Presenting the Obama Volt

Tyler Durden's picture

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LedMizer's picture

Drive it like you stole it!

markmotive's picture

The car that was conceived during the 'feel good' days of the auto bailouts. Too bad it was nothing more than a PR stunt.

redpill's picture

The Volt at its heart is just one big design fail.  The point of electric cars is that you plug them in when you get home instead of having to go to the gas station.  With the Volt now you have to plug it in when you get home AND go to the gas station.  Who thought that was a good idea?

From a maintenance standpoint it is further fail.  With a pure electric car at least you get the advantage of not having to take care of various lubricants, rubber hoses, belts, spark plugs, etc., all associated with an internal combustion engine.  But with the Volt, not only do you have to worry about maintaining the electric motor and battery system, but also everything that goes into a regular internal combustion engine.  This is also true of all hybrids to some extent, but it didn't help that GM decided to continue this approach in a car that was supposed to be futuristic.

GM also lied early on about the fact that the car was going to be solely driven by the electric motor and that the internal combustion engine was only there to charge the battery, which at least would have had some engineering efficiency to it.  Turns out that's not the case at all, which means additional complication of having the internal combustion engine also hooked up to the drive train.

In the end it's just a bad product.  It's not that there wouldn't potentially be consumers for an electric vehicle, which I think Tesla will prove with the Model S, and Nissan with the Leaf, it's that the Volt went down the old hybrid path, and really offers nothing over a Prius except a higher price tag, undoubtedly worse reliability, and having to drive a stigma on wheels that screams "bailout." 

With this much FAIL inherent in its corporate structure, GM will undoubtedly go bankrupt again, it's only a matter of time.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

YOU STOP WITH YOUR FUCKING FACTS ALREADY!!!!  I am going green and you can't stop me. Smell the smug - http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/155193/thanks

Not only is the Volt saving American jobs, but it's not destroying the environment.  Nahhh

trav7777's picture

yeah, nevermind that the reVolt costs substantially more than a Prius or Insight or even Leaf.

I can see electric cars for short trips; dunno why DCFusor bought a reVolt instead of a Leaf.  It would make more sense to have an APU in the Leaf with a small gas tank to provide backup capability, or have constant-velocity diesel motors on hybrid drivetrains (like how they power ships and tanks and trains and whatnot). 

The whole thing with the gas motor is to provide capability to drive at real highway speeds...the batteries simply lack the punch to do that.

DCFusor's picture

Wrong, Trav, you gotta just go drive one. I made it back from the dealer on Rt 81 at 80 mph and up hills, pure electric.  The gas engine *can* be clutched in, but needn't be.  GM was smart enough to realize that under certain conditions, a straight drive is more efficient than going through a generator and an electric motor.

Now, over 80, if the battery is getting low, the gas engine will auto start and clutch in (and provide some net charge to the batteries while doing it).

Makes sense - the electric motors are 150kw total, the IC engine less than 100...It's just a glorified generator that happens to be much higher tech than a generac and a ton lighter as well.

I didn't get a leaf, partly because it's a peice of shit datsun, and partly because I indeed do need to make the odd road trip and a pure electric is just utter fail for that.

 

redpill's picture

For the price of a Volt you could have gotten a leaf and a diesel and been more efficient all around.  Instead you have just 1 mediocre overpriced Chevy.

 

Sudden Debt's picture

YES! IT'S CREATING JOBS LIKE IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS!!!

 

DRIVING MISS DAISY JOBS!!

HardlyZero's picture

Hire Foxconn employees to push the car around when the battery gets low.

It would be like returning to very old days, or pre-3rd world.

Its a job center !   Brilliant !

ShankyS's picture

MUST SEE if you have nnever seen it - 

 

GM killed the first electric car in the 70's - it appears they are at it again. Big oil bitchez!

 

 

Who Killed The Electric Car?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTHsTCBxDM8

 

NewAmericaNow's picture

Yes let's not let facts get in the way. If you really want to go green buy a horse.

Arthor Bearing's picture

In all seriousness, you should all own a bike. It's as simple as trasnportation machines get, minimal maintenance, costs less than 1% the price of your shitty Nissan, and is a symbol of self-reliance. Plus you don't have to worry about parking or train schedules or any other complications of mass transit.

