Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Power Transportation Technology

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

High Depreciation May Slow Electric Car Acceptance

Comments Filter:
  • by BoxedFlame (231097) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:14AM (#32701626) Homepage

    Seems like the article is a bit late...

    • How much? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:48AM (#32701738)

      If batteries wear too fast, the cure should be a better technology, not another business plan.

      Unless there's a subsidy somewhere, a short battery life should have as much impact on leasing costs as it has on devaluation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JamesP (688957)

        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: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" http://www.thinkev.com/ [thinkev.com] 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by icebraining (1313345)

          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: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by ulski (1173329)
            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
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209)
          Then I'm sticking with internal combustion, where each new car rolls off the lot with an iron-clad guarantee against rising gasoline costs in the future.

          Since we're arguing about some dude's speculative model of future battery life and cost, let's speculate about gas costs 8 years from now, shall we?

          I'll start the guessing at $6 / gallon.

      • 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.

        • and always warmed it up before screeching off down the street?

          Modern ICE-based cars with electronic fuel injection don't require much warm up time. Unnecessary idling of a cold engine does not improve performance; instead it wastes gas, releases more hydrocarbons and may even do harm to the catalytic converter if practiced over long term. See Ask Our Experts: Car Engine Warm-Up [motherearthnews.com]

        • 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?

          That's why people pay upscale used car dealers to do this worrying for them. These dealers offer services such as CARFAX reports and the manufacturer's used vehicle certification program.

        • by nten (709128)

          There is a perceived difference between the old situation where we didn't know if we were getting a car that would soon cost us more money and the new one where we *do* know that the car's battery is about to cost us a fortune. I guess its really not just a perceived difference. With the gas-car its at least possible you aren't getting screwed. If electric cars are going to be viable we need to drive down costs of battery recycling. Scale will help some with that, but cheap lithium from places like Boli

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In the UK motor trade Glass Guide is known as the black book and is the motor traders bible when it comes to pricing, so it might be made up fud but it is made up fud that has a very real effect on the price of used vehicles.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        In the UK motor trade Glass Guide is known as the black book and is the motor traders bible when it comes to pricing, so it might be made up fud but it is made up fud that has a very real effect on the price of used vehicles.

        In the US we have a "blue book" made by a publisher called Kelley. From my extensive experience buying used cars [hyperlogos.org] I can tell you that it means basically nothing. Our book is ostensibly created by taking average used car sales prices, but I have come to suspect that it is not statistically valid since nobody I know ever pays full blue book for most cars, and nobody ever gets some cars as low as their blue book "value". Is your book really different?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      My first car lasted me 10 years (1996 saturn) and the only two things I had to do to it was a new fly wheel and a new alternator. The total of which set me back about $400. Now there was standard maintenance (tires, breaks, battery, oil changes, etc..), but I had not transmission problems. Gave it to a family member for their 16th birthday and it's still on the road and other than a new set up spark plugs & wires, they've not done anything to it.

      My last car (Chevy Malibu) I got 6 years out of it bef

    • Maybe in the future you should link sites that work correctly when visited by the paranoid.

      Works fine for me, I'm probably more paranoid than you. I use refcontrol. I have nytimes.com set to have a referrer of "http://google.com/"

    • by Bloody Peasant (12708) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:44AM (#32702358) Homepage

      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.

      Indeed.

      Also, I don't know why anyone hasn't brought up "Prius Resale Value" yet as a case in point. Or the expected versus actual battery life in'em; they've been around over 10 years now.

  • Texas (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebonum (830686) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:30AM (#32701674)

    These batteries don't like heat. Simply leaving them in a hot place for a year can rapidly degrade their performance. 8 years sounds like a stretch to me. Is this using once a week and storing at 55 degrees ( Fahrenheit )? What happens to the battery in a black car left in the Texas 100+ degree sun every afternoon?

    • by JDevers (83155)

      A hell of a lot more than just Texas has that kind of heat. Pretty much the entire Gulf coast, lower great plains, and desert southwest area all have 100+ degree temps for at least a third of the year.

