raced or crewed with.
You total it out when the hood gets a dent, so ultimately what does it matter?
the "several individual cells" are welded together and also a structural component of the vehicle. You are not allowed to work on them yourself to not electrocute yourself to a crisp.
Chevy Spark supposedly starts at $13600, available inventory seems to start at $14595 + tax, title license and fees. I have never bought a new car so I don't know the + part, but that's got to be getting close to $20k.
If you have a decent older car you can get $5k at a dealer bringing the price down to $10k, tax/tag/title and you’re likely looking at $13k
Ya, the horrible thing is that I’ve never seen a Tesla used for under $20k. Until we can get some used Tesla vehicles at economical price points, EVs will just not be mainstream.
Ok, there is some sarcasm in that. You can get a Leaf for cheap.
Battery cost are still falling 10-15% a year. $100 kWh batteries are here already. ie Tesla battery costs per car ie 50kwh are $5500-6000 Musk is selling $35k+ not because he can't make cheaper cars but because he can make higher margins on expensive cars with battery production capacity he has. We will get high quality cheap electric cars once the battery production capacity is higher than the demand for expensive cars. Which will be here a lot faster than people are thinking.
You're talking about different things - $20,000 is pretty close to the bottom end of new car pricing in the USA. If you want more economy than that you have to buy used, which I'm sure will be an option a few years after those $20,000 EVs are sold new.
And of course people are talking about "economy" relative to the USA, it's where half the people on this site live. Nobody is saying car prices are the same everywhere in the world, and that's not going to be the same with widespread EVs either.
What? Of course those $20,000 economy EVs will be sold in places where $20,000 vehicles are considered "economy" vehicles. Does any car dealer in California consider the price of used cars in Havana before pricing theirs?
If anything, there's no reason why those rich, first class bubbles should be able to buy $40,000 luxury ICE vehicles when the world is slowly burning, but try telling them that, and now those people who just lectured you about "first class bubbles" will brand you a Marxist.
Some people just want the status quo, whatever the ultimate price is. They can't be reasoned with.
Are California car dealers allowed to sell to people in Havana? I thought the embargo was back in place, and America is back to trying to make life as unpleasant as possible in Cuba.
That includes ensuring that Cuba does not use electric cars
This is so patently false it's scary. There is an enormous demand for a cure for cancer, dementia, heart disease etc. Yet they haven't even close to materialized. There is an enormous demand for room environment super conductors yet it isn't fixed. It's all sunflowers and rainbows to think like you are thinking but it's just not reality.
To be fair, most of the problems are not technical but scale. We know how to build stronger grids, and how to produce more electricity, and how to refine lithium. We haven't got a clue what to do about dementia or room temp superconductors or cold fusion.
That said, I am also quite a bit more pessimist than OP that we will see a full conversion in the near future. It will be a long, and quite possibly painful, process.
Integrating things at a certain scale is a technical problem.
It's really more about production than integration. We simply don't have the supply volume or production capacity on hand to rapidly replace existing ICE cars. Things are improving, but overall cost is going to stay high until lithium battery and other costs come down.
Then, you have the issue of rolling out updates to grids. There's a variety of options, all well technically understood, and little movement in many areas. California, for example, ought to have buried a lot of its electrical lines. Construction work during droughts seem like a good way to start a wildfire, as is installing new overhead lines.
Some of the techno-optimism on this site would get you laughed out of the room in some academic circles.
There is an enormous demand for a cure to cancer, but why should it be pursued over enormously profitable cancer treatments?
I'm just being pedantic though, I agree with your point.
Yes, exactly. Toyota is refusing to take the L on this because Toyota is the market leader in gas-electric hybrids and Toyota is not the market leader in EVs. This is business strategy 101.
This type of thinking is what hurt Kodak ultimately I think. They invented the first digital camera, then scrapped it because they made money in film.
In fairness, they did catch up decades later...but that's likely at least a couple decades of revenue lost. And never really innovating.
If they'd have been more forward thinking, we'd likely see Kodak sensors in every phone today instead of Sony.
>This type of thinking is what hurt Kodak ultimately I think. They invented the first digital camera, then scrapped it because they made money in film.
There is nowhere near as much money to be made in the digital camera market. They failed to adapt, but at the same time, there was no saving what was an immensely large company even if they did adapt.
Film revenue for Kodak was $16 billions in 1996, adjusted for inflation that would be $30 billions, that number will make anything digital look like nothing (15 billions is the current revenue for the entirety of the digital sensor market in current dollars and Sony has 43% of that pie, a share that has been dropping as more competitors have entered the market and as Samsung kept improving.). You see a Sony sensor in many phones, but Sony doesn't make anywhere near film-era Kodak revenue on that side of their business. The higher end camera business is more profitable, but it doesn't sell much in volume, and the low end of the camera business has almost disappeared because of smartphones. (Canon, the biggest producer of digital cameras, has all but ceased making compact cameras apart from their G7X model. You can still find other models on the market but they're older unsold stock and refurbs. They also announced they would stop producing new DSLRs and will solely focus on making a narrow range of mirrorless cameras. To put it bluntly, the digital camera market is in a very unhealthy state. Don't solely look at price tags either, Leica for example makes some of the most expensive cameras on the market but.. their revenue is $400 millions, not even $1B)
This is all correct, but kinda shifting timelines.
For example, if Kodak had been first to digital, that doesn't mean they'd have had to give up any film at all. And since they were first, they could have set margins where they liked. Whether it would have survived and thrived...who knows. As others have pointed out, computers weren't commonplace back then.
Digital cameras did get commoditized, nearly 30 years after Kodak had invented it. So obviously, by today they'd had to have move on. High end sensors, glass, heck even cloud computing, something akin to Google Photos... there's no telling where they could have been if they'd have leaned in early.
That said, you point out the sensor market is 15 billion today... and Sony has about half. This is way, way more money than Kodak makes anymore. Today Kodak is at about a billion revenue per year.
Right, but the margins on what you're describing as Kodak's hypothetical business is nowhere near as good as what they had on film.
Who wants to invest time & money into developing a mature, low-margin business?
In this context, it's sort of interesting to compare Google's approach of trying a million ideas, then killing the ones that don't take off or don't make money. Maybe that's how you stay ahead of the game and don't become a Kodak, which failed to sustain an experimental new business for long enough. Google takes quite a lot of shit for this approach (understandably).
But are any of Google's side projects an existential threat to their main business of search / ads in the way that digital cameras were to film for Kodak?
Kodak and Sears are my favorite example of this sort of thing, Kodak not only invented the digital camera, they also had a robust business in the 90s of developing color film onto both prints and a CD. Instead of seeing the writing on the wall, they resisted digital because it cut into both film, and their existing way of getting those pictures onto computers.
Sears, after dominating mail-order for a century, marketed Prodigy, a successful early dial-up network. But they were by that point heavily invested in malls, and were beat out as the 21st century's Sear's, Roebuck and Co. by a bookseller.
I think the way to look at cases like these is to recognise organisations aren't monoliths, but a mass of individuals each tugging in their own direction. Clearly, there were inventors, progressives and visionaries within these companies that correctly predicted future trends and were trying to steer the ship to capitalise on them, but for some reason, other voices drowned them out.
And that right there is why a good CEO can make or break a company. They don't have to be experts in everything, but they need to be good enough to tell which of their experts working for them to believe, or to bring in outside expertise when needed.
Completely agree. I think the darker side though is that successful individuals must not only have good ideas, but advocate for their ideas effectively. I still haven't figured that one out, personally
Sears I think hurts the most. I used to love looking through the catelogs as a kid. It felt so futuristic.
All they had to do was have the foresight to move that model onto the internet. They had the supply chain, warehousing, etc. They may have even been able to have done their own logistics, since every city had a Sears. Kinda how Walmart does deliveries now.
And as you mentioned...they got crushed by a bookseller :(.
The problem for Sears was that mail-order was killed off by malls and big box before web-orders took off. Sears was losing 150M a year on catalog in the early 90s. If they didn't invest in malls and strip malls, they'd have been out of business before web shopping was significant.
Amazon was the right size to grow with the market. Amazon didn't even start selling clothing until 2002.
Which is why I always find Service Merchandise the more interesting case study than Sears. Service Merchandise was an "upstart" trying to hit Sears where it lived in the 90s and basically was the American vanguard of what today we tend to call the Ikea model (and which Amazon keeps hinting they might do at some point): (relatively) big just-in-time fulfillment warehouses with attached showrooms.
Service Merchandise hit some weird bad luck in early franchising (and franchising may have been the wrong choice/it's own bad luck) and accidentally got somewhat region-locked into the US South East, but the business model was from today's perspective ahead of its time, directly addressed that "mall shopping need" while still keeping what made catalogs and drop shipping useful (and relatively efficient just-in-time logistics).
It would be an interesting "game" to play 20/20 Hindsight with those companies -- knowing what we know now, how could they have successfully navigated into the new world.
Sears seems like it could have transitioned if it didn't have its head up its ass. The death of film means Kodak would have to constrict and double down on printing, and simultaneously expand their general chemistry efforts into new markets (which I believe they did but too little too late).
Amazon was never a bookseller.
How a company that was focused on their legacy customer relationship system and logistics operations lost out to a company that was focused on building the future of customer relationships and logistics is a lot less difficult to understand.
> Amazon was never a bookseller.
I remember it differently. Also, actual history is different too.
> Bezos finally decided that his new business would sell books online, because of the large worldwide demand for literature, the low unit price for books, and the huge number of titles available in print.
Yeah, they sold books, I didn't say they didn't. The couple paragraphs above the one you link talk about Bezos wanting to participate in the internet business boom and then the ones you link talk about commerce.
Selling books was never the ambition, it was only the path.
That was their MVP of retail. IIRC, they never hid their ambitions to expand their market.
I'm not sure what your point is? They still sold books and only books at the time
Yes they only sold books at that point because it was the easiest thing for them to sell (thus the MVP). IIRC they did not hide their ambition to go beyond that.
The point is that doesn't make them a bookseller!
That's literally the definition. It kind of does.
Time to stop digging.
Not my internet points!
Toyota is different. They’re also making EVs… they’re just not _only_ making EVs. If EVs really start to take off on their own, Toyota will already have multiple offerings to fill that gap
Toyota just released their first EV and it was developed in a collaboration with Subaru.
It's not their first EV, there have certainly been others:
But it is the first one where they're aiming for mass adoption.
Companies can't change their DNA any more than an individual organism can. Kodak was right to avoid digital photography - and in fact they probably should have stuck with film a little while longer even if it is niche. The public perceives DNA switches all the time, but that's an illusion generated by a free market and it's ability to plug in new sources of value (and unplug old ones) relatively seamlessly.
Yes, a companies DNA can be quite an obstacle to survival in changing markets, but that sounds like a cheap excuse for bad management. The reality is rather: nothing stays forever. All technology markets are in a consistant change and you always have to adapt your company constantly, if you want to survive or even prosper.
One good exampel is Apple. They were a computer company which was doing well again after the return of Jobs. Then came the iPod. And revenue exploded. But when the rumors of a phone appeared, a lot of people would comment: no, they won't do that as that would eat into their cash cow iPod. But we know how this ended. They released the iPhone, grew multiple times the size the company was and eventually even stopped making iPods.
Back to Kodak: they did invent the digital camera, but at a time it was way too early for being a product. But more importantly, they did bring some important digital cameras to the market in the late 90ies, the first usuable DSLR were Nikon/Canon cameras equipped with Kodak guts. They started the professional digital camera market. Without Kodak, it might have happened years later.
And at that moment, when the writing for film was clearly on the wall and they actually had managed to kick start its killer, they dropped the ball. Good management would have seen that they could "protect" film sales only on a per-quarter basis, but it was a dying business. They should have used the billions of cash they still had, to gain a solid foothold in the digital camera business, perhaps even outright bought Nikon, which was limping for a while.
Or invest strongly in all the adjacencies of digital imaging, which they did far too late.
Is this also arguing that Netflix should have stuck with being a DVD-by-mail company rather than pivoting into being a streaming company?
I think you can find examples of failed pivots and successful pivots but I'm not sure that "big companies should stick with their current cash cow and never pivot" is a best practice.
If Kodak were still making film today, hipsters would be all over it just like vinyl records.
The remains of Kodak does make film today, albeit in fewer varieties than they once did, and with far less production capacity.
Any yes, people are all over it to the point that the most popular varieties can be difficult to find in stock, and prices have climbed significantly from a few years ago.
There's people now trying to recreate the Polaroid instant film technology and keep it alive. Even when those cameras were current, the pictures they made looked like crap.
Go to any fashionable flea market and you will see old film cameras for sale, usually by a dedicated seller who can also sell you film.
Nobody was ready to make use of digital images until computing was enough of a presence in daily life, digital storage was cheap enough, and sensor resolution increased to compete with casual use of film. That wasn't going to happen in the 70s or 80s.
But the technology wasn't ready when the rest of computers were. Photo CDs were good but sensors were 20 some years later
they can't do this, their company is a chemical company, changing is almost impossible.
Yeah, why would Toyota want to go all in on EV and lose the ICU/Hybrid market lead that they worked so hard to accomplish? And ICU/Hybrid are still dominating sales worldwide. You see those who go all in EV are usually those brands with not much to lose (like Volvo).
It's not like they're not going in EV, they are just doing it at their pace (which is slow typical of Toyota).
Tesla already got the first mover advantage. Kia/Hyundai/Ford etc are fighting for second place. The gap between second and the rest won't be as large as Tesla vs second.
> Yeah, why would Toyota want to go all in on EV and lose the ICU/Hybrid market
The same reason Apple went all in on the iPhone and dropped their lucrative iPod business. You drive your car on the road that takes you to the next level, not the familiar one that's heading off a cliff.
Tesla has already lost the lead in sales. BYD (Chinese brand) took over for the lead for Plug-in EV sales this year. Tesla's has decreased over time and will likely continue to decrease. Kia and Ford aren't really in the picture (among top 5 sellers). Volkswagen, SAIC and Volvo are selling more EVs than Hyundai.
How to cede an enormous market opportunity to a dozen other competitors 101.
I think you are ignoring an important part of this question, which is what is going to happen in India and Northern Africa, where most of the population growth will take place over the next 50 years. I don't think these countries can afford an 'economy' EV, or widespread infrastructure to support them, certainly not in the near term. India is certainly making some encouraging moves , but your comment seems quite too optimistic and Western-centric.
The top selling EV in China only costs $4k. There is absolutely no reason an electric vehicle should cost more than a typical gas powered car.
EV in China is heavily, I mean very heavily, subsidized in China.
Keep in mind I'm not saying EV can't be as cheap, but China isn't the best example.
Unless you're trying to make your own EV factory and compete globally on price, the fact that it's subsidized is irrelevant (unfortunately), because the way subsidies work, the China subsidized price is how much an EV like that costs.
> Unless you're trying to make your own EV factory
Lots of countries manufacture their own cars, unlike some random plastic toys.
Also, You don't get this price when China are exporting them if that's what you're trying to say.
The price is mainly subsidized on the (Chinese) customer's side (there are big incentives to buy EV over gas car, and it's not limited to the price of the vehicle itself: in some places it costs more money to get a plate for gas car than the car itself), not the manufacturing side (obviously it's both, but why it got as low as $4000 is mainly because of the former).
The technology will arrive in India sooner than we think.
EV have very low maintenance compared to gas cars. As time goes on, new EVs will get better real fast. The old EVs will still be solid workhorses despite this.
The problem with India is twofold: manufacturing and import regulations. But someone somewhere will figure this out: they’re trying to fix that same issue with iPhones. Some EV company (maybe Tesla) can piggyback off of the same solution.
That’s when all the “old EVs” with perfectly useful motors, readable easy to upgrade batteries and solar energy will make sense.
Now I’ll admit: this super hand wavy. But ever since I bought my EV, I have just found my transportation costs trending to zero. It’s ridiculously cheap!
Wait till your battery capacity is halved and you have to pay half the price of the car to get it replaced
Wait until gas is $10. How much is invested in oil changes over an ICEs life? Thousands of dollars.
If almost everyone transitions to EVs, wouldn’t that reduce demand enough for oil to bring it down to < $5? The big problem would then be distribution as gas stations go out of business, but if long distance trucks still use diesel, truck stops could service legacy ICE passenger cars.
Thats the traditional economics thinking but it does not accounts for the internal mechanics of oil producer market. The problem is that not all oil sources in the world cost the same to produce [ref:1]. So you may have plenty of oil available at say $90/bbl but not much at $60 because sources like shale/oil sands or deepwater are offline. This means with mass adoption EVs there still would be some oil producers willing to sell cheap but most would be offline for foreseeable future. This has deep implications for oil infra as that cannot be turned on a dime & needs constant development & upkeep. plus there will be not much ROI on long term horizon so financing would be difficult.
Overall I don't see mass EV adoption as a good news for crude oil. If I can get a little conspiratorial IMO this is the reason why there is such a strong push from hydrogen lobby as it provide them for an outlet for existing fossil infra and hope that they can keep it alive with massive lobbying and subsidies.
ref 1: https://imfdirect.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/oil-4.jpg
If everyone transitions to EVs, the remaining gasoline users would have to pay a lot more of the infrastructure. Pipelines, oil platform, refineries etc, are all expensive.
Yeah, if demand drastically dropped price would likely drop. The main point was that ICEs also have significant maintenance & energy costs. Sticking it out with gas doesn't mean you won't be facing thousands of dollars of additional costs over the life of the car.
Ya, but new cars last an increasing amount of time with reasonable service costs. So they might be around for awhile.
But no reason not to get an EV. I’m on week 4 and would never dream of going back to an ICE.
My EV battery has a 8 year guarantee. And looking at statistical data from the same make/model it seems I'll lose 10% max during that time.
Going from 300km range to 270 isn't going to change my life, anything over 200km is perfectly fine for my daily use.
Even after the battery is at 50% capacity in 15+ years from now, I'll need to consider if it's worth it to replace the battery or just take it out and plug it into my house and sell the other bits of the car to someone.
> My EV battery has a 8 year guarantee.
My newest ICE car is 18 years old and my oldest is 34 years old. They work great.
That ICE car had an 8 year guarantee or less when the first owner bought it too. The guarantee/warranty length isn't full lifetime. We don't know yet what the full lifetime will be in practice yet on some EVs.
You like old cars and possibly like doing the maintenance yourself, good for you. I don't.
I want to travel in comfort and safety and not have to worry one second about my car breaking down. I also don't want to spend a single second servicing my car myself. I want it to take me from A to B every single time without fail.
I had enough "fun" with cars old enough to drive when I was young and less well-off. Can't beat the excitement of a car randomly breaking down on a remote road in -20C weather. Oh and it just as randomly started working after my uncle drove for 30 minutes to rescue us. Never again.
What is their guarantee? You're comparing apples to oranges.
They will have to wait a really long time for that.
Tesla battery only degraded 20% in 9.5 years.
The energy density of lithium-ion batteries per dollar has been doubling every four years for the past 20 years and that trend is continuing which means that by the time you have to replace your battery (assuming 10 years), you can do so at one fifth the original cost (or you can get a battery with 5 times the energy).
Sounds like a good deal to me.
Battery costs are still falling and the typical cost of a battery in a mid range EV is about 6000 USD. For the battery to lose 30% of capacity, it takes 10 years. So your amortized cost (crude) for 10 years is about 400 USD per year.
I am sure the gas costs will be much more than that, compared to EV running costs.
Still a great deal.
This model assumes one person owns the vehicle for the entire vehicles life.
In reality, someone buys an EV new, drives until the battery is worn out, and trades it in. Now the price of used cars just went up $6k across the board because you need to put a new battery in any affordable used car out there.
I think that's a bit overblown, but even in that case I think it's a better deal than playing the odds on an ICE car, that the engine was maintained well by previous owners, that the transmission isn't packed full of sawdust to mask its issues until you're down the road.
Tesla is getting half million miles out of batteries. If my model 3 gets half that i’d be ecstatic and 1/4th that i would still be happy (and you can get them refurbed for 15k or less..which is cheap if you get another half million miles… )
There’s not enough material right now to make EV batteries for everyone; that price is only going to go up unless a new battery recipe is made commercially viable (including the necessary mass production facilities), or new deposits are made available at similar prices.
15k NOW. The downward cost of batteries means replacements will cost less in the future.
If you have a nickel-cobalt Tesla battery right now, there is going to be at a minimum LFP (no nickel/cobalt) replacements available. Or Li-S, or Solid State, or some sodium ion or maybe sodium sulfur.
If your car lasts ten years, that is going to a completely different ballgame given what is coming down the pipe from technology and scaling.
Even if it drops to 150 mile range, guess what? That is still a car with a ton of use cases: city car, cab, delivery car, etc. Unlike an ICE where the engine or transmission breaks, a battery losing range is still a battery that works.
Cost of an engine is upwards of 10k and all it takes for an engine failure is skipping a few oil change cycles. An EV battery lasts just as long without having to be maintained as much and when it fails it costs around 6k and in 5 years probably half that amount.
> all it takes for an engine failure is skipping a few oil change cycles.
Any economy car you can buy will easily survive for a very long time even if you completely neglect all maintenance. It is nowhere near true that an engine will fail from missing a few oil changes.
You can still sell the battery after, or use it yourself to reduce your electricity bill
> EVs will get better real fast
Other than standardising the batteries, unlocking the chips so they can be maintained and maybe switching to a motor that doesn't require niobium, what's to improve?
Electric motors are a mature technology, and putting a box or a 3:1 teardrop on wheels is quite simple.
The best-selling Toyota in India costs around $20k USD. This is roughly 4x the cost of some of the cheapest new cars available in India. It doesn't look like Toyota is going for that emerging growth.
Sorry, Indian govt. is looking at EVs as a job creation engine. Charging stations, sales and service stations, investments in grid upgrades and installation of renewable energy sources, focus on green Hydrogen, etc.
It is true there is a need to improve infrastructure, but that can be a positive thing to generate employment and invest for the future.
There is also the idea that undeveloped places need to use oil and gas to industrialize just like Europe, the US and China did. The problem with that is there simply was never enough supply.
Yep, countries in Africa skipped the land line phase of phones completely and went directly to cell phones.
It was a lot easier to put one cell tower every X kilometers than it was to run cabling around the country.
A guy named Robert C. Townsend wrote a book about running corporations. A generally extendable warning he wrote about is you can't grow a business by aping established companies and their historical path to success. Whatever angle and opportunities they exploited often no longer exist. And what they do currently makes sense for them not you.
Skipping landlines and going right to mobile is an example of that.
India just got a $10K electric car.
How is availability? In the US, most EVs are hard to get, or have big markups.
(Article says it goes on sale October 10)
Two non-linear learning curves are happening. Indian GDP is increasing and battery costs are decreasing.
it’s going to be cheaper for them to skip out on fossil fuel industry and go EV. It could be more modes of EV than americans are bothered with such as bikes, motorcycles, smaller cars…
What will happen is lower operating costs, independence of charging, and cheaper repairs will win out with vehicle types are maybe around standard vehicle tradeoffs decided existing carmakers.
Even this idealistic picture of developed countries transitioning to EVs is unrealistic.
Most EV's are charged from a grid that's still burning oil/gas/coal to power them. We haven't achieved much of anything in those areas.
The batteries simply DO NOT EXIST to enable a grid that is based off of renewables - or even half off renewables.
A large oil/gas/coal burning plant is more efficient than thousands of engines burning petrol/diesel, so just converting a large proportion of the fleet with BEVs nudges us a little bit in the right direction. Further, as the grid becomes greener (which it is, in most places in the world), the transport sector automatically gets greener in large fell swoops, without needing to replace thousands of cars. Plus the power generation plants can be placed far from large residential areas, mitigating the health effects on people.
Yes, but it is NOT more efficient than generating all that power, transmitting it, and then putting it into a battery, and reconverting it into mechanical energy again. End-to-end it is LESS efficient.
A tank of gas does not lose energy in transmission nor in storage, and it is far far more weight:performance efficient.
Using oil to generate oil is very very rare. It really only happens on small islands where some other power plant doesn’t make sense and there is no connection to a larger grid. For example, many places in Hawaii used oil before solar became cheap enough. Alaska would have also, if it weren’t for abundant hydro that villages and towns off the grid have always been able to tap into.
These places aren't buying new cars at all, though. Nor do they have the "infrastructure" (paved, lighted and signaled road networks are not cheap!) to support a passenger car network like we have in the west either. They are getting by on used/surplus vehicles and lots of spotty access already, and nothing about an EV would do anything but help that process. Electrical grids are much (much) cheaper than fuel distribution in total, and even more so in remote areas.
> These places aren't buying new cars at all, though.
India ranks 4th worldwide for new car sales and will likely take 3rd place in a year or two.
The subject was rural India lacking the infrastructure for EVs, which was a ridiculous point. Obviously there's a market for EV's in Bangalore and Delhi, that's not really much of a discussion. The upthread commenter (who I think is the one you're arguing with, not me) seemed to want to have a carve-out for "EV's can't succeed because of undeveloped regions".
Have you traveled outside of Europe? Things have... changed dramatically since even like, 2015 in B/C tier cities even in South America. I suggest you travel some more and reevaluate. Somewhere like Medellin or Islamabad in 2022 is almost unrecognizable compared to 2000. The third world you grew up watching in 1980s-era national geographic documentaries is absolutely gone, you have to go way off grid to find something like that now.
