With Sacramento Gas prices inching up to $4.00 a gallon. Electric Cars are looking sexy


Image result for chevy bolt in Sacramento

 

There is no joy at the pumps these days . If your driving a mid size car in Sacramento a tank of gas could cost you fifty eight bucks,.  If your driving a huge pick up or SUV nearly a hundred.   The more we spend for gas the less we have for other things.   If you like me, your looking at the Toyota Prius’s again and other hybrids at the pump.   One car you wont see at the pumps  is a Tesla or Chevy Bolt.

A couple a days ago my friend Avery , saw me walking down “I” street and asked me if I needed a ride.   He drives a Chevy Bolt. and I asked him how he liked it ? 45, minutes later…………..

Avery  lives in midtown Sacramento and works in Auburn.   Nearly two years ago he bought a Chevy Bolt.   