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Audi announces end of combustion A4, A6 and A8 models (electrive.com)
305 points by reddotX 45 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 316 comments

“These steps are mentioned in a portrait of Duesmann, who has been at the helm of the VW subsidiary in Ingolstadt for three quarters of a year, in the German publication Manager Magazin. Specifically, it says that new versions of the A4 and A6 will be launched again from 2023 and electric variants will follow a little later, but that Audi does not even want to offer the mid-range models as internal combustion engines until the end of their life. Ergo, the end will be before 2030.”

Um. That is not exactly an announcement.

That’s an attempt to read between the lines of an article in a magazine that says Audi would like to start phasing things out, maybe, if the market and regulatory conditions are right. That is a far cry from an announcement.

Another piece of context regarding hybrids:

> politics will no longer promote the technology after the federal elections in autumn 2021 at the latest, and that customers will then lose interest

As this is a German company, the interview was with a German magazine, and Germany is having federal elections in fall 2021, he is probably referring to regulatory changes which may affect only the German market. Audi could still sell hybrids elsewhere in the world.

I dunno about Germany, but in the US, I think it’s fair to say customers don’t care about hybrids. They're less than 3% of the market.


I suspect straight-up EVs are more palatable to average consumers because it’s just conceptually simple. You plug it in. Like a phone.

Whereas a hybrid…well, is it a hybrid, is it a plug-in electric hybrid, wait, I have to plug it in and also fuel it, when does it…can I drive around on just battery…I personally love the Honda Clarity Hybrid†, but trying to explain it conceptually to my partner was a chore.

Also, pure EVs are supposed to be simpler to build and design. They obviously have a huge cost in terms of that battery, but the actual powertrain is way simpler than a gas-electric hybrid system.

the in-laws live out in the boonies in Ontario, and the lack of charging infrastructure combined with the winter temperatures make plug-in hybrids so attractive for our particular use case—putter around the city on electrons, only use hydrocarbons to see mom

According to VW a hybrid is obviously harder to make than a conventional combustion car, but EVs are actually about 30% easier/less parts.

Well up until the last few years there were hardly and hybrids but now there are quite a few including a good number of PHEVs.

Consistently absent was anything on the higher end but now BMW, Lexus, and others, have a good selection that should fit under the hybrid banner. Hell Chrysler has the only PHEV minivan and that is a big segment

Well up until the last few years there were hardly

Then why was the peak year for sales in 2013?


Consistently absent was anything on the higher end but now BMW, Lexus, and others, have a good selection that should fit under the hybrid banner

The Lexus RX debuted as a hybrid in 2005.


Hybrids are more favoured in Europe because of stricter fuel economy standards and emission regulation as well as taxes on fuel and on cars based on fuel consumption. Being hard to explain or consumer preference doesn't have to do with it.

I agree with you on your take. The “announcement” isn’t much of an announcement.

However, the writing is on the wall. I don’t think the general public realizes just how quickly new car buyers will look at electric versus gasoline and be unable to financially justify buying the gasoline model.

(Sure, the used and possibly the “cheapest new car MSRP possible” market will involve gas cars for a long time, but not the “I need a crossover SUV for $35-45k” market that dominates sales and profits.)

By 2030 you’re going to be looking at luxury car electric models with 600 miles of range at current prices or lower, with better reliability and lower cost of ownership.

Oh, yes, I think EVs are going to be “a thing” soon, especially when it comes to delivery vehicles. (More opportunities for centralized charging, less range anxiety as you’re just trawling down city blocks, extremely obvious environmental benefit of not spewing particulates and NOx in a city.)

I’m just objecting to poorly written puff pieces on electric car blogs.

Depends if the large subsidies for well off middle class buyers are kept.

I don’t think it depends on the subsidies, personally. Tesla doesn’t have them on a federal level anymore and they’re able to compete against the larger market.

Also, the national security implications for keeping gasoline autos as a primary mode of transport are extremely concerning for many countries. China, for example, will never allow gasoline cars to be part of their long-term future. The discussions some countries have regarding completely banning personal automobiles running on gasoline are serious discussions.

So, I’m not sure one can really separate subsidy or penalty/tax from the overall value proposition of owning a product, and one can’t necessarily count on those subsidies or restrictions going away.

This is certainly wishy-washy regarding timelines and commitments.

VW has (properly) announced that their end date is 2026. I feel like this is an accurate reading between the lines and it will be announced.

Sort of?


The gasoline engines that debut in 2026 will be the “last generation” of internal combustion engines. Given the lifespan of these models, I think they’ll overshoot a 2030 target. (I will personally eat my hat if they can actually sell a profitable electric Golf-class vehicle in 2026. The margins ain’t there yet.)

Isn’t the id3 profitable? Maybe not by much but I can hardly imagine them selling a car at a net loss.

Edit: the id3 is the electric counterpart to the golf.

"Volkswagen expects to lose about €3000 ($4730) on every ID hatch sold, with profitability forecast to begin around 2025."


Fleet emission rules have the weird (but entirely intended!) effect that they make it economic to sell (nominally or actually) low emission cars at a loss if they compensate highly profitable high-emission cars elsewhere in the portfolio.

Originally this meant that small economy cars got subsidized by expensive guzzlers, but with regulations clamping down on emissions ever harder and with the "Tesla insight" that electric cars just don't work on a budget (not just plain battery cost, also what if you don't have a convenient garage and all that), it's flipping over to electrics from the premium brand in the portfolio cross-subsidizing ICE for the less affluent (e.g. Audi electrics compensating for Seat four cylinders)

They claim it will be profitable. And it may be right now…

…given they are only selling the most expensive model, at $42,000. (Before tax credits.) That’s a fair bit more expensive than a gas Golf.


In the Netherlands the base Golf starts at €27k. When you customise that to the trim you get stock on the id3 st/plus (st little less, plus more advanced extras) you get to €42382 (config code 8N1B7B) which is not that different from the €43k for the ST and €44k for the Plus.

I can imagine that the Golf being known tech will have a larger profit margin indeed. In the other hand, most of the extras in the id3 are shared technology anyways.

yikes, you'd have to be really committed to buying an EV to choose that over a golf R at that price. I guess the tax credit softens things a bit.

And I’m sure the CO2 taxes and fuel taxes in Europe weight the equation as well. But yeah, quite the price difference at the sticker.

See my other comment https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25876431, at least in the Netherlands the price difference for the same trim is negligible. Moreover, you might still be eligible for the €4K subsidy from the government.

maybe not by itself, but it reduces the average emissions for the fleet so they are able to sell other vehicles with more margin.

Some pre ww2 generations of ICE's lasted for decades after ww2 the British O series was one mentioned when I did mech eng at collage in the 1980's

I just bought a PHEV from Volvo and I love it. It gives me the flexibility to roam around town on pure electric while also providing the range I need to go hiking in remote areas.

A lot of the Seattle area only has street parking on residential streets. I'm curious how these folks are ever going to go full EV.

As someone who lives with street parking in a city, I've found that I actually tend to drive less than 300 miles in a month. There's 7.2 amp charging at the grocery store that I go to so I can top-up there while shopping. There's also charging stations in a bunch of the public parking places around town. It wouldn't be carefree to go all-electric, but it also doesn't seem like it would be too much of an imposition on my life.

Likewise, high-speed charging from Tesla Superchargers, Electrify America, and certainly others by 2030 can give an 80% charge in around half an hour. Again, it certainly isn't perfect, but it feels like I could work with it.

However, the big thing is that we're going to need to see a change in our cities that will kinda render a lot of this moot. Street parking, parking in general, and car ownership/use in cities is going to have to decline. Our cities are drowning under parking infrastructure. Everyone is afraid of new housing because new housing brings competition for parking spaces and increased traffic. If we're going to actually make cities a sustainable place to live, it's going to need to mean a lot fewer cars.

Housing prices in cities like Seattle, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, NYC, Boston, and DC are already sky-high. I know that a lot of techies can afford to live there, but raising a family becomes expensive when 1,200 square feet starts above a million. If we add new housing, we realistically can't add a lot of new parking to accommodate an influx of people with cars. Even if we mandate parking minimums for new housing (which is bad), that still means less parking available per car at everywhere you're driving to; it still means increased traffic that the roads can't accommodate (and there isn't space to just expand the roads).

Plus, as cities try to reduce traffic deaths and accommodate more road users, even fewer cars can be accommodated. A lot of cities are reducing the speed limit to 25 MPH, introducing protected bike lanes, adding traffic calming devices, removing parking spaces that would block drivers from seeing pedestrians, etc. Cities are taking back some car infrastructure and returning it to use for people. Likewise, businesses that are now sitting on incredibly valuable land that is being under-used as parking are likely going to pressure local governments to let them turn those parking lots into better uses of that land.

I remember the white-flight and the jobs that followed out into the suburbs. For those that remained in a city, they might have to commute out of the city to Redmond for their job and so parking was essential. Today, Amazon and others are setting up shop in Seattle.

