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High Depreciation May Slow Electric Car Acceptance 354

Posted by timothy
from the may-is-putting-it-lightly dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The New York Times reports that as cars like the Nissan LEAF and Coda Sedan become available, one question that may give electric car buyers cold feet is bubbling to the surface: How much will these next-gen vehicles be worth a few years down the road? According to a report from the UK's Glass Guide, unless manufacturers properly address customer concerns regarding battery life and performance, the new breed of electric vehicles (EV) soon to be launched will have residual values well below those of rival gasoline and diesel models, with a typical electric vehicle retaining only 10% of its value after five years of ownership, compared to gas and diesel-fueled counterparts retaining 25% of their value in that time period. According to Andy Carroll, managing director at Glass's, the alarming rate of depreciation is a function of customer recognition that the typical EV battery will have a useful life of up to eight years and will cost thousands of dollars to replace. Carroll added that manufacturers could address this problem by leasing the battery to users."
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High Depreciation May Slow Electric Car Acceptance

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  • Maybe in the future you should link sites that work correctly when visited by the paranoid. But this is pure fud: "Glass's has developed a proprietary methodology that has enabled it to forecast EV residual values, taking account of specific battery ownership and warranty details, as well as factors such as supply and anticipated patterns of demand. This new methodology is being used by manufacturers to assist in their launch planning and business modelling across Europe" Or in other words, we made up some shit on behalf of big oil that will be used to spread FUD to attempt to prevent EV uptake. It won't work; there are always more pre-orders than can be filled. If EVs fail, it won't be because of lies about their resale value. EVs are in fact likely to have HIGHER resale value because they eliminate so much that can go wrong with the typical auto.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:24AM (#32701652)

    Wow, I'm continually underwhelmed by the average intelligence of my fellow countrymen. I actually thought about buying a hybrid vehicle 3-4 years ago, but I ran the numbers and decided that even if gas was $5 a gallon, I would STILL come out ahead by buying a fuel-efficient gas-powered car. In the end, I just decided to keep my "old" car, which only has about 105k miles and can probably go for another 150k+. I kinda like keeping that extra $500 a month in my pocket! A car is not an asset, folks. Buy Japanese, and you can drive that bitch around for 15+ years if you want to. I see the overpriced shit American manufacturers turn out, and then I understand why so many people buy a new car every few years. What a colossal waste of money. And if I had to replace a $3000+ battery every 8 years (even on the Japanese-model hybrids)? Fuck that! Get that battery life up to $300k miles, and get the price of the car within a few hundred of its gas-powered cousin, and then I'll buy it. But I'm not going to run up $35k of debt just to so I can tell myself what a fucking great person I am every time I get in my car.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:46AM (#32701730) Journal

    If anything, electric cars have much less breakable parts, they need less maintenance and have a real chance of lasting decades! Once battery technology improves, you swap out the batteries and the charging electronics - everything else stays the same. There is no more universal "fuel" than electric energy, which is agnostic to how it was produced, or where (i.e. you might have your own wind or solar plant at home, and the "product" will work just fine with the electric car).

    Electric cars are, IMHO, truly future-proof.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:04AM (#32701796) Homepage Journal
    Which is why conservation is still key. What I never get in this whole alternative energy hype is why more people aren't calling for conservation and why people are obsessed with better cars when a much simpler solution is to use the current cars less. The government really should be exempt (almost) all 2 wheel vehicles from sales taxes. Considering most trips are at most a couple of miles, bicycles are the obvious choice over cars, but even motorcycles get at least 3x as much per gallon as SUVs do, sometimes up to 5x as much(and motorized scooters, which are great for residential zones, get even better mileage). Plus making an electric motorcycle would require a much smaller, and thus cheaper, battery.

    Now I know there are times where a car is more convenient, and most people, at least in the US, should keep their cars, but just because something isn't an panacea doesn't mean it is totally worthless.
  • Re:How much? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JamesP (688957) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:05AM (#32701802)

    Well, you can think about

    - returning old batteries for a lower battery replacement cost
    - replacement with newer technology batteries or equivalent (fuel cell maybe)
    - if electric cars become more popular and it's easier to recharge them battery capacity may go down as well as cost

  • Re:DVD (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jmichaelg (148257) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:07AM (#32701812) Journal

    Batteries are not DVDs. Batteries have been a stumbling block for EVs ever since EVs were invented in the late 1800s. It has not been for want of investment that batteries haven't managed to store more than a 50th the amount of energy that's in gasoline.

    My hunch is that as oil supplies wind down we'll end up manufacturing hydrocarbons [] because of their energy density. Moreover, manufacturing hydrocarbons will mitigate the advantage that China has accrued in cornering the rare earth market. []

  • Re:How much? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ulski (1173329) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:11AM (#32701834)
    Another problem is that the battery prices might increase more than you would expect (or more than the oil prices anyway). A college of mine in Norway bought a "Think car" [] because she lives on a small island where the only road leading out there was an expensive toll road that was free if you drove an electric car. She wasn't happy with the electric car and sold it. The new owner later on started a lawsuit because the car needed new batteries. When my college originally bought the car, the reseller told her that the battery cost would most likely fall as production picked up, but instead the price of the batteries skyrocketed so much, that the cost of replacement batteries was more than the price of the entire car when it was brand-new. A side note: I read somewhere that the new generation of Think cars are been sold together with some sort of "battery subscription contract" where you pay a monthly fee which will cover all battery costs.
  • Re:How much? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:12AM (#32701836) Homepage

    Did the article mention that people who buy second had gas cars worry about the transmission and whether the previous owner ran the engine in properly, always changed the oil on schedule and always warmed it up before screeching off down the street?

