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Low cost EVs will indeed be what kills ICE cars, particularly in the developing world where they can double as general electricity storage.

That said:

> 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.




Niedermeyer actually ended the Tesla Death Watch in 2009, which was started before he began writing for the outfit that ran it. He has been very circumspect in forecasting Tesla's demise ever since, and in fact often notes that one of the singular features of the Tesla story is the way they always seem to create (or be handed) a lifeline at their eleventh hour.

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.


> particularly in the developing world where they can double as general electricity storage

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.


Actually for India the real electric car has already arrived and it is already seeing widespread usage. It costs less than $2000 and goes around 80kms on a single charge. It looks like a narrower auto rickshaw, most of them are manufactured locally and can be see used widespread in tier-2 cities in north india.

More details are at https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/auto-news...


Never heard of this before, but makes sense.

I would love an all weather three wheeler that is light and efficient to travel to work every day.


You'd install solar panels solely to charge your car? You have no other uses for electricity? And you'd be content to just let the power go to waste while the car isn't at home charging?


No, Nothing like that. I was focusing only on the car part. Of course, the 15 kWH solar system in your home could power the entire home too, or be fed back into the grid, which many municipalities in India are accepting.

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.


Right so consider that you could also sell spare power from your car back to the grid when demand is high and you don't need to drive. Seems like another good benefit, particularly if the grid is prone to brownout (not sure if yours is)


From the car, I am not sure.

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.


I think the implication is that it would be worth it to install battery backed solar panels purely to charge the car. Of course if you had an off grid solar power system you'd use it for lighting and other conveniences as well.


So? Can’t he be entitled to his own opinion about Tesla? Or is his reputation now forever tarnished?

Why don’t we stick to the points he mentions in the article instead of just discrediting him?


Being wrong for 12 years and counting is a bit of a concern, no? Also, if he has no credibility, then the points in the article require more scrutiny, we can't just take him at his word, can we? That's why credibility matters.


His opinion is fine; the problem is that this article is being purposely deceptive about what his opinion is.


Have any cars been able to use their batteries as general purpose "plug in anything" type of power source? That would really expand the appeal significantly.


Nissan has their 'vehicle-to-home' system that does exactly this. As far as I know it's only been released in Japan so far, but all their LEAF cars from the last few years support it.

https://www.nissan-global.com/EN/TECHNOLOGY/OVERVIEW/vehicle...

https://thedriven.io/2019/07/11/nissan-sees-leaf-as-home-ene...

https://blog.nissan-global.com/EN/?p=4866


What do you mean by "anything"? I haven't heard of any that can, say, power a whole house during a power outage, but plenty of cars (EV and ICE alike) have built-in (or add-on) inverters to plug in typical 120V or 230V devices.


"Vehicle to grid" power transfer was a key selling point of AC Propulsion's system back as far as the early 2000s.

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.



Unfortunately, the 12V system in mine is limited to 10 amps. the raw 48V from the battery would have no problem running an AC inverter, but on mine at least, is not accessible


I believe it is achievable using an inverter, just like with ICE car.

Electric cars don't have 110/220v readily available AFAIK.


I'm afraid, "the global EV" will not even be an EV Kwid, too big, too heavy, too unmaintainable for poor people.

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




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