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1 in 5 EV owners in California switched back to gas because charging is a hassle (businessinsider.com)
90 points by phront 7 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 184 comments





> Public charging stations may look like the electric version of the gas station, but nearly two-thirds of PEV drivers in the survey said they didn't use them. Exactly why they didn't use the public stalls was not specified.

because they charge at home! this article is quite silly.

if you cant level 2 charge at home then yes... having an EV may be quite inconvenient. but all this "i can fill my SUV in three minutes" stuff is... dumb. know what's even more convenient? never stopping at a stupid gas station ever again. i wait 0 minutes for my car to charge because i plug it in when i get home and then go inside and forget all about it.


Home charging is great, but it only works out for people who have off street parking. That leaves a lot of people without off street parking that must use public chargers only, and that's very inconvenient.

On Street charging will come. Most streets where people only have on street parking are already electrified (lamps, if not also parking meters). It's a matter of political will at that point to add electric plugs for car charging. (Some companies are also already investigating how to add it to historic street furniture in preservation districts.)

I think you shouldn't go near EVs if you can't park your car off street plugged to your own charger.

I'm sure on street charging will come, but what happens if a few neighbors have an electric car? You need to book them somehow I guess which is still inconvenient. (Or have more on street chargers around which I don't think will be available to most of the people any time soon)

Current battery technology isn't great for highway charging either. How many EVs on the road it takes to fill up all the charging stations on your path during holiday season? If you own an EV now, you should be happy that most of the road users aren't EV. Otherwise you have to stay in the queue.


If we can put an electric parking meter on every viable parking spot on a street, we more than have the technology to put a Level 1 or Level 2 charger on all those same spots.

People keep thinking of chargers as complex things that are hard to install and expensive/inconvenient like installing gas pumps. Level 1 "chargers" are regular electric outlets like America has used since the early-ish 1900s. Level 2 "chargers" are "dryer" plugs that America has used almost nearly as long. Sure, we probably want to add electric meters to figure out how much to charge people for the service and the safety culture of automotive engineering has gifted us with some fancier plastic "adapters" for the plugs (because they might be plugged in outside for hours at a time and indoor home plugs weren't entirely built to be safe doing that), but at the end of the day the problem is "we want more plugs on the streets" and the answer is "we have the technology already, this isn't rocket science nor is it permitting and installing the chemically hazardous tanks of gas pumps".


I’m not at all optimistic about the US making the significant infrastructure investments required to make this happen. Some places still have coin-op parking meters. Like many other things, it’ll benefit the wealthiest class first, then maybe trickle down to those without private garages over the next few decades. It could also go the way of the laundromat, where those without private garages just have to go sit and wait an hour or whatever to charge their car up once or twice per week.

I'm somewhat more optimistic we'll see plenty of charging infrastructure from competing private "networks" than we'd ever see in the US the obvious real infrastructure needed investments put (back) into proper public transportation which would truly benefit the lowest classes (and clean up cities and traffic).

Because we can privatize that charging infrastructure and charge for it and companies can profit from it. Between utility companies, existing parking meter companies (in this city the meters are backed by a public-private partnership and are already "for profit", and this isn't the only city like that), and the many charging network startups there are plenty of for-profit players interested in making a buck or three off charging fees for parking spaces. That's exactly the sort of infrastructure problem that capitalism is more than happy to "solve": a new source for "rent" from people who have few or no other choices. "People are already parking in these spots for hours every day, imagine if we could charge them five, ten, hundred times the raw electric utility costs to also charge their car here." That's going to happen.


"Home charging is great, but it only works out for people who have off street parking."

Charge at work then where you park your car. Otherwise why do you need an electric car?

Similarly you wouldn't have a diesel car if your service station didn't have diesel.


That requires that your work have electric charging stations and that they aren't already filled though.

I think you have pointed to the problem, a lot of people likely bought an EV without thinking it fully through. Being generous, you could also imagine life situations changing in a way unfavourable to the practicality of the EV. Rental runs out and your new place doesn't have off-street parking, maybe you lose your job that had charging available etc.

Or they bought one with poor range or no good fast charging network and didn’t realize they have options now.

There’s a lot of ignorance out there!

Other things are changing too. Employers are realizing that providing charging is table stakes. More chargers are being built out.

In some places landlords are now legally required to approve a tenant’s written request for permission to install charging equipment.

Yes you still have to choose your new rental wisely, but if you have fast chargers as a backup it’s hardly a crisis if there’s a gap.

One also can think fully through whether burning gasoline is sustainable…


I believe the issue is that the range of activities you can engage in is effectively limited to the roundtrip range of the vehicle since there is such a high refueling time.

....and so people with families can only reasonably buy an electric vehicle as a second car, so that they can restrict its usage to local commuting.


Alternatively, get it as an only car, and rent a car for longer trips.

I don't know how the economics work out for that - it probably depends a lot on both the family and the car - but, based on my experience of many years not owning a car myself, and going to the Hertz down the street when I needed one, I wouldn't be surprised if it can be made to work out reasonably well.


Ignoring EVs, it's often cheaper to rent for road trips. There are a bunch of other benefits; they're more consistently maintained, if there is an issue there is the option of swapping cars, you can rent for the size you need for that specific trip. This prevents you from overbuying when getting a commuter car that you'd use for rare stuff.

The only downside to renting is they may not have inventory on holiday weekends. I've never had this problem.


> The only downside to renting is they may not have inventory on holiday weekends. I've never had this problem.

You will this year if you try, given what a disaster the rental agency inventories are right now.


Another issue is that you’re limited to what they stock for rentals. While I drive nice cars at home, I pretty much have to exclusively drive crappy econoboxes for long distance rentals. And I’ve found that paying for a nicer car is worth it for road trips but hard to get a nice car - they just don’t stock them!

While I do see mostly economy cars on the lots, the only time they gave me a smaller car than I had reserved was during a freak snowstorm. Weeks ahead I had explicitly reserved a 4x4, I called to confirm before I got on the plane, but when I showed up they could only offer me their smallest economy car saying they gave those cars to preferred members (cue Seinfeld's rant on reservations).

Every other time they either push me to upgrade, or for whatever reason upgrade my car for free. I usually decline because if it's just me with a carry-on I'd prefer not to pay the extra cost of gas. When I've needed a full-size/SUV I've never had a problem.

Although, one other issue is the widest selection is near an airport. If you're taking a road trip and not flying you may have to drive to one.


I've been getting month-long long-term rentals from Hertz while settling in in a new residence.

About two thirds of the cars I've rented had issues with tires that are balding and leaking air. I wouldn't call that "well-maintained," and I'd have concerns about renting one for a long road trip. I now carry a portable air compressor in the trunk of every car I rent.


That sounds like a huge liability bomb. I had a mechanic that would regularly tell me tires are the most important safety feature since it's literally the only thing between you and the ground. I would think any insurance claim would be itching to point back to the rental agency.

https://www.kbb.com/car-news/5-tips-on-buying-a-used-rental-...

"rental companies typically keep their units on strict maintenance schedules. They can’t afford the downtime from unscheduled repairs, so you can be fairly sure that the vehicle is in top shape."

That's been in line with my experience. I'm not brand loyal. In general, the discount brands do have older cars. The name-brands usually had current or last year models. The larger vehicles were almost always brand new unless they were specific to hauling. The only time that hasn't been true was when renting in Iceland. The vehicle was at least 10 years old (maybe 15 or 20?) and we were driving it to remote places. So I was a bit concerned about breaking down and access to help. Thankfully, it never had an issue.


