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Old 26-06-2019, 05:03   #46
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Re: Electric Car Economics

And by the way --


The European i3's range extender (generator) can be started manually once the charge is less than 75%. So the REX can be used as a battery charger to replenish the batteries. And the fuel tank is bigger (still only miniscule 9 liters).



The U.S. model doesn't do this -- in order to qualify for some tax benefits.


Interestingly (this is somewhat relevant to recent discussions about hybrid boats), the i3 is quite inefficient with fuel, getting something like 38mpg, far worse than the best of pure IC cars. Reflecting inherent inefficiency of the series hybrid configuration.



But I find the REX in this configuration to be a terrific thing -- 28kW on tap always ready to kick in and charge you on the move, in case you are worried about finding a charging station. And actually enough to drive the car on in a pinch.
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Old 26-06-2019, 05:43   #47
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Cool. is there an industry standard for that sort of data signal to vehicles? If yes is it interactive ("status of light#LakeStW@Main_NB?" "light#LakeStW@Main_NB is currently GRN, time2RED=18s") or just some sort of broadcast?


I know it's coming, and features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure, etc are precursors, but this is still a far cry from driverless autonomous control, and I agree with your timetable of at least 10+ years away... but I also think the expected use case will also change in that time to just driverless taxis/ubers, transport for the disabled and elderly, couriers... and the majority of the healthy population will be mainly on networks of commuter trains and public transport, and hopefully a very healthy proportion of people walking or cycling short distances.
Google Connected Vehicles.

Lots of stuff including standards. My primary work was with SPaT which is part of SAE J2735. SPaT stands for Signal Phasing and Timing. There are also different programs that send signing and curve data out from roadside devices. Even more exciting is vehicle to vehicle messaging.

Full autonomous will likely be limited to low speed or limited access roadways. For example, I've been on a couple of subway systems recently that are driverless. A much simpler and more controlled environment. They have gates that stop you from getting onto the tracks and there is no steering input needed.

Once you get to an autonomous taxi, it's just as easy to sell the system for personal cars. The only question would be is if it would save so much money that you would no longer need to own a personal car because taxi rides would be cheaper.
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Old 26-06-2019, 05:50   #48
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Itís not the silence as much as the smoothness that appeals about EVs. No vibration from the motor ever and no jerky-jerky transmission either. Add that to 100% of the torque being available at zero rpm to make any econobox feel like a sportscar. Did I mention No Transmission?
1) That's not what people say on this subject. They go on about the "silence"
2) Similar to noise, the vast majority of vibration is related to tires/suspension, not the engine. Modern engines are very smooth.
3) Continuously Variable Transmissions have no jerky-jerky shifts if it really bothers you...of course, unless I'm paying attention, I don't notice the shifts in my 10yr old F250.
4) Once you can spin the tires, more power from zero RPM...ehh. I don't spin the tires too often as tires are expensive and doing that will burn them up quick. I suspect you are referring to Tesla which puts in way oversized electric motors. Put a turbo on your average econobox and you have more power than you can handle....
5) Of course, if shifts bother you why would you want sportscar performance...All that being pushed back into the seat or hanging on going around curves must drive you nuts.
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Old 26-06-2019, 06:05   #49
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Re: Electric Car Economics

I've really enjoy the Fully Charged YouTube channel. They do a great job talking about all the cool technology available to us, especially electric cars. There's probably a video in their back catalog for every model of EV you could imagine.

My wife and I will be selling our 11 year old Jeep Wrangler this summer. When we bought the Jeep I said it would be the last infernal combustion car I owned. If/when we buy another car it will be a full EV, and likely a Tesla the way things are going. I'd like to see what they do with the upcoming Model S refresh, and what the SUV based on the Model 3 looks like.

When I try to sell the idea to people who don't like the thought of battery powered cars, I focus on the actual convenience of it, which is points they tend to think are negatives. No more filthy petrol station visits, ever. Maintenance visits once per YEAR. Every morning when you get in the car you have 200+ miles. Remote preheating and cooling of the cabin.

An additional benefit is not relying on a power source you can't supply yourself. And really has only one source. If the oil companies decide they want to charge 10x for their product, there's nothing you can do about it. But if you wanted to, you could make your own electricity for your car. It can be produced though dozens of different methods, some of which you can do at your own home.

https://www.youtube.com/user/fullychargedshow
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Old 26-06-2019, 06:20   #50
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Electric Car Economics

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Interestingly Elon Musk, very much an advocate of autonomous cars, is very worried about the development of AI.


