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#727 of 1161 Re: Lean, green and fun [gagrice]
Feb 28, 2012 (11:25 am)
That's neat, I love how small it is.
12 miles and no pedals, though. Hmm. I guess that's OK, it's just an extension of the car as transportation.
#728 of 1161 Re: Lean, green and fun [ateixeira]
by steve_ HOST
Feb 28, 2012 (3:53 pm)
We've gone full circle it seems.
Wooden draisine (around 1820), the first two-wheeler. This one is similar to the VW, but has pedals.
#729 of 1161 Re: Lean, green and fun [steve_]
Feb 28, 2012 (6:18 pm)
The price is right on the Contortionist. It just does not have a motor for those that do not want to walk into the office dripping with sweat. I looked for something along the lines of the VW E-bike when I had the motor home. Nothing really seemed compact enough.
#730 of 1161 Will the USA ever build EVs and Hybrids??
Apr 14, 2012 (7:37 am)
Just reading about China playing hardball on Rare Earths needed to make most everything we buy today. We are trying to get the WTO to see our side of the issue. When the reality is our own stupidity shut down REE mining and processing more than a decade ago. Time to get our hands dirty if we do not want to lose out.
Officials in Beijing said Tuesday that China will vigorously defend its right to control the export of such materials. The official state-run news agency, Xinhua, warned that any U.S. move to lodge a trade complaint over the issue would “backfire.”
In choosing to make a stand, U.S. officials are highlighting an industry over which China has a near-monopoly. The country now produces more than 95 percent of the world’s rare-earth minerals, which are used in almost all advanced industrial products, from helicopter blades to solar panels to the batteries in electric cars to flat-screen televisions.
And China has shown in recent years that it is not afraid to use its dominance in the crucial market as a cudgel. In 2010, during a territorial dispute with Japan, the Chinese government halted the shipment of anything containing so-called “rare-earths” to Japan, causing a temporary panic among electronics manufacturers.
China has only about 30 percent of the world’s known rare-earths deposits. But other countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia, stopped mining more than a decade ago, because the price of the Chinese-produced rare earths was cheaper.
#731 of 1161 Expensive Savings!
Jun 07, 2012 (6:56 am)
From today's Detroit Free Press...
"At an equivalent of 118 m.p.g., the electric Honda Fit is the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the U.S. But getting that mileage isn't cheap.
Honda announced the eye-popping figure Wednesday, making the small, four-door hatchback more efficient than electric rivals like the Ford Focus, Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV. It goes on the market this summer in Oregon and California.
The electric Fit has an estimated price tag nearly twice as high as the gasoline-powered version. It would take 11 years before a driver makes up the difference and begins saving on fuel.
With gas prices falling, high sticker prices for electric vehicles are becoming more of a barrier for American buyers, even though the vehicles are far more efficient than their gas-powered counterparts.
Through May, carmakers sold just over 10,000 electric vehicles, less than 0.2% of U.S. car and truck sales.
That's because the numbers don't add up for the average consumer.
• The electric Fit needs 28.6 kilowatt hours of electricity to go 100 miles. At a national average price of 11.6 cents per kilowatt hour, that costs $3.30.
A gas-powered Fit, which gets 31 m.p.g., needs to burn 3.2 gallons to travel 100 miles. At the national average price of $3.57 per gallon of gasoline, that's $11.52.
• People drive an average of almost 13,500 miles a year, so a typical driver would spend $445 on electricity for an electric Fit over a year, and $1,552 on gasoline for a regular Fit.
• The price of an electric Fit is $29,125 after a $7,500 federal tax credit. That's $12,210 more than the gas-powered Fit -- a savings of $1,107 per year to make up the difference between the electric and the gas-powered version.
'Customers don't want to spend the extra money up front and wait for years for payback,' said Geoff Pohanka, who runs 13 dealerships in Virginia and Maryland.
'People are smart. They're looking for the deal,' he said. 'Is somebody going to fork out $15,000 more for something that gets them less range than their car now? It's not happening.'
At first, Honda will be leasing Fit EVs only in Oregon and California, for $389 per month. The subcompact seats up to five people and can be recharged in three hours with a 240-volt charging station. A fully charged Fit EV can go 82 miles, meaning a daily commute could cost nothing for gasoline.
Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for the car buying site TrueCar.com, said he tested an electric Chevrolet Volt, driving it less than 35 miles a day from his Los Angeles-area home to work and back. The cost of leasing it -- $369 a month -- is comparable to the $300 he would spend on gas.
'In a lot of these cases, I'm surprised that people are not lining up to get these things,' he said.
The comparison between gas and electric cars also can vary with geography, largely because energy prices vary wildly across the country. In Oregon, where gasoline is 18% more expensive than the national average and electricity is 16% lower, an electric Fit will save $121 per month in fuel. In Connecticut, which has the highest power prices in the country, the monthly savings are just $83."
EVs would compare even less favorably without taxpayer subsidies.
#732 of 1161 Re: Expensive Savings! [hpmctorque]
by steve_ HOST
Jun 07, 2012 (7:30 am)
Now assume a Mideast crisis, closure of the Suez Canal, a big fire in Port Arthur, Steven Chu on the rampage.
At $8 a gallon gas, the numbers may pencil out pretty good.
Back to reality (?), the only way to really get some traction from anyone other than an early adopter may be to continue the monetary incentives, HOV privileges, taxing car owners by the mile, solar subsidies, and some inner city ICE restrictions in places like Manhattan.
That said, I'm really liking my electric lawn mower, cut a branch of my pear tree the other day with an electric chain saw, and I'm selling the gas leaf vacuum soon.
And a Tesla Roadster may be exciting to drive, but it's out of my price range.
#733 of 1161 Re: Expensive Savings! [hpmctorque]
Jun 07, 2012 (8:18 am)
The price of an electric Fit is $29,125 after a $7,500 federal tax credit
They don't mention state incentives, though. Here in MD you get $2000 more. That's still 9 long years to break even, though. Actually we'd have to plug in the gas and electricity prices to get the exact numbers.
WV offers a whopping $7500 (35% of purchase cost up to that amount, so the Fit maxes out). Wow. You break even much sooner.
This site lists by state:
#734 of 1161 Re: Expensive Savings! [hpmctorque]
Jun 07, 2012 (8:25 am)
Any mileage on an EV is optimum at best. The Leaf owner I talked to said his wife's 65 mile roundtrip is marginal. And she has come back more than once to the parking garage to find her car unplugged and not charged up. It seems people will unplug your EV and plug in theirs. The CC charges stop as soon as it is unplugged. Still that is shaky to expect a full charge after work and have a low battery.
#735 of 1161 Re: Expensive Savings! [steve_]
Jun 07, 2012 (1:42 pm)
Sure, you can create a scenario where a EV will be cost effective, but the odds of such a worst case scenario are probably rather small...fortunately.
A used Tesla roadster may soon be very affordable.
#736 of 1161 Re: Expensive Savings! [hpmctorque]
by steve_ HOST
Jun 07, 2012 (1:41 pm)
Affordable to buy anyway.
Running costs may be another story.