For hiking, maybe it's reasonable to just rent a car for the day/weekend. I know that makes it seems like you're having to pay for the trip, but you were always having to pay. Cars will generally be $500/mo all-in on the cheap side of things, never mind an Audi or Volvo.

Ultimately, dealing with global warming and other challenges will require a certain amount of change in the way we set things up and live our lives. I think this is the reality that people often don't want to acknowledge - that what currently exists can't really continue existing for the kind of world we want and need to be. Electric cars lower emissions a good bit, but there's still a lot of emissions in manufacturing, a lot of particulate matter from tires and brakes, a lot of emissions from road-building and repair, a huge amount of emissions from concrete for parking garages, a large death toll from traffic fatalities, emissions from the fact that many trees that won't exist to accommodate car infrastructure, emissions from air conditioning as more car infrastructure means making cities greater heat islands... Plus, how do we accommodate the growth of our cities?

I think the answer to your question is that we're likely going to have to make changes to our cities and how we live in them rather than figuring out how street-parkers go full EV.

> For hiking, maybe it's reasonable to just rent a car for the day/weekend. I know that makes it seems like you're having to pay for the trip, but you were always having to pay.

Agreed, but people work more like this:

1. I already paid for my car, so I use it kind of for free, except gas.

2. I have to rent a car for $50 a day to go hiking, mmm, that's an extra $50. Maybe I'll do something closer to home in the range of my EV.

Also don't underestimate the convenience of leaving from home at any time in the day or the night and returning there vs driving to get the rental car, go through the paperworks, and again when returning it. It can easily add a couple of hours of friction.

> Also don't underestimate the convenience of leaving from home at any time in the day or the night and returning there vs driving to get the rental car, go through the paperworks, and again when returning it. It can easily add a couple of hours of friction.

There are some car clubs in the city I live in. You sign up in advance, give them your details/card, and use an app to book the car. They're scattered all over the city, and you book it by the hour and pay for mileage. You get a fuel card, and are asked not to leave it back empty. If you pick one up empty, fill it up, and tell the app and they'll nag the previous person about it (but I only had to do this once in the 2 years I used it). It's great!

When I signed up at first it was great, there were 5 cars within 1/2 a mile of me. 2 years later, there were still 5 cars within 1/2 a mile of me, but the number of people using the service had increased so there was no availability on a weekend.

On my current street there's ~100 cars parked on it, and at least 10 of them haven't moved in the last week (my own included). If we replaced (even) half of those cars with for-hire cars, it would be a perfectly usable system for me.

> 1. I already paid for my car, so I use it kind of for free, except gas.

If you're not using your car for work, then this doesn't apply really. Even assuming you own it outright, maintenance/checks/cleaning/washing my current car are in the region of 30-40 bucks a month.

> On my current street there's ~100 cars parked on it, and at least 10 of them haven't moved in the last week (my own included). If we replaced (even) half of those cars with for-hire cars, it would be a perfectly usable system for me.

Yes, this. If cities are going to donate half of our road space to car storage, it should be to cars usable by everyone, not private ones.

End free parking and build more car share schemes.

>end free parking

Well you could make parking metered. And residents could pay an additional tax to receive a permit to park without restriction. Then you are no longer donating half of your road space and I won’t be forced to share my car

This is already the case in most cities in the UK, and where I (GP) live. A residents permit is £1-300/year, and hourly parking is ~3-4GBP/hour 9-6Mon to Sat. The parking spots are still full all day, every day.

> I won't be forced to share my car This is a selfish way of looking at it, and exactly why these schemes aren't growing. I'm more than happy to share my vehicle with others, but the companies managing these schemes need to actually make sure they keep up with the demand.

> End free parking and build more car share schemes.

This isn't free parking, it's heavily subsidised (residents permits for my area are £100-£300 p/a depending on car emissions). If you go maybe half a mile farther out of the city it is free, but there's even less of these car share scheme spaces available.

Yeah, that's one of the main benefits of having a car for me, spontaneity. I drive 2/3 miles for climbing, hiking and skiing, only about 1/3 for work.

And I would miss out on a lot of outdoor sports if it wasn't a "sunk cost".

I do think hybrids are kind of the ideal trade off until we have much much better infrastructure and battery technology.

1) You can go electric to work/shopping/city, and only switch to gasoline when you go out of town. 2) you don't need to spend 10k for a new battery when it's gone bad. 3) you don't need to be scared about finding a place to charge.

>don’t spend 10k for a new battery

Why not just buy a smaller more efficient car without the battery in the first place? You would save more than 10k...

Of course, competing with the reengineering of cities you propose is the trend toward remote work which I think will only grow. Most of the well-heeled jobs that have driven up the cost of housing in large cities can be done elsewhere. When the choice is to pay $1M for a 1200 sq ft apartment in the city vs the same amount in rural New Hampshire to get a castle with a barn on an acre, the funding needed to reengineer cities may flow elsewhere.

Car use decline for the poor but stay the same for the rich?

Solid State batteries offer much higher speed charging and I suspect most manufacturers would move towards those.

> A lot of the Seattle area only has street parking on residential streets. I'm curious how these folks are ever going to go full EV.

It is funny how people in the US expect exactly nothing from their government/city. Does nobody think they could provide shared charging infrastructure for people who live there?

Or you take the view that if a city is investing in transportation infrastructure, it should focus on public transportation instead of building infrastructure for private vehicles that degrade the urban experience.

Or maybe do both? I don't see Americans getting rid of their cars, so look at it as harm reduction.

I would. And if I would, so would others.

I wouldn't. And I'm sure many others wouldn't either for similar reasons.

Public transportation is great and I love using it when it makes sense, but in many cities it does not compete with the convenience and security of having a reliable personal vehicle.

The only place I felt public transportation was good enough to go without my own car was NYC - but I lived on a great train line that ran every few minutes reliably. I also didn't have any dependents that I was responsible for. Many people who lived nearby used the train but still had their own cars as a backup.

Even with how convenient it was for shuttling myself around, using it when needing to carry anything like groceries becomes difficult, and made me wish I had a car. Especially during rush hour where sitting is almost impossible.

I'm all for improving public transportation, but I do not see it being a replacement for personal vehicles in every way.

The issue is that public transit generally optimizes for throughput, and latency suffers.

The wealthier people are, the more latency sensitive they become.

Maybe the street chargers could be run for profit with the proceeds used to subsidize public transportation?

The city should focus on what makes the most sense for their citizens. In some places that means public transit, in some places it means EV chargers.

I take it you have not experienced the consistent lack of vision or competence from the last several Seattle city mayors[1].

Does nobody think they could provide shared charging infrastructure for people who live there?

I say this as a dyed-in-the-wool progressive: no, no one here thinks that the mayor of Seattle would be able to do this.

We have a mayoral election coming up in November. There's an outside chance that things might change for the better, but I'm not really holding my breath.


[1] Excepting McGinn, who I thought got a really raw deal.

McGinn made a few cushy positions for his friends and did not get much done. Very similar to Greg Nickels IMO, who was only ousted after his cronies that ran SDOT totally bodged Snowpocalypse, followed by him coming out and saying he thought they did a B- job despite most of the city being trapped in snow for a week...

Given the economics of personal EV cars (they are expensive), wouldn't it be difficult to justify the investment (spending) given a growing wealth divide (spending everybody's money on rich folks to enable buying expensive things)?

I acknowledge that EV transport has a chicken/egg problem of standing up a support infrastructure as adoption grows and that there are collective interests in decreasing point of service emissions and shifting energy generation away from sources with harmful emissions. However, the problem can be viewed from perspectives outside the personal car paradigm. Why would a rationally goal-oriented city or similar organization spend money/effort on supporting the personal ownership model instead of improving transportation for all people? For example, the same decrease in emissions might be achieved by improved bus/tram service, or public/private partnership to provide EV charging for car sharing services.

What are the cities that have provided street-side charging, what were their goals and by what criteria did they decide to do street-side charging instead of choosing other methods to achieve their goals?

EVs are projected to get cheaper than internal combustion by mid-decade [0]. There are lots of American city neighborhoods where EVs will be inaccessible without street-side charging.

In response to GP, I definitely expect the US government to take a lead on building charging infrastructure (especially with a federal administration that doesn't actively dismiss climate change). A failure to demonstrate competence building green infrastructure in the next few years will quite possibly lead me to seek greener pastures elsewhere (EU). Thankfully San Francisco included charging infrastructure and street-side charging in its 2019 EV roadmap [1].

That said, public transit is by far the better green tech. But since private vehicles won't be going away overnight, might as well transition them to something cleaner.

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/22/electric...

[1] https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/reports-and-docume...

What are concrete examples of "US government to take a lead on building charging infrastructure?" The feds leasing street-side right of way and installing chargers and payment infrastructure and also somehow increasing grid capacity? Spray and pray tax/borrowed money on whatever company has the best connected lobbyists? Something in between?