    EV batteries bring new problems to the table but they also eliminate a whole bunch of other old-fashioned mechanical problems. If the study wasn't paid for by Big Oil they might have mentioned that.

  • by mangu (126918) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:14AM (#32701854)

    A good start would seem to be delivery vehicles - predictable loads, distances, always park at the same place.

    Yes, and taxis should be a good second step for electrics. They never drive too far from the base and run mostly on congested inner city traffic, where running idle becomes an appreciable percentage of fuel consumption for gas or diesel vehicles.

    Slow speeds also benefit electric taxis since they can recover energy from regenerative braking. It's only when speed is high enough that wind resistance becomes appreciable that electrics start spending energy they cannot recover.

  • by noidentity (188756) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:18AM (#32701866)
    How would leasing the battery change the cost of replacement 10 years later? It'll still cost, no matter who owns the battery. I'm guessing the idea of leasing is to trick the buyer into not seeing that it costs the same either way, it's just spread out. Let's say the battery lasts for 10 years and costs $3000. That's a $30-$40 monthly lease payment, when you factor in overhead, on top of an already-expensive car.
  • Re:10% in 5 years? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jonbryce (703250) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:24AM (#32701900) Homepage

    Yes, you will get a Tesla Roadster for that sort of money, But you will only be able to get it to the end of the driveway before the battery runs flat. It will cost about whatever the difference is between a Tesla Roadster and a normal car of that class to replace the dead batteries.

  • Re:How much? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:35AM (#32701938) Homepage

    Prices increased because demand is rising too fast, and there aren't enough companies producing them. They'll come down quickly once more companies pick up that market.

    By the way, didn't she tell him the current battery capacity before selling the car?

  • Re:How much? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ulski (1173329) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:30AM (#32702264)
    I'm not convinced, people have been saying that the prices will go down for many years now. The batteries have improved, but the high cost of the batteries is still a major part of the explanation as to why only few people want to by electric cars. Anyway I think that electric cars might be more successful in other countries compared to Norway, because you have to factor in the cold winters and steep mountain roads together with the powers drain caused by that we have to have the headlight on during daytime (a traffic safety law).
  • by shway (1614667) * on Saturday June 26, 2010 @12:05PM (#32702784)

    And the batteries would be conditioned, tested, and recharged with every use. Charge them overnight or other low periods at lower cost.

    My Tesla Roadster already gets charged overnight. In my own garage. And takes zero time out of my day to do so. The Roadster itself recalibrates and rebalances the battery and in the morning, every morning I have a full "tank".

    Why should I complain that I can't refill my car within 10 minutes like my gas powered car? Instead I do complain when I drive a gas car where I have to take 10 minutes out of my day to stop at a gas station, and likely end up getting gas on my hands. Not to mention sending my cash to terrorist sponsoring petro-dictators.

    Never a problem with my electric car because it is always "full" when I leave in the morning. There is never a day where I leave my house in the morning and I do not know I plan to drive more than 200 miles that day. I am never "surprised" by running out of fuel, and never need a 5 minute recharge.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <> on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:10PM (#32703902) Homepage Journal

    This citation needed parroting of wikipedia has to fucking stop.

    [citation needed]

    We aren't here writing research papers or even encyclopedias. This is a little niche web forum and most everything we write here is forgotten within 24 hours and will be viewed thereafter only by robots, or in some search engine's cache.

    That's a bunch of shit. I refer back to slashdot posts when I can find them on a regular basis. I have many bookmarked for later reference.

    You, for instance, failed to include any citations for any of the assertions you made.

    Anyone who is familiar with the subject is familar with the relevant citations. They're googled by name so often that they floated to the top of the results if you use a handful of words from the title as they predictably should. For example "a look back renewable" first result is [], the link I want. There's places you can find it in other formats but that's what we want for most of what I had to say. Much of the rest is common knowledge. But I can provide citations if needed. So far I see no evidence that there is any (but chew on that one for a minute.)

    I, for instance, rightly recognize, just as I did in the OP, that you are just some guy with some opinions you are stating based on your personal experience and beliefs and I would be capable of proceeding with the argument on those grounds, were I so inclined, without engaging in tangential games of demanding excessive investments of your time flitting through search results.

    I am here to educate and be educated as well as entertain and be entertained. I often use citations, where they are necessary, i.e. when I am having a conversation and not simply engaging in enumeration of faults.

    Also, you wrote a point by point rebuttal. Which is classic. HAND.

    I'm a fucking classy kind of guy.

  • Re:10% in 5 years? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by timeOday (582209) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:13PM (#32704348)
    Really? Maybe you should go into business selling futures on Roadsters. I will pay you $10K for a 2 year future on a Roadster right now. Where do I sign?

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis