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Discussion Starter #1
Think about how inexpensive an electric automobile could be if battery technology gets cheap, as I expect it will in the next 5 years. Look at the photos I posted here

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f170/electric-motor-differential-photos-60194/

That is a pretty simple motor, no belts, one small hose, internal output shaft to the differential.

And think about the stuff your ICE cars have that EV's don't need
-internal, moving, lubricated parts (i.e pistons, valves, camshafts, crankshafts, etc)
-an oil sump and delivery system
-a fuel storage system, along with the Evaporative control system
-air intake system and plumbing
-emissions control system, along with catalytic converters
-exhaust system and mufflers
-transmission plus fluids, seals, etc
-huge radiator and cooling system that operates at extreme temps
-electronic spark control system
-belts, timing chains, hoses, etc.
-harmonic and vibration control system

So if we could just produce affordable batteries, pricing of EV's should be way ahead of the gas guzzler crowds.

Interestingly enough, I was talking to my kid who is in the engineering school at San Diego State. You can't even take a single class in battery technology or development. I bet that changes soon.
 

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Much more efficient to transport groups of people by electric buses or trolleys in city confines. As far as cars, cheaper batteries would be good but until range improves the electric drives are limited to commuter duty only. As much as I'd like one, I'm not willing to give up travel to far flung smart events simply to drive electric. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
True, but it is the ideal 2nd car in a 2-car family where one of the drivers commutes 60 miles or less round trip. There are a lot of families that fall into that category, I bet 50% or more.

In my case, wife has a fuel-efficient Hyundai Velostar (34mpg) that she commutes with. I have a paid-off 2002 Toyota Sequoia that I use for Home Depot runs and to tow my boat. I used to commute with it (16mpg freeway) but now I only put gas in it about once every 6 weeks, as I drive the Smart ED pretty much on a daily basis.

I'm saving $300/ month in gas, my car payment is $86 plus $41 for insurance for a total of $127. And I save wear and tear on the Toyota.

A bonus is the level of attention that the Smart gets, along with the fun factor.
 

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True, but it is the ideal 2nd car in a 2-car family where one of the drivers commutes 60 miles or less round trip. There are a lot of families that fall into that category, I bet 50% or more.
Agreed. We need one vehicle that will do 30 to 50 miles reliably and it would take care of 85 percent of our needs. We have three smart cars CDI's at present. Within three or four years we will only need two vehicles and then we will probably trade two for something like a LEAF. Something a couple years old still under warranty. We will be needing four seats in at least one vehicle next time around otherwise we would get a smart EV. If they can keep the cost of electrics down by limiting the range to 50 or 60 miles I think there will always be a commuter market for them that simply doesn't need a longer range.
 

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I think most manufacturers will probably follow Tesla in offering two levels of battery, long range and expensive, short range and inexpensive. Specially if an exotic high energy density battery technology makes it to market.
 

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For some reason though people do not get the concept of adding an ED to your current cars and still saving money (especially at $139/mo). Everyone seems to think that we sold all our gas cars and bought the ED. I think that may be why we get so much crap on the road. What they don't know is that we still have our Volvo for trips and our beasts/projects for fun. We drive the ED 95%+ of the time. Even with keeping all our other vehicles we are saving about $140/mo over driving the Volvo.

It is a NO BRAINER!

I cannot wait for technology to get better and prices to come down. Hopefully it will some before my lease is up on this one so I can get a similar deal.
 

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until range improves the electric drives are limited to commuter duty only.
Tell that to a Tesla Model S owner. They get the same range as a normal car on a full tank of gas. Yes, it takes more time to charge, etc. But range wise, it's far from commuter (and is in the price range of a high-end BMW or hybrid already).

I think most manufacturers will probably follow Tesla in offering two levels of battery, long range and expensive
They would do well to consider making the long range option as a quickly installable drop-in, even if it's a multi-hundred pound pack installed at a dealership. Being able to rent/lease a drop in pack to double or triple ones range for a occasional trip will be a huge selling point for those worried about it.
 

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Tell that to a Tesla Model S owner. They get the same range as a normal car on a full tank of gas. Yes, it takes more time to charge, etc. But range wise, it's far from commuter (and is in the price range of a high-end BMW or hybrid already).
Of course, if we limit the discussion to the Tesla. If we include all the other electric drives available in the US, it's commuter duty only (IMHO, of course.) :wink:
 

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For some reason though people do not get the concept of adding an ED to your current cars and still saving money (especially at $139/mo). Everyone seems to think that we sold all our gas cars and bought the ED. I think that may be why we get so much crap on the road. What they don't know is that we still have our Volvo for trips and our beasts/projects for fun. We drive the ED 95%+ of the time. Even with keeping all our other vehicles we are saving about $140/mo over driving the Volvo.

It is a NO BRAINER!

I cannot wait for technology to get better and prices to come down. Hopefully it will some before my lease is up on this one so I can get a similar deal.
I've tried to run the numbers for people. I've broken it down to a difference of $5k vs $11k, this is only accurate for California (since I don't know what the Rebates are for other states).

If you lease, the total price is $7450 over 36 months, but since you can get the Rebate that comes down to $4950 or roughly $5k.

If you buy, the total price is $28000, but with the $2k off for cash, $5k for BAP, and $10k from Fed / State it comes down to $11067 or roughly $11k.

I didn't include the BAP lease cost, which would increase the cost back up to $16k in the first 5 years and $21k in 10 years. But if you had to replace the battery or upgrade to a larger in that time, it could easily cost that much.
 
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