Why Americans don't buy Electric Vehicles

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Old Bear, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. triggerhappy007

    triggerhappy007 Active Member

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    I'd like to know more about your ownership experience. It seemed like you were disappointed with the Bolt. Did the software bug effect all Bolts or just a few? What was wrong with the wheel? Seems like it would be easy to replace a wheel. Is it a parts issue like on Teslas?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think i would be well aware of mobility restrictions before purchasing a bev. the other issues are solved by leaf, niro and etc
     
  3. Dimitrij

    Dimitrij Active Member

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    In my book, the purpose of an automobile is (1) worry-free, (2) reasonably comfortable, (3) on-demand transportation, (4) at a predictable cost. The Bolt flunked all 4, placing itself squarely at the last position in the list of 12 automobiles I have driven from new on the daily basis in the past 25 years. And while the Bolt disappointed me as a driver, GM also discouraged me as a taxpayer, a citizen, and an electrified transportation enthusiast.

    I believe software bugs are fairly common in the Bolt (you may want to visit one of the Bolt forums to gauge this). Apart from the inconvenience and safety hazard of the false alarm bell starting to ding when driving, I had felt a growing concern that one day a vital electronic system, controlling propulsion, braking, energy management or steering might freeze, too. There goes up in flames the chant of "EV's are super-reliable, as they have fewer moving parts".

    There is nothing wrong with the wheel per se. The problems are: (1) As far as I can tell, the combination of a rigid suspension and low profile fancy tires makes the latter prone to damage in relatively benign driving conditions, leading also to a higher risk of wheel damage. In 2 years and about 40K miles with the Bolt I got 3 pothole events, while driving in Loudoun Co ... my only pothole events in the past 25 years and probably 1M miles (2) The tires, and especially the wheels are very expensive and aren't necessarily stocked at every dealership; to sum up: the 3 events cost me $1,300-ish and 24 cumulative days in the shop. There goes up in flames the chant of "EV's cost nothing to maintain".

    . I believe this is what happened with the Bolt; once the astute US consumer became "well aware of mobility restrictions" n'such, he just just stopped buying it. The Niro, the Kona and the Leaf look better on paper, but their sales are have been negligible and stagnant. What does it tell us?
     
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  4. Dimitrij

    Dimitrij Active Member

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    "demeaning and childish"

    I think every person is aware of the online posters who generate hundreds of elaborate panegyrics 24/7, under multiple screen names and on dozens of forums, extolling the otherworldly virtues of the subject of their choice ... I'll not go into the psychology and psychiatry of this phenomenon, because I am not an expert in this field, but I'll state that some of them do not even appear to own, or to use the very item they spin the yarn about! I think it's fair to call such folks out.

    "I know of people with first generation Leafs as their only vehicle"

    I know of people whose only vehicle is their legs; plenty of them in big cities :). Would there be any benefit to discussing them on an automotive forum?

    "And the longer the range, the more people it will work for"

    I'd argue that the more versatile and practical body type (a pickup truck or a "compact SUV" like the RAV4 or the Equinox) and faster charging speed at more locations are more important than the >250mi range.
     
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  5. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I would kill for an electric P’up. Or even smaller. Something bigger than a golf cart, two seats and a platform or bed, utility rigged, street legal but maybe not limited access highway legal. I could shift quite a lot of my local driving into that, and in theory the small size and limited mission of the vehicle would allow for a much lower window sticker than anything else offered.

    I don’t need zero to ludicrous in 3 seconds. I need zero to 45mph around $10k.
     
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  6. Dimitrij

    Dimitrij Active Member

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    A think in the next year or two we going to see a sensibly priced electrified (most likely - and ideally - PHEV) pickups from Toyota and Ford. I suspect that had the EV market been driven by the conventional supply-and-demand mechanisms instead of the Big State regulating bemarx out of it, we would be seeing such pickups now instead of the overpriced Konas-schmonas and the rest of the compliance mongrels.

    So you don't like the idea of gretathunberging the ICE troglodytes while doing zero to ludicrous in 3?
     
  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Sorry, I think I’ll need a translation on that. I promise I already had my coffee and this just isn’t making it through the decoder.
     
  8. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Those are fighting words. I got attacked for years from that very suggestion. Volt enthusiasts absolutely hated me for pushing the idea of diversification. Equinox using Voltec (the tech in Volt) required a sacrifice of range, since it would be far less aerodynamic and much more heavy. Keeping it somewhat affordable made that situation even worse. But adding to the impractical reality of poor approach was CHAdeMO fast-charging already available for Prius PHV in Japan. It wrecked any hope of their mantra of more range being better.