20k? EV drivetrains are so much simpler than ICE. The fact you can buy in some market somewhere a 20k ICE car means in equivalent dollars, a 10k EV car is possible once the tech maturity of sodium ion and components and all that scaling happens.
We are so used to EV drivetrains being more expensive, we can't think of the possibility of EVs become so cheap, but I predict they will, and with sodium ion batteries at 140wh/kg coming into production next year, along with 200+ wh/kg LFP and LMFP, it's going to h ppen sooner than I would have guessed only a couple years ago.
I will agree with Toyoda that a PHEV has a functional place in the next two decades. They were one of the top PHEV companies so they probably have the platforms already, so may as well use them.
But make no mistake the arrival of usable sodium ion to me is the game changer for the mass production EV: the napkin math says that 140wh/kg cell density if it is efficiently packed (90% is current cell-to-pack expected ratio) will make a 200-300 mile car. That's no cobalt, nickel, or lithium.
And a city car only needs 150 miles of range for the "second/third world" urban centers in some teeny car.
200 wh/kg (cell) LFP/LMFP should be 300-400+ mile cars. That leaves the cobalt-nickel and whatever comes out of initial solid state into exotics, supercars, and long haul trucking.
And if those sulfur batteries papers are legit, that will also be dirt cheap and near-solid state densities.
But yeah, I think in ten years a cheapo EV will be 1/2 the cost of what a cheapo ICE will be. We'll know when the Chinese invade the US market. Luxury cars and big cars will still be dominated by equivalent doodads costs, but I think possibly in ten years the industry will hit 50% of ICE drivetrain cost.
Even if EV all-in isn't good for some reason, my criticism for Toyota is that they should encourage PHEV more in earlier.
The age of PHEV should have been 2005-2020. The dumb shits in regulatory should have seen the Prius/Insight in 1997 and been HOLY SHIT ALL CARS SHOULD HAVE THIS AND BE PLUGINs. And yet... yeah nothing that was the Bush Administration circa 2000, haha. Not happening.
Now? Why invest in a brand new comprehensive PHEV platform? All existing ICE platforms are "last hurrahs". Like, holy shit ALL ICE PLATFORMS are dinosaurs. They won't invest in new ones, no way, they need ALLLLL that for EV switchover to stand a small chance of surviving the big paradigm shift. No new engines, no new transmissions, no new gee-whiz ICE tech. The last gasp was Mazda's compression ignited gasoline engine, that's probably it.
If the regulatory agencies had said in 2000, "in 10 years all consumer cars will be hybrids, ideally with PHEV hybrids, and ideally in increasing all-electric range capability, and we will deliver a good subsidy and a hefty penalty" and moved the entire industry to PHEV, we'd have had a good decade of ramp-up to hybrid platforms, getting everyone used to home charging, had great gas mileage, had 50-80% of consumer daily trips fully electric, and probably had all electric drivetrain components further down the maturity path.
But... we don't. PHEVs probably could still make an impact in the next ten years, but there is no way our nonfunctional congress could get that done. Instead, it is full bore on full EVs and people carrying around 5x-10x more batteries than they need for driving.
My idea for that is to offer a city car that has about 100 miles of range, and then an optimized aerodynamics "trailer" that is either a battery or a gas generator that extends the range of the car. You could rent them, swap them at exchange kiosks (fully charged/fueled) at highway truck stops, and bam no recharge issues on the car's main battery. That would be cheap EV cars that maximize battery supply. All you need is a trailer hitch and a special charging port on the rear of the car.
That inside-out rotary engine would be perfect for a really long range extender that uses synthfuels or fossil, or for long haul semis. Oh yeah, semis would be perfect for a two-behind booster battery. It could have drive wheels to help stabilize in crosswinds, it could have aero shape to help with the "flying wall" effect of most trailers. The trailers could also do hydrogen, although I still think hydrogen is a trojan horse by the petroleum companies.
IMO the biggest challenge is the rapid recharge (< 5 minutes).
You just think of a college football Saturday where 100k people drive in, tailgate all day and then either stay in a hotel or head back the same day. Often coming from 3-4 hours away.
It’s simply not realistic for all those vehicles to need to do 45 minutes of charging.
When that gets solved, you’ll see rapid adoption.
How many of that 100k are driving 3-4 hours each way?
5 minute charging is a nothing burger. If they are tailgating for hours, they can do normal level 2 and get what they need.
5 minute charging is something that sounds like a good idea if you've never had an electric car, and are used to only charging at very specialized locations that you have to seek out and spend dedicated time at, ie gas stations. But after actually having an electric car, the idea becomes superfluous. Current charging speed is going to be just fine for 99-99.5% of those driving long distance to a football game.
Drive there, drive back and expect to fully recharge at some point on the trip.
Most EV ranges I see are in the 300 mile ballpark (currently) which is going to require a full recharge for the round trip.
On the day to day with an EV, I agree it’s not a big deal. Travel is a very big deal though.
How many miles do you want to get in the weeds about? It’s already possible to drive a Chevy Bolt 700 miles from Philadelphia to Chicago, I’ve done it. The fast charging infrastructure is there, but at some point humans need to recharge, too.
The real scenario is the family trip.
4-5 people in a vehicle loaded with luggage or other gear. People driving to beaches during the summer. People going to Disney. People travelling to ports to go on a cruise.
...wait? People drive SIX HUNDRED MILES round trip to watch a college football game?
People definitely do that, what is misleading is that it's only a tiny percent of those 100k. Most likely live within 25 miles.
Americans are weird.
For pretty much every European a 1000km round trip is something you do on a special vacation. And you stay for a few days on the other end :D Definitely not something you do on a weekend to go see a sports team.
There are some UK football fans who do that, but they're on a bus and can sleep both ways (usually they don't, they get shitfaced)
There’s nothing quite like college football in the US. :)
Just using a drive to Clemson, SC as an example:
Charleston, SC (240 miles, 580 round trip)
Florence, SC (210 miles, 520 rt)
Columbia, SC (132 miles, 262 rt)
Charlotte, NC (134 miles, 268 rt)
Atlanta, GA (121 miles, 242 rt)
People come from all over and this happens all over the country.
I could drive to my alma mater, power a TV off the car all day, and drive home without expending even 15% of my car's battery. Its less of a drive than my wife's commute to work every day, and that's not very far at all. I acknowledge that's probably not even 30% of that crowd, but clearly that'll be some percentage of that 100k.
100k people drive in. All individually in personal vehicles? Most commuting 4 hours away? No.
Even if the average occupancy gets to 2, you've massively reduced the energy needs.
I really doubt the failures of electric vehicles are because of college football. If that's truly the case I feel really bad about the future of the human race.
>When that gets solved, you’ll see rapid adoption.
What we need is not an EV that can drive 400 miles and charge in 5 minutes, but public transportation infrastructure that can ferry you from your home to the massive gathering place and back without you and the other 100,000 attendees needing to drive your own 3 ton vehicles.
If only all the massive gathering places I care to go to were the exact same as my neighbors down the street.
Turns out my neighbors next door have relatives the exact opposite direction of where my relatives are and we've got very different hobbies.
Oh, drat. The rest of the world has built exactly one subway line per city and it only runs in one direction.
Further elaborating on that,
I'd like to see what kind of electrical infra you need to (even partially) charge 20k cars in 5 minutes.
That's about one Tsar Bomba of energy.
This is too high by 4 orders of magnitude. 100 kWh is a larger than average battery capacity for a contemporary BEV . That's 2000 MWh for 20,000 vehicles charging from empty (modulo charging inefficiencies). 1 megaton is 4.18 * 10^15 joules or 1,162,000 MWh  while the Tsar Bomba had a yield of at least 50 megatons as tested . So charging 20k electric cars from empty requires about 0.003% as much energy as the Tsar Bomba released.
You're right, I jumped from kWh -> TWh, where it should've been kWh -> GWh.
Still, if you look at power, that much energy moving in 5 minutes is about 24GW. That's massive. Unless I'm wrong with numbers again :P.
It’s a red herring. We don’t need to do that.
This problem specifically is why I keep an eye on the Graphene Aluminum Ion battery technology coming from Graphene Manufacturing Group.
Graphene has seemed to be the key to rapid charging while maintaining temperatures for over a decade. The challenge was always getting enough usable graphene at low cost without mining.
The problem here is that not all people driving there will need to rapid charge from zero to 100% percent.
It's perfectly enough to have rows of 22kW three phase chargers there, during a 2 hour(?) ballgame you get a good 100km of range - enough to take you back home or at least to the nearest rapid charger if you need one.
Or you could have rows of 100kW+ chargers with smart load balancing. The CCS connector tells the charger how much battery is left in the car so the load balancer can prioritize cars with less charge dynamically.
Ford is selling a gas generator as an e-F150 accessory. A lot of tailgaters come in pickups, and having electricity seems useful, might even be better than status quo.
> It’s simply not realistic for all those vehicles to need to do 45 minutes of charging.
But in your example there are two long periods of time where the cars are stationary, right? They're parked all day while partying and parked all night when they're staying at a hotel. Any pauses in the driving can also come with charging up.
Agreed. You just have to have a place for them to charge while they're stationary.
I don't know if that's realistic or not.
Lol, I think this takes the cake for clueless HN comment.
Solve college football tailgating because that's what most people in the world REALLY care about!
It’s a use case that will affect a large amount of people.
Really no different then solving a drive down the coast to Orlando. When every car on the highway has to stop to recharge to do a long drive a 45 minute recharge will bottleneck the entire highway system.
The rapid recharge is the key use case to address EV adoption. I’ve owned 3 and I’m speaking from experience.
Extremely few people drive more than 50 miles to a sporting event. And for the people who are forced to do it because they live in the sticks, there are not enough of them to sway the ship's direction on this.
I've seen a gas station photo advertising $8/gal prices in the LA area. When that goes nationwide, the energy-intensive lifestyle of Americans will come to an end including driving 700 miles to a ball game and towing jet skis around.
From what I remember, anytime the price is consistently over $3 / gallon the Canadian oil sands become cost effective.
It might happen but it might not happen as quickly as they would like. Recent geopolitical issues have substatically harmed supply chains for EVs. There's a reason Tesla has abandoned their plans for a mass market vehicle and are instead sticking in the $40k+ vehicle business.
Many of Toyotas competitors have de-emphasized investments in their ICE products to pursue EVs that they can't produce in large enough volumes for longer than anticipated. Toyotas strategy is going to work well at least in the mid term.
Tesla gave up on the mass market vehicle because they can sell every Y and 3 they make. That has been going on since before the supply disruptions.
They weren't making very many of them before the supply disruptions. They made and sold a total of just 367,500 cars globally in 2019. Toyota does that every two months in just North America. Today, Tesla announced a miss versus forecasted sales/deliveries last quarter, and lowered their forecast going forward.
The point is, Tesla choosing not to pursue the mass market is no reflection on how viable that market is. At Tesla volume, they are better off devoting their production capacity to the upmarket. The upmarket has better margins, so you sell there until you saturate demand.
I mean, that's true. But there's nothing to excuse here.
This is true, but not because demand for Model 3 and Model Y are much stronger than expected. It's because scaling production is taking longer than expected.
I really don't see the L here. Plug-in hybrids are essentially more capable EV's, Toyota makes them, and if they bet wrong on EV's, it's not going to be difficult for them to convert production from plug-in hybrids to full EV's. On the other hand, if Toyota is betting right and everyone else is betting wrong, it's going to be a lot harder for other companies once they lose the know-how to make ICE cars or hybrids.
Plug-in hybrids have two power trains you need to service. They are an excellent gateway drug to full EVs, but not the ultimate solution.
They're also pretty good for special use vehicles, a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is pretty much the best EV-ish vehicle if you need to tow a bigger load for long distances without shelling out 100k€+. And you can still drive on full electric around the town cheaply.
Honest question: what are the service intervals like for the ICE part of plug-in hybrids?
Considering they are unused most of the time, I'd expect very infrequent maintenance, and even some parts switching from X years to lifetime.
Edit: a short Google search  shows that for actual cost, plug-in hybrids have the same cost per mile than EVs, which is half the cost of ICE cars. It makes sense to me because batteries are a lot smaller/cheaper, the ICE doesn't get used all that much, and there is regenerative braking.
Toyota's hybrids are wonderful, dunno about other brands.
The Prius engine is a good gateway drug to full EV ownership, you'll learn that the amount you press the accelerator doesn't correlate with the engine RPM at all. The car picks whatever it thinks is efficient to move the car, any extra is stored into the EV system.
ICE engines really hate sitting without running.
Some PHEVs force the engine to run until it's warm before allowing it to sleep. And if you need to run the AC or heating, it also requires the ICE to be on.
Sure. My point is that Toyota has hedged this bet fairly aggressively and is well equipped to transition to "full EVs" if that turns out to be the right call in the long run.
"There will be $20,000 economy EVs with crappy everything but still go A to B."
It's called the Nissan Leaf and it's been available for years!
Counter example: electronic medical records.
Billions was poured into this and I remember it being a big item in healthcare reform. But im still answering the same questions and filling out the same forms every time I go see a doctor.
Generally more money and mandates from top down don't work
All of my doctors use Epic, and I do not have to answer the same questions. When my wife gave birth in the local hospital, which also uses Epic, they had all her info from her primary physician and OB. The kids’ pediatricians also has access to information since birth, and my doctor can see the information from my vasectomy that a different doctor in a different practice performed.
All the labs are also easily accessed online, and I can easily login to my account and download them all to Apple Health app in my phone.
That's a symptom of a monopoly, not the promise of EMR, IMO.
EVs = Tesla is probably the biggest misunderstanding many people have. EVs are about the energy source for propulsion and not about the smarts (real or claimed). A car with10 year old features powered by electricity is a perfectly usable vehicle without needing any of the glamorous things that tesla adds.
$20k is still too expensive of a car for a lot of people in the US, and for most outside the developed world. Toyota is just keeping that population in perspective.
Toyota doesn't even sell a car in the US that you can buy for $20k. The cheapest Corolla is $20,425 but you can't actually buy it at that price in practice. EV's actually have a huge advantage in that you can make a car at nearly any price point you want by trading off range. For example in China the top selling EV is a $5000 EV made by Wuling with a 75 mile range, they offer slightly higher trims for more range. For the majority of people who live in cities a 75-150 mile range small vehicle is good enough and for something like that you can build it for $5-10k easily.
I wonder how much the US market is limited by safety requirements here. What happens when a giant SUV runs into one of those things on the highway in LA?
Short range EV is great but if people want A/C and heater, much costs added for equipment and more battery capacity.
A heat pump isn't that expensive and does both.
The cheapest Toyota available in the US is a bare bones Corolla for a bit over $20,000.
It somewhat remains to be seen if a used electric with a new battery can be cheaper than a used hybrid.
That's what the used market is for. You're not getting a new economy sedan for under $20k MSRP in normal times, let alone the weird market right now.
But 2nd hand ICE cars don’t have to worry about a degraded and very expensive lithium battery and certain models are proven to last a long time.
These things may work, but I don’t want to spend the money to be the one that finds out.
Do you not worry about the transmission, water pump, radiator, or even the engine itself failing? Does that mean you don't buy 2nd hand ICE cars at all?
I've had a water pump die on me within 6 months of buying a 2nd hand car. In nearly 20 years of driving 2nd hand cars I've had more issues with ICE cars I've bought than I have with the two used EVs I've bought.
No I don’t because I inspect and research the cars I buy to avoid dumpster fires. After 20 years of car ownership I’ve never once had a breakdown or an expensive repair. Furthermore I haven’t had any issue that a $150 toolset, a jack, and a youtube video couldn’t fix in an afternoon.
And you don't believe you can do the same with an EV? When I test drove the first EV (a Nissan Leaf) I bought, I took an OBD2 dongle with me and evaluated the data after the fact. I was able to confirm the battery health and capacity, the charging rates seen, etc.
With that in hand, I was confident in the health of the EV and made my purchase.
In the future it may very well be possible to do the same home repairs on your EV. We're barely past the first decade of publicly available EVs. A number of early EVs have plenty of guides out there on how to replace and rebuild battery packs on your own, and aftermarket mfgs are starting to produce speed controllers and ECUs for custom EVs.
It's just a new wave of tech, and that too will become normal over time just like ICE cars themselves.
Things happen with ICE vehicles too. But you can easily find a model that has a really good track record for reliability and is easy and cheap to repair.
Batteries on the other hand will eventually break down. Sure, eventually it will become cheaper to repair and replace. But the oldest EVs on the road are probably Teslas. The Model S is something like 10 years old now? And a full battery replacement is still hugely expensive. A decade on and EVs are still luxury items.
The cost of the vehicle and maintenance over 10 years would have to be dramatically less in the average case for regular people to start buying them. In that sense I think Toyota has plenty of run way.
Good for you
Used ICE cars have all sorts of failure modes that EVs don’t. More parts get physical wear, and once a car gets old enough something is always breaking, and all that adds up in cost. It’s pretty clear EVs need less maintenance over time, though I don’t know where the break-even point is. I suspect batteries will continue to get cheaper over time as well.
no, instead 2nd hand ice cars have to work about a degraded and very expensive engine. an EV battery is likely to last somewhere around 200000 miles (https://www.consumerreports.org/hybrids-evs/evs-offer-big-sa...), and over that period require essentially no engine maintenance compared to gas cars which between oil changes, break pad replacement (which EVs avoid due to regenerative), and all the other things that can go wrong with an ICE have an extra roughly 500-700 per year of additional maintenance cost.
My car should easily last 200K - 250K miles. At least data shows that my model should easily hit those numbers.
My yearly maintenance is 250-325USD per year. Occasionally you need to replace the brake pads. And a few other things come up sure. But over 10 years I’m only looking at 5KUSD unless something horrible goes wrong. And I could probably get it cheaper. At my level of fuel consumption I’m looking at another 4K over 10 years.
I can’t find an up to date quote, but in Australia, the Tesla 3 years service plan for a rear wheel drive Model 3 was 1.75 times the cost compared to the standard service for my car in 2018.
Non Tesla EVs do better. And some are half the price or less than what I pay for annual servicing. But I still have to cough up 3-4 times more money 2nd hand. So potentially a 2nd hand EV based on current prices will start to be cheaper in 8ish years. Not including the loan I’d have to take out to pay for the thing.
> These things may work, but I don’t want to spend the money to be the one that finds out.
Then don't? There will be millions of people testing it for you.
I learned it takes a lot of grid power to extract, ship, process, store and sell gasoline than it takes to just charge an EV… seems that the reduction of demand of fuel would also reduce grid loads.. plus, just charge at night. cheaper rates usually.
A lot of that electricity is produced by nuclear or burning low grade oil at site and isn't connected to the grid in many regions.
What percentage of operations behave this way?
No clue. It's by no means unsolvable (simply charging at off peak times should suffice in many areas), but it does remain true that electricity that goes to the oil refinery can't necessarily make it to a house.
I'd much rather we let people not drive at all if they want to as a way of reducing the strain, as well as allowing LEVs or small electric cars on the road for the people that don't insist that they need to tow a boat and a caravan up a mountain at 20 over the speed limit 200km away with a pallet of plywood to drop their kids off at school.
> There will be $20,000 economy EVs
Tata Motors launches $10,000 electric car in India to further its lead
Here is a walk around of the car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RCXDsfVniY&ab_channel=Autoc...
There are already cheap EVs, the made by Wuling is only $5k, 75 mile range and top speed of 62 MPH.
And during normal used car markets like the one we had in 2015, one could find a used Nissan Leaf, not even out of warranty yet, for $12k. That’s what I paid for my first car, 26k miles on the odometer.
Today you’d be lucky to pay that for a Leaf, and if you do it’ll be far more used with far more battery degradation. That’s not a knock against EVs, it’s a product of the car market we have today.
Toyota has looked at the tea leaves and feels Hydrogen is the future. I think they are correct.
Any other stocks you like we should short?
Lots of things could work. The logistics of hydrogen make it laughable as a mass replacement for gasoline as an energy fuel for mass market.
Hydrogen has by far the best subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act, though. Funneling money from taxpayers to corporate coffers via government subsidies has proven a winning strategy in many other industries.
Cynically, Hydrogen subsidies today are simple greenwashing of traditional Oil & Gas subsidies and still are benefit the same corporate coffers. Most hydrogen production is a side project of the oil & gas companies and a "by product" of refining operations.
I'm pretty cynical by nature, but I don't think that's what's at play here. The IRA's hydrogen production subsidies explicitly don't apply to hydrogen produced from fossil fuels; it has to be from zero-carbon production chains. Moreover, the IRA has upended the economics of the hydrogen market - with the subsidies, electrolyzed hydrogen is now cheaper than methane-derived hydrogen. 
There's also significant subsidies for hydrogen storage technologies, hydrogen vehicles, and hydrogen fueling stations.
Personally I'd take this at face value: the point is that hydrogen has the potential to decarbonize a lot of industrial & transportation uses of fossil fuels, and so it's attempting to build up the necessary technology and infrastructure to make this practical. There are always side effects when you throw massive amounts of money at a problem, so I'd expect some boondoggles, but at least the intent of the law isn't a boondoggle.
What advantages do hydrogen cars have over ICE or electric? I know very little about them. Electric, optimistically, is cost effective (especially if you have solar panels) and convenient. ICE at least has industry momentum going for it. But Hydrogen? Unsarcastically, why?
Here is an article from the UK talking about cracking ammonia into hydrogen.
Ammonia to Green Hydrogen Project
There are two reasons why Toyota is pursuing hydrogen.
First, the well known short comings of BEV as often pointed out on HN. The most common is range anxiety (dead electric car) and how long it takes to recharge (30 minutes at a quick charging). With a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, it has a higher energy density so its range is farther and it takes about 10 minutes to fuel up a Toyota Mirai with hydrogen. This is the reason why commercial trucks and long distance trains are looking at hydrogen fuel cells.   
The second and probably more important reason why Toyota is betting on hydrogen is that the Japanese government mandated it.  By 2050, Japan wants to transition off fossil fuels using a combination of electrification and hydrogen/methanation/synthetic fuels/biomass. See slide 2(2) Energy Outlook of Carbon Neutrality in 2050 from . This make sense to Japan. Japan is not only looking passenger vehicles. Japan is thinking about how to wean off commercial trucks, heavy industry, and shipping off fossil fuels. It thinks that hydrogen fuel cells may be the answer.
The biggest drawback with hydrogen is that transporting long distances requires cooling hydrogen to –253 °C . However, in 2006, the US Department of Energy had already talked about using ammonia as the "hydrogen carrier" . Ammonia can be transported at –33 °C . The Department of Energy envisions transporting liquefied ammonia via pipelines, trucks, and tankers. Then "cracking" it back to hydrogen at a substation.
>Ammonia may be considered as a potential hydrogen carrier for hydrogen delivery and for off-board storage, such as at refueling stations and for stationary power applications. Ammonia, delivered to refueling stations and stored onsite, would need to be reformed prior to vehicle filling and levels of trace ammonia in the hydrogen stream would need to be reduced to meet fuel purity requirements (e.g., < 0.1 ppm NH3) for PEM fuel cells. The use of ammonia as a hydrogen carrier is being investigated further by DOE’s Hydrogen Delivery Program and the FreedomCAR & Fuel Partnership’s Hydrogen Delivery Technical Team.
This is the correct answer. Toyota is so heavily into hydrogen, because they're toeing the government line.
Also, hydrogen is the better choice for Japan because their power grid is even worse than the one in the US.
Hydrogen fuel cells can't compete with battery EVs on energy efficiency, if the hydrogen is produced from electricity by electrolysis. (Most hydrogen is made from natural gas.)
Hydrogen beats batteries in terms of energy density, so maybe it has a future in aviation. I think ground transport will eventually all transition to battery electric (and hopefully we'll get electrified roads at some point so battery size and range isn't really an issue anymore) unless energy somehow becomes so cheap that we just don't care how inefficiently it's being used. I don't expect that to happen any time soon though.
I've seen some interesting data that suggests hydrogen fuel cells may not even have a future in aviation. Air travel does currently rely on some efficiencies from planes being lighter as they travel due to fuel spend, which is something that hydrogen fuel cells would share. But the theories I've read suggest that torque will be the huge overriding efficiency (and safety) benefit to electric aviation (that electric motors have access to nearly 100% torque at all speeds, if you have the available power draw). In that case, hydrogen fuel cells become a massive power draw bottleneck on torque, dropping motor efficiency, so you want a big parallel battery for moments of large power draw. At that point if you are already building around the weight of a large battery you might as well right size the battery for complete range and drop the inefficient of "dual power sources".
From what I've read that seems to already be playing out in small planes that fully battery electric is winning over hydrogen or hybrid hydrogen/battery. It will probably be another decade or so before we see how it plays out on the larger planes.
The only place I've heard hydrogen might win out is large sea transport (large cargo ships and cruise liners), and even then there are interesting recent developments in wind power for ship's cruising speeds and battery charging that are going to be competing with hydrogen
I agree it makes sense for ships to use hydrogen. You might have a point about power density of fuel cells being too low for aviation. I don't think batteries will work for aviation except for very short flights, unless there's a major technological improvement -- in the near term probably the best low-carbon option is some kind of synthetic liquid fuel.
