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EV or no EV?

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James

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I think recent model Jeep Cherokees are trying to wrest the mantle from audi/bmw owners.

Motorola built an electric Corvette in a secret project in the early 90’s. It has apparently surfaced and is up for sale.

Interesting story-


 

anders_nor

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Hehe...the whole BMW driver thing has changed a bit since the i3/i8 fiasco - in that most of the ones I see now are in family X series trucksters, driving up from the South to ski in WVa.

Audi drivers OTOH :nono::nono::nono:
the bmw i3 is one of the best EV's ever made, even in our salt they just last

strut bushings and rotors are only wear part on them, carbon monocockpit chassis, rest is alu, super super fun to drive. wish they made an even longer range than the 120ah one, they HAVE the cells for 150, and 180ah if they wanted, but to expensive to make
 

cantunamunch

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the bmw i3 is one of the best EV's ever made, even in our salt they just last

strut bushings and rotors are only wear part on them, carbon monocockpit chassis, rest is alu, super super fun to drive. wish they made an even longer range than the 120ah one, they HAVE the cells for 150, and 180ah if they wanted, but to expensive to make

Indeed. All that is true. And yet... Well, here is an ex-Audi engineer's take on the politics and design process of those cars. Of particular interest are the afterthought of the alu castings, and the last minute marketing change to not offer the motorcycle engine range extender.




My primary point in my post above is that BMW lost way too much talent in that fight, and we can see that in the cars they make now. The i4 is just...disappointing, honestly.
 

tball

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If Colorado wants us to drive more efficient vehicles, they need to fix the damn roads.

The roads are so bad you need a heavy-duty 4x4 suspension to drive in the Colorado high country. I have a more efficient, fun car that I wish I could drive skiing, but there's no way I'm taking it into the mountains with the roads being so bad. I'll pay for the extra gas to drive my 4x4.



I have to imagine many EVs have not fared very well this winter. With the extra weight of the battery and trying to make the rest of the vehicle lightweight for efficiency, I wonder how much damage has been done to EV suspensions, wheels, and tires.
 

James

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I dont have to imagine @tball I need 2 new rims, 1 tire, and a realignment on my e-up after winter :|
With all the cars you’ve had, why the e-up?
No software issues?
I guess that is for the new cars.
Last week-

Last year-
 

scott43

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I find the timing fascinating in all of this. GM spends a lot of money working through the EV1. They give up eventually concluding that battery tech and consumer demand isn't there and won't be for quite a while. That was 2000. Along comes Tesla and they start figuring out Li batteries and software. Not to mention ramping up a production line(s). This is 2023 and VW still can't figure out electric and software. I get not going full into electric but you think a huge company in the car business would have some R&D going on in parallel. So far behind the curve..
 

James

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I find the timing fascinating in all of this. GM spends a lot of money working through the EV1. They give up eventually concluding that battery tech and consumer demand isn't there and won't be for quite a while. That was 2000. Along comes Tesla and they start figuring out Li batteries and software. Not to mention ramping up a production line(s). This is 2023 and VW still can't figure out electric and software. I get not going full into electric but you think a huge company in the car business would have some R&D going on in parallel. So far behind the curve..
Way behind. It’s actually concerning. It would not be good if major car companies go bankrupt again.
Tesla actually makes a lot of money from other car companies in carbon credits. They made $1.78billion last year off that.

Tesla started out knowing software was a huge part, not just a supporting part to the mechanicals.

They’ve also leveraged software in things like their mega batteries for the power grid. So the thing can run on it’s own and essentially be a day trader in electricity- selling when the spot market is high. Tesla is now approved as an electricity supplier in Texas.

They are now offering Powerwall users in parts of Texas that have utility choice, the ability to sell their power back to the grid at peak times, and then replace it from the grid when cheap. It’s all automated.

In California, they entered into an agreement to get energy from powerwall users in times of power emergency. People get paid up for it.
So Tesla is becoming an energy company too.

What’s amazing about Texas are the coal plants shutting down in the last 5 years. They’re not economical due ironically to fracking, and now wind power there. They used to be a license to print money. It sounds as if coal in most of the US will be dead in 10 years, most in 5.
 

geepers

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They’ve also leveraged software in things like their mega batteries for the power grid. So the thing can run on it’s own and essentially be a day trader in electricity- selling when the spot market is high. Tesla is now approved as an electricity supplier in Texas.