Bolweevil's picture

Thank you Dr. Head,

I was going to shove MY head through my monitor (laptop) this morning out of frustration (and maybe a little pathological manic depression) until I read your post. :)

Gully Foyle's picture

redpill

I've heard this bricking problem is one common to all electric cars.

http://theunderstatement.com/post/18030062041/its-a-brick-tesla-motors-d...

theunderstatement by MICHAEL DEGUSTA February 21, 2012 73 notes “It’s A Brick” – Tesla Motors’ Devastating Design Problem

Tesla Motors’ lineup of all-electric vehicles — its existing Roadster, almost certainly its impending Model S, and possibly its future Model X — apparently suffer from a severe limitation that can largely destroy the value of the vehicle. If the battery is ever totally discharged, the owner is left with what Tesla describes as a “brick”: a completely immobile vehicle that cannot be started or even pushed down the street. The only known remedy is for the owner to pay Tesla approximately $40,000 to replace the entire battery. Unlike practically every other modern car problem, neither Tesla’s warranty nor typical car insurance policies provide any protection from this major financial loss.

Despite this “brick” scenario having occurred several times already, Tesla has publicly downplayed the severity of battery depletion risk to both existing owners and future buyers. Privately though, Tesla has gone to great lengths to prevent this potentially brand-destroying incident from happening more often, including possibly engaging in GPS tracking of a vehicle without the owner’s knowledge.

How To Brick An Electric Car

A Tesla Roadster that is simply parked without being plugged in will eventually become a “brick”. The parasitic load from the car’s always-on subsystems continually drains the battery and if the battery’s charge is ever totally depleted, it is essentially destroyed. Complete discharge can happen even when the car is plugged in if it isn’t receiving sufficient current to charge, which can be caused by something as simple as using an extension cord. After battery death, the car is completely inoperable. At least in the case of the Tesla Roadster, it’s not even possible to enable tow mode, meaning the wheels will not turn and the vehicle cannot be pushed nor transported to a repair facility by traditional means.

The amount of time it takes an unplugged Tesla to die varies. Tesla’s Roadster Owners Manual [Full Zipped PDF] states that the battery should take approximately 11 weeks of inactivity to completely discharge [Page 5-2, Column 3: PDF]. However, that is from a full 100% charge. If the car has been driven first, say to be parked at an airport for a long trip, that time can be substantially reduced. If the car is driven to nearly its maximum range and then left unplugged, it could potentially “brick” in about one week.1 Many other scenarios are possible: for example, the car becomes unplugged by accident, or is unwittingly plugged into an extension cord that is defective or too long.

When a Tesla battery does reach total discharge, it cannot be recovered and must be entirely replaced. Unlike a normal car battery, the best-case replacement cost of the Tesla battery is currently at least $32,000, not including labor and taxes that can add thousands more to the cost.

Five Examples And Counting

Of the approximately 2,200 Roadsters sold to date, a regional service manager for Tesla stated he was personally aware of at least five cases of Tesla Roadsters being “bricked” due to battery depletion. It is unknown if there are additional cases in other regions or countries.

The 340th Tesla Roadster produced went to a customer in Santa Barbara, California. In 2011, he took his Roadster out for a drive and then parked it in a temporary garage while his home was being renovated. Lacking a built-in Tesla charger or a convenient power outlet, he left the car unplugged. Six weeks later his car was dead. It took four men two hours to drag the 2,700-pound Roadster onto a flatbed truck so that it could be shipped to Tesla’s Los Angeles area service center, all at the owner’s expense. A service manager then informed him that “it’s a brick” and that the battery would cost approximately $40,000 to replace. He was further told that this was a special “friends and family” price, strongly implying that Tesla generally charges more.

As a second Roadster owner discovered, the Tesla battery system can completely discharge even when the vehicle is plugged in. This owner’s car was plugged into a 100-foot long extension cord for an extended period. The length of this extension cord evidently reduced the electric current to a level insufficient to charge the Tesla, resulting in another “bricked” Roadster.