More to the point: to meet a climate change goal, why continue to subsidize the overprovisioning of transportation capability in the form of largely unused, quickly depreciating equipment with low watt to work efficiency? Is doing the same thing as before really going to move the needle to the goal? If asserted true, what proof or precedent is there?

> What are concrete examples of "US government to take a lead on building charging infrastructure?“

They don’t need to take over right of ways. The DOT (or whoever) could help by aiding standardization of chargers and payments, creating a program to fund design of street-side chargers, provide incentives (in the form of taxes perhaps) for cities to meet EV infra quotas.

> why continue to subsidize the overprovisioning of transportation capability in the form of largely unused, quickly depreciating equipment with low watt to work efficiency?

Oh trust me, I really feel this. Maybe you’re right that any incrementalism in reducing carbon emissions is wrong, and we should go all in on the optimal solution, ie ban cars and redesign cities. But even if the govt did radically depart from the past 50 years of stalled infrastructure, and went all in, it would still take a long time until an alternative to the personal vehicle is practical to all urban/suburban dwellers. Long enough for a switch to EVs to be unjustifiable from a climate perspective, probably (I would very much like numbers)

But yes, I am just as tired of the mantra of lesser of two evils. But maybe that’s just how democracy is destined to unfold.

I worry a bit about the physics/mechanics of "charging" infrastructure.

Last week some company announced (in some sense) non-graphite anodes that will (theoretically) make 5 minute recharges of a car battery system possible. Given the amount of energy stored in the system, this is a LOT of juice to have flowing down a wire.

Now imagine that it's about that time of day when a bunch of cars get parked curbside, and plug in to the "new" charging infrastructure. I don't know the numbers, I think we're talking about insane current levels, meaning insane wire sizes being buried in the street.

Anyone know anything about this?

Charging a car-sized battery in 5 minutes requires nearly a megawatt of power.

Even if this tech becomes widespread in cars I highly doubt the infrastructure will ever be in place for it be something that the average person can use on a regular basis.

It seems likely that when EVs become the norm people will mostly use slower charging while parked and pay extra for fast charging on long distance trips only. But widespread adoption will still probably require some fairly significant upgrades of power generation infrastructure.

We all somehow managed to accept the 5 Megajoules of energy in an average gas station storage tank. The wattage and voltage are a big concern vs the (false?) safety sense we have from pumping petrol. But that could be addressed with some well engineers locking mechanism. Gas stations explode if you smoke by them.

Sure, but we use relatively dangerous liquid fuel transports to deliver that 5Mj to the stations, which manage to fit (albeit with some real risk) onto regular roads.

You can't deliver that kind of power to a charging station easily based on the electrical infrastructure we currently have.

At least this my understanding.

Yes, the way tesla handles this is by having batteries at their charging stations to average out the current draw from the grid.

The city can provide rights to install EV chargers on the street to private companies for free, in exchange for a share of the revenues. In Europe almost all EV chargers are run by companies vs governments - which they must see as a for-profit investment, as they are for-profit companies -, so if it works here, there's no reason why it can't work there too. The revenue the city receives from EV charging can be used to improve public transportation, so everybody wins.

Don't forget EVs are beneficial for everyone in terms of less pollution, so cities should be encouraging residents to purchase EVs over ICE with small incentives (in my city you don't need to pay for street parking).

Heh, writing about "EV cars* on your personal PC computer".

*vehicle cars

hi! i hope you dont mind the random solicitation but intense searching for answers led to a comment of yours in a very old thread that struck a chord with me, i hoped to find an email or way to contact you but only found that you are using a throwaway to remain anonymous and that your tone/language/interests/concerns (from the little ive seen) are more relatable than i expected is there a way we can chat today without me imposing on your privacy/anonimity? a secure way to chat for you? if you didnt mind me picking your brain of course. thank you!

American here. We expect to be milked like dairy cows.

The funniest part is that this is paired with a lack of belief in the free market. Think of all the real estate that is taken up with gas stations. Do we think those are all going to exist forever despite a shrinking customer base? As society transfers to more EVs, gas stations can transition to EV charging stations. Those stations can be denser too since a charger doesn't require much more room than a parking space. Combine that with the trend of faster and faster charging and the need for a dedicated home charger will decrease over time.

I keep hearing that gas stations aren't great businesses as they are, and if they do make money it is not on fuel. I found one article that is particularly negative, but not necessarily objective [1].

The closest gas station to me, on foot, has converted its mechanics bays to a great taco shop, its "office" to a liquor store with a great selection of spirits, and it has a full-size car wash operation wrapped around it.

So it seems like the most likely conversion would be that the gas station would swap gas pumps for chargers, in phases. Of course the best layout for chargers where charging takes the time it currently does is not the same as the best layout for fuel pumps, so it will be interesting to see how the transition goes.

So at present all the gas stations that I know of that seem viable are embedded in businesses that take up even more space, and the retail fuel business is just a part of it.

[1] https://www.franchise.city/buy-a-gas-station

Many of those side businesses might be even more profitable with EV chargers as the main attraction rather than gas stations. EV charging doesn't require you to stay by the vehicle like gas fueling does (or at least is supposed to). Having a property with a constant flow of people who have 5-15 minutes of free time sounds like a great way to make money for a taco shop, liquor store, general convenience store, or any number of businesses.

Spare time is becoming ever more precious these days. It's tilting at windmills to suggest that popup businesses near a charging station can hope to soak up the excess time lost to recharging in ways that most of us will happily adopt.

The only viable path forward for EVs is to reduce recharge time or make it invisible (do it outside rush hour). Until then I see no way for them to displace hybrids as primary family cars.

>Spare time is becoming ever more precious these days.

I feel like this is something that everyone has been saying for decades and I don't really know what it means in practice. There are countless businesses that are successful soaking up excess time that people happily participate in. The mobile gaming business for example is an industry worth tens of billions of dollars that simply didn't exist a couple decades ago.

>The only viable path forward for EVs is to reduce recharge time or make it invisible (do it outside rush hour). Until then I see no way for them to displace hybrids as primary family cars.

Hybrid market share has likely already peaked and they never became the primary family car for Americans. Hybrid's share of new cars only ever topped 3% once and that was in 2013. Plus charge time has already been decreasing for EVs and Teslas have gotten to the point that an average American would probably only need to charge for 10-20 minutes once a week at one of their highest powered Superchargers. That really isn't the inconvenience that some people are making it out to be if there are other business at these charging locations that can keep people occupied.

Given property tax rates, charging times have to drop pretty drastically, and they'll need a massive increase in power supply to handle the 15-20 cars supercharging simultaneously.

Gas stations currently make very little to almost nothing actually selling gas (something like 5-25 cents a gallon last I had heard). Almost all of their income is from also acting as a convenience store for snacks and drinks. They need people in and out as quick as possible, not loitering around for half an hour.

Basically, if charging time dropped to the 5 minute range, sure. I would hate to have to use one, though, given how busy gas stations already are during the day around here.

That is A battery. The thermal management, safety mechanisms and infrastructure are fundamentally different when you are doing a dozen or two EV's worth or batteries simultaneously. I am not convinced that is practical in a consumer setting, or - to go back to the original topic - as a solution for people who don't have private parking to charge at.

As is noted elsewhere in the thread, it isn't simply a battery problem.

Intriguing. That would be a game changer. Of course, the next question is how soon before it can compete at the current battery's price point? If it ships in 2025 as the article suggests, it sounds like 2030 is likely the earliest it might widely replace today's batteries.

They'll have to change their business model. Half an hour is a very long time for an extremely captive audience. I'm very certain they can figure out a way to make money off of that.

I would like to take that vision of the future you mention and add to it the concept of vertically stacking the fast-charging cars two or three vehicles high to double/triple your customer density. When you picture it mentally you can begin to see the financials start to make sense. If the underground fuel tanks can be properly decontaminated and repurposed as storage for uhhm storage batteries you have maximised your revenue generating space.

Being able to supply the “Ooomph” to fast charge 6 or 10 cars with a 5 minute vehicle turn around ( a la Tesla’s fast chargers) but also triple stacked with cars (hydraulic ramps, customer disembarks and uses the time to pay or shop). Chuck in the ‘free' storage space for your ballasting batteries and I can see a great market for buying up old gas stations located in inner city areas - especially those that are currently car washes, vacant lots etc.

Gas stations in cities are being converted to apartment/condo complexes, not EV charging stations. The economics just don't allow wasting prime real estate on something like a EV charging station.

$dayjob does provide shared charging infrastructure, and discovered there wasn't enough amperage going to the office park to run all of the chargers it does have at full speed. (Each charger can charge one car at full speed, but if both cables are plugged in, it will charge each at a reduced speed.) They currently have ~60 chargers on a 5-building campus. Given the square footage of the campus and the parking minimums set by the city, they'd need 25x that in order to convert every single parking spot with a charger.

We'd need some pretty serious upgrades to our electrical transmission infrastructure to get L2 charging speeds from "every lamppost" as some would propose.

Is there a way of overprovisioning the physical car endpoints compared to the resources available to the group?

