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222 posts

Master Geek

#175003 13-Jun-2015 12:43

I'm starting to get seriously interested in electric vehicles (EVs).  I want one but, given their price, I'm not going to be an early adopter for this tech.  It's not like upgrading to a 4k curved TV.  When will EVs become more mainstream? As I posted in another forum quite unrelated to GZ, I think we'll see significant EV action by 2020:

1. oil prices will have recovered pushing up fuel prices;
2. there'll be a steady stream of quality used EVs from Japan;
3. modestly priced new EVs (like the Nissan Leaf) will comfortably have a range of over 400km (perhaps as early as 2017). By 2020, the range of EVs may be over 500km. Range anxiety will be a thing of the past. See:
4. Tesla may have entered the NZ market with affordable, beautiful, vehicles
5. iCar (big guess here) will be available

Am I dreaming?

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1280 posts

Uber Geek

  #1324018 13-Jun-2015 13:15
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without meaningful state help an ev fleet is a pipedream.

frankly for anyone who even enjoys driving in the slightest, anything less than a tesla is a waste of time.

eg. i've just driven the new audi a1 etron and frankly i'd rather drive a base vw golf !

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Uber Geek

  #1324025 13-Jun-2015 13:21
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NZ is ideally suited for EVs.
Apparently because:


  • High %age of off-street parking (near power points)
  • 230v power system
  • renewable/clean offpeak power
  • we take generally short trips by international standards

The government has strenuously avoided thinking about them until very recently.
I see that Simon Bridges (minister of transport) has said that he really wants to see EVs on the roads here and has even said quite confidently that he will be buying one 'soon'.
I was quite surprised in the last week or so where he is away overseas and part of his trip was supposed to be to EV makers trying to persuade them to sell into NZ as a test bed.
He did say that unlike overseas there wont be any financial sweeteners for potential purchasers though (unlike some countries that give tax credits etc).

Petrol will run out one day and/or the supply chain will be squeezed there will be supply issues or massive price hikes. We could insulate ourselves quite well going EV.

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler


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Uber Geek

  #1324026 13-Jun-2015 13:22
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The Audi is a hybrid, not fully electric. 


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Ultimate Geek

  #1324032 13-Jun-2015 13:40
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I think the Leaf has made EVs practical and available but will they be mainstream in NZ short term? No.

I was impressed driving a Leaf in Wellington about the comfort and performance up the hills. The range is fine if you have access to another car for long trips. The cost of recharge, especially if you have low night rate power, is much less than petrol for equivalent distance (e.g. maybe $3 for 130km). The lack of RUC is a big saving.

If you have a daily commute that fits the range (which would be most people) then the total cost of ownership over say 150,000 km for the EV may come out on top if comparing to the cheaper equivalent petrol version using that good pricing for the Leaf. Ideally fill the car up with others in a car pool and the planet will love you.

Without other incentives beyond no RUC I think EVs will be slow to adopt here for the next few years but that doesn't mean they aren't a viable option now. Charging at home is a bonus. It gets down to how much you are prepared to spend to get that "EV smile". I know some who have and are happy.

There will be many who will have lots of reasons why EVs are a bad idea. What about battery life? Jury is stilll out but in the US I believe the price of a replacement pack for the Leaf has been set at not much over US$5k and that will drop with time. The power train is much simpler than petrol in terms of moving parts.

Other thoughts ?

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  #1324037 13-Jun-2015 13:44
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Don't know what people see in EV's, it will be a sad sad day if they take over.

Give me the roar of a V8 or the smell of diesel any day.

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222 posts

Master Geek

  #1324038 13-Jun-2015 13:46

Interesting.  I see the Leaf has dropped in price.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the new model offers when it is released late next year/early 2017. 

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Uber Geek

  #1324048 13-Jun-2015 14:01
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Tesla model 3 is coming in 2017.
Indicated price of US$35,000 probably means >NZ$70,000 or so - however if that's indeed targeted at 3 series BMW market (Audi S4, Lexus iS250/350 etc) then that would be priced pretty well.  Range is supposed to be 250 miles / 400km or so.

