Yes, you used the weasel word "reputable" - but what better reputation is there than having the most sales? Nissan from Japan sells the most electric cars.
Apart from sales, the Nissan Leaf scores 7-8/10 and 4/5 from the critics. Which is around the same as the Tesla model 3.
If the critics think they are ok, and they sell the most of all electric cars... then they can be considered reputable.
Kudos to Tesla for breaking open the market and creating all electric cars with 200+ mile range. But I'm with the original poster in that I want 200+ miles and a quality product with no fit and finish issues or supply-chain problems when there's a breakdown. Tesla has one of three right now and eventually the majors will catch up.
There's still no active battery cooling though, which is a disappointment.
It would encourage me to rent a car for road trips and put the damage on someone else’s vehicle.
Most of my road trips are the 1000km in 2-3 day variety anyway.
What percentage of cars go on more than 2x 150 mile+ trips in a year? (Or 300 mile round trips that can be charged at turnaround point).
And the same question for 100/200 miles. I’m guessing 90%+ for personal cars.
And many of the exceptions are multicar households that could shift their long-drives to the other car.
I don't know how common it is, but we're a single-car household that goes hiking (i.e., no charging at the turn around point).
I'm not aware of any Toyota vehicles sold in the U.K that have a turbocharger, except the Supra which shares the drivetrain, suspension, platform and some interior with the BMW Z4.
Heck, their Yaris GRMN uses the 1.8 supercharged engine that Toyota have been selling to Lotus for years.
I wonder how Toyota plan to transfer this to electric vehicles given how new the technology still is.
> that have a turbocharger,
It's not only Toyota. I think this is an instance of you get what you measure. European car automakers jump into turbocharged engines, because it was easy to meet NDEC. Now WLTP makes it a way harder, hence mild hybridization.
You'd have independent electric motors on at least 2, perhaps all 4 wheels. You have to redesign entire platforms to fit batteries, ensure the batteries and the drivetrain have adequate cooling, ensure that the electric motors have a certain amount of longevity, and so on.
However, EVs still have CV joints, differentials (dependent on the car, Tesla runs an open differential), independent suspension - all of which must be much stronger since electric motors produce far more torque than ICEs and also have the added weight penalty.
The transmission is the most complicated part of the drive-train and arguably more complicated than all of the other drive-train components combined. In current EVs there is no transmission, just a single reduction gearbox.
In an EV the engine is dramatically simplified compared to an ICE and there are significantly fewer parts and almost no moving parts in comparison.
Another thing to consider is that all internal combustion engines have multiple supplementary systems that are required to function such as cooling, fuel delivery, and ignition. At most an EV motor might require supplementary cooling but no commercial vehicle has one that I'm aware of.
There are fewer moving parts, I agree. The architecture itself is simpler too, I agree. But the individual components are still massively complex and expensive. High density Lithion-ion is very complex, and also requires a number of supplementary systems to manage power, heat, cooling and monitor the array.
They're significantly less complicated than an ICE power-train and drive-train.
The Nissan Leaf has a single electric motor and a fixed reduction gear box. The only fluids to maintain are the wiper fluid and reduction gear box fluid, which is similar to automatic transmission fluid but requires less maintenance. The battery pack is air cooled and the only servicing is an annual inspection to maintain warranty.
The Tesla vehicles are all direct drive with no gearbox. They come in single or dual motor options. The batteries are cooled and the fluid is changed at 4 year intervals.
The maintenance schedule for an EV is annually changing the cabin filter, wiper blades, and doing a multi-point inspection.
This is wrong. They have a single electric motor (except the dual-motor ones) and a fixed reduction gear box, just like the Leaf. No one does direct-drive electric motors because it's a lot easier to make a faster-spinning motor and then use a reduction gear to get usable torque from it; a direct-drive motor would have to have a huge diameter.
>The maintenance schedule for an EV is annually changing the cabin filter, wiper blades, and doing a multi-point inspection.