> Toyota is just stubbornly refusing to take the L on their 30 years of research into this. I don't blame them, but I'm not them, so I'll call it how it is.
no Toyota is just not buying the "all in" bet on EV, and they keep researching on other alternatives such as Mirai with fuel cells; the article is quite clear on that.
this imho makes Toyota more reliable than other manufactures who are running at making only SUVs with shitload of batteries just to please the market, greenwashing and not innovating at all.
> few drive more than ~25 miles/day
I hope a lot of these people (assuming they're not willing to go car-free, which would be ideal) will switch to low-speed electric vehicles. They're much cheaper than standard cars, take up less space, and are far less dangerous to other road users. This one from Polaris is $15k, and there are off brands for much less. https://gem.polaris.com/en-us/e4/
That polaris is basically a golf cart. Who wants to drive a golf cart on public roads?
I refuse to buy new and my current car cost me $15kAUD. Which is 10KUSD (ignoring supply chain issues for a while). My previous car was an older generation of the same model and lasted over a decade. My current car should too. And upkeep is fairly cheap all things considered.
20K isn’t economy. Half that and make sure the car still runs for over a decade with reasonable maintenance costs.
> I refuse to buy new
Then why are you comparing the theoretical _new_ price of an EV with the used price of an ICE?
Now include the AUD1.80/L fuel costs into the life of that car.
"Now include the AUD1.80/L fuel costs into the life of that car."
While remembering, of course, to include AUD0.30-0.60/kwh for charging the EV (or AUD$6-$12/100km for a typical EV).
And yet the cost of gas is cheaper than the current electric equivalent in many European locations at this point.
where by cheaper you mean slightly more expensive if you compare to public charging stations that are the vast minority of charged miles, and 9x more expensive than charging at home.
Last I checked it was a fair bit easier to put up 4 solar panels and an inverter than build your own oil refinery.
$1000AU worth of panels, a $200 charge and a $1500 battery will give you 30km or so a day.
Pays off in about 4 years vs $1.80/L even with very optimistic fuel economy. if you park at home then the price halves.
If you can put the panels where you park that goes down to 1-2 years.
There is only a sliver of society that is demanding EV’s. I have a normal amount of friends, hundreds of acquaintances and work associates and guess what? Not one of them is demanding EV’s. The government on the other hand is doing it’s best to lure me with incentives and scare me with high gas prices. So what society are you talking about that is demanding them?
While demand for EVs is certainly growing and in some areas a total switch may be already possible, there still is an enormous critical demand for ICEVs in the world. There are areas in the world where people drive long distances by car, but the homes don't have electricity yet. Especially in non-Western countries.
Nobody in their right mind would buy an EV there. It may look differently in 10 or 15 years from now, but this is the reality today and this is one of Toyota's markets. They are the maker of the Land Cruiser and the Prius.
There is a reason, why the Prius is so wildly popular all over the world. It is capable of driving long distances anywhere, but it saves money at the same time, while it almost never breaks down. Toyota is not ignorant at all. They realize that now is the time for gradually transitioning to EV, but not for making a sudden dogmatic switch to EV, while ignoring what people actually need. The logical outcome of this though process is the hybrid car. And then the plug-in hybrid. And then the EV - at some point in the future.
Where in the world do people drive long distances in a car, but don't have electricity? And do many people actually live there? For example the desert might not have power lines, but it doesn't have many people either.
> There will be $20,000 economy EVs with crappy everything but still go A to B.
Believing that money can change geology, and physics and chemistry laws, is idiotic at best.
There’s huge demand for solutions to problems people have, not huge demand for specific technologies.
People don’t want EVs specifically. People want cheap reasonably clean ways to quickly get from point A to point B.
heh... you talk about
>"There will be $20,000 economy EVs with crappy everything but still go A to B."
but you know?
tata tiago ev is a $10,000 ev that launched a FEW DAYS AGO. Sure it wont have all features of tesla but it is still ncap 5 stars so its not a death box and will be sold hopefully by thousands
Until you can charge from empty to full in under a few mins and get 700+ real range miles EV's will remain a niche product. It's just not worth the hassle of have to plug your car in any chance you get like an old iphone.
2030 is around the year I think they will become an intelligent buy.
700 real range miles? Why are you holding electric cars to a higher standard than most petrol cars? The average car driven realistically (cities, towns, rural roads, and motorways) gets about 300-500 miles from a full tank.
Why do electric cars, which you have specified to have to charge in minutes just like petrol cars, need to have double to 50% extra range?
More broadly, having to go 700 miles is a niche issue, I don't drive a lorry/flatbed etc. I drive for more than 3 hours maybe two to three times a year. The vast majority of people are in this situation, in the US, in Asia, in Europe, everywhere. Getting 300-400 miles range and charging in 20 minutes is what is needed. The blockers are initial price, and charging infrastructure.
Lol who's driving 700+ miles (10+ hours?), taking a few minutes break, then driving another 700+ miles? I mean, I'm sure there are people out there that do that but even semi truck drivers don't drive that much thanks to federal regulations. Even you actually do drive that much, I'm guessing you know people who don't. An EV that gets 300+ miles to the charge and can be charged (at home!) overnight will do just fine for them. Waking up with a "full" "tank" of "gas" every morning really makes you rethink range and range anxiety.
but there is no "enormous demand" for EVs. Some (small) demand is manufactured by huge subsidies. There is also a subset of the upper middle class that does it for environmental/prestige reasons, but that's also small
> few drive more than ~25 miles/day
Where do you get that stat?
It sounds plausible at least. The average per year in the US is around 14000 miles according to the FHA, which would be a little under 40 miles per die.
I'd expect the distribution of individual amounts driven to be such that the median would be lower than the mean, but a little searching has failed to turn up any details on that distribution.
> I'd expect the distribution of individual amounts driven to be such that the median would be lower than the mean
True, but there can't be that much skew--there's only so many hours in the day.
There are some people who drive for work (eg. traveling salespeople, rideshare & delivery drivers, most tradespeople) and then there are others that drive to commute to an office for 8 hours. Rideshare & delivery drivers might be on the road for 8+ hours/day, tradespeople & traveling salespeople for 4-5, office workers for 20-60 minutes, with a skew toward the lower end of that. That's a pretty skewed distribution.
I drive 0 5-6 days a week. I also drive 2000 miles to FL and 600 miles to St Louis etc etc.
Somehow I put 32k miles in my EV in 2 years despite WFH with no commute
It's more like ~35-40 miles per day in the US (which will tend to be higher than in other countries).
"The United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration said that the average driver traveled 12,724 miles in 2020. That’s down from 14,263 average annual miles in 2019. The 2020 average equates to 1,060 miles per month per driver, or about 35 miles per day. By comparison, the DOT said the average annual miles was 13,476 in 2018."
How much money was in 3D TV? Battery powered vehicles will ends up in same bracket as 3DTV. Impractical gimmick.
The grip of gasoline and corruption of government is severe enough that it is unlikely EV's will be able to scale to current gas vehicle use.
1. Electric charging will never be standardized. Gas is gas. Until we pass laws saying your electric car cannot have subscriptions or non compatability for charging you will always be stuck with specific types.
1. Gas stations are contracted to sell gas. That contract can say "no electric". The stores make money from gas customers. The drive range of EV's would have to run circles around gas to compete, and if it does, they won't be customers anyways.
2. The vast majority of people cannot charge an ev rapidly, if at all. Parking infra did not take access to electricity into account. I know at universities you have to pay extra, and it's just a normal 15A outlet.
3. Ev companies, especially Tesla, are rent seeking. The average consumer cannot afford it. Packages and subscriptions to your own vehicle are a cyberpunk dystopia.
We already cannot properly handle power demands. 100% green initiatives lack on demand scaling, especially in disaster conditions. The base cost of natural gas electric generation means it must take up a chunk of overall power gen.
Tesla is the only incompatible brand. All other brands use standard plugs. The standards are different in different regions but that's fine. I'm not driving from California to Japan with my car.
Also, Tesla was mandated to use the (CCS) standard in Europe recently, has voluntarily switched to the standard in Asia, and claims they will voluntarily do it in the US when they've hit certain sales goals/gross margin levels.
>1. Electric charging will never be standardized. Gas is gas. Until we pass laws saying your electric car cannot have subscriptions or non compatability for charging you will always be stuck with specific types.
Ehm, it's already standardized, or 90% there, in most of the world. In the US it's basically just Tesla, and they announced they'll also conform. And tbh when they invented their own standard it made sense, it's just no longer necessary.
>2. The vast majority of people cannot charge an ev rapidly, if at all. Parking infra did not take access to electricity into account. I know at universities you have to pay extra, and it's just a normal 15A outlet.
I need rapid charging along highways but not really in a parking - even the slowest available single-phase charger (apart from using a standard wall plug) gets you 41km range in 1 hour in a model 3. That's not quick, but you're likely parked for at least 2 to 3 hours (university, concert, shopping mall, restaurant, movie theater) - if not overnight/a full work day - so that minimum of 82km is already more than what most people drive in a day.
We just need cars to have a decent (350km+) range to start with (range anxiety is a thing, efficiency in winter drops significantly, highway driving consumes more, batteries age and lose about 10% over 8 years) so that missing 2 or 3 charges in a row doesn't ruin anybody's day.
>3. Ev companies, especially Tesla, are rent seeking. The average consumer cannot afford it. Packages and subscriptions to your own vehicle are a cyberpunk dystopia.
Tesla is indeed very pricey and their promise of 35K dollars was not really met, even though it existed (with some caveats) for some time. But we're starting to see decent (not crippled with a comically small battery) models from other manufacturers and we'll hit the 20k threshold for an OK car very soon if we haven't already done so, and then 15k, and then 10k (maybe not in the western world but I'm sure China and India will manage - with cars which are actually safe and which make their buyers happy).
Don't judge the entire market by looking at Tesla. They got there first, we owe them this revolution, but they're no longer alone in this space. But don't judge it by looking at Toyota either, they were asleep at the wheel, completely missed the revolution and are now busy coming up with some bullshit to explain it's best for everyone.
Toyota and their engineers were years ahead of everyone else a couple decades ago.
Unfortunately they didn't listen to their own engineers.
His vision for Toyota's eco-friendly autos goes beyond the Prius line. "The next step is to apply hybrid technology to other models, and to reduce its price," he says. After that, he has his sights on dispensing with CO2-belching gasoline engines entirely: "Ultimately, the future is in electric power." It might sound like an eco-platitude. But if someone is going to bring an electric car to your driveway, there's a good chance Hori will be the one to do it.
The plan to go 100% EV seems odd to me. There are many people who have cars with no place to charge at home because they lack in premise parking. Not sure how that plays out.
Power delivery exists more places than gasoline delivery. The number of places that have gas but no power is very, very low. Enough to ignore.
It's amazing to me we have put all this work into a fantastic logistics network for gasoline and cough at the thought of chargers in all the same places.
A mere 6 fast chargers at 20% utilization would roughly double the electricity needs of a store.
Not to mention, we haven’t had to increase the capacity of our electric grid in decades (and it’s still falling down regularly), yet getting everyone in EVs quickly would increase the average need by a fair bit.
I did the calculations some time ago, and it was about 43,000 GWh/y for CA (15m cars * .24 KWh/m * 12,000 annual miles). For reference CA has a yearly electricity generation capacity of just under 200k GWH/y.
First I don't think EVs will ever fully replace ICE. There's use cases for gas.
But when I hear about the grid load, I have no pity. Or fear.
Imagine going back to 1800 and describing to an engineer the vast scale of gasoline production, distribution and consumption. Billions of ICEs distributed around the globe. The scale of fuel distribution! The network of trucks. The massive holding tanks. The inshore and offshore refineries. The pipelines and wells. The geopolitics. The strategic reserves, and prodigious tanker fleets. All because we need something everywhere that is only available in a few places.
We can send a rover to Mars for less cost than a prospecting well in the ocean, and there are lots of oil wells in the ocean. Trillions have been spent.
It seems unfathomable to go to such lengths from scratch. To invent and maintain so much, and for what? And we did.
Now imagine all that exists and you just want more. That's not unfathomable. It's just market dynamics. It'll double just fine thanks. It'll more than double.
> It's just market dynamics. It'll double just fine thanks. It'll more than double.
Sure. If you let the market operate. But at least in Sweden we don’t. So we’re stuck in this loop of conflicting requirements: “no greenhouse emissions, no nuclear, no wind farms close to my home, and double the capacity - thanks!” It’s not going to happen.
When you put all this in perspective, it makes sense. Electricity usage will probably tripe or quadruple and I think we can handle that.
But I'm going to miss the sweet petrol and diesel engine cars.
TL;DR: Market forces have been proven to be insufficient to force changes on public utilities.
I agree, nothing technological blocks the grids from growing. But there are plenty of political and profit driven blocks which are preventing it.
To continue with my theme of CA power grid bashing - PG&E is still starting forest fires due to poor quality infrastructure (pushing too much power through lines not rated for it, causing sagging). PG&E does constant rolling blackouts over the summer because of their lacking capacity. PG&E imports about 20% of the electricity that CA requires yearly. They do this because it's cheaper than fixing their infrastructure.
And there's no reason they won't just continue in this fashion in the face of their 2035 electric car replacement deadline. They have a government-created monopoly, and have no reason to build out their capacity.
Rinse and repeat for most states and countries.
But why would a store need fast chargers? 22kW is perfectly enough for any place where you stop for an hour or more.
Fast chargers would require you to leave your shopping cart in the middle of Costco and run back to your car to unplug & move so you don't get idle fees :)
Counter argument: Why would I want to spend an hour in a minimart? The equivalent of gas stations will be required to support long-distance travel. And there are a lot of gas stations out there today.
And I'm guessing you mean 20W, not kW? Fast chargers are 300W as a point of reference.
You really think you can charge a car with a phone charger ? Of course it's 20kW...
You're right, my memory messed that up.
To avoid looking like more of an idiot, I went back and found the official DC Fast Charge levels and wattages (level 3 DC fast charge is up to 350kW, level 2 is up to around 18kW). Which, thankfully, didn't change my conclusions above, I was of a more sound mind when I did those calculations before.
But here they are again.
Level 2, at 18kW, would be around 157,680 kWh/y per charger at full utilization. (18*24*365)
Level 3 would max out at 3,065,000 kWh/y per charger; but it's much more likely to be intermittently used. (350*24*365)
Compare to these commercial building utilization numbers (the units are thousands of kWh/y): https://www.eia.gov/consumption/commercial/data/2012/c&e/cfm...
There are exactly zero cars on the road today that won't be 100% full from 0.1% battery in under 24 hours when plugged in to a Level 2 charger.
Depending on the car's internal charger (1 or 3 phase) most charge from "towed to charger" empty to absolutely full in well under 10 hours.
Doing it like that is like trying to calculate how many fuel trucks would a gas station need if all its pumps were being run 24/7/365 at full blast. It'll never ever happen.
That's more related to the the calculation from my statement a bit back up the comment tree:
> it was about 43,000 GWh/y for CA (15m cars * .24 KWh/m * 12,000 annual miles). For reference CA has a yearly electricity generation capacity of just under 200k GWH/y.
But the numbers I posted that you're directly referring to are still important, as they indicate the need for improved electrical infrastructure for individual buildings who may want to put in chargers. Your grocery stores, apartments, motels, etc.
If just one 18kW charger can double demand on a motel's power, what happens when you add ten? Twenty?
If you're just grabbing a coffee and protein bar, of course it doesn't make sense.
But I said "Costco" on purpose, it's not a place you just drop in real quick and grab one thing. You're gonna be there for a while. Target is another good reference for US people. Maybe even Ikea.
And yes, it's kilowatts. They're not mobile phone chargers =) The Hyundai Ioniq 5 charges at 350kW, 800 volts.
>we haven’t had to increase the capacity of our electric grid in decades
Who's we? In China, generation has doubled in a decade. What a sad time to be alive if even existential failure isn't a strong enough motivator to get a developed country to pay for some infrastructure.
The US. Since I was posting statistics for CA, I had hoped that was clear. Sorry if it wasn't.
Here's CA, a state well known for its rolling brownouts throughout summer, as an example:
The logistics of a 15-30 minute charge time at a power station seems harder than a 1.5 to 3 minute gasoline fill, IMO.
Chargers at work. At the grocery store. At your doctors appointment.
Most people spend a significant time with their car sitting somewhere for at least that amount of time.
at least where i am, these either do not have their own parking lots, or have multistory lots where maybe 5 spaces out of dozens are equipped with chargers, and I have no idea how feasible a full retrofit would be.
in the pre-pandemic world they had to implement a queue system for the charging spots, so you couldn't just park your car the whole day in one and had to move it out to let someone else have a turn.
I'm also wondering how this works in areas where it snows. My dad's old apartment in Virginia would routinely get snow in the winter, and his apartment complex had no covered parking. One needed to park in the limited number of spaces in the parking lot or park on the street. Imagine trying to coordinate rotating EV charging while digging your car out of the snow. I'm sure someone will think of a solution, but it's not immediately obvious how one would handle that.
The solution there would be something like a 110V 15A outlet at a large portion of the parking spaces and some method for metering and accounting for the delivered power so it can be charged to the tenant. And if they charge a convenience fee like most apartments do for preferential parking then that financial outlay would become a profit center after it was paid off.
I'm sure it'd be more costly for commercial work but a simple home charger infrastructure installation runs around $1k, and that's for a Level 2 (240V) charger. Although that doesn't account for the supplemental meter equipment costs.
A Level 1 charger can recharge say a Nissan Leaf from empty overnight. A single day's drive is far more likely to be at or below 20% of the capacity which is closer to 2hrs. For the average user that would be just fine.
A small number of time-limited slots with Level 2 charger could be provided for convenience, but even just allowing individuals to charge at Level 1 rates while their cars are parked would likely suffice in at least half the cases.
There seems to be this misconception that every EV will eventually need a dedicated fast charger and needs to charge to full capacity in 5 mins. But the reality is that, for a large portion of the driving population, a car tends to sit in place for large amounts of time and a modern 150mi+ range EV rarely get depleted in a day. A Level 1 charger would be more than enough for those people. Especially with public fast chargers available for those unusual situations where you need more charge very quickly.
For those who need more than that, an EV is truly not an ideal vehicle for them.
I think in general a lot of people "sleep" on how much of a game changer just having Level 1 "chargers" aka "boring wall outlets" everywhere would be.
I also think that thinking of Level 1 as "chargers" and not "boring wall outlets" is a part of the remaining problem. You shouldn't need to bother with the costs for metering and accounting the delivered power at Level 1. Does Starbucks charge you a wall outlet fee to charge your cell phone or laptop? At Level 1 it can just be a "courtesy".
At Level 1 each car is basically the extra draw of one additional old school incandescent light bulb. Who seriously cares to measure that accurately?
You can do a rough math estimate at Level 1 and just add that overhead to your operating expenses per usual. Many places with existing parking fees the added overhead likely is a rounding error compared to the existing parking price. (Same versus apartment rentals or HOA/COA dues.)
Individual outlet metering is expensive and complicates everything, just install boring outlets like we've done for more than a century.
> I think in general a lot of people "sleep" on how much of a game changer just having Level 1 "chargers" aka "boring wall outlets" everywhere would be.
Exactly! So many people fixate on fast charging that they just don't register the magic inherent in your car and home running on the same "fuel".
And having heard from people that cold climates often have outlets like these in place for engine heaters to prevent engine freezes shows that infra for this can easily exist. Though it's probably more investment for 3-7kW capacity at each outlet compared to powering a block heater.
> Does Starbucks charge you a wall outlet fee to charge your cell phone or laptop? At Level 1 it can just be a "courtesy"
Oh I totally agree, but try getting an apartment complex to buy into thousands of dollars in electrical work only to shell out even more money buying "gas" for all their tenants.
My in-law has trouble getting his complex to fix sidewalks let alone do something like installing charging infra and providing electricity. If the $1k estimate was even close for commercial 120v charging infra, you'd still be talking between 10k and 100k in just electrical work.
But that sounds like something that could be easily turned into a market differentiator, so it's not to say it won't happen.
Perhaps tacking on a flat-rate fee to offset costs would be a strong middle ground as well. That concept is something apartments/HOAs are already quite familiar with, what with things like covered parking, garages, and even additional storage space already available as add-on charges in many places.
> Individual outlet metering is expensive and complicates everything, just install boring outlets like we've done for more than a century.
Somewhere in the eventual development of this tech could be something like a complex level charging system where an apartment could meter through the charger, since most modern IoT type chargers track this anyways. That way the infra is still just as simple as a dumb outlet.
> You can do a rough math estimate at Level 1 and just add that overhead to your operating expenses per usual
This pans out at small scale, though I wonder how that pans out in the real world. The sticker shock of running that calculation at "worst case scenario" seems like an issue. With even 100 EVs at worst case using todays numbers (~60kWh capacity per car, $0.15/kWh, full charge daily) that number is nearly $1k per day. Realistically it'll be much lower since that full charge nightly is highly unlikely, but sticker shock is real.
His comment was about snow though. What do you think of that?
Other than the small range decrease because of the cold weather, how does that differ from an ICE car? His comment was about swapping cars at the charger with cars buried in snow, which isn't an issue when you no longer need to swap cars because they are charging at their own spot (per my comment about adding L1 charging to a large portion of the spots).
I guess if you're for some reason running your cabin heating the whole time then I suppose you're reducing your range, but that's solved by not doing that perhaps.
Finland here. Every single car parking spot has had a dedicated 230V 8-16A plug for over 30 years for ICE car block and cabin heaters.
The power grid hasn't melted even though the plugs at the parking spots are on a timer and usually run two hours from 0600 to 0800 so the car is nice and unfrozen when it's time for the daily commute.
Now when we are moving to PHEVs and EVs some people are _very_ worried that an EV using the exact same plug with the exact same load steadily from evening to morning will melt the entire power grid and the local wires and melt the plug. Dunno why.
Street parking is still an issue, but there are solutions for that too. The power could be pulled from street lamps for example.
Some parking spaces may be designed for bursting loads, and the wires actually do heat up if used continuously. They may still need upgrades for EVs, but overall should be only a modest cost.
When it's -25C outside the wires heating up isn't really an issue, it's more of a bonus feature :D
But yea, the cabling needs to be checked by an actual electrician and they'll determine how many cars can be charged in the ye olde block heater system without melting any wires or tripping fuses.
The 1980's stuff can usually handle 8A continuous loads. They changed the standard some time in the mid 90s, those can handle multiple cars at 10-16A continuous depending on the main fuse.
Anything above that and you'll need to overhaul the whole field and people usually go for Level 2 capable cabling if they need to break ground for cabling anyway.
I'm kinda joking but can the solution be a... Roof? (Like, over the parking lot, place to install solar panels or just a simply a roof from elements?)
Of course, this would probably (?) be a bit absurd for street parking, that's true.
Also expensive, to provide a roof that’s able to withstand snow and solar panels.
The roof doesn't need to "withstand" snow. It just needs to be sloped enough for it to fall down.
Source: My dad has his hobby car in a glorified tent during winter, works just fine, the roof is in a 45 degree-ish slant so any snow just falls off.
45° wouldn't work well with any overhangs which are not facing south - not when the goals is to put solar panels on them.
And I, every winter, see snow clinging to 45° roofs quite often. Slightly wet snow (also the heaviest snow) can even stick to vertical surfaces.
45° would also make an overhang more susceptible to wind forces, acting like a sail.
Could be. But why would they do that?
Over 80% of Americans live in a single family home.
I already faced this in 2016, living in Philadelphia, lucky to have parking at the apartment and two EV chargers. Back then there were no other EVs at the apartment complex to coordinate charging shifts with.
Methinks the number of stations will organically grow with the predicted amount of EVs an apartment will have parking on site. That’s how it started for me in 2015-2016!
Well, yeah, because demand is still relatively low. Availability like that would change if/when EVs are more widely adopted.
> Chargers at work. At the grocery store. At your doctors appointment.
This doesn't work in cities. None of those places have parking lots.
And don't say "chargers on all the curbs" because we can't afford to further entrench car supremacy and make it harder to reallocate space to bus lanes and pedestrians.
> This doesn't work in cities. None of those places have parking lots.
Put the chargers where the cars are parking. With vanishingly few exceptions, they're all parking somewhere.
I'm all for a less car-centric society, but it's gonna be easier to reach that future if we address climate change a bit on the way.
> Put the chargers where the cars are parking.
That would really be doubling down on the high cost of free parking. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_High_Cost_of_Free_Parking
I'm of the opinion the cost of climate change is likely to exceed the cost of free parking.
Great, so replace all the ICE parking lanes with electric bus rapid transit lanes. It will do much more for climate change than car chargers.
Edit: Should have mentioned the climate change is one of the biggest components of the cost of free parking. Without all the government-mandated parking spaces for the past 60 years, there would be far fewer cars today. It's not too late to reverse that.
Then the power source of for cars needs to be more available than what you're suggesting.
If addressing climate change is the goal, existing vehicles can be converted over to methanol far more cheaply than buying a whole new vehicle. Methanol can be made carbon neutrally, or carbon negatively, and will power the next generation of cargo ships.
>This doesn't work in cities. None of those places have parking lots.
Where so they park? Put chargers there, then.
Your car will drop you off at work and drive itself to the nearest parking lot/charger.
It will also fly so no need for roads anymore, just green fields everywhere.
At work? For those lucky enough to have chargers at work, good luck when fighting for one. Also, I really hope the world keep shifting towards remote working; I won’t drive to the office just to charge my car.