Another downside is they are poorly equiped. No cold weather gear, no camping gear, no kid entertainment. Hell, I had one without a jack and ended up waiting four hours for a tow truck to change a flat.

I thought I remember my SUV rentals having the upgrades for screens in the back and other bells and whistles. Most kids in the past 5+ years have their own tablets or phones, anyway. In my experience, the bigger the vehicle, the more likely it's a new model year (outside of transport).

I'm sure certain things like a winch might be hard to get. I know I've specifically requested 4x4 a few times and I've never had the need to ask for tire chains. If you have a particular need, like towing something or you like to go mudding, you'll probably need your own vehicle.

That's just unacceptable to not provide a jack. I know some vehicles, like Mini Coopers, have run flats and don't even offer a spare or jack. That always made me uncomfortable (and it sucks to pay way more for tires with a worse ride).


The other problem is you can only rent dog-slow cars.

Are you road-tripping to the Nordschliefe?

No but I’ve been ruined for sad ICE cars.

That's what we do except we don't have an electric car. Just a Toyota Corolla paid off. Gas for it is literally a rounding error and we rent a van when we go on trips. Much cheaper that way.

If you live in an urban area, rentals are convenient. If you are in the suburbs, it's not as simple as you will need a ride to/from the rental lot.

You may also be limited by the drop-off/pickup times. Road trips often have very early departures or very late returns.

I have a headache just thinking about re-installing 3 car seats for every weekend hiking trip...

Things become significantly more painful when you have kids.


Huh? There are at least a dozen rental car pickup and return lots in the suburbs of NW Austin - most of them Enterprise, but several other brands as well. In general, I never wait more than 10-20 minutes to pick up a rental, and have never had limited pickup/dropoff times. (To be fair, this is mostly when one of our cars is in the shop - I haven't done it for holiday trips.) Seriously, picking up a rental car, at least in my suburbs, is easier and quicker than going to the grocery store.

We did a 3000km trip (6000km round trip) in an electric vehicle. The computer told us we'd need to make 9 stops to charge in each direction. We ended up stopping 18 times for bathroom, food and sleep stops. The Tesla is a far superior experience for road trips than a gasoline car is.

> The Tesla is a far superior experience for road trips than a gasoline car is.

This is hyperbole. If all your stops have very fast electric then you’re going to have a comparable experience (assuming you like long stops). But to say that a Tesla is better than all gasoline cars for road tripping? Hyperbole...

We’re nowhere near the level of infrastructure for any electric car to be comparable to gasoline. I can and have filled up in less than five minutes many times. And only made 3 stops over 16+ hour drives (each being under 10 minutes). I would not and could not have made the same amount of time with an electric car. Therefore, not a superior experience as far as I’m concerned...


Also, in a petrol car you are literally never worried about running out of fuel. I can confidently take detours, drive a bit faster if I want to, run the AC/heater on max, and I am 100% sure I will always find a filling station when I need to. I don't have to "plan" my refuelling stops at all. I stop whenever I feel hungry or need a bathroom break. There will always be a petrol station at every stop.

Another benefit comes into play when I am going to a less populated/remote place. For example the Ladakh region in India where petrol stations are far and few between. Just fill up a few 5 liter cans with petrol and you have a spare 500-600km range in your trunk. Cheap, easy and efficient.


> Also, in a petrol car you are literally never worried about running out of fuel.

Slightly hyperbolic. I was on a long trip through Arkansas one night, and was very worried about finding a gas station.

These days, with smartphones and more 24 hour stations it's less of a concern, but if you're not careful it's certainly still possible to end up somewhere without a gas station in easy range. The world is a big place.


It's going to be interesting to watch this perspective drastically shift soon, likely in the next few years. The electric grid is wired just about everywhere and even worst case you can always find a boring "Level 1" plug somewhere to at least get you trickled a couple miles to try to make it a bit further. "Anywhere the light touches" has electricity (because most lamps this century are electric).

On the other hand gas is a highly volatile liquid shipped at great expense across the country to pump stations that typically sell it for low or no margin loss leaders for convenience stores and grocery stores. It's a great miracle of logistics that it seems like gas stations are everywhere, and have more than enough supply to meet demand. The 1970s isn't that far back in human memory to suggest exactly how fragile that supply chain really is and why disruptions in that supply chain are likely to snowball really quick and how quickly petrol cars may have to soon worry again about running out of fuel.


> how quickly petrol cars may have to soon worry again about running out of fuel

The nice (?horrrible?) thing about petrol is that those stations are environmental disasters, and in many parts of the US the laws governing the dismantling/re-purposing of the stations/land make it an extremely expensive development.

This means that you're not likely to find significantly less stations in most areas anytime soon


You'll certainly find far fewer operating stations in most areas "soon", but you are right that the stations themselves will likely stand as historic monuments of an earlier time far into the future under current US regulations, because dismantling/cleaning/repurposing them is extremely expensive.

(I've got a couple old unused stations in my neighborhood already and watching the various ways they are reused, left to rot/wild, signed and resigned and signed again for sale/lease is an odd past time. I can't imagine what things are going to be feeling like when this is an even far more common phenomenon out in the suburbs and exurbs.)


I've done those types of trips before. They're awful.

Our last trip was 3000km, most of it across Northern Ontario. Beautiful country, our only regret is that we didn't stop enough.

On that trip we only spent 15 minutes waiting for the car to charge. The car was plugged in for much longer than that, but while it was we were using the bathroom, eating, sleeping or walking on the beach.

I didn't say the Tesla was better than all gasoline cars. Maybe if you gave me a brand new S class it might have been a superior drive to the Tesla. Whatever car you give me would have to have a feature comparable to AutoPilot, that's a lifesaving feature for long trips in the back country. With AutoPilot on you can spend most of your attention scanning the ditches for moose and other wildlife.


Yeah I think that works now. But it isn't scalable with current battery technology if most of the cars on the road are EVs. If it was the case, perhaps you had to wait in long queues every time you want to charge.

EVs need much longer range, or much faster charging time. Otherwise it will not be scalable.


It's a heck of a lot easier to build an electric charging station than a gas station. Yet somehow there are gas stations everywhere. Chargers will scale up with EV adoption.

I can't tell if this comment is serious or not.

I routinely drive 600km one way and stop one time for gas and a pee - which takes about 15 minutes total.

The trip usually takes me a little over 6hrs. I cannot imagine an EV would come anywhere near this.


My EV has a 500km range. If I stop at a Supercharger when the battery is below half, it adds 100km in 6 minutes. I can pee while the car is charging so it's possible that I can do that pit stop faster than you can.

500 km - that's cute. You certainly can't count on that range, so your actual usable range is well under 300 miles.

Except for sports/performance cars, I set 400 miles as an absolute floor for range, and have had some that could do a bit over 500 miles (800 km)at 85 mph Texas-and-surrounding-states highway speeds, w/o extra tanks. Oh, and I never worry about turning off the air conditioning, either.

FWIW, for years, I've often stopped at Collin Street Bakery in Waco on trips between Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth. It's the only supercharger between those cities, and the poor Tesla owners often have a very long wait just to plug in. I know all about it, as one of the Tesla owners was bending my ear it over a truly excellent Chicken salad sandwich on my lunch stop. I was in and out for lunch, made a gas stop a bit down the road, and back cruising the interstate long before he could even get plugged in.

EVs are only valuable if your time is not.


