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Will Hybrid vehicles with a range extender (Chevrolet Volt / Opel Ampera) ever be of any competition to Tesla Motors EV's sales?

Will Hybrid vehicles with a range extender (Chevrolet Volt / Opel Ampera) ever be of any competition to Tesla Motors EV's sales?

At the moment these Hybrid vehicles with a range extender have an all electric range that is way too little. The capacity of the battery is also very small (16 kWh). What if these vehicles with a range extender would get a battery with a larger capacity (85 kWh)?

The bottom line is that people will buy what will suit them best, at the most affordable price. We should keep that in mind.

Every year the development of the battery technology is 8%. Not only for Tesla Motors but for all car companies.

I would like to see your opinion/view on this topic. Let's have a look in the (near) future.

Red Sage ca us | 6 septembre 2015

chrisudam00: You are confusing terms. What you are describing is called 'commuting'. That is much different from DRIVING. Consider the following:

  • In commuting situations, stuck in traffic, a hybrid car is burning fuel inefficiently.
  • In commuting situations, stuck in traffic, a plug-in hybrid car with a short fully electric range will be burning fuel inefficiently more often than while running on electricity.
  • In commuting situations, stuck in traffic, a fully electric car is immensely more efficient than either of the other two options.

    Driving a car at any other time, without traffic to contend with, is positively joyous in a performance oriented vehicle. However, driving a car that has no performance to speak of is eternally torturous, whether in traffic or not. To make the transition from gas guzzlers to truly efficient vehicles a viable consideration, the prospect must not be inconvenient, mundane, or torturous to prospective buyers.

chrisudam00 | 6 septembre 2015

To Red Sage
You didn't read my opinions well. I said hybrids should have a battery just enough to daily drive electrically to job's site. So in stuck traffic, they burn nothing at all most of the times. And further, how much is the ratio commute/drive, in average? 90/10? Or even over 90? Its really high time to draw zero/low emission vehicles out of the exclusive/weird corner and to mass produce them on an immensive, never seen scale and standardisation (only batteries modular, so they fit to the owner's daily needs). Of course they will need a kind of engineers that are really bright and full of common sense, not just wanting to show off what kind of complex things they can breed.

Batman | 6 septembre 2015

All transportation will become 100% electric, each type of transportation will switch at a different time frame, mainly depends on the progress of batteries. Airplanes probably the last to switch.

The gas engine is a durable competitive Disadvantage for hybrid cars. The answer will become clear when Model 3 comes to the market. Over time, hybrids will not be able to compete.

The cost of batteries will keep dropping, the performance keep improving, charging becomes more and more convenient. There is no need to keep the ICE backup.

On the other hand, the little gas engine (or the large ones if you want to maintain the performance) in a hybrid car is a fixed cost, add production complexity, maintenance hassle, gas station visits. So hybrid will be a transient product in car history. Within 10 years all car companies will give up the development of hybrid cars.

Right now traditional car companies love the hybrid idea. They can't predict well and also don't want to give up their gas engines.

Grinnin'.VA | 6 septembre 2015

@ chrisudam00 | September 6, 2015

<<< Reaction to Grinnin.

<<< Still 70% (if your estimation is right) of the CO2 will remain. ... The Prius is therefore a car of the past. >>>

^^^ The issue isn’t whether the Prius gets its energy from an ICE or from a battery pack. It’s about reducing CO2 emissions. My wife’s 2015 Prius gets about 44 mpg for real as she drives it in traffic that averages under 20 mph. On the highway it gets roughly 50-55 mpg. Compared to the large majority of other cars, it’s doing quite well for 2015 and 2016 and will for quite a few more years. Is the Prius the “car of the future”? NO. The closest thing on the market to the car of the future is the Tesla MS.

Red Sage ca us | September 6, 2015

<<< BUILDING A BETTER HYBRID...

<<< The problem with hybrids is that whether sporty or not, they will lose to fully electric in terms of operation cost per mile. … Once a long range, meaning 200 miles of useful range or more, electric vehicle is available for under $40,000 that argument vanishes as compared to $25,000 hybrids. That is, unless the Prius or other hybrid vehicles with substantially more than 500 miles range will suddenly go down to the $10,000 to $15,000 range as a new purchase. >>>

^^^

  • A 10-gallon fill up in my wife's Prius will typically take her 300-350 miles. Assume it's 300 miles. If the price of gas is $2.00 per gallon, that's about $0.13 per mile for gas.
  • My 85D uses about 320 Wh/mi. So it gets a bit over 3 miles per kWh. For each kWh, my electric utility charges me about $0.12. So my 85D costs me about $0.04 per mile.
  • My 85D has a fuel/recharging cost advantage of $0.09 compared to my wife's Prius.
  • The break-even mileage for total purchase price plus fuel/recharging for these two cars is about 167K miles. Below that, the Prius wins; above it the 85D wins. If my past driving is close to what I'll drive my 85D, that break-even will take me more than 10 years.
  • Of course, the M3 will probably be able to run at a lower Wh/mi than my 85D because it will be smaller and lighter. However, I doubt that the difference will be substantial. Why? It will use heavier metals than the aluminum in the 85D, and its coefficient of drag will almost certainly be higher because it needs to accommodate the same large adults that the 85D does.
  • I'd guess that fuel/recharging break-even for the M3 vs the Prius will be slightly less -- possibly as low as 10 years. (Keep in mind that the M3 should be compared with the 2018 Prius, which I expect to get better gas mileage than the 2015 Prius.
  • Why on earth could a BEV with a range of 200 miles be considered good enough while a hybrid must get “substantially more than 500 miles range” to suffice?