      • Hmmmm. Actually, the lower great plains typically only hit 100+ for 1-2 weeks/year. To be fair, though, you have several months of mid-high 90's, which is still damaging.
    • An interesting question! My favorite personal experiences on business trips to Austin, Texas during summer:

      I left a CD on the back seat of the car, before going into work. When I went back after work, the CD was fine . . . but the plastic case was warped!

      A colleague bought a bottle of Knob Creek bourbon as a gift for the hotel concierge, because he help us a lot during our extended stay. Our employer has a "no alcohol or weapons on the premises" policy, so we left it in the car. Knob Creek is a premiu

    • Li-Ion are NOT lead acid. Lead acids DO have the problem. In fact, South West heat is far worse for a battery than is a Minnesota or Colorado mountain cold.
  • DVD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rock_climbing_guy (630276) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:32AM (#32701682) Journal
    Do any of you guys remember how much the first DVD players cost and how good the quality was compared to the ones available now?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jmichaelg (148257)

      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 [lanl.gov] because of their energy density. Moreover, manufacturing hydrocarbons will mitigate the advantage that China has accrued in cornering the rare earth market. [nytimes.com]

      • Moreover, manufacturing hydrocarbons will mitigate the advantage that China has accrued in cornering the rare earth market.

        Given the usefulness of rare earths as catalysts... I wouldn't bet on the process that you link to uses none. (Not to mention the myriad of non auto related uses for the rare earths.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dunkelfalke (91624)

        Well, current batteries are way better than those available 150 years ago. Hell, current batteries are way better than they were just 10 years ago.

      • Re:DVD (Score:4, Insightful)

        by evilviper (135110) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @02:46PM (#32703728) Journal

        batteries haven't managed to store more than a 50th the amount of energy that's in gasoline.

        That number is bullshit. Sure, the theoretical energy density in gasoline is pretty high, but you can't just drip gasoline onto the wheels and make the vehicle go...

        Once you account for all the weight, cost, and repeated conversion losses with gasoline, well, it's no wonder that electric vehicles like the LEAF have about 1/3rd the range, even though the batteries contain "a 50th the amount of energy" (in theory)...

        You want some bullshit numbers? Calculate feeding the atoms of the batteries into a working fusion reactor, and tell me how much "energy" you get out of them...

        All that matters is range. You can get 100 mi (160 km) on a charge in a Nissan Leaf. Nothing you can say about the benefits of gasoline is going to change that simple fact. Electric vehicles are already competitive with gasoline powered cars. It's just a matter of time.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Yes I do. I still have a 1st gen DVD player it works great. I have a pile of dead current generation junk Dvd players.

      The first ones are always built better. after they figure something out, then they try to build it as cheap as possible.

  • Carroll added that manufacturers could address this problem by leasing the battery to users

    How about having a user-removable battery (or at least, machine removable, but able to be operated by users). Battery stations replacing — or augmenting — petrol stations would be a nice touch as well, as mentioned in a TED talk I viewed over a year ago.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Unfortunately that would make ensuring the batteries are a proprietary spare part rather harder.

  • most people who will be getting these will do so because they want to make a statement or be trendy.
    the 10% or so resale value will be based on market demand and will allow others to make the jump based on economics.

    it's a good thing

  • by NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:38AM (#32701702)
    I mean if you buy something you pay up front and get it cheaper. If you lease it you basically rent over time and end up paying more. I mean really are they saying the want them to hide the cost of the battery by making it "separate" and making you pay for it separately? (And making you pay more for it? You're going to pay for the battery one way or another.)
    • Bingo - dead on. People should realize that finance isn't about changing the functionality of things, it's about changing how they are paid for and distributing cost risk. You can set up a lease (or whatever) to spread out the cost but that is not making how it works or how long it lasts any different. About the time we said goodbye to manufacturing in the US we seemed to begin to forget about how real physical products work and started believing Moore's law applies to everything and that fiddling the nu

    • > I mean if you buy something you pay up front and get it cheaper. If you
      > lease it you basically rent over time and end up paying more.

      But you know in advance how much it is going to cost you. This is a worthwhile tradeoff for many people.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      That is most people. Wat too stupid to look past the monthly payment number.

    • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Saturday June 26, 2010 @11:15AM (#32702520) Homepage

      The point of leasing isn't just distributing the cost, but it is also about remove the personal ownership of the battery. If you don't own your battery, but just have a contract for the electricity, it is possible to build a refill station that will just swap out the empty battery against a full one, allowing you to refill your EV in a minute, instead of recharge it for multiple hours. If you would own the battery, you simply couldn't do that that easily. It of course also removes pretty much any need to worry about wear and lifetime of the battery, since you always have a fresh one and not drive around with the same for ten years. It also allows to use the car batteries as backup storage for the powergrid, again something that would be a bit more tricky to implement if you would own your personal battery.

      The whole EV car thing is basically a solved problem on paper, all its need is putting the plans into actions, which of course is tricky, the car industry had quite a few decades of head start, so it will take time till you have enough refill stations in the wild and the manufacturers have standardized on their battery tech at least enough that you don't need a special battery for every car.

  • It was my impression that they sold pretty well, despite the newfangled technology. Sure, it was a hybrid, but still . . . was deprecation a concern with buyers?

    Anyway, I don't know, I'm just asking . . . ?

    • > Sure, it was a hybrid, but still . . . was deprecation a concern with
      > buyers?

      Is it a concern for iPod buyers? Until now the EV/hybrid market has consisted of EV fans and yuppies showing off how "green" they are. As EVs move into the mainstream (as they will) many things will change.

  • 10% in 5 years? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cnaumann (466328) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:45AM (#32701728)

    So in 2-3 years, I should be able to pick up a used Tesla Roadster for about $10K? I can't wait!

    You get the feeling that 90% of these statistics are made up?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mwvdlee (775178)

      You get the feeling that 90% of these statistics are made up?

      No, they just depreciate at the same rate.
      In 2-3 years time, the predictions will have depreciated to only 10% accuracy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jonbryce (703250)

      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by timeOday (582209)
        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?
    • Re:10% in 5 years? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PingSpike (947548) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:36AM (#32701942)

      This is modded funny, but it should really be insightful I think.

      Also according to this, I will be able to buy a 5 year old Nissan Leaf for $3000. By the article's own assertion, it has 3 years of battery life left. That means for the lost cost of $1000/yr plus insurance (had to pay this anyway, I can get basic coverage though on a $3000 car) minus fuel cost savings (I spend $1000/yr now to drive to work with my 30mpg car) I get to drive a 5 year old car. My car is already 5 years old!

      This sounds like a hell of a great deal. I can't even buy a 5 year old chevy aveo manual transmission for that much right now. Who cares if the batteries only last 3 years? I'll just sell the car for a few hundred dollars worth of scrap and buy another one.

    • by will_die (586523)
      Probably not, Tesla cars in are in the luxury/cool arena so will not loose as much value as a normal vehicle.
  • 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.

    • Not in Vermont! Our salt will rust your car's body out in about 10-15 years. Real shame too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PingSpike (947548)

        That's why this article is so great! Just buy a 5 year old Leaf for $3000, drive it until the batteries die to the salt kills in and then throw it away! You can just buy another one for a mere $3000! Who cares if they last, at that price they're quite disposable.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Wrong. The electronics in cars are made as cheap as possible. So now you get to replace the charger pack, the BCM, etc.. the ONLY thing being changed from a normal car is the motor is replaced with electric.

      you replace a mechanical device with a different mechanical device. they still have friction brakes, wheel hubs, steering racks, transmissions, and differentials.

      When we get hovercars, THEN your statement becomes true.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:53AM (#32701756)
    You can't charge a car fast enough to match gasoline. It's like a car full of DVDs in the trunk. It might be low tech, but it's higher bandwidth than anything we can run over fiber. Moving the storage medium, gasoline, is too fast. To recharge a car fast enough, you'd need refuel stations that provide as much power as a medium electrical plant. It just isn't practical.