I've never seen a full supercharger station. I'm sure they exist, but I've never seen one.

Dude I just drove 985 miles in 10 hours 3 stops and that's the American way no stopping fill up as little as possible as soon as you can do that sure I might consider one. Never saw one charging station the whole trip

I dropped into the Tesla dealer here in Austin a little before the Wuhan panic hit, and the reps there confirmed that a trip to South Florida would take several DAYS longer in a Tesla than in a regular car.

Electric has some benefits, but overall, gas engines have more. IMO, the series hybrid, a la the old Chevy Volt, is the best approach - use electric where you can, but with the confidence that you've got a gasoline engine/range extender that can get you there.


"the range of activities you can engage in is effectively limited to the roundtrip range of the vehicle since there is such a high refueling time"

Whatever happened to the plan to have facilities where you can drop off your discharged batteries and immediately replace them with charged ones?


I think it was technically possible, and proven, but turns out nobody really wanted it.

It would also have been expensive and a logistical nightmare.

What if you had a brand-new car. Would you want to take a trip and end up with a 3-year old battery?

What if you had a 5-year old car. Would tesla want to give you a new battery?

how would the cost difference be resolved?

I think people didn't want to swap their pristine batteries for old ones. And people with old batteries didn't want to pay for new ones.

and the swap cost would be pretty large.


Why should I care how old the battery is? I'm paying to lease its capacity, whatever the charge management system says it is. I don't maintain permanent personal relationships with my other batteries, so why should I cultivate an attachment to my car battery?

I'll never, ever understand this particular argument against swappable EV batteries.


I'm not a sparky because high voltage is terrifying to me. These batteries are not something your gas station employee is supposed to handle. Please correct me if I'm misinformed, but my understanding is that you'd have to have someone qualified to deal with these voltages to change out the batteries and that would be cost-prohibitive.

It was done by driving the car over a bay that would remove and replace the battery from below automatically.

this is the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5V0vL3nnHY


I don't see why that should be an issue. I'm not an electrician and regularly plug and unplug 415v three phase devices.

The process as demonstrated by Tesla was automated too.


And you’ve got to design it in from the get go and use compatible packs in all vehicles. Unless you’re just going to swap between the same model , which will limit how many batteries are available at any one time.

Do Tesla even just the same packs across S/X and 3/Y?


And you've got to engineer for its safety. Most batteries are in highly firewalled (in the physical sense of walls made to keep fire from spreading in the battery), structurally intense places in an EV (often in current "skateboard" designs the battery helps make up the literal foundations of the car). Making them removable adds safety tradeoffs (weaker firewalls so that they can be opened/closed for battery removal operations; among other structural trade-offs).

I don't know about 3/y (or the new structural battery packs coming soon), but I thought the S/X were designed for it.

Isn't New York trying to require heavy duty vehicles to be electric by 2045? That's a couple decades, but we can't even get people to adopt commuter vehicles because of the inconvenience of charging. How long and how many volts does an F750 need to charge? A 24 foot box truck? A semi?

I commute 40 miles each way. It's going to be a very long time before my workplace has electric vehicle plug-ins. Even longer before my apartment complex even considers them. And can you imagine what they'd charge(hehe)? And God forbid we go on a road trip. A 300 mile range is a joke in the Midwest. It's 100 miles round trip to the capitol if you need something from the shops down there.

How long will a decent size truck go on a charge? What if I'm hauling a trailer? 2 horses? 4? If we can't get a sedan to go more than 300 miles on a charge, how far is a decent-sized truck going to go hauling a load? You can put more batteries on them, but what about when you misjudge and you're between nothing and nowhere? Is someone going to bring a jug of electricity out to you to get you to the next charging station?

I like the idea of an electric vehicle, I really do. It is absolutely not feasible for me. Or the majority of my coworkers. It would make way more sense for me to pick up a motorcycle to commute on as far as sustainability and energy efficiency. But the weather here is prohibitive for that. Even if I could reasonably charge an electric vehicle for my commute, I could not own it as my only vehicle. And I can't afford the taxes and maintenance on a second vehicle. It is just not an option for me or for most of the people I know who aren't upper middle class.


We can mandate EV chargers anywhere we want them. Workplaces, apartments, wherever. We already do this with handicap parking spots, and the US government can and does subsidize commercial EV installs using tax code.

If you run out of charge, you get a tow to a fast DC charger or home. AAA piloted an EV charger truck for dead EVs, and deprecated it because no one was using it.

We can fly a helicopter on Mars, but we’re wringing our hands over the equivalent of dryer outlets and where they’re installed. It’s comical. Europe mandated all fast DC chargers inter operate, and everyone swapped their cables to CCS and supported frictionless payments because it was the law (even Tesla at their Superchargers) [1].

It’s a climate emergency [2], not a climate inconvenience, and we should start acting like it collectively.

[1] https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/16/standardization-of-ev-c...

[2] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/we-are-living-in-...


You going to pay for my tow? The increase in cost to the apartment complex that's going to get passed straight to me on top of the cost of the electric vehicle?

How about maintenance? I do most of my own work on our vehicles. I bought an older truck because I didn't want to deal with all the electronics. Now I'm supposed to buy a vehicle that's not only all electronics, but has potentially dangerous batteries that I don't have the skills to touch? My windows roll down with a crank handle. That was one of my requirements when I bought it. When that mechanism breaks, I can get replacement parts out of the junkyard or off ebay and throw it back together with a little common sense.

I am all about the environment. It's a big deal for me. I cannot, absolutely can not, make an electric vehicle work for my lifestyle. My horse injures her leg, you going to pay the extra $50 for the vet to make a farm call on top of the $500 I'm already going to owe for meds and treatment? That's if it's within office hours. Because I can't haul even my cheap little straight load with a Tesla.

Electric vehicles make sense in the big city. For us out here, who need to haul livestock, hay, shit, even just furniture to move, an electric vehicle is not an option if you can't afford 2 vehicles. Oh, just hire movers. Get delivery from the furniture store. $50 to deliver a grill that doesn't fit in an electric car and you know what kind of vehicle is going to deliver it? Surely not an electric one.


> You going to pay for my tow?

How often have you run out of gas? That's a stupid mistake you make as a kid once and it never happens again. Running out of charge will be little different.

And next gen EV's like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 will be able to give other EV's a top-up.

> The increase in cost to the apartment complex that's going to get passed straight to me on top of the cost of the electric vehicle?

Tax credits in the new infrastructure plan should cover most of the cost. And if costs tons of money to run power to every stall you're paying the wrong electrician. Even 115V power sufficient for most city EV drivers, but a dryer outlet is better.

> How about maintenance?

One of the main advantages of EV's is that they need far less maintenance.

> Because I can't haul even my cheap little straight load with a Tesla.

All the EV trucks coming on the market will tow a heck of a lot more than gasoline trucks will.

> you know what kind of vehicle is going to deliver it? Surely not an electric one.

Short haul delivery is an ideal use case for electric vehicles.

> Electric vehicles make sense in the big city.

Electric vehicles make a lot of sense out in the country. You've got lots of room for solar panels so you can save a lot of cash and are no longer dependent on fuel deliveries. Electric motors deliver tons of the torque that is crucial when doing real work.


Oh, neat. I looked it up and EV's don't need oil changes as such. At least not as often as conventional vehicles. That does help. Still not something I think we could pull off in the next 5 years. The Honda you can piss in and it will be fine, but the diesel needs 15 quarts of oil a couple times a year.

