Sunday, January 20, 2013

Leaf SV

With the news of the changes and new pricing of the Nissan Leaf the good news at this time is that with the rebates that are still available you can own the top of the line Leaf if you live in California for a total of $24,800 bucks after rebates. Now that brings the car within range of everyone. An affordable OEM electric car. What? Yup. Really at this point there is no chance in hell that you can build one like this yourself. You can still have your own build of a specific vehicle but one that has all the features and even distance for $24,000! Hardly. I know of some lead acid builds, actually a bunch of them, that cost well over $20k to build from old used cars using the most common parts available and still could not break the 40 mile range at freeway speeds. Were heavy and cumbersome and had to have battery replacements every two or so years. Some have claimed longer life and excellent performance but I just don't see it. You see, I did build one of those and it was a great performer and did 80 mph when fully charged but only got 25 miles then it was just crawling along. No air, no heat, no nothin. Just a heavy cool VW Ghia. Over weight and unsafe. But hey, it was electric. Mine however only cost me $3200 bucks to build with sourced used and new parts including the cost of the roller. Today however it is getting harder but no matter what if you use lithium batteries you will spend a bundle with no guarantees or warranties.

The Leaf performs all those needs. Full electric, distance, performance, price and guarantees and warranties. All for $24800 after rebates and that is for the top of the line Leaf. The bottom of the line gets you into one for under $19K for a total of $18,800. What you say, a fully electric modern car for under $20k. Time to rethink your needs. You can drive the car for 150,000 miles for around $6k. Yes, only 6K for power to run your new car for the next 150,000 miles.

Pete :)

Oh! I forgot. A couple new colors too. But alas, no green.

Monday, January 14, 2013

More Leaf News

The upgrades of the Leaf are substantial. Enough for me to see if I can get a new upgraded one because the changes will allow me to drive further per charge than I currently get now and a better on board charger as well. I am still waiting for that Sage Green model to come out.

Pete :)

Value Proposition has gotten better. Not cheaper but a better vehicle. So the value is better.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Electric Boat

The guys from New Electric have a new video being presented on EVTV for this weeks video. They have upgraded the boat with newer and more batteries and now have one killer kickass electric boat. 

But, that pales to the teaser they now have out. Have a ganger at this Beauty. 


Well its been awhile since a last blog post. Been arguing about batteries on the DIY forum about a simple question that was presented. Debate; How good does a battery have to be for EV's to go mainstream?

My response was a simple answer to a very simple question. There is no trick to the answer nor is there anything else to read into the question. So at its face value the answer is as I put it. As good as they are right now. The batteries are more than good enough. If you want to add more and expound more on implications then present the questions straight forward so they can be answered in a straight forward answer.

Every if you have read the posting on the DIY then you know where I stand as well as a couple others. I did waste a bunch of time with them but felt that it needed to be pressed and pressed hard.

A car is a car. A battery is a battery or is it. It is pixie dust in a box. It makes electric cars viable and very good at getting you around and taking you to most of the places you need to go. It is amazing that a limited range vehicle can take you over 20,000 miles in 1 1/2 years. Not as limited as you think. I just don't happen to carry around a gas engine and fuel for the few times it is needed. I just go home and get in the gasser.

Cost to convert an ICE to electric and not be a piece of shit is nearly if not more than $30K and that is really with no warranty and most of the time with a used vehicle with no warranty. Not a very good value proposition either. But is it really that bad. No. The cost to buy a factory EV right now is around $38K with out any Government incentives but you get far more than you can doing it yourself. You also get a warranty and the ability to pay for it over time. Just like any other car on the road today. That is HUGE. I do like converting cars to electric. Its fun and I am doing so for under $15k including the batteries. I use older VW's as the base and good used DC motors and the Synkromotive controller. I have found a good bunch of used Lithium and more are coming on the market every month. So deals are out there if you hunt for them. But nothing will beat what the Factory can provide. However if you want that electric Porsche then you have no choice but you can do it for about what you could buy another for so cost is pretty much moot. It is expensive. Sometimes it can be done cheaply but not be a POS.

Now for the kicker. Can you afford an electric car today. Sure. Some are saying that the value proposition is not so hot. I say well not so fast. I have been down this road before and used my situation to show its not as bad as you might think. Remember that  you usually think of cost from what you see on the price sticker but almost never from an end of life situation. If you really think about it the cost of ownership of an average electric car vs a common gasoline vehicle the cost of ownership to end of life or what I give today of 150,000 miles is pretty much the same.

The average today of the national fleet (all the car of the US) is around 23 mpg. I used my Mid Sized SUV because it represents the average pretty closely and represents what many already own. My SUV got an average of 19 to 23 mpg so I used 20 mpg as my base. The vehicle cost me $28K without financing charges. Pretty normal and with the bells and whistles which is also the average normal. I used the average price per gallon of fuel which I figured was around $3 per gallon. So at that rate it would cost you for fuel only would be $22,500 bucks. Holy crap. Fuel alone, Really, Yup, Really. That brings the cost of ownership of the SUV to $50K just to drive it to 150,000 miles which would be pretty easy to do. Not including any other costs. Just price to buy and fuel it. Knowing that most Trucks and SUV's are really only use for mostly commuting to work and back you really could use something else. But is what many want. But they don't really think about that $26,000 dollar fuel bill Most just think the car is affordable so they buy it according to the price in their face. If you knew you'd need to spend another $22K just in fuel they may not sell so well.

Now lets take my Leaf. $38K up front cost. Ouch right? Well not so fast. Lets take that same distance to drive the car. 150,000 miles. So I will say that my car gets really about 70 miles per charge average. A fair assessment and pretty much dead on after driving it for over 20,000 miles so far. So my electric costs are $.11 per kWh here in California. Cheaper in other places but I must use my costs here. So my car has a 24kWh pack. So I will say because of charging losses 26kWh per charge to go 70 miles. That is $3.08 to drive 70 miles. So to go 150,000 miles will cost me $6,599 bucks for a total of $44,599 bucks. A savings of over $5k to own the electric car over the SUV.

The value proposition is better and is right in line with buying most any vehicle you'd want. Sure you could go get a cheap car and do a bit better but not by a whole lot and with that it really only comes down to what you want. I know of folks who make less than me who spend more driving their vehicle.

Then there is the argument of replacing the battery pack. Well I can pretty much rest well knowing that my battery should last at least 2143 charge cycles and still be a usable battery pack. But many say that the cost of the pack is huge. Well I hate to bust your bubble but so is the cost of replacing the gas engine or diesel engine. More so with diesel. And with a Diesel Truck which someone may say is the better value your engine is twice or more expensive and the vehicle is way more as well. Even cars that use Diesel are expensive and in the range of the average electric car and you still have to feed it. Maybe not $22ks worth but still a hefty price tag.

Still think the the cost of ownership is better. Crunch the numbers and things become much clearer. Add in ancillary costs too and that price goes up. I am also not talking about buying an electric with government incentives either. I am using the straight up costs. With incentives it is better. Yes some gas vehicles have incentives too.

It would be nice to see electric cars with 300 mile ranges and $20k. But it is not likely ever to happen that way. You will however see longer distances, more power and nicer vehicles but the price will still remain about what it is today. Manufactures want to keep the status quo when it comes to money and profits.

So go build one or go buy one. Only four choices right now for factory ones and I am sure one will fit but if not then go build your own. Really.

Pete :)

I purchased one and building my third.

At my calculated distances and mileage I'd need to get 2143 charge cycles. I have no doubt the batteries will perform well.