Within a parking garage is there a method of metering/constraining individual charging nodes so that the overall consumption does not exceed the amps available to the garage?

Say for example, all my neighborhood household electric meters have some zigbee coms that allow the electric co to snoop on individual usage closer to realtime. Do EVs not have a method for the charger to understand the EV's % of full charge?

To an extent, yes -- the current infrastructure is already over-provisioned by a factor of 2. (Each charger has two ports; if one car is plugged in it goes at full speed, if both are plugged in they get half. Each station has 4 parking spots, so that you can move the charging cord over to the next car when you're done charging your car.)

But when we start talking about "every parking spot" scale, then two constraints come to mind: (1) the charging rate is too low to be effective (L1 charging over "regular" 110V wall outlets gets you only a few miles of charge an hour), and (2) if you have too much current going through some common section of cable, it will blow a circuit breaker, or worse, overheat and cause an electrical fire (same as if you plug too many things into an extension cord at home or work).

Edit: I think the current state of the art for sharing is "push notification to tell the driver to move their car" because there is a non-trivial capital outlay for chargers even if you have enough electricity. So any scheme that involves all the cars being plugged in and some intelligent switching of who should go first still requires considerable capital costs, even before you get to upgrading the big transmission wires.

in the case of the office park, it's probably fine for the cars to charge at a reduced rate, as long as everyone has enough juice to get home at the end of the day.

in the case of a general purpose parking garage, this is less okay. I don't want to park in a garage for an hour to shop and not know whether my car will be at 30% or 80% charge when I get back. this is barely better than not having charging infrastructure at all.

This is the United States. The best we expect is that the city will contract with an exclusive provider who will be the only ones that can install chargers on every street and then charge us to use them.

They should charge you to use them. The problem is they will charge you way more than they should because of the exclusive deal they have based on the bribes they paid to the city.

Also, the provider will collect the money, but not actually install many chargers.

Or maintain them.

I mean on a serious note, yes I personally think it's possible to do. But heavy charging cables have enough copper you're basically leaving a few dollars for every person with a pair of bolt cutters and a shopping cart. Not to mention vandalism or ICEing due to someone wanting to protest electric cars. I'm not saying it's impossible; just you need to design in making them robust and vandalism, theft and denial-of-service resistant.

On a more humorous note my first mental image had a cyberpunk vibe: someone walking around the city with an unregulated nuke generator (stolen recycled waste or maybe a stolen weapon) selling electricity by the watt from a repurposed hot dog cart. Or maybe WattWallahs if it turns into a semi informal business.

I believe EVs will come into their own as battery technology improves to the point that charging is no longer a multi hour affair. Whether that's the Bill Gates battery, super capacitors, hot swap battery clubs or some combination thereof remains to be seen.

Charging is already not a multi-hour affair. 30m-45m with current fast chargers.

But you don’t need fast charging on public streets, you charge while parked.

You do if the only place to park is on public streets.

I think the discussion is about people who park on the street outside their house or apartment. This is very common in some cities.


> But heavy charging cables have enough copper you're basically leaving a few dollars for every person with a pair of bolt cutters and a shopping cart.

This is an absolutely critical point. We can dream up all the beautiful systems we want, but as long as they have some reliance on a high-trust society, they will fail in America. America is a state in decline; the high point of trust was decades ago, and now most Americans live in a situation where they can't leave anything unlocked lest it be stolen.

A lot of pie-in-the-sky sharing service ideas fall flat when we realize that people abuse shared property as much as they can. People like to suggest a future where electric, self-driving cars will be summoned on demand and show up at our doors, obviating the need to own your own vehicle; but the insides of these vehicles will be filthy, and the utility of having emergency stuff carried along with you (from a change of clothes on upward) will be lost. We can imagine banning people from such a service, but we can also imagine someone enacting a law banning banning....

> America is a state in decline; the high point of trust was decades ago

Can you provide a source for that? All of the sources I see show that we're just above 1960s levels of property crime and trending downward.


Bit tangential but I’ve been wondering how street parking thing works, because in my country you can’t register a car without a “declaration of storage space” form and storage address in it has to be a non-bogus private property no more than 2km(1.2mi) away from your home address.

To me it’s a no-brainer to have such a regulation, but how do other people/cities/country cope without it? You apply for parking permission for “1234 Hacker Rd. space 3A” or do you just find an open spot and consider it yours, like you do for a chair in a cafe?

US cities where 'street-only' parking is common generally use a combination of approaches in different areas (sometimes a linear portion of a street; sometimes a 'zone' consisting of a geographic area bounded by certain streets).

Approaches I have encountered are:

* Meter-only parking - reserved exclusively for short-term use, usually in highly commercialized areas; long-term use by residents generally prohibited

* Unrestricted street parking - Any car with a valid registration may park in any space not otherwise designated as off-limits (e.g. loading zones, metered zones, specially designated zones for those with mobility impairments). May require periodic relocation to facilitate street sweeping, snow plowing, or other activities sanctioned by the municipality (e.g. clearing space for loading/unloading moving trucks or construction equipment).

* Zoned street parking - Parking in the zone follows the same general pattern of 'unrestricted' above, except vehicles need a specially-issued identifier (usually a sticker) from the municipality to park in the zone.

* Reserved street parking - In conventional circumstances, usually limited to parking spaces for those with mobility impairments, or some special circumstance (e.g. a city might lease spots to a car-sharing service to improve transport access for residents). Sometimes found in cases where there are parking spaces directly off the street (e.g. "pull-in angle parking") in less heavily trafficked areas/neighborhoods.

Often in US cities with otherwise unrestricted street parking, there is a time limit/number of days before a vehicle is considered "abandoned" and ticketed or towed. So even if you don't need to drive your car, you need to move it periodically (partially to demonstrate that the vehicle is operational).

In my city street parking is free but time restricted. Downtown streets have 2 or 4 hour parking limits, and street parking is not allowed between 2AM and 5AM. I like not having to worry about meters but it's always a pain to wake up in the middle of the night and remember I forgot to put my car in the driveway.

In the US, depends on the city and probably on the neighborhood. A lot of my friends in NYC for example don't even have cars.

I've lived in Texas a long time and parking space in residential areas was never a problem. Nearly every apartment complex comes with a giant parking lot and private houses either have a garage/driveway or the street is isolated enough to where on street parking isn't an issue, but it's practically impossible or at least extremely inconvenient to live in Texas without a car.

There are a few places where parking is tight, like for instance at a university living space,so you either have to pay for a space somewhere or get a house/apt with dedicated parking (a lot of students don't really need cars though) or take the chance that you will have to play the street parking lottery.

>I've lived in Texas a long time and parking space in residential areas was never a problem. Nearly every apartment complex comes with a giant parking lot

So prevalent in Texas that a now-popular building architype in North American real estate is known as the 'Texas Donut', whereby a midrise apartment building 'wraps' around a parking structure in the middle of the plot.

I didn't know the name of it, but see a lot of those going up. Thank you.

It makes a lot of sense. The parking is close to where you live, but out of sight for everybody except residents. It makes for a nice-looking neighborhood. And you get to park indoors, out of the weather.

It's certainly a convenient arrangement. My only complaint about the design is that if there is an air-gap between the apartment building(s) and the parking garage, the garage tends to accumulate a ton of dust/atmospheric fallout due to the surrounding building restricting wind currents. The garage floors are almost always disgusting, and cars parked inside become filthy much quicker than if they were simply parked outdoors.

In Vancouver BC for example it's common for residential streets to be "parking for residents only" and bylaw officers will ticket/tow any vehicle that is lacking a pass. The pass comes with your house/apartment.

in general you just try to find an open space near where you live. some neighborhoods have "permit parking" where residents are entitled to a permit that allows them to park in the general area where they live. if you don't have a permit, these spaces are paid parking and/or limited time parking (eg, 2 hour max).

Cafe style.

> It is funny how people in the US expect exactly nothing from their government/city. Does nobody think they could provide shared charging infrastructure for people who live there?

We expect them to propose charging infrastructure, think they have a consensus, and then get sued by someone for some stupid reason, and then 10-15 years later break ground on something 1/3 of what people need.

California is much worse than the east-coast in this regard, but there's a 12 lane freeway bridge in the DC area that is a draw-bridge because the original plan of a suspension bridge was fought by people who complained that it would be an eyesore.

For anyone else who didn't believe aidenn0, this is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. It carries 250,000 cars a day (or it did, pre-pandemic).


As I understand it, level 3 chargers need quite a lot of infrastructure, and maintenance ain't free. Putting one on, say, every residential block would be a huge expense, and there's a chicken/egg problem where the demand doesn't justify such a step yet... but if everybody gets on board, one per block wouldn't be enough. And right now, folks get tax breaks for their EVs instead of getting taxed for necessary infrastructure improvements.

This is the sort of infrastructure work that a Green New Deal should support. But that's a political poison pill, as supporting energy sector jobs is "patriotic" if it's carbon based and "communism" otherwise.