Neither of my Chevy EVs has ever been in the shop ever, for any reason except inspection (grudgingly)

I can get from one gas station to another on a tank. Barely sometimes, but I can make it. There's stretches I used to drive on a regular basis where the only gas station within 60 miles closed at 5pm. You think Thedford is going to be able to install chargers that won't take 8 hours to fill a battery? That and Stapleton are the big towns in the area and neither is much more than a gas station between cornfields. I worked for the government doing aquatic ecology surveys. We'd drive over 300 miles just to get to the hotel we were based out of for those sampling locations. Is there a vehicle out there with the storage space of an F150 with a covered bed that can make that trip and be ready to bounce around the middle of nowhere 8 hours later?

You work out those tax credits and let me know. That's going to cost the government a lot of money they're not going to part with easily.

Electric vehicles don't need headlights changed? Oil? Alternator? I'll give you that I'm 99.9% sure they don't have spark plugs. How about the windows? Automatic door locks? How much will a new key cost me? The 2008 Subaru cost $150 per key. Not even the fob, just the key. My truck keys costs $3 at the hardware store. Is it going to have one of those frustrating touch screens that I can't see during the day? How about when it does need maintenance that I can't do? How much does that cost? Labor's already 75% of the repair cost. What's it going to be when it's the labor of someone willing to mess with the sort of batteries that are used in electric cars?

>All the EV trucks coming on the market will tow a heck of a lot more than gasoline trucks will.

When they come on the market. How much will they cost? I paid 10k for my F250 diesel. 2004, 170k miles on it. 5 years ago in a market that had an abundance of rust-free trucks. How many decades is it going to be before I can get an electric truck in that range? I can't afford last year's F150. Shoot, I was trying to buy an F150 under 10 years old when I found the diesel. There wasn't one in decent shape under 15k. How am I supposed to buy a brand new, new tech, electric truck?

And how far will they tow this weight? Please map me a reasonable route from Flagstaff Arizona to Witchita Kansas where you think there will ostensibly be charging stations in the next 15 years. Add to that the fact that a horse should not be left in a trailer for more than 8 hours. Pretty much every stop to charge at that point will have to be an overnight stay somewhere the animal can move freely and lie down. We made it a 2 day trip with the diesel. We pushed my mare up towards 10 hours and had to pull over before we got to our stopping point to rest her because she was struggling. How about paying for a transport? Joke's on me, transports on that route cost $2-3k if and only if you can even find someone willing to go that way.

Short haul delivery? I've driven box trucks. The small ones have 100 gallon tanks. We filled them about every other day. Are you telling me we already have the technology to charge those in the 10-12 hours they're not in use?

Yes, electric vehicles are torquey. I'd love to have one. I'm a sucker for zippy little cars. But I even ignoring the cost, I could not buy one because they are not at all reasonable for my usage. I miss my grand prix. That car was a hoot. I would kill for a Tesla to zip around town in. But I can't afford to buy one even for 20k and I would have to have a second vehicle which costs money in taxes and upkeep that I don't have.


You got down voted a bit for this, but it's pretty much the exact rant I wanted to make in response to the earlier comment.

I'm in Launceston, Tasmania, and half the people I work with are in your situation or similar. An electric vehicle sold new today, bought second have in 10 to 15 years is not going to work for your situation and plenty of others like you.


Thanks. I really couldn't care about the votes. Either people understand where I'm coming from or they don't.

I'm not in the middle of nowhere. I'm on the outskirts of a decent sized city. I've never lived in that city and I have no idea what it's like to live on the coasts in the US. I have lived in a number of places, a little bigger and much smaller, have drive commercially, and think I have a pretty good feel for the logistics of the policies that are being proposed. I'm concerned that lot of people who are pushing for electric vehicles either don't know the reality of living in a rural area or are too well paid to realize that the cost of any new vehicle and especially one full of new tech is prohibitive to those in our situations.


I agree completely. Most of the EV proponents (and I am one of them!) live in densely populated areas that work well for EVs. I live in a rural area. Sure, I could charge an EV at home, but every where else it would be a hassle.

Saying things like "EVs are great for towing because torque" completely misses the point that you need to get that torque to the road through the drivetrain and to tow the vehicle through a chassis that can take the load. You're not towing a two-horse slant with a Model S, no matter how much torque it has. Until that's possible, we just keep buying used pick up trucks.


I live in a rural area and plug my car into my house. I tow with my farm truck but that is a few times a year or none. What percentage of people are towing all the time? Can't these people be seen as the exception? Instead of acting like they are the rule?

The point GP poster was making is that you can't just handwave away different use cases and say "everyone can just use electric for everything." You're making the same point she was by showing that you use two different vehicles for two different uses.

I mean, I get the excitement over EV's but people really need to stop glossing over the fact that they won't necessarily work for everyone at the present time: it just makes it easier for the whole movement to be dismissed.


If it puts anything in perspective, it's about $250 a year to register a vehicle in my state under 14 years old. So consider however much the new vehicle costs, plus sales tax, plus registration on 2 vehicles every year, plus fees on 2 vehicles, plus maintenance. And add $15 for my crappy old trailer which is a joke after I've paid for vehicle reg.

> How about maintenance? I do most of my own work on our vehicles. I bought an older truck because I didn't want to deal with all the electronics. Now I'm supposed to buy a vehicle that's not only all electronics, but has potentially dangerous batteries that I don't have the skills to touch?

What your doing is great, don't change a thing. If your happy with your system, absolutely DO NOT go out and buy an EV. Your doing more for the environment by continuing to use that older vehicle than buying electric. The carbon emissions of manufacturing a new vehicle are often as high or higher than the lifetime tailpipe emissions [0], and it's a price that has already been paid. The longer we can keep existing cars on the road the better.

Sure if it's a given your going to buy a new car, and EV is probably better for the environment than an something gas or diesel powered, but if your looking to really do what's best, keep that existing vehicle in good condition as long as possible.

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/green-living-blog/20...


You're linking to a article from 2010. It was wrong then, even more wrong now.

Production of an electric car emits about 17.5 tonnes of CO2. Each litre of gasoline emits 2.3 kg of CO2. (Yes, the CO2 weighs more than the gasoline. If the old gas car gets 10l/100km, that's 76000 kilometers. The commenter is a rural driver, so that's probably about 2 years worth of driving.


As far as I can figure with a little too much liquor in me, I drive about 20,000 miles a year for work. Which more or less jives with the fact that I bought this truck at around 170k miles and rolled over 240k miles a month or so ago. So 76k km is a little high for 2 years, but not completely off base. Please understand though, that a new electric vehicle was supposed to cost 20k by now, but I'm not sure there's reliable vehicles on the market for that price. And even if they are available, I've been piling away the stupid amount of overtime that I'm working trying to buy a house for which the market is not in my favor and even 15k is not an expenditure I can pull off right now.

Financing is a thing, I know, but the idea of paying an extra couple thousand in interest to have something right now that I can put money up to afford later is hard to handle for me,

5k? 10k? I could make it work if I had a way of charging it when I'm working 10 hour days plus the nearly 2 hour commute. Over 20k for a car, plus I have no way of charging it. Plus even if I parked it in my parents' garage, it might not have enough juice for the commute plus errands? I can't do it. My husband could get away with one, but then you're really pushing the edge of how much environmental impact an EV has vs maintaining an old vehicle. Maybe he gets an EV and I take the Honda that hates me? We still have to pay maintenance and taxes on the truck which I can't replace because there's nothing on the market for it and we couldn't afford it anyway. I do steal the car from him when he doesn't need it, which with my schedule is pretty often. You can say that I'm an edge case, but a large portion of the interior I'd the US is in the same predicament .

