Edited - from the downvotes, it appears that people are not aware - this is the same guy who was the editor in chief of truthabout cars when they ran their infamous "Tesla Death Watch" / Tesla killer articles. He constantly re-iterated that the company was doomed before the roadster, then before the S, then before the X, then before the 3. He accused the company of Fraud in 2009, and has heralded every single vehicle from this to the leaf, to the Taycan and i-pace (how's that working for you Audi?) to the Fisker Karma as "tesla-killers".
How about articles like this:
He's about as accurate as Elon Musk is punctual. He appears to be the natural anti-matter to the most extreme of the Tesla fans.
But remember it's Toyota that is actually the disruptor:
"Toyota is no stranger to disruption, having overturned the global car business over the course of decades. But rather than high-concept, visionary technology and hype, it was Toyota's mastery of the culture of manufacturing that drove it from bit player to industry titan. Toyota emphasizes kaizen, or continuous improvement, not Musk's mercurial style. And based on a scan of quality complaints at various Tesla owner forums, it seems Musk could learn more from Toyota's automotive disruptions than the other way around. Auto industry success is a marathon, not a sprint ... and at current volumes, Tesla is barely walking."
Ed's been continually wrong about Tesla because Musk is willing to do anything to keep it going, ethics and legality notwithstanding.
It's really quite impressive, and while I'm fairly bearish on the company, I wouldn't count it out until and unless he calls it quits.
Edit: I should point out as well that they are actually building EV cars right now. They have a joint venture with several other Japan car manufacturers. They will start selling for the 2020 sales year (which I expect will start pretty soon).
I mean, check the tag line on Toyota's own site: https://www.toyota.com/alternative-fuel/
Hybrid. Plug-in Hybrid (yay?). Fuel Cell EV.
That's their game plan. Even then the only plug-in hybrid is the Prius, none of their other cars seem to be plug-in capable.
i-pace is Jaguar.
And it's not due to limited inventory, when I checked a few days ago, there were 125 etrons on dealer lots in Canada.
Just as you put more or less trust into what the people in your life say, based on their history, you should put more or less trust into what particular articles say, based on the article writer's history.
Same for comments.
By all means dismiss facts if you don’t like the source, or wait until someone you trust (or don’t distrust) writes about the subject if you like, everyone gets to have their own strategy for consuming information.
But for me, one of the great advantages of HN, one that outweighs things I dislike, is that I can read informative things from people I’d otherwise dismiss and learn a great deal from the discussion.
> Just as Tesla has had its doubters among mainstream auto industry-watchers, the electric Renault Kwid has had its doubters among hardcore Tesla fans
Unmentioned is that the author of this article is decidedly in the former category, and has been writing about the imminent demise of Tesla since around 2007.
He has, of course written at times about how certain of Tesla's manufacturing practices, such as skipping factory acceptance testing, would cause them problems down the road, predictions which have largely come to pass.
I am from the developing world. I am middle class. I don't care much for general electricity storage.
I do care about a decent, low cost, 120 kM or so range car that is maintenance free.
This car, with around 9000 USD in price ought to be a game changer. The article states 30 kWH capacity for the battery.
A normal house in India is built in around 150 Sq. yards or about 1300 square feet. A 350 W solar panel costs about 12,000 Rs. (~180 USD). Assuming an average usable sunlit time of about 6 hours a day, it would take 14 such panels to charge the car fully.
A 12 V, 150 Ah battery (about 1.8 kWh) costs about 10,000 Rs (150 USD). To store 30 kWh, we would need about 16 batteries.
Since the range is about 120 kM, and assuming an average run of 60 kM per day (This is my actual mileage everyday, to and from work, and by most Indian standards, I am driving a lot)
Lets fix the total mileage covered by the car is about 200,000 km (60 km a day => 20,000 km a year => 10 years operation )
So, the car runs for two days, on a single charge. There are two ways, we can go about setting up a solar charger for the car.
1. Half panel Capacity, Half battery Capacity, Charge Daily
-> 7 x 350 W panels - Rs. 84,000
-> 8 x 12V, 150 Ah batteries - Rs. 80,000
-> System setup and mounting - 10% of cost, Rs. 16,000
Total cost : Rs. 180,000
2. Full panel capacity, Full battery Capacity, Charge once every two days.
-> 14 x 350 W panels - Rs. 168,000
-> 16 x 12V, 150 Ah batteries - Rs. 160,000
-> System setup and mounting - 10% of cost, Rs. 32,000
Total cost : Rs. 360,000
Choosing Option 1, Total car ownership & solar charging cost : 12,00,000 (~ 16,000 USD)
Now contrasting this to a petrol car.