If the vehicles are parked overnight and mostly driven to work, you don't need anything like a level 3 charger. A 220V/12A outlet is probably enough. That won't give you a full charge, but it's enough for most urban commutes. (And making this infrastructure available should make PHEV owners buy less gasoline, which is good!)

Yeah, that's a good point. I can only imagine fighting with neighbors over access to that one charger.... maybe banks of L1 would suffice for most daily drivers.

And with current technology (pun intended), your battery will last significantly longer.

Excellent reminder/point. Thanks!

> supporting energy sector jobs is "patriotic"

On day 1 of the new US administration, the Keystone XL project was killed. If it's a poison pill it must taste pretty good.

Yeah, building out high-speed chargers on every block cannot possibly be cheap.

You could have an extra fee on top of vehicle stickers for EVs…and even as I type that, I can imagine the pitched screaming, from both sides of the aisle. “Why are you suppressing clean vehicles?!” “More big city taxes?!”

I mean if you accept that fossil fuel emissions are bad for the planet, why on earth would you want to disincentivize purchasing electric vehicles?

Nah, too busy inefficiently and ineffectually spending on the homeless to care about actual tax payers.

From the photos and reports I’ve seen, they’re not giving a dime to anybody that needs a dime.

I live in a similar place to Seattle, and I see people laying charge cords across the sidewalk all the time. With nothing covering them, making them a tripping hazard. Just blows me away. This is ripe for insurance scams, but it is a genuine problem, for pushing strollers, wheelchairs, and pedestrians!

You can go full Toronto on it and string an extension cord out your window.


(Not a meme. This is down the street from me.)

That chain doesn't look nearly heavy enough to secure something two people could lift into a flatbed truck. Is theft just less of an issue in Toronto than other cities?

Pfff, no, not judging from the number of bicycles I know have been stolen.

This is a slightly decrepit stretch of the east side of the city, so, don’t assume “trust” when you can assume “too high to think this through”.

You'd be more worried about the open window.

There are people doing this in my neighborhood in Portland as well, including with very fancy cars.

I have a neighbour who is charging his Nissan Leaf living on 2 floor of 15 storey building.

Another adoption hurdle: A lot of folks live in apartments as well.

I've accepted I won't be going electric until I buy a house. There is no way my complex will install chargers, until it's required somehow. No garages here. House prices are hovering around $500,000 in my area. With a traditional mortgage, 20% down is a lot to save up (100K).


This has made electric cars a unique form of social signaling: It basically states "I'm a homeowner!" (or can afford house rental, which is also very expensive... or went with an FHA loan/can afford that mortgage payment)

There are some apartments that have charging ports, but they're very high-end, with rents comparable to a single-family detached house anyways. They're also very rare in my area. Sure you can charge at whatever ports are available (not many here), but (IMO) it just doesn't make much sense to go electric and not have the ability to charge your car at home.

Doesn't your city provide charging points on street parking? That's quite common in European cities, both in residential areas and public parking near shops.

Used to even be the case in Amsterdam that you didn't have to pay for parking if you were paying for charging. But they quickly changed that because charging isn't nearly as profitable as the parking fees.

I live in a smallish suburb, and unfortunately, they do not provide street chargers (I'm also signed up for the city's newsletter and there is never discussion about it).

I checked where chargers are located in my area, and it's mostly gas stations and some shop chargers in the more posh suburb a few miles away. None of my local grocery stores have chargers. The posh stores are too expensive for me to shop at continually - I can't/won't afford to shop at whole foods for my normal food... but they have chargers.

Even if they were provided, I (and most others here) don't park on the street - but in the lot attached to my apartment (built in the late 80's). I'm also lucky I don't pay for parking (or rather it's part of my inexpensive rent).

You could look at home chargers around you and strike up a friendship.

Although, certainly if you rack up hundreds of miles every day it won’t work that well.

That said, isn’t part of the allure of apartments being close to your destinations? Walking to the park, a 1-mile trip to the grocery, etc.

> That said, isn’t part of the allure of apartments being close to your destinations? Walking to the park, a 1-mile trip to the grocery, etc.

It can be, but there is another reason to chose living in an apartment: It's cheap. I live here because it's inexpensive (< $1000/mo) and I can save that large down payment quicker.

My apartment is not convenient: 45 minutes from my work, 15 minutes from an affordable grocery store. But there is a very nice park within walking distance.

> You could look at home chargers around you and strike up a friendship.

This is true, I could. But that's a lot less convenient than buying another hybrid when the time comes. Gasoline is 5 minutes away, refueling is fast, and I only need to do it every other week.

Don’t know where OP is located but there are plenty of apartments located in low density areas where that’s impractical.

It's true, but of course, a solvable problem, and one everyone is aware of. Chargers have grown massively in the last few years along highway routes, but expansion in the number of fast chargers available to renters (within cities, at shopping centers and apartments, etc.) is already where the major players are focusing now. And Biden's admin stated they want half a million more chargers in the USA (which is an order of magnitude more than currently exist), so we can expect this to improve quickly. You may not, in other words, have to wait until you buy a house.

The effort involved in using public chargers as your only/primary source is pretty high. It's not a quick detour, but something you need to plan your day around (plan to spend a while at a store near the charge, etc). And then you may get there and find out someone has beaten you to it. With just three people in line, each charging for 45m, that's a >2h wait! IMO you have to be really committed and highly value the fact that your car is electric, to put up with this.

The problem with me for PHEVs is that you have all the mechanical problems of an ICE. The main attraction of EVs is no longer having gearboxes, engines, turbos, cambelts etc

Well that's the theory. In practice the Toyota Prius with its highly complex hybrid drivetrain is far more reliable and durable than any Tesla. Proper engineering and build quality counts for a lot.

Where do you find this data?

I'm quite curious, most of my co-workers (and me) drive Teslas and there has yet been any drive train issues in any of ours. Two of them have gone over 500.000 km. But what I see is pure anecdotal.

All I can find is statistics on general repairs not drive train specifically and even here tesla is quite high but not on par with Toyota. Audi seems to be one of the worst actually.

Anecdotal as well, but I used to be involved with some SAE working groups on EVs and hybrids, and re: the Prius, let's just say just about every engineer I spoke to, regardless of company, was very complimentary.

I'm not going to out who said what, and note that was 8..? years ago and everyone has undoubtedly improved since then. That said, it was interesting to see near-universal acceptance of its excellence (of course some joked that theirs were actually fun to drive, which was a fair observation). As an amusing aside, at one working group dinner I had to explain to a couple of let's just say European engineers what "Vegan" meant on the menu. Hilarity ensued.

Do you have one for drive train? I only see general issues there. The old model S they have in this comparison had a lot of baby issues with other stuff, but very few drive train issues.

Yes that's a very good point

The other side of the story when it breaks it's really hard to find a specialist ;(

I feel like EV boosters overstate these problems. I have a 12 year-old Toyota with 200k+ miles, and the only parts that have ever worn out have been suspension and brake parts (wheel bearing and brake rotors/pads), which of course an EV will have as well. It's never had problems with the engine or transmission. There are oil changes, and it'll be nice to skip that once I have an EV, but it's also like a 20 minute thing twice a year or so.

The serial-hybrid kind (drive is electric, additional ICE drives a generator that charges a battery) can avoid at least some of that complexity. I'm curious to see if that's going to be a somewhat common thing, or if it's just too much extra stuff and weight compared to just packing in more batteries instead.

Since Chevy killed the Volt, it looks like they're focusing on just going straight electric. Which I find unfortunate, I was hoping more manufacturers would take the series hybrid approach.

Honda makes series hybrid now: CR-V, Accord, Jazz. Accoring to reviews, they are more efficient than Toyotas.

That's where the fast-charge options, ideally in places people go anyways, become important. You also don't have a petrol pump on the street and have to go out of your way for one, but doing that for electric isn't that feasible if it takes hours. 30 min quick-charge near somewhere you want to go anyways (shop, park, ...) makes it more viable.

I'd still be worried about fast charging impacting battery life. I've heard reports that it can degrade batteries. And personally fast charging isn't too important to me, except for trips. I'd be fine charging at home, it is cheaper. So leaving it plugged in for awhile isn't a huge deal.

> I'd be fine charging at home, it is cheaper.

Good for you, but not really relevant to the discussion of what to do for people that can't really charge at home now.

Thirty minutes is too long. We need ten minutes.

Once a battery has sufficient capacity for the intended use, it’s charging time that counts.

For example, the battery capacity on my Apple watch is more than adequate. I’d like to see the charging time cut in half. Then it would charge enough while I’m shaving each morning.

> Thirty minutes is too long. We need ten minutes.

How is 30 minutes too long? If you plan your charging around the time you go to run errands, 30 minutes is probably adequate. This is especially true in pandemic times where a trip to get groceries is may be preceded by a 5-10 minute wait in line.

Other people will be ahead of you for a turn at the charger.

That’s like leaving your car at the gas pump while you go shopping.