Maybe I should move closer to work? I'd love to, but my husband works in the city. And the town that I work in is literally a valley that was underwater last year and most likely will flood more and more often because of the global warming we're trying to escape. I'd love property near there, uphill.a bit, but as of this spring and summer, we can't afford it. I guess we're between an island and a long commute. Maybe I'm just putting these posts up so that people whose living situations can afford a new vehicle or public transport realize that there's a lot of us out here in cow country that just can't afford the tens of thousands that it would take to be environmentally friendly as they see it.


Hey, if you can only afford a 20 year old truck, nobody's going to fault you for only buying 20 year old trucks. But there are tons of brand new $60K trucks in rural areas. Many of those people should be buying EV trucks when they become available at the end of the year. But many won't because of FUD, which we need to combat. So if you can convince one of your neighbours to buy one, maybe you can buy it off them in 10 or 20 years time.

And keep that Honda, it's a gem. Great fuel efficiency, embodied carbon long paid off. An EV would be better, but that Honda is a close second.


Thank you for understanding where I'm coming from. I consider myself an environmentalist. I was, in fact, in the biology and ecology field until I realized I couldn't afford to bounce from temp job to temp job for the 10 years before finding something permanent. That seems to be the average from speaking to my peers all over the country and I don't suck dick well enough to speed that up.

I hope when I get life together enough to buy a new car, that EVs have gotten to a point where I can reasonably own one. But as of now, I'm going to keep my truck and my husband's little jerk of a Honda going and reduce my impact in other ways.


So if you live in the city and you do street parking you're screwed? What if you're doing a road trip?

I used to have a model 3; I used to live in a suburb with a garage, and we moved into downtown Chicago. We ditched the Tesla simply because we didn't want to have any car at all.

To that end, if you're urban enough to not need a car, the point is moot.

In my humble opinion, being urban-yet-still-needing-a-car-but-not-having-a-garage is an orthognal problem: we should put more effort into public transit or bike or walkability (e.g., more compact neighborhoods, with no street parking), with the end goal of reducing *all* car ownership.

For road trips, level 3 charging *for teslas* is truly, truly excellent. About a year ago we traveled up to Michigan's upper peninsula, which at the time had no superchargers, but we were able to trickle charge off of a power socket on the porch of the friends we were visiting.

We were planning a trip to family in rural Virginia before the pandemic struck, and we could either trickle charge off 110v outside their garage, or we could have backed the car up to the window outside their laundry room and used the 240v32A socket for their dryer.

There's plenty of options for charging an EV, especially if you're willing to tolerate minor inconvenience. It is something you should know about, and plan around, definitely--but with the amount of effort Tesla is putting into expanding the supercharger network, and with the gradual rollout of more and more public level 2 charging, it's not nearly the issue I think many people make it out to be.

Edit 10:36 CDT: spelling


While I wholeheartedly agree with you, American cities suck with public transport or transportation in general. I've lived my whole life without a car, and just got a driver license at 32 because I can't really take the train to travel here in SF, and public transport is not good and not safe.

I don't know why you're being down voted. From the parent,

>> if you cant level 2 charge at home then yes... having an EV may be quite inconvenient.

Seems to imply exactly what you said. I think maybe people are down voting because, if you put enough effort, then those things aren't a problem. For example, I traveled with a family in Colombia and the charging was not an issue. They had a 100m extension cord at one place. Every hotel needed a parking space close to where the electricity entered from the power lines to the building for the portable charging cord. We stopped multiple times for 5 hours which the kids used to play. In the end, we did everything we wanted to. But the driving was dictated by the car. A modern day road trip with a gas and EV is not even comparable. Again, not sure why you are down voted.


If you want to do road trips you need to buy an EV that supports Supercharging/DC Fast Charging. Same if you live in a home/apartment without a level 2 charger. Frankly the only brand that has good availability of DC Fast charging right now is Tesla. The Bolt didn't even support DC fast charging without an upgrade option until this model year just released.

This is an example of why DC fast charging in anything but a Tesla kind of stinks.

https://twitter.com/stevenewing/status/1388992276349612032


let me turn the argument around.

Having to make sure your EV is at the charging station for a certain time is much more a hassle than a three minute stop at gas station. Its a valid cons of owning an EV, dont pretend its "dumb" just because you like them, or you dont experience the pain


I think it depends a lot on what your typical use cases might be. If you’re a traveling salesperson, it can be a hassle figuring out how to keep your phone charged. But for many (most?) people, they plug their phones in at night and never think about it.

>but all this "i can fill my SUV in three minutes" stuff is... dumb. know what's even more convenient? never stopping at a stupid gas station ever again. i wait 0 minutes for my car to charge because i plug it in when i get home and then go inside and forget all about it.

If all you life consists of is driving around locally, then yes an EV would be convenient. Luckily, there is way more to life than that.


This "way more to life" consists of driving way farther?

A lot of folks in here in CA rent homes and apartments because the cost of living out here is so insane. You can't really get a 240V EV charger installed in your garage or driveway unless you own a home /w vehicle parking and can make such modifications. Having charging infrastructure nearby becomes very critical for anyone in this situation. Charging infrastructure has not kept up with the EVs that are now on the road.

A lot of folks also leased their EVs and got great deals on charging with the lease. As these leases have expired along with their charging discounts, it's not surprising that these folks are returning the cars and switching back to gas powered vehicles with better ROI.

More government incentives are needed to build charging infrastructure and make EV ownership more viable for people that don't own a single family home. Otherwise the EV revolution will be dead in the water.


You don’t need 240V. 120V works just fine (and this is MORE true for large battery EVs than small), but landlords don’t let you do use them for charging your car.

What we need is for landlords to allow charging on 120V outlets. Normalize it. Actually mandate it be allowed. And cheaply, too. (Landlords would quickly discover affordable ways to accommodate charging.)


Yeah, I have a house and an ev in the Bay Area and have not bothered to install a 240V charger. There are cheap’ish EV’s now with a large enough battery for this. We have the Kia Niro and the battery is more than large enough for this.

For apartment complexes, they would just raise the rent for everyone to cover installation, maintenance, service fees, etc. even for the people who didn’t use them, turning them into a profit point.

And if they could raise rates more to get more profit, they would do it right now.

(But this is why we need EVERYONE to have EVs. At least plug in hybrids.)


Every new multi family I've seen in the SFBA since 2015 has had charging stations in the garage. Last building in RWC was ~50% of the stalls. SF was 25% or so. Every grocery store I've been at has had 1-5 EV charging stations. Most of the peninsula office complexes have charging at them. All of these are code requirements on new construction. Just takes time to turn things like EPA superfund sites into offices and apartments.

  Every new multi family I've seen in the SFBA since 2015 has had charging stations in the garage.
For every space?

> Every new multi family I've seen in the SFBA since 2015 has had charging stations in the garage.

And it's a fight for your charging time, because there are like 100 teslas for 2 chargers.


Or the chargers or situated in the worst possible location way away from everything nearest charging station to where I live is in the bottom of a garage building connected to a mall that's dead and only open for a few hours a day what do you supposed to do chill out in the basement garage while your car charges?

> You can't really get a 240V EV charger installed in your garage or driveway unless you own a home

Not true, unless you specifically mean 240V.