You have it backwards.
Put chargers where people park cars. Don’t awkwardly drive to a random place to charge.
For 75%? Of people that can be at home. For others work. For others the grocery store.
Most cars parked at "home" dont have access to a charger.
Most? In what country?
The UK for one, and I dare say most of Europe. Our nations are vastly older than the US and were not purpose built for cars. Many here have on street parking, you can't dangle a cable from your house to your car (which may not be outside of your house).
There's been arguments about putting them on lamp posts - ok, but again, cables. 1 lamp post for ~10 cars doesnt really work.
Plucking a random average UK street off of Google maps - figure out how you charge cars at 6pm when everyones home from work and this road is full of cars on both sides of the street: https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-2.9412328,3a,60y,22...
>you can't dangle a cable from your house to your car (which may not be outside of your house).
That must vary between countries, because I've seen tons of outlets on the outside walls of homes in Finland. They need a weatherproof extension cord, but it comes in handy for a lot of tools. Though most homes have at least a driveway, cars are generally shorter than homes, so they fit close by.
The cost of free parking and where to park should really be reconsidered in cities though, as with your image, those exist here as well and are really bad places to drive in. IIRC in Japan they require people to prove a car has it's own dedicated parking space before they're allowed to get a car
Requiring you to provide a dedicated parking space would be a non starter in the UK. There's just no land for that. Your dedicated parking space would end up being miles away from your home.
The issue as shown in the streetview image is that those are public footpaths next to the houses. If you tried dangling a cable from your home to your car (if you were lucky enough to get a spot outside your house) you'd very quickly be in a lot of trouble when someone trips over it.
This is false. In the UK most homes have a driveway, so fitting a charger is a no brainer.
Many do - and for those of course they can fit a charger. Terrace houses in major cities often do not have any form of allocated parking, it's all on-street. You'd be sued pretty quickly if you dangled a cable across a public footpath and someone tripped over.
Not seeing anyone coming up with a way to solve that pretty important issue.
We already manage electrically powered machines for the purpose of lighting the streets at night and for parking meters. Extending those to provide power to EVs isn’t too far fetched. https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/electric-vehicles-and-rapid...
Assuming they meant access to a L2 charger at home, every country? Sure L2 chargers can be installed, but in a lot of cases it requires upgrading the electrical service and replacing the electrical panel which isn't a home improvement project most car buyers are looking to undertake.
Which is why GM has an ongoing incentive program to try to alleviate that problem: https://www.chevrolet.com/electric/living-electric/home-char...
> The electrical panel must have 40 amps of spare ampacity according to the load calculation for the new breaker
This is where the incentive program breaks down and the 4- or 5-figure electrician quotes start for a lot of houses that were built in a time and place where natural gas powered all of the heavy appliances and panels were sized for 60- or 100-amp service.
Vast majority of Americans live in a single family home that can easily add chargers. Those that don't can charge their car when they park it in a parking lot.
Yes the chargers will just magically appear everywhere for free.
The chargers aren't that expensive. Mine was 300€ + 2 hours of installation by an electrician.
Fancier Level 2 ones with Wifi and shit are up to 1k€.
True, but ideally we'd reduce land that's allotted to simply parking a car long-term, instead of turning a single gas station into something like 250 parking spaces spread out around town.
There are just certain sections of the country where you'd either have to turn half of the streetlamps into a chargers (maybe a good idea?)...or make a modular battery swap gas station scheme....or stick with ICE.
The point isn't to add new parking spots for EV charging - it's to making charging available at places you normally park anyway.
A trip to the grocery store takes 30-45 minutes. If even 20% of the existing spots had a charger (even a modest rate charge), you'll get quite a bit of charge. Or if 20% of the parking spots at your workplace had chargers, you could leave it on the charger all day one day a week and charge very slowly (which as a bonus, low-rate chargers should be easier to provision than superchargers).
You'd never have to visit a "gas" station. You'd charge at home, at work, everywhere the car parks. Every parking lot in every building will be a charging station. You plug in your car wherever you are, and get a bill from the electricity company at the end of the month. Just park the car, and the lot will charge your batteries for you.
Yeah, the issue is that you'll either have to install chargers every 10 feet in almost every city, or come up with some scheme to swap batteries, or have more "gas" stations because the charge time is longer.
My town has on average 1 car per household, but I'd guess like 0.25 off street spots per household. That's a lot of infrastructure on public land.
> Yeah, the issue is that you'll either have to install chargers every 10 feet in almost every city
It's just an electrical outlet. There are dozens of them for every parking spot already, in the house/office/building. Adding an extra electrical outlet isn't hard for a homeowner/lot-owner to do. This isn't going to have to happen overnight. It will happen slowly over two decades.
I think we're talking about completely different areas. There aren't any electrical outlets on any of the parking meters or utility polls in my city or the surrounded city, and it's illegal to run an extension cord from, say, your 3rd story window, down the side of the building, across the sidewalk, to the street.
Regardless though, you're correct that it will take decades, but I think that this is one reason why a CEO wouldn't be all in. If it's going to take 25 years for a large chunk of customers to buy an EV, you still have a lot of cars to sell that are ICE.
So instead of building some gas stations here and there we just install hundreds of thousands charging stations on private and public property across a metro?
It's not a "charging station", it's an electrical outlet. Your house probably has a couple dozen of them, they're cheap and easy to install. In cold regions, most parking spots already have one so people can plug in their block heater. That's proof by example that it can be done.
You need to change your view of a "charging station". It's not the huge fridge sized thing that says "Electrify America" or something on it.
It's just a normal plug, maybe with some components related to metering and billing included. Load balancing if you want to be fancy.
Charging anywhere but home absolutely ruins EV economics. It’s almost impossible to make an economic argument to buy an EV in 2022, but it’s outright impossible to make that argument without fuel savings.
It actually doesn’t. If you bought an EV and just used L3 chargers to fill it, you would still come out far ahead given the current price of gas, at least where I live.
But I generally agree: unless you drive a lot and can charge at home (or at work, or both), you aren’t going to get very far ahead with an EV (and lots of L3 charging supposedly strains the battery). But they are also really fun to drive, so it might still make sense for some people to get them even if they aren’t going to be saving money.
Hard disagree. It’s definitely area dependent but in New York for me it’s a 8-12 year ROI depending on fuel prices and energy prices. This is me comparing a CRV and a Model Y. If I swap out my energy savings and charge exclusively not at home the ROI horizon goes to infinity.
5 years ago, the most common EV on the road only went 84 miles to a charge and couldn't charge faster than about 45 kW. Today, you can get EVs with 500 mile ranges and charge at over 300 kW. By the mid-2030s when EVs are supposed to be the only thing on new car lots, they'll probably take less time to charge than pumping gas did.
There's also no reason cars really need to charge that fast. Most people park their cars for hours at a time, either at home or work or a store.
Imagine if every parking spot in an apartment had a slow charger that could charge your car overnight. Simply plug in and activate and it properly charges your apartment.
And now your employer makes it a free perk, or teams up with the electric co. so that you could do the same at work and get charged market rates directly.
Perhaps malls or larger stores provide a similar slow charger without the insane upcharge of Level 2 chargers. Heck, imagine something similar to parking validation. If you make purchases at the store or see a movie or whatever, then you get a code to "validate" your charging so you get the cost (or a portion) waived.
With infrastructure like that, then you only need fast chargers when you travel long distances, such as between states or cities.
This is the way.
People need to get over their mental view of "refueling" being a thing you do when your tank is almost empty and then you fill it to the brim.
It's perfectly workable to charge 50km of range while you're at the grocery store, maybe 100km while you're at work and another 100-150km overnight at home.
I've got a 230V/12A capable plug on my parking spot and I don't bother to plug in every night. A full charge would take around ~18 hours (10% to 100%), but my daily drives rarely take me under 50% and I don't charge to a 100% because the manufacturer recommendation is to keep the car at 80% unless you're going for a longer trip.
The only time I visit a fast charger is when I go see my family, who live a bit beyond my car's comfortable max range. I stop half way for 20 minutes to top up a bit from a 50kW charger (old car, slow charging =) ) and grab some food from the local shop while I'm at it. I don't need to charge to a 100% during the stop, 15-20% of charge is perfectly enough to get me to my destination - where I have a 230V/10A plug to charge overnight.
Seems like a pain, having to top your car up all the time like an old phone. Prefer one 5 min stop a fortnight to fill the tank up, until an EV can do similar they will remain a niche product.
It takes me literally under 20 seconds to plug in my car at home. Get out of car, walk to the back of the car, grab Type 2 cable from wall holder, poke charge port to open, plug in. Do the reverse when I leave.
That's it, I don't need to drive 5-10 minutes to tank up.
And given that my daily driving is well under 50km, I don't even need to plug in every night at home, maybe 2-3 times per week.
Also it costs me 2,25€/100km to drive. With our current prices (~2€/litre) it's the equivalent of a car that does 1.1l/100km. I'm willing to spend the extra 30 minutes to drive back home when I'm saving 50€+.
I assume many (most?) cities have the same rules as mine and you aren't allowed to run an extension cord from your house, across the sidewalk, to the street.
You're commiting the sin of assuming your workload is representative of everyone else's.
You do you, but it doesn't tend to make you many friends. Then there's the old diddy of "to Assume is to make an Ass of U & Me".
If you haven't actually sampled a sufficiently diverse set of people's travel use cases, making statements such as yours is at best ill informed and disingenuous.
And you're making the assumption that everyone has to have the same type of vehicle. There's nothing to say that the person who needs to drive 100-200mi per day needs to be using an EV. Even then, those people would likely still be fine with a Level 2 charger provided they can plug in overnight.
As for the diverse set of travel, the various DMVs and highway safety groups have done that for us. The average daily drive is under 40mi. When talking about core infrastructure here, assuming a daily drive of 40mi and basing the average charging infrastructure around would go a long way.
If EVs don't fit your life, then don't buy one. Though most people thing they drive much more often than they do, and fixate way to much on this once per week "fillup" charge idea when the daily partial charge is far more viable for the average driver.
Might seem that way, but after switching to an EV I'd never go back. Going to a gas station is a real annoyance, now I just spend 5 seconds plugging my car in whenever it gets below half.
You're comparing the most common EV on the road five years ago with the longest-range option available today. What you're saying could be true even if EVs hadn't advanced at all!
Am I computing this correctly? Assuming charger is at 120V, P = VI -> I = 300*1000/120 = 2500 Amps? That's a lot of juice...
EVs "quick charge" at 350-1000V. The charging stations today typically go up to 350 amps.
Interesting, wonder what the hard limits on voltage are? 350 amps @ 1000V must have one hell of a cord! Would be interesting to see what this station looks like.
Type "Electrify America" into Google and hit the images tab. The majority of their 788 sites include one or more 350 kW stations. The cords are probably over an inch thick, I've never measured, but no thicker than a fuel hose for a gas pump. They're liquid cooled to carry that current without overheating.
What EV has 500mile range?
Lucid Air. Dream Edition trim is EPA rated over 500 miles, and achieved over 500 miles in Edmunds' real-world range testing. It's also the car that charges the fastest, I believe.
1.5 to 3 min gasoline fill is trivial. 15 minute EV charge is not. It's also a long time to wait in terms of the logistics of queuing people.
EV is kinda limited to out and back trips. Which is a lot of the need (commuting), to be fair. Recharging on the go will always be worse compared to ICE.
Road trip stop time with gasoline car: 3 minutes to fill + 15 minutes to go to the bathroom and buy a coffee.
With an EV car: 15 minutes to go to the bathroom and buy a coffee, done in parallel with the charge.
Time spent filling a gasoline car in your home city: 5 minutes 3x a month = 3 hours / year.
Time spent filling an EV at home: 5 seconds 3x a week = 3 minutes / year.
I really need to see videos of people doing these mythical 90 second gasoline fills on long road trips.
Do you practice it like you're at NASCAR or F1? How do you manage bathroom breaks? Bottles or catheters for everyone?
The point is more that if you want to drive like that, you can. My partner and I will typically stop for five to ten minutes to fill up, take a quick toilet break, and then get back on the road. We'll eat in the car, because we're trying to get somewhere. And that time adds up. In this video , Engineering Explained spends 8 hours charging, a bit over 20% of his total trip time. That's staggering; it's effectively a whole day, and could mean the difference between staying in a hotel overnight, and sleeping in your own bed.
BEVs are fine for many people, but I don't think Toyota is wrong in their assessment. Requirements typically aren't set at the mean, they're set at the extreme. I know people who had to make emergency trips during COVID that wouldn't have been possible in a BEV. Hell, I went on a work trip with some colleagues the other day and we had to use my car, because my coworker's BEV wouldn't have made the distance back.
The reality is that a BEV isn't a one-to-one replacement for an ICEV, and ICEVs are still superior for the "non-average" use case. I'll think about getting a BEV if they're ever able to compete at Le Mans.
And there are dozens of youtubers doing 1000km+ trips with maybe a hour extra compared to ICE - while saving hundreds compared to gas/diesel.
The US charging infrastructure is really bad outside of few major thoroughfares.
Please share them, then. For example, here's another video of Engineering with Rosie ; 4 hours spent charging on an ordinarily 8 hour trip after a mishap. I've driven those roads, and her trips are consistently 1-2 hours longer than an equivalent ICEV. So no, I don't buy that the performance is anywhere close to ICEVs for longer trips, and reliable charging is absolutely an issue.
Secondly, You aren't saving hundreds when using fast charging; in many places you're doing roughly the same cost wise, for a worse experience . Here's a reddit comparison from a year ago versus a hybrid, which came out to be more expensive . It's fair to say that if you're just charging it at home and using it as a commuter, then yeah, you're coming out ahead on fuel costs, but as I mentioned above, you just can't do some things as well as a normal car, and sometimes that really matters.
Here's TeslaBjörn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_04rk3lIFcM&list=PLqKx2qnB8X...
He's done a 1000km trip on almost a hundred different EVs in Norway. Very few have any major issues.
A car that's fully fueled when you leave your home is even simpler.
Damn, you must be rich I suspect? With your fancy garage and all that. In the last 14 years of my life, I have not had a place to charge my battery at home. Only at work, but it’s practically a territory battle for the few EV spots there are…
And some apartment and office space owners outright refuse to add chargers. With all that copper, they’re outright magnets for thieves.
Not sure where you grew up but garages are standard in much of the US, minus dense urban centers.
The entire Bay Area is less than 50% homeowners. The suburbs are full of low-rise apartments with street parking or asphalt lots with no power and no security. It’s not impossible to put in four million public chargers, but we’ve barely started.
> Power delivery exists more places than gasoline delivery.
This doesnt address the point that lots of people dont have access to this. Particularly in late cities.
The plan shouldn’t be to replace 100% of existing ICE cars with electric cars. The carbon impact of the construction of those would still be too high. The plan should be to invest in public transport and electric bicycles, and use electric cars when either of those options isn’t enough, to complement.
All cities built around cars (and that’s almost every American city for instance) will have to change—either by arranging for bicycles and building public transport or through floods, fires, and hurricanes.
I think this is the key. Almost too the point that car sized private vehicles should be banned from the inner city.
Yes, but I don't see that happening in the near and not so near future.
My 82 years old, disabled dad disagrees that this is a good idea.
With awareness of having zero context, I'd believe your 82 year old disabled dad, and the general public, would be safer if he was not allowed to drive a car in the inner city.
That's an easy problem to solve, though. Lower-speed L2 charging could easily be made ubiquitous anywhere that street parking exists.
Since the wattage demands are relatively low, it would not be too difficult to have L2 charging available anywhere that residential parking exists. Unlike fast-charging, you wouldn't need a lot of expensive high-power infrastructure, and if the power utilities were smart they'd do it themselves.
They could put little parking-meter size boxes by the side of the road—tapped off of existing residential power infrastructure—with credit card tap to pay.
I don't think it would take that long to reach a large density of that type of inexpensive, overnight charge systems.
Already a thing in cold climates in parking lots, except it’s for your block heater. Usually it switches between sides of the lot every X minutes.
Over here it's a 2 hour timer you set up, most cars heat up from 0600-0800 or 0700 to 0900, depending on when people start off to work.
I'm not sure what the max power output of those types of deployments are, but I've seen block heaters in Canada that pull as much as 1500 watts, so that's not insignificant.
I think that calling this "an easy problem to solve" is really understating the issue. It may not require any new inventions or new technology, but it requires a monumental infrastructure effort, on the same scale as the original electrification processes that happened to industrialized societies 100 years ago.
The effort is already underway.
California's building code requires all residential and commercial buildings have EV chargers starting on January 1, 2023.
The national electric vehicle infrastructure program (NEVI) has $7 billion in funding from the infrastructure bill passed last year and just approved the charging station construction plans for all 50 states. Within a few years we'll have "fast charge" stations for EVs every 50 miles along nearly every highway in the nation.
EVs already made up more than 10% of global new car sales this summer. Market demand will mean that apartment buildings and condos will start putting in outlets for EV charging on their own otherwise they'll not be able to attract tenants pretty soon.
Houses last for centuries, a few thousand new builds in Cali is not going to make the slightest difference. I think EV will remain a niche (<15%) until they can charge as quickly as filling a tank and until their (real) range is 700+ miles.
I'd say by 2030 buying an EV would be a viable option for most. The people buying them now are usually early adopting Tesla fan-bois who are happy to pay through the nose to be a crash test dummy for self driving.
Nearly all houses these days have electrical outlets. A 110 volt 20 amp circuit isn't the most ideal way to charge an EV, but it can work. Most houses have 220 outlets, and adding one to the garage is no big deal. Few people will ever install a DC fast charger in their house, and that's fine because it's not needed.
~700 mile range and ~30C charging rates are ridiculous bars to meet. EVs with ~200 mile range and ~2C charging rates work just fine right now for a lot of people.
The main issue right now with EV adoption is just the cost of batteries, and lack of a convenient way for people in apartments to charge.
There's a decently high current power line available from street lights. Not sure if they're still putting them in with high current since so many are converting to LED, but sodium lights drew ~1kW iirc.
There's already been projects to put in chargers on street lights, like this one https://lalights.lacity.org/connected-infrastructure/ev_stat... and this one https://www.electronicspecifier.com/products/renewables/conv...
Shipping and processing oil isn't trivial either. At least with electric we aren't poisoning the nearby air.
It certainly isn't. But it's also already done. That doesn't make it better or worse, it just makes it a sort of benchmark for the infrastructure work required to replace that energy distribution system (based on liquid hydrocarbons) with something else.
Well, not exactly. EV's still have emissions, they are just displaced. They happen at the power plant instead of the tailpipe. You would cause more pollution if the electricity was generated with coal instead of gasoline, for example.
Hence the word 'nearby'. And it's easier to replace fewer polluting sources via electricity.
Over 80% of apartment parking spots in Finland have had a power plug since the 80s. It's not that hard.
People just keep thinking that every car needs a 350kW fast charger on their parking spot, when a normal three phase plug would do just fine.
It's better for the battery to charge slowly anyway.
EV enthusiasts' arrogance and cult-like devotion to dismissing the very real problems with EVs and lack of infrastructure will only hurt, not help their cause.
Never pricing in externalities of gas powered vehicles is only hurting their cause.
How can you describe such a gargantuan infrastructure project as "easy"? You're talking about power structures and associated transmission to virtually every carpark in a city, as well as a way to monetize it.
It’s like that here in the NL. My power company has an EV sparking spot on every block in my neighborhood. I rented an EV for a weekend and was pleasantly shocked at how easy it was to find a charger. Well, as long as you’re not in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is hell in any kind of vehicle.
> It’s like that here in the NL.
We’ve gone from “ubiquitous” to one spot on every block.
I say it's easy to make L2 street parking ubiquitous _anywhere_, not _everywhere_ all at once.
Obviously taken in totality it's a massive undertaking, but you could say the same thing about streetlamps, or roads, or basically any ubiquitous infrastructure.
Many places have started with 1-2 spots per neighborhood, which is prudent and scalable. As demand rises they should be able to keep pace with that demand without significant technical challenges.
That’s potentially plenty though. You only need street charging for a relatively small
Percent of the population. For most drivers 1 night in 3 would keep you fully charged.
Sounds terrible. Now instead of worry about finding a spot, you worry about whether your car will be functional or not.
Nah you can always l3 charge for 15 minutes.
It’s like this in Oslo and it didn’t take a lot of efforts.
> They could put little parking-meter size boxes by the side of the road—tapped off of existing residential power infrastructure—with credit card tap to pay.
Most of that is private property. They could probably treat it like a telephone pole, but it's not as simple as "just go install 400,000 chargers wherever their is street parking."
For private property it's easy and inexpensive to just install your own L2 charging. Even if you rent, it probably wouldn't be too hard to convince your landlord to let you pay for an L2 charger install if they already offer you private parking.
I was thinking more about street parking and parking lots, though, since that's an area with a the less immediately obvious solution.
I'm sure it differs between principalities, but in many places the city/government controls the area immediately beside the street and if they were onboard it would be feasible to install streetside chargers early everywhere.
Privately owned parking lots couldn't be forced to do so without legislation, but it's inexpensive and adding a few into the mix could add to their revenue streams.
How many tons of copper would that require?
I remember someone did an analog British Telecom. At the time, BT had a market cap of something like 30 billion pounds, and the estimated value of all their copper wiring was around 50 billion pounds. The (amusing and not thoroughly convincing) argument was that take away the copper, and BT was worth -20 billion pounds. Maybe with all that legacy copper, someone will start a copper mine in the UK.
Maybe it's not your intention, but your comment seems to imply that it's too difficult to attempt because of how much copper would be involved. However, I suspect you wouldn't need to purchase all the copper up front.
You'd be aiming for short runs off of existing power infrastructure and you'd be scaling up over time. You also wouldn't be running these to every single place that a car _could_ park, just trying to get a critical mass of them near where people live.
Most people already have lots of copper cabling in their houses and most cars are parked overnight near to residential housing, so the additional copper used would only be some fraction of what is already in most homes.
not very many. most streets already have power lines. you just need a few extra feet to get to the car.
My neighbourhood (London, UK) has on-street charging ports. Some of them are in lampposts and some of them are sunk into the pavement (sidewalk). This seems to work well.
This seems to work well when 95% of cars are still ICE.
Why would it not work with 100% EVs?
Because the cables that deliver the energy would then burn through.
Cars don't actually use that much power relative to the amount that households already use if they're not fast-charging (using power here in the technical sense (amps) not as a synonym for energy (watts)). Smart charging meters that default to a cheap off-peak slow-charge (i.e. an overnight charge) with the option to override with a fast charge for a premium will probably solve 90% of our problems here.
Or get nicked.
I wonder how well this works when some (many?) people don’t move their cars for days or weeks as a time.
That's not a huge deal either, really. In time, more and more parking spots will have charging ports. The fact that they aren't all used all the time will actually make it easier to manage the grid loads.
Imagine you park your car and let either the car or the charger know you aren't moving the car for 2 or 3 days. It can use that knowledge to delay your charging until local demand is lower, or power is cheaper.
Most of the places they drive their car to, will have chargers. Supermarkets, workplaces, parks, etc.
You don't need to charge at home. It's just the most convenient.
Many of those parking spaces in major cities cannot handle even a slight increase in congestion due to charging, and the time to plug-in and un plug is too much for them. Think about your local downtown Whole Foods parking lot.
My local Whole Foods parking lot has had EV charging spaces for 8 years. I used to charge my Nissan LEAF there while grocery shopping back in the day.
And how many others can charge when you charge? 5? Or fewer?
4, and I never saw all 4 in use at once. You don't need infrastructure for 200 million EVs today if there's only 2 million on the road. They'll grow together.
Is that a bad thing if it’s still early days for EVs? Do you not think that more stations can and will be installed?
Why are you driving downtown to supermarket? Perhaps your city needs to be planned in a more efficient and livable manner.
You stay at the supermarket the whole day ?
No, but it’s usually 30 minutes. Enough to take a normal EV from 20-80 percent.
No it's not, not unless you have Tesla style massive DC chargers. And they are not putting those in every supermarket. Regular chargers will barely give you enough charge to get home in that 30 minutes.
> No it's not, not unless you have Tesla style massive DC chargers. And they are not putting those in every supermarket. Regular chargers will barely give you enough charge to get home in that 30 minutes.
Not it's not, not unless you have IBM style massive cabinet hard drives. And they are not putting those in every home computer. Regular hard drives will barely give you enough disk space to store plaintext documents.
Sorry, you just sound like people that used to say things like "you'll never need more than 1 GiB of hard drive space." Things will evolve. It'll happen faster than you anticipate.
Wake up, we don't talk about computers. We talk about cars. Big heavy maschines that can't be shrinked and where the technic is not evolving as fast as the first years in computers.
You will need the same amount of energy to bring a car today or in 20 years from a to b. And this amount of energy needs to be transfered to the place where you want to charge your battery. And there is the problem that will not change in 20 years. You can supercharge 5 cars an a parking lot now, but for 50 cars you need a complete other infrastructur thats bind on the same physics that cars have today.
And no, you never ned 1GB of hard drive for anything that was done with computers at this time. Now we use computers for completly other things. I suppose on cars the usage will not change as far as with computers.
> We talk about cars.
No, we're talking about batteries and charging. If you think battery tech is done evolving, wont shrink, and that "energy" and "power" are interchangeable concepts, then I don't think we can have a fruitful discussion.