<<< HOW MUCH IS 'ENOUGH' PERFORMANCE?

<<< There was a time when an affordable vehicle with performance ratings of 0-60 MPH in under 7.0 seconds were a marvel. ... That time was 25 years ago, and the world has moved on since then. >>>

^^^ No. That “time” includes 2015 and beyond. Why do I claim that? Because there are a hell of a lot of cars being sold that can’t do under a 7-sec 0-60. Red, this reflects the preferences of many hundreds of thousands of new car buyers. You don’t have the power or the right to impose your preferences on those buyers.

<<< ... the Tesla Model ≡ arrives, ... will be appointed in a manner that is at least standard for a BMW in the price range. >>>

^^^ What? Aren’t you aware that Tesla has a history of rather minimalist interior design? Given that the MS doesn’t try to match the Lexus for appealing interior design, I believe there is no reason to expect the M3 to attempt to match any of the cars you mentioned as far as interior design is concerned. Why should we expect any such thing?

@ TMac | September 6, 2015

<<< I suspect Volt like solutions will be needed for at least 5 more years unfortunately. >>>

^^^ It looks to me like the Volt-class car represents an intermediate step along car development starting with the old-fashioned ICE cars, then the Prius-class hybrids, then the ‘plug-in hybrids’, and ending in the pure BEVs. What’s unfortunate about this?

<<< Prius is solid all around get around car but always using gas. Volt also drives so much nicer than Prius. >>>

^^^ That’s good to hear. BTW, which model year Prius. My wife’s 2015 Prius is, IMO, quite an improvement over earlier model years.

<<< 2016 Volt rated for 55 miles likely could get 65-70 miles really making this almost an EV most of the time. >>>

^^^ How?

<<< Road Trips , yes Volt gets only 38 mpg vs 48 mpg with Prius but if you stop and charge and start with full battery you get 2 "free" gallons of gas (60-70 miles) so it is closer than you think. >>>

^^^
Do you think GM offers "free" charging for Volt owners' routine charging needs?

<<< Too bad Toyota is fixated on fuel cell not EV. >>>

^^^ YES.

@ Red Sage ca us | September 6, 2015 new

<<< chrisudam00: You are confusing terms. What you are describing is called 'commuting'. That is much different from DRIVING. Consider the following:

<<< In commuting situations, stuck in traffic, a hybrid car is burning fuel inefficiently. >>>
^^^ Red, when the Prius stops in traffic, it shuts its engine down. Then when it goes again, it starts on battery power,quickly starts the engine, and switches to ICE power. There is no huge inefficiency in stop-and-go traffic for the Prius vs. the MS.

<<< Driving a car at any other time, without traffic to contend with, is positively joyous in a performance oriented vehicle. However, driving a car that has no performance to speak of is eternally torturous, whether in traffic or not. >>>

^^^ Red, you’re expressing your preference here. Lots of Prius owners are quite satisfied with their cars. (My wife is one of them.) You don’t have the power or right to just declare that your preferences are more valid than the satisfied Prius owners’ preferences are!

Fugacity | 6 septembre 2015

@ Batman
You are right. ICE cars are dead. They will hang on a little longer but the outcome is inevitable. When electric cars reach a critical mass, the demand for gasoline will drop significantly and become unprofitable. BMW has announced that they will be all electric within 10 years. Other legacy car makers will follow or die.

Red Sage ca us | 6 septembre 2015

chrisudam00: Please note that above, I make a distinction between hybrids such as the Prius, and plug-in hybrids such as the Ford Fusion Energi or Volt. There is no fully electric drive mode for the Prius, except for when you are out of gas, and you have about a 1 mile emergency electric range.

Without fail traditional automobile manufacturers have released products that 'prove' the instant you add a plug to a car, you must give up something. The Prius Plug-In variant has an itsy-bitsy, teensy-weensy, lil-bitty 10 mile electric range, which their commercials insist are for 'extra miles'. Which is total [BOLSHEVIK], because that version of the car has LESS OVERALL RANGE (540 miles) than the standard Prius (595 miles).

