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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, getting a little tired of the tree hugging comments I've received since getting a Smart ED and I'm quick to correct people.

For the record, I am not a fan of electric if it continues to require subsidies. The technology needs to be profitable.

Before the industrial revolution, we were in the middle ages. Oil and the internal combustion engine are fantastic inventions.

Electric cars are not new. Cell phones were invented in the 1920's. The issue in history has been economy of scale. If it's not profitable, it's not sustainable, it's not going to happen.

My source at Exxon tells me they see their oil reserves lasting 200 more years with existing technology. That's taking into account world population growths. Even after that, the refineries can be converted to refine the methane that is left over in the empty oil wells. And that assumes there won't be even more advances in drilling technology, which there continues to be. The cost of electric needs to beat the cost of fuel today, which is extremely economical. Gas is a good thing.

So while I gladly took my CA rebate for a zero emission car, I am mindful that it's profitability is in question.

It's going to take time and there's a market for people who want to play in this space, but it's not for everyone.

There, I said it.

It's not that I don't care about a sustainable environment. I do. It's the sales pitch coming from the far left that I do not want to be associated with just because I drive a Smart ED. I drive it for the geek factor, parking, and HOV sticker. The latter two being forced subsidies in a sense.
 

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Let's not turn this into a political discussion or this will be one short thread...:wink:

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It's very true. Oil and the ICE is a great invention and it will be very hard to beat with other kind of energy.

A barrel of oil is equivalent to 23,000 human labor hours, about $164,000 at the time of this calculation.
It's very hard to believe but crunching the numbers it makes a lot of sense.
A Barrel of Crude Oil is Worth $164,000 ? The Human Labor Equivalent of a Barrel of Oil | FatCatWatch

Electric, Hydrogen, NCG cars, etc. will be meticulously compared to the benefits of the ICE car.

The ICE car was successfully because at the time there was no competitor other than a horse and a carriage:D
The one that gives the best benefits over the ICE car to society will triumph. Those are amount the following:

1-) Al least 500 miles per charge
2-) Fast charging
3-) Better aerodynamics
4-) Bigger cars at reasonable prices
5-) Reasonable marketable batteries, (easy to exchange, replace, etc)
7-) Many options available to the consumer.
:cool: More public chargers available at free cost or almost free.
9-) Electric Trucks and Vans for businesses but less comparative ICE cost and more benefits.:)
 

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in other words, you don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like you as a member.

(do we even have a sub-forum for personal confessions?)
 

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I really don't see why most ED owners insist on "free or low cost public charging". They should expect to pay as I (the owner of four ICE's) do at my kind of public chargers (gas pumps). I am all for the Ed's and hope to some day own a smart Ed, but I also don't expect the government to pay for my gigawatts......
 

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"public chargers available at free cost or almost free."

don't think that means government paid for; Tesla pays for theirs, some companies hosting the chargers pay for them (as an incentive to customers). employers may pay for theirs (as an incentive to employees).

all kinds of warm fuzzy double barrel trickle-down free market schemes...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did not mean to make this a political discussion, my apologies for framing the topic that way.

If you leased or bought a Smart ED, you are getting Federal and possibly state subsidies of $7500 - $10,000. And as NC has already addressed, since we're not paying for gas which includes additional state revenue in the form of taxes, that's another form of subsidy until states like NC throw a road use tax on us. Use of the HOV lane is another subsidy.

As ambassadors of electric vehicles, I feel we should be gracious and talk about the path to getting off of subsidies. Saving the environment is not a strong argument because it's been difficult for people to agree on the dollar impact. Asking ICE owners to pay for our choice is not an answer.

Electrical has a lot of advantages from an engineering point of view and the manufacturers need practice. We'll get there, the subsidies have a short term job to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
and to my original point, when someone looks at me and makes a comment about how I'm saving the environment, my response is something like this

"actually that's not my purpose, I'm a beta tester for the next big thing."
 

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"If you leased or bought a Smart ED, you are getting Federal and possibly state subsidies of $7500 - $10,000."

except that you're not (necessarily) getting Federal and possibly state subsidies of $7500 - $10,000.

if you purchase but you don't make enough money, you don't get the rebate (I wouldn't); if you don't live in a rebate state you don't get a state rebate.

if you lease, the manufacturer gets the rebate, which makes it like any other corporate welfare.