> And no, you never ned 1GB of hard drive for anything that was done with computers at this time.
That was my point. Saying something wont happen based on what's happened so far is foolish.
I think the point is that if battery technology is good enough, it's not the limiting factor. Being able to deliver that much power becomes a bottleneck. At some point the owner of the parking lot will have to upgrade their electrical service, which could be expensive.
I'm not sure how much of an issue that really is, though. Even if all cars are EVs, it's not like every single grocery store customer is going to fully charge their car every time they buy groceries.
You find DC fast chargers in many supermarkets in Norway. Not every but it’s really not a problem to find one with chargers.
The supermarket is 5 miles away. You can charge that in a few minutes even on a 7kw charger.
> Supermarkets, workplaces
Problem there is that the trend is towards home delivery and working from home.
They're not using the car, so the battery isn't depleting.
Tell that to all the Tesla owners that leave their cars at the airport and return to a dead battery.
That's a (mostly early model year) Tesla problem, not an electric car problem. My Nissan LEAF sat unused in my driveway for several months in 2020 and its charge level didn't drop at all.
I would think the ambient outdoor temperature would have a rather large impact here. If it's cold outside the car has to use battery power to keep the batteries themselves within operating range.
The Nissan LEAF's battery warmer only activates at -17C and turns off at -10C.
It does not reach -17C any day of the year in much of the world.
First I'd have to find them, but I've never heard of that happening. On the other hand, I've had plenty of battery problems in ICE cars.
I bought a bunch of LFP cells a couple years ago to do an EV conversion of a Mazda RX-8. After a couple years of literally just sitting there, they went from about 3.2 volts to about 3.1 volts.
Tesla cell chemistry is different (unless you get one of the new ones that use LFPs from CATL), but it's not an inherent problem with electric cars generally.
Late to reading this comment. That's a beautiful option for an EV conversion, how's it going / how'd it turn out? Is there a progressive diary blog or somesuch?
That's true for city dwellers in the west. I wonder how a 100% electric world would work in the parts of the world where the Toyota Hilux is a necessity.
Electric is great for off-road - all that torque at low speeds! And you can recharge from anything you can get power from - not dependent on only diesel.
Off road implies not near the grid.. though if you are going to play you are fine, but some people get far enough out that they pack extra fuel.
> if you are going to play you are fine
I manage a fleet of off-road vehicles at work, and just came back from a camp location we were operating out of a wood clearing with no mains. We pack in our own generators and fuel for these periods where we can't access the grid, which could be used for charging.
It would be cool if they built a car with a generator in it so you wouldn't need to fill up the generator and then the generator charges the car. You could just put gas in the car!
That’s actually already how the diesel-electric drive-train of a railway locomotive works - and coupled with a battery it would give the best of all combinations. Only downside is permanently lugging around the generator. This is what they’re looking at for some military vehicles.
If you're hauling around a fossil fuel generator to plug charge your EV, that kind of defeats the purpose :) That's like using a giant fan to move the clouds so your solar panels work.
> If you're hauling around a fossil fuel generator to plug charge your EV, that kind of defeats the purpose :)
How does diesel get to where you need it to refuel except for being hauled around?
With electric you have options. Charge off mains at home base 90% of the time. Then maybe you go to a camp and run off a generator for a couple of days a month.
If only they made some sort of hybrid.
Charging an EV with a generator is actually a more efficient way of using liquid fuel than exploding it in an engine.
The generator runs at its peak efficiency RPM at all times, car engines do not. Combine that with the 90%+ efficiency of an electric motor and you're good.
I regret to inform you that plugging your EV into a tree to charge only works in cartoons.
I don't get why you're being sarcastic to me?
You can recharge from mains, or a diesel generator, or a gas generator. Maybe put a big diesel field generator and tank static in a temporary camp location and then work out of that location charging each night.
Because out in the bush there is no mains, no diesel generators, and no gas generators, so they probably regards comment as worse than useless, at a guess.
There's no diesel in the bush either. So how do you refuel a diesel vehicle? You haul it in. How do you think a diesel generator would get into the bush? Haul it in with the diesel. An off-road tanker can carry 40 tonnes of diesel into a camp. A generator doesn't add much to that.
Have you got much experience running an off-road operation at distance?
A tanker, even empty, cannot get into the bush. Even an unprepared 4WD is often unwise to take into the bush. A few jerry cans of gas in the bed are no bother at all.
> A tanker, even empty, cannot get into the bush.
I’ve literally personally driven a diesel tanker off-road through the Kenyan bush.
I was just thinking about the water trucks in Nepal. They go anywhere, it's impressive.
You probably know things that the person you are replying to doesn't and arguing is futile.
Nonetheless, electric isn't so great if you have to pack generators to make it work. It defeats the purpose, right?
My comment up there was from the perspective of a long distance motorcycle traveler. When I look around, I see cars that are already packed: children on parents' knees, one child in the back, and luggage on top. A generator and fuel wouldn't be trivial to add to this.
Above all, it means that fueling up becomes something you can only do where you stop. It's no longer a five minute break, but a constant logistical issue.
I'm not saying that it's impossible, but it's a tough sell. Have you seen The Long Way Up? They attempt a Pan-American trip with electric bikes, and boy what a headache.
And I've forded rivers that would swallow your tanker truck. Just because you have done some basic bitch off roading doesn't mean you know the bush.
If the river swallows your tanker truck, how do you answer his first question:
> There's no diesel in the bush either. So how do you refuel a diesel vehicle?
Ridiculous. Then what's happening in the bush except for being a rich person's safari playground?
This person is single-handedly driving all resources into all remote locations, in the bed of their truck. No other transport allowed.
Many people that do multi day car/RV camping, bring a generator.
People are building their own #vanlife vans nowadays with full electric systems using panels on the roof and maybe a few they can spread around on longer stays.
Rivian R1T, Ford 150 Lightning, Hummer etc.
They've all shown that trucks are one of the easier parts of fully transitioning to EV.
Except they're useless as actual trucks. Put a heavy load in the back, or tow something, and you get about 1/4 of the rated range.
TFL truck found this out with a new Lightning.
Except for the big selling point for trucks, the ability to tow for long distances.
Hard pass. Towing is unusable.
It won't be a big deal. Just like there are apartments without washing machines and people deal with it. The batteries are big enough that you really only need to charge once a week with a good EV and an average amount of driving. Tesla super chargers are often co located with grocery stores so people will just end up charging while they grocery shop once a week it will be a non issue. It's what I did for the first couple months before I installed an at home charger. minor inconvenience at worst.
I was surprised there was a Tesla charger right nearby. I live in middle of nowhere Missouri.
The future is bright. And electric, apparently.
I never understood what the problem with hybrid EVs was. They seem like the best of both worlds. Drastically improved gas mileage - competitive with the effective mpg of a full EV - but without the requirement to build superchargers everywhere (and add 30-60min stops on your longer trips)
They are more expensive to buy, you need two drivetrains.
They are more complex, you have two drivetrains.
They are heavier, you have two drivetrains.
They are not as nice to drive compared to any pure EV.
You have to put gaz into them.
You may look stupid in your neighbourhood too. Not everyone buy a car for the social status but buying a more expensive fossil car today is not cool. At least in Norwegian urban areas.
But yes you save a few minutes if your long trim at the cost of losing a few minutes every time you fuel it.
Counterpoint to all of the above except your image problems: batteries are heavy and expensive. Also, studies have shown that PHEVs have a similar maintenance cost per mile as BEVs.
Most people don't need to charge every night. You likely don't refuel every night, do you?
The average commute is like 40 miles a day. Go somewhere and recharge once a week while you have a coffee.
It isn’t perfect, but 120V outlets are not that bad for overnight charging, and pretty easy to add. Some 50kW chargers nearby can top you off when you need extra.
Some claim it’s impossible to add such outlets to parking everywhere, but I’ve noticed some wintery towns already do this- for block heaters!
The plan is more like 80% EV. A key feature of technological progress is that some people and some places will always be left behind. At least without massive government intervention.
Once EVs are in a clear majority, gas station network will start shutting down, as it is no longer a profitable business. Without easy refueling, old ICE cars will become almost useless for most purposes, and that 80% will start looking more like 100%.
Feel like solar panel roof/hood are an underrated solution here. Lots of people park outdoors and the trickle charge of 20-40 miles a day is nearly enough to meet the everyday needs.
Patiently waiting for my Aptera. Yup. This is the way.
Most cars won't gain anywhere near 20-40 miles per day from solar, though, they're simply not efficient enough. Get the consumption down, and the same amount of panels can accomplish a lot more.
And, most folks who live in awkward parking situations are also near the city where their commute needs are very short. Folks out in the country who need to drive farther, generally have their own parking and can do plug-in charging. (Probably also supplied by solar.)
ioniq 5 with solar roof promises like 6-7 km a day (4 miles in weird). can we expect an order of magnitude improvement here?
No. The solar panels are likely more than 10% efficient and the battery and motor are going to be pretty efficient. Hitting 100% efficiency on the solar panels is ~impossible, so even if you get really close to ideal on both sides of it you aren't going to do 10 times better.
I guess a wildcard would be making the vehicle lighter.
The Aptera is lighter and can get 40 miles of range from its solar panels on a sunny day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpiH-Y-HOvE
yeah i'm also sceptical
and that's i'm worried that it's going to be part of a hype to symbolically buy them, wasting the materials to create solar panels even further, only for them to stand in a garage or otherwise well-protected from the sun by the buildings around
Solar panels are getting pretty darn cheap these days. A roof + hood panel system is probably in the low hundreds to 1k per car. And ultimately more panels being sold leads to lower prices for everyone long term due to economies of scale.
There will be some improvement in batteries but the big win will be in EVs that can get 10 or more miles per kWh because then you can get up to 40 miles of range on a sunny day.
The Porsche Taycan only gets 2 miles per kWh.
The Tesla Model 3 gets 5 miles per kWh.
The Aptera gets 10 miles per kWh.
It doesn't have a hood panel, from what I can tell, so probably double just from that. Then it's a pretty beefy car so lighter and more aerodynamic ones would get more range. Lastly we will get some more battery & panel improvements. So probably pretty easy to end up in the range I gave.
Maybe 20-40 is too optimistic. But even at 10-20 a day that's going to cover a significant amount of usage. It will cut down the fast charging needed from once a week to once a month or so. That's a significant convenience improvement.
This isn't the odd part for me.
The part I'm curious about is how will militaries manage the change?
It's clear fuel isn't going to disappear but will the military or the government end up refining their own petrol for cost reasons or will they just end up shipping around batteries as if they were fuel.
Military fuel infrastructure is already separate from civilian. The US uses JP-8 for everything it can because it simplifies logistics, but that's hardly what you fill up with at the servo.
And at one time there was no place to put gasoline into your automobile. How did that play out? It played out very well and you can fuel up with multiple types of fuel in every corner of the continent. EV charging is simple by comparison.
800v cars can charge to 80% capacity in ~20 minutes on fast chargers, and that's for well over 300 miles of range.
However: EVs don't fix the problems inherent with high rates of individual car ownership in high population density areas, or with low occupancy vehicle, short distance travel.
There are only two cars that make 300 miles at highway speed. Lucid Air and Tesla S Long Range Plus. Tesla is still at old 400V system.
The Aptera will do over 300 miles at highway speed, probably over 600: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpiH-Y-HOvE
Who drives 500km on a highway in a luxury vehicle without allowing them to take a little break? Do they pee in a bottle too?
Do you have to pee every 3 hours?
I drink enough water yes.
There seems to be some movement in putting PV on the roof of cars. With that you can get a significant part of the needed electricity of everyday driving (average is between 30-50km, if you remove long distance trips you end up with much lower numbers).
PV on car roofs is as useful as those powerbanks with solar cells on them. Unless you keep them in optimal sunlight 100% of the time, the amount of electricity generated is next to useless.
The only smart use I've seen of that was my old Prius that ran a fan using the panel on the roof if it noticed the indoor temp was higher than outdoor. Kept the car cool-ish when parking during the summer.
Most people also lack a gas station in their driveway, seems to work out.
The same way it works out for ICE vehicles.
Do you have a gas station at home?
Can you estimate the percent of households which aren't able to plug in an EV overnight?
Put chargers wherever they park
How is California planning to cleanly support the extra electricity load from EVs since they've planned to decomission all their nuclear power plants? The base load is going to be generated with coal and nat gas now. Most people will likely be charging their EVs at night so they'll be charging their cars from coal or gas rather than carbon free nuclear.
Imagine if, when people plug their big battery into the grid, the grid and the millions of big batteries talk to each other to negotiate electicity flows. Then the EV fleet could help even smooth the power supply and shift load and supply to match. Sun comes out, loads of EVs are charged at that point. A bit of cloud. The EVs give some back. To incentivise you could choose a cheaper per kwh "keep me topped up if you can" and more expensive "definitely fill the battery asap" and even a "hey not using this car for a bit, make use of my battery and pay me!".
This is in addition to, if the battery is plugged in at home with solar panels, the home can self-smooth and do a lot of this locally, giving the grid the net in/out it desires from the house based on sum of: battery, appliances, solar as a whole unit.
Because of scale, an EV running off of coal-powered electricity is better for the environment than a gas powered car, not even taking into account emissions that aren’t carbon dioxide.
That aside, there are a variety of electricity storage mechanisms that have been becoming more and more efficient, like normal batteries, hydrogen electrolysis, and pumped water. With some clever engineering, solar power works at night.
I wish California would keep their nuclear plants open, but the loss of them is not an impediment for electric vehicles.
Most people charge their cars at night because utility companies incentivize to do so via time-of-use rate plans. There's nothing natural or convenient about delaying the charge until the middle of the night, what's most convenient is plugging in the car as soon as you park it.
Wind farms generate the most power at night, so that'll continue to work. If solar becomes dominant, then they'll make it cheaper to use electricity when the sun's still up, and we'll stop delaying charges until after sunset.
It's going to take decades to fully transition to electric vehicles, plenty of time to build all the renewables needed, all the storage needed for time shifting, and all the smarts needed for cars to participate in the smart grid.
There are substantial efforts in California (at least in SoCal, which I’m most familiar with) right now to supply renewable energy. I’m not sure what’s preventing you from doing a search before asking such questions. Lotta information at your fingertips.
The grid needs 30% more power generation. If all cars are EV. CA is doing rolling blackouts as it is.
Maybe Californians will be riding horses in the next 10 years ;)
I am curious how a voluntary "please conserve power 4 hours a day during a historic heat wave" request turned into "CA is doing rolling blackouts because they don't have enough energy" in the minds of millions. Residential electric use doubled over the past 30 years without issue.
The NYTimes The Daily podcast described the voluntary request as “the state asked people to not charge their EVs” (paraphrase). Poor quality information everywhere.
Rolling blackouts are separate from Flex Alerts.
Hence me asking why they're being conflated in the public consciousness.
Are they? Both of these things happen regularly in California and have been for decades.
California is a big state. In Southern California, neither of those things happen regularly (source: I've lived here since 1980). The last time they did happen regularly was with Enron.
There is substantial unused grid capacity overnight and during the day that the most basic of smart grid logic can schedule the car to turn on charging during.
In other words, shift the demand from the 4-9PM slot that is the hot spot.
For what this doesn't cover, this is not rocket science. We will build the capacity. It's just wires and generators.
I work at an engineering firm that is heavily involved in these efforts in SoCal, and this is probably boring to say (without details) but the storage component is fascinating. Not my sector, though, so I won’t/can’t elaborate (I do work in sustainable transportation planning, though).
Even if all new cars were 100% electric from now on, it'd take twenty years to convert all cars. 30% more power generation in 20 years is 1.5% per year. Not a big ask.
Enjoy your substantial power cuts.
Who is paying for that ?
The people charging both your car and your wallet. Fuel isn't free, why wouldn't chargers become a vehicle^ for investment?
^ not intended but I'll leave that in there
I'm a layman but to me its about optics when Toyota doesn't have any EVs but is spending money on hydrogen development, and the aeons-old Prius. Most people are convinced that gas vehicles are not the future, and that renewable-energy powered personal vehicles and mass transit are.
BMW and Toyota just look like they got caught with their pants down by not having appealing vehicles, and other companies are now stealing their lunch. On top of that, Toyota has had some shady business too: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/30/toyota-actively-lobbyin...
Maybe that’s the optics but I’m inclined to believe him, the EV adoption plan relies on technology that doesn’t exist and the simplistic idea we take all the gas cars and replace them with electric cars I’m not convinced actually scales. I think we’re literally going to run out of the worlds natural resources before because we get even close to making enough EVs.
I actually see a need to shift more people to not using cars as much or at all, and having those people walk/bike/transit. I also think lighter EVs such as scooters may be popular and they have ones with swappable batteries which work like swapping a propane tank. I also think the hybrids Toyota sells which require significantly less of certain resources will be appealing. Also finally telecommuting will be a big thing among white collar workers who won’t need anything more than a hybrid or light EV.
My money is on Toyota being correct and is seeing gas cars being around for quite a lot longer than anticipated. I see the person of the future being less mobile. However technology is inherently unpredictable and advances in mining in particular could change this.
If we had a magic button that replaced all gasoline cars with electric cars in the USA this moment, the power grids would basically explode from the additional load from everyone charging them, in all 50 states.
We're DECADES away from having enough power generation and delivery to get everyone on electric cars, and that's not even considering the "How the F is everyone going to afford to buy electric cars in the first place?" problem. Look at the lines to charge EVs in states like California already, and that's with ~5% of new car sales being EVs. Multiple that by a factor of 20 and just laugh.
Every state that has passed "We're going to ban the sale of gasoline cars after 20xx" is going to have to repeal it in shame, or just force their residents to drive to the nearest red state when they want to buy a new car.
This is not numerical or factual, yet people seem to uncritical repeat this claim all the time. Can you say why you are repeating this? Did it hear it from a source you trust? (If so, you should probably stop trusting that source right not.)
EVs are fantastically more efficient than ICE vehicles, like 4-5x as efficient in terms of amount of energy needed for the same miles travelled. Our ICE engines are so primitive that it's really kind of embarrassing, honestly.
If every car switched to an EV over night, that would only increase power consumption 30%-50%, depending on the state. And it turns out that there's way more spare capacity than that in the grid, because the grid is sized for peak consumption, not average consumption. So there's plenty of extra grid and generation capacity, especially at night time, which is why night time electricity is so cheap.
But we are not going to switch to EVs in an instant, we are going to gradually switch over. The biggest change will be that after a long period of stalled or falling electricity demand, it will slightly increase. But it will be extremely flexible demand, which will make it far easier to power the grid. Car charging is a huuuuuge boom to the grid because of this massive load that will be made very flexible.
Source CA only 5% of new car sales are EVs - https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1112251_electric-cars-n...
Source CA saying please don't charge your car during specific times, our grid can't handle it - https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210618005573/en/Sta...
Source CA doesn't have nearly enough EV charging stations to force everyone on to EVs - https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Lag-in-EV-charg...
And that's in peak ICE-hating California. Now imagine Wyoming, Utah, or West Virginia.
Your magic button scenario is completely irrelevant; even if gasoline cars stop being sold in 2030-2035, it will take decades for existing ICE cars to come off the road, particularly ones being used in situations where ICE cars make the most sense practically or economically.
This sort of pointless hyperbole, especially when injected with needless partisan politics trying to "gotcha" progressive states, doesn't help anything or anyone.
> Look at the lines to charge EVs in states like California already
Those lines you're referring to are for Teslas, which use proprietary charge connectors and a charging technology which is now behind industry standards in terms of charge speed.
Fast charge stations aren't necessary for most usage. If you have a 20 mile round trip commute and your car spends 10 hours in your driveway or garage, charging at 500W off a normal extension cord is sufficient to replenish the electricity used via your commute.
Most of those bans exclude plug-in hybrids. They’re way less draconian than most people are making them out to be.
We’re moving to a future where every car has a battery electric hybrid motor if it’s not a full EV.
We are less than a decade away from triggering lynchpin mechanisms that will completely transform the world, and force half of humanity to either emigrate or die.
If you believe that it will take longer to have enough electricity for everyone to drive an electric car, I’m worried that the adjustment variable is not going to be what portions of cars are electric (what you have in mind), or what portion of the population uses a car (where I think we can make the fastest progress) but what’s the size of the population.
However, if less than half of the population of a country dies (which seems likely in the US, for instance, although not by a lot) then it means it’s a favoured country compared to areas that would have become inhabitable. Immigration to that country will explode. I’m not sure how the population will continue to decrease given that pressure, but it will have to.
I think your point about light EVs is salient. To me, current EV cars are like those early IC "cars" that looked like horse drawn carts with a motor .
The prime mover has changed (even though the innovation sits with the energy source i.e. batteries) and that often leads to change in the form factor of vehicles.
 e.g. https://www.supercars.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/19...
A large part of the form factor is for aerodynamics, and facts about the human body dictate a lot.
Without needing a radiator there is room for some change up front.
Some change, yes, but can't take too much away the front. People still crash a lot. Even cabover trucks, though much safer than cars, are a bit less safe than ones with noses. And for a little car, even more so. As long as they're car-ish in form factor, they need something up front to take the inevitable impacts.
Of course, scooters and bikes just wave that off. Cars could too, if limited to significantly lower speeds. But good luck making slow cars and low speed limits popular. Especially in car-centric America, where slowing down would make many normal trips unbearably long.
> shift more people to not using cars as much or at all, and having those people walk/bike/transit
This only works for city dwellers.
Anecdotally I used to have to drive 30 minutes through suburbia for any “stuff”, but then moved to a town of ~3000 people and everything is still available, and it’s at most a 5 minute drive away. I do have a car but also cycle quite a bit (eg to work) would do just fine with no car at all
Yeah, I moved to a relatively small town. Almost everything is within walking distance. Two pharmacies, two banks, and a grocery store and some other stores and a couple restaurants about a block away. Urgent care, doctor, veterinarian and hospital a couple of blocks further. Downtown, with its theater and restaurants and bars etc. is about a nice leisurely 20 minute walk.
People in suburbia could have this too if they just zoned for it. Take out the stupid strip malls and stroads and put the businesses where the people are and vice-versa. Get some actual neighborhoods and communities again.
Well out in rural areas is a bit of a different matter. Some people will need cars.
But with proper town development and decent public transit, something like 80% of people who aren't way out in rural areas wouldn't need cars except for vacation/road trips. That's not some far-fetched sci-fi idea. It just needs politics to properly utilize what we've had for a long time.
The rural -> city hasn’t stopped and modern economies have the vast majority of their citizens in cities. Even for the US rural population is less than 20%
The US suburban population is over 50% . It is impossible for these people to walk/bike/transit to work, and there is not an easy way to construct the infrastructure necessary for them to do so.
The city should stop subsidizing these suburbs and I'm sure everyone will move into the city when they have to pay the real cost of their lifestyles
Where is the housing in the cities getting built? Most are not zoned nor regulated to support such a massive demographic shift.
Oh yeah, only 56% of the world's population live in cities, then lets forget about that.
You forgot that they maybee need everyday drive to the work that is not in the city and other people that life not in the city needs to drive in the city.
Oh yes I totally forgot that and now that changes everything.. erm seriously?
Does that mean that you expect the rural population to pay heavy taxes on pollution, or to be reduced dramatically?
They will be far more exposed to the increase in floods, fires, and hurricanes. Insurance will likely refuse to cover the most common and destructive scenarios.
And when there's nice weather.
Yet somehow humans managed to live through 99.99% of our history without cars.
Humans managed to live through 99.99% of our history without 99.99% of what we currently rely on to live.
Surviving vs. thriving.
And people lived their whole lives within what, a 50-mile radius?
Most people still do.
Is that no longer possible? Our collective carbon footprint is highly correlated with our "travel footprint"
Without phones and electricity too. Your point is ?
And basic fitness which unfortunately rules out 80% of population in usa. Thats really the problem not lack of bike lanes that HN seems to belive is the panacea.
It's true that Americans are overweight and out-of-shape, on average. But it's an extreme exaggeration to say that 80% of them are so unfit that they couldn't walk or bike to work.
Of course, their poor fitness may make Americans less likely to want to walk or bike, but I don't see why we'd assume that this can't be overcome with the right set of incentives.
> But surely it's an extreme exaggeration to say that 80% of them are so unfit that they couldn't walk or bike to work.
That was a stat put out by CDC . Even after aggressive 64 yr cutoff only 22.9% of U.S. adults aged 18–64 met the guidelines. 80% of people are willing to ignore CDCs modest guidelines and risk " many chronic
conditions, disability, and mortality " per cdc . do you really think putting a bike lane is going is better motivation than death ?
I'm pretty regularly out of shape by those metrics and I have no real issues commuting by walking/cycling/transit, even doing commutes which are longer than average.
Physical fitness isn't the biggest issue or even really a big issue at all, the biggest practical issues I've found is getting large items to your home and the fact that a lot of work really does take a real full sized vehicle to load up with gear and people. Cars and trucks you to simply move literally tons stuff from place to place in a very flexible way, whereas on foot/transit/bicycle it is very awkward to move around even 50lbs of stuff without some sort of cart or wagon which really isn't going to let you haul all that much more very quickly. It's hard to imagine how you're going to move a work crew from site to site using bicycles lol.