He is also saying that society will collapse from the population bomb as the older people retire.
I believe he became rich enough and smart enough to hire good people, but at best he is a crack pot, surely some of what he says is from these smart people he has hired, but you can tell his ideas from them pretty plainly.

However the autonomous self driving car will not be the boom itís proposed to be, nothing will ever reach its full potential, itís just the way it is. If it becomes the transit for the middle class, then it will be successful, but public transit only rarely becomes that, and that is why it breaks down, it becomes transit for the poor and homeless.

Look at who rides the busses in the US.

What vehicle is used for public transit is I believe immaterial, what is will be getting the average office worker to commute in them, the rich will continue to have private transportation, there will be loop hole to allow that, just as they have their private jets.

However be careful especially when you start seeing numbers that are at best optimistic, and then as you start stacking optimismís it really breaks down.

Many ďsmartĒ people were pouring money into the Eclipse Jet, it was Akin to the same idea or individual public transportation, schedule a vehicle to be at your pick up point and take you to your drop off point, likely riding with one or two others, and pick up and drop off people by AI scheduling.
The prices of these twin engine jets was supposed to be lower than a single engine turbo prop, due to high production numbers and automated productions, economy of scale etc.
In fact many of the smart people only real concern was that there would be so many jets that it would overwhelm the FAA traffic control system, and this was a large push behind the FAA Nexgen traffic control, which of course is already antiquated and way over cost, but mandated for every airplane, and now not needed.

The biggest hurdle to autonomous public transportation will be getting the general public to use it and keeping it clean.
A friend in the Army used to build city busses, early on they had to start building the entry way steps out of fiberglass, cause urine was rotting out the steel ones, seems many men would just relieve themselves in the entryway, and that is with a driver aboard, what are they going to do when their isnít?

Got in a cab in Savannah a few years ago, on the window there was a schedule of charges, you throw up itís a 15$ cleaning fee, sex in the cab, $25.
People are animals, leave them alone and they start ďtaggingĒ with spray paint and God only knows what, to make a public transportation system work without an overseer on board, your going to have to first civilize the animals.
Itís people that will bring down the system I believe, not the system.
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Old 26-06-2019, 06:23   #51
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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If we canít develop self driving trains, then what chance of developing self driving cars and trucks? Itís a much simpler problem to solve, but we still havenít been able to pull it off. Think about it: no lanes to change, no side streets or cross streets, all cross traffic is blocked when the train is near, no merging vehicles, no steering!!, just go and stop. Yet we still canít make self driving trains. Until we see autonomous trains, autonomous cars are just a pipe dream........ At least elevators are self driving!
I've been on a couple subway systems in the last year that are self driving...so it's here.

I suspect you haven't seen more widescale use is union rules. I've dealt with railroads (at least in the USA) for crossings...the rules and staffing requirements are Byzantine totally disconnected with what is really needed..
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Old 26-06-2019, 06:40   #52
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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...I would still be pushing for electric cars just because they drive so much better then ICE.

How is it any different?

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Old 26-06-2019, 06:44   #53
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Well, I think you greatly underestimate the revolutionary effect of self-driving cars.


I've worked with city planners who've spent millions studying it in depth. Self-driving cars are expected to practically eliminate the need for street parking, eliminate city buses completely, eliminate traffic jams, and increase the demand for transport -- getting from A to B becomes faster and cheaper and people will move around more. This all seems entirely realistic to me.
Parking...yes. The rest...no.

Many "self driving cars" will actually be self driving vans which can pick up and drop off multiple passengers along routes worked out for each case by AI.
That's called a bus. Probably the biggest limitation to more widescale adoption of transit in the USA is people want privacy. I'm not saying it's right but it's an ingrained idea that only poor people ride transit.

Carrying capacity of roads will be increased many times over, because traffic can move in trains and in many cases at much higher speed. This is an extraordinarily important factor for cities with big traffic problems.
Car following models have been around for decades. Had classes on it in the 90's in school. It's not nearly as effective as you might think. Yes, capacity can be increased but maybe 20-30% increase in capacity...not many times over and as you mentioned, easy transport equals more demand, so you will quickly eat up that excess.


Accidents will be dramatically reduced by elimination of the human factor. Sure there will be glitches and people will be killed, but give me a break -- 2000 people are killed or seriously injured on London streets every year by human driven traffic. If self driving cars kill 1000 people the first year after they replace human driven cars, this will be a big victory, and I'm sure accidents will fall much faster than that. A self-driving car killing someone is not going to slow down this thing any more than the first gasoline powered cars killing someone preserved horses and buggies. It was worth it then and it's worth it now.
This one is absolutely true. Accidents due to equipment failure or road conditions are relatively rare. The vast majority are driver error. Even most equipement/condition accidents could be reduced or eliminated by better response.

