Electric vehicles become more environmentally friendly as grid power becomes more renewable, and grid power is becoming more renewable every day. When you invest in an electric vehicle you're investing in the future of renewable energy.
The paper was thoroughly debunked, but it got a lot of media traction initially. That sort of headline sticks in the back of someone's mind, particularly if they never follow up on it.
EDIT: Right, it was called Dust to Dust. Here's a pretty simple rebuttal from Slate(2008): http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_green_l...
And yeah, it was a "market research" firm. I feel confident saying I write with a closer attention to facts and accurate calculations on my personal blog than their "business" did in the report.
Yeah, that's a bit of a stretch. Renewable energy doesn't need electric cars to take off, buying an electric car is not an investment in renewable energy in any real meaningful way. In the meantime, the US grid is currently 12.x% renewable, so you're running on 85+% non-renewable (2012). Not to mention the fact that running all those vehicles off electric would mean adding a huge amount of capacity.
So yeah, powerful electric vehicles that enable you to continue to drive around like mad people while actually feeling smug about it is terrible for the environment. Buying non-powerful, non-oversized cars and using them a little bit (or a lot!) less is. We're much better of using the renewable electricity we manage to generate in other ways.
 To elaborate, electric power makes up about 40% of the total energy budget of the US, transportation makes up about 28% (2008 figures).
Overall US power consumption has gone from 8.9% renewables 10 years ago to ~12.2% today. Vehicles that use fossil fuels as their primary source of energy will always make very little use of renewable energy. Electric vehicles have the potential to use solely renewable energy, which is the direction grid power is heading.
So should we invest in electric vehicles now, or should we use fossil fuels sparingly and settle with transportation that's unable to tap into renewables?
EDIT: 8.9% in 2002
I'm fairly optimistic that we'll end up using electrical vehicles down the road. But it's a long way off from becoming a sensible alternative; it'll take a long time to satisfy the current electrical energy requirements by renewables, and adding the transport budget essentially doubles the amount required.
And people are deluding themselves if they think they're being environmentally responsible by driving around a Model S. Maybe if you buy a Model S and don't drive it.
Electric vehicles aren't going to flood the market overnight, just as renewable energy isn't going to suddenly become our primary source of energy. These things take time and money. The more traction we give them, the more attainable they will become.
Environmental responsibility isn't possible when you ignore hard facts about the future. By the time I reach old age there will be 2 billion more people on this planet. They are capable of much more damage than we are.
People want more and will figure out how to get more. It's doing that sustainably that will save us. Kind of the whole point of the Tesla S.
Keep in mind that producing one gallon of gasoline uses more electricity than it takes to drive the same distance in an electric car as that gallon would take you in a gas car.
> When you invest in an electric vehicle [instead of a fossil fuel vehicle that you would drive the same amount] you're investing in the future of renewable energy
I think you're going to have to keep your electric car for a few decades for rewnewables to dominate that.
All of these things make me want one, not some green aspect.
That makes no sense. How does buying an $89K car instead of a $25K hybrid save you money? These incentives better be of $64K in value, otherwise there is no monetary argument to be made here.
Don't get me wrong, I like the Model S, I think it is a wonderful car with tons of innovative technology inside (and, no, I am not just talking about the battery power). But there is no financial argument you could make that would justify buying one over a Prius or Ford Fusion.
The only reason the Model S appears to have such a good resale value is that there was a huge backlog for a while, and people were paying OVER retail price just to get ahold of one. Kind of like the Nintendo Wii the first christmas it came out, doesn't mean a Wii maintained that value over the medium to longer term.
100k S Class is much better car than Tesla S.
(S Class starts at $215,000. E Class 4 door starts at $79K. Going up to 130 (or 250 for the AMG))
I paid $11,000 for my now 3 year old car when it was 2 years old. I didn't finance it so I didn't pay interest. I average about 35 mpg and drive about 12,000 miles a year. If gas was $4 a gallon that is about $1,412 a year. If I drove 15,000 miles a year that is $1,700 in gas. My owner's manual* says to change the oil once every 10,000 miles or once a year whichever is first. The dealership does that for me for free.
I'd have to drive my car for 30 years to make up the price difference between the cars ($52,000)
If you want to get a luxury car, then get a luxury car, but don't act like you're doing it to save money.
*it is no longer true you have to change your oil every 3,000 miles for most cars.
I'm interested in seeing your argument re-framed against the Nissan Leaf, which in this case is more of an orange than a Tesla, to your Aveo (?).
So what? I was arguing that nobody is buying a Tesla specifically to save money and that $3k in gas an oil is absurdly high. I didn't say the two cars were comparable, I said one actually saves money on personal transportation. If saving money is actually an issue, it wouldn't make any sense to go Tesla over the other options out there. Everyone has different priorities and "far beyond" is completely and entirely subjective to each person.
I don't have an Aveo but I did rent one before (if I recall correctly) and I didn't like them. I also negotiated the asking price of the dealership WAY WAY down.
Anyway if I made $10 million a year, I wouldn't change a thing about my car purchase.
No doubt there are components of the Tesla S which are nicer than the S Class. But taken holistically, they are not in the same class.
Wheelbase, length, interior volume, rear legroom & headroom, overall refinement are all quite different between the Tesla S and M-B S. Though they do weigh about the same...
But as I said, de gustibus non est disputandum.
I really like the idea of a car that seats a good sized family comfortably but can drag race with an M5. I've driven and loved some very high performance cars, the Tesla is incomparable because of that ridiculous immediacy. Not having to compromise on practicality to get it puts it in a class of its own, IMO.
To me it's comparing the > $50K class of vehicles. If you're going to spend $50K you may as well buy a $90K Tesla, because it will be cheaper if you keep it 6 years or more.
I'd love to get a Tesla S, but being I live in an apartment, it's not really a practical option for me.
I'd be careful calling it the ONLY reason. It's true - for the mid-term range (6-24 months?), resale values will be inflated due to backlogs. I have a hunch that the cars will hold their value well, especially if the main depreciating factor is the battery pack getting tired.
Another factor, as well, is the potential for Tesla to produce another luxury car that's either heads and tails better than the Model S for a similar price, or of the same quality for a significantly lower cost (scale + battery prices dropping?). Either of these cases could whack resale values of current Model S's down.
On top of that value and cost are not the same. The value represented by the Tesla can far outpace the cost factors between its sticker and those of a Prius or Fusion.
tldr; I am not in the market for a cheap car, I want a great car.
Wouldn't battery degradation bite into that?
People act like current cars have no parts or things that go bad over time. Tesla batteries look like they should be at 85% capacity at 100K miles.
Not nearly as much as for some other cars, as it's a modular part that can literally be swapped out in 90 seconds.
It works both ways.