I really see physical fitness as really not being very much of a problem at all except on the extremes. Certainly not for 80% of the population. I'm also going to point out the obvious which is that people that don't exercise are absolutely the type people who should be avoiding using a car to get around everywhere.
I don't have the time to read this report cover-to-cover but, based on the quick skim I just did, it seems to provide very little support of your claim, These are just the percentages of people who don't meet the "2008 federal guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities during leisure-time physical activity." The report seems to say nothing about whether these people could walk or bike to work. It simply confirms the point that I've already acknowledged, which is that Americans are unfit, on average.
If there's a particular passage that you have in mind, feel free to point me to it.
> do you really think putting a bike lane is going is better motivation than death
At the risk of taking this argument too seriously: It doesn't have to be better. It just has to be additive. And making something more convenient can be very powerful. Among other things, unlike marginally decreasing one's risk of death, something that makes your commute easier/cheaper/more enjoyable offers immediate, ascertainable benefits--unlike decreasing the risk of death, which is impossible to perceive in the moment, is highly contingent, and only mitigates a risk that is presumed to exist only far in the future.
More broadly, I honestly can't understand what your position is here. Can it really be that adding bike lane has no effect on peoples's willingness to ride a bike? That just seems...obviously wrong. Of course, how big an effect a given measure might have is a different matter.
And, in any case, Nobody said that just "putting in a bike lane" would get the job done on its own. Though it seems obvious that even that very modest step would help. There are--quite obviously--a lot of other levers out there. I'm no expert but, just off the top of my head we could also make it less convenient to drive and encourage development that allows people to live near where they work.
Exercise is boring. I want better bike and walking infrastructure (including places reachable from home that way) because then exercise is an incidental side effect of doing things.
> Americans are so lazy and out of shape that making it easier to walk or bike would have no effect on their likelihood to do so? That just seems...obviously wrong. Of course, how big an effect it might have is a different matter.
yes there was small study in Minnesota that said exactly that.
80% are willing to risk a life of suffering ( per cdc) to avoid physical activity. I don't see how its at all 'obvious' that putting bike lanes is going magically get them moving.
> yes there was small study in Minnesota that said exactly that. https://www.lrrb.org/pdf/200550.pdf
Again, a citation to a specific passage would be helpful. But the executive summary seems to say exactly the opposite of what you claim:
> Generally speaking, the results support the notion that people value bicycle facilities, in that they are willing to incur additional time costs in order to use higher quality facilities. In particular, people value having striped bike lanes. The incremental value of this improvement is much greater than the incremental value of moving the facility off-road entirely. The presence of facilities also appears to be associated with higher amounts of riding, although the precise nature of the impact is still unclear. From this research, it appears that a facility can increase the amount of riding in an area even up to one and a half miles from the ends of the facility, but it is not clear whether the effect is larger for residents that are closer than this.
> In terms of facilities and their impact on biking frequency, this survey found only a small
relationship between proximity to facilities and the likelihood of cycling, within a radius
of a mile or so.
> Somewhat to the chagrin of many officials excited about the prospects of using community design to
induce—or even enable—physical activity, this analysis suggests an uphill battle lies ahead.
Anyways, perhaps you can cite your sources behind your claims that you say are obvious. Surely public policy like building bike lanes has to have some solid data behind instead of just wishful thinking.
Honestly, I don't feel the need to provide a source to support the claim that, if you decrease the costs of doing something, more people will do it. (Though, as I said a few posts ago, that's not to make any claim about the size of the effect, or whether adding bike lanes is enough on its own to make a difference.) If you want a citation, the Minnesota study seems like it supports exactly what I am saying.
> The presence of facilities also appears to be associated with higher amounts of riding, although the precise nature of the impact is still unclear. From this research, it appears that a facility can increase the amount of riding in an area even up to one and a half miles from the ends of the facility, but it is not clear whether the effect is larger for residents that are closer than this.
Here are some more:
* https://www.vox.com/2014/6/5/5782472/study-bike-lanes-really... (Haven't found the original study yet--the article's link seems to be broken. But the charts tell the story.)
> But when 2,283 of the cyclists in these lanes were surveyed, 10 percent of them said they would have taken another mode of travel (i.e. car, public transit, by foot, etc.) if the lane hadn't been built. Another 1 percent said they wouldn't have taken the trip at all.
> This study finds a significant correlation between the presence of bicycle lanes and Capital Bikeshare usage, and also highlights the importance of population density and mixed-uses in encouraging ridership.
(Studies Europeans, though I don't see any reason why incentives would work on europeans and not at all on Americans--though maybe one would expect the effect size to be somewhat smaller in proportion to Americans' lower level of fitness)
> We find robust evidence for substantial short-run increases in cycling in European cities due to new provisional cycling infrastructure.
It bears repeating, though, that this isn't just about bike lanes.
I don't think this is true, there are also e-bikes which while much less exercise would mitigate the difficulty and still be some physical activity for Americans
It’s not a permanent condition. During my teen years I worked to running 5km in 18 minutes (teen angst and crushes did wonders for motivation).
30 years later and 30 lbs overweight (thanks, covid), and I decided to start going to the gym and I added the treadmill.
After one month my heartrate at the 10 minute mark at a leisurely 12:00 minutes a mile pace (nowhere near my teen years) went from 150 to 130.
Mostly it’s been about getting my diaphragm back in shape.
If I were smarter or more sensible I would’ve started with the elliptical first, but expensive running shoes and better techniques have kept my back and knees from hurting (so far).
“We can’t build an infrastructure for people to walk or bike more because everyone is too fat!” Add this to your standup routine, it’s truly the stuff of parody.
Dumb comment. Obesity is driven mainly by diet. No amount of walking will make you less fat.
Lack of basic fitness is not a permanent chronic condition.
It is. How many people do you know that have turned things around, i am guessing not many.
Probably because in North America we make it so damn hard to walk or bike anywhere, combined with a culture that teaches us that getting an acceptable level of exercise requires going out of your way to purchase a gym membership and find time in the day 3 times a week to go there, rather than just go outside and walk to get your groceries.
Is that really the reason though? In India ppl have to walk everywhere, Cars are still a luxury for a majority of the population. yet 50% of the population is obese and has one of the highest heart disease rates anywhere in the world. Obesity is driven mostly by diet, sure walking helps but 90% is diet.
> I think we’re literally going to run out of the worlds natural resources before because we get even close to making enough EVs.
What are you expecting us to deplete from the planet in the next 30ish years?
Ice doesn’t go into EVs, but that one will be depleted within 30 years.
Lithium is the most common element cited when that argument is raised: you can find trace amounts in seawater, so the total amount is enormous, but the extraction cost will make that an expensive process. If there are large desalinisation efforts (to get fresh water) Lithium could be captured in that context.
Copper, in spite of being very abundant, might actually be a problem (if you include electricity transport lines).
My assumption is that the ecological impact of cars will be too great and increasingly obviously so. People will switch to public transport and bicycles, including electric bikes. But all that is overlooking the tiny detail that half of humanity will have to move or die. That part is probably the key element of context people forget to include in their speculation.
Most electrical transmission lines are much cheaper aluminum. There are some weird rules about using that safely, but nothing a lineman can't handle.
Certainly momentum to support gas cars is great that itself could be reason enough for a large automaker to keep making them. All the infrastructure like gas stations, oil change shops, gas car mechanic shops, mechanics with decades of experience, refineries, fuel transport trucks, etc. don't go away overnight specially in countries with low GDPs.
> I actually see a need to shift more people to not using cars as much or at all, and having those people walk/bike/transit.
This is the solution but I guess we’ll see how consuming our way to ‘sustainability’ works.
The solution has always and will always be that the wealthy do whatever tf they want and the peasants get stuck on whatever the people in charge decide they are stuck on.
Toyota is probably only company who understands that poor people can't afford BEVs and will be left behind. And introducing another EV Hummer or Cybertruck for 100k USD won't really help them to get affordable EV.
I am convinced that BEV are not the future, because there is not enough of material, especially there is not enough copper.
Assoc Prof Simon Michaux on shortage of copper https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBVmnKuBocc
Michaux takes a long time to get to the point, even at double speed. None of what I have heard in the first 20 minutes is new to anyone who followed the Peak Oil debate back in the 2005-2009 period. His estimate of required battery capacity for short-distance and light vehicles, around 62 TWh, matches a quick back-of-the envelope calculation, so that's good.
The description for the video is unpromising, blurring the distinction between reserves (known, characterized, owned) and resources (varying degrees of knowness, characterization, unowned), and implying we face a binary situation: plenty of resources, and then nothing. The world is not like that.
There is always a spectrum of possibilities. We have an extremely abundant adequate substitute for copper for electrical uses: aluminum. The bulk of electrical distribution systems is steel-cored aluminum wire.
Is copper better? Yes. Is it so much better than aluminum that the latter is unusable? No.
Aluminum's lower electrical and thermal conductivities will require design changes (higher voltage, lower current), and overall efficiency won't be as good as with copper. Very sad. But aluminum is still perfectly usable for EV motors.
And there are ways to eke out the copper we have, such as copper-clad aluminum wire (CCAW), which is already extensively used in loudspeakers. Some high currents flow in subwoofer voice coils.
As for poor people being left behind, resource prices are not the cause. Very few mineral resources are used in providing education and healthcare, and none at all in depressing wages or preventing houses from being built.
(And the high-priced vehicles being sold now pay for the R&D to improve the new technologies. The first portable computers and cell phones were ridiculously expensive toys for the rich, as well.)
>(And the high-priced vehicles being sold now pay for the R&D to improve the new technologies. The first portable computers and cell phones were ridiculously expensive toys for the rich, as well.)
Tesla is nearly 20 years old. This industry is no longer new. We’re deep into the EV movement and prices are actually going up year over year.
Just exactly how many more years do you think is needed before these vehicles begin to even approach mass affordability? We’re moving the goalposts on the $35k sweet spot and we still can’t get anywhere near it even with a massive tax credit.
Maybe by the time California has banned all combustion engines people will have just stopped driving because they can no longer afford to buy a vehicle to drive.
What makes you say that prices are going up? The MSRP on a base model 2023 Chevy Bolt with 259 miles of range is 25k without any rebates or tax incentives.
Just use google?
There has been 25% inflation since ~2014 when $35K was sold as the sweetspot, so bump that to $44K.
See I didn’t even need to describe goalposts moving.
Any time a resources-based discussion related to motor vehicles comes up, I point out that the total iron ore that goes into a modern vehicle costs something like $400, plus minus a few hundred dollars depending on the typical factors.
Find me a car where, say, doubling the cost of that iron would materially impact the affordability of the final vehicle.
You won't be able to, because the price of all modern vehicles is dominated by other factors: design, certification, manufacture, shipping, taxes, etc...
Even batteries. Elon Musk pointed out that it's the lack of cell manufacturing capacity that's holding things up.
Even if all of the input materials for a Tesla was suddenly free, its cost wouldn't decrease significantly.
Big problem with aluminum is that it has less conductivity and thus is generating more heat in same diameter. However heat and air will cause aluminum cable to oxidize and as a result it will get
1) brittle to point of falling apart.
2) increases it's resistance through oxidation, which will increase heat
This is a big problem in Eastern Europe where communist were building concrete apartment towers wired with aluminum wires, it used to be major reason for fires before those towers were reconstructed and aluminum replaced by copper. Today it is forbidden to use aluminum wires in apartments and houses.
Aluminum is more-less unusable in installations where you can't shield it from air and where aluminum will heat up.
You can compensate for conductivity with larger diameters (modulo the skin effect, but there are options there too). At that point wires don't heat up so much and thus don't oxidize.
Also use higher voltages, and therefore lower currents.
Heat losses are proportional to the square of current, so relatively small voltage increases fix the problem.
> Aluminum is more-less unusable in installations where you can't shield it from air and where aluminum will heat up.
Your power was probably delivered over hundreds of km of uninsulated steel-cored aluminum wire.
So that's the reason why all aluminium wirings in buildings were ripped off and replaced with copper?
Ah! "Aluminum wire is unsuitable for use in enclosed, thermally unmanaged situations where it might have to carry sustained currents above specification. Especially where later addition of building insulation, long after wiring certification, might worsen heat removal."
Yes, true. Copper is better there. But it's irrelevant to wind turbines, EVs, BESSs, and power transmission.
Aluminum wiring is still useless, because slightest defect will cause it to oxide and fall apart, especially when you have smaller diameter, and that's the reason why it is not used and won't be used.
You can continue to live in your fantasy world, where aluminum is used widely, I am coming from there, we are ripping it from walls and replacing it with copper.
Aluminium wiring is still being used in buildings around the world. If the country where you're from banned aluminium wiring for some odd reason, it's probably that the wiring was defective and they couldn't legally or practically replace it with anything except copper wiring.
We used to use aluminum wirings for apartments/houses in Eastern Europe during communism because it was cheaper. It turned out that it does not work, it oxides, it will cause fires in buildings. Now it is outlawed.
Usage of aluminum in any small and high power electronics will cause exactly same issues for exactly same reasons
It is a matter of fact that aluminium wiring for appartements and houses is fine as long as the wires are correctly specified for the load. It works. There are plenty of houses with aluminium wiring that have stood the test of time and plenty more which will.
It's not rocket science. Aluminium is slightly less conductive so you have to make the diameter bigger (and coat it, etc...). When you do that, it is fine.
Aluminium can be and is used in smaller, high power applications, especially when weight is a concern, as it has a higher conductivity per unit mass than copper.
The issue with aluminium wiring in practice is not the aluminium oxidizing. Aluminium oxidisation is self limiting. It is an improper connection leading to a few nanometers of oxidation at the connection site, and thus higher temperature at the site of connection leading to a fire. This is avoidable but some places feel it is easier to ban aluminium wiring than enforce proper electrical connections.
With this logic we could be storing explosives at home, because everything is fine until they explode. Aluminum in house wirings is a ticking bomb, because you just need to make one mistake during connection and this will cause fire in few days, few months or few years.
It's not a ticking time bomb. If you make a grave mistake with bad connections, then it may be an issue. But this is true of all wiring. It's just that aluminium is more sensitive to bad connections.
As long as your electrician uses approved connections and does them to spec, there is no chance of a problem.
It is just wishful thinking that your electrician did not made a single mistake. Assume he did. Then what? You will burn to death at one random night?
Aluminum also expands and contracts much more than copper when it gets hot, so it can just wiggle its way out of any connection. Furthermore aluminum is soft, and if you bend it too much, it will crack or break, so not only connection can get problematic, any corners can get easily problematic as well.
Only madman would get his house installed with aluminum wiring.
Does skin effect even play a role in power delivery? We're not talking about high frequencies here, I suppose.
Yes, it does, at distances of thousands of km and 50 or 60 Hz. One of the reasons why high-voltage DC is preferred over those distances.
Poor people can’t afford new cars of any kind. What they need are more EV cars getting into the used market. And more mandates for apartments and businesses to provide overnight A/C charging outlets.
That only gets you some of the way there. The next hurdle is that a lot of low income housing is street parking only that isn't always reserved for the owner. So this is an awkward situation where we will probably also need residential streets to come with either city paid for charging or a change in zoning so that owners can reserve the spots in front of their house and install chargers.
> need residential streets to come with either city paid for charging or a change in zoning so that owners can reserve the spots in front of their house and install chargers
Which I'm sure will work great in those neighborhoods.
Except at least one car company wants people to only have the option to lease their electric cars and turn them back in at the end of the lease. If this cash grab attempt becomes the trend…
To your point: meanwhile I hear that electric scooters and mopeds are super successful in China
Can poor people afford to maintain either hybrid or electric? What's the third party repair market? There is no right to repair a Tesla or anything using that business model.
Why don't you google "EV maintenance costs compared to gas cars" and see if you can answer your own question.
Also, one luuxury car brand is not relevant to the discussion of "can poor people afford to maintain an EV?"
Near mint condition used EV's were readily available for $20k before the gas crisis.
And with 20 miles on battery. Change of batter 10-20k
My i3 was $22K, and is close to 100% factory spec. Leafs that needed new batteries were going for $12k; reasonable ones were $17-20k.
This was the week the war in Ukraine started.
If one isn't looking to pick cherries to suit their "EVs aren't affordable!!!!!" argument: the Bolt EV is $31k MSRP, not including state and federal tax credits.
That's substantially lower than the average price of a car sold in the US ($47k) or average pickup ($60k!)
And by the way: halo cars like the Hummer finance R&D. The Hummer is helping GM pay R&D costs on the Ultium system/platform, which will be re-used for a huge number of vehicles in the coming years.
So can I buy VW Jetta for a price of Jetta with a range of Jetta in EV version? I can't.
> Toyota is probably only company who understands that poor people can't afford BEVs and will be left behind.
EVs have vastly less total parts and therefore will soon be more affordable.
Heap of sand has more parts than ingot of gold.
It doesn't really really matter how many parts you have when your input is made out of rare resources
Toyota has phevs (plug-in hybrids) that can run fully off of the battery. They have gotten a lot of shit over the past year for arguing that these should be incentivized by the government in addition to full electric vehicles, but I think there is some merit to their position.
Right now a lot of people who buy electric cars are wealthier people who also own other cars. This is not inherently bad and, for example, if a household that is going to own multiple cars either way chooses to make one of those electric it may be a win for the environment, but if people are buying extra cars because they are excited about electric cars but also need a conventional car when they go longer distances, that may not actually be that great.
Until there are sufficient charger networks everywhere, it might actually be better to incentives phevs to build up the infrastructure and ensure that people who can only afford to own one car but need to travel longer distances can still use electricity for shorter trips in the form of phevs rather than continuing to use conventional cars. It's not completely clear if EV adoption will continue to accelerate or if it's going to hit limits when we run out of people who can easily switch. Toyota may have a point in that the current timetable for full adoption of evs may be unrealistic, and if it is, it might be better to compromise slightly more if it makes it easier to build up the infrastructure on a more realistic timetable rather than risk hitting a wall
If we set the goal as 100% of vehicles being EVs in a relatively short amount of time, we're going to run into problems who are currently unable to use EVs because of the lack of a fast charger network. (In reality, battery swapping would probably make sense for longer trips once everyone is using evs, but there is zero infrastructure for that right now.)
That said, another issue with electric cars in general is that for the type of short trip where they make the most sense, it might arguably be better for the environment to focus on electric public transportation when possible anyway (especially non-battery-powered street cars and light rail which aren't affected by supply of some of the elements required for batteries).
Also, if we can't hit the targets for EV adoption we may have difficulty hitting environmental goals in general.
Doomberg has a position that I agree with:
It's better for 6 or 7 plug-in hybrids to be developed using the same amount of batteries materials it would take to make one fully-electric vehicle.
Most people make short-range daily trips each day, and they could probably do 100% on the battery of a hybrid. The gas portion would kick-in when they do an occassional longer trip.
No significant change to infrastructure would be required, and gasoline use would go down dramatically as most people would be using the smaller battery most of the time, and adoption would be way faster than fully-electric.
Yup, we've had a Prius C for nearly 10 years, it's been faultless and has consistently used less than half the gas of the other family car. That's a real world difference, not a hypothetical future one.
The Prius Prime (PHEV) maxes out at 25 miles of electric range. And that is under optimal conditions. The average daily commute is longer than that.
I have a Honda Clarity. 48 mile range, though I only charge it to 90%.
I've gone 15,000 miles now on about 30 gallons of gas. I keep trying to get over "500 miles to the gallon" but that's a limit I have a hard time surpassing: occasional long trips or forgetting to charge does me in.
(Not to mention the car will occasionally burn gas on its own just to confirm the engine is in good working order).
It seems like it would be a waste for me to have a 200-300 mile range and no engine. The longest trips would still have been less convenient. And you could build 4-7 cars like mine with the same battery resources.
Ideally one could configure their hybrid car with different battery to gas tank ratios when they buy it, or perhaps even for a fee after purchase.
Gas tanks are small and light compared to batteries and engines. It all comes down to how much battery you want, and whether you want an engine.
So then it is better to transition the people with a commute below average first before subsidizing full EV.
Wouldn't it be better to transition those people with the longest commutes first, as they use the most energy and have consistent needs?
No, because stop-and-go gets the most benefit from regeneration. One full EV for one long commuter who also drives around town, or 7 PHEVs for people that commute shorter but also drive around town.
Long haul stuff should probably be transitioned last both with commuting and things like trucking (stop and go things like trash and delivery and bus service makes a lot more sense than targeting cross-country trucking first).
In the US*
In Germany we just stopped incentiving them because people just didn't charge them.
They just didn't care.
Was that for private vehicles that people bought themselves and paid for the fuel and electricity themselves? I remember a few years ago a study out of Europe of plugin hybrids that found the drivers didn’t plug them in. One the details came out we found that those were corporate vehicles assigned to them mainly for business use. They were reimbursed for gasoline purchases but were not reimbursed for electricity. The result was that they chose the option that results in less personal cost to them.
I find it hard to believe that people will elect to spend more money on a plugin hybrid and then not bother plugging it in as long as they have an easy access to a power outlet. Just the extra cost of gasoline in that scenario should overcome the minor effort of developing a habit of plugging in when you get home.
Mainly corporate vehicles, because in the end they were cheaper as you stated. Lobbyists at work, they are genuises. If you see a Mercedes E 300e, you can be certain it‘s a corporate car :). Or when in private hand, it‘s definitely the 2nd owner :).
About not using the plug: when you are driving a corporate car, it‘s often because part of your job is driving around a lot. Driving to customers e.g. In these cases it‘s common in Germany that your employer pays for fuel (you get a specific card for the gas station). They allow you to use the car for anything else as well.
So there is no incentive to use the plug :).
I'm not sure if I'm right, but there was a thing/way in the Netherlands to reduce the initial cost of the vehicle to make it incredible cheap.
They are called "Foutlanders" because of that.
Maybe now with gas above 2€/liter, we'll see more people charging their PHEVs. However they are also a rich person's toy, since you need to charge them at home to have the battery-powered miles be cheaper than the petrol-powered ones ergo you need a home with a garage.
At public chargers you pay much more than at home per kWh. On top of that, they have been incentivized (0,25 Regelung) for companies as fleet cars (Dienstwagen) and companies give out free petrol so you have no incentive to charge it at home using your own electricity when you can just fill up otherwise with free petrol.
Personally I think economic of scale is happening with EV and just skipping everything in between will just solve those issues.
Better longer cheaper batteries for everyone.
We are on the road to solving solid state batteries.
I don't think we are throwing enough resources against those topics.
This would solve so many issues at once.
easy solution: expensive gas.
We have 50% tax on gas in EU, it does not work, only pushing up prices for end customers
As mentioned above, these PHEVs that weren't being plugged in were sold to corporate customers as company cars, and the company gave free gas along with the car. No incentive to bother to charge the car when the gas is free. Completely different scenario for private usage.
Ok, then they should sell EV versions of the same cars with half the drive train ripped out for $7000 less, and see how many people buy those instead.
I wouldn’t put BMW in the same bucket as Toyota. BMW actually tried to sell electric cars and they just went too far selling an eco friendly car.
The BMW i3 was the first mass produced carbon fiber chassis, was produced entirely with hydroelectric power, was made from a high percentage of recycled materials and had an optional 3 gallon take with a range extender as an option.
I’m not convinced pure EV solutions are going to be the answer for everyone. The idea of smaller range EVs with range extenders still feels the most practical option for the next decade or two.
And they are releasing a great looking i4. A friend is even exchanging his M3 for one.
What? Toyota has made plug-in hybrids that make much more sense economically than the i3.
If you get a chance, read more about how the i3 was produced. It was bigger than just building an electric car, it was about building cars sustainably while advancing some really cool tech. To this day, you won't find a carbon fiber chassis in anything under $250k. It was also neutered by US regulators who insisted that the "range extender" could only be used after depleting the battery which severely limits its utility. That's fixable with a $10 app.
The i3 was fantastically cool it just turns out that most people aren't willing to compromise anything for a car that's built sustainably. That's why the i4 is doing much better than the i3 ever did.
I live in the real world. Toyota hybrids and plug-in hybrids have made a far bigger impact.
BMW? Why makes you think they are caught with their pants down? BMW i4 is a fantastic EV and I think a lot of people would go for it instead of a Model3 which has a better range but pales in comparison when it comes to interiors, luxury and ride quality.
Adding to this - the i3 was a game changer in terms of materials and manufacturing. The i8 is still an excellent hybrid sports car - available long before the electrically boosted exotic cars were released.
Lastly - I was happily driving an electric 1er convertible in Berlin under the DriveNow car share back in 2012!
They’ve been in the EV game far longer than people realise; and have the iX1, i3, iX3, i4, i7, i8, iX either available now or within the next 12 months.
This is not to gloss over their current subscription based hardware access, which is in poor taste, but obviously people are still buying their cars.
I've never wanted a BMW - until the i4. It's the first one I'm actually considering buying.
Sales numbers disagree with you
The Model3 outsells any BMW model by large margins
More sales doesn't mean better, especially considering BMW's offerings are newer. BMW is far superior to Tesla when it comes to the "car" part, as in the materials, build quality and driving dynamics. Same goes for the Taycan. The interior quality and NVH characteristics of a Model S might as well be that of a Corolla when compared to an equally expensive "traditional" luxury car like an S Class. Tesla's powertrains are phenomenal, everything else is mediocre at best. Most people don't know anything about cars and Tesla the default EV to them. I know so many people who never cared about cars suddenly willing to spend 2x the amount they previously did on a car because they want an EV and Tesla is all they know. Most don't know what a $75k+ interior should be, it's just fancier looking than their Hondas and Toyotas they've previously owned. Most don't seem to care about other brands nor are they interested in learning more, just as they felt about cars in general before owning an EV.