Here are some other examples:
RANGE VEHICLE
550 2015 Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid
567 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid FWD
380 2015 Chevrolet Volt
391 2015 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
It is their intent to make it seem that plug-in variants are not worth the effort. When it is the opposite that is true. Without the added ICE for the hybrid, they could have included more battery cells and electric capacity to improve their range as a fully electric vehicle.

I know that many modern ICE vehicles have the wondrous, magical, and oft-ballyhooed ability to shut down the firebanger when stopped in traffic. I don't put much stock in the concept. Because without fail, all ICE expel more gasperations at startup than any other time. Sure, you may have saved fuel while sitting there, but you don't save anything on emissions.

chrisudam00 | 7 septembre 2015

I just checked sales numbers of the Volt in US (his home market!) Seems that for every sold Volt, about 200 other Chevrolets leave the show rooms! How marginal a Volt engineer can develop? Before taking such a car with such specs in production, everybody knows it will hardly sell at all, not to mention overseas markets where sometimes you don't see any Volt or Ampera for a whole week, or even longer. Yes it's a nice car and yes it drives well, but it just doesn't add up...at all.
And for the Americans and American engineers: please take into account that driving conditions in US, the vast space you have there and relatively low people density are very exceptional in the world. In a lot of countries, cars can be driven without problem with much lower power, and perhaps there starts the career of a light weight hybrid. I can also imagine, that of lot of women totally don't need cars like a volt with so many pony's under the hood. Perhaps Volt engineers need to consider first to develop 4-5 people city cars, where the small range extender will be hardly ever used. Perhaps, this will add up.

carlgo | 7 septembre 2015

RS is right: cars are fast now and in the $35+K range something like 300 hp is expected. With electrics it is easier and cheaper to provide more horsepower than it is with ICE cars, and there is no automatic loss of range.

Designing a daily use fully electric car would be very fun and interesting. Nobody wants a Eco bubble car or such nonsense and so it would have to be considered cool, not a drudgery model. There are interesting technical considerations and innovative design considerations that are as challenging as making big highway cruisers or supercars.

It would have to be cheap because the public will not buy an expensive short ranged car no matter how nice it is or if it is adequate for their needs. It would also require good marketing so people would understand how it would work for them.

If it was up to me it would have Furious Mode.

Red Sage ca us | 7 septembre 2015

Whenever I write against the idea of 'commuter' or 'city' cars, people tend to mistakenly believe that I am against efficient, lightweight, small cars for some reason. That isn't the case at all. One of my favorite cars ever was the Honda CR-X. I probably would have bought one as my first new car, but I didn't realize it was a two-seater. It was just my bad luck that the one dealership I walked into in Beverly Hills had one on hand that they had modified to be a 2+2 back in 1989.

I'm about 6'-1" tall, and very few of my Friends are significantly shorter than I am. Most are my height or significantly taller, up to around 6'-9" tall. There was no way in [HECK] I was going to subjugate anyone to riding 'IN THE TORTURE CHAMBER' rear seat of a 2+2. Even if the shorter guys were in the back seat, they'd have to be double amputees to sit behind the taller guys in the front seat. That's a big part of the reason why I never got an Eagle Talon TSi, Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, Honda Prelude Si, Chevrolet Camaro, or Pontiac Firebird either.

Look, if you and everyone you know stands below 5'-6" tall, by all means, go ahead and snag one of those sub-compact cars that claims to be a 5-seater. That just will not work for me at all -- my height is all leg. I would be happy if most cars had an extra two inches of travel in the seating position. That's why I say that something like the Fiat 500e or Chevrolet Spark EV would be driven as a two seater, with the rear seat folded down all the time, if I owned them.

So, yes... I am rather myopic when it comes to car design. I don't put much thought into the concept of a 'World Car' that can navigate narrow or crowded roads. I don't consider the needs of the elderly, or shorter people, or the particularly portly, or otherwise physically challenged. I think in terms of my own needs, and wants -- first, and foremost.

The Model ≡ seems most likely to be a car that will fit my needs. So, for me, yeah... I sort of think, "To [HECK] with everyone else!" Because, if it works for me, that means it is GOOD. Except for the fact it will probably only be available as a Sedan and Crossover... Because it isn't for me. It is for... everyone else.

DOH!

chrisudam00 | 7 septembre 2015

"Nobody wants an eco bubble car or such nonsense". I am not so sure. Don't forget almost nobody buys a full electric car, isn't it? So perhaps eco bubble cars could have a lot of potential, because nobody is making them yet. Also don't forget there are a lot of women, elder people and even guys, not to mention lots of people in the sub and developing countries for which power doesn't matter at all.

Moreover, the engineering challenge of making the concept of a successful hybrid car is far more difficult than that of a Volt, a Prius and a Tesla, because it's very difficult to achieve a lot and almost zero emissions with limited car selling price, where everything does add up, which is not at all the case for Prius and certainly not for Volt and Tesla, see the ridiculous low selling numbers, almost all over the world for these cars.

grega | 7 septembre 2015

My conviction comes from a few things

1) tiny generators. Tiny and simple.
2) battery expense and scarcity
3) ultracapacitors for power
4) range anxiety and occasional range needs
5) gasoline comfort

In more detail.
1) it is possible to have REALLY small engines that are efficient and don't require the extensive cooling systems and other supporting devices a regular engine has. Mazda was working on a small rotary for the Mazda 2 EV, and ClarionLabs had their phone-sized engine designed for electronic devices (usable in series). It needs to be self contained and silent.