A third bricked Tesla Roadster apparently sits in its owner’s garage in Newport Beach, California. That owner allegedly had a similar prior incident with a BMW-produced electric vehicle. He claimed BMW replaced that vehicle, but Tesla refuses to do the same. The owner either couldn’t afford or didn’t want to pay Tesla the $40,000 (or more) to fix his car.

A fourth customer shipped his Tesla Roadster to Japan, reportedly only to discover the voltages there were incompatible. By then, it was too late, the car was bricked, and he had to ship it back to the US for repairs.

The whereabouts and circumstances of the fifth bricked Roadster the Tesla service manager expressed knowledge of are unknown.

No Warranty, No Insurance, No Payment Plan

Tesla has a “bumper to bumper” warranty [Page 3: PDF], but the warranty text allows Tesla to hold the owner responsible for any damage related to “Failure to maintain the Battery at a proper charge level at all times” — the meaning of “proper charge” doesn’t appear to be specifically defined. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Vice President of Sales & Ownership Experience George Blankenship, and Vice President of Worldwide Service J. Joost de Vries all became directly involved in at least one “brick” situation, with de Vries stating in writing that since Tesla’s documentation and warranty “identify in clear language to keep the Roadster on external power when parked” the decision to decline any warranty or financial relief was “correct and justified”.2

Unfortunately for current and future Tesla owners who encounter this problem, it’s also not covered by normal automobile insurance policies. This makes the situation almost unique in modern car-ownership: a $40,000 or more exposure that cannot be insured. After all, car insurance is designed to protect owners and drivers even when they are neglectful or at fault. The affected customers probably would have been in a better financial situation if they’d accidentally rolled their Teslas off a cliff, as insurance would generally cover much of those costs.

Due to Tesla batteries naturally decaying over time, Tesla offered Roadster customers a $12,000 “battery replacement program”. This program is intended to replace a Roadster battery with a new one seven years after purchase. When asked, the Tesla service manager said even if owners had paid in advance for this replacement battery program, they would not be allowed to use it to replace an accidentally discharged battery — they would have to pay the full $40,000-plus cost.3

The Santa Barbara owner was also informed that no other financing or payment plan would be made available to pay for the replacement battery, and that he needed to either pay in full or remove his dead vehicle from the Tesla service center as soon as possible.

Understated Warnings to Owners

With such a large price tag for a bricked vehicle, it would be reasonable to expect Tesla to go to great lengths to ensure their customers were fully aware of the severity of battery discharge. Instead it seems that Tesla, while working to make it clear their vehicles should always be left plugged in, also appears to have focused on trying not to spook their current and future customers about the potentially severe ramifications of complete battery discharge.

The Tesla Roadster Owners Manual begins with several “Important Notes About Your Vehicle” [Page 1-2: PDF], none of which make any mention of battery discharge. In Chapter 5 of the manual, where vehicle charging is addressed, Tesla states that the vehicle is “designed to be plugged in” and that allowing the charge level to fall to 0% “can permanently damage the Battery.” [Page 5-2: PDF] It does not specify that a completely discharged battery may need to be replaced, entirely at the owner’s expense, at a cost that could be the majority of the value of the vehicle.

Tesla did begin handing out a “Battery Reminder Card” [PDF] when a Roadster was brought in for servicing. However, the card gently and cheerfully prods owners to “Remember — a connected Roadster is a happy Roadster!” with no mention of the possible consequences of a complete discharge.

There is no warning regarding battery discharge on the actual power port of the vehicle itself, where a gas-powered car often contains warnings about issues like the use of leaded gasoline in an unleaded vehicle. There is also no warning on the power port or in the Roadster Owner’s manual regarding the use of extension cords.

What About The Model S?

It’s not just the Roadster — Tesla’s service manager stated the upcoming Model S definitely shares the Roadster’s discharge problem, describing it as fundamental to the battery technology. Another Tesla employee concurred, saying it would be “neglect” to leave the vehicle unplugged when it’s parked. This fits with statements by Kurt Kelty, Tesla’s Director of Battery Technology, that the Model S uses the same battery technology as the Roadster. Yet on Tesla’s Model S “Facts” page under “Charging”, potential buyers are presented with only the lenient guideline that “Tesla recommends plugging your Model S in each night or when convenient.”