Often stated as a negative is the cost of batteries, however if you factor in what they're having to do with ICE cars to get them to meet (particularly euro) emission and fuel economy standards, we're ending up cars which are doomed to be extremely expensive to maintain - where Tesla are trying to achieve the opposite.  Then there's the fact of cycle-beating to meet poorly designed euro standards (when test procedure is known / fixed, you can design a car to pass the test - but in real-world use, much less is achieved).  Some new technologies have unforeseen negative impact, such as the discovery that lean burn / high compression ratio / direct fuel injected petrol engines produce higher levels of nanoparticles than diesel engines.  



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Ultimate Geek

  #1324054 13-Jun-2015 14:17
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Lias: Don't know what people see in EV's, it will be a sad sad day if they take over.

Give me the roar of a V8 or the smell of diesel any day.

The amazing thing about EVs is you can have both performance and efficiency at the same time.  A powerful electric motor can still be efficient at low outputs unlike the big V8.  Of course if you are tuned to that specific sound it remains a personal preference but electric has it's own charm.

One example I love is this old 1972 Datsun 1200 that has been his daily driver.  There is probably no other car that will accelerate 0-60 mph in 1.8 seconds and still be usable around town.  There are multiple tales on his website - one example The Tale of the Skyline GTR and another at Wayland’s 2010 Comparo – Exotic Cars vs the Zombie!.  There are some amazing videos of the Zombie starting to wheel stand part way down the track.

Look at Pikes Peak hill climb.  The electric times have dropped rapidly where in only a year the new time matched petrol from year before (but Sebastien Loeb was an amazing exception showing what a good driver in a petrol car can do - very scary).

The TT Zero motorcycle lap speeds have been rising at fast rates per year.  Still slower than petrol and can't do the extra laps but very impressive.

I had the honour to speak with Bill Dube (electric Killacycle) and Athol Williams (top fuel drag bike) both at Te Papa with their bikes a few years ago.  Both bikes were similar acceleration 0-60 mph (about 0.8 sec) but Athol kept wheel spinning up to higher speeds and better 1/4 mile time.  However, cost of run for the Killacycle about $0.10 while for Athol about $300 and he is sitting on a very explosive machine.      

Electric is here to stay and for performance, especially raw power, I think a much better option than internal combustion.  Sorry abut the lack of noise or smell as they leave you in the dust ;-)

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  #1324080 13-Jun-2015 15:11
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I'd love to get a EV for work commute but they cost way more than a ICE car.  Once they become popular here just watch the road tax go on them like diesels ..



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Uber Geek

  #1324089 13-Jun-2015 15:31
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lxsw20: The Audi is a hybrid, not fully electric. 


A3 is hybrid

A1 only used petrol motor to charge the battery.

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Uber Geek

  #1324090 13-Jun-2015 15:39
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You're right, I was looking at the wrong thing. Small petrol motor as a battery charger is not a silly idea. 

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Uber Geek

  #1324098 13-Jun-2015 16:03
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lxsw20: You're right, I was looking at the wrong thing. Small petrol motor as a battery charger is not a silly idea. 

That is the idea with the BMW i3 if I recall correctly.
Runs on battery until electricity runs low - only then does the motor pack kick in.
I think it is sold in some countries with the motor pack as an option but I saw that if sold here it would be included.
I gather the motor pack is quite small and modular 650cc or so.
I am sure I saw somewhere that building what is effectively a very small petrol generator would be an ideal use for a rotary engine.
The rotary engine is by nature extremely small and powerful. It is quite efficient when running at steady revs - but in regular car use uses a heavy amount of fuel.
It was theorised that you could nearly get the motor/generator down to briefcase size.
You would think Mazda would be looking at this

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  #1324104 13-Jun-2015 16:20
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I would buy an EV or a Hydrogen Vehicle in an instant if the infrastructure was in place.

Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.


Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home.

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Uber Geek

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  #1324112 13-Jun-2015 16:46
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I am all for EVs. My concern is the infrastructure to back them up. Yes NZ has mostly renewable electrical resources but they are supplemented by coal fired power stations. And the situations where EVs excel are for short journeys in dense traffic environments where in stop start flows they aren't burning energy while standing still. The prime example would be our largest city which only just copes with the current energy demands. Imagine adding even several thousand EVs overnight charging requirements to that load. All of a sudden low priced off peak power wouldn't be so cheap anymore. Cue stories of people not being able to heat their homes because of the cost of power.

Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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  #1324116 13-Jun-2015 16:52
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I like the idea of outlander PHEV. Looking to grab the 2nd Gen when it's out.

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