Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner
81 - 86 of 86 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,068 Posts
Vertiformed, I actually think what you and others here have done, or are doing is great. You and most of the gang here made the jump at a time when I was unable to justify it.
That's kind of you to say, but for me I waited until there were very few compromises to make. I wasn't willing to buy a car with 80 miles of range or 125 miles of range, because I didn't want to have any range anxiety in a typical month.


I see battery size and charging infrastructure as being part of the same puzzle when considering how the EV experience can be improved. If one of the goals is to decrease the amount of time needed to charge, larger batteries can offer a means of achieving that. Consider an EV with a 60kWh battery and compare it to the same EV type having a 100kWh battery. Adding 190 miles of range, or an 80% SOC in the 60kWh battery would be equivalent to reaching a 48% SOC in the 100kWh battery, which would also equal a decrease in charging time needed. A larger battery gets you closer to that 15 minute pitstop window. If the driver can afford to wait longer at each recharge point, the bigger battery also offers the driver more options as to where he/she might want to stop, and adds another level of security by making alternate charging destinations reachable in the event a charge point was unavailable for what ever reason. But these are interesting times, and I am happy to learn from the experience of those in the lead.
The things you're suggesting might be great and certainly have advantages, but they also have some heavy costs too. I've sometimes said that the American philosophy is “If some is good, more is better”, so perhaps we will indeed see cars with ponderously large batteries whose vast capacity is almost never needed by their drivers.

Frankly, I'm not sure if a huge battery is more useful to me than a huge trunk I almost never need, or a third row of seats I'd use a couple of times a year, or integrated refrigerator so I'll always be able to grab a cold drink.

That said, if significant advances in battery tech mean that by the time I'm next in the market for an EV, battery sizes have gone up with few compromises and little price premium, I'm not going to turn it down. I just didn't need to wait for that. I get to have fun driving an electric car now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
678 Posts
...I just didn't need to wait for that. I get to have fun driving an electric car now.
Just to be clear,... there was no insult intended. I admire that some here were able to jump in more then a year ago when charging infrastructure was less developed then it is today. I have also jumped in and will receive my first in 2018, because like you, I really want that. I want to do my part and be part of the change I so strongly believe in. But we are a three car family at the moment, so we still have a ways to go to fulfill our plan to make the jump complete, and I have to say range is the biggest factor being considered. For those living a little south from where I am, their scenario might allow more emphasis on other considerations, but in my local, colder climates require the use of cabin heat for a larger part of the year. Subtract 1/3 range from the Bolt in winter driving, and you are down to 150 miles. Add a head wind and it can head in the less direction pretty quick. My wife's mother is about 145 miles from us, which is cutting it close, especially if she wanted to do the trip alone. A bigger battery would mean she could make the trip in any weather without worry, and she wouldn't have to stop somewhere along the way to charge as an inconvenience for owning an EV. This is not a long trip in my opinion, and I can't see any reason that the auto industry can't find a solution to the 150 mile trip without cutting it close. A big part of the solution in making the EV experience better will definitely come in the form of a much needed improvement in charging infrastructure, another will likely be from in-car software that can account for elevation changes and driving conditions to accurately calculate range and pre-plan charge points automatically for the driver, but still another will have to be improved battery capacity if the intention is to allow normal use of your car regardless of the weather or the hill you have climb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Does your car have seating for eight for the rare occasions when you need to get eight people to your destination? Does it have a trunk able to hold a double bed, wardrobe, kitchen table or full sized refrigerator, for the rare occasions you need to move one?
We drove a series of 7 passenger minivans for a loooot of years even though we only have 2 kids. Sure it was inefficient and ungainly but for those few times a year we needed it it was invaluable. Only a couple years ago (years after our eldest moved out) we downsized to a Forrester and while we like that it gets almost 10MPG better fuel economy we do miss the versatility and usefulness of the minivan.