Cost of local transport will be dramatically reduce -- to go somewhere by self driving car will cost something more than going by tram or bus but much less than going by taxi, and due to increase of efficiency of the roads, travel time will be dramatically reduced. City planners I work with expect a dramatic reduction in demand even for underground transport -- they are cutting back budgets on investment into underground/metro. That's because the speed advantage of underground transport will be eliminated.
See my comments above. This is mostly planners trying to justify saving money now as subways are incredibly expensive to build.

Then another advantage is that whatever disadvantages of electric vehicles there are at the current state of technology are made irrelevant -- self driving cars will just go by themselves to a charging depot as needed -- they don't even need that much range. So internal combustion vehicles can be totally banned in cities, and the air in big cities will be like the air in the countryside. As countries attempt to reduce carbon emissions, more and more pressure will build up to do this.
Urban commuting is one area where EVs do win out. If there are enough self driving taxis to handle the commuter peaks, they will be under utilized during the offpeaks and can go charge up.

The overall improvement in local transportation and environment will make big cities even more attractive and will accelerate the current trend of people moving into capital cities and away from smaller towns and cities.
Outside 3rd world countries where people are still moving in from the subsistence farms for jobs in the big city, the trend is really the opposite with people who can afford it moving to the suburbs and country. At best it's relatively stable. Articles about millenials wanting the urban lifestyle are mostly not backed by statistics and I've while also not backed by statistics, the ones I know, once they have a family, they are heading for the burbs.

I think all the basic bits of technology already exist and self driving cars might appear explosively. I can tell you that many European cities have elaborately worked out plans to close cities entirely to human driven cars, and eliminate city buses, and invest billions into the infrastructure required to implement self-driving cars. Will it happen anywhere by 2025, just 6 years from now, as is planned for in one city i'm working in? I don't know, but I would be surprised if it takes more than 10 years, considering the overwhelming benefits.
Again, it this simply justification not to spend on transit? If you want to be rid of cars in urban centers, an extensive bus system is far more effective and cheaper but you have to pay for it now...you can't say it's coming in 10yr.

Take a city like Moscow, for example -- the largest city in Europe, bigger than London and Paris combined. Moscow is crippled by traffic jams, paralyzed by traffic jams which can appear even at midnight, and despite 10's of billions of euros of investment in the last 20 years, the problem is basically unsolvable without either heavily taxing driving in the city (like they do in London), which is judged to be politically unacceptable, or introducing self-driving cars -- because only 10% of the city's area is devoted to roads. You need about 20% for a reasonable road system, and you can't provide that in Moscow without knocking down a trillion euros worth of buildings -- will never happen. Yet traffic jams paralyze the city, costing untold billions of economic harm. Moscow has a huge budget -- bigger than London's municipal budget. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Moscow introduce self-driving cars first of all, investing billions of municipal funds into it, and then an explosion of other European cities following soon after.
This is why most european cities have far more extensive transit systems than the USA (outside a handful of older cities). These cities were built prior to mass produced cars, so they didn't need as much space.

Yes, there are plenty of challenges -- the devil is in the details -- but the benefits are so huge, with so many billions or trillions at stake, that there are huge incentives to solve these things and get on with it. My bet is that it will happen sooner than we think.
While it's possible we hit a tipping point...the simple fact that current vehicles last an average of 20yr, suggests it won't happen that quickly as many of the features and benefits derive from all the vehicles having the technology and capability to communicate.

If traditional non-autonomous vehicles are eliminated, mass transit is really the way to go. It's far more efficient (cost, fuel, travel time, etc...) than individual autonomous vehicles will be.
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Old 26-06-2019, 07:50   #54
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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What vehicle is used for public transit is I believe immaterial, what is will be getting the average office worker to commute in them...

The biggest hurdle to autonomous public transportation will be getting the general public to use it and keeping it clean....

It’s people that will bring down the system I believe, not the system.
Respectfully, I think you are mainly referring to the state of urban public transit in the US. I've ridden transit in several European cities, and even in Japan. My $$$ stockbroker uncle rode the Toronto subway downtown for his whole career. It is possible to normalize the use of transit, if it's good enough. Social issues like destructiveness and graffiti, addictions and mental illness, poverty... they're problems in their own right.

