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Is Everyone So Anti-EV?

6755 Views 49 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  boogetyboogety
I just downloaded those excellant 1 page Insight brochures from the "comments" thread, and was greatly impressed. However, one thing hit me like a hammer: the bold text proudly proclaiming "The car never needs to be plugged in". Am I the only one that sees this as a major disadvantage? We should not be hyping the fact that it cannot be plugged in, we should be maligning it. Evertime I give the "standard speech", and they ask if you have to plug it in, I always say "Unfortunately, I can't.". Which then leads to the discussion about why not being able to plug in is a major disadvantage, and how auto manufacturers should be striving for both pure electric vehicles, and true hybrids which CAN be plugged in...

Just a thought.
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perception

It's all about public perception. EV's are stigmatized as being impractical, slow and wimpy. Something like minivans. Very practical vehicles that got a bad reputation through targeted marketing.

Anyway, there is a really good illustration of this on the yahoo group:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/hon ... ssage/8307

It compares the car to the cell-phone. For historic reasons, we're used to cars running on gasoline. And we (the public) think it's absurd to power them with electricity. The same way, we're used to cellphones to run on electricity and we'd think it to be just as absurd to have them run on gasoline (as the article by Geoff illustrates)!
 

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more than 10%

Great post, Will.

I don't quite agree with some of your opinions, but I accept them. But this one I will take issue with:

Will M said:
It doesn't make any sense to plug in a hybrid because the actual energy held in those batteries is not enough to move the car very far. At peak boost, the battery adds about 10% to the power that the gas engine is providing.
Take the Insight for example: Honda specs say at 2000 rpm (peak torque), the IMA motor supplies 1/3 of the torque. This equals 1/3 of the power. Many of us who drive for great gas mileage accelerate at this or even lower rpm, where the electrical portion of the torque provided is even greater.

So, the electrical power supplied is significant. But you are right, the size of the battery is a strong limitation here. As has been discussed in various threads about modifying the Insight too be a grid-chargable hybrid. You are correct in saying it make slittle sense, to plug the existing hybrid (Insight) in as it is designed. But it would make a lot of sense to plug in a future hybrid with larger battery capacity.
 

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from the all-purpose vehicle to a multi-purpose vehicle

Aaron Cake said:
loves the FREEDOM of taking VERY long trips, and having a near 1000 mile range, then refueling at some gas station in the middle of Nebraska at 2:30 a.m.!!
So do I. Grid-rechargable hybrids, however, compliment this. You have an EV around town, then a gas car for long trips. Or, keep a pure EV for short range, then take the hybrid on long trips. Lots of people have more then 1 car. In fact, many people around here have more then 2.
Ok, I'll bite:

Here is where an old quote from Ferdinand Piech (then-CEO of Volkswagen) comes in:
"We need to get away from the all-purpose vehicle and toward a multi-purpose vehicle."

Why would you need the same car that drives your 50 mile commute every day to also do the 1000 mile trip once a year?
Your commuter (shopping/family/whatever regular use)-car could be much better optimized for that purpose, if it wasn't also designed to be capable of entirely different, rarely performed tasks.

The Piech idea means you have your car suited for what you use it 95% of the time (commuting for most of us). Then, if you need a long-distance vehicle, or a hauler, or a minivan, or whatever rig for a day or a week, you rent it. The economic and ecological savings in the regular car more than offsett the cost of renting that other car when you need it.

Of course, the cost part may be different in the US with the heavily subsidized gas.

So the hybrid is - and I have to disagree with both of you - not the answer, it's just a continuation of the old "all-purpose vehicle" idea. Aarons second suggestion (EV plus conventional car) is the answer! Since you would drive that conventional car for only 2000 miles a year (vs. say 15000 on the EV), it's mpg and emmissions are not critical. An Insight without IMA would probably do better for this job than one with IMA.

And yes, society is no where near ready to embrace a radical shift like this. Case in point: Zipcar.com For many tens of thousands of people in the Boston area alone this makes more economic sense than having their own cars, yet zipcar has only a few thousand members.
 
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