Assuming the Model S has the same battery vulnerability as the Roadster, Tesla’s Model S FAQ is woefully incomplete at best. In the FAQ, Tesla explicitly addresses the question of what happens when their car is parked and not charging:

If Model S is parked and not charging, will the battery lose its charge?
Loss of charge at rest is minimal. For example, Model S owners can park at the airport for extended vacations without plugging in.

That’s the answer in its entirety — nothing at all about the eventual, inevitable, catastrophic battery failure that the Tesla service manager seemed certain of.

Even the minimal loss of charge statement is highly suspect. The Roadster’s owner manual [Page 5-2, Column 3: PDF] states that a fully charged car can be expected to lose 50% of its charge in just 7 days, clearly not a “minimal” amount. As far as leaving the car for an “extended vacation”, the manual [Page 5-3, Column 1: PDF] actually states that vehicles left for more than two weeks should not only be plugged in, but plugged into a special $1,950 (plus installation) Tesla High Power Connector that is not generally available at airports or elsewhere at present. Additionally, leaving a Tesla Roadster at the airport for an extended vacation would seemingly invalidate the warranty which says the battery “should never remain continuously unplugged for an extended period of time, regardless of the state of charge” [Page 5, Column 2: PDF] — practically the exact opposite of Tesla’s Model S FAQ answer.

The Model S battery could be very different from that of the Roadster. If so, however, this would mean not only that the Tesla employees are wrong, but that Tesla has made radical improvements in these areas but has decided not to actively promote them or even mention them prominently on their website. Barring that improbable scenario, Tesla’s marketing appears to be less than entirely forthcoming on this key issue.

Tesla’s Unorthodox Prevention Measures

While customer and marketing communication about charging are focused on gentle reminders, behind the scenes Tesla has seemingly been scrambling to try to ensure existing owners don’t “brick” their cars.

After the first 500 Roadsters, Tesla added a remote monitoring system to the vehicles, connecting through AT&T’s GSM-based cellular network. Tesla uses this system to monitor various vehicle metrics including the battery charge levels, as long as the vehicle has the GSM connection activated4 and is within range of AT&T’s network. According to the Tesla service manager, Tesla has used this information on multiple occasions to proactively telephone customers to warn them when their Roadster’s battery was dangerously low.

In at least one case, Tesla went even further. The Tesla service manager admitted that, unable to contact an owner by phone, Tesla remotely activated a dying vehicle’s GPS to determine its location and then dispatched Tesla staff to go there. It is not clear if Tesla had obtained this owner’s consent to allow this tracking5, or if the owner is even aware that his vehicle had been tracked. Further, the service manager acknowledged that this use of tracking was not something they generally tell customers about.

Going to these lengths could be seen as customer service, but it would also seem to fit with an internal awareness at Tesla of the gravity of the “bricking” problem, and the potentially disastrous public relations and sales fallout that could result from it becoming more broadly known.

Coming Soon: More Customers, More Problems

Tesla produced 2,500 Roadsters, but it plans to make 25,000 Model S vehicles by the end of 2013. This vastly increases the possible number of accidental “bricking” incidents. At the same time, the Model S pricing starts at $49,900 (after US tax incentives), broadening the market to households of far more modest means than the owners of the $109,000 and up Roadster. This in turn makes it even less likely that Tesla buyers will have the necessary tens of thousands of dollars to spare if they ever allow their battery to fully discharge.

Tesla has officially stated that “it is impossible to accurately forecast the cost of future battery replacements”, but the Tesla service manager said he expected the Model S battery to cost even more than the Roadster’s. If true, it would mean that a Model S battery failure could essentially render the car valueless.

Tesla is actively targeting the mass market, with CEO Elon Musk recently touting the Model X as “the killer app for families.” But as things stand today, families who fail to keep their car charged could end up unexpectedly forced to continue making payments on an inoperable and worthless vehicle. That would be a killer.