It takes five minutes to fill at a gas pump. Then you move on, and the next person fills up.

Until there’s a charge station at every parking spot, it’s not going to work. You have to stay close to the car while it’s charging. Works for the 7-11, but not for regular shopping.

> You have to stay close to the car while it’s charging. Works for the 7-11, but not for regular shopping.

What? No. I plug in my car. The charger locks so no one can disturb it. I do my shopping, and I come back, unplug, and move on.

Not everyone needs to charge all the time, so there doesn’t need to be one charger for every parking spot.

Many people seem to think about EV charging as analogous to refueling an ICE vehicle. They differ in the sense that EV charging today requires planning. Tesla’s navigation system makes this convenient for SuperChargers by showing the number of available spots at each charger. I use the PlugShare app to look at non-Tesla chargers when I want a little more charge but don’t need the speed of a SuperCharger/want to pay the premium.

I’ve owned a Model 3 for seven months now. I’ve only encountered one SuperCharger in 11K miles of travel (including a round trip from the Bay Area to Dallas, TX) that was completely busy. I drove to another one that was a little under 10 minutes away.

It’s also worth nothing that many folks charge at home. My apartment building has two chargers shared by about 12 EV drivers. Other apartment buildings have more chargers. Not everyone needs public chargers the same way nearly everyone needs a fuel station.

I’m interested in buying a Tesla. I would be charging in my garage.

My impression is that many of the superchargers are in locations that are fine for travel, but not very convenient for shopping.

If I pull up to a charger and it’s busy, with the owner absent, how am I supposed to know the status of the recharge? Is there something equivalent to a running gas pump that I can look at to estimate when the owner will return? Or, is the best move to simply move on, if there’s no empty plug?

How do 12 EV manage to share 2 charge ports at an apartment? How do you know when it’s your “turn“? How long does your car stay plugged in, once you get the slot? Isn’t there conflict caused by impolite owners?

> My impression is that many of the superchargers are in locations that are fine for travel, but not very convenient for shopping.

This isn't true everywhere. In the Bay Area, I've used a few in shopping centers. Same for the few I used in Dallas. While traveling from the Bay to Dallas, most Superchargers were at gas stations which, as you say, are more convenient for travelers. It all depends on the density, which you can see at https://www.tesla.com/supercharger.

> If I pull up to a charger and it’s busy, with the owner absent, how am I supposed to know the status of the recharge? Is there something equivalent to a running gas pump that I can look at to estimate when the owner will return? Or, is the best move to simply move on, if there’s no empty plug?

Move to an open charger. I've been at locations with charger quantities ranging from 4 to 40. The car's navigation system will indicate the number of open chargers, and you can select appropriately.

> How do 12 EV manage to share 2 charge ports at an apartment? How do you know when it’s your “turn“? How long does your car stay plugged in, once you get the slot? Isn’t there conflict caused by impolite owners?

Ideally the charger status is available in an app (e.g., ChargePoint). I don't think mine is because the garage is private, but I have used chargers that are publicly-accessible at other apartment buildings because they were in the app.

I drive up to the level where the chargers are, and charge if I can. If I can't, I try again later. I charge when I'm near 30-40% until I get to 80%. Charge time, which depends on the power output of the charger, is usually 4 hours for the ~6.4kW chargers in my building. I have yet to have an issue with folks parking in the spot, but not charging or otherwise being impolite.

Yep, I've had the XC60 T8 for a year now and I love it. Either I'm not burning any petrol whatsoever or averaging 100-150mpg in my daily driving. I fill up once every 3-4 months so far. And I did a 1500 mile trip around Europe last summer too, like in any normal car. Absolutely fantastic.

The 2021 Rav4 prime also looks really. It has an estimated 40+ mile EV range. That should take care of most of your daily trips. But at 50k Toyota has a lot of competition with EVs and other hybrids.

I know that there are a number of projects to put charging stations in streetlight poles. Even if, for cost reasons, this is just L1 charging, this can accommodate many people's needs, particularly in Europe, where due to the higher voltage, L1 is 3.6kW.

One of my recurring daydreams is that 10 years from now we'll have mini charging stations on city streets by default. It'd really make EVs so much more accessible to the masses.

It's the norm in Oslo (Norway). Lots of public/street parking have had chargers installed the last years.

Some company was going to put chargers to lamp posts. What happened?

Probably the same thing people do in winter in cold climates. Get an outdoor extension cord and plug the car in.

I've seen a decent amount of extension cord -> street parking rigs in the Seattle area. Seems fine for trickle charging but I sure as hell wouldn't use a no-name generic extension cord from amazon.

Car power plant is important, but also everything else is. I just bought ICE german luxury car just because there is nothing even close to it in the EV department. Teslas interior are falling apart and build quality is really poor. I also do not want to share telemetry.

I do road trips sometimes and have no spare time to charge. Opinion: It seems like until there is something better than lithium batteries are coming up, EV market is just no good.

Coming from an airport one day, I thought to myself, "OK, this is gonna be a treat" and hopped into one of the Tesla SUV taxis. Wow, kind of a letdown tbh. I expected high-end interior, but they're actually really bare-bones. This was a few years ago, not sure if they've changed anything though.

I'm OK with being minimalist (as in Volvo/nordic minimalism) but when your $80K car has window rubber sticking out and squeaky dashboard, that's where I draw the line.

Where are you getting the data on Tesla interiors? I’ve had my model 3 for 2 years and there hasn’t been a single problem.

The Tesla Model 3 LR 2018 that i have driven rattled more in the interior than my 22 year old Volvo with recycled plastic in the interior that is known for rattling. I actually considered saving up for a model 3 because they look like interesting cars. But that drive turned me off so much.

My 2018 Model 3 is quiet to the point that I will often hear creaks and rattles coming from outside the car. Now when I hear something I will instinctively speed up or slow down to see if the sound moves.

My mom's old Volvo required you to jam your knees under the dash to keep it from rattling.

That's unfortunate that you didn't give it a chance. Next time try them out. My 2019 3 SR+ had a rattling issue with the phone holder mount. I brought it into tesla service center within the first week and they fixed it and I haven't had a rattle since. It's a great interior imo

What do you mean "try them out"? I said I drove one and i did not like it. It is not just the rattling interior that i dislike. The pedals, the wheel size, the rear passenger space, the trunk space, no speedo and no HUD in front of me, the electrical shifter... it is just not a car for me, even if i would accept the worse rattling for a car that is literally 50 times the price of my car.

Ah I see, cool beans

I do wish the 3 was a hatchback to fit larger stuff through the back. The Y might do better.

There is no transmission to shift though :) haha

I dislike high driving positions of crossovers and suvs sooo... that is not a car for me either.

I tried one out. I'm 6'4 (193 cm for our friends outside the US), and even with the seat all the way back my right knee hits the screen. Would it have killed them to make it adjustable? It's a $50,000 car, come on.

Tech forum on YouTube designed an adjustable mount that lets you rotate the display https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqpcv11eHWE

Did you lower the seat?

I'm 6'5" and I don't have the seat all the way back in mine.

I'm honestly not sure, I took a test drive at a Tesla showroom and the guy was tweaking the seat for me before I got in.

Tried to convince me to consider the Model S instead. Just, ya know, casually buy a car that costs twice as much. I think I'll get a house before I buy a $90k car...

Sounds like he was trying to upsell you. I just checked and with the seat all the way back my knee is 4-5 inches from the screen in any position. At the position I keep it, my knee is actually under the screen but no matter how I move my leg it never comes within more than 2 inches of the screen.

Even if there's no QA issues, the interior of the Model 3 is just so cold and bare IMO. Sitting in one next to a luxury or near-luxury car is night and day difference in both style and comfort. The Model S is better, but it's still blown away by other cars at the same price point.

I understand that style is subjective, but the majority of people I have talked with about it agree that the interior is a disappointment given the status of the brand.

I work in tech and live in Bay Area. A lot of my friends and colleagues have teslas. I have been in X, 3 and S and I have not seen one that didn't have any obvious issues. I am not nitpicky either: for example I used to have Mazda and consider it being benchmark of quality interiors for $25K. After all, interior is where I spend lots of time in a commute.

Sometime before 2030? Wow, don’t move too fast, Audi.

Living in a big Eastern European city with on-street parking I don't think I'll have a place to charge an EV by 2030. On the bright side I don't think I'll be buying 2030 cars before 2045, so I'm good for now :)

At which point battery will be severely range degraded... IMO Li-ion is a mistake for Europe... LFP (LifePo4) would probably be better for longevity and adequate for range...

I understand it's probably needed for US due to longer distances, but for Europe LFP would be a better compromise IMO.

What makes you’ll still have street parking then..? Cities in Europe are waking up and pushing cars out for good. Hope it’s sooner than later, especially in old towns.

That seems like a decent timeline to plan factory capacity and set R&D priorities. And once you have made those plans you might as well announce them if it's a topic that can make the frontpage of hacker news.