> For residential leases signed, renewed or extend on or after July 1, 2015, landlords are required to approve a tenant’s written request to install an electric vehicle charging station at the tenant’s parking space if the tenant enters into a written agreement which includes...

https://www.kts-law.com/electric-vehicle-charging-stations-f...


Yes, he specifically means 240V because that's what's usually required for Level 2 charging unless you're 120V supports 20amps. You can get NEMA 5-20 outlets, but most apartments or rentals don't have them and only support 15 amps on a circuit.

It looks like a Model 3 that's driven less than 120 miles per day is feasible with level 1 charging.

Do you have an electric car and live in an apartment? Please try to use level 1 charging for a month and let us know if you want to continue doing so rather than just switch back to an ICE.

I used to live in an apartment and was able to charge my EV at work. There was no where for me to actually plug in my EV outside. I lived on the 2nd floor and could have just hung a cable out of apartment window to charge, but I wasn't interested in leaving my window open all day every day. During the first several months of the pandemic, I hardly used my EV, preferring my wife's ICE lest I have to take it to a charger near by and wait around for 30+ minutes to charge it.

It wasn't until I finally moved into a house a few months ago that I started using my EV again.


It's a very common experience on EV user groups to find people that planned on putting in 240V into their garages but never bother because they end up finding 120V to be sufficient. Yes, it takes 4 days to charge an empty battery, but if you're averaging under 50 miles a day, the 120V outlet will have you leaving with a full battery almost every morning.

This may not be ideal for those on Time-of-use plans with their energy provider, where energy costs more during certain times of the day than others.

For example, I've set my car to only charge in the middle of the night in order to get the best energy rate for such a large draw from the grid.


I still have yet to look into financing a Level 2 charger. I've proven that overnight Level 1 charger easily covers the range of my daily commutes for two of my last three jobs (and that third one was a longer commute than I was comfortable with anyway and am unlikely to repeat).

Apartment landlords often now disallow anyone to charge in garages that they pay rent for. They have to use provided charging spots, which absolutely sucks for every day use and is totally unrealistic unless you have a large battery EV.

There are outlets everywhere but folks aren’t allowed to use them. Electric cars are not normalized.

Teslas and PHEVs are the only electric cars I can unreservedly recommend. Teslas (new ones at least) have substantial batteries, often comparable to standard gas cars, and extensive charging networks at high speed. Still kind of sucks if you can’t charge at home or work, but possible.

PHEVs are really where we need to go to massively normalize EVs. We could, today, replace everyone’s vehicle with a PHEV version (like a Volt) & everything would work fine. People would nag landlords to let them plug in, and it’d become a legitimate differentiation if apartments allowed plugging in (as it’d reduce the cost of energy for transport by a factor of 2-3), so competitive pressure would accomplish what landlords currently don’t allow because they’re lazy, poorly informed, and/or ambivalent about it.

Pure EVs should be at LEAST ~250 miles in range, and probably at least 100kW charge speed, too.

What we need is a mandate that by 2030, all new vehicles must be at least plug in hybrid. That’s way better than the 60% zero emissions cars by 2030 I’ve seen going around.


The cost of electricity for landlords would go up quite a bit if everyone was charging their car all the time. It is cheaper than gas, but it isn't free.

It’s really pretty cheap. The cost of the electricity is less than the fully burdened cost of a parking space; certainly than a full garage space. And people already have to pay for that. So if it was normalized (ie everyone did it, not just 5% of renters), then it wouldn’t be a problem as you just roll that into the rent for the spot. And if it was significant they could add a cheap submeter or a timed smart outlet (there’s a startup opportunity here, BTW...).

My EV gets about 2.5 miles per KWH, if I drive conservatively.

If I commute 25 miles daily, that would be 10 KWH a day, which is about $2.00 a day depending on a number of factors.

$60 a month is a lot, and you know people would drive more if they weren't paying for the energy.

Not to mention, you would need to upgrade your circuits if everyone was charging.


Electricity where I live is about 13¢/kWh residential, but large property owners may pay commercial rates for their garages which is cheaper.

In large cities, a parking space in a garage is about $150/month. So still much more than electricity.

And I don’t think people would drive a lot more if electricity was free versus 13¢/kWh. At that point, electricity cost is a small part of the cost of driving.


I think an extra almost 50% cost for parking would be a pretty big deal.

And most people in apartments aren't paying that much. I am sure for luxury apartments with high rents and parking fees won't notice the difference, but most apartments aren't like that.


The increased cost is swamped by lower gas costs. Gas is two to three times the price plus takes time out of the week to fill up.

Right... but landlords don’t pay those gas costs.

I am not arguing that an electric car is not cheaper to drive than a gas car (I have one myself)....I am just saying it isn’t free or near free, so expecting someone else to pay for your electricity to charge your car is unreasonable.


How much is the typical heat bill? It's on the same order.

Every apartment I have lived in I paid my own gas and electric bill, which was metered just for my own apartment.

I think breaking out metered heat is uncommon for small apartment unit in large apartment buildings. Or at least it was when I rented. And if electricity is already metered, then this shouldn’t be a problem...

The original comment talked about apartment buildings not letting people charge their cars in the garage. Those outlets are usually not tied to the specific apartment building, so it isn’t going to be charged to their account.

Maybe I don't want to (further) subsidize your vanity choice of vehicular power.

The very worst thing about EV owners/advocates is the suffocating cloud of smug that they spew everywhere they go, whether in the car or not.


I’m subsidizing your emissions externality.

The bigger cost is liability and insurance. A landlord can count on idiots running multiple chargers off a cube tap and using cheap extension cords with fake UL stickers.

As an EV owner with the luxury of having a charger in my garage, one of the joys is having a “full tank” in the morning, as EV owners like to say. It truly is life-changing. I was ready to dismiss this article as nonsense.

There must be some reform for those living with a condo association.


Very curious about what the breakdown of that 20% is by manufacturer. A friend of mine traded his i3 for a Model Y and said the experience has been like night and day. Access to Supercharger network is a game charger. No other fast charging network is really even close.

The study seems to be here[1]. Notably Tesla has the lowest discontinuation rate (9.6%) except for Cadilac which only three had vehicles in the survey.

[1]: https://escholarship.org/content/qt11n6f4hs/qt11n6f4hs_noSpl...


Interesting.

You can fill the petrol vehicle at and filling station.

Can you get a adaptor to use a Tesla Supercharger on other cars?


The EU has mandated that Tesla Superchargers support the industry standard CCS adaptors and support non-Tesla manufactured charging (so long as non-Tesla owners pay for the charge as appropriate, of course). There's currently no political pressure at all in the US to regulate Tesla Superchargers and the game of competing charging networks is only really just getting started.

You can charge a Tesla with a standard type-2 quick charger (if you have an adapter for the J-1772 or CCS cable), but you can't use the supercharger network to charge a non-tesla BEV, AFAIK.

What a hideous anti-community person Elon Musk is. This is in his control: He could be different, but he does not care.

I can understand why a lot of apartment dwellers would find it a hassle, currently.

I live Copenhagen, and I've been looking at buying a car again, due to a job offer from a company a little ways outside the city, 25 minutes by car. Due to an unfortunate combination of where I live, the location of the company and public transit route planning, that same trip would necessitate going by bus, then two trains and another bus, a little over 1 hour in total.

