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Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price? 398

Posted by timothy
from the need-more-juice dept.
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Ask most people why they won't consider an electric car, and they talk about range anxiety. And I can easily imagine why 84 miles of range isn't enough. Now it sounds like Nissan is listening, as well as watching Tesla's success. The company plans to boost the Leaf electric car's driving range with options for larger battery packs. Not long ago Nissan surveyed Tesla Model S owners, and they probably heard loud and clear that longer driving range is very, very important. So it looks like the Leaf might get up to 150 miles of range, possibly by the 2016 model year. The range increase will come from a larger battery pack, possibly 36 or 42 kWh, and more energy-dense cells. Either way, clearly Nissan is looking to expand the appeal of the world's best-selling electric car, and increasing its driving range is pretty clearly a key to doing so. I just wish Nissan would ditch the weird styling while they're at it."
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Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:18AM (#46815853)

    Where X miles is some unit that has no relationship to the actual amount of driving you do.

    Sure, if you're an Australian Cattle Rancher crossing the route from Perth to Adelaide, maybe you care about having range.

    Grandma who never drives outside of town? What is she worrying about?

    • by manofyunk (122268)

      Or,
      If you live in rural usa where there are no public charging stations.
      Range is an issue with any electric vehicle along with charge times.

      • by repetty (260322)

        Everything is relative... In west Texas, pickup trucks with dual fuel tanks are not unheard of.

        Urban drivers (most the the US population) would still be well-served by an electric vehicle.

        Most people are more than willing to pay for more than they need, which explains a lot about cell phone data plans and such.

        • by Firethorn (177587) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:11PM (#46816355) Homepage Journal

          Everything is relative...

          Bingo. My commute is 10 miles one way. The big town is 20 miles the other way. A very plausible trip is 10 miles to work, 30 miles to town, 20 miles home - 60 miles in one day. Given paranoia, I slap a x2 on there(I might get called into work again, another 20 miles, might forget to charge the night before, power outages, etc...), Thus I'd prefer a car with at least 120 miles of range. That's even without considering that a common camp site for me is 60 miles away. There's power there so I could trickle charge over the week end for margin, but it's something to consider. As is range losses due to heat/cold/age/etc...

          As such, I say it's not just people want to pay for more than 'what they need', it's that most proponents of short-range EVs only look at median driving distances. Most purchasers of vehicles are going to be looking for a vehicle that satisfies the 90th percentile of their driving 'needs'.

          It's hardly 'no relationship' as the AC said.

          • by lgw (121541) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:49PM (#46816695) Journal

            I think that's exactly right. The "range" on electric cars is best case (no radio, no climate control, being that dick who won't accelerate on the on-ramp, etc). "Half" is probably a good engineering fudge factor, and a 40 mile practical range doesn't cut it.

            I'm pining for a serial plug-in hybrid. Give me an electric car with a pure-electric drive drain, Tesla-style, but stick a super-efficient 50 HP generator under the hood, and give it a small gas tank. Now I'm quite happy with a 40 or even 30 mile practical range. Most days that's good, and the generator can run in the parking lot when it's not.

            (You can make amazingly efficient turbine engines if you don't care about weight. Forget the terrible helicopter engines, think industrial power generation: multiple heat exchangers, possibly multiple expansion stages, cool, low-pressure exhaust with no waste. Scaled down to 50 HP I expect it would fit nicely in a car. And if it lets you save 80% of the battery weight it can be a good trade.)

          • by Ravaldy (2621787) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @03:36PM (#46818125)

            I love your positive view of the electric car. I think more people need to start having a positive outlook on this.

            My personal concern with this is that I know Hybrid owners who saved $6000 in fuel and then got shafted for a replacement battery at $6000. At the end of the day the user didn't save money but paid a large sum for a fancy vehicle. I understand that in the near future batteries will have a much lower cost per KW but until then only those willing to take a risk will join the EV clan.

            Car companies need to make the battery cost more manageable for users. The ability to swap batteries such as suggested by Tesla is a great idea. Basically, make it so the owner of the car doesn't own the battery. This will create a renewable battery industry and will allow existing structures to remain. The dream of charging at home is one that needs to be pushed aside for now.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)
      I commute about a combined 70 miles to and from work each day. 150 mile range would be perfect for me, as it would give me enough mileage to take into account traffic and only have to charge up every 2 days. 200 miles would be even better as it would give a lot more cushion, and would also allow for trips out of state to visit family.
      • I commute about 2 miles to and from work each day.