The Bottom Line

Tesla Motors is a public company that’s valued at over $3.5 billion and has received $465 million in US government loans, all on the back of the promise that it can deliver a real world, all-electric car to the mainstream market. Yet today, in my opinion, Tesla seems to be knowingly selling cars that can turn into bricks without any financial protection for the customer.

Until there’s a fundamental change in Tesla’s technology, it would seem the only other option for Tesla is to help its customers insure against this problem. As consumers become aware that a Tesla is possibly just a long trip, a bad extension cord, or an accidental unplugging away from disaster, how many will choose to gamble $40,000 on that not happening? Would you?

redpill's picture

In my opinion that's a non-issue.  You can do plenty of things to an internal combustion engine that will cause catastrophic failure as well, probably many more than an electric car, honestly.  No one says the internal combustion engine is doomed because you might accidentally run it without engine oil.  It's really just a matter of becoming used to the nature of electric vehicles as opposed to internal combustion engine.  The good thing about this issue is all you have to do to avoid it is PLUG IN YOUR ELECTRIC CAR.  If you can't handle that responsbility, then well, caveat emptor.

From an ownership standpoint, a pure electric makes a lot of sense, electric motors are very straight forward and much simpler to operate from a maintenance perspective.  For my part I'm a bit of a gear head and like loud engines, manual transmissions, and tire smoke so it's hard to convert, but the advantages are hard to ignore.

Temporalist's picture

They could put a tiny solar collector on the car just to keep a minor charge. I agree it's like saying running out of gas turns your car into a brick; although that is temporary it's not fun when the gas station is uphill from you.

redpill's picture

That only works if it's outside, of course, but it would help.

bloostar's picture

Can't see why they can't just shut down the system when it reches danger level.. Could rejig the radio with 'danger danger Will Robinson' at 3% battery.

mkkby's picture

Correct.  I shut down my computer and the LiOn battery stays charged for months.  Why can't they make it easy to fully shut down or disconnect the battery for extended breaks?  Stupid.

Silver Bug's picture

The volt has been a massive flop.

 

Charms and beads

xela2200's picture

The revenge of the EV1. They could have had the technology down packed by now. That is OK. I am sure spending in lobbying to kill the project was a better investment. Ahhh Detroit you will be missed.

Strut's picture

I see your point, but it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. If the supply of gas runs out, or becomes too expensive, or otherwise unavailable, a gasoline car isn't disabled permanently when you fail to fill your tank. The flip side of this is that you can't make gasoline in your back yard from renewable sources like solar or wind. I wouldn't own one unless I owned a way to generate my own power, off-grid.

redpill's picture

What if your supply of engine oil runs out?  Or blow a rod?  Lose your timing belt at highway speeds?  Catastrophic automatic transmission failure anyone?  There's a reason AAMCO exists!

Last time I had the M3 in the shop there was another customer there who had brought in his Bentley Continential GT; he had managed to blow the W12 engine in it.  It was all custom fit in there since it was a hand-built W12 for Bentley, nothing was standard, total nightmare.  It will be an $80k job, half the price of the car itself.

This is an issue of paradigm more than it is engineering.

On your subject of making your own power, old Burt Rutan of Spaceship 1 fame used to do that very thing in the 1990s, he purchased a GM EV1 (far more visionary vehicle than the Volt), and kept it charged with a solar array on his property in the desert.

 

FeralSerf's picture

If your supply of engine oil runs out (probably because the car burns oil and is worn out), you buy another.  New ones can be purchased for as little as $10K, a lot less than a battery pack for the Tesla.  There's also plenty of used ones available for even less.

If you can buy a W12 Bentley, you should be able to pay the $80K for an engine and maybe next time you're baby it  more.  Or you could just throw the Bentley away, buy the $10K econobox and have $70K left over for fuel, oil, and engine replacements.   Maybe someone will come up with a way to install a GM crate motor in the Bentley.

redpill's picture

That's silly, quoting GM crate motor prices.  What about installing it?  You think replacing the motor on a $50k caddy is going to cost $10k?  Besides, if electric cars were as commonplace as internal combustion engines, there would probably be "crate batteries" you could get at a discount as well.