You're forgetting the brakes. EVs still have regular hydraulic brake systems that need new pads and fluid, though not as much because they can use regenerative braking much of the time, avoiding use of the friction brakes, which are really for emergency stops and full stops.
You're right. I was mistaken, I thought I had read that the Roadster was the only Tesla with a gearbox but that it was eliminated with a free upgrade. There's still a gearbox but it's a fixed single reduction gear.
> You're forgetting the brakes.
I wasn't, I was touching on the differences between an EV and an ICE with regards to maintenance. Brakes are a consumable that are inspected and changed as needed rather than at regular interval like the belts or fluids in an ICE vehicle.
Brakes and brake fluid are part of the multi-point inspection that's done on all vehicles when they're serviced. As you pointed out, EVs use their brakes significantly less than ICE vehicles and so any maintenance of the brake system will be less frequent than an equivalent ICE vehicle.
Overall EVs require significantly less maintenance to their drive/power-train AND to some of their traditional systems (e.g. brakes).
I've driven a manual all my life. I don't really enjoy automatics, and I've got to the point now where I've pretty much perfected rev matching and heel and toe so I can engine brake most of the time with minimal wear on my clutch and shock to my drive train.
To be perfectly honest, I don't think I wear my brakes any faster than if I drove an electric car. I'd love to do an experiment to see if this was the case, it sounds like as lot of fun!
However, I concede that most drivers are nowhere near as interested in the technicalities of driving and teaching learner drivers to rev match and heel and toe is probably too complex at that stage in their driving careers.
For every ICE driver like you, there are an equal number of EV drivers trying to optimize their driving habits as well. The difference between ICE and EV when it comes to brake wear is that it's an active effort for an ICE driver and passive for an EV driver.
The regenerative braking in an EV varies by make/model but the 1st gen. Nissan Leaf has by far the least aggressive system. With the Leaf, the brake engagement is based on a number of factors from how fast you're going to how hard you press on the brake. The Leaf will almost come to a complete halt simply by taking your foot off the accelerator and allowing the regen system to drag the car to a stop without ever depressing the brake. In stop-and-go traffic you rarely have to take your foot off the gas.
In the Leaf when you depress the brake pedal the regenerative system ramps up quickly and only after it has peaked do the mechanical brakes engage. When stopping it's not uncommon to hear the mechanical brakes engage just as the car comes to a rest to hold the car at a stand still, it's an audible thunk.
The Tesla Model 3's regenerative braking is quite aggressive compared to the Leaf and if you take your foot completely off the accelerator pedal you will lurch forward in your seat as the car quickly decelerates.
I personally find the Leaf to be a much easier, and a lot less fun, to drive than the Model 3 because of how the brake regen systems work. In my 2015 Leaf I can engage hill mode (aggressive regen) and eco mode (gummy pedal) and then only have to touch the brakes to come to a complete halt. I've yet to find a setting in the Model 3 that compares.
You should go test drive something like the Model 3 as it's a very different driving experience to an ICE in terms of braking.
You sound like you took one test drive of the Model 3 at one setting and have no idea that there are multiple settings. If you go through the menus, the aggressiveness of the regen braking is settable. You can make the car "creep" as if it has an automatic transmission, or you can make it not "creep", like cars with manual transmissions and clutches. You can set it for aggressive regen like a real EV, or you can set it for non-aggressive regen so it feels like driving a regular car with an auto trans.
The proper setting, IMO, is the full-EV mode with very aggressive regen. You're not supposed to use the accelerator as an accelerator, you're supposed to use it as a speed control pedal. So you don't take your foot off the pedal at all, unless you need to brake hard. The rest of the time, you keep your foot on the pedal and modulate it to control your speed. If that's a problem for you, it's because you learned bad driving habits with non-EV vehicles, and you need to learn better driving habits now.
> implying that that was the only way it could work.