2) batteries are expensive and there aren't enough made. We need to build up the worldwide infrastructure as fast as possible as a long term investment, so that ICEs become history, plus reduce the cost significantly. Given this restriction, I'd rather see 2x 100mile cars than 1x 200mile car, assuming both cars are driven 50 miles a day nearly every day of the year.

3) a low range battery can have a small capacitor for power. Fast acceleration, and better regen. Sure ultra capacitors are 10 times the volume of a battery, but we're talking about 0.5kWh.

4) if an EV has the right size battery for your daily needs, you'll have range anxiety daily. Sometimes you do need extra, plus people think "one day I'll take a really long trip again!". So an EV needs a big battery (to handle supercharging) and superchargers. (Noted that big batteries have other advantages though including longer life overall). Or you need some way of adding range with the same experience as a gasoline refill (ease of use, ease of finding, speed).

5) people understand gasoline, and fuel tanks can be large at very low cost so a long trip can have a huge tank. Conversely, very rare refuelling takes away the comfort of smelly refuelling, making pure EV more appealing. Lastly there are plenty of gas stations currently that can be used when required.

Hybrids are too often thought of as having no plug whatsoever. Plug those cars in and it they're still not an EV driving experience in the slightest. This misunderstanding of the "hybrid" name is bad. The car NEEDS to be a fully functioning EV, meaning it really is an EV, with the exception that a range extender is added.

EREV is a better term since it implies it IS an EV, though it doesn't roll off the tongue. Even the i3 is classified as a plug in hybrid), we need a useful term - I still want "EV90" to classify that it's an EV 90% of the time :)

DTsea | 7 septembre 2015

Hybrids plug in hybrids dont compete with EVs- that would imply they share a tiny niche market and duke it out there. Rather, each competes with ICE cars. Tesla competes more effectively with ICE cars in its class than most PHeVs do, based on market share.

Brian H | 7 septembre 2015

chris;
Sportly and immensively are not words.

Benz | 8 septembre 2015

The two reasons why PHEV's currently do enjoy some level of success are:

- The total lack of availability of compelling and affordable 200+ mile range EV's.

- And secondly, the current status of charging infrastructure.

In 2020 both factors will have improved significantly. Then most of the people will prefer to choose the EV instead of the PHEV.

Grinnin'.VA | 8 septembre 2015

@ Benz | September 8, 2015

<<< In 2020 both factors will have improved significantly. Then most of the people will prefer to choose the EV instead of the PHEV. >>>

^^^ IMO, you're projecting a pace of transformation from ICE technology to BEVs that is well beyond Tesla's ability to deliver. At best, Tesla hopes to sell roughly 1% of the cars made in 2020. That would be 1 million out of 100 million.

We shouldn't expect other manufacturers to contribute any substantial BEV capacity by 2020 since they have yet to show any real interest in doing such a thing.

Benz | 8 septembre 2015

@ Grinnin

"We shouldn't expect other manufacturers to contribute any substantial BEV capacity by 2020 since they have yet to show any real interest in doing such a thing."

A lot is going to happen in the next 4 years.

DTsea | 8 septembre 2015

I think grinnin is right on. 4 years is not much time. We arent talking about ev's dominating by 2020.

What could happen is that tesla would be able to sell as many model 3 cars as they build, at a high profit. If that occurs the rest of the industry would THEN get interested in evs- in other words if evs are more profitable than ICE, we will grt more. That time is a ways off.

Benz | 8 septembre 2015

@ Grinnin, @ DTsea

"IMO, you're projecting a pace of transformation from ICE technology to BEVs that is well beyond Tesla's ability to deliver. At best, Tesla hopes to sell roughly 1% of the cars made in 2020. That would be 1 million out of 100 million."

Short answer:
No, not from ICE to BEV. That was not my intent.

At the moment we see that PHEV's are gaining some popularity, just like BEV's. Both, not very much though.

The question is how is this going to develop further in the near future?

What I am saying is that PHEV's will be successful to some extent, but only in the current decade. As from 2020 the popularity of PHEV's will decrease.

Two important factors will happen in the next 4 years:
- Expansion of the charging infrastructure;
- And secondly, availability of compelling and affordable 200+ mile range BEV's.

Both factors will make people realise that they actually really don't need petrol/diesel/gas.

And from then on the BEV's will gain more and more popularity. And then BEV's will really start eating marketshare from ICE.

