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Thread: electric cars catching on?

  1. #161
    Well that just poopooed really fast downhill.
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  2. #162
    Now that EVs have been out since ~2009 we are starting to get a little information on battery longevity. The report below has some pretty encouraging numbers. I suppose I can buy with confidence.


    We’re breaking new ground with the fleets of electric-powered and autonomous cars coming our way in the next 2 to 10 years. Range anxiety — how far can I go on a charge? — arises when considering all-electric cars versus gas and diesel power, but that concern will be answered with higher-capacity batteries and more widely dispersed charging stations.

    Another interesting question is about the lithium-ion batteries in electrical vehicles. How long will they last? Sure, they’re rechargeable, but so are laptop lithium-ion batteries, and we know they degrade and eventually wear out. So what about electric car batteries? The way they’re built or tucked into vehicle chassis, switching them for new ones sounds like a considerable service effort and an even more considerable expense.

    Tesla Motors has a reassuring answer to the question of e-car battery longevity, according to Electrek. All Tesla’s come with an 8-year, transferable, unlimited warranty on the batteries and the drive train. It’s called the Infinite Mile Warranty. The catch is that “the loss of battery energy or power over time due to normal battery usage is not covered under this warranty.” So the question still remains, what can we expect for power?

    An electric vehicle advocacy group called Plug In America surveyed Tesla Model S owners. The survey used data from 495 vehicles that traveled 12,588,649 miles in total, and 17,214 miles per year on average. You can access the full report on the survey website, but the summary is promising. The survey showed that on average the Model S lost about 5 percent of their power in the first 50,000 miles and that the degradation then slowed. Tesla’s Model S hasn’t been available longer than four years, but among several with 100,000-plus miles, the battery pack degradation was less than 8 percent.

    With all the power in reserve in Tesla models, those figures sound pretty good, but the company is going further. Tesla is partnering with Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to find ways to improve lithium-ion battery cell longevity. Electrek noted that CEO Elon Musk has stated Tesla has a battery back in its lab with more than 500,000 simulated miles still operating at over 80 percent of its original capacity.


  3. #163
    Interesting read. 8% over half a million miles is pretty impressive. Gotta say why can't they make better batteries for cell phones and laptops? sheesh!

    Makes me more interested in the other Tesla products however I read recently that the Model 3 won't have free access to their supercharge centers. Only the Model S and maybe the X (not sure).
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  4. #164
    Yes, the X has free Supercharger access, which is a bonus for paying for a premium product. In order for Tesla to start venturing into the lower cost vehicle segments, something has to give and perks like free energy is the first to go.
    Honestly, I think that's totally reasonable. Free Supercharger access is only something that should be taken advantage of on road trips. Tesla owners of all levels are encouraged to charge overnight at their house, not go out of their way to regularly use the Superchargers. With the range of these vehicles, how often would you absolutely need to use a free Supercharge while on the road? Enough to warrant the cost of a Type S over a 3?
    I didn't put a deposit down on the 3, but I'm excited for them to arrive and may be ready to purchase one when they are (which just so happens to coincide when the lease on my 500e ends).

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  5. #165
    I can't believe I am approaching three years with my leased 2013 Nissan Leaf and it's almost time to turn it in. Here are my final impressions:

    The instant electric motor torque, lack of noise or vibration and 1-speed transmission with no shifting will spoil you. Not sure what else I can say, it's awesome. The lack of maintenance requirements, oil changes and even weekly stops at the gas station makes gas cars feel like a serious hassle.

    The Leaf is a Gen 1 car and all the development went into the powertrain, and therefore the chassis/suspension are economy car basic to keep costs down. It rides okay, handles okay, but any Honda Accord would beat the Leaf in the ride and handling department.

    It doesn't have any. It's the ugliest car on the road, with the exception of the new Prius, which makes the Leaf look like a Aston Martin.

    My Gen 1 Leaf came with 84 miles of range, which has recently been increased to 108 miles due to higher battery capacity. The new EVs coming late this year will at least double that number.

    Public charging is hit or miss. There are quite a few 240V chargers in California, but those are too slow for road tripping--they take around 3 hours to top off a low battery. Many Leafs have a 480V DC quick charge port, but those DC chargers tend to only have one charging head and there is often a queue waiting to use it. Mine has never been used for this reason. Fail. Tesla has a proprietary supercharger network that features around 7 chargers per site and as of right now they are under-utilized. Tesla=win; public fast charging that non-Teslas require are still a fail.

    Battery life:
    2011 and 2012 Leafs had batteries that lost capacity in hot climates, 2013+ batteries were better. (Mine is a 2013). In 30,000 miles I have experienced no noticeable loss of capacity--the car still takes the same percentage of the battery to do my commute that it did when it was new. The total range does not seem to have changed. That said, plenty of people report these cars do loose range in hot climates. Tesla uses a liquid cooling system to preserve battery life, Nissan does not. I would assume you may not want a non-active cooled battery if you live in a hot climate like I do. I assume if I kept the car a couple years longer that I would begin to notice battery degradation and loss of range.

    I think mine is on the 4th or 5th recall, all related to airbags. Our Acura has had the same issue. Both cars have spent more time at dealerships than the 4Runner has in it's entire life. That's the reality of modern cars, I think.

    This car has worked great for me; I use it for nearly all of my driving. I have the 4Runner for when I need to go farther than the range allows. That said, Gen 2 cars will have much better range and now that battery costs have come down, some of that money can be spent on a better chassis (for example, more expensive double wishbone suspensions rather than macpherson strut) and a body design that doesn't look like an eggshell, aka, Tesla Model 3. I've really enjoyed this car but so glad I don't own it because of the promise gen 2 cars hold. The future is looking bright.

  6. #166
    Glad to hear your final impressions. I will be looking at one in the next couple years, so hopefully the Model 3 is easy to come by at that time.
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