Of course, failure to commit to transit and urban infrastructure, and chronic underfunding result in systems that only get used by those without other options.
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Old 26-06-2019, 08:06   #55
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Again, [self-driving cars are] simply justification not to spend on transit? If you want to be rid of cars in urban centers, an extensive bus system is far more effective and cheaper but you have to pay for it now...you can't say it's coming in 10yr.
Bingo.

This is my biggest gripe about all the hype around self-driving cars - the belief that by themselves, they will solve the problems of urban traffic and gridlock. I can see why city planners would embrace this; private industry is funding the development, and it spares cities from the hard tasks of remaking currently car-centric cities for people, and funding effective transit.
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Old 26-06-2019, 08:36   #56
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Carrying capacity of roads will be increased many times over, because traffic can move in trains and in many cases at much higher speed. This is an extraordinarily important factor for cities with big traffic problems.
This is to me a massively flawed assumption.

Currently, downtown city streets are an uneasy standoff, a juggling act involving personal vehicles, transit, taxis, commercial vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians... tradeoffs between those trying to get from A to B and those who want to visit place C despite NO PARKING and NO STOPPING signs, cars running lights, pedestrians jaywalking, cyclists weaving in and out..

The rosy picture you're painting is basically surrendering the city streets to the vehicle. Pedestrians and cyclists will find it much harder to cross or move with it, street-facing businesses will see a decline in business. It's also creating a single point of failure: if a routing computer goes down, and/or a major intersection has a pedestrian fatality... gridlock again, and this time without other options.

The solution to too many cars is not to remove their drivers; it's less cars, and making it possible for people to get around efficiently without cars.
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Old 26-06-2019, 08:56   #57
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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I've been on a couple subway systems in the last year that are self driving...so it's here.

Seattle/Tacoma Airport has had an underground rail subway system for about 50 years.
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Old 26-06-2019, 09:35   #58
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Respectfully, I think you are mainly referring to the state of urban public transit in the US. I've ridden transit in several European cities, and even in Japan. My $$$ stockbroker uncle rode the Toronto subway downtown for his whole career. It is possible to normalize the use of transit, if it's good enough. Social issues like destructiveness and graffiti, addictions and mental illness, poverty... they're problems in their own right.

Of course, failure to commit to transit and urban infrastructure, and chronic underfunding result in systems that only get used by those without other options.
Toronto, NYC and a handful of other N. American cities have viable public transit (though typically not as good as Europe and SE Asia)...but it's driven by the alternative being so horrible that you don't have a choice.

We used to go to Toronto a couple times per year and we would always pull into one of the suburban park&ride lots grab our bags and ride the metro in...because it was a pain to drive downtown and overnight parking was $35/night (probably double that now). Now figure $35/day for your rich uncle and that's around $10k/yr depending on exactly how many days a year he goes into the office.

Rich people in Toronto & NYC...and even in London, Paris & Rome drive (or take the helicopter) because they don't want to be part of the unwashed masses. Europe has just made it more expensive to avoid the unwashed masses.

Funding is a tough nut to crack due to the chicken & egg effect. When transit is horrible, people avoid it if possible but when 99% don't use transit, it's hard to get funding to pay for a non-horrible system.
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Old 26-06-2019, 09:40   #59
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Seattle/Tacoma Airport has had an underground rail subway system for about 50 years.
True, several airport systems have been around for decades.

Again I think the main holdup on the larger rail system is unions. 99% of the challenges of running an autonomous rail system are easily handled by existing technology.
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Old 26-06-2019, 10:21   #60
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Electric Car Economics

Issue with Busses is they have routes that go all over the place, you May ride for an hour to get 5 miles, and that may include a stop at the transit point where everybody gets off for several minutes, and they get back on.
Iíve ridden the bus in Vero Beach and thats my experience.

Issue with Subways, is the take a Megalopolis to work, they are phenomenally expensive, smallish towns like you see in Europe will never see them, they arenít nearly big enough to need one, or to fund one. They require dense populations

So that takes you back to private transportation and why itís preferred is that you can leave when you want, stay as long as you want, go directly there and return when you want.

The only thing that can replicate that is something like Uber or a taxi, which again Iím US centric here, but taxis are often nasty.
But an autonomous vehicle could replace your private transportation and do so hopefully for less money than your private auto costs you now as it can run 24/7 with software that can optimize its utilization.

It could be better and cheaper than an Uber, without you worrying that the Uber driver isnít carrying your Daughter down some dirt road.
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