Red Sage ca us | 8 septembre 2015

chrisudam00: There are in fact, very few passenger vehicles that have extremely high sales statistics, exceeding 500,000 units worldwide per year. Worldwide in 2014 the top 20 vehicles all sold at least 500,000 units. Some of those vehicles only sell well here in the US. Similarly, some of them sell rather horribly here, but are extremely popular elsewhere. And only two of them sold over 500,000 units in the US during 2014.

So, in the US, I tend to use either the Top 25 Best Selling Passenger Vehicles, or anything that sells at least 100,000 units, as a metric for 'decent' sales numbers. As it so happens, not too many of the best selling passenger vehicles sell less than 100,000 units per year in the US. Thus, it should be a respectable point of measure.

Both the Toyota Prius and the BMW 3-Series sold over 100,000 units in the US during 2014, and 2013. In June of this year, BMW began reporting 3-Series sales separately from 4-Series sales as they had done in years past. So, the 3-Series looks to only crest ~90,000 this year, unless there is a rash of purchases in closing months. Meanwhile, the Prius has sold 79,644 units through August 2015, and seems well on its way to crossing the 100,000 unit mark again. I mention these because some feel that: 1) the Prius is a low-selling vehicle; and 2) the 3-Series is not an adequate target for Tesla Model ≡. Neither assumption is true.

The Chevrolet Volt seems a pitiful example, because its sales have never exceeded 1/10th of the Cruze or Malibu from the same manufacturer. But on the other hand, I am rather certain that was done on purpose. The list price for a base Volt is higher than either Cruze or Malibu by at least $10,000. The published fuel economy for them is rather similar, along with overall range. So there is no incentive to take on a higher monthly payment, for what seems on the surface to be less car for the money. Of course, it is very likely that sales representives at 'independent franchised dealerships' don't point out that with about 40 miles of electric drive, the car is likely full every morning when you wake up for your daily commute, and you may actually go weeks of daily driving without adding any gasoline. That allows them to move that stack of Malibu and Cruze cars that is piling up out back as their boss screams at them to move inventory and stop wasting time on that plug-in because everyone knows they don't sell worth crap.

So far this year, both the Volt and Leaf are being outsold by the Model S.

Red Sage ca us | 8 septembre 2015

Benz: +42! The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything Concerning 'Just Why the [FLOCK] Have I Been Buying Gasoline All These Years?'

grega: That was a very well reasoned argument that is nonetheless completely wrong. You are advocating a half measure, of a half measure. That will get you nowhere.

Low power, short range, small bodied, plug-in hybrids? Ultracapacitors effectively rigged to act as if they are turbo boosters? Dumbing the world down, because gasoline is just dumb enough for the dumb to understand? Are you MAD, man?

Grinnin'.VA | 8 septembre 2015

@ Benz | September 8, 2015

<<< @ Grinnin, @ DTsea

<<< "IMO, you're projecting a pace of transformation from ICE technology to BEVs that is well beyond Tesla's ability to deliver. At best, Tesla hopes to sell roughly 1% of the cars made in 2020. That would be 1 million out of 100 million."

<<< Short answer:
<<< No, not from ICE to BEV. That was not my intent.

^^^ I guess I misunderstood what you tried to say. For this discussion, I assumed that hybrids were considered a fuel-efficient variant of ICE cars. Did you intend to say that PHEVs don't have a promising future? Or that hybrids don't?

<<< At the moment we see that PHEV's are gaining some popularity, just like BEV's. >>>

^^^ Last winter when my wife went shopping for a car to replace her old Prius, the Toyota salesman told her to forget about the plug-in Prius. This dealer, which must have had at least a couple of hundred car on site, but they had no plug-in Prius for her to test drive. He said that if she really want to take a test drive in one, he could get one sent from another nearby dealer.

Bottom Line: The Toyota dealer didn't want to 'waste' a single spot on their huge lot on a plug-in Prius.

<<< What I am saying is that PHEV's will be successful to some extent, but only in the current decade. As from 2020 the popularity of PHEV's will decrease. >>>

^^^ I expect PHEVs to gain market share at the expense of hybrids over the next decade. Like the, MS, they are convenient to charge, and they serve well for many workers with short commutes. They can also at least match the MS in range if they try to do so. The downside of PHEVs is that they are a bit complicated, requiring basically a BEV drive train, an ICE + gas tank, and the associated control system for switching from one power source to the other. IMO, the mainline auto makers know how to make a viable PHEV that can appeal to lots of car buyers in the next decade or so. Of course, they haven't set any records developing and deploying such cars. But they could.

