Total cost of ownership is a good way to consider whether hybrid/ EV is good for you. If nothing else, it will at least give you an idea of how much you will spend on owning the car of your choice. I have done this calculation everytime I consider buying a car. It's a good way to pace out your budget over a long term ownership of the vehicle. Yet, the calculation can never be completed because there are a couple things that we will inevitabily miss out, for example, CO2 emission and more difficultly, the environment impact of the material uses to build the vehicle.
Over the last few years, I have a couple discussions with friends about Hybrid/ EV and sustainability. The most common argument I have heard is "If we don't lower the emission of green house gas now, we may not have a chance to do it anymore." Battery may introduce land pollution because of production and disposal. Yet, if there is 1 thing we can to slow down global warming, we should do it. Does it?
There is a very good article from IEEE Spectrum July issue, http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/unclean-at-any-speed. If you are interested, you can start from there and dig through other responses. Most of them brought up good points.
I am an EV sceptic (the clean power to charge them comes from burning coal somewhere else) but price reduction looks like a good sign that can push some consumers over teh threshold (not me, I just bike and use public transporation as much as possible)...by why the don't invest in EV buses, that should be an easy play (predictable routes, mileage, government influence, cleaner air for teh cities etc)
Thanks Junko! The message for the Japanese car makers is that they are losing two loyal customers because we can't get the electric hybrid from them we look for. There may be even more people thinking like that. Is this only in the US? I wonder if there are any electric hybrids offered in Japan with wider range than the ones in US.
I think GM's EV strategy has been a disaster from the start. So they now plan on even losing more money by further lowering the price of the Volt. Contrast this with Tesla which has recently raised its price on the Model S on its way to establishing a 25% gross margin and should be profitable according to GAAP accounting by the third quarter.
GM should of positioned its EV model as a premium product in its Cadillac line whose clientele are not as price sensitive. This would of established its EV as a prestige model and made it far more desirable in the eye of the consumer especially when the price of batteries declines in the next few years making it possible to offer a decent mid-range EV. Now they are trying to move upmarket by re-branding the Volt as a Cadillac. Good luck with that strategy!
Rather then going down market while the cost of batteries is still very high, Tesla plans on expanding the line with a premium SUV and going even further upmarket with an AWD Model S. People are already salivating over both.
@GoGoGeek, I think Japanese carmakers are divided when it comes to addressing the hybrid market. Some car companies clearly want to take a different path than Toyota, so they deliberately put more focus on all electric vehicles than hybrids.
But I need to investigate further to understand their thinking.
However I strongly disagree with this new metric for evaluating EV efficiency. So the DOE now has two numbers for citing EV efficiency. The Tesla Model S now has a combined mpg-e rating of 89 and a 38 derived from the new fangled way of defining an e-gallon. Just adds to the consumer confusion and is totally unnecessary. Instead of reinventing the wheel they should of stuck with an e-gallon definition of 33.7 KWh's.
Actually even if manufacturers are giving a cut on the price of EV vehicles, they still be making good profit, the sale price would never be lower than the production cost. EV is not very popular due to performance issues. Atlease government can take it for all official purpose if the sales are not very attractive.
We want to purchase an electric hybrid. We have solar panels and plan to charge our car with them. We are happy with our current cars Honda and Toyota which we drive for over a decade without many problems. Honda and Toyota were an obvious choice. However, they do not offer the same range on electric as the Volt does. Even the 2014 models seem to have very limited range compared to the Volt. Everyone we talked to agrees, that they wished the Japanese would offer electric hybrid with much wider range. But they don't. Why is that?
@Hank: I appreciate your running the numbers. It is certainly my experience that the many Prius owners I know had the money to spend on their motivation for being more environmentally friendly and saw the car as a statement of values and an investment in a social direction.
What do we need in the technology to make it just plain good econmics?