Car Cost : Rs. 500,000 (Kwid petrol, AMT, Hyderabad)
Petrol Cost: Assuming
an average efficiency of 15 km / litre of fuel, and
total running of 200,000 km
and average price of Rs. 80 per litre of petrol -
Total cost of fuel itself comes to : Rs. 11,00,000
Maintenance cost : Rs. 0.3 / kM (Maintenance charges for my vehicle, averaged over 300,000 kM, between two cars, both from same company)
Cost for 200,000 kM -> 60,000 Rs.
Total cost of ownership of a petrol car : 16,60,000 (~22,000 USD)
The economics work out better if more distance is driven.
This EV model seems very much suited to India.
More details are at https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/auto-news...
I would love an all weather three wheeler that is light and efficient to travel to work every day.
Since I was doing a costing analysis, I assumed the worst case possible.
Accounting for selling power to the grid when not in use, usage for home, etc, the cost advantage of an EV improves even more.
It is an appealing idea to use the car as a battery store, however, there are a few practical issues.
1. When using the car as a battery bank, we eventually increase the charge / discharge cycles of the battery, leading to quicker need for replacement. An external solar battery is cheaper, considering it need not be miniaturized.
2. When not in use, I'd prefer the car is charged, so that I can use it as and when immediately required, say an emergency. So, using power from the car, is not appealing, to me atleast.
3. Grid is prone to brownout in India, however, most cities and towns are experiencing it less and less and these are the major markets for EVs.
Why don’t we stick to the points he mentions in the article instead of just discrediting him?
I actually asked them about prices back then but unfortunately they were far out of reach for a DIY conversion (I think they wanted ~$40k for a drive unit for a compact car). They're still around, though (https://acpropulsion.com/) and they provided the drivetrain for the Tesla Roadster.
Electric cars don't have 110/220v readily available AFAIK.
Much more likely it will be closer to something like Suzuki Mehran in spirit: borderline medieval metalwork, simplest electronics possible, but repairable by a highschooler
Serious question: How do electric cars work for people who live in apartments without a dedicated parking spot (street parking only)? Or more common, someone without a garage without an outdoor outlet nearby?
Is the assumption that charging stations need to become even more ubiquitous than gas stations (assuming the car needs to charge for longer than people are willing to wait at a charging station)?
Electricity is already ubiquitous, we just need to install the chargers.
E.g. trials have started to install EV chargers in lamp posts https://www.driving.co.uk/news/lamp-post-powered-electric-ca...
And actually provide enough power.
I mean, a street lamp is usually (traditional lamp) 250 W, a modern (led) lamp 80-100 W, there is no way the existing infrastructure (cables and before them transformers) will be able to provide 10 or 15 or 20 kW (at each post).
Typically street lamps are 30 m or so apart, and in that gap at least 6 or 7 car (maybe more) park in a city.
If they become most (or prevalently) electric each post will have 6 car connected.
Even with 1/3 coincidence factor, further divided by two (assuming that people will charge their cars every two days), we are talking anyway of 6*10/6= 10 kW per post, whihc means that to power a 300 m stretch of street you need a 100 kW dedicated transformer.
And a receptacle is "lost" for the whole night (or day).
I mean, you come back home around 19:30 and plug your car in a lamp post power receptacle, even if your car is fully charged after - say - 4 hours, are you really going to go out at 11:30, unplug your car and move it to another spot (IF there is a free one) in order to allow another person to charge his/her car?
And how long will be the charging cable (the one you have on board)?
It must be at least 20 m long to reach the lamp post if the parking spot you find is in the middle of two lamp posts.
I mean, I'd love to see that, but it doesn't look likely in the near future, unfortunately. I still think it's more likely that we'll have fast-charging batteries that you can refill in a few minutes, rather than charger-at-every-parking-spot.
Smart meters have existed for quite a while now. An electricity meter with LTE and a card reader is not a difficult thing to make (not very different from a parking meter)
The limiting factors on EVs at the moment is the cost of the battery. Taking the Nissan LEAF for example, the difference between the 40kWh and 62kWh version is 34kg. If cost wasn't an issue, you could easily double the battery size without any problem.
A solution is still needed for people who park on the street. Chargers on the street is the obvious way to handle that.
The “obvious way to handle this” is to build cities without cars at all, where people walk and bike and take the buses and trains.
This is very misleading. It takes several minutes to fill a gas tank (depending on tank size, pump speed, and how many times the damn thing gets gaslocked). Charging a modern BEV does not take several hundred minutes. Fast charging exists and functions similarly for BEVs as it does for cell phones - fast charge for the middle bulk of the cycle, charge rate slows to a trickle above 80%.
Chargers generally cost per minute, so you're incentivised to stay plugged in for the bulk fast-charge portion of your charge, not the trickle at the end.
At a much more common 6.6kW charge station you're getting 25 miles per hour of charge. I can put about 350 miles of gas in my car in one minute.
It's a bit unrealistic to expect people to park again after the charging is done.