        But the Leaf is ugly, the Tesla S is expensive and neither is convertible.

      • EVs are mainly charged at home, so they are usually charged daily, even if the battery still has plenty of juice.
        Charging an EV is just plugging an electric cord on your car at home.
        A Tesla can be programmed to wait until 1AM to charge or something of the kind. Can a LEAF do the same (plug in when you arrive at home, and the vehicle waits for the cheapest time to charge) ?

        • Out of curiosity, what will a Leaf at half the price of a "S" car look like?
          • The LEAF already costs half of a Tesla Model S. You just need to compare the LEAF to a 60kW model S without a lot of optionals. On the high end, a model S costs 3x a LEAF.

        • by mythosaz (572040)

          Yes, the Leaf can be set to charge during off-peak hours.

        • by bteeter (25807) <brian&brianteeter,com> on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:47PM (#46816675)
          Leaf owner here. Yes, you can set a schedule for the car to charge.

          We currently don't because we are charging off the slower 110v charger. (Long story.) Once we get into our new house we'll use the 220v wall unit.

          Not directly in reply to parent, but I figure I'll comment as a current Leaf owner -

          As far as range, more is definitely better. So, would I want the 150 mile version? Hell yeah! However, we get by just fine with what we have. It is currently our only car. We live in the somewhat sprawling Tampa area. As long as we stay within Tampa / Clearwater / St. Pete for our destination, we're fine without worry or need to charge while we're out.

          But, for trips to Orlando, or anything really outside 40 miles from home, we typically rent a gas car and use that. Eventually we plan to get a cheap used SUV as our second car for longer trips, but for now this has worked well enough. We've only really needed longer range about 1 time per month since we owned the Leaf, which is about 3 months now. That has basically been 2 trips to Orlando, and 1 trip to Melbourne. Rental cars are cheap here, and I don't mind spending $100 for a 3 or 4 day rental - at least until I can pay cash for a second vehicle.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Because mile ranges change based on driving.. Grandma can eat up the 100 mile range driving around in town on a 102 degree day without ever going more than 20 miles away from home.

      You might like the possibility of having to push the car home, Grandma on the other hand does not.

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      If it's your only car and you can't drive round trip to the largest near by city (Dallas-> Fort Worth and back ) on a single charge (can't always find a charging station in a strange town) it's not much good. Sure you can rent a gas car for long weekend trips, but that's really inconvenient for emergency trips or if you want to go see a concert, art festival, state fair etc one county over.

      Right now it's just a supplemental car. If I could get 200 miles out of it, I could drive to Austin on Frida

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      I drive 120 miles, 5 days a week. ... what kind of cycle count would these batteries have?

    • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @02:12PM (#46817409)

      Where X miles is some unit that has no relationship to the actual amount of driving you do.

      Yeah, but this is Slashdot, where perfect is the enemy of good, and the edge use-case wins every time.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:19AM (#46815863)

    Tesla is the Apple of the electric car world: even if Nissan comes up with equivalent models for cheaper, people will still prefer Teslas because they're perceived as hip or upmarket.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      even if Nissan comes up with equivalent models for cheaper, hipsters will still prefer Teslas
    • by bobbied (2522392) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:33AM (#46815993)

      Yet androids sell like hotcakes too.

      Tesla's problem is price. Their price is way beyond what most can pay, even if they wanted too. If Nissan can come up with a viable alternative that goes the distance of a Tesla and they can sell them at a price the masses can afford, they will out sell Tesla in units. Just like Ford did with the model T. Sure there where better and more desirable cars in the model T's day, but Ford didn't have much trouble selling them because of price.

      • by Drethon (1445051)
        Wait, Tesla is Apple and Nissan is Android... I can completely reprogram a Leaf?
    • by geekmux (1040042)

      Tesla is the Apple of the electric car world: even if Nissan comes up with equivalent models for cheaper, people will still prefer Teslas because they're perceived as hip or upmarket.

      Hip or upmarket? Uh, those who can afford a $100,000 car are the ones who "prefer" a Tesla.

      I prefer Tesla too, but it has nothing to do with being in fashion. The masses can afford iDevices easily, so it's stupid to compare it here. Only the 1% is spending six figures on a car.

    • You're right in another way -- Tesla is like Apple, because they're not optimizing for sheer sales volume; they're optimizing for profit.