In car development cycles 9 years is pretty damn quick. If you truly understand the scope of how hard it is to build cars and completely switch your factory tooling and the capex involved you may feel differently...

And how long did it take Tesla? It feels like these giant automakers are just slow and old fashioned

From a glance at wikipedia, Tesla took 5 years (2003 to 2008) from founding to (limited) production of the Roadster, and were under no expectation to get money or build other cars during that time. Then they built what appears to be a total of 2400 of them.

The Model S was announced in 2012 as their first "mass produced" road car (and they don't appear to have broken 100K cars in a year until ~2017), so that's 15 years to get anywhere near the scale of a grown-up car manufacturer.

To reiterate, they didn't have to support other production in any of that time, and they didn't have to make any sort of profit during any of that time.

To compare, Audi spits out ~2m cars a year, and can't just stop selling cars to retool their factories.


9 years? Tesla was founded in 2003 and released the Model S in 2012.


about 15 years to get to the monthly volume that the A4, 6, and 8 are manufactured.

Some would say that Tesla is still learning how to put together a car.

And it turns out that knowing how to put together a car wasn’t a prerequisite to launching. :)

Yeah, you just have to convince you that doors that are so misaligned that they eat into the paint is normal.

Their sales tell us that they don’t have to do that, apparently!

Audi sells almost four times the number of cars that Tesla sells annually, and in my opinion it's likely that we will see some ICE models sold alongside EVs as the world slowly transitions away from gasoline engines.

Also, Tesla's growth is not an overnight story.

They need time.

I would love to have an Audi that looks like one, feels like one and drives like one, but electric. I looked at what they have now and there's no sense in purchasing it because it gets 30% less mileage on full charge than a Tesla. So technology-wise, where it really actually matters, they are way behind. No doubts they will catch up, but they will need time.

This is great. As an EV owner for almost 2 years now let me tell you you'll love the speed and savings

See my energy usage and cost spreadsheet for details. Scroll to the right for the charts. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16JLSzoWA0154ZUU3ahJ_...

So this is something I keep asking myself. The largest part of the savings comes from the fact that electricity is much cheaper compared to gasoline on a 100km basis. Now, the reason gasoline is so expensive is the massive amount of taxes charged. However, those taxes directly fund the building and maintenance of the road infrastructure. Currently, EV owners essentially get to ride for free on that infrastructure since they aren't paying gasoline taxes.

Consequently, with more and more people switching over, the amount of taxes available for road maintenace, etc. will decrease and the electricity for driving will have to be taxed much in the same way as gasoline is and thus eliminating the savings early adopters are currently enjoying.

The federal fuel tax is 18 cents, not exactly massive. (Maybe you aren’t in the US though)

"Federal" try adding all your state/provincial, then local taxes. For me, in BC:

    Provincial motor fuel tax (Metro Vancouver) — 1.75 cents 
    Provincial motor fuel tax (everywhere else in B.C.) — 7.75 cents.
    B.C.'s carbon tax — 8.89 cents.
    The B.C. Transportation Finance Authority tax — 6.75 cents.
    TransLink tax (If you live in Metro Vancouver) — 17 cents, increasing to 18.5 cents on July 1.
    Transit tax (If you live in Victoria) — 5.5 cents.
    Federal excise tax — 10 cents.
    Finally, pay the five per cent Goods and Services Tax on top of the total price.
Adds up to 50% tax ish.

Most Europa pay something near $10 per gallon of gas. Does US taxing so little means their roads are half the cost?

More people own cars in the US -> more gas purchased -> more total tax. Contrary to popular belief, the amount of cars driving over a road doesn't really contribute to how often it has to be repaved/repaired -- a road's wear is almost entirely based on its age. The more cars you have, the less fuel taxes will be to maintain the same amount of road surface.

This means that when EVs become more popular, there'll be clever ways of taxing them too, whether it's an insurance surcharge or an up-front purchase tax or some sort of special "electricity for EVs" tax. This is the honeymoon period when they seem super cheap to drive, but that'll change as they replace fuel-powered cars and someone needs to pay for the roads/infra.

US has 10% more roads tho (probably more lanes too).

However looking at road fuel use US uses something like 5-10x more fuel per year when compared with EU states.

That's kinda insane.

I think you're missing the efficiency aspect. Gasoline carries a much larger amount of energy so having a far more energy efficient, say in my example 26mpg going to 130+mpg saves a lot in energy cost as well.

We do not ride for free. We pay an extra ~$100 a year (formula based on cost of car. I think it should be based on the weight of the vehicle personally. My Model 3 SR+ doesn't weigh any more than a regular gasoline car) for registration here in California which covers the road maintenance so no need to worry there.

How does $100 even compare? Currently in California there is a 79.6 cent tax(18.4 federal + 61.2 state) on a gallon of gasoline (I googled and it came up with a price of $3.36 per gallon. That boils down to a ~24% tax on gasoline. So for spending $416 dollars on gas, you'd be paying $100 of tax. I don't think paying $100 is even remotely enough to make up for the missing revenue.

Further, a fixed fee penalizes people that drive a lot exactly as much as people that barely drive whereas a tax on the consumed quantity, gas or electricity, takes into account how much a person is using the road infrastructure.

Not all of the tax money on gasoline goes directly to road maintenance I would guess, it also goes to environmental cleanup projects I believe. Also, remember that EV's are not as heavy in all cases. My 3 SR+ weighs just 3627 lb

Also note that here in CA if the car costs more the registration fee for the EV is more than $100 so I think that helps make up for the difference as well.

Fair enough. But that revenue would still be missing if everybody would switch to EV and it will have to be made up by taxing electricity used for charging car batteries.

Also, a Toyota Corolla for example only weighs 2,910 to 3,150 lbs according to google.

> Also, a Toyota Corolla for example only weighs 2,910 to 3,150 lbs according to google.

In terms of size, the Model 3 is closer aligned to a Camry than a Corolla. The Camry is ~3300-3600 lbs.

> My Model 3 SR+ doesn't weigh any more than a regular gasoline car.

It absolutely does. The Honda Civic hatchback has 3. cubic feet more cargo room than the Tesla 3 with the seats down (including the frunk) and weighs 600 lb less.

You're not comparing apples to apples between a Model 3 and a Civic. A better comparison is a Model 3 and a BMW 3 series. The former in LR RWD trim weighs in at 3,800 lbs with the latter 328i at 3600 lbs.

It’s a fair comparison; a Civic hatchback isn’t non-comparable for any reason that’s related to its weight.

For any like-for-like car, an electric car is significantly heavier. Look at, e.g. the gasoline Kia Soul (2,800 lb) vs the EV Kia Soul (3,700 lb).

You're looking at non EV specific designed cars. The Kia Soul is a conversion. Look into the Model 3, Model Y, VW ID3, VW ID4, Ford Mustang Mach E or the Chevy Bolt.

I mean, my original comparison was between a Model 3 and Civic, and the complaint was that it wasn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, so I gave an apples-to-apples comparison instead with the same vehicle in gasoline and electric configurations.

None of the cars you listed are under 3,500 lb, meanwhile, many compact gasoline cars are under 3,000 lb, with subcompacts under 2,500 lb. Batteries are heavy.

They aren't as heavy as most might think is my point.

The average midsize car is 3361 lbs and the model 3 SR+ is 3600 lbs so 239 lbs is the difference between the two for an extremely good EV. It is very good to spread this information.

I don’t think a restriction to midsized cars is fair, since you can’t get an electric car that weighs less than the 3,500 lb range. It’s impossible for me to go out and buy an electric car that isn’t a heavy car.

I think you're right that the road tax structure will have to change as we move away from ICE cars, but I think the likelihood of electricity becoming more expensive is every low. Electricity is too ubiquitous, and its price should fall tremendously in the coming years (new solar projects being quoted at 2c/kwh and falling in several parts of the world)

I don't think electricity will increase in price, but electricity used for moving a car will be taxed much like gasoline currently is. So the electricity used at home will stay the same, but the one used in car battery chargers will be a multiple of the price of normal electricity.

The tax just moves over the vehicle registration. In Georgia it was calculated in the tag fee and was about $250.

This will become relevant to me when I can buy a second hand, fully-electric vehicle for $5000-7500.

Used Nissan Leafs and Bolts are abundant at that price point. Assume it’ll be a while before Teslas reach that used price point, eventually they will though.

Leafs are problematic because they lacked battery thermal management.

Someone in my neighborhood has a leaf with the license plate NORANGE

Eh... yes but no.

The lizard battery chemistry introduced around 2014 addressed a lot of the issues with degradation and those issues really only came up in climates like Arizona and Texas with punishing heat.

Unless you're driving a lot during extreme heat waves or DC Fast Charging regularly, you'll be fine in most climates.

Thermal Management Systems are definitely better but it's not really problematic.

How much range do you lose when it's 15 degrees and you have to park outside? And you need to heat the interior?

From my experience, cold doesn't really impact the range in an appreciable way. Driving habits, mood, and behavior have more of an impact on the range than anything else.