You're interpreting it how you want to and not taking what's being said in the context it's given.
The comment I was responding to remarked that they used engine braking as a means of reducing brake wear. They acknowledged to have never driven an EV and I was pointing out that by default an EV exhibits a behavior (i.e. regenerative braking) that is similar and, unlike engine braking, is not something you consciously have to perform. It's on by default.
You swoop in to tell me how I'm wrong (which I'm not) and that I'm complaining (which I wasn't).
> the Model 3's settings, which in fact, let you change this thing that you're complaining about.
First, I wasn't complaining about it at all, go back and reread what I said.
> I personally find the Leaf to be ... a lot less fun, to drive...
With both cars you have to keep constant pressure on the accelerator to coast, however the Model 3 requires you to maintain greater pressure which leads to fatigue faster (i.e. less fun). In the Leaf you can set Regenerative Braking to Normal and disable Eco Mode, which increases throttle response and reduces pedal weight, which allows you to coast at highway speeds with minimal pedal pressure. The Model 3's equivalent settings (i.e. Acceleration = Standard, Regenerative Braking = Low) require much more pedal pressure to coast at highway speeds.
Second, even when you set Regenerative Braking to Low in the Tesla, it is still not like driving an ICE vehicle. The Model 3's least aggressive Regenerative Braking setting is so aggressive that if you completely remove your foot from the accelerator it automatically illuminates your brake lights. Unless you're driving in a manual transmission vehicle and you downshift, you will never experience that kind of tug.
So no, in fact, you cannot change the settings in the Model 3 to be comparable to a conventional ICE vehicle. At best you can get a behavior that's akin to driving a manual transmission vehicle aggressively.
Again, I'm not complaining about the Model 3 or any EV.
With regards to my "one test drive" experience with EVs: https://i.imgur.com/KUnPluM.jpg
Wrong again. Brake pads and rotors, yes, but brake fluid needs to be bled and changed at regular intervals regardless of usage.
Am I? I said annual maintenance, is brake fluid changed annually? The requirements vary by manufacturer (e.g. Chevy every 45k, Honda every 3 years).
The brake system on an Electric Vehicle will require the same or less maintenance than an equivalent Internal Combustion Engine vehicle.
And Electric Vehicle will require less maintenance overall compared to the equivalent Internal Combustion Engine vehicle.
>The brake system on an Electric Vehicle will require the same or less maintenance than an equivalent Internal Combustion Engine vehicle.
This is correct. You don't need to change the pads/rotors nearly as often, but the fluid still needs maintenance.
>And Electric Vehicle will require less maintenance overall compared to the equivalent Internal Combustion Engine vehicle.
Yes, of course, I never said otherwise. But it's important to remember that "less maintenance" doesn't equal "no maintenance". A lot of the systems on an EV are the same as current cars, and maintenance/repair will be little different: wheels/tires/bearings, suspension/ball joints/struts, wipers/washers, brakes, HVAC.
In EVs the brakes are engaged, just less frequently and with less force. For example in a normal car when you depress the brake pedal gently to slow to a normal stop the brakes engage immediately. In an EV the regenerative braking force increases when you depress the brake pedal and only after it has hit 100% do the brakes engage.
So with an ICE vehicle the brakes are the primary stopping force most of the time where as with an EV they're the secondary stopping force most of the time.
You would think so, but Tesla had a lot of problems with their electric motors and had to replace lots of them.
This poses a problem for Toyota and others (e.g. Honda) who are known for having very reliable power-trains, not because their reliability will suffer but rather because other automaker's power-trains will get significantly better. That is assuming those other automakers don't find a way to screw up, I have no doubt some will.
This also applies to ICE. Most ICE drivetrains that do not have forced induction tend to be quite simple. Forced induction makes the drivetrain much more complex and puts a lot more strain on the drivetrain, and is one of the reasons why Toyota has stayed away from forced induction.