<<< Two important factors will happen in the next 4 years:
<<< - Expansion of the charging infrastructure;
<<< - And secondly, availability of compelling and affordable 200+ mile range BEV's. >>>

^^^
1. PHEVs benefit from expansions of charging infrastructure.
2. IMO, only in the world of Tesla hype is a BEV with a 200+ mile range "compelling". I think that's enough for the commuting needs of a large percentage of car buyers, but not enough to satisfy the vast majority of car buyers who can afford only one car and who want to drive their car 500-1000 miles one way on vacation. I believe there are many millions of such car buyers.

grega | 8 septembre 2015

@Grinnin wrote: "The downside of PHEVs is that they are a bit complicated, requiring basically a BEV drive train, an ICE + gas tank, and the associated control system for switching from one power source to the other. IMO, the mainline auto makers know how to make a viable PHEV that can appeal to lots of car buyers in the next decade or so. Of course, they haven't set any records developing and deploying such cars. But they could."

We shouldn't underestimate just how mature ICE technology is. Automakers are incredibly comfortable with it.. But while that means that theoretically adding a small ICE should be up their alley, they much rather have an ICE with a little bit of electric, than have an EV with a little bit of ICE :) It plays to their strengths.

Which is to say, it's cheap and easy enough to add a range extender to an EV. It's the complexity of doing the EV part well that is stopping them doing it that way IMO. So no good EREVs and no good EVs... just ICE dominated hybrids that are easier for them.

@RedSage wrote: "grega: That was a very well reasoned argument that is nonetheless completely wrong. You are advocating a half measure, of a half measure. That will get you nowhere.

Low power, short range, small bodied, plug-in hybrids? Ultracapacitors effectively rigged to act as if they are turbo boosters? Dumbing the world down, because gasoline is just dumb enough for the dumb to understand? Are you MAD, man?"

Lets be clear here, because I WANT to know when I'm wrong.

High power, all EV when commuting, small or large bodied, EV.
Cheaper due to small battery and long range by using an ICE.

That's what I'm advocating. I believe ICEs with an electric boost don't transition us towards EVs at all, I dislike them intensely for that reason. But if the auto maker has to learn how to make a good EV (as I advocate), and doesn't need to add $10k to their base model, doesn't need a supercharger network, and has no range anxiety whatsoever, that will sell well.

The START point of that is like a BMW i3 with REX and a bigger gas tank - it needs to get better from there. Smaller ICE, better acceleration, bigger tank, lower price. The prototype Mazda 2 EV with range extender was more interesting.

Benz | 8 septembre 2015

@ Grinnin

"Did you intend to say that PHEVs don't have a promising future?"

Indeed (as from 2020).

Benz | 9 septembre 2015

"Two important factors will happen in the next 4 years:
- Expansion of the charging infrastructure;
- And secondly, availability of compelling and affordable 200+ mile range BEV's."

Actually, there is one factor that is even more important than the previous two:
- improvement in battery technology, resulting in higher capacity batteries that are cheaper and lighter.

grega | 9 septembre 2015

Yes if batteries can drop in price, weight, and have greater charge ASAP that will be absolutely brilliant.

Serious question though, even with today's batteries, if all the car manufacturers decided EVs were the way to go, how soon could battery factories get up to speed? Are they a bottleneck or is the car manufacturing the bigger problem.

I guess another reason I see a place for EREVs is that I see going all EV quickly as impossible, and hence want something else to bridge the gap. Not necessarily true though.

Grinnin'.VA | 9 septembre 2015

@ Benz | September 8, 2015

<<< @ Grinnin

<<< "Did you intend to say that PHEVs don't have a promising future?"

<<< Indeed (as from 2020). >>>

^^^ Well, I disagree with that.

@Benz | September 9, 2015

<<< "Two important factors will happen in the next 4 years:
<<< - Expansion of the charging infrastructure;
<<< - And secondly, availability of compelling and affordable 200+ mile range BEV's."

<<< Actually, there is one factor that is even more important than the previous two:
<<< - improvement in battery technology, resulting in higher capacity batteries that are cheaper and lighter. >>>

^^^ I agree: Better bateries at lower costs are the key to the transformation of the auto industry to BEVs. The question is when battery progress makes a BEV battery and drive train less costly than and ICE engine and transmission. Then, and only then IMO will the transition begin in earnest. Sorry, but I think Tesla will not reach this point by 2020. If you think I'm wrong on that, please explain why. Thanks.

grega | September 9, 2015

<<< I guess another reason I see a place for EREVs is that I see going all EV quickly as impossible, and hence want something else to bridge the gap. Not necessarily true though. >>>

^^^ I think you're right.

Benz | 9 septembre 2015

@ Grinnin

Tesla Model 3 is not the only compelling and affordable 200+ mile range EV in 2020, by then there will be more compelling and affordable 200+ mile range EV's from different brands to choose from.

chrisudam00 | 9 septembre 2015

The BMW i3 is a step in the right direction, however...

The smart BMW engineers gave it a high tech appearance but also some handicaps...

1) Unpractical silly rear doors.
2) Use of composites that ends up in a sky high price (not to mention repair costs after a collision).
3) 4 person car only
4) Battery too big and expensive.

Is there any connection between BMW engineers and their Volt colleagues? One should start thinking it, because they make almost the same mistakes. In engineering schools, common sense seems not to be teached at all any more. They start to behave same way as architects: who draws the most stupid building may build it and wins a price. Buildings where the postman cannot find any more the slot to put his letter...