[iThink]
 

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Sustainable = Profitable?

I always thought that efficiency, sustainability and preservation were enemies of our economic system, because it limits economic growth.
 

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I always thought that efficiency, sustainability and preservation were enemies of our economic system, because it limits economic growth.
No, I don't think so -- that's a little too narrow. Any efficiency, like decreasing fuel consumption, makes traveling more cost-effective, shipping goods more cost effective, and frees up capital to stimulate the economy. Recycling, can lower production costs because you aren't going from the mine all of the way to a product, which again frees up capital for growth. There may be some sustainable items that might cost more, like having to grow your bio-fuel, but as noted those are a ways off (and doing that also drives up the cost of food which impacts those on the lower end of the economic ladder, unfortunately).

I think the price of the EVs for sure doesn't include as much economy of scale, so that puts pressure on the price, but there are also a lot of things that people want to gloss over as the energy and impact that goes into creating the batteries (as well as disposal) -- where and how the electricity is created for instance. A battery is just an energy storage device, and currently not a very good one. A tank of gas is also an energy storage device, and it's much better [especially on a cost basis] than an EV, or even a hydrogen vehicle. Some have suggested, and it's very likely so, that an EVs cost is also reflective of the environmental impact, and that may be true to a certain extent.

However, even if you gain economy of scale, the EVs are simply not currently cost competitive with ICEs (unless you have a really unique and special situation), and they are not as functional either with regard to range, time to change etc.

The other thing that no one brings up is that if you apply all of the wiz-bang aerodynamics, materials, processes, and tech to and ICE, you could easily get 80-100 mpg, which makes the ICE more attractive than it currently is.

I really wish Mercedes would have done something with their bionic car concept [patterened after the puffer fish]. I was hoping that would have been the new A class instead of the BMW wannabe that they just delivered.

Anyway, if you start comparing a very efficient ICE with an EV I think the overall environmental impact of the ICE could be on par. And, if it can be on par, and it's superior in so many other categories, it makes it hard for the EV to break in. When they are ready, and cost and function competitive, then people will make a natural transition to them. I agree with isai95 -- they really need to be equivalent in function.

For me it's more about (or should be) efficiency, rather than the power source, that way either way you go you get a better deal.
 

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I really don't see why most ED owners insist on "free or low cost public charging".
What makes you think most of us expect free charging? Did you take a survey?

I certainly don't. I know paying retail electric rates is till much cheaper than gas! We don't need free charges to make the car save money over the gas guzzlers.
 

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The subsidies for electric are far lower than the subsidies the average consumer receives via gasoline's artificially low price.

When you're paying $8-10 dollars per gallon of gas like the rest of the western world, that would be an unsubsidized ICE environment.

The average consumer won't come close to that $7500 full rebate on an EV, and unlike gas subsidies, the EV subsidy runs out when the EV model becomes prolific enough. Imagine if your gas price would triple when your car model hits 100k sales a year, and you'd get the point.
 

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The subsidies for electric are far lower than the subsidies the average consumer receives via gasoline's artificially low price.

When you're paying $8-10 dollars per gallon of gas like the rest of the western world, that would be an unsubsidized ICE environment.

The average consumer won't come close to that $7500 full rebate on an EV, and unlike gas subsidies, the EV subsidy runs out when the EV model becomes prolific enough. Imagine if your gas price would triple when your car model hits 100k sales a year, and you'd get the point.
the only reason that gas costs that much of Europe is really high gas taxes. It could be argued that in the US those subsidies come in the form of tax breaks for corporations, but gas is not directly subsidized like it is in South America, for instance. You could also VERY easily say that electrical generation is also subsidized, due to government-built hydroelectric dams as well. It's a bit of a rats-nest to be sure!

Having said that, once an ICE-POWERED vehicle starts getting more than 50-60 mpg, then the price of gas has less impact. It seems as though everyone wants to compared gas-guzzlers to EVs, but I think this may be the wrong forum for that comparison! People hear are driving little bitty smarts!
 

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I really don't see why most ED owners insist on "free or low cost public charging". They should expect to pay as I (the owner of four ICE's) do at my kind of public chargers (gas pumps). I am all for the Ed's and hope to some day own a smart Ed, but I also don't expect the government to pay for my gigawatts......
You are very wrong with your comparison!
Filling a tank of gas is not the same as charging fully a battery and most of the time in my case the battery is about 65% full so it requires 35% charge only to have it fully charged.