Most people can be often wrong.
As for EVs, I don't think there's much development to be done, save for batteries - the powertrains are dead simple, and we have been building electric motors for longer than ICEs.
And the thing with battery technologies is that there is quite a bit of stagnation as there has been very little improvement in power density - higher densities, and safer chemistries that can do more cycles are still the subjects of research, and it's still a question of 'if' and not 'when' that a given promising technology (like solid state batteries) will pan out.
There are multiple solutions - plug-in hybrids, which Toyota makes can almost match EVs for emissions for a lot of people. I, for example commute about 30km per day, and take longer trips only every 2 weeks or so, and well made ICE engines have such a low emission for long trips that combined with the rarity of use, make their environmental impact negligible.
I think you've hit on something here. In this day when what is seen on social media is all that matters, practical engineering and science concerns definitely take a back seat.
But there's another explanation for why Toyota does not have an EV lineup - they have been pursuing hybrid, hydrogen, and other tech for years. They have a long term vision instead of one that is just based on what is in social media or on what politicians have suddenly decided to subsidize. Since when is ground truth found on social media or from politicians?
It remains to be seen who will be caught out.
It also seems nonsensical to place all our eggs in the EV basket.
The other interpretation is that their solid state battery technology is taking a long time to commercialize and meanwhile all their competitors have products in the market: https://www.drive.com.au/news/toyota-hybrids-to-adopt-solid-...
I agree Toyota doesn't have very appealing vehicles, but they were the best-selling manufacturer for one Q last year and they've been #2 only to GM for quite some time. Given what happened during COVID supply issues, I'd say they're the ones stealing lunches.
They don’t have appeal? Only if you want to become friends with your mechanic.
Touché. I just meant (mostly) looks and feature-wise.
Don't they have the bZ4X? Granted it's only one model, but still it's one more than "doesn't have any EVs".
That is a 2023 vehicle AIUI.
They issued one recall already, so I assumed at least some are in customers' hands?
you mean parked useless into their garages. Their wheels literally fall off and they are not supposed to drive them. Toyota offered to buy back all of them.
Putting a metric ton of (what is essentially) rechargeable AA batteries into a car-shaped form factor is like strapping a jetpack to a horse. This is not the way of the future.
The future will probably involve lots of electric transportation, but it won't look like this. (But judging by the electric transportation that people are actually buying right now, it will be much more personal and portable.)
The batteries in EVs are nothing like AA batteries or even the lithium batteries in phones and laptops. The EV batteries are built more robustly with sophisticated charging systems and prevent them from overcharging to 100% or discharging to 0% (most indicated charge min and max are actually less to preserve battery health). They have active heating/cooling systems to keep the battlers within sustainable ranges. They are constructed of modules so if there are cell failures only that module needs to be replaced not the whole battery pack. Battery warranties are around 8-10 years and, while some have failed in the last 10 years or so, it is clear by now that most will last much longer than that.
That's not the point. Nobody is casting doubt on the battery controller technology.
> Toyoda also believes there will be “tremendous shortages” of lithium and battery grade nickel in the next five to 10 years, leading to production and supply chain problems.
This is the main reason why I believe the current all-electric goals are too ambitious and not practical.
Translation, Toyota has not yet secured access to resources because it has been dragging its feet making the necessary investments. Other manufacturers have in fact been making such investments and are growing production volumes at a nice rate. Toyota will eventually have to choose between letting market share slip or investing to catch up as more countries are starting to see sales dominated by EVs.
We're talking about a company that has been talking about hydrogen cars and is still pretending that they are going to do that at scale; despite no evidence at all of that in the form of production capacity and infrastructure related investments. Speak of supply chain problems! Where is the hydrogen even going to come from? And where's the distribution network for that? And how many hydrogen cars did Toyota actually ship so far? Hint, the volume of their very low number of compliance EVs in places like China is actually higher. They've actually already produced more EVs than hydrogen cars. I doubt those numbers will ever turn around for them.
Toyoda sounds like a broken record just rehashing the same excuses over and over again as to why they are late in a market where other companies are raking in really fat profits on EVs that seems to be going through some exponential growth.
Hydrogen makes sense for semi-trucks and cargo transport - which are incidentally responsible for a huge chuck of ICE emissions.
That means even if we can't quite build out the infrastructure for civilian use, and the fuel cells are too expensive for the average Joe, we can still convert semi trucks to hydrogen use.
Even there, battery electric trucks are already selling in just about every weight class of trucks you can name. Hydrogen is a very long shot there and the (very) few hydrogen trucks on the road have neither range nor cost advantages over battery electric. And of course they can't go out of range from the very limited hydrogen distribution points.
Lithium is interesting because we could get really creative in how/where we get it. For example, GM is planning to buy Lithium extracted from the Salton Sea. 
Nickel and Cobalt are, IMO, tougher to solve for. Nickel is rich in places that are not North America, which will run up against certain domestic sourced stipulations in EV subsidies... We have one nickel mine as of 2021 and it produces far less than the Eurasian mines.
I think an EV future will really depend on innovative battery chemistries like LiFePO4.
Nobody questions if these metals exist or not. But developing a mine in North America takes 5-10 years and often longer.
If you want to have a real mine that might actual produce lithium in North America look at Thacker Pass. The Salton Sea is mostly marketing, its totally unproven technology not anywhere remotely close to production. There have been countless junior minors who have made great promises about lithium production in the last 10 years and virtually all of them have failed.
It will take much, much longer then most of these companies say to produce anything close to battery grade lithium. Lithium is really tricky to get to the right quality, and each mine needs to go threw a multi year very process to go threw valuation at every car and battery maker. So even if you have a mine partially operating, it takes years and years after that until your lithium might actually show up in a car.
Sodium and LFP batteries do help. But LFP still needs lithium and the massive production facilities already built for NMC and NCA can not just be changed.
This is a bigger problem then people realize, specially lithium. After all these years there is still only a handful (less then 5) of companies that produce it at the required grade. And of those many are not expanding fast.
There will be sodium-ion batteries in EVs too. Niu is going to launch a two-wheeler with a sodium-ion battery next year .
Will < did.
These threads are always full of companies just two years out.
That, and available generation capacity.
Hey Toyota, nobody asks you to be all in. But how about you start by no lobbying against climate rules, making advertisements demonizing EV and stop to sell the hydrogen snake oil to the politicians.
That might be a good start.
> But how about you start by no lobbying against climate rules
The only lobbying I've heard of is against the narrow focus of BEV-only policies and to include hybrid, HEV, etc. What other lobbying are you referring to?
The have been part of various alliances to keep down fuel standards.
In 2019, Toyota also sued California to take away its EPA waiver (dating from the 1963 Clean Air Act) to set its own car mileage standards. Aggressively suing your customers to make their air quality worse goes well beyond lobbying.
I personally like a lot plug-in hybrid vehicles. For example the Toyota RAV4 plug-in has an electric-only range of 42 miles. Very few people commute more than that one way. If you can charge at home, and then charge at work too, you will not need to use gas for your commute. You will end up reducing your gas usage by a factor of 10 easily. And if we reduce all our emissions by a factor of 10, we are net negative (because forests sequester more than 10% of the emissions).
Except now you're lugging around the weight of the gas engine and taking on all the extra maintenance complexity of the gas engine, just on the off chance that for some reason you're going to need to road trip longer than the equivalent pure EV's range and won't be able to rent a more appropriate vehicle for it.
Of the cars I've had in the past 15 years, the engine has never been the problem. Routine oil changes, maybe spark plugs, but saying engines need major maintenance just isn't true.
NOW, 2 of the 3 cars I've had in the past 15 years have destroyed their catalytic converters. Almost certainly from the fact that much of their driving is short-quick trips. Catalytic converter can't heat up to optimal temps and burn off residual combustion material.
PHEV almost entirely solve this problem. Run on battery for the short hops. Run on the engine for long trips. Additionally, PHEV can utilize both a smaller ICE engine and run it at more efficient workloads. PHEVs can rely on the electric motor to provide surge capacity during acceleration then recharge during cruising.
On top off all of that, PHEV can do regenerative breaking. An ICE engine has simply no way to recover energy while braking.
The key words in your comment are 3 cars (plural) and 15 years. 15 years is a typical lifespan for one car. And the thing most commonly limiting that lifetime is the engine breaking, totaling the car. My guess is that this will be happening later with a PHEV because you use the engine less. On the other hand the battery will break down faster than in an pure BEV because less battery capacity means also more cycles, which is the thing that will break them down.
> And the thing most commonly limiting that lifetime is the engine breaking, totaling the car.
Where I live, it's almost always rust.
Can't you say that for anything? If you can go 300 miles on a charge and you only drive 50 miles, you're lugging around 250 miles worth of extra battery and all of that complexity. I'm also transporting an extra tire everywhere!
A 300 mile battery is not appreciably more complex than a 50 mile one. The weight is a waste, but there's no extra maintenance burden.
My maintenance burden on a 2AR-FE engine (the one in the rav) is ~$30 oil and filter every 10k miles (once a year). That's literally it. It will run 150k miles with literally nothing but oil changes (well you should change the antifreeze too, but it'll usually keep going regardless). IDK what the maintenance burden is of the battery + electric motor. It's probably lower, but then again $300 / 100k miles is barely a blip on the radar.
It's almost certainly less maintenance for well designed electric but the rav4 engine is just dead nuts reliable with almost no maintenance. For most people it's like an hour a work once a year while you drink a beer.
The other issue, is Toyota gas vehicles have such stupid low depreciation that maintenance + depreciation ends up coming out ahead on the gas vehicle vs EVs on the market.
It's not literally just an extra engine you're carrying around, it's the whole ICE drivetrain and exhaust system: engine, starter, air intake, transmission, alternator, oil pump, fuel tank and fuel pump, gas lines, catalytic converter, muffler, all the various sensors for the engine, etc. Electric cars have none of those.
Thanks to government subsidies in place for 14 years so far and locked in for at least another 10, I've experienced no actual depreciation on my electric cars to date. I've actually made money upgrading to a new one every few years. My current daily driver is a 2021 VW ID4 that had a sticker price of $44K, $36.5K after the federal tax credit, and Carvana offered me a bit over $43K if I want to sell it today.
>It's not literally just an extra engine you're carrying around, it's the whole ICE drivetrain and exhaust system: engine, starter, air intake, transmission, alternator, oil pump, fuel tank and fuel pump, gas lines, catalytic converter, muffler, all the various sensors for the engine, etc. Electric cars have none of those.
So I was an electrical engineer and designed (and hand wired) a complete drive system for an electric vehicle company. Electric car has, in some sense, all of those. It has a motor(s) instead of a starter. It has an inverter and gearbox instead of a 'transmission' . It has a rectifier / charging system instead of a fuel pump. It has a DC/DC converter instead of an alternator. It has HV electrical distribution network instead of gas lines. Instead of the metals in a catalytic converter or a gas tank, you have hundreds of pounds of chemistries such as lithium nickel cobalt aluminium oxide. Instead of a muffler or air intake, you have air and fluid cooling systems for the batteries. There are 'all various sensors' for battery temperature and status monitoring as well as for positioning and feedback of the motors.
My grandma gave me $7500 to buy a car so I can sell it for a profit!
-- the logic that 'because tax credits' the car didn't depreciate.
> So I was an electrical engineer and designed a drive system for an electric vehicle company. Electric car has, in some sense, all of those. It has a motor(s) instead of a starter. It has an inverter and gearbox instead of a 'transmission' . It has a rectifier / charging system instead of a fuel pump. It has a DC/DC converter instead of an alternator. It has HV electrical distribution network instead of gas lines. Instead of the metals in a catalytic converter or a gas tank, you have hundreds of pounds of chemistries such as lithium nickel cobalt aluminium oxide. Instead of a muffler or air intake, you have air and fluid cooling systems for the batteries. There are 'all various sensors' for battery temperature and status monitoring as well as for positioning and feedback of the motors.
The point is that in a plug-in hybrid you still need all that. You're carrying around two full drivetrains instead of one, for a benefit that might actually be pretty marginal.
What about smog checks, belts, and making sure the gas tank doesn't dry out?
Also, the transmission for an ICE is far more complicated, fuel pumps could fail, the muffler / exhaust manifold could get knocked off by something, the radiator could leak...
At least one of those things is likely to happen over the 10 year warranty that new car batteries come with (by law, moving forward) in the US.
However, a 300-mile battery is appreciably heavier than a 50-mile battery: it wastes energy on the extra mass. Why carry around 100s of pounds of extra battery on the off-chance of going on a road trip when most people have a round-trip commute distance less than 100 miles?
ICE drivetrains are extremely mature technology and the amount of "extra complexity" that EV absolutists are always barking about isn't that high. The tradeoff that pure EVs make is that you haul around 4500 pounds of dead batteries everywhere, which isn't great either.
My plug-in Clarity has had zero, and I mean literally zero, extra maintenance visits over and above what you'd expect from a pure EV. I take it in every year to inspect the tie rods ends, ball joints, brakes etc and while it's there they change the oil. Whoop-de-doo.
I know Tesla does not recommend regular inspection and lubrication for chassis and suspension which gives owners of young cars the illusion of maintenance freedom, but I view it as just Tesla having no idea how to support a fleet of long-lived cars and lacking the service network to make it work.
> The tradeoff that pure EVs make is that you haul around 4500 pounds of dead batteries everywhere, which isn't great either.
A Kia Niro PHEV that can go 25 miles on its battery, and a Kia Niro EV that can go 240 miles on its battery, are only about 400 pounds apart. That's like carrying around two passengers, which has negligible impact on fuel efficiency or road wear.
> and won't be able to rent a more appropriate vehicle for it.
For me at least that's the rule, not the exception. I travel when there are holidays, and that's when lots of other people rent cars. Maybe I can find a car to rent, but it's going to be hundreds of dollars per day. A lot of people find this to be less than ideal.
If that gas engine security blanket is what drivers need to accept buying an EV with a 40-mile range, well, polictics is the art of the possible.
And I would take that trade every single time compared to renting a car.
For many people it is not "the off chance". You may commute fixed < 40 miles during weekdays but then you are driving off to >100miles every other weekend or may be even weekends. People living in cities and may be one with families doesn't do this regularly but there is ~20% of population in my guestimate can't live with 40 miles EV range.
That's the perfect use-case for PHEV
Fair point. The alternative however is to spend the same amount (or more) on an EV and have to rent a car for weekend trips.
What weekend trips are you taking that are regularly more than 250 miles and completely out of reach of a 240V outlet for overnight charging?
Not sure about OP but I live in the American southwest and that would be a pretty normal weekend trip. No 240V outlets in the desert, and if you run out of electricity and can't get ahold of someone you will likely die unless you can find a water source quickly. A 5 gallon jug of gas in the bed will generally at least get me to a spring if I run out of gas -- perhaps there's the 5 gallon jug equivalent of extra batteries?
I'd also note the depreciation on toyota off-road capable vehicles that would go on these kind of weekend trips (like gas rav4 / tacoma) is stupid low. Like stupid stupid low. To the point many people who bought new in 2020 might get more money now than before they drove it off the lot. Not sure if there's any EVs with only ~29.5% 5 year expected depreciation like say a Tacoma Toyota has.
The price difference between a new Nissan leaf and a five year old one is currently less than the federal tax subsidy.
Teslas are similar.
Shifting the subsidy onto some other poor sod doesn't eliminate the depreciation. It's like saying I didn't lose money because grandma gave me $7500 to buy the car.
I don't own a car (I only do occasional weekend trips, so renting as required is much cheaper). But both of the two trips I've done this year met your criteria. They were camping trips to campsites without power outlets available.
That feels all over a better deal to me. I don’t need a long-range vehicle often.
Batteries also weigh a lot and are expensive. May be cheaper to add a small gas engine and tank.
So you go full ev or just going gas?
There's still complexity involved in the gas one .
That model has a 18kWh battery. My EV has a 33kWh battery, and a 135 mile epa range, so something seems wrong with the Toyota's 42 mile battery-only range.
My car weighs 3000 lbs and the RAV4 plugin hybrid weighs 4100lbs. Car engines weigh 300-700 lbs, ignoring the gas tank, radiator, exhaust system, etc. Maybe the dead weight from the engine is the issue? Toyota definitely knows its way around a wind tunnel.
Toyota is only charging $2200 for the plug in hybrid upgrade. Why not charge $4400 for a 36 kWh battery, and make the gas engine optional? Presumably the gas engine, exhaust, gas tank and hybrid transmission add over $4400 to the price!
My guess is that Toyota somehow got blindsided by the EV technology transition (despite having a 20 year lead from the Prius), and now they are in damage control mode.
Is your EV the same cross-sectional area or interior volume as the rav4 prime?
My thoughts exactly! In fact I'd go a step further and say simplify the heck out of gas engine to run as a generator at max efficiency. currently most of the complexity of gas engines exist to achieve multiple goals that are easily solved by EV motor like startup torque, power distribution etc. IMO the best solution is to create something like aquarius engines or a single piston linear generator from toyota itself. pair this with a series hybrid and you have a very robust solution with need of a small battery. also that has none of the problems of engine servicing because of super simple (& accessible configuration).
IMO the fact that the standard car makers have been sitting on there asses and not investing time/energy in creating these solutions is quite disturbing.
A recent oped in the NYTimes argues there’s not enough lithium for all the world’s car. So using smaller batteries like in the RAV4 would stretch the lithium across more cars. Personally I would rarely use gas given the 42mi range. On the occasional long trip the hybrid engine means I don’t have to wait around to recharge. Best of both worlds.
There is more than enough lithium. There is a temporary shortage of lithium production.
I believe EV adoption will be slow and then sudden. Yes, there will hurdles and EVs aren’t going to make sense for everyone, but there will be a tipping point. Right now you have EVs that check all the boxes and but are over $45,000.
Even with premium pricing, demand already outstrips supply for electric vehicles.
This is also how it went with smartphones. First it’s a status symbol and a luxury item, then a few years later there seems to be a cliff and suddenly it’s highly unusual not to have one.
You can get a brand new perfectly functional smartphone for under $200. If electric cars drop to even $30k they're still way out of reach for most people, and we'll be waiting a long time from them to hit the used car market.
https://www.recurrentauto.com/research/used-electric-vehicle... says 1/4th of EV sales in Q2 2022 were used vehicles. with an average price of 40k although this is all complicated by a shortage in EV production.
40k... That is triple what I paid for my slightly used ICE car. With long warranty in country with extreme taxation... That is just bonkers level of pricing.
Yeah, the market is in a very weird place largely caused by the fact that there was a roughly 5 year period where the Model S was the only real electric car, so used EVs are much more likely to be extremely high end cars than new EVs (also the current car market in general is very wacky right now). It will probably be another 5 years or so before there are enough cheap EVs that have been on the road long enough to enter the used market in high volume.
We have now several examples of markets (California, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Netherlands) that electric vehicle sales follow an S curve like you're predicting.
In a couple of years, I think China & India should make it clear if this will be the global play out as well.
China certainly seems interested in getting off gasoline as fast as possible.
That's because China looks like and practically is City 17 right now
Really because I came to the exact opposite conclusion that the tipping point will be they getting more expensive because of the input costs, namely the raw materials.
How do you figure natural resource extraction will be revolutionised to make EV's dramatically cheaper after enough people buy EVs?
After enough people buy EVs, you don't need to extract new resources, as they can be recycled. Redwood Materials recycled 60 tons of EV batteries a day last year, with an over 90% recovery rate of the materials.
Wow fascinating company I haven't heard of before. That definitely helps a ton if the recovery rate is good enough.
The issue isn't supply/demand it's the availability of resources e.g. lithium.
And those won't just just magically jump from none to plentiful. It will be more gradual.
Lithium is plentiful. Refineries and mines might be scarce, but that (and dozens of other supply chain issues) will be fixed, and all of a sudden EV supply will skyrocket.
> but are over 45K
The Kia EV6 is $41K and has > 300 mile range.
Leafs start at $28K ($20K after subsidy), but that is a lower range model.
I agree with the point you are making, but I think we are in the middle of the tipping point. Plenty of models exist at many price points. 100% are back ordered. All the manufacturers have to do at this point is scale their production lines.
Nissan and Kia are probably going to eat a few lunches in the mass market segment.
Yes, Kia with their models are the closest. They are right there in terms of pricing. The Nissan Leaf is well priced, but it is a bit basic and not what most people are looking for these days in terms of features.
And I agree, a tipping point feels close. If Tesla ever caught up with demand and stopped raising their prices on the Model 3 I think it would be a Model T like hit.
> Even with premium pricing, demand already outstrips supply for electric vehicles.
Thanks to pandemic stimulus, this is true for almost all vehicle types.
How do you people buy these $40,000 cars with your one-time $1400 check?
The Fed printed $4.5 trillion during the pandemic.
The article points out there's just not enough raw lithium and nickel to go around to convert every gas car to an EV.
If everyone would suddenly want an EV, that would drive raw material prices even higher and would lead to a drastic expansion of lithium mining, without the necessary environmental precautions, which would counteract the environmental benefits of EV adoption.
I’m happy Toyota will continue to invest in hybrids. I want a car with sufficient range. Maybe other folks don’t take a lot of road trips, but that’s something I do in the Midwest and it brings me a lot of joy. Honda Accord hybrid can get nearly 600 miles range and is an absolute pleasure to drive. I’m hoping my next car is a PHEV.
I don’t want to think about charging. I’m worried it would cause delays and affect my route. Hybrids allow more flexibility.
This board goes really hard on EVs. I don’t understand it.
Most EVs have 300 mile range. You can drive for 4-5 hours between charges, and recharging takes under an hour. In a few years, you won't need to worry about range or charging.
Also, EVs are way more fun to drive. For instance Kia likes to point out that their 2023 EV6 ($41k) hatchback has better acceleration than a top-end 2023 Porsche Cayenne coupe.
Infrastructure concerns are way overblown. I charge my commuter car with a 110v outlet. It draws as much as a space heater or electric kettle.
I read that the average range is closer to 250 miles. Taking an hour to charge is still too long for my preference. The images of long lines at charging stations during peak travel seasons give me anxiety. This will be solved, no doubt.
I also have no doubt charging technology will continue to improve. I will switch when it’s closer to 10 minutes to charge and chargers are everywhere.
I think its subjective to say which car is more fun to drive. It’s about preference. I had the most fun driving early 2000s v6 sports sedans that could do 0-60 in 6 seconds, compared to an EV that could do that in 4 seconds. Mainly due to the handling characteristics when cornering.
I’m not opposed to owning an EV. It just can’t be worse along the metrics I care about.
An hour is kind of worst case. My five year old car clocks in at 40 minutes.
Range is sort of bi-modal. If you want a 150-200 mile car, they exist. The same model will usually do 300 miles for about $7000 more. Personally, since we have two cars, I'd probably go with one low range and one long range vehicle.
I'd further try to arrange for the low range one to be a sports car; smaller battery = better cornering, etc.
I haven't really looked to hard, but does a hybrid exist that's battery first and then has an ICE to fall back on for charging the battery / supplying electricity to the electric motors?
All I want is to be able to have an electric car, that if I'm in a real jam and need to run it on petrol I can fill up a 20 litre tank and make a few hours of driving, even if it's in 'limp home mode' until I can get a charge again.
My range anxiety is real! The Australian outback is big.
Nissan's e-Power line is exactly that. The ICE only exist to charge the battery and is not connected to the drive train. I think they call these "series hybrid"?
> does a hybrid exist that's battery first and then has an ICE to fall back on
That's what PHEVs are (Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles).
Relevant to the article, those include the (Toyota) RAV4 prime and Prius prime. I think the one I see the most is the Chevy Volt, which unfortunately is discontinued, but seemed like a good PHEV.
It's called a range extender. The BMW i3 REX and Chevy Volt / Opel Ampera are the biggest examples of it. Both are still in use and very popular.
The Honda Accord hybrid gas engine has 3 modes. It can power the wheels, power the generator to drive the electric motor and it can charge the battery.
Basically all PHEVs work this way.
Well I live in a very wealthy country by global standards, with lots of space and sun, and many climate concerned people clearly influencing politics, and plans to export renewable energy to other countries. And there is essentially zero charging infrastructure for EVs, and no concrete plan to change that.
Charging infrastructure is the main blocker for adoption. Instead of giving tax credits for EV, government should fund the charging infrastructure. There are 168k gas stations in US. The number of EV charging outlets is 128k. Unfortunately most charging stations can take way too long and "effective density" is pretty bad. There is a huge business opportunity to provide EV charging for, say 50% of gas price. Once such business takes foot hold, others would follow.
Australia? Heh, climate-concerned is the last thing I would say that Aussie politics is.
Varies by government, but the people are, look at what happened to the former treasurer.
Why do we need a plan? As soon as the demand gets there you’re going to have a thousand different startups competing to build it. We’re going to see better solutions than we can imagine right now once the competition begins. Countries have spent the past century fighting wars to secure access to oil, but now we’re afraid of being brought to our knees by the prospect of building a charging network?