Arbitraging is not the only way to make money with a battery. Can also be contracted to provide frequency stability - getting paid for (hopefully) doing nothing just by having energy to inject if needed. With the progressive withdrawal of the rotational inertia of large thermal generators, batteries are doing the stabilising job as well or better than synchronous condensers, presumably with lower maintenance costs as no moving parts.
 

afadeev

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I find the timing fascinating in all of this. GM spends a lot of money working through the EV1. They give up eventually concluding that battery tech and consumer demand isn't there and won't be for quite a while. That was 2000.

A few critical distinctions:
  • GM's EV1 program ran from ~1990 (production started in 1996) through 1999, relying on the old fashioned lead-acid batteries. There were plans to migrate to NiMH batteries for gen2, which were partially implemented.
  • The car wasn't developed by GM at all. Design and tech came from AeroVironment, and GM was exploring possibility of mass producing it. In the end, the tech (mostly batteries), was nowhere good enough.
  • Then they started catching fires while charging, and had to be recalled in 2000.
  • The car was ugly, impractically small (subcompact), slow (0-60 in 8+ secs), expensive to lease (from $399 to $549 / month in 1996 dollars!), and had a very limited range of 70 to 100 miles (100-140 miles for gen2).
  • Now movies are being made about "what could have been", but it EV1 was a total commercial disaster for GM.

Along comes Tesla and they start figuring out Li batteries and software. Not to mention ramping up a production line(s). This is 2023 and VW still can't figure out electric and software. I get not going full into electric but you think a huge company in the car business would have some R&D going on in parallel. So far behind the curve..
 

cantunamunch

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you think a huge company in the car business would have some R&D going on in parallel. So far behind the curve..

They do have massive R&D running in parallel. What western observers don't realise is that they are disadvantaged by the success of ICE in western markets.

EV R&D is much easier to bring to market elsewhere - because it doesn't have to compete for range and it doesn't weaken the brand.
 

afadeev

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Sorry for the earlier half-completed post, that I can no longer go back and edit....

Along comes Tesla and they start figuring out Li batteries and software.

Pairing lithium batteries from laptops with an EV drivetrain was Tom Gage's invention (AC Population's CEO). Unfortunately, AC Propultion did not want to go into car manufacturing business, beyond building three (3) handmade prototype kit cars to demonstrated AC's EV drivetrain.
Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning started Tesla in 2003 to productize AC Propulsion Tzero (t0) car themselves.
A bunch of folks, including Tesla founders above and Elon Musk had test-driven Tzero and had the same idea. Elon Musk then joined Tesla as an investor, and muscled his way into the CEO slot not long after. Then sued his way to be called an "original" founder.

The software bit within Tesla is also not their invention.
The original Autopilot functionality was provided by MobilEye (now owned by Intel). Then Tesla started ripping off their product and brought development in-house, neglecting to license or credit MobilEye for anything.
That in-house development effort has, arguably, fallen behind MobilEye's own solution that is used by Daimler/Mercedes to achieve Level 3 autonomy, something that Tesla is still struggling to achieve on its own. Despite many grandiose claims and promises that remain unfulfilled.

Not to mention ramping up a production line(s). This is 2023 and VW still can't figure out electric and software.

It's not that, at all.
VW vehicles have decent software, features and ergonomics. If you ever test drive e-tron GT RS, you will quickly realize what Tesla is missing: awesome handling, ergonomics, UI, and interior quality.

VW problem is that it created an organizational bottleneck called Cariad, which was meant to build custom software for ALL of it's vehicles across all brands. Now surprisingly, it chocked. And that choke has resulted in delay in vehicle model launches across all VW brands, which is a VERY expensive event for a leading mass-market automaker.
Nothing to do with EVs per se, though a few EV models got impacted as well.

I get not going full into electric but you think a huge company in the car business would have some R&D going on in parallel. So far behind the curve..

VW is one of the few "legacy" automakers that has jumped into the EV business with gusto. The first waves of cars has been better than average, but not all that revolutionary.
The next generation should be better still. We shall see.

It's all good - the more the merrier.
Competition improves the breed, and God knows Tesla has a lot of areas in which it needs to improve!