Really is not a big cost vs. filling up an ICE car tank. I can go to any friend's house and charge my car for free and they will never mind, but if I ask them to give me $40.00 to put gas in my ICE car, that's a totally different and embarrassing situation.

In a restaurant for instance, someone can ask for a glass of water for free and by law we can not deny him the glass of water for free but asking for a $30.00 meal for free that is totally different.:D
Now about not expecting to pay for electricity, why do you want to pay when there are lots of cities, public places and companies than encourage electric car owners to recharge for free? There are solar stations that pump huge amounts of electricity to spare.

And NO putting gas in your polluting car is not the same cost as recharging an EV.
 

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the only reason that gas costs that much of Europe is really high gas taxes. It could be argued that in the US those subsidies come in the form of tax breaks for corporations, but gas is not directly subsidized like it is in South America, for instance. You could also VERY easily say that electrical generation is also subsidized, due to government-built hydroelectric dams as well. It's a bit of a rats-nest to be sure!

Having said that, once an ICE-POWERED vehicle starts getting more than 50-60 mpg, then the price of gas has less impact. It seems as though everyone wants to compared gas-guzzlers to EVs, but I think this may be the wrong forum for that comparison! People hear are driving little bitty smarts!
Gas needs high taxes / costs though because of its overall detrimental effects.

I.e., according to some studies I've seen, when you include the public health costs of gasoline (air pollution, gathering oil, etc.) the actual costs balloons up to 14-16+ a gallon.

Sure, you could apply that same principle to electricity, but given that gas needs more electricity to harvest/transport/refine than just going straight to an electric powertrain, the savings are still substantial!

It's like smoking. The cost of a cigarette is not just the $5 for a pack or whatever it is now, it's that plus the cost of healthcare from secondhand smoke and firsthand smoke averaged over the number of cigarettes smoked out there.
 

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Gas needs high taxes / costs though because of its overall detrimental effects.

I.e., according to some studies I've seen, when you include the public health costs of gasoline (air pollution, gathering oil, etc.) the actual costs balloons up to 14-16+ a gallon.

Sure, you could apply that same principle to electricity, but given that gas needs more electricity to harvest/transport/refine than just going straight to an electric power-train, the savings are still substantial!

It's like smoking. The cost of a cigarette is not just the $5 for a pack or whatever it is now, it's that plus the cost of healthcare from secondhand smoke and firsthand smoke averaged over the number of cigarettes smoked out there.
I'm sure there is some of that, although I seriously doubt it is anywhere near that high. It all depends on who you read and what there agenda is. Proponents of a particular energy source or transportation mode will play up the virtues of theirs while denigrating the alternatives; this can be either conscious or unconscious; intentional or unintentional. It doesn't matter whether the electricity comes from bald-eagle killing machines, or radioactive machines, or gas-burning machines, or coal munching machines, or sun-catching and bird-crisping machines. Unless you are living bucknekked in a hole you dug with your bear hands and eating nothing but berries and wild tubers you are having a significant environmental impact. It may be that we will eventually figure out how to build an EV with a small environmental impact and then there will be no comparison, but frankly we aren't there yet.

However, when there are efficiency gains we all benefit regardless of the source of the energy consumed. More than a technical problem is getting people used a visual paradigm shift. In other words the car that is REALLY required to achieve nearly optimum efficiency would probably 'look' too goofy for most people to embrace (and it might disappoint them a bit functionally as well). Take my wife, for instance: I showed her the picture of the Mercedes Benz bionic car based on the puffer fish and she thought it was horrible! Now, I think it's completely cool, but then I'm an engineer so I see beauty in how something functions -- aside from it's aesthetics. So despite the gains in function, both structurally and aerodynamically, she was completely put off by it's looks.

So, baby steps -- we will get there.
 

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Unless you are living bucknekked in a hole you dug with your bear hands and eating nothing but berries and wild tubers you are having a significant environmental impact.
Actually, even if you do as Kenny says, you still have an impact by eating things that are part of the ecosystem! And if you shoot yourself after you realize this, your decaying body will still release CO2 into the atmosphere and contribute to Global Warming!
 
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