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Who Killed the Electric Car?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by David L. Jones, May 16, 2008.

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  1. I just saw the movie Who Killed the Electric Car?:

    Everyone should watch this one.
    The IMDB user comment is spot on - " This film WILL frustrate you greatly"
    In fact, it's enough to make you want to cry.

    Can't believe I had never heard of the movie before the other day.

  2. What The

    What The Guest

    Yeh i saw this on foxtel only about 1 month ago. I was amazed at GM's blind
    approach to taking back the EV1 and crushing it despite having customers
    willing to pay for them with no wish for support ! utterly amazing.
  3. pom

    pom Guest

    David L. Jones a écrit :
    I wondered about its disappearance too!
    But I knew some thirty years ago about the existence of electric cars :
    I read Truman Capotes "other voices other rooms" or was it "The Grassharp?.
    At least I hope my memory is reliable (anyway it was T. C.) He tells
    about his aunts driving around with it and causing a near accident, or
    so they imagined...

  4. The electric car killed the electric car.
  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    The concept of electric cars is a whole lot older than 30 years:
  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I wonder when car manufacturers (including European ones) will finally
    wake up. Sometimes I wonder whether they'll wake up at all. A brief look
    at Japan might help ...
  7. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    There is a major stumbling block in areas like ours: Monopoly, plus
    baseline usage rules the monopoly imposes. The millisecond you exceed
    baseline by IIRC as little as 30% electricity becomes painfully
    expensive. Anyone who dared to use their A/C in summer knows that.
    Unless this changes or one can line up a sweet and most of all longterm
    night-time deal there won't be a realistic future for electric cars.
  8. The EV-1 is GM's Edsel. Except that it worked and they couldn't make
    enough to satisfy demand.

    Beancounters killed it. And they took away a marketing advantage GM
    could still be milking.
  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    When I was young they didn't have noise qualms. Clippy-clop, clippy-clop
    .... a horse-drawn wagon brought the milk.

    But those extra miles can cost you. This month's IEEE spectrum has a
    story of a guy who spent another $32k (!) on top of the Prius price tag
    to get his Li-Ion conversion. That's a bit steep.


    Right now Priuses are being bought in California as if it was the best
    thing since sliced bread. The big three are in for another round of
    hardship. Don't know if they can afford another round ...
  10. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    A coarse peek shows about 20% fees, charges, bond measures. A.k.a taxes.

    It probably is but since deregulation prices have skyrocketed. There is
    a hockeystick effect in that up to a limit it stays a bit under 15c/kWh,
    then shoots up sky-high. This stifles start-up business in the area but
    politicians seem to fail to understand that.

    In muni-supplied areas it's much better. I am not much for
    gov-involvement but for electricity the fact is that people like us who
    are served by private sector utilities must pay through the nose.
    Because they gave them a monopoly and monopolies never work. With
    monopolies they usually sock it to you.
  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Smart charging won't help. Baseline is counted over one month, no matter
    when you used it. Night-reduction deals are available but then the cost
    of running my biz will skyrocket because that has to be during the day.
    At least it used to be that you only get the deal when you accept very
    high "peak time" charges. For us that never made any sense.

    Yep. But more important are longterm utility deals. In Europe we were
    able to negotiate a 10-year deal before deciding to invest in a heat
    pump system. Still, only a handful of people in town did, some hesitated
    because 10 years wasn't enough planning security.
  12. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    And the result is that they now produce a lot of Silverados 1/2-tons
    that nobody wants to buy. Deju vu :-(
  13. If Charles Cagle is right, there's a good chance:

    I think Big Oil had a lot to do with influencing GM to abandon and sabotage
    their own EV program, just as they have tried to reverse any trend toward
    greater fuel economy by encouraging the glorification of horsepower, size,
    weight, speed, and competitive driving.

    There are a lot of options for efficient vehicles:

  14. It may not exist at the moment, but the switch to electric (as well as
    other more efficient vehicles) must be accompanied by an overall reduction
    in our total per-capita energy consumption. Even if new electric power
    plants would be built, using the same fossil fuels that now power
    automobiles, they would be much more efficient and cleaner than millions of
    individual cars and trucks being driven in stop-and-go traffic. But the
    ultimate resolution to this problem will involve people changing their
    lifestyles, using more public transportation, living closer to jobs (or
    telecommuting), and generally becoming a more cooperative society living
    and working closely with other people, rather than isolationism, needless
    competition, and broken families.

  15. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Amen! Well said.
  16. Clint Sharp

    Clint Sharp Guest

    Our milk and much of the doorstep delivered milk in the UK is still
    delivered on electric vehicles with no refrigeration. I suspect the
    design of the vehicle hasn't changed much at all in the last 50 years,
    some of the 'floats' I see have registration letters that indicate they
    are over 40 years old.
  17. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Oh, there'll be competition, has to be. But there shouldn't be a
    needless one, such as umpteen shuttle services going to the airport but
    none to the local industry parks around here. We can't keep on
    pretending that it's ok to keep tooling around in big trucks just to go
    to the grocery store. Guess what, people around here have come to their
    senses about that. The number of flights leaving our local airstrip is
    down to about half, when walking the dogs we see lots of trucks for
    sale, lots of brand new Priuses showing up in driveways. Fact is, Toyota
    has recognized the signs of the time and GM has not. They'll better get
    cracking on it, and soon.

    As for Vista: I was even contemplating removing the sign at the end of
    the driveway because it reads "Casa de la Vista" (we have a great view
    and a previous owner put it up).
  18. The competition I was referring to is the sort that makes drivers do stupid
    maneuvers to get one or two cars ahead in traffic, or resorting to
    cutthroat tactics to get advancement in the business world. There is good
    competition, and as long as it is fair, it results in better products and
    better people. It's OK for people to engage in sports and games to
    outmuscle and outsmart each other, but when they buy extra horsepower and
    bigger vehicles and use them in a deadly real-life game on the roads, it
    becomes a problem. That is where cooperation is really needed.

    I sure don't want Vista. XP is the first OS (since maybe MSDOS6.22) that
    seems to be stable and reliable. But at least there is Linux that I would
    consider if XP were no longer available. I use the automatic update
    feature, and I dread the day that I get a particularly lengthy update, and
    a reboot screen that reads:

    "Welcome to Windows Vista! Microsoft has generously updated your old XP
    system to our latest wonderful product at absolutely no charge to you!
    Since you were a little short of disk space, we have removed those old
    files so you will have more room for the colorful multimedia presentations
    we have loaded there for your entertainment!"

  19. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Good old capitalist's rule: He who takes no risks will not win.

    I have taken quite some risks in my career and I am sure you did. I
    expect the same from our corporate leadership, else there won't be progress.

    A good company ups that to 15 or 20 years, at least. Else the reputation
    is toast and in automotive a loos of reputation is nearly a permanent thing.

    Maybe they should send their engineers to a Japanese university then?

    Sorry for being so sarcastic but sometimes the excuses the big three
    come up with are almost sickening. And they should stop calling 32mpg
    for a mid-size passenger car an achievement when my wife's 1995 Toyota
    regularly nets >35mpg.
  20. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Only over my dead body.

    Or you want to finish that one design that the client needs on Monday
    and you realize that your CAD now only produces "An unknown error has
    occurred and the application is being debugged", followed by 10 minutes
    of trundling and a blue screen.
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