Low battery warning on Police car during chase

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f0xx
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Muto wrote:

That is why I outlined a specific scenario where an EV would be a good fit, because there are cases where they work. I don’t think everyone would need/want/could use one.

I think it is great to have the option for those that want one and/or could benefit from owning one. The one Tesla I took a ride in was FAST, and the self driving stuff was reportedly great in stop and go traffic. I wouldn’t have paid what this guy did, but he really likes it.

I don’t believe that current EVs offer what I need in a primary vehicle, but I think there is a future where that might change.

I would really be disappointed if they legislated Gasoline/Diesel powered vehicles away. Along with the entirely relevant and serious use cases, the grumble of a 5.0L Coyote or a 6.4L Hemi is like a symphony to my ears. I have an old Toyota MR2 in the garage slated for an engine swap (“one of these days”) and can’t imagine that the “whirr” of an electric motor would be as satisfying as a turbo charged V6 with some nice pipes.

EDIT:
Thought of another possible use case for EVs – city buses. they operate on a fixed schedule and travel fixed routes.

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We used to have electric city buses in America, they were called Trolley’s Smile

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Muto wrote:
We used to have electric city buses in America, they were called Trolley’s Smile

Proof of concept! With buses it would be easier to change/add routes, and the infrastructure might be cheaper.

I had a professor in one of my environmental science classes back in college who was from California. He didn’t drive an EV, and received a lot of flak from his colleagues because of it. He would always explain to them that the majority of the electricity in his area came from coal, and driving an EV wouldn’t be any better for the environment than a small gasoline powered car (what he drove) if you just counted emissions.. but if you count the landfill space and the mining of the lithium for the battery of the EV (they hadn’t developed great ways to recycle the lithium by then either) the small gas vehicle kept for 15 years or so would be far better.

He was one of the few I encountered in that field with any sense at all.

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Lightbringer wrote:

Infrastructure needs to be there first before widespread adoption could happen.

For gasoline cars the needed supply infrastructure is a place to buy gasoline. Right? The infrastructure of gasoline stations was NOT in place before gasoline cars started to be sold. The cars were built first. In the beginning people bought gasoline wherever they could. Some of the first dispensaries of gasoline were pharmacies. Apparently the first purpose-built gas station was constructed in St. Louis, Missouri in 1905 at 420 South Theresa Avenue.

So, not to draw to fine a comparisson between early gas cars and todays electrics, electrics will become more and more common. Certainly there are problems to be overcome. But just because PG&E has messed up by ignoring its responsbilities to maintain its infrastructure does not mean EV’s will not suceed. They are not for everybody right now but neither were the first gas cars popular with everyone.

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f0xx wrote:
Thought of another possible use case for EVs – city buses. they operate on a fixed schedule and travel fixed routes.

BYD makes a bunch of them for Europe and such.

Here in NYC we already have a few electric buses. I’ve seen (but haven’t been on yet) a couple of Proterra e-buses on some lines, and New Flyer’s Xcelsior XE40s (the XD40 is diesel; XE40 electric) floating around somewhere.

I’ve been on a few buses that are still diesel but have start-stop tek, which makes the bus eerily quiet when it’s waiting at a light, etc. Rather creepy, in fact. You can hear every scratch, belch, fart, and gurgle that’s no longer masked by engine noise. Sick

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MtnDon wrote:
For gasoline cars the needed supply infrastructure is a place to buy gasoline. Right?

If you wanted to travel long-range, sure. Back then, the average person never ventured farther than, what was it?, 30mi from where he was born? A horse could cover that area, and grass was everywhere.

If you wanted to take a car (with hand-cranked engine, no “climate-control” other than maybe a roof and doors, and other lack of amenities), you’d have similar “range anxiety” about going farther than you knew where you could get a container of gasoline.

But today, you run out, you can get a lift to a gas station and bring back a jerry-can of fuel to get going at least to the next station. It’d be nice if AA would have a power-bank to get enough of a jolt to get you to the next charging station, but…

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You can recharge a Tesla by towing it.

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In theory. But does the car allow that?

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My friend says Yes, it does. He tried it with his model 3.

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Cool. If I ever need a tow, I’m going to get the most out of it Big Smile

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Highways need to be built like slot car tracks.

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Lightbringer wrote:
It’d be nice if AA would have a power-bank to get enough of a jolt to get you to the next charging station, but…

I don’t think that is included in the 12 steps.
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Just 12V…

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Everyone, raise your hand if you have ever posted online that Tesla would fail before now.

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I still don’t know if Tesla will “make it” and I don’t think their vehicles are a good fit for most consumers. They are too expensive for “second” vehicles, though consumers are admittedly now buying 2nd cars that are more expensive than my home cost in the 1980’s Shocked . Again, I don’t consider myself a proponent of electric cars, but I also want to be as objective as possible within my inherently limited view of the Universe Wink .

Some points that seem relevant based on recent posts:

  • Li-ion electric car batteries DO NOT need replaced every 5 years and are statistically likely to last at least 10 years and probably longer. Electric cars tend to take very good care of their batteries and we have no evidence that the average Tesla will require pack replacement during the lifetime of the vehicle. Batteries on older Teslas have lasted extremely well and the company has improved their batteries rather dramatically since the original Roadster; there is good reason to estimate a long average lifespan. There_are_ exceptions to the average, of course, and a small portion of Teslas have required battery replacements within months of purchase, usually for manufacturing defects of one form or another, but these issues were covered under warranty just as an engine failure is by “powertrain” warranties on traditional cars.