HTH,
a
 
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James

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I find the timing fascinating in all of this. GM spends a lot of money working through the EV1. They give up eventually concluding that battery tech and consumer demand isn't there and won't be for quite a while. That was 2000. Along comes Tesla and they start figuring out Li batteries and software. Not to mention ramping up a production line(s). This is 2023 and VW still can't figure out electric and software. I get not going full into electric but you think a huge company in the car business would have some R&D going on in parallel. So far behind the curve..
Hell Motorola modified a Corvette in 1994 to be electric. They dropped that project. But think how primitive embedded systems were back then. Computing power was small, batteries weren’t very good.
Even with a big car company, you’d need tremendous vision and will to stay with it, and it would require constant capital. That's a lot of defending for the part of management that believes. You’re just losing money for the company, while the cash cow part of the vehicle division rakes it in. Who’s getting axed?

When dieselgate happened, I spent some time looking into Volkswagen. Too bad epicski is jailed in the wayback machine or I’d go pull it up. Freakin’ unbelievable soap opera. You couldn’t make this stuff up, and I’m sure I just scratched the surface of the insanity. It’s also pretty complicated structure with the workers and the state involved.
There’s the whole Porsche-Piech family fighting which goes on and on. It was all intimately tied into VW. Then Porsche, essentially a hedge fund that made cars back in the 2000’s, tried to take over VW and almost succeeded in 2008.

Ferdinand Piech, chairman of VW, appointed his wife to the board of VW. Hey, maybe she was qualified after living with him for years. She was trained as a teacher and taught kindergarten. She used to be the nanny when he was living with his cousin’s wife, a Porsche, and having kids with her. The thing is, all this personal family stuff was, is, intimately tied up into VW.

That’s all ancient history now, Piech was forced out if the supervisory board in 2015, and his wife left too. He died in 2019.

What does this have to do with now? No idea, but it’s indicative of how complicated and intra political the whole thing is. Refining ice cars is relatively easy, starting a whole new electric division is not.


If you ever test drive e-tron GT RS, you will quickly realize what Tesla is missing: awesome handling, ergonomics, UI, and interior quality.
Last week I thought that mattered, now after spending way too much time looking into the whole ev thing, I’m convinced it’s not all that important. It’s the icing on the cake, not the cake. The cake is the fundamental engineering the vehicle, how they are manufactured, and the culture of the company that supports innovation and problem solving. Many legacy car companies are stuck in structures that do not reward smart solutions, whether they come from engineering, on the line, from finance, wherever.

Also, what is the manufacturing output, and are they making money on each car? Tesla blows VW away here. Tesla is also vertically integrating. They’re going to be refining Lithium. They’re going to be designing and manufacturing computer chips. Is that good? Don’t know, but it wouldn’t be bad during a chip shortage.

I’m no expert on car manufacturing, but from what I’ve picked up, it’s clear to some who are that VW did not have the A team on the ID4 and it’s not just the software.
I hope they can turn it around, because the Chinese have 350 companies building ev’s. That’s just nuts.
BYD, the Chinese builder, started years ago making batteries for electronics like early cell phones. They’re now the largest ev maker.

And the Vietnamese are getting into it. All these companies want to get it done, they are motivated and they’re not arguing about ice, and have access to a vast array of Chinese parts producers and materials.
 
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anders_nor

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It's not that, at all.
VW vehicles have decent software, features and ergonomics. If you ever test drive e-tron GT RS, you will quickly realize what Tesla is missing: awesome handling, ergonomics, UI, and interior quality.

thats all american cars, vs high end euro... not EV related

tesla is a better EV
 

James

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I don't want to get too far off topic, but how do you figure needed electric infrastructure upgrades and new electricity generating plants are going to be paid for, other than with substantially increased electricity rates? Once nearly everyone (if that even happens) is driving EVs the cost of electricity will be comparable to buying gasoline per mile. To think otherwise is naive.
I think it’s a non issue for someone purchasing in the near future. Why aren’t people all worried about bitcoin miners? They use unbelievable amounts of electricity, then make millions in a Texas blackout to not use electricity.

First, seems the Grid needs updating anyway. It’s old. We’d already have much more renewable energy online if the grid was in better shape. Approvals to connect are taking way too long causing some to abandon projects.

