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DMcCunney
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CEO
Re: Economies of scale
DMcCunney   9/24/2013 5:50:13 PM
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@Juynko: In other words, if I may add, in my opinion, it is too premature to write off a potential demand for light-weight (no mass), high-efficiency cars.

I'm certainly not writing off the potential demand for such a thing.

I am questioning how large that demand might be, and who might find it profitable to address that market.

It won't be Detroit's Big Three.  I simply don't see the market being large enough for them to profitably address.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Google?
junko.yoshida   9/24/2013 5:41:00 PM
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No, Krisi, I never said that Google is selling autonomous cars. I should know better. I wrote:

Google is selling the promise of self-driving cars

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Economies of scale
junko.yoshida   9/24/2013 5:37:20 PM
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In other words, if I may add, in my opinion, it is too premature to write off a potential demand for light-weight (no mass), high-efficiency cars.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Economies of scale
junko.yoshida   9/24/2013 5:35:28 PM
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Thanks, DMcCunney. I do understand your points.

But what about so called "low mass, high efficeny designs" that seem to be coming out of different carmakers in the world?

Renault's Twizy, VW Xl-!, Opel's RAK-e, and Toyota-s FT-Bh?

I was going to explore pros and cons of these cars for analysis later...but they are here now and they might represent a new trend on the market, even if they may not be rewarded with an instant volume market.

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Google?
krisi   9/24/2013 5:26:25 PM
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the article mentions Google selling autonomously driven cars...I don't think Google sells those...they might be able to receive a sliver of revenues in teh future (if and when these happen) but they clearly have no capability to build and sell cars!

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
Re: Economies of scale
Bert22306   9/24/2013 4:22:32 PM
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"In essence, unless there is a sizeable market guaranteed, why would big 3 be interested in going after a niche market?"

I think DMcCunney is right on target, Junko. This same scenario has been repeated countless times. The answer is always the same. In order to make a low-demand product survive, it has to have a strong niche following, AND it will cost a lot of money. The reason the Detroit automakers aren't interested is only that they are interested in surviving, in the marketplace.

And yet, GM does build the Corvette, right? So it's not like they "don't get it." They understand niche as well as the next guy. But the tiny-car niche in the US is simply very tiny. They come and they go, I mean figuratively and not literally, for that reason.

Or said another way, the "blame" for this goes where blame usually belongs. Not with the automakers, but with the buying public.

Frank Eory
User Rank
CEO
Re: Battery capacity is a joke
Frank Eory   9/24/2013 3:56:05 PM
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Excellent point. The A/C issue has been one of my concerns about owning an EV -- any EV -- in our hot climate. Even for short commutes, A/C is mandatory for 8 months out of the year, and at least somewhat desirable during the other 4 months!

jmoore852
User Rank
Rookie
Battery capacity is a joke
jmoore852   9/24/2013 2:29:10 PM
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One aspect that has gone unchallenged is the 10kWh battery for electric.


That may be fine for propulsion, but how about heating and cooling? Nobody here in Phoenix is going to buy a car where the battery can only power two hours or so of A/C (5kW load).

I doubt if folks in much of the rest of the country will be excited when turning on the heater has the same effect.

DMcCunney
User Rank
CEO
Re: Economies of scale
DMcCunney   9/24/2013 1:59:14 PM
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@Junko: There are no reasons for those guys to lift a finger on anything new.

There's the best reason in the world if they think they can sell enough of the new thing to make it worth doing.


As I said, there must be a large potential market to address.


But VLC could still get a chance outside the U. S. market.

It has a chance in the US market, as a high-priced niche market item.


But where outside the US do you think the problems I mentioned in my anecdotes about friend's experiences wouldn't apply?


DMcCunney
User Rank
CEO
Re: We need incentives for light cars.
DMcCunney   9/24/2013 1:56:50 PM
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@Paul020: Why can't I buy a new car for $5k or $10k in the USA?  Why should I have to spend the $20k, $50k, or $90k that new cars now cost?

Dead easy: it's not possible to make and sell a car profitably at that price.

Show me a place where you can buy a new car for $5K or $10K, and if you can, tell me if you would want to own and drive it.

And note that gas prices in Europe are at least partly a result of government regulation.  A good bit of the price is taxes specifically intended to increase the price and reduce consumption, because they don't for the most part have domestic petroleum sources and don't wish to be dependent on imported supplies.

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