  • how much is it to replace it?

    i can drive my honda CRV until it falls apart with some basic maintenance that doesn't involve spending thousands of $$$ on a new battery

    and my honda doesn't cost $600 a year in an annual checkup like Tesla charges

    • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:27AM (#46815933) Homepage

      The Leaf's battery is warrantied for 10 years. Most people don't own a car for 10 years.

      The overall maintenance schedule is ridiculously light. No $600/year checkup. No oil changes. It's pretty much just cabin air filters and brakes.

      • by repetty (260322) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:42AM (#46816067) Homepage

        The overall maintenance schedule is ridiculously light. No $600/year checkup. No oil changes. It's pretty much just cabin air filters and brakes.

        Which is why dealerships in the various U.S. states have been fighting Telsa so vigorously. The Leaf doesn't scare them... yet.

        There's a lot of money to be lost in empty service bays.

        • by macpacheco (1764378) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:13PM (#46816371)

          The LEAF doesn't scare them, because they control LEAF sales. Have you ever seen a Nissan dealership actively offering a LEAF, or they just have them in case you already made up your mind ?
          BTW. When I lived in the USA I owned a Eagle Talon (the Mitsubishi Eclipse). Even though I drove it 150k miles over 7 years, I only gave it a single trip to the dealership, right before I sold it, just replaced fluids and tires. Replaced the battery once. There are many IC cars out there that can be driven for 200k miles with perhaps 3 trips to the dealerships.
          It's the sucker idiots that insist on buying a crappy Detroit car that is built to break down every couple of years.
          Unless forced to, I'll never buy an american designed car, except for a Tesla, ever again. Japanese/German cars rule.

        • No, the dealerships are fighting Tesla’s direct market strategy, not the fact it is electric. Nissan’s Leaf is sold through the traditional franchise dealership.No strong reason for franchisers to fight over that.

      • But most cars last longer than 10 years, and become the used cars many people buy.
        • by EvanED (569694)

          This is actually correct: the median car age in the US in 2011 (latest year mentioned in wikipedia) was 10.8 years [wikipedia.org]. And the average age is going up, and electric cars will only make it go up more.

      • by amiga3D (567632)

        It's a disposable car. Use it ten years, throw it away and get another. I'm at 16 years on one vehicle and 13 on the other. I have an old truck that's a '77 but I don't drive it much as it's an old style 4X4 that's really better offroad than on.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

          Average age of a car on the road is 11.4 years that means MOST people own a car longer than 10 years.

        • The average new car is owned for just under 6 years.

          http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/average-length-of-us-vehicle-ownership-hit-an-all_time-high/2000007854/

        • by mythosaz (572040)

          That's the average age of a car on the road. Your statement would only be true if nobody ever bought a used car.

          Since people buy used cars, your assumption that MOST people own cars longer than 10 years is complete and utter bullshit.

          More FUD.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by suutar (1860506)

          Close, but not quite. Most people own a car _older_ than 10 years. Not all of them bought it new. There is some truth to both the stereotype of the guy who has to have the new hotness every couple of years and the guy who would never think of buying anything less than two years old to weed out lemons and avoid the early value cliff.

    • by adric22 (413850)

      While it is true, if you keep the car long enough you'll eventually need a new battery. The battery warranty is for 8 years, or 10 years in some states. Nissan hasn't released a price for a replacement pack. Most experts believe the battery costs around $5,000 currently. But it will probably be half that price by the time you need to replace it. On the flip side, the electric car requires almost no regular maintenance like your CR-V does. And when you do replace the battery, the car should be good to go

      • 5K for a 24kWh battery that lasts 8 years - under any circumstances - that is unlikely.
        At that price, I'm buying one for off-grid use.
        That is noticably cheaper than lead-acid cells.

    • by Bryan Ischo (893) *

      The Leaf is a better comparison to your CRV than the Tesla is; the Tesla is in a totally different segment of the market than the CRV.

      The CRV has tons more working parts than a Leaf does (gas engines have lots and lots of complex moving parts; the drivetrain of a Leaf is incredibly simple in comparison). I would expect that on average a CRV would require much more maintenance over its lifetime than a Leaf would.