So with that commute in mind, an electric car would be absolutely perfect. Even a smaller model with basic range would be plenty, if only I had somewhere to reasonably charge it. As with most other apartment buildings in Copenhagen, there is no dedicated parking, so we share a bunch of street parking with the surrounding buildings. I can't even park a car beneath my apartment window and run a power cable, since I would have to drape it across a sidewalk and a bike path.

Perhaps a nearby charging point could make it work, but the nearest public charging point is around 1km away, so I'd have to plug in the car, walk home, wait a bit, then walk back and get the car, since you can't just block a charging point forever once your car is charged.

If I had a garage, carport or dedicated parking spot, I would absolutely install a charger and drive an electric car, but that's not possible when you're not the owner of the spot where you park your car.

Instead I'll probably get a hybrid of some sort, but it feels like a cop-out when I absolutely could drive an electric car, based on my commute and even the 1,5-hour drive to visit my family.

We need more charging infrastructure, especially for apartment dwellers.


4 in 5 did not switch back. This says a lot!

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I would pay higher taxes to subsidize this infrastructure. I haven't switched from a hybrid (Prius) to an EV because I'd have to treat the EV as a second "luxury" vehicle.

I don’t think it’s an especially unpopular opinion. The President has recently proposed exactly that. I’m tentatively opposed because it’s regressive and I’m suspicious of the total cycle net benefits of EV, but it’s a perfectly reasonable position.

How would it be regressive if it's going to come from a tax increase on people making over $400k/year? (AFAIK).

It’s regressive in isolation. Only rich people are buying electric cars. I don’t think saying the money comes from rich people in the first place changes the analysis.

It’s regressive, but it also makes it possible for less wealthy people to get EVs so in that way not really. Also not everything is about that, we have other priorities as well like mitigating climate change.

Get a plug in hybrid. This is really the best foot in the door for most people who want to go electric.

Honestly this sounds more like what I'd regularly expect for _any_ new purchase of high value. Many people rush into buying "the hottest thing" without doing their proper research ahead of time, determining what the impact on their life will be, etc. This says less to me about EV charging being a "hassle" and more about humans being resistant to change, not to mention the lack of general public acceptance (landlords) of charging infrastructure.

Articles about anything electricity related always seem to contain many fundamental errors. Example: "120 volts of power". Volts is a unit of voltage,

Happens everywhere hardly anyone seems to know the difference between amps, volts, watts ,watt-hours, ac or dc.

Somewhat related horsepower and torque and their relationship to each other is completely misunderstood by almost everyone I know.

This stuff should really be taught at a young age, its not hard and applies to so many things around us in our daily lives.


It's not a practical error. It implies level 1 charging.

News articles about everything contain fundamental errors, but we only notice it when we have some understanding of the field. It's the "Gell-Mann Amnesia".

Charging at home with solar is absolutely amazing. We used to wake up to an empty tank and drive on fumes and prayers to the overpriced Shell down the street. Now we wake up to a full tank, every time!

> Now we wake up to a full tank, every time!

Maybe this is a dumb question, but how do you charge a car via solar at night?


Batteries is certainly an option, but we sell power to the utility (PG&E) during the day at a high price per kWh and use it at night (between 2300 and 0700) to charge our car (and run the washer) at a low price per kWh.

Option A) In a lot of places, you're still connected in the grid. For the sake of argument let's say, you produce 5 Kilowatt-hour in the day, and only used 2 kWh. The other 3 kWh are sold to the grid in a positive balance for you.

So at the end of the month, the bill is: What you consumed to the grid in the night - what you added in the day, so depending on the sunlight you got, there could be months where you pay 0 in electricity bills.

Option B) A lot of 18650 batteries and a inverter connected to your home, like the tesla powerwall.


Maybe they work nightshift.

Or more likely as with most solar systems they are "grid-tie"

Your electric meter essentially runs backwards during the day when you are selling excess power from your panels to the utility. Then you "buy" it back at night when you are drawing more power than your solar panels make.


They work the night shift.

Maybe this is a dumb answer, but batteries?

Net metering.

By buying an EV charger from a solar company? The solar inverter vendors sell them, and I don’t see the point for most uses.

(For power-limited off-grid applications, a smart charger makes a lot of sense. That’s a niche use case.)


Are you comparing gasoline and solar?

Solar and EVs seem orthogonal, here.

All I'm saying - on top of the convenience of not having to get to a gas station in the morning, we also don't have to directly pay for the fuel, because our house generates enough power to charge the car.

I know that's what you meant, but it's also a little silly because electric is fungible. If you hadn't bought the PV system, you could have invested the money in the stock market and (potentially) gotten "free" charging that way, too. The EV/PV logic makes sense on the surface, but it's less interesting when there's a stable electric grid and market.

It’s nice to imagine that we drive around by using the energy we captured from the sun “for free” (vs taxing the planet) - I think that’s the more important aspect of cost, than currency per se.

I m curious, how many in 4/5 are home owners? I love EV cars. But the biggest pain point is my apartment doesn't have charging spots. So, I need to factor in car charging into my day to day. Thats another decision/plan to make in my life. I dont have to worry about gas at all.

Hassle? "over 70% lacked access to Level 2 charging at home." Maybe dealers could help out with a (mandatory?!) at-cost installation.

Many/most homes have access to 220v service. 80 amps at 220v will supply 40kW in 2-1/2 hours. http://garagechargers.com/ev-charging-calculations

Edit: This site estimates EV-station install costs by Zip code. (US average $750. Or about 200 gal of $4 gasoline.) https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/garages/install-an-electric...


This site estimates EV-station install costs by Zip code

It requires details including your exact home address with no privacy policy. No thank you.


Back in my gearhead-while-renting days I constructed a massive HD extension cable to access the indoor split-phase dryer outlet from out in the garage for non-invasively running my TIG welder.

If I had an EV back then the same practice would have worked perfectly fine.

But judging from the amount of negativity I received back then WRT powering my welder, I wouldn't be surprised if very few are being resourceful in this way. Even if they have an attached garage and access to appliance outlets somewhere in a rental, people seem to have an irrational fear of electricity.


>But judging from the amount of negativity I received back then WRT powering my welder, I wouldn't be surprised if very few are being resourceful in this way. Even if they have an attached garage and access to appliance outlets somewhere in a rental, people seem to have an irrational fear of electricity.

It seems like the only topics that can be discussed on the internet are ones that are so far removed from practical application that they are immune to people showing up and crapping all over the discussion in search of virtue points for caring about other people's safety/money/health/whatever.

We can discuss code compilers no problem but god forbid you ask a question about tiling your bathroom and you will be inundated with people singing praises to GFCIs, quoting the building code, citing statistics about slip and fall injuries. It all makes more sense when you realize they don't actually want to answer your question, discuss bathroom tiles or provide anything of value. You've simply provided them an opportunity to signal to each other. But making sense doesn't make it any less frustrating.

I bet if you had opened up your welder and installed the long cord as though it were the OE power cord those people wouldn't have said anything.

I would have wired up a 220v cord that plugs into two 120v outlets just to piss them off.

(And it should go without saying that your extension cord is perfectly safe if sized properly)


My neighbor asked to rent a parking spot from me for an EV. She was planning to set up a charging station. That would involve a double (220 V) breaker, outdoor rated outlet AND some 50 feet of 4 conductor cable, conduit and trenching. $3,000 would be ballpark. I turned her down because once my son gets a car, I'd have to take the spot back and she'd be out the installation cost.