As for your electricity cost prediction 15 years out, who knows. It’s just as likely to be cheaper. It’s likely the energy sector will look very different than today. Many people will get paid from the battery in their car. Many will have home solar. Hell, early on in this transition some may leave the electric car plugged in at home to make money, and take the ice to work. Or get paid plugging in at work.

It really doesn’t matter what you or I think, ev’s are coming whether we like it or not. 2024 will be when the now dripping faucet is continuous. 2025 will be full on running.

2) People will make money on energy. They always are.

3) There will still be tons of ice cars driving around. So everyone will not be driving electric and this will slow the ramp up. Most 2 car households will hedge their bets and keep one ice car. Some one car people will just forget the car altogether and use TAAS as it becomes cheaper and easier. That means they’re not buying any car. Much Taas will go electric.

4) The energy sector has changing rapidly and has seen big changes in the last 5 years. Tesla is becoming an energy company besides making cars. Now licensed in Texas to sell electricity.

But even simple things like requests to reduce load by text at certain hours can have big effects.

5) Energy and related enterprises now attract some of the best and brightest. It impacts locally and globally, and it’s interesting. When is the last time energy was interesting to smart young people, early nukes? They will likely not be working for stodgy utility companies.


6) The whole world is dealing with this. So solutions can be shared/copied/sold.

7) Grid Overload is a barrier to buying an electric car?? That’s a bit like 15-20 years ago saying, “I won’t buy a cell phone unless it works everywhere”. They didn’t work everywhere and still don’t.

What would actually matter is you can’t get electricity for your car or it’s ridiculously expensive. I don’t think this is at all an issue in the next five years for buying an electric car. Range, cost, where to charge, etc., are real issues for people.

Ev’s and home batteries are actually part of the solution for handling peak demand. This is already happening as Tesla power walls can discharge during peak times to the grid and charge when it’s cheap. Your home battery can now be a day trader in electricity to make money at times. It’s all in the software.

Ford has partnered with Sunrun, the solar panel company. So integrating home solar to truck charging or home power will be much easier.

If electricity availability, caused by the grid or some other reason becomes an issue, then that’ll slow the adoption. But it’s just turning down the faucet. We are smack in the middle of the beginning of a sea change. But so many things are already in place that it’s going to accelerate quickly.

8) Businesses are going to be big adopters, as are municipalities.

9) The Bans. There are some loopholes, I think we’re counting on them not happening, buying cars in other states, etc. But companies have to deal with it and plan for it now.
States requiring sales of new vehicles to zero emissions by 2035:
California, Oregon, Washington, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts.

Then there’s the the EU. New ice cars banned 2035. Allowances for synthetic e fuel after that. Who knows the effect of that.

UK- No ice after 2030, hybrids till 2035.

Japan- 2035 (Their car makers are way behind)

Companies that have announced they will stop producing ice cars:
2025- Jaguar
2027- Alfa Romeo
2028- Lotus; Chrysler

2030-
Bentley
Cadillac
Ford Europe
Lexus
Merceds-Benz
Mini
Rolls Royce
Stellantis -50% US, 100% Europe
Volvo

2035-
Chrvrolet, GMC, Buick

Ford is keeping some options open, but their investment in ev’s is enormous. $50billion globally by 2026.

GM $35 Billion through 2025

Stellantis €30billion by 2025

All this investment, you’ve got to sell them.

10) China. Chinese cars are coming. They’re likely to gain significant percentage in the US. There’s like 350 ev companies in China.



 
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Seldomski

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Ev’s and home batteries are actually part of the solution for handling peak demand. This is already happening as Tesla power walls can discharge during peak times to the grid and charge when it’s cheap. Your home battery can now be a day trader in electricity to make money at times. It’s all in the software.
There were/are some community solar projects in Texas. Basically individual investors can buy into solar farms - individuals are limited to some % of their home usage (ie you cannot buy more community solar than you consume). I suspect that battery farms will be coming next. I do not think that Lithium ion should be the go to battery for these. They should use more sustainable/cheaper materials where battery size/weight is not a problem. These sorts of batteries are in development. Iron/air is one contender. There are others.

EV batteries can also supplement, but long term feels like a bad idea. Bulkier, cheaper, more environmentally friendly batteries should be used wherever portability is not a driver.
 
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