Well, it's good to know that there are some people here who are not drinking the "Leaf Kool-Aid."
I'm pretty sure the Leaf is a great car for propeller heads.
Those with a job to do and those that might feel inconvenienced by their car constantly conking out might want something that has a gas tank. Hybrids make more sense.
I'd rather my car be subservient to me than I to it. For sheeple wanting it the other way 'round go for the all-electric Leaf.
Three points here...
When do solar panels generate most of their power? During the day. And where is your work car during the day? Parked in a parking lot or underground garage. So, Government, subsidise solar installations on buildings that are used to charge EVs, and you are making good use of the peak of solar generation which would otherwise cause overcapacity problems.
Second - remember the original digital cameras? 1.3 MP if you were lucky, and 14 pics max in the memory. Look where we are now. Bert made the same point about projection TVs. Battery and charging and solar (and maybe supercapacitor)technology will evolve (read: be developed by engineers - the guys who read these columns) to overcome the current cost / capacity issues, but it won't happen overnight.
And lastly, as pointed out, it's horses for courses. What works all year in Florida and Arizona won't work in northern winters. So subsidise on a state-by-state basis, less for hybrids and more for pure EVs in southern states. A friend of mine has a Daihatsu Charade EV conversion that he drives +/- 80 km per day here in Australia and he does fine. But that wouldn't work in Michigan...
Good point, Bert. If batteries had the same or nearly the same energy density per pound and per $ and the same speed at replenishing that energy as gasoline, there would not be the same limitations on the utility of the vehicles.
The important point is that the vehicles do have those limitations. It's good use of technology to still build electric vehicles despite those limitations. It's poor use of marketing to not clearly target the vehicles at applications where they can succeed.
I totally agree, except that it's not by choice. It's by necessity.
The real point is that battery electrics are starved for energy. That's not at all "by design," rather it is "by contraints created by the battery."
That being the case, they have to make compromises, and they have to be super efficient at how they dole out the little energy they have.
The nice thing about having a hydrocarbon fuel tank is the tremendous amount of energy it can hold. That's why this sort of energy storage won out.
The real achievement will be when the efficiency of an all-electric drivetrain can be combined with the energy storage capacity of a fuel tank, and get rid of that battery storage.
Excellent point Duane. I have been trying to get it through , but you explained it in an excellent way.Like some people expect a super performance from $300 laptop.It is just a toy! Buy a $3000.00 computer and demand anything you want.Some people will just not give up.Reminds me a genius Tesla and not-so-genius Edison.We are using AC current, but most of people think that Edison had something to do with it.
Remember old camcorder batteries? Half hour was a success.....
Internal combustion passenger vehicles are really pretty over engineered for their typical job. But the reward for that over engineering is flexibility. A car may have more metal and power than is needed for a 40 mile commute, but in return you can pile a few friends or family members into it and drive 300 miles to go skiing.
It sounds like the Leaf and other all electric vehicles are pretty much optimized and powered for commutes and around town trips. That being the case, one has to purchase and use it for that purpose. Expecting the same flexibility as you get with a conventional ICE powered car is not realistic.
"What they don't tell you about owning an EV"
"Sometimes life seems to be a series of "gotchas," and there doesn’t seem to be an exception for owners of electric vehicles. If EVs attain the kind of wide-spread popularity their promoters hope for, buyers of Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, and similar vehicles could find unexpected bills for pole-mounted distribution transformers showing up in their mailboxes."
“I know a Tesla owner in California who had to pay $10,000 to have his transformer upgraded,” says Rahman. “That’s a bigger EV, and its charger draws 100 A. But he’d just shelled out over $100,000 on his Tesla, so spending another $10,000 was not a big deal for him.”
I have to totally agree with this assessment. I'd love to see electrics be a real viable alternative but at the moment it's not really a good choice for general purpose transportation. Yeah ole Al Gore would love to see us all in Leafs but then again he travel around by private Jet so why listen to that idiot anyway? If you can't tell I never swallowed the global warming pill and do not think we all have to live with less.
Nice quotes from owners. And a new phrase to add to the lexicon: "Range Anxiety."
“Went from 17 to —- to turtle to dead in about 5 miles. 2.3 miles from dealer. 4.2 miles from home. Part of me is amused that I may go down in history as the first dumbass to drive the car into submission. But I am slightly shaky and upset as I thought there should have been no problem getting home.”
Around downtown the range is down to 8 miles (still plenty to get home, which was by then 5 miles away). At the ship-canal bridge it went into turtle, I barely got off the freeway. 2 Mile from home and after about half the distance it told I would have from the airport, i.e. 13 actual miles driven, it went dead. I actually managed to drive 400 yards in turtle mode. 10:30 pm, wife and screaming kids in the car (which was blocking the right lane of a busy road), just came back from the east coast, cars zooming by and honking, several near misses.
And about the socialist bubble thingy. For one there's this $7500 tax subsidy. I don't understand why my children, their future grandchildren and their great-grandchildren should subsidize your shiny new electric "toy."
"The all-electric Nissan Leaf, on the other hand, continued its dive in October to 849 units after its summer high point of 1,708. For November, the hatchback moved just 672 units even though company sales overall were up over 19 percent (year-on-year). So far in 2011, the Leaf has sold 8,738 copies in the U.S. and over 20,000 units around the world. The company has also set a goal of 10,000 Leaf sales in 2011, and will need to get December sales back to summer levels to meet that target.
Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today reported record November U.S. sales of 85,182 units versus 71,366 units a year earlier, an increase of 19.4 percent. Nissan Division sales also set a new November record, increasing 21.5 percent for the month to 76,754 units. Sales of Infiniti vehicles increased 3 percent from the prior year, to 8,428 units."
So the Leaf represents about 0.8% of Nissan sales. They used the word "dive."
Wow. Incredible. When will they make a wind-up model?
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.