Besides, by your logic, if one should be "able to afford" $80,000 to replace the motor in a $160,000 vehicle, the equivalent to "afford" to replace an engine or a battery pack in a $50k car would be $25,000, which is a much more realistic cost estimate either for a full engine replacement or a full battery replacement.  And instead of worrying about having to "baby it," with an electric all you have to do to avoid the issue is plug it in.  It's an electric car for god sakes, why wouldn't you?

DCFusor's picture

Of course, where I live, people would laugh their asses off at some paper pushing fucknut who would actually buy a new crate engine and then pay someone else to install it. They'd just rip the sucker down, fix what was broken, and be back on the road for a few hundred tops in a few hours - even if they had to srouncge some junkyard parts to hit budget (so there was enough left over for the beer and whiskey, we don't do hookers and blow so much here).  What losers people have become!  Can't even maintain the stuff you depend on to stay alive?  Wow, now that's a manly man.

redpill's picture

Well shit, you have to BUY the crate engine?  You pussy, depending on other people to make engines for you.  Why not mine the ore yourself, cast the block and cylinders and all the parts, make the hoses, hell go drill the fuckin oil for all the plastic parts.  What a vagina you are, depending on others.  I bet you didn't even build your own goddamn house did you?  You SLAVE!

FeralSerf's picture

Did I quote GM crate motor prices or are you making that up?

A sane person would expect that it costs more to fix a Bentley than a $10,000 econobox.

trav7777's picture

the W12 isn't hand built for fkin Bentley; that car and its engine source from the VW Phaeton.  Same car, different panels and interior and the Bent gets 2 turbos.

$80k is ridic bc the Bent is only a $180k car or so.

redpill's picture

$80k was the CHEAP way to do it with a donor engine from a Phaeton.  Even so, you realize what is required to take the W12 from a Phaeton, revamp the internals to handle forced induction, add the twin turbos, fit it into the engine bay of a Continental GT with all the unique Bentley bits, and then actually get it to run reliably?  Stop and think about that for a minute!

Esso's picture

The EV1 was visionary because it was designed by AeroVironment, not the turds at GM. The EV1 was the most efficient car ever in production. It was truly amazing, and the powertrain could've been put in any GM vehicle, not just the 2-seater. They did make some EV1-based S-10 PUs.

The MFers at GM have been trying to drive a stake through the heart of EVs since the early 70s.

redpill's picture

Correct sir!  Please try to talk some sense into DCFusor below.

DCFusor's picture

The reason the EV1 died is because it was so hugely expensive it wasn't funny.  GM wouldn't sell one, because no one would have paid the couple hundred K they really did cost - not an inflated number that includes NRE like the one people toss around for the Volt, either.  No, it wouldn't have driven a "Real" car, not enough HP or range in a heavy modern, quiet car.

 

Further, they were noisy, whiney, unsafe cars - too many trade-offs had to be made to do it at all then.  Now we can do it right, and the Volt is that result.

redpill's picture

Funny, because no one is buying the Volt, either. Other than the taxpayers of course, who didn't have a choice. The Volt is still too expensive for what it is.

The EV1 didn't die, it was killed. It was a limited production run that WAS a leapfrog in technology, a model for future electric vehicles that GM foolishly decided not to pursue (they could have gotten the jump on Honda and Toyota if they had). You should expect to see drawbacks in leapfrog technology. The reason the Volt is not leapfrog technology is precisely because it didn't stretch the boundaries, it doesn't offer anything truly new to the marketplace. It's a hybrid with slightly more emphasis on a low range pure electric mode than a Prius. The Volt drawbacks are not because of daring new technology, but because of stupid design. The prohibitively small pure-electric range and speed limitations means most drivers are going to use gas in the thing and wind up having to go to the gas station AND plug it in. It's the worst of both worlds instead of the best. It's not visionary, it's not game-changing, it's not boundary expanding, it's not anything except a poorly conceived product that only made it to production because the greenies in the federal government demanded it in exchange for saving a company that had been poorly run for decades.

battle axe's picture

redpill: What about battery life? You charge it and charge it, doesn't the battery lose it's ability to hold a charge over time like say 5 yrs-10yrs? Then how do you sell it? Doesn't replacing the battery cost a lot of money? I ask this because I do not know, not to be a pain in the ass, but have heard various stories about the battery life problem.

redpill's picture

You can buy an extended warranty on the battery to prevent premature failure, and no they aren't cheap.  But keep in mind that over the course of the decade you do save a lot of money on not having to do nearly the amount of maintenance required for an internal combustion engine.  Electric motors require very little in the way of maintenance, it's a far simpler affair from a mechanical standpoint than the suck-squeeze-bang-blow of an ICE.