      This would, to some degree, mitigate the battery replacement cost of the Leaf. Additionally, de

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      and my honda doesn't cost $600 a year in an annual checkup like Tesla charges

      You mean you don't go to the Honda Dealer every year? Are you nuts? (Apparently not.. )

      • by alen (225700)

        $30 for an oil change AT THE DEALER
        $100 or so once you get to like 50,000 miles for a check up and some more at 100,000 miles and more. say $400 to change the tires out at 75000 or 100,000 miles
        if you figure 12000 miles a year for "normal" driving and maybe 4000 for me, it's A LOT cheaper for me to own honda or any normal car than a tesla

        • by bobbied (2522392)

          Yea, I know. I love my Honda too. I was not trying to attack you, but make a joke about the Tesla and the owners of same. Personally, I think they have more money than sense, but I guess there is value in the appearance of being green that a Tesla buys you.

    • by geekmux (1040042)

      how much is it to replace it?

      i can drive my honda CRV until it falls apart with some basic maintenance that doesn't involve spending thousands of $$$ on a new battery

      and my honda doesn't cost $600 a year in an annual checkup like Tesla charges

      When complaining about annual costs, please remember the original price you paid has a hell of a lot to do with ongoing maintenance.

      Tesla charges $600 a year because they know their owners can afford it, not because it (or any other service) is "worth" that price tag.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      It should, you are just not maintaining it 4 oil changes at $50 each = $200 Each year you should do one other service item, This year I had brake fluid flushed at $325 (I'm up to $525) next year is a transmission fluid and filter at $600. Last year I had the AC serviced to the tune of $400 and saved me from having an expensive Compressor failure later on. 2 years from now is time for a tuneup, etc....

      And that is my honda civic. Most cars have about $600 in basic maintenance costs. Some need it more

  • Because, honestly, the leaf is *not* a good looking car.

    m
    • It's an odd looking car because every design decision was made to decrease drag, which has a huge impact on range at highway speeds. The most notable feature on the front is the big bug eye headlight covers. They push air out of the way and create low pressure bubbles around the rear view mirrors- decreasing drag.

      • by x0 (32926)

        It's an odd looking car because every design decision was made to decrease drag, which has a huge impact on range at highway speeds. The most notable feature on the front is the big bug eye headlight covers. They push air out of the way and create low pressure bubbles around the rear view mirrors- decreasing drag.

        No doubt the design was done that way for a purpose. It's still a highly unattractive car. The tesla, on the other hand has a CD of .30 compared to the Leaf's .28.

        I'll give up the .02 for a better looking car.

        m

        • by PRMan (959735)
          The Mercedes CLA has a .23, and it's beautiful. You don't have to make an ugly car to get a low coefficient. They just did.
      • by mythosaz (572040)

        *noise* and drag.

  • Mass transit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Katatsumuri (1137173) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:25AM (#46815915)

    I hope that eventually logic will prevail and properly organized mass transit (including maybe self-driving taxi cabs) will replace most of the private cars. Then we will not have to argue about the little details like individual vehicle range, styling or retail price.

    • by alen (225700)

      i'm all for mass transit and use it almost every day, but i'm in NYC
      a lot of cities in the US aren't dense enough to support the costs of the system

      • I think we have several technologies (some ready, some getting there) which could gradually make this realistic in more areas:
        - passenger apps for route planning and cab calling
        - smart traffic scheduling/dispatching systems
        - self-driving cars

    • Re:Mass transit (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bobbied (2522392) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:49AM (#46816133)

      In the USA? Shesh, you do realize how that's not going to happen right?

      Where I'm all for mass transit (mostly in the form of buses) in urban areas, it is totally out of step with your average citizen's attitudes about how and when they go places. Folks in the USA want to go, when they want to go. They will gladly take the bus, if it's going where they want, when they want and they are assured they can get back when they want, but if any of these requirements are not met, they will take a car.

      Problem for mass transit is two fold. First, by financial necessity, it only runs during and close to peak usage times. Weekdays are great, but middle of the night on the weekends it doesn't make sense because there are not enough riders. If they do run off-peak times, it is usually at a reduced schedule and convenience. Secondly, some kind of transport is necessary in the USA because walking is not possible due to the large distances involved, even in our urban areas. Citizens will feel it necessary to maintain cars in all but the largest urban areas and once they HAVE a car, they will use it because it is simply faster and more convenient than mass transit can ever be.

      So, until we can do away with suburbia, the automobile is here to stay, at least in the USA.