Grinnin'.VA | 9 septembre 2015

@ Benz | September 9, 2015

<<< @ Grinnin

<<< Tesla Model 3 is not the only compelling and affordable 200+ mile range EV in 2020, ... >>>

^^^ Dictionary.com defines "compelling" as:

1. tending to compel, as to force or push toward a course of action; overpowering: There were compelling reasons for their divorce.

2. having a powerful and irresistible effect; requiring acute admiration, attention, or respect: a man of compelling integrity; a compelling drama.

Nothing I've read about the M3 seems "compelling" to me.
I'm an 85D owner who would really like to have a slightly smaller BEV because I find parking my 85D in my garage a bit of a challenge due to the tight fit. And I'd like my BEV to have a 300-mile range or more. The M3 doesn't seem to meet my needs and preferences.

You, Elon, and quite a few Tesla fans here tell me that Tesla makes "compelling" cars. I do NOT feel compelled by any Tesla model. This misuse of the word "compelling" simply irritates me. It's pure marketing hype, and nothing else!

Remnant | 10 septembre 2015

A "hybrid" also results from using a chemical generator, like the Alcoa-Phinergy Al-Air "battery". Tesla also has a patent on a Metal-Air generator. A chemical DC generator is compact, clean and silent.

Such generators can be kept on a shelf in your garage and get loaded on the BEV just for the longer trips. Renault-Nissan has been investing in this technology.

Check:

http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/2015/01/16/aluminum-air-battery-phinergy/

Benz | 12 septembre 2015

@ Grinnin

"Nothing I've read about the M3 seems "compelling" to me.
I'm an 85D owner who would really like to have a slightly smaller BEV because I find parking my 85D in my garage a bit of a challenge due to the tight fit. And I'd like my BEV to have a 300-mile range or more. The M3 doesn't seem to meet my needs and preferences.

You, Elon, and quite a few Tesla fans here tell me that Tesla makes "compelling" cars. I do NOT feel compelled by any Tesla model. This misuse of the word "compelling" simply irritates me. It's pure marketing hype, and nothing else!"

What other word (instead of compelling) should we then use, according to you?

Grinnin'.VA | 12 septembre 2015

@ Benz | September 12, 2015

<< @ Grinnin

<< "Nothing I've read about the M3 seems "compelling" to me.

<< ... What other word (instead of compelling) should we then use, according to you? >>

^^ That depends on what you mean to say. If you want to describe in simple language what you intend to say about the attractiveness of the M3, I'll be glad to suggest one or two reasonable words to express that meaning. (Honestly, I don't know what you mean.)

Red Sage ca us | 12 septembre 2015

Just as the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit is a higher percentage of purchase cost for a Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, or Chevrolet Spark EV, as compared to even the lowest cost Model S...

The cost of gasoline is a much higher added percentage expense on a Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, or Ford Fusion over the course of ownership than on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Benz | 12 septembre 2015

@ Grinnin

I think that compelling is the correct word for the Tesla Model 3, but we could also say useful.

Grinnin'.VA | 12 septembre 2015

@ Benz | September 12, 2015

<< @ Grinnin

<< I think that compelling is the correct word for the Tesla Model 3, >>

^^
1. What segment of new car buyers will be "compelled" to buy M3s?

2. Aren't you aware of the many options that new car buyers have?

3. When will the M3 be able to match the Prius for range and comfort?

Benz | 13 septembre 2015

@ Grinnin

1 - The people who are normally buying a Mercedes Benz C-Class, or a BMW 3-Series, or a Audi A4 kind of cars. And more specifically the people who think that a 200 mile range EV is useful for their personal daily commutes/driving.

2 - Yes I am, but there is no 200 mile range BEV yet.

3 - When the charging infrastructure will have developed much further, say in 2020.

Grinnin'.VA | 13 septembre 2015

@ Benz | September 13, 2015

<< @ Grinnin ... >>

  1. You're welcome to your opinions.
    You failed to explain why you think those things
  2. I believe my 85D has a practical range of over 200 miles.
  3. I've seen no evidence that Tesla is interested in making a car that can match the Prius range or comfort. At any price point.
    Did I miss something?
Benz | 13 septembre 2015

@ Grinnin

"I believe my 85D has a practical range of over 200 miles."

Yes indeed, but it's not an affordable 200+ mile EV.

Grinnin'.VA | 14 septembre 2015

@ Benz | September 13, 2015

<< @ Grinnin

<< "I believe my 85D has a practical range of over 200 miles."

<< Yes indeed, but it's not an affordable 200+ mile EV. >>

^^ I paid 'cash' for it. I think that means the I could afford it.

Of course, there are quite a few people who can't "afford" any new car.

Cars don't fit neatly in two categories "affordable" or "not affordable" because people have widely varying abilities to pay for their cars.