In TFA he says, to paraphrase, 'We aren't going all-in on EVs and lack of infrastructure is one of the reasons.' What do you think is the fastest way to get ICE cars off the road? Pretty sure what you outline in your comment isn't it. I also don't think that affordable infrastructure actually gets built without government support - but happy to consider any counterexamples.
Just to clarify, in case you misunderstand me, I can't wait to be free of ICE vehicles.
Before insultingly telling me to “read the fucking article” maybe you should read what I wrote. The article quote is completely unrelated. Of course we don’t have the infrastructure, but what I'm saying is that we can build it, and we don’t need some giant government plan to do it.
> I also don't think that affordable infrastructure actually gets built without government support - but happy to consider any counterexamples.
You’ve never been to a gas station?
This isn’t going to involve blowing holes in mountains. All you need is a wire and a payment system.
I didn’t use any expletives, abbreviated or otherwise , nor do I want to insult you.
Ah yes, whenever the topic that EVS won't be the absolute future comes up.
People get ultra religious and evangelical about it. At this point, it should just be a new religion. That is to say, most of the debates aren't founded on logic, but rather hope and belief.
Until it's possible to buy a second hand ev as someone's new car for less than a grand (AUD so $600 USD). EVS won't be the future. $20k for a car is fucking expensive, the "mass market" model 3 in Australia is $60-80k. That's a luxury car price, closer to the top end.
Sounds like blackberry and nokia back then when iPhone was released? If they're not on board the train for the future trend right now, won't they get left behind?
I'm not a management guy so I don't know, probably there are a lot of consideration happening and they surely have some strategy, whether it's right or not we'll see
I would love nothing more than to have an EV, a Tesla battery and solar panels at home. But like most Australians, I rent. And when you rent here you can barely put a hook up on the wall without the owners permission (and usually them saying ‘no’ [and don’t even get me started on how paranoid it makes a renter feel to have to ask the owner for permission for something. There’s always the thought of ‘if I ask too much, will they not renew my lease and will I ever be able to find another rental in these conditions?’… but that’s another story])
And that doesn’t even take into account how expensive EVs are here, either.
So for now, it’s my ‘99 Camry all the way.
Two pragmatic suggestions:
- if there are any outlets on the outside of your house, buy the highest amperage charger cable you can (~ $200 US), and trickle charge overnight. This is more than adequate for a reasonable commute in a reasonably efficient car. (Check the miles/kWh or km/kWh of the car, then figure out how many kW the charge cable delivers).
- Lobby for "community net metering". The idea is that you buy shares in a non-profit (or other business entity) that owns a solar panel farm near your home. The power company offsets your bill as though the energy your share of the solar panels produced was produced on your roof. In addition to allowing renters and apartment dwellers to save money by buying solar, it allows them to buy things, like wind turbines, that don't scale down as well.
It also allows poor people to lower their energy costs (as people that currently own solar panels do).
The battery is tougher, assuming you want to use it as a backup. If you just want to time shift power, community net metering (and time of use plans) is good enough.
Wouldn't it make more sense just to buy solar and wind producing companies and then get dividends from them and use those to buy the power?
I like the idea of an EV, always have, even thought by age now they would be the dominant vehicle. Charging hundreds of millions of cars in the US alone overnight and short ranges compared to a gas vehicle didn't factor into my thinking until recent years.
Jay Leno has mentioned several times the numerous advantages steam and electric cars had over gas over 100 years ago but they were not enough to beat the sheer convenience of gas.
I once scoffed at the idea of a hybrid (thinking of them as a stepping stone) but today I realize they make much more sense than I realized before. Think of crossing the Mojave Desert in an EV.
I don't buy this argument.
Most people can charge during the day. Employers often provide free EV charging, but even if they don't, power will be mostly free during daylight hours moving forward (due to solar). Also, employers that require people to commute almost universally provide parking lots that could be retrofitted with chargers.
In the worst case (only charge at night, run battery to 0% every day at sunset, leave at sunrise, power company bans charging at night), someone could install a stationary battery with about 120% the EV's charge. That's overly pessimistic and still only a factor of 2.2 on the price of the battery.
Over a 5-10 year period, EVs currently pay for themselves in saved money on gasoline.
Crossing the Mojave seems easy enough to me. There would need to be charging stations evey ~100 miles. Finding space for the necessary solar capacity would not be an issue. The stations could charge 2-4x "city' rates and would be very profitable.
You can already cross the Mojave in even a low range tesla, for what it is worth. (Victorville -> Las Vegas; they say you need to charge for 20 minutes in Baker, CA)
> Over a 5-10 year period, EVs currently pay for themselves in saved money on gasoline.
I don't know how else to put this, but that's flat out false. Looking at my miles driven over the past month, 10 years of savings won't even get me half of the value of a Chevy Bolt.
> Crossing the Mojave seems easy enough to me.
LA to Vegas is trivial, since it's a major corridor for tourism.
Driving around Nevada is not. Vegas to Great Basin National Park (4.5 hours one way) and back only recently became possible* since Tesla released their CCS1 adapter. Unfortunately, the EV chargers that the state of Nevada has subsidized are only 50kW, which means 4.5 hours of driving requires 1h50m of charging.
* You could do it before if you drove below the speed limit to reduce aerodynamic drag, but you had to drive way out of the way through Utah, desperately hope that you don't consume more power than predicted, and probably get shot by angry drivers.
How often are you driving across Nevada, if you don't do it often you can simply rent an ICE car or truck until the charging infrastructure improves. I often carry extra gas in NV/OR because gas stations can be pretty infrequent in parts.
> Most people can charge during the day. Employers often provide free EV charging,
What about when people forget to charge their cars overnight, and there's an emergency? Perhaps needing to evacuate due to a storm? It takes a few minutes to refuel and it can get you a long way.
And take something like 4 charging stations, 100 people front of you all trying to top up before evacuating, each taking full hour to charge. Now you are waiting for a day. Then 12 hours in power goes out. Now you are stuck with half of them.
The downvoting going on is telling about the ideology of some of the people on here honestly.
Mmm, what ever went wrong designing a system based on edge cases.
Edge cases? That's why they are called disasters. That's why there's disaster planning. Ever read https://www.ready.gov/ ?
The evacuations we've seen in the past few years due to forest fires and storms are not edge cases.
I wish most car trips were majestic like crossing the Mojave. Alas, 99.5% of my drives are either commutes or errands. I charge the car at home or at work, once a week, if that.
Jay Leno is a petrolhead. Biased opinion to say the least.
I've driven and flown across the United States multiple times. There are far more people in my camp than yours, about 75% of the nation.
The Mojave Desert is not really the kind of driving the average American remotely needs a vehicle equipped for.
If you drive from LA to Las Vegas, which many people do in their EVs, you have crossed the Mojave desert (nearly all of it).
on a tourist corridor which already has lovely ev infrastructure, yes.
Heaven forbid for anyone like Akio Toyoda to have a pragmatic outlook on the future of four wheeled enclosed personal transportation that departs from the popular narrative.
Well sure, he has to say that, because they have zero foothold in the game and have been campaigning to kill electric ev laws. Toyota also has 200 billion, yes 200 BILLION dollars in debt, they are the second most indebted corporation in the world.
is that 200bn debt from their annual report?
Toyota isn't listening to its customers. We've been asking for EVs for a long time. Took forever to get plug-in hybrids. Then it all stopped.
I'm a second generation Toyota buyer, my father before me. 100% of the cars we purchased over the past 20 years were Toyota. We've been asking for electric but Toyota was too stuborn, or dare I say, too pussy to make the leap.
Like many, I've decided my next car will be electric. I'm sad it won't be a Toyota.
I'm very disapointed in everything Toyoda says. Excuses and no dream.
According to the posted article, Toyota does have plans to offer several all-electric models in 3 years (in 2025). My main takeaway from what Toyoda said was Toyota's goal to offer as many options as possible to its customers - this includes ICE, hybrids, BEV, and hydrogen cars. What Toyota is refusing is letting go of developing all other types of vehicles and focusing only on BEV, which is fair imo.
Toyota leads the world in developing volume electric vehicles and it's not hard to see the logic of remaining focused on hybrid for the foreseeable future. No one has done more to bring affordable mass market hybrids to market while the BEV world is an endless cycle of hype and overpromising. In most of the world we have massive electricity supply issues and there are huge questions around what problems BEVs are actually solving and the new problems they are creating.
'Here's What It Takes To Recycle 1 EV Battery' https://youtube.com/shorts/Sj5hI_IiQ7A?feature=share
Toyota does have the most fun to drive hybrid motors though, that is subjective of course. I really thought they would get all in into EVs, but the reasoning around limitations of battery technology does seem to make sense, maybe they will end up as winners in the long term.
The Chevy Volt hybrid was much more responsive and faster than the Toyota hybrids. The Toyota ones tend to fall back on the gasoline engine when pushed.
The problem was that is was more expensive for GM to build than a pure EV and they wanted to make a clear break.
The Toyota hybrids get better fuel economy in hybrid mode though. The Volt is better than a Prius due to the electric-only range, but not better than a Prius Prime.
It's crazy they cancelled the Volt to bring out the Bolt which is short range and slow to charge.
> Toyota does have the most fun to drive hybrid motors though, that is subjective of course.
I can buy that; My Ford Hybrid (drivetrain AFAIR is/was cross licensed from Toyota) has been way more enjoyable to drive than I expected.
Can anyone say more how the increased electricity consumption by EVs will pressure the existing grid, and what sources (green or otherwise) will generate the extra capacity?
I charge my EV after 10pm, when demand is so low that I can buy it for 1 cent a kilowatt hour. So first we need enough EVs charging overnight to reach the late afternoon peak before we worry a lot about grid capacity. I also generally charge my EV in 1 or 2 hours, it does not typically take all night. So if grid capacity becomes a problem, a bit of smart scheduling to spread the load should be pretty straightforward.
And after that, we just add more capacity to the grid. The electric company exists to sell us electricity, and if we demand more, they will make more. The kind of growth we'd need to see in the grid to support 100% of all new cars being EVs is entirely within the abilities the electric producers have demonstrated in times past.
Who knows. Caution is commendable but if we want to avoid catastrophe we might have to start taking steps before everything is 100% ironed out, which might mean having less reliable infrastructure in the short term.
Our current system is basically just a bunch of inefficient portable ICE generators running around everywhere. Maybe a short term solution is to install large ICE generators (at existing gas stations, for example). Sounds expensive, but inaction will also be expensive.
It helps tremendously that many people will hold on to their ICE cars for as long as possible. I for one plan to run my truck for a long time yet. So we have a long ramp-up time for shoring up the electrical grid.
The average American home consumes 29kwh per day. It takes 62kwh to charge a base Tesla Model 3 once. Of course, not everyone will be charging from complete empty every night, but if every household is charging one car from 50% to 100% each night, the amount of daily electricity demand per household doubles. And most households own more than one car!
But a base model M3 has a 360 mile range. Your scenario would only be true if every household drove their M3 for 180 miles _EVERY_DAY_.
EVs can be charged overnight during off-peak hours when the electricity is usually dirt cheap.
I don't think generation capacity is much issue. Just waste money on renewables and it will be there. Now matching the demand to that production and forcing people not to use their EV-vehicles in certain periods when there aren't enough production... As clearly they should be last ones to get it in high-demand, low supply scenarios.
More and more coal plants have tons of slack as renewables come online. We don't yet have a good system for local generation but that will come. There is no reason that most garage roofs can't be solar storing to banks of lead acid power banks for charging at night.
I’m not sure if anyone read the article but it is incredibly level headed and actually states that Toyota is going to launch 15 full electric vehicles by 2025. I actually owned an electric car and it was amazing and I loved it but I definitely agree with the direction Toyota is going and they have developed some amazing tech with their hybrid systems that I don’t see any reason why they would throw out the window.
50 years from now there won't be gasoline. You must change.
biodiesel will likely be available but not at scale.
ethanol will almost certainly power old cars, but gas stations will be rare.
hydrogen is a non-starter. 95% of hydrogen comes from fossil fuels already and electrolysis is tremendously inefficient. Not to mention a hydrogen car is really just an electric car with hydrogen range extending.
Everything points to it's going to be EVs.
There are a lot of tractors that use diesel and gasoline. Mine is a 1947, still runs like a champ. I've wanted an EV tractor but with each generation of new vehicle, more and more hostile features are added.
- Subscriptions to hardware capabilities
- AUP violations for self repair this is slowly changing, maybe
- GPS tracking and Remote telemetry. GPS makes sense for geofencing and automation but no need to dial home to a cloud, any more so than a drone
- Crazy cost of proprietary batteries / battery packs
All of those things are double-red-flags / hard stops for me.
Batteries are a topic in and of themselves. Batteries are evolving every few years and yet newer vehicles are being designed to take proprietary battery packs and this is only becoming more vendor locked-in with time.
I will buy an EV when the above items are addressed, probably around the time that solid state 3D printed batteries are forced to be in a Standard form factor and battery packs can be quickly swapped by the owner, whatever that may look like. Every part needs to be modular and easy to swap. Bonus would be after-market modules, some being vendor approved and some that obviously void warranties without having to reprogram the ECM like I do with my truck just to replace faulty ignition switches and ABS controllers.
Oh right that is another thing. The EV will need to be compatible and writable by my ThinkTool scanner, meaning the EV vendors will need to publish all of their proprietary codes and encryption keys for vehicle diagnostic tools. If I can not enable/disable features from my tool then the vehicle is not mine and I get my money back.
I also looked into getting a mid-sized EV excavator. Same as everything above. Nothing but owner-hostile features. In my obstinate view, the market is tone deaf and not appealing to the right people. Backing my view I have not seen any construction workers using EV rigs and vendors won't even list prices yet. I had to call them. The only change I have witnessed is smaller 2-stroke engines going electric like chainsaws, some yard maintenance equipment that used to be gasoline, etc...
So perhaps gasoline will be gone in 50 years but I forsee many growing pains in this market and predict blackhat hackers will have to rescue some of the equipment owners, assuming the concept of owning hardware is still a thing. If the concept of ownership vanishes then I expect something better than they existing rental process. e.g. I press a button and the hardware shows up, I use it, then press a button and the hardware goes home and I only pay for the minutes used.
>There are a lot of tractors that use diesel and gasoline. Mine is a 1947, still runs like a champ. I've wanted an EV tractor but with each generation of new vehicle, more and more hostile features are added.
Build one then. How much hp/kw is in your tractor? Cant be much. DC motor + batteries + controller. Practically drop it in and all you might need to do is an engine mount.
>Batteries are a topic in and of themselves. Batteries are evolving every few years and yet newer vehicles are being designed to take proprietary battery packs and this is only becoming more vendor locked-in with time.
Obviously he's being a bit ridiculous with his build but ev conversions are totally doable. If you have the know-how to keep a 47 tractor going you have plenty of know-how to do an ev conversion.
In terms of batteries. Always your last purchase when doing the conversion. They are constantly cheaper.
>I also looked into getting a mid-sized EV excavator. Same as everything above. Nothing but owner-hostile features. In my obstinate view, the market is tone deaf and not appealing to the right people. Backing my view I have not seen any construction workers using EV rigs and vendors won't even list prices yet. I had to call them. The only change I have witnessed is smaller 2-stroke engines going electric like chainsaws, some yard maintenance equipment that used to be gasoline, etc...
This weekend I was talking to same idea. "My combine needs to be able to operate nonstop to get the corn/wheat/whatever off in time."
So do you need a really large battery pack or do you mount 5kw of solar to the roof of the combine up high so it can rotate toward the sun? What's the cost of such a beast?
>The only change I have witnessed is smaller 2-stroke engines going electric like chainsaws, some yard maintenance equipment that used to be gasoline, etc...
Oh man, my very first one years ago was a weed wiper. The lack of shaking your hands to hell is a godsend. Now you also have robotic lawn mowers that just doo that all for you. Only possible as an ev.
>So perhaps gasoline will be gone in 50 years but I forsee many growing pains in this market and predict blackhat hackers will have to rescue some of the equipment owners, assuming the concept of owning hardware is still a thing. If the concept of ownership vanishes then I expect something better than they existing rental process. e.g. I press a button and the hardware shows up, I use it, then press a button and the hardware goes home and I only pay for the minutes used.
The beauty of capitalism. You could build your own first and potentially spawn a lucrative business for about a year or 2. Then Deere will come in with go-away money and you can go back to your original fun.
To answer the headline:
> Toyoda reiterated that he does not believe all-electric vehicles will be adopted as quickly as policy regulators and competitors think, due to a variety of reasons. He cited lack of infrastructure, pricing and how customers’ choices vary region to region as examples of possible roadblocks.
> “Just like the fully autonomous cars that we are all supposed to be driving by now, EVs are just going to take longer to become mainstream than media would like us to believe,”
He sound like smart man unlike European communist bureaucrats trying to force EVs down the throat at any cost, which could be only explained by being controlled by WEF.
I'd say going all in on EV or whatever is as "smart" as putting all your eggs in one basket, world ain't black and white and you gotta be pretty naive to do it, hard to imagine scenario where diversification is not (the more) rational approach.
The amount of hot takes in this threat with half completed math and reasoning is amazing.
The Japanese largely copied European car designs in the 1980s, propelling them into the 1990s and 2000s, but they may no longer be able to do so, stalling the process.
just google "Toyota Actively Lobbying To Slow Down EV Revolution"
When a large part of society really wants to do something, my natural tendency is become extremely skeptical. The reason being in today's day and age, the bandwagoning effect is so strong; people get outsed, and critics are shamed out of the conversation. When the mechanism of criticism ceases to function; malaise develops and all kinds of bullshit gets propelled into mainstream narrative.
Not saying EV revolution isn't the right thing to do; but how can we allow space for steelmanning Toyota or areas where EV's don't make sense; how can we make sure power cuts won't leave people stranded and resiliency of transporation infrastructure becomes fragile; after all, a massive part of the GDP depends on transportation. Without it, nations will fail.
We should be a bit more level headed of the EV craze, especially hackers on HN.
I'm so sure Toyoda's doing some 4D chess move here, given world's increasing renewable energy meant there's going to be demand for energy absorption at will and hydrogen is their answer to help managing the renewable grid.
During the height of renewable energy production the cost of energy would probably even drop to negative, and hydrogen no matter how inefficient can still "regen" it into hydrogen. and the rest is just pricing and betterment of technology.
extremely ambitious but if anyone can pull it off it'd be them.
> and hydrogen is their answer to help managing the renewable grid.
All of the hydrogen right now used for vehicle comes from the oil&gas industry. It costs over an order of magnitude more to extract it from water. The worst part is that even at the current rates at the pump, it's hard to justify using hydrogen over batteries.
If lithium batteries didn't exist, it may have been a good path for the long term future. In reality, it's only gonna be viable for very specific industrial use cases.
There is no 4D chess. Toyota is the new Research in Motion, pointing at the iPhone and saying "but it doesn't have a keyboard!!".
I still doubt it because if electricity goes negative you would be far better off storing that energy in a battery which has almost no losses.
More like tiddlywinks.
Only history can tell. But all these are temporary as once the infrastructure is everywhere, the extra baggage and maintenance of gas based car will kill its infra first. And hydrogen … sigh.
Toyota clearly doesn‘t need Norway. Their market share in Norway will be dropping to zero, soon: https://electrek.co/2021/09/23/norway-bans-gas-cars-in-2025-...
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
It’s odd the article didn’t talk about how Toyota is betting big on hydrogen fuel cell winning vs battery.
I think most of the damage has been done by politicians who used populist rhetoric to set those inane time limits after which "all non-EVs will be banned". That is just stupid politicking that's easy to pass because none of them will be in office by that date. How about having both EVs and ICE?
In some european countries, the amounts being paid as subsidies for EVs are insane. In some parts of italy you get a Tesla for like $8000 . But this winter europe will have trouble charging them, and this model clearly does not scale. Let's focus on installing solar and expanding remote work instead
>But this winter europe will have trouble charging thel
No. It's still cheaper to charge EV than fuel ICE during non peak hours. Let's stop pretending EV owners only charge on the highway at expensive, fast charging stations.
>and this model clearly does not scale
What does not scale? Look at Norway.
A nation of 5 million, GDP/capita in top 10, produces almost all of its own electricity almost entirely from renewables.
From hydro power, not solar or wind...
> In some parts of italy you get a Tesla for like $8000
In Italy, in certain periods and under certain conditions, you get "up to" 6,000 euros of incentives if you buy an EV. You still pay north of 30,000 euros to buy a Tesla Model 3 (the basic model of course) even after incentives.
it seems you get additional subsidies from the regions. And then the tax incentives
Let's be clear.
The reason Toyota isn't all-in on EVs is because Toyota is the dominant player in a rival technology: gas-electric hybrids.
This is extremely clear business strategy: Toyota doesn't want to cannibalize its marketshare in hybrids.
Toyota pushed hydrogen fuel cells for years to obstruct EV adoption, just as Elon Musk pushed hyperloop to obstruct high-speed rail adoption. Both hydrogen and hyperloop are fantasy technology: decades away or completely impractical (hyperloop.)
Only after EVs were widely adopted in many countries did Toyota start moving towards EVs. That was a logical business strategy for them.
Toyota isn't all in on EVs because they make lots of money from hybrids. The end.
"Toyota Led on Clean Cars. Now It Works to Delay Them."
The auto giant bet on hydrogen power, but as the world moves toward electric the company is fighting climate regulations in an apparent effort to buy time.
This is all very clear business strategy. And we shouldn't let Toyota get in the way of a better world for all of us, in exchange for profit for its investors.
He is running a business. He says it will be hard to meet regulatory targets, then the incentives are way too low. Given they are such a a global business it makes sense for them to sell EVs and Hybrids in Europe and California for example and conventional vehicles in the rest of the world.
The only policy that can make a significant change in the climate is a carbon tax. The effects might as well be less driving and more bussing if indeed the rare earth supply is so limited.
I believe he's right. EV's get all the spotlight but 95% of all vehicles still use fossil-fuels. Replacing them in the next 3 decades is nigh impossible IMHO.
We might even endure another oil crisis because we're cutting down on our investment in fossil fuels while the transition to EV's is lagging.
I’m going to guess, without even reading it, that it’s simply because he’s old and only comes up with poor reasoning.
I don’t want ev because I live in a city and dont fancy spending half an hour at electric stations
Assuming it takes you 30 minutes for at least one of your weekly grocery trips, why would you make a habit of sitting in the car waiting for it to charge?
(1) I've been driving EVs for 8 years now and have yet to see a DC fast charging station at a grocery store. Electrify America uses Wal-Mart and Target as site hosts often, but not everyone does their grocery shopping there. Grocery stores mainly have L2 AC charging stations, which only put about 10 miles of charge in a car in 30 minutes.
(2) DC fast charging stations on almost every charging network will charge idle fees if you remain plugged in after you're done charging, or after a set time like 20-30 minutes, as they want you to move and let the next customer charge their car. So you need to sit in the car and move it when you're done, or it will become unaffordable.
Definitely some regional variability there, as this doesn't exactly match my experience, but it's close enough that I concede they are good points. To really get people on board who don't have good at-home charging available, there will need to be progress on both of those points.
in cities like nyc you are not parking in parking lot, you are parking in the street
Charge at home. If you can't now, eventually all the landlords will be racing to install charging because demand for it will rise.
when that happens ill consider
In the meantime, switching to a non-plug-in hybrid (HEV) will reduce CO2 emissions and use as little as 5 liters per 100 km.
What are we going to do with all the excess gasoline when we only need natural gas?
Why will there be excess gasoline? They will reduce production.
What happens to the grid when we go all in on EV?
What happens to coal mines when we all start using steam engines?
EV is not a well defined term. In US it basically means what Elon Musk sells.
I wonder why the joint world’s largest ICE maker would argue against a technology they haven’t developed to the same standard as nearly every one of their competitors. Weird.
Surely he’s only thinking of the environmental consequences and shared material constraints of manufacturing so many vehicles.
Couldn’t be that they planned for a slower adoption and the pandemic accelerated the curve and now they’ve fallen behind. Couldn’t be that they failed to secure critical contracts thinking that this attempt at scaling would fall short and then they could pick up those same contracts later for cheap.
I am convinced EV will be the future, but given how electricity is produced and how batteries are built the most sustainable technology is hybrid https://youtu.be/S1E8SQde5rk
Agreed. There are lithium production issues for the near future so plug-in hybrids mean you can make 10 PHEVs with a range of 40 km instead of one EV with a range of 400 km. Making PHEVs instead of EVs will cut fuel usage more.
+1 Toyota's CEO :)
Also when enviromental crisis will ends we can back to smoking oil or something similiar - reverse engeneering of oil engines technology can give terrible results...
Also industrial vehicles running on electricity is not even in sight me thinks.
How do you imagine the environmental crisis ending?
I imagine all that EV push, etc will bring some results :) Just like doctors helps with health - finally you are healed.
Sure. Are you prepared to wait 10’s of thousands of years for that to happen?
Look at the chart
Parent said environmental not global warming though. Do you have a response to that or is the script just s/environment/climate?
That would be nice.
John Deere is pursuing electrification. It is completely impractical for agriculture, but they're doing it anyway. Because ESG.
Look close at the communication. Skid loaders and residential mowers is where we are pursuing electrification. Places where significant customers only need it for a couple hours per day. It is pretty obvious we know the current limits of batteries. That is what is public, I won't comment on other plans.
Deere employee, but not speaking for Deere.