    But, if the makers agreed on a standard tech. Standard sizes. Then you'd not do a charge. You'd do a swap. And the batteries would be conditioned, tested, and recharged with every use. Charge them overnight or other low periods at lower cost. And, when the batteries are old and dying, they are retired at the charging station so that a portion of the charge cost goes to replacement, hiding/spreading the cost.

    If the government wants to toss out subsidies, then getting the infrastructure in place for this, getting car makers to agree on quick-change layouts and compatible battery technologies (perhaps even a choice of regular or premium batteries at differing costs for "cheap" lead acid batteries vs whatever premium battery technology is adopted (NiMH, Li, or perhaps some mix of the popular ones so that no single resource is overstressed).

    Aside from that, I don't see any way for there to be a 5 minute or less charge of a car with a 400+ mile range, like we do with gasoline. If anyone else has an idea, I'd like to hear it. And the plus of this plan, it eliminates the problem with depreciation and battery replacement people fear. Hide the cost (it really isn't that much per mile anyway, but writing big checks makes people cry) and make the replacements fast and safe (maybe even homogenizing the replacement procedure so much that it can be done in 30 seconds or less with robots), and electric will be much more interesting. People in the US hate it because they can't drive cross country. Not that they will, but for the same reason SUVs are popular. They don't go off road, but they could. So you have to make it appeal not to rational people, but to the actual people, who we recognize aren't always rational.
    • EV car batteries are currently HEAVY. Very heavy.
    • You can't charge a car fast enough to match gasoline.

      But if you use Sony Batteries, you can match the burning ability of gasoline!

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Yes you can IF you use capacitors. Design it right and you can charge a capacitor bank in 30 seconds. it takes 5 minutes to fuel a car. if they designed it right, you could pull into a charging pad, swipe the card, it's charged and drive off. Gas station fillups would be faster than a toll booth.

    • To recharge a car fast enough, you'd need refuel stations that provide as much power as a medium electrical plant. It just isn't practical.

      This nonsense and hyperbole keeps propping up every darn EV discussion there is.

      IEC 62196 allows up to 298kW charging power (which is hardly "a medium electrical plant") , which could charge a 50kWh battery pack in 10 minutes, allowing approximately 300km of driving.

      Not only is your claim wrong, there's already proposed standards that could fast-charge electric cars.

      In t

    • 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

  • by confused one (671304) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:02AM (#32701788)

    OK, so the car was more expensive originally; and, after a number of years its value drops to, or just below, the price range of a similarly aged gas powered car... So, it appears to have lost more value.

    Early adopters of any technology often find this is the case. They spend more to reap the benefit earlier. The price will normallize after some time and those that follow will reap the benefit of the experience gained in manufacturing and using the initial versions.

    Let also look back at cars in the past for a moment: How many of you remember 40 years ago? (or were driving 10 year old cars 25-30 years ago?) The engines weren't as reliable. It wasn't uncommon to have to re-power a car (replace / rebuild the engine) after 6 or 7 years. We've gotten used to having cars with engines that will last 10-15 years. We've been spoiled, really. This technology will catch up, in terms of longevity and utility, eventually.

  • is that people like fast cars and practical cars. Right now a family car to fit a family of 5 and get groceries and practical mileage per cost just isn't there. And it won't be there. Not to mention terrain. I live in North East region of Pennsylvania. Lots of mountain and hills here which is a knock against electric vehicles. Also farm country here. Farmers won't want drive their trucks hauling equipment and having to travel the rough terrain of the fields, nor will it probably never be practical for any e
    • by PingSpike (947548)

      Aren't large amounts of hills something an electric or hybrid vehicle is good at? The regenerative braking systems return energy on the way down the hill, whereas you don't get that with a gas vehicle.

      I agree that the main enemy is the government, since their are tons of powerful entrenched players with lobby groups they will use to outright destroy or hinder these kinds of vehicles. It is far from the only technology that suffers this fate, but it might be the best example.

      Don't get me wrong, there are som

      • by mikesd81 (518581)
        A hybrid I can understand, but the amount of energy on the downhill would never make up for the amount of energy lost on the up hill here.
  • 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.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      That's a $30-$40 monthly lease payment, when you factor in overhead, on top of an already-expensive car.