  • Grid load due to electric vehicles is not a huge problem and necessary improvements to that grid could make it even less so. Cars could be charged at night or mid-morning when the grid is at minimum demand, which would actually help power plants moderate their delivery (electricity costs much more when demand is either higher or lower than average). No, this level of control is not yet universal, but can readily be built into parking lot and home chargers in a way similar to how our heat pumps and air-conditioners already have cut-offs attached so that the utility can manage them during peak periods.

  • Electric cars are indeed terrible for road trips. The idea that people will be sitting at charging stations at rest stops or “gas” stations for 30 minutes or even hours is obviously ridiculous. That’s one reason that hybrids are a better choice for our primary vehicles, regardless of size or class (in my opinion, every petroleum-powered automobile should be some sort of hybrid as the initial investment rapidly pays for itself).

    However, even this issue will eventually be resolved via quick-charging, with some technologies already claiming less than 4 minutes to charge to 80-85%. If such technologies become commercially viable, they would revolutionize the concept of electric transportation as “range anxiety” is today the deal-killer for most consumers, even though most of them will drive less than 40 miles in a day Sad . We want the option to drive 2,000 miles, if necessary, and thus, barring the aforementioned super-fast-charging, most families will own at least one gas or diesel vehicle for many years to come.

    Let’s say that 2-minute li-ion charging won’t be practical for decades, if ever, but let’s suppose that 10-minute charging to 80% or better does become practical within a decade. 10 minutes is slower than a gasoline fill-up, but it would probably be tolerable for many consumers if the car was otherwise “better” than a gasoline-powered equivalent. Considering the lower maintenance and operating costs, polls have suggested that many of the young people joining the consumer world over the next decade will happily choose electric and even self-driving vehicles if they are made available at reasonable prices. I would consider an electric vehicle, but not a self-driving one Wink .

  • Maintenance is already being dealt with at existing dealerships with brands that already sell electric vehicles. If people buy electric automobiles, then the maintenance for those automobiles will develop rapidly to follow suit; if you buy it, they will come. However, it is fair to say that we don’t yet have a competitive environment for maintenance services outside of dealerships. That would take time to develop, but it would also happen faster than people today would predict; people are generally quite bad at predicting the consequences of large-scale changes.

    Who in 2005 would have predicted that Uber-like services would extend and partly supplant Taxi services over the following decade? Back then, some of us dreamed of services like the “Smart Jitney” (see here or here [page 6]) and some were developing open-source software to manage ride-sharing via Internet-enabled cell phones, but the iPhone arrived and quickly evolved into an app platform, allowing Uber to come in and solve the problem with the capital investment that open-source just couldn’t compete with. I’m not praising Uber as it has certainly had problems of its own; I’m just stating what happened.

  • Total Cost of Ownership is generally lower for a Tesla Model 3 than for comparable cars, but bear in mind that even the Model 3 is a lower-end, luxury-class vehicle, more comparable to a similarly-priced BMW than to an Accord. It’s very difficult to beat the TCO for the Accord or Camry as they cost practically nothing to maintain. However, the cost of gas for an Accord or Camry will eventually make those cars more expensive than a Tesla; it just takes a decade or more, which is longer than most new cars buyers will own their car Sad .

    Now if we can teach Americans how to do enough math to make better ownership decisions, that would be something, but I’m not holding my breath; people buy new cars to feel better about themselves, not because those cars are wise financial investments.

    I still know people who claim that they should trade in their 3-5 year-old car “while it’s still worth something”, which is an incredibly irrational argument when their vehicle has only just begun the highest-value portion of its life cycle.

  • We can’t manufacture enough li-ion batteries to sell hundreds of millions of electric vehicles, regardless of consumer demand. We can scale up production if needed, but there are real issues around raw materials. Tesla has worked hard to reduce precious metal consumption in their own battery chemistry, but they are still limited in how many cells they can actually produce at their Panasonic “Giga-factory”.

  • Though the feature may be useful, it’s my opinion that Tesla’s AutoPilot is horribly misnamed and the company deserves the lawsuits that will continue to be filed over it. Musk is not technically wrong to compare it to the autopilot on airplanes, which alleviate pilot workload while still requiring pilot management and oversight, but he’s wrong to equate airplanes with automobiles. Drivers do not need hundreds of hours of training and do not need bi-annual or annual health and driving competency checks to keep their licenses, so it’s not realistic to compare consumer automobiles with passenger aircraft.

    Pilots are certainly not perfect and we routinely hear examples of bad pilots doing stupid things, but compared with drivers… well, I think we could agree that perhaps 80% of us are good enough drivers that we compensate for the 20% of us who are terrible ones; perhaps 2% of pilots are similarly terrible. Competent, responsible drivers tend to avoid the accidents that bad drivers attempt to cause; an unheralded form of herd immunity, in my opinion.

    Well, if you give consumers a feature that says “AutoPilot” right in the name and said feature offers to stay in a lane and safely follow surrounding traffic, many will assume that they can do something on their phone while their Tesla drives itself. I disagree with Tesla for promoting such a feature to drivers and am fairly convinced that either:

    a) the driver must drive the car, or

    b) the car must drive the driver

    Mixing these two things together inevitably leads to disaster, in my view. If the car cannot negotiate the world entirely on its own, then it should not offer to drive itself, period. That is just my personal opinion, of course.

RobAllen

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Lookup Trimble AutoPilot. Trimble is a larger company than Tesla, and have been calling their blind-line-driving systems Autopilot for over a decade.
“The Trimble® Autopilot™ automated steering system automatically steers your vehicle on line with maximum precision.”

They are for off road use only.

Not saying it’s right, just that it wasn’t Tesla’s idea to call steering technology “Autopilot”.

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The issue is that people have a completely wrong interpretation of what “autopilot” can do in an aircraft. So the name is techincally accurate but how the average person will understand it is completely different.

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