FeralSerf's picture

Modern ICE autos don't require much maintenance for the first 200K miles. My Honda has only needed tires and $20 oil changes every 7,500 miles for the last 100K miles. Tires are also needed on the electric cars. Oh, there's also wiper blades and the occasional wash.

In the last 100 years, ICE powered cars have been pretty well perfected, electric cars, not so much.

redpill's picture

That's nonsense, I've owned Hondas and they have a maintenance schedule like any other car.  Only oil changes for 200k miles?  Why you making shit up?  Besides, there are enough unavoidable boring aspects of existence already without driving a Honda your whole life.  Obviously we could all drive shit cans and eat Taco Bell and have a very small cost footprint, but it misses the point.

 

FeralSerf's picture

You have a reading comprehension problem.  I'm not making anything up.  I didn't say "only oil changes for 200k miles".  I said my Honda (a purchased new, 2001 S2000 that has not been especially boring FWIW) has only had oil changes (with filter), tire and wiper blade replacement for 100K miles.  It still has the original brake pads and spark plugs and runs great.   I've had Hondas previously and had similar results.

What point does this miss?

redpill's picture

That you're not following the Honda maintenance schedule?  Maybe you shouldn't get a car you have to plug in, afterall.

FeralSerf's picture

I never did have any plan of getting a car that had to be plugged in.

You appear to admit that maintainance on electric cars is less forgiving than that on ICE powered cars.

FYI, spark plugs on the Honda are the platinum variety that are designed to last more than 100K miles.

DosZap's picture

battle axe

I heard batteriy life(sans Fires) was around 5yrs, and cost $5k-$10k to replace.

I did it by Occident's picture

I would think they would design it to be readily modular swappable batteries, sort of like the propane tank paradigm.  I have a propane tank for my grill and when I go to the gas station they just swap it out for a refilled one.  So it would be like your cordless drill at home, you can take out the battery no problem and swap it.  So as far as business and liability issue, tesla or the EV industry should come up with an interface standard for the size, voltage, and interface of the battery to the EV vehicle.  Thus it frees up innovation within an envelope of constraints.  New battery materials and technologies can be developed and dropped into the fleet of batteries floating around as the technologies mature.  As far as ownership, the "batteries" wouldn't be "owned" by the buyer of the vehicle, but by Tesla or some other company might "own" the batteries or leases it out to the owner for relatively cheap or what have you.  That way this fleet of batteries, the discharge risks, etc. would be spread across the fleet sort of like insurance, but also the batteries would be easily swappable so from the owner's point of view it is seemless to get another one it one is bricked.  The battery fleet owner would recycle the bricked battery to manufacture new batteries, that way the costs for swapping and liability can be lowered.  So let's say the design can be easily swapped in less than 20minutes, that brings down that cost.  The battery maybe $10000 over 5 year life=$2k per year for the battery, but then maybe half that can be salvage value if recycled back into the system on large volume scale, so maybe the cost to the consumer is roughly 100/month rolled into the cost of ownership.  With some other tweaks maybe lower.  Not "too bad" for a part of the system which is a large part of the overall system costs. 

Matt's picture

1) Please use paragraphs

2) There is/was a company trying out something like this in Israel, maybe using Nissans? The batteries are swapped out at the gas station for a new one with full charge. Basically keeps the gas station model intact, with the advantage to owners being that you don't own batteries.

carguym14's picture

"At least in the case of the Tesla Roadster, it’s not even possible to enable tow mode, meaning the wheels will not turn and the vehicle cannot be pushed nor transported to a repair facility by traditional means"

 

The above is BS,unless they don't count tow trucks as "traditional means".