We're at about the point of parity; BEVs cost more initially, but over the life of the vehicle, cost about the same as a comparable ICE. Whether you spend more or less comes down to how you use it.
Petro and ICE has been getting more expensive. Batteries and renewables have been getting less expensive, with a clear path for continued progress. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what's going to happen.
The infrastructure will come. Vehicle ownership costs, on average, 9 grand a year for Americans. So a BEV that can save even a modest fraction - say 20% - of that cost has a fairly large budget to work with for installing NEMA-50s where they're needed. On-street solutions are being developed, including some being deployed in the UK.
I don't think there will ever be a significant number of people doing fast-charge only.
Many inner-city (where electric cars make the most sense) houses do not have a dedicated garage (I am talking outside the US here). You would need to have plugs on all residential on-street parking.
It's also discussed to be in the next building requirement code IIRC
Eventually, they'll probably charge a $20k special assessment, just like they do when they hook you up to municipal water or sewage.
Although more of a niche in the UK at least, we did have the G-Whiz which cost less than this. Even though production was stopped in 2012, I used to see several regularly where I live until relatively recently.
Given the history of battery issues in various products, this seems like an unfortunate choice of phrasing!
It isn't like gasoline cars haven't had their fair share of issues with combustion. I'd be willing to bet that it is harder to burn a BEV (or air, hydrogen, LPG) parked in the street than an ICE.
Sure in some countries it's common that people have (small) houses but e.g. in Europe, it's pretty common to have housing blocks with parking on the streets without any electric charging station, or maybe one half a kilometer away which is often blocked by non electric cars.
With the charging times of electric cars you can not charge them in a "drive by" manner like you do for non electric cars.
I guess placing a bunch of (not very slow) charging stations on all Supermarket parking lots would probably be enough for the beginning given the range of new electric cars. At last for people which mainly use them in the city.
But without some political regulation, benefits or similar I don't see that happening (at last not in Germany in the next view years).
Anyway, I hope that when I buy a car next time it's feasible for me to go for a electric car (without having a second non electric car or similar).
Which isn’t very helpful if you need to visit places that don’t have good access to transit.
For example my parents live in a small town about 30 minutes away by car. If I were to visit them by public transport that would be a 2+ hour journey. On a weekday. Most of my visits are on Sundays and that’s a whole different story. It would practically be impossible to visit them without taking a day off work.
When you want to go out of town, either you take a train or bus, or if it's out into nature / rural areas with poor bus service - you rent a car. Some cities even have a "car pool renting" service, e.g. car2go: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car2go
I'm not saying that it's insurmontable, just that price is not the only thing that stops people from buying electric right now.
It's simple enough to spend an hour charging while buying groceries, and as this model builds out it will be even easier to get a full charge while out running errands.
Even without home charging, it's still easier than stopping at the gas station...
Won't their popularity dip a bit if they explode?
Yes, I know they weigh a lot, but you could have e.g. 10/20 cells weighing 50 kg each to offset that.
In many developing countries, you don't even need to refuel yourself, staff at the gas station are willing to do that for you, so you don't even need to get your hands dirty. I think gas/refueling stations should be backing this idea, before they become non-existent.
Long recharge times can thus be avoided. Price-conscious consumers can recharge over-night using a wall socket, keeping grid loads low(er).
Aging batteries wouldn't be an issue, and can be replaced, heck, even upgraded! Buy a car with 250km range today, have it go 750km tomorrow, when the tech matures, who knows.
...but all this would require car manufacturers to forgo half the selling price and work together to develop a universal battery cell, so I'm doubting this would ever happen.
But I see no loss for the consumer with this strategy though, and believe that this should be highlighted in the public discourse.
I'm guessing nobody used it, because it was for the exclusively for the Model S, which has good range and few owners, and apparently you even needed to make an appointment for it.
It's not "refueling", it's "replacing" the battery, what Tesla did.
A few added points. One is this car is not going to bankrupt Tesla. That's because it is selling to different markets.
The second is that battery prices keep falling, and so the price of this car will too.
The third is that other manufacturers are going to take this car apart and figure out how to make a similar one, so in a few years we will see a whole bunch of them.
I have said it before and I will say it again. After many years of wishes and slow progress, the EV revolution is finally starting to take off.
Just that feel good factor of owning a Prius or Tesla without addressing the root cause.
It's a hen-egg problem. You need large storage capacity to enable renewables. But without renewables, storage isn't utilized and therefore not profitable.
Plus, cities would be nicer if the pollution was just around the plant instead of in every street.
I would have vastly preferred something like this:
"electric version of Renault's low-cost Kwid being launched now"
I know, I know... The poster simply replicated the title in the actual article. And yet, does it serve HN readers well?
Impact safety is the usual one besides emissions, which as you note shouldn't be an issue.