Benz | 14 septembre 2015

@ Grinnin

The Tesla Model 3 will be priced at about $35,000 for the base model. That makes it a much more affordable 200+ mile EV to many people (compared to a Tesla Model S).

Timo | 14 septembre 2015

I suspect that that $35k base model is really barebones one, and almost no-one will buy it like it is. I hope that I'm wrong though.

$35k 200mile real life range car would require about 60kWh battery (no lightweight materials for the car, those cost extra but smaller size reduces drag a bit) and assuming $200/kWh that's $12k for battery alone. It doesn't leave much for the rest of the car.

Battery cost is much easier to hide in premium/luxury car price, not so for "affordable" joe average car.

Red Sage ca us | 14 septembre 2015

Comfortable. Most would argue a Mercedes-Benz C-Class is more so than a Prius.

Affordable. Most would agree a $35,000 starting price is more so than one at $70,000.

Compelling. Quite a few feel compelled to buy a BMW 3-Series instead of a Prius, worldwide.

Grinnin'.VA | 14 septembre 2015

@ Red Sage ca us | September 14, 2015

<< Comfortable. Most would argue a Mercedes-Benz C-Class is more so than a Prius. >>

^^ I thought we were discussing Tesla's MS cars compared with other cars offered by other manufacturers. What is the relevance of the "Mercedes-Benz C-Class"?

<< Affordable. Most would agree a $35,000 starting price is more so than one at $70,000. >>

^^ Yes, indeed. 35 is less than 70. Great insight.

<< Compelling. Quite a few feel compelled to buy a BMW 3-Series instead of a Prius, worldwide. >>

^^ I'd guess that very few new car buyers feel "compelled to buy" whatever model the select. This use of the word "compel" is PURE HYPE. I don't buy it because it's misleading.

Of course, Elon, the Great wants people to think the MS is "compelling". Sure, the more people who drink this cool aid, the better Tesla's cars sell. Seriously, this "compelling" line is utter B.S.

Red Sage ca us | 14 septembre 2015

Elon says their cars must be compelling, "...as to force or push toward a course of action...", or no one will buy them. No one buys the Prius because of its range. They buy it because they get to visit the gas station less often. That is compelling. People will buy the Model ≡ because they won't have to visit gas stations... at all. That, too, is compelling.

Grinnin'.VA | 16 septembre 2015

@ Red Sage ca us | September 14, 2015

<< Elon says their cars must be compelling, ... >>

^^ So what? Elon says lots of things that overstate reality.

  • I've bought a few new cars in recent years: Toyoto Avalon, Nissan Murano, Toyota Prius and Tesla MS 85D.
  • No one and nothing "compelled" me to buy any of them.
    In every case, I did a little research and selected the best car for my purposes at the time.
    I'd guess that the same thing is true of most new car buyers. We consider the options and select what we consider best fits our situation.
Rocky_H | 16 septembre 2015

Compelling in a general sense means creating a strong desire for something. The features compel, @Grinnin'. When you "did a little research and selected the best car for my purposes at the time", you were deciding which factors were the most attractive, enticing, compelling. Maybe it was cargo capacity that was compelling in a particular model. Maybe it was gas mileage or comfort, or a balanced combination of them that was more compelling in a particular model than others. For some people it might be a car's appearance or performance that is compelling them to buy it, but you have said before that the factors you find more attractive are usually the more practical functional aspects.

Musk usually thinks of that in terms of looks or performance, but that's not always the type of feature that drives people's desire. @Red Sage is going to side with Musk for the most part on that, but for many people, just the existence of a long range electric car was the thing that made them really want it over any other car.

Red Sage ca us | 16 septembre 2015

Rocky_H: +1! Precisely. Strange that it seems I am no longer allowed to quote the CEO of the company, or even mention his name, in the presence of a supposed fellow enthusiast, eh?

deeageux | 16 septembre 2015

@Timo

There will be no "barebones" Model 3s in the Nissan Versa/GM Spark sense of the term.

Of course most buyers will add a lot of options.

Most people don't buy $70k Model S, the average Model S buyer adds $36k worth of options.

Does not mean a $70k Model S is "barebones."

Grinnin'.VA | 16 septembre 2015

@ Rocky_H | September 16, 2015

<< Compelling in a general sense means creating a strong desire for something. >>

^^ I guess in the new Tesla dictionary you're right.

<< The features compel, @Grinnin'. When you "did a little research and selected the best car for my purposes at the time", you were deciding which factors were the most attractive, enticing, compelling. ... >>

^^ NO! That isn't what happened to me.

  • NEVER in over 50 years of driving have I ever had a "compelling" reason to buy a new car -- any new car.
  • When I've bought new cars, I've NEVER felt "compelled" to buy any particular model.
  • Why is this so important to you?
    Let me guess: Because it's part of the Tesla marketing hype.
    Which I regard as a rather poor reason to try to force others to agree with you.

I assert my right to form my own opinions and express them. Please respect my rights!

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