People don't buy cars for 99% of their needs, they don't buy cars for 100% of their needs either but they do buy a car that meets between 99% and 100% of their needs. Now that 1% variance doesn't sound like much but it translates into a lot of people who won't consider an EV just because it won't do the annual trip across the state for Christmas at the grandparents house. You can tell people they can rent an ICE car for those trips all you want but very few will listen because the convenience is more important to them.


Uprating the battery to 90 kW to get 360 miles of EPA range would add 50% more battery cost and add 350-450 lbs more weight to carry around all the time and waste more space in the car. That's 10× more added weight than building an ICE car with a few extra gallons of tank capacity.
FWIW I believe that significant increases in battery capacity are going to be dependent on advances in battery technology enabling more capacity for the same (or less) weight and size.

(And as to keeping the car at 60% charge to save the battery, just stop worrying.)
I generally keep my cars a long time. The car I didn't get rid of when I got the Bolt (because I needed to keep a car for longer trips) is a 2004 Mazda3 I bought new. If spending a bit of effort to keep the SOC between 40%-80% means my battery lasts 10% longer that's worth doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
771 Posts
Now that 1% variance doesn't sound like much but it translates into a lot of people who won't consider an EV just because it won't do the annual trip across the state for Christmas at the grandparents house. You can tell people they can rent an ICE car for those trips all you want but very few will listen because the convenience is more important to them.
Take a look at this article: 30% of US buyers consider electric cars; only 3% buy. Can this change?

You can tell people to review a Long Range PHEV like the Clarity or Volt as well, but that also falls on ears that have preconceptions of anything involving Electric as a propulsion feature. 30 seconds into the explanation of how X% of their driving will be in all-electric, and the remaining (X) x 0.02 will use gas that can get them to Christmas at Granny's without issue...their eyes get glazed and further info goes in one ear and out the other.

IMO, the majority of consumers are told what to think. Because they want to be told what to think. Again, not a bad thing or a good thing, it's just a real thing that (and certainly a taboo thing) behavioral science, obtained through observation, testing and experiment, defines as general truths regarding the operation of humans.

Musk, as did Jobs before him, does it right; Ego brand building in conjunction with the cult of celebrity. Appeal to peoples' vanities, egos, pride, or [lack of societal] self-esteem as typically used with expensive, pretentious, and conspicuous items. Only when an existential threat, such as climate change becomes painful (at that point it will be too late) will consumers act more rationally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
OK @shotel a number of topics here.

As for the viability of PHEVs as a bridge to EV ownership. PHEVs solve the range problem but they have their own problems, for example that you still need to perform most of the same maintenance tasks that you need to in a regular Hybrid or ICE vehicle and their lower capacity batteries is more likely to be discharged to a very low SOC which will adversely impact battery lifetime and potentially sour buyers of EVs in general.

My brother has a Gen 1 Volt and he's pretty happy with it. Of course he blows off the maintenance on the ICE for all his cars, he rents (leases) all his cars and the neglected maintenance never catches up with him before the car has to go back.

I know that I did not consider a PHEV when I was considering what car to buy, I also know that even if I were to consider a PHEV I would never have considered a Volt. At the same time I'm probably going to be looking at the CMax Energi when the time comes to replace my wife's Forester in a couple years.

The popularity of SUVs and CUVs despite their lack of suitability for the overwhelming majority of people who purchase them sells the idea that people are told what to think. Buy a minivan or station wagon? Nooooo can't do that those are uncool instead I'll buy an SUV like all the other soccer moms because the commercials have been telling me how very cool they are for more than 20 years now. Never mind that these are the most profitable vehicles that car companies sell.

I actually think it's highly insulting to Musk to compare him to Jobs. Jobs was nothing but a slick salesman who's most well known for being an a-hole. He took products that already existed, polished them up a bit and sold them for enormous profit. The only significant Apple products that were highly innovative were the original Macintosh and the original iPod (and maaaaybe the iPad) . It's true that Jobs had (arguably still has) and Musk has a cult following of sorts but there's a long list of technological innovations attached to his resume and no sign of that letting up. I will grant that there's a high level of overlap between Apple buyers/fans and Tesla buyers/fans.
 
81 - 86 of 86 Posts
Top