EVLN: Green-WashDCr EV-feather-foot whines> didn't use plugshare.com

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
1 message Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view

EVLN: Green-WashDCr EV-feather-foot whines> didn't use plugshare.com

Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list

A Shocking Story of Electric-Car Life
June 29, 2018  David Muhlbaum

/ Getty Images

/ Kiplinger

/ Kiplinger

If you travel more than, say, 150 miles from home more than a few times a
year, I don't see an electric car working as your primary vehicle.

I recall two moments distinctly from my recent drive in a Volkswagen e-Golf.
The first was marveling at how this electric vehicle’s instantly available
torque made it the best car I’d ever found for the cut-and-thrust of city
driving. The second came only 80 miles or so later, as I was feather-footing
the same car in the right lane of a divided highway, windows fogged because
the air-conditioning was disabled, with a dashboard full of warning messages
(including an illuminated turtle to let me know that all that zip I had
enjoyed was gone). Most critically, the car’s range gauge indicated it had
juice to go only 10 more miles. My destination: a charging station nine
miles away.

Electric-car early adopters are now shaking their heads at my plight and
saying, “Well, duh, Dave. You’ve got to plan ahead.” But that's exactly my
point: Who does that? Gasoline-powered cars, hybrids included, require only
a modicum of attention to keep them fueled. In most areas, gas stations are
abundant, and the refueling experience is as consistent as grabbing fast
food. You can pick the station based on the quality of the gas or whether
they sell lottery tickets inside.

When was the last time you pulled up to a filling station where none of the
pumps worked? Or the nozzle didn’t fit your car? Or there was only one pump,
and the guy ahead of you needed four hours to fill up?

As I sought to recharge my loaner electric, all of those things happened to
me, triggering a condition the industry calls range anxiety. It felt more
like range panic.

The e-Golf I drove is a battery electric vehicle (BEV). It had an electric
motor where a gasoline engine would be and a battery instead of a fuel tank.
So, no plug, no go. BEVs sit at one extreme of the range of power choices
for cars. At the other end are internal combustion vehicles that only burn
fuel (what we used to just call cars). In between are hybrids that have both
electric motors and gas engines, which help charge the batteries and propel
the car (think Toyota Prius). Then there are plug-in hybrids with big
batteries. If you charge them up at an outlet, the cars will run on
electricity alone for a number of miles before their gas engines kick in

Future of driving. Electric cars have many merits. Besides quick
acceleration, and the potential for lower operating costs (because they
don’t need gas), they don’t pollute from the tailpipe. Yes, the claimed
environmental benefits depend on how the electricity that powers these cars
is made, but we don’t have room for that here. That’s why big money is being
thrown at electric cars around the world. China, in particular, subsidizes
them heavily because it wants to meet rising consumer demand for cars and
improve its often-dismal air quality.

Not surprisingly, a lot of studies point to many more electric cars in the
global future. But is one in your future? That is, will you buy a battery
electric as your next vehicle? I doubt it. Sure, there are always the early
adopters, who have the commitment and money to make a statement (looking at
you, Tesla bros, with your vanity tags saying “ENVT 1,” “4GET GAS” and
such). However, if your driving habits take you more than, say, 150 miles
from home more than a few times a year, it’s hard to see a true electric
working out as your primary vehicle, given the primitive state of the
recharging architecture.
BEVs do work for some people. Got a predictable commute and room for a
charger at home? You could save money because electrics are inherently more

My wife’s cousins, Alex Horowitz and Emily Diamond-Falk, are about as green
as they come. Their Washington, D.C., row house roof is covered with solar
panels. But even they didn’t go fully electric for their first car. “As a
one-car household, an all-electric would have covered 90% of our driving,”
Emily explained. “But that last 10% matters, too.” They opted for a
Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid. On longer trips, such as the 650-mile
drives they take to visit her mom in Michigan, the gas engine kicks in,
saving them the hunt for a charger.

That said, BEVs do work for some people. Got a predictable commute and room
for a charger at home? You could save money because electrics are inherently
more efficient than gas cars at turning energy into motion. Take my e-Golf:
Running it 100 miles would cost about $3.60 for the electricity. For a
gas-burning Golf, it would cost $10.50 in gasoline. While the manufacturer’s
suggested retail price on the e-Golf is substantially higher than the gas
model, a $7,500 federal tax credit is available. Another electric
cost-saver: Lower maintenance costs, starting with no oil changes. Those
savings might cover a few car rentals if you need a car with the range for a
proper road trip.

What about Tesla? The cars are impresssive, sure, with mind-blowing
acceleration and range well over 200 miles, but, for now, they’re very, very
dear. The saga of whether Tesla can meet demand and become a mainstream car
manufacturer (with affordable products) is fascinating to watch, but whether
the company will survive is not a judgment I’m qualified to make. Notably,
Tesla has developed a charging system that can move the electrons a whole
lot faster. Just stop in for a 30-minute top-off at one of their
“Superchargers” located around the country. But only in a Tesla. Work is
being done on fast chargers for other vehicles (including by VW), but it’s
far from complete.

In case you’re wondering whether I reached the charger or had to call for a
flatbed to haul away a now-useless car (remember, a friend can’t bring you a
can of electrons), I’m proud to say that I made it.

The destination was Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia,
where my ChargePoint app said there were eight charging plugs in the daily
garage, some of which were available. That was technically true: When I
crawled into the parking garage, several of the chargers (analogous to
pumps) were ready to deliver juice, as the last customers’ cars were fully
charged. But those cars were all still in the parking spots, with their
owners off to Dubuque—or Dubai.

With the e-Golf’s last few watts, I blocked a few of them in, unplugged one
of the space hogs and made the charging cord stretch out to the aisle. I
hooked up for my “free” electricity—enough charge to make it home—and fell
into fitful sleep in the driver’s seat. I then had to pay $17 to get out of
the garage.
[© kiplinger.com]
[ref  dated  (% he's an ice-guy %)
Buy the Gas Your Car Deserves - Kiplinger
November 2017 - By David Muhlbaum, Senior Online Editor From Kiplinger's
Personal Finance, November 2017. My father was an all-gas-is-the-same guy
who ...

Electric corridor along Utah's I-15 now fully charged
Jun 30th, 2018  Rocky Mountain Power, in conjunction with Utah Clean Air
Partnership and Maverik, announced Friday the completion of an electric
vehicle corridor along I-15 ...

For EVLN EV-newswire posts use:


Sent from: http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/
UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
Please discuss EV drag racing at NEDRA (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)