      • Maybe if you add modern computer-assisted routing both for cars (intellectual central dispatch) and for passengers (smart phone apps), and add self-driving small cars to the mix, it can become more realistic. And we don't have to replace all cars overnight. This can happen gradually, extending the network reach and usefulness area by area.
        • by bobbied (2522392)

          Maybe if you add modern computer-assisted routing both for cars (intellectual central dispatch) and for passengers (smart phone apps), and add self-driving small cars to the mix, it can become more realistic. And we don't have to replace all cars overnight. This can happen gradually, extending the network reach and usefulness area by area.

          Problem then becomes distance... Where I live, well in the suburbs, it's going to be a LOOOONG time before a buss (or anything else) will be available within walking distance. There are just not enough riders to make it worth running even a cheap buss to within a few miles of my home. Even though there is a light rail station about 5 miles away. It simply doesn't make sense for public infrastructure to be built for such places. Distances are too great and ridership would be too low. Plus, there are peop

      • by amiga3D (567632)

        I loved mass transit when I was stationed in Germany. You could set your watch by the busses and they ran regularly. Waiting times were minimal. None of that applies anywhere I've been in the US but maybe the real big Metro areas might be better than what I've seen. Then there are crime issues that didn't seem to exist in Germany.

  • Class difference (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:26AM (#46815921)

    As usual with a Slashdot article title ending with a question mark, the answer is no?

    These are not the same class of vehicle. Around these parts there are quite a number of Tesla Model S's - in fact I would have gotten one myself if it had been possible to get it delivered before January 1 (long story, tax breaks) - and all the owners I know of are small to medium business owners with money to spare. Had they not gone for the Model S, they would have gotten one of the bigger models Audi, BMW, or Mercedes - electric or not. I can't see a single one of these folks getting a Leaf instead, not even at half the price.

    Then again, maybe the target demographic for the Model S is different on your side of the pond ...

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:35AM (#46816011)
    The summary answers itself:

    I just wish Nissan would ditch the weird styling while they're at it.

    This is why Tesla is getting so much public attention: the cars they make look like cars people actually want to drive. Stop making every electric car look like a midget minivan (a miniminivan?) and more people would actually buy them.

    • The summary answers itself:

      I just wish Nissan would ditch the weird styling while they're at it.

      This is why Tesla is getting so much public attention: the cars they make look like cars people actually want to drive. Stop making every electric car look like a midget minivan (a miniminivan?) and more people would actually buy them.

      Right. For most people, the way a car looks is a high priority. The question electric car manufacturers should always ask themselves is: "How well would this car sell if it had a gas engine in it?"

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It's because the car is mainly for the Japanese market, where they actually rather like it looking different. I'm somewhat surprised they even sold it in the west. Thing is Japanese manufacturers seem to get away with it to some degree - just look at the Prius. I expect the next Leaf model will look more "normal" though.

    • by ndavis (1499237)

      The summary answers itself:

      I just wish Nissan would ditch the weird styling while they're at it.

      This is why Tesla is getting so much public attention: the cars they make look like cars people actually want to drive. Stop making every electric car look like a midget minivan (a miniminivan?) and more people would actually buy them.

      This is part of the reason why I ended up with a Ford Focus Electric. My wife liked the fact it looked similar to the regular car rather then some unique shape that made people look at it.

  • It's a great car (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:42AM (#46816073) Homepage

    I have leased a Leaf for the past year and I love it. It's not just a great electric car, it's a great car. The single speed transmission (not CV) is fantastic. You don't realize how obnoxious gear changes and engine noise are until you drive without them. It's like floating on a cloud.

    My lease is $300/month, but I'm saving almost $100/month on gas. The electricity costs me about $30 per 1000 miles. Never having to stop at a gas station or get an oil change is nice.

    They're not for everyone. If you have a house with garage that you can install a 220V outlet in, it's far more convenient. Having a second vehicle in the house for long trips is nice too. But I've probably traded cars with my wife out of necessity 2 or 3 times in a year.

    It is an odd looking car, but every design decision was made to decrease drag, which is very important for range at highway speeds. I'm ok with function over form and I don't care what strangers think. The front and back seats are comfortable for normal sized adults, and there is plenty of cargo space in the back.

    If you're in the market for a car that's going to spend a majority of its time going to and from work and short trips around town, you should really give the Leaf a test drive.

  • The biggest improvement that Nissan could make to the Leaf, at least in Austin, Texas, is to actually have a couple units on the dealer's lots.