Is the drive train in a Tesla Model X P100d much simpler than that in a 1.5 NA Yaris? I'm not sure, and would love to be proved incorrect on this.
Internal Combustion Engines have at a minimum a Combustion System, Ignition System, Fuel Delivery System, Exhaust System, and a Cooling System. These can vary in complexity but, apart from air cooling, any one of those systems will be more complex than an EV's electric power-train. On top of that, most of the parts of an ICE are mechanical moving parts where as most of the parts of an electric motor are stationary non-moving parts.
ICE vehicles almost universally have a transmission gear box that contains a configurable gear system to alter the gear ratio of the vehicle. All EVs on the market use a fixed gear box with a single reduction gear set.
> Is the drive train in a Tesla Model X P100d much simpler than that in a 1.5 NA Yaris?
Their move to a conventional body is in line with the signal that this is no longer just for the early adopter market but now for the mainstream.
Although, the early Leaf vehicles had issues with battery degradation that could have been a factor as well.
The Leaf is fantastic, and will qualify that I had a 2011 model, so my range was ~45 miles due to degradation. Sadly I didn't make it in the recall range, so no replacement for me. I've heard that people with the 2013+ have better range and reliability (and less or unnoticeable degradation).
I wish more manufacturers would consider plug-in hybrids with more range. 40mi electric seems like a perfect compromise between electric range and reduced weight.
I feel like having access to a gas vehicle for rare occasions is the missing ingredient that makes fully electric cars viable for a large portion of the population. Maybe there's a market opportunity there.
My wife was driving an 08 prius at the time, which served as our long range car, but her work commute was about 40mi round trip, so if she had to run AC/Heat, she wouldn't make the round trip on the Leaf if I had to swap cars for the day.
Now she drives the Volt, and the 53mi range seems perfect. She usually gets home with 10-15mi range, and the ICE eliminates range anxiety.
Rental is always an option, and was something we considered if we were to get another BEV, but we routinely take 300mi round trips, so it would't economical.
If it wasn't for the guess-o-meter (range gauge) being so unreliable, and the degradation, I would have held on to my Leaf. But my range vehicle (an '08 Prius) was starting to need some more maintenance, and the Leaf became problematic if I needed to run any errands after work.
What I like about it is:
- on my 65 mile round trip commute I get a +10mpg increase if I leave home with a full charge and without charging at work.
- I get the lovely EV driving experience for the 4 miles in and out of the city I work in.
- I'm not contributing to poor urban air quality.
- Its fully charged with 10 miles in 90 minutes. At weekends I frequently find that I make more than 30 miles of all-EV journeys around my home town.
Toyota is somewhat late to battery powered pure EVs (ignoring the limited RAV4 EV contemporary to the GM EV1 and Honda EV+), because they were heavily invested both hybrids, including PHEVs, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. OTOH, other than advanced battery tech, they aren't late to anything involved in battery-powered pure EVs (PHEVs have a superset of the needs of pure EVs, and fuel cell vehicles are pure EVs), but that's just a matter of making a deal with Panasonic, which they've done now, per the story—their competitors don't have exclusive special sauce here.
Why established manufacturer proved to be better at producing EV than Tesla?
Tesla is producing more than 50% of all battery capacity in the world (China included) and this % keeps growing. It's been a decade since we started hearing "competition is coming", "these are the Tesla killer" and yet none made a dent in Tesla's sales (which are doubling every two years and should grow faster with Model Y).
Panasonic makes and designs the cells (the part with the cobalt), Tesla just arranges those cells into a battery (adds control systems, cooling, framing etc.)
For those interested here’s a great video explaining how it really works. It blew my mind...
