When do EVs become economical?

From “Pull the Plug on Electric Car Subsidies” in today’s Wall Street Journal:

If you’re looking for a car that makes good economic sense in these tough times, PEVs simply don’t make the grade. Unless crude oil prices rise close to $300 per barrel and battery costs fall by 75%, a PEV is more expensive than a gasoline-powered vehicle.

… and neither, let alone both, will be happening any time soon.

6 thoughts on “When do EVs become economical?”

  1. Let’s ask the tough questions about EVs. How many square miles of wind farms/solar panels will it take to fuel our vehicles and replace gasoline and diesel? Where will we get the resources and energy to build and install them? Where are we going to place them seeing no one wants them anywhere near them or on “pristine” lands? How much will they cost? How much conventional energy will it take to back up the “renewable sources? Where will we get the rare earth minerals needed to build the millions of batteries needed for EVs?
    How many millions of miles of power lines will it take to network these renewable sources? Where will we place them?

    I’m tired of news anchors, even on Fox, intervewing Chu and as he touts “green energy and EVs, they just nod and reply “yope, yope, yope.” If they are going to push this agenda, they need to be held accountable.

  2. Another issue is the insistence on battery/electric vs diesel/electric. The VOLT fails for several reasons but one of the biggest is the PC push to make it an electric car. It has over 330lbs of batteries in it. A diesel/electric would have been a far more practical vehicle. The conversion may even be worth it for the elimination of the transmission and clutch thus reducing its weight even more. But, instead, the volt retains these and 330lbs of batteries just so its producers (the PC gov) can claim the vehicle is “electric” so you don’t use gas for the first 20 miles or so. That is a lot of wasted resources and weight for that claim. Plus those batteries do NOT like being depleted to zero so you won’t get the full charge.

    Diesel/electric would at least be more practical.

  3. I cannot believe that the subsidy program represents a major drain on the US Government budget. General Motors has not sold enough Voltsells for the program to cost much; though we probably should cancel it on philosophical grounds.

  4. Whenever you hook up an electric generator to a battery of electric storage cells half of the power is lost in the battery of electric storage cells. And again when the battery of electric storage cells discharges to the electric motor half of the power is also lost in the battery of electric storage cells. One half of one half is one quarter. Therefore, the mere introduction of a battery of electric storage cells allows only 25% of the electric power generated to get to the electric motor. 75% of the electric power produced by the electric generator is wasted in the battery of electric storage cells where it can do no usable work.

  5. Whenever you hook up an electric generator to a battery of electric storage cells half of the power is lost in the battery of electric storage cells. And again when the battery of electric storage cells discharges to the electric motor half of the power is also lost in the battery of electric storage cells. One half of one half is one quarter. Therefore, the mere introduction of a battery of electric storage cells allows only 25% of the electric power generated to get to the electric motor. 75% of the electric power produced by the electric generator is wasted in the battery of electric storage cells where it can do no usable work.

  6. The Volt is basically a Chevy Cruze and the Leaf is basically a Nissan Versa. If you divide the cost differences between the EV and base models ($41,000 – $18,000 = $23,000/Volt; $33,000 – $15,000 = $18,000/Leaf) by the cost savings for fuel per year as outlined in the article (http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/02/autos/electric_car_fuel_economy/index.htm)
    you will find that payback is 20.45 years for the Leaf and 23.05 years for the Volt as compared to the base models, excluding costs of interest, maintenance, and new battery sets.

To buy one of these is to announce you are an economic moron or government entity, which is the same thing.

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