I have a 2015 with a heat pump, heated seats, and heated steering wheel so it takes very little to get comfortable. And it gets comfortable about 15 minutes faster than my old 2007 Honda Accord did.

I can't speak for the 2nd Gen models but the 1st Gen models with the Sat Nav infotainment have a power monitor screen that shows how much power systems are drawing and how much range you gain when shutting them down. I've never seen a gain of more than 5 miles when 100% charged, it's usually 2 miles. Only one time have I been in a situation where that mattered and it was entirely my own fault.

Another thing to consider is, that unless your commute consumes the entire range of the vehicle then it doesn't really matter as long as you can charge every night. I use to have a 50 mile round trip commute and I would charge on a regular 120v circuit every night when I got home, I never had issues. If I needed to run an errand I could plug the car in at work and come out with 100% charge at the end of the day.

You can get a 120 mile range 2016 eGolf for a great price right now. Check it out. Bolt's are also going for very low cost ~$16-17k just a couple years old now.

$16,000 is 4x what I paid for my last car, a big comfortable Volvo.

How much money went to burnt gas instead of your next car since you bought it though?

How far is your commute? $200/mo for any decently efficient car is quite a bit. We use around $150/mo for a 2012 CR-V and my spouse has a 45 mile commute round trip in city traffic. This is Texas, so I guess I should mention gas is 30% cheaper than California. I suppose that could make up the difference...

I was paying ~$180/mo driving a 2007 Honda Accord on a 50 mile round-trip commute. When I got a 2015 Nissan Leaf, my power bill went up about $25 a month and I spent about $25 a month at charging stations.

Yeah, gas costs a lot more here in California. I don't really commute a long distance but I do take my cars on road trips often and I'm the one who drives most often with friends (before covid anyway)

>let me tell you you'll love the speed and savings

These better be some insane savings considering my car cost 22k€ and the cheapest Tesla available (2014 Model S with 279 000 km driven) is 38k€.

It may be cheaper to go new with incentives vs used straight off Tesla.com, but I am unsure about overseas pricing.

It definitely isn't here. A new Tesla Model S (Long Range Plus) is 89,864 € and a new Tesla Model 3 (Standard Range Plus) is 50,560 €.

If the 600 € documentation fee doesn't apply to the 50,000 € max price restriction, you might be able to get a 2,000 € incentive for the Model 3, which would bring it down to 48,560 €.

For comparison, a new Mercedes-Benz C-Class starts at 38,750 € and a Volkswagen Golf starts at 24,400 €.

Just had a quick look.

Did you compare theoretical (gasoline) vs measured (electric) values?

The cost difference is quite significant. What is the error here?

While I knew electric engines can be more efficient, I was surprised by these numbers.

This is about right. A lot of comparisons are slightly off because they use the energy numbers from the car itself which leave out charger inefficiency --- which can be rather bad on Tesla --- but it doesn't change the big picture.

On the other hand, you need to consider the amortized cost of the vehicle itself; both a higher vehicle cost and the likelihood of a somewhat lower vehicle lifetime. Maybe increased performance counteracts some of this for you?

Further complicating things is maintenance. Oil changes are avoided. Brake pad changes are reduced. But tire wear is usually increased...

And after all this, there's the convenience differences (both ways). You never need to go to a gas station for a normal drive. But road trips suck a lot more.

To be fair, road trips wouldn't suck a lot more, you just get to stretch your legs after 2 hours of driving (or a lot more if you have one of the 400 mile range model S!) I'd hope you stop to pee or something after 400 miles of driving Lol

You still have fewer choices of where to stop/eat and will be stopping longer.

Actually, this includes the energy used by my water heater, refrigerator and heat/cooling over night after midnight as noted on the sheet. So the savings are even greater :)

Also, the gasoline numbers are actual numbers at the pump. I logged them every time I filled up my old 2014 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. The amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline is not theoretical, it is very close to 33.7kWh.

An IC engine is 20-30% efficient depending on the technology (the rest is waste heat). An electric engine is 80-90%.

Even if you imagine the electricity comes from a gasoline power plant, the efficiency at the plant will be higher than a regular car ICE because of scale benefits + use of a cold sink (ocean/river).

I always find it weird that people who have enough money to spend $40k (minimum) on a Tesla care so much about saving $80/mo.

When I purchased the Model 3 SR+ the cost before tax was $32,790.00 including the Federal and State EV incentives in May 2019.

Some of us spent a little more on the car partly in order to reduce cost of fuel not because the price of the car was pocket money.

I just can’t fall in love with EVs. They don’t seem to have the same ‘soul’ as ICEs, which feel beautiful from an engineering perspective.

I would happily have an EV daily, but I’ll always want an ICE exotic of some kind for weekend fun.

Unfortunately, some brands started adding fake noise engines through speakers due to NVH being too good: you just won't hear the engine. It's funny how modern BMW I6 cylinder powered cars are making V8 noises through speakers - consider it as a free engine upgrade lol :)

IIRC even the high end V8-fitted cars like the M5 had fake engine noises pumped through the speakers too.

I test drove a petrol BMW X5 (something like a 4 litre V8, IIRC) a couple of years back, and even it piped fake engine noise through the speakers, a kind of "growling" rumble.

It sounded so fake it was ridiculous. I almost felt embarrassed, even though I knew nobody outside could hear it!

I think I know what you mean.

Putting aside emissions, modern engines are a remarkable achievement, that's for sure. I'm relatively mechanically inclined, and I still can't help but to marvel at this machinery that can (albeit, rather inefficiently...) transfer chemical energy to movement. It's just a neat piece of machinery.

...Don't even get me started on the Wankel engine on the Mazda RX-*s!

They're simply a different class. Just like a car will never replace my love for motorcycles, an EV will never replace my love for a screaming turbo ICE in a clapped-out chassis. They're neat, and I'll probably buy one at some point, but it's just not the same.

Ha, I can relate. Motorcycle guy also.

I can’t relate. There was a biker that went on a joy ride here at 6AM, entering each drive and roaring his stupid bike. I’ve never felt so ready to run someone over.

Loving a petrol engine is surely some form of Stockholm syndrome.

If hackernews was around in the early 1900s, a similar comment would have appeared, but replace ICE cars with horses.

And, indeed, a lot of people still ride horses for fun. But it's fairly rare as a bona fide mode of transportation.

It sounds like others in this thread are predicting something similar for ICEs.

Nah, horses -> cars was dramatic transition, while ICE -> EV is not. Some (younger) people won’t even notice it, if done properly. No way you can create a horse replica that will be so realistic, people ride it as a horse!

I'd love to go EV, but I rented apartments before finally buying a condo. Where am I supposed to charge?

The greenest option I can realistically go for is a hybrid, but I'll probably wind up going for a regular ICE car, as they typically have much better acceleration than hybrids, esp at highway passing speeds.

Not sure why you're getting downvoted, but most apartments in the US are awful for EV owners. There are 3 in my building and they all share a single 120v outlet in the parking garage. They rotate who gets to park in the spot close to it every day.

I would be surprised if they get enough range overnight to cover their commute. I imagine most of them supplement with chargers elsewhere around the city, but that's much more expensive than having somewhere to hook it up at home, even if it is slower.

I guess they're all downvoting OP for not choosing living in a house, routing another 240V line in the garage and adding on solar panels and taking electric car ownership seriously. /s

But seriously, it's a problem. If you're not lucky enough to have free charging at work it's something like $1 to $2 per kWh at charging stations, which results in costing as much or more per mile than an ICE.

They're probably downvoting the fact that I'm choosing ICE over hybrid.

For example, I'd rather buy a honda civic hatch than an insight hybrid because the hatch has better acceleration, and cargo capacity while still getting decent fuel economy.

Yeah the HOA at my condo complex is ran by ... some older folks who aren't really all that tech savvy. I asked one of the folks on the board if I could put in a charging station on my parking spot, on my own dime. He laughed and said the HOA wrote him up for running a charging cable out to a battery charger to jump start his car. He said he highly doubted they'd be willing to allow folks have chargers installed any time soon. Bummer. I like the idea of owning an EV but that will have to wait until I own a SFH years down the line.

Exactly. Not a chance until 1) street parking has charging sockets built into the meters, and 2) apartments/condos/parkades catch up and provide power at stalls.

In a garage? Typically there will be provisions for installing a charger in your parking stall and have it billed to you.

"Typically"? I think 90% of apartment complexes in the US would tell you to pound sand.


Typically there is no garage.

I'm right there with you. Our condo building is just over 100 years old and has 2 parking spots for 6 units (we're not one of the lucky ones). We'd love to own an EV, but it's just not practical.

This gets to my big complaint with companies like Tesla. They designed an impressive, game changing EV, but their solution ecosystem works best if you have a home with a garage in the suburbs. I don't have a garage to install a Tesla Powerwall that's charged by a Tesla Solar Roof for me to park a Model S.

If Tesla wanted to truly address climate change and get more electric transportation to more people, they'd solve city charging and start designing commuter transit.

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