> even if clean energy supplied all the power, over 1.5 million people would still have to switch
So it does factor in the current state of electricity-generation, which makes a big difference. I guess the way I've always looked at it is, the energy industry has a big head start (and much more flexibility) in moving to clean sources than cars do. It's really hard to:
1) Create a cultural change for billions of individual people
2) Replace the infrastructure of fueling stations
3) Create the technologies to make electric motors and storage feasible on a moving platform, where space and weight are at a premium
Each of those things has its own powerful network-effect holding it in place. While not easy per say, I think the energy sector has much more opportunity to branch out. If you want to try out clean nuclear energy, you just decide to make your next plant a nuclear one.
I honestly think one of Tesla's greatest contributions to the world - on par with its battery innovations - was making electric cars "cool". I think this was the core genius behind Musk's business plan. Much as we'd like to think otherwise, car culture in America has always been one of the greatest barriers to adoption of non-fossil-fuel vehicles; in the past, hybrids and electrics have always been boxy nerd-wagons. Elon said, "let's start with an exotic sports car". He broke that most entrenched of barriers and I think that's what really got the ball rolling.
There will be a market for short-duration exchanges between ICE and short-range electric car owners for long trips.
Or just rentals of long-range vehicles (or trunk-battery-packs) for those with short-range vehicles that meet 99% of their needs.
That means that a great way to have a car that can charge quickly to ~100 miles is to give it a ~200mi battery pack.
A Tesla Model 3 with the long range pack (310 miles rated range) can charge to 100 miles of range in under 20 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger:
Edit: Here's another example of someone getting ~100 miles in 10 minutes:
This is a little tongue in cheek, of course, but my intent is to make the point that rate of charge and capacity are really related with current lithium ion technologies. This relationship is unlikely to change much over the next 10 years.
A longer range means you can forget to plug it in one evening and be fine. Or you can go on a longer day trip.
For some reason many of us think we absolutely need to handle driving across the country; I'm sure some do but most of us don't. As a suburbanite who only occasionally travels long distance, this has not been an issue.
Range absolutely is a concern. I've pretty much no use for a car which only goes 100mi but don't mind overnight charging in the slightest. I'm waiting for EVs to do 600 miles on a charge at highway speed, with heating and/or AC.
The biggest barrier to EV adoption currently is people incorrectly thinking they need a 200-300 mile range since that's what their ICE vehicle currently gets.
We're a two car family and when we got the Leaf it was initially my commuter car (~25 miles one way) but quickly became our primary vehicle. We still had an ICE vehicle that was also used as a commuter but we ceased using it almost entirely beyond that. Last fall we sold our ICE vehicle and bought another EV and our lives have been so much better for it. Our biggest concerns now are how to transport lumber home from the home center as we no longer have a junker.
That means they don't perform period, ICE don't magically avoid aerodynamic drag.
> A 600 mile range use-case is a boundary condition at best as there are few ICE vehicles that can even achieve that.
Every ICE I've driven was able to achieve around that level. A 200~300mi range is what's ridiculous(ly low). The best car I've had could exceed 850 at 60~65mph.
It has more to do with the transmission. Most EVs are more aerodynamic than ICEVs but still suffer at high speeds because they lack a transmission and thus require more power to maintain high engine RPMs. An ICE in comparison has a transmission to reduce the RPMs at high speeds.
> Every ICE I've driven was able to achieve around that level.
That's fine but not everyone needs that range. On a daily basis most people do not travel more than 100 miles. Even the slowest L1 charger can put 60 miles of range on an EV overnight plugged into a regular outlet. An L2 charger using a 30a outlet, found in most laundry rooms, can do ~20 miles an hour.
Every two car family where one person has a commute of less than 100 miles round trip would be just fine with an EV equivalent to a Nissan Leaf.
Still a distinction without a difference.
> That's fine but not everyone needs that range.
Of course not, I quite specifically mentioned that it was my specific requirement in the original comment.
> Every two car family where one person has a commute of less than 100 miles round trip would be just fine with an EV equivalent to a Nissan Leaf.
Good for you. A leaf still is of little use to me. Even if the infrastructure were in place, which it is not.