      The problem with your analysis is that it's not an expensive car, at least in the case of the LEAF, which is priced competitively with other hot hatches with far less performance. Well, after subsidy, but it's a new model. In a few years the price will drop and it won't need the subsidy (which is good because it won't get it any more, either.)

  • Electric cars should be cheaper in the future than their fuel burning counterparts. This is because it is a simpler device. It doesn't have to generate the energy from the fuel, the electricity is generated elsewhere. We don't have to drive around with our tiny energy factories (from fuel) any longer. So currently they are vastly overpriced. Which is to be expected from an early adopter product. Personally I think the battery should be easily swappable, possible like fuel is now, you swap it at the battery
  • This has been talked about for a while. Batteries replacement is not the only reason, it is the overall technology. Each years model brings about huge increases in technology so if you are purchasing a used hybrid car are you going to get the 6 year old technology or the 4 year old technology. It is the same as saying are you going to purchase a Pentium 4 or a dual core system
  • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:24AM (#32702222)

    I buy a car and run it into the ground. This won't affect me at all. It also won't affect people who buy a car with zero down and high interest and immediately owe more than it's worth, they don't concern themselves with these things. If you have to have the latest and greatest every few years, you're going to have problems.

    Electric cars are a long term investment, paying for themselves over time as gas usage is less. It's not for the buy-and-sell crowd. When they are the most common type of car on the road, this will change.

    Article is garbage and author is myopic or a shill, or both.

  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:35AM (#32702302)
    I've never really understood this urge to trade cars in so quickly.... Even if a fully paid off ten-year-old car is costing you $1500 per year in maintenance (CV joints, timing belt etc.) you're still way further ahead compared to a $400 per month payment on a new car. Every time my friends say "I can't afford the upkeep on this car so I'm getting a new one" I roll my eyes...
  • by frisket (149522) <peter AT silmaril DOT ie> on Saturday June 26, 2010 @12:12PM (#32702824) Homepage
    It's the wrong model. This has been said again and again, but it still hasn't percolated through the brains of the auto companies.
    • You buy an electric (or hybrid) car.
    • It comes with a fully-charged battery.
    • The batteries are all standard: one of a small range of standardised sizes and shapes which slide or lift out on standard fittings
    • Capacities can vary as time goes on and the technology develops but the packages stay the same
    • When you run low, you go to a garage, slide out the discharged battery, slide in a recharged one, pay, and drive away
    • The battery takes you as far and as fast as a tank of fuel (gotta work on that one)
    • The garage puts the discharged battery on charge and it goes to the next customer for that size/shape

    You don't "own" the battery any more than you "own" the gas cylinder in your camper-van or holiday home: it just cycles into the supply chain for refilling.

    This will only work if all batteries use a standard box and fitment. OK, if you drive some highly specialist boy-racer rig, you use and pay for some highly specialist non-standard battery. Your choice. Once we allow the auto companies to get away with individual proprietary boxes and fitments, the game is over and you, the driver, are screwed for ever.

    Imagine if every manufacturer of lightbulbs had their own proprietary fitting. We'd still be using coal-gas to light our houses...

  • by Arcaeris (311424) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @12:24PM (#32702896)

    ... and I knew this was going to happen. Going into it, I know that in 3-5 years the battery technology will be much better than the battery in my car, making my car virtually worthless.

    Compared to a gas car, however, I'll be saving $150 a month ($1800 a year) on gas, so $5400 in 3 years. That's not bad for a car that, in California, will cost me $20k.

    The real reason I'm buying it is to help end our dependence on foreign oil. Without people making a few sacrifices to push this technology (and other green technology) forward, we will never break the stranglehold that the Middle Eastern countries have on us. And that needs to end yesterday. I'm just trying to do my part for a better US for my children.

  • DUH. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pclminion (145572) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @01:11PM (#32703136)
    The prices depreciate because people value it less. They value it less because its a piece of shit. Its a piece of shit because... well, it's a piece of shit. So what, we're going to stand around boo-hooing about how EVs are pieces of shit? I have better things to do. "Stuff that's worthless isn't worth much, details at 11." Yawn.

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.

Working...