I've heard the term "garage orphan". There's lots of inner city neighborhoods where the closest legal parking spot is too far to run an extension cord. Here in Canada there's a number of creative arrangements to run extension cords to block heaters in the winter if you need to get to work in a -30C morning. Bylaws can be an obstacle.


One would think it would make more sense marketing EVs to businesses with large fleets like bussing and trucking that could help with the capital investment in recharging infrastructure that then could be built upon by individual consumers.

...like the United States Postal Service perhaps?

https://www.motortrend.com/news/oshkosh-ngdv-usps-mail-van-d...

The federal government is going to buy a staggering number of EVs over the next ten years, as will Amazon, UPS, and Fedex.


Heavy duty electric vehicles are going to charge at the depot, not on public infrastructure.

There's also on route chargers for buses. There's contact bars mounted on the roof of the bus and the charger drops down during the stop.


I hadn't heard of that. Interesting idea. My first reaction was 'the bus probably does not stop long enough for that to be useful.' But I'm wrong. If the charger can deliver 250kW, which seems reasonable enough, it would deliver enough juice in 10 seconds to get the bus to the next stop, on average.

I guess the thing that makes it work out is that a bus can then service the route with a smaller battery.

School buses would be great too... They get about 4mpg.

Charging stations will be as easy to find as gas stations are now, when EV's go beyond niche. They most certainly will, but folks who adopt new technologies first usually run into daily usage hassles.

I was wondering about this lately. I lease an ICE car in a major northeast metro where I use on street parking often several blocks from my place. If I went to an EV where would I charge my car?

Large battery EVs (like Teslas) can be charged quickly and have similar range to an ICE. But really we need to install 120V outlets near all on-street parking.

Assuming 120 V 20 A, that would charge a Tesla model 3 at about 9 miles per hour.

If you can use a Tesla Wall Connector on a 240 V circuit with a 60 A breaker, it charges at 44 miles per hour (if extended range model--standard range model maxes out at 30 miles per hour charging) [1].

You've got to have access to a Supercharger to get anywhere near the "charge" rate of an ICE. A Supercharger can do 1000 miles per hour. That's still slower than an ICE, but at least it is almost within an order of magnitude. An ICE that gets 25 miles per gallon can be "charged" by a standard gas pump at 15000 miles per hour.

[1] https://www.tesla.com/support/home-charging-installation/wal...


This is just not an important issue for home charging. This is why:

You just use a Tesla like you use a Plug-in hybrid like a Volt. Charge at 120V every night for about 12 hours or whatever (worth about 60 miles a day and 400 miles a week) and you’ve got a buffer of about 300 miles, which is the same as my Volt. If you ever drop too low, just fill up at a fast charge place. I fill up my Volt maybe once every 6 months and it has just 35 mile electric range. A trip to the Supercharger every 6 months is not a problem, and I’d never need to do it except on road trips (unlike my Volt which occasionally uses up its 35 mile EV range on errands and I need to dig in to that 300 mile buffer). Even with just a 120V charge.

Beats going to the gas station every two weeks like y’all have to do. Comments like this really show that non-EV owners simply don’t understand what owning an EV is like. Buy a plug-in hybrid (one with at least 35 mile range and capable of going highway speeds pure electric), which has no risk of “range anxiety”, and you’ll understand why you really spend almost no time charging compared to how much time you have to spend going to gas stations with an ICE vehicle.

The issue with people switching to non-EVs is they either have a small, pure-electric EV, they have life events that mean there isn’t an EV available that fits their requirements (frustratingly, no one offers a plug in pickup truck today), or they had to live in a place that won’t let them plug in (which is a good reason to consider a plug-in hybrid).


I think if you're installing new cables, there'd be no reason not to use 240V.

Does anyone here know someone (in California) who purchased an EV between 2012 and 2018 and then went back to a gas car? The results of this study do not jive with my anecdotal experience.

I _almost_ sold my brand new EV a few months into the pandemic, because work was the only place that I was at long enough to properly charge it. It wasn't until I moved out of an apartment and bought a house that I started driving it again. My wife has an ICE, and we did all of our pandemic shopping with it.

My next-door neighbor. They ditched their Leaf at the 3-year mark and use just their ICE Mercedes. They have a garage and fast charger, too.

Note that the survey included owners who purchased between 2012 and 2018. The article doesn't specify, but it's possible that the 20% who switched were weighted towards early adopters who purchased in the first few years of the survey window. It would be interesting to see whether that switch-back rate is declining over time, and whether the decline is accelerating. I would bet yes on both.

Can't wait till everyone comes home from work and tries to plug in all of their batteries at the same time that's really going to work out well

There's plenty of excess capacity at night. The grid is provisioned for peak demand during the day which is dominated by heavy industrial usage that it will take a lot of cars to match at night even a fraction of the heavy industrial stuff the grid sees most working days. Some of the electric utility companies are very hopeful to see more of the "bathtub" filled (the chart of electric usage over an average day looks like it has a sharp "bathtub" at night) because there's efficiencies to gain as that happens (taking generators offline during the bathtub and then bringing them back online in the mornings takes a bunch more effort than just leaving them running).

That number is actually lower than I thought it could be...

CA has better charger infrastructure than in most places of the world, and you can use the HOV lanes. That's a powerful incentive to stick with your EV.

In other parts of the country homes are more affordable though, and if you have a garage you can install your own L2 charger easily.

Unfortunately CA made the odd decision to expire all prior-to-a-couple-years-ago BEV HOV stickers, burning all the early adopters.

IOW: Got a white BEV sticker? That's worthless. You need the red sticker, only available on new BEVs.


At this point though, there’s so many EVs on the road in LA/SF that the HOV lanes aren’t necessarily faster.

I'd like to know what their criteria for "abandoning" EVs is; is it that twenty percent buy an EV and then sell or return it in favor of owning only gas-powered vehicles, or are they also including people who buy an EV and then buy a gas-powered car in addition to the EV they already have?

There are a lot of reasons for people to do the latter that don't necessarily mean they're dissatisfied with their EV.

The article links to an abstract which is ambiguously worded, and the article is paywalled.


I suppose this isn't the time or place to suggest that the author is gas-lighting us with this title?

It's more of glass half full/empty. I think they picked right because the reverse headline would sound bizarre: 80% of EV owners didn't switch back to gas because or charging hassles.

Usually it’s the editor who does that gas-lighting.

I think I either need to avoid puns, or label them when I make them.

I did kind of wonder if you were making a pun, but it seemed too subtle to be likely. Bravo. :)

First reality check?

>Of those who switched, over 70% lacked access to Level 2 charging at home, and slightly fewer than that lacked Level 2 connections at their workplace.

What in the... A Level 2 charger is less than $500 online, and requires some rather simple wiring, even if you wanted to use an electrician's services, it would only take them a couple of hours maximum. Can the people purchasing the $43,000 Mustang Mach-E mentioned in the article really not afford the extra $1000 it takes to install Level 2 charging?


You might need to:

Run a new line to where you park.

Upgrade your electrical box.

Upgrade the electrical feed from the utility.

Reroute other things near where you want to charge the car for safety reasons. (My gas meter is basically exactly where I'd want to put my charger).

Rent a house you don't want to pay to upgrade.

Rent an apartment with shared parking you can't control.

Only have street parking available.


At my SF apartment, a very old building in the Richmond district, I was quoted $3200 to install a 40 amp circuit to my parking spot.

It is my legal right in California to have this installed (at my own expense) but... is it worth it? I don’t even know how long I will stay here.


You need a licensed electrician and a building permit here.



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