    GM's dependency on tax-credits and the result of never being able to appeal to their own loyal customers is what stands out most now. Even the desperate excuse of abandoning EREV in favor of EV doesn't save them from the reality of not having anything beyond just conquest offerings. The goal is to change status quo, phasing out traditional choices in favor of something with a plug.

    While we witnessed Toyota improving upon RAV4 hybrid to set the stage for a PHV model able to compete directly with the traditional model, we watched GM rollout a diesel model of Equinox and create a new traditional Blazer made in Mexico. All that nonsense about Toyota being so "behind" has been revealed as meritless rhetoric. And to those who lashed out at me for expressing the "too little, too slowly" concern about not spreading the tech to a more versatile & practical body type, you now understand consequences of not critical thinking.
     
  9. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Are you in NoVA? Can you comment on your car tax for those years?
    Our car tax probably puts a big dent in sales of more expensive and new cars, I feel.

    Recent change Va. has apparently revoked Hybrid access to free HOV starting tomorrow actually, so plug-ins now have that Ca-style advantage, but I am not sure if we are going to open that up to new purchases and HOT lanes or just grandfathered hybrid owners, in which case not much impact. But at the moment we have finally lost our Va. hybrid sales incentive for HOV (16000 vehicles were grandfathered and had their privileges revoked...not me I never had it).
     
    #89 wjtracy, Sep 29, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
  10. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    I don't think you would find anyone argue the first half. However the two ideas are not mutually exclusive and both ideas will help expand the market.

    As to which factor is more important, that will be evident as more options become available.
    I personally feel the range is a bigger factor to a larger percentage of the market. From years of talking with EV owners, most find they need less range with their second EV than they did their first. Not all, but most.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think it tells us that most people aren't interested, even if the product is almost bulletproof.

    however, i also think there are supply restrictions, and political wrangling with adverse effects, not to mention cheap gas and the american penchant for larger vehicles.
     
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  12. Tha_Ape

    Tha_Ape Member

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    Nah, not gonna happen. Not when tolls are involved. It's still legal to go solo from Edsal to the Pentagon on 395 with a PHEV but that will go away as soon as that section goes to HOT.
     
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  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    An ICE car meeting your requirement list there would be more than $10k.

    The Ioniq hybrid suffered delays in its US roll out because Hyundai had underestimated the demand, and didn't have the necessary battery supply.

    The only companies with EVs on the road that have investment for truly mass production are Nissan/Renault and Tesla. VW has made them, but they are just starting to come online. battery companies are starting to ramp up production for cars, but there will be lag time before it catches up with demand.
     
  14. Tha_Ape

    Tha_Ape Member

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    Range anxiety... the people I talk to always reference the "what if I want to take a long trip"? Even though that only happens a couple times a year.

    I noticed with my Prime I rarely go over 25mi. 300mi is plenty of range for an electric for 95% of most people's drives. The skeptics tend to forget that you have a 100% (or 80% if you wish) charge every day.

    Even with my petty 25mi EV range, I haven't filled up my tank in 2200mi... still have 1/5tank left and that's because of some long distance traveling I had to do, which is not typical for me.
     
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    we only take a long trip once a year, and could drive two bev's. but we're not ready to give up the convenience of 700 mile range and a couple 5-10 minute stops along the way for searching for chargers and waiting to fill up, or renting a gasser for two months.

    even driving the 200 miles to our daughters in manhattan, trying to charge to get home would be a nightmare.
     
  16. Dimitrij

    Dimitrij Active Member

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    From what we can see, the penchant for larger vehicles in general and for pickup trucks in particular is not a uniquely American depravity. As soon as people become able to afford a larger and a more expensive vehicle/home/whatever, chances are many people would budget for it regardless of the geographical and cultural peculiarities.

    The Ranger, the Frontier (under the name Navarra) and Toyota's Hilux have been sold globally for decades, and now it looks like other manufacturers, earlier not implicated in pickups, are jumping into the game:

    Renault, Mercedes, Fiat give new life to pickup segment
     
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  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yep, humans are hardwired the same way everywhere
     
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  18. smyles

    smyles Active Member

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    Exactly. Many like to point at Europe: "look, they drive small cars/ride bicycles/walk everywhere", and yet once those Europeans move elsewhere and can afford an F150 or Q7 or 'stang - and not just financially, but in terms of space and distances,- they gladly get one.
     
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  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it doesn't hurt to pay $3./g vs 10 either
     
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  20. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I know...my neighborhood commuters do that trick to get into DC.
    Some will switch to VRE train, but we also have slugging car pools big here.
    The last big lump of HOV hybrids in theory would be those coming in I66 from the west, but they already lost I66 inside the Beltway.
     
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