    Last time I visited a Nissan dealer, they just had Leaf brochures.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:52AM (#46816153) Journal
    Look - you wanna sell a jillion Nissan Leafs? Make the look like THIS [conceptcarz.com], and I would buy one in a fuckin' heartbeat. Electric cars don't have to look like lumpy golf carts.
  • Considering the price premium on electrics, and that this is a daily commute car not a long holiday trip car, it's probably far more economical to get a small, gas powered car.
    As your second car.
    I live in a country smaller than a lot of US states, and it's still too big to use something with 150 miles of range on holidays. So you can't even consider it as the first car. Or what am I supposed to do, stop in halfway and recharge for 8 hours?

    • by i.r.id10t (595143)

      Yup, just did this - replaced my '99 Altima (had 215k on the engine, still a good car but I have young kids and didn't want to risk being stuck with them) and got a 2013 Nissan Versa, just under $14k after all taxes, tag, etc.

      Full tank of gas cost me $35 last night (and gas was $3.82 where I stopped), I can go almost 400 miles on that.

  • It looks pretty cramped, but looks can be deceiving. I friend of mine got a Hyundai Veloster. It's a tiny little car, but once inside it's a remarkable vehicle. My friend is also nearly seven-feet tall. The car handles very nicely, and handling is important. It uses gas, but easily gets fifty-miles to the gallon. That's almost as good as electric for me. Not to mention it handles itself very well in the snow which is important where I live. With options he paid ~$30,000. It worked out so well his wife got o
  • The Tesla is not mind-numbingly depressing to drive, while the leaf is. The Tesla does not inspire people to laugh at you when you drive by, while the leaf does. Expanding the driving range for the leaf is a great start, now make a car that is enjoyable to drive and doesn't look like a child's toy.
    • by mythosaz (572040)

      Have you actually driven a Leaf? Have you driven a Tesla?

      Unless you're only looking for a muscle-car or high-speed freeway monster, it's actually a lot of fun to drive. It's quick, it handles well, it's quiet, it moves through traffic just fine.

  • $30,000 for a car that is equivalent to a $10,000 car that can be fuelled in minutes and has essentially unlimited range. If I get my imperial units right, you can by some 5000 gallons of fuel for this price ($4 per gallon seems to be the high end in the US) and drive about 200.000 miles @ 40mpg. And of course electricity isn't free either. The 50,000 kWh you need to drive this distance will cost you at least $5000 plus the price of at least one new set of batteries which are probably in the $10,000 range.

    Y

  • by neminem (561346)

    Nissan Leaf MSRP: about $29k, according to Google. The car I drive, which I bought new a few years ago but google indicates a new 2014 is still about the same price: about $18k. *There's* your big reason: ignoring range, even at half the price of the Tesla, electrics cars are still crazy expensive.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:13PM (#46816373) Journal
    Will they pack the extra battery in its own tiny frame, that attaches to the front (or the back) of the car? I could easily imagine a two anchor point connection to the car with one central rubber wheel on the other side. The pack should be around 24 inches long, full car wide, and may be 30 inches tall. It should hug the car very close, and probably have about 12 inches of ground clearance. The central wheel should be pivoted. The anchor to the car also would have horizontal pins to allow freedom to swing up/down to take the bumps in the road. The push-packs (or the pull-packs) fully charged should be available at battery rentals. Rent one when you want to go far. Or buy one and leave it in the garage when you don't need it. Why haul the heavy extra battery on days when you don't need them?

    In an ideal world the anchor points and the battery interface would be standardized and third party companies will come up with the push/pull pack battery rentals. But I expect every manufacturer to come up with proprietary non-interchangeable walled gardens of batteries, connections etc.

  • I work in Sustainable Transportation (more on modes, less on fuel types) and every time I talk to an EV owner, they all admit to having a fully separate gasoline-powered vehicle for long distance trips OR they integrate some form of car rental. Why? Because charging takes too long and they can't drive from Orange County to San Francisco in any EV on the market.

    When EVs hit zero charge, they're done for 4 hours. That's not acceptable for most travelers.

    "But Level III chargers are coming!" -- No they're not.

  • If everybody's needs were identical, we would not have the variety of vehicles that we have. I live in Boston but as an IT consultant have to lug stuff around often to my clients and also ferry my teenage son to places not easily served by public transport. I drive under 30 miles in a normal day and need something small that I can easily park on the street, so I leased a Smart electric. Real world range is 40 miles winter, 60 miles rest of the year, I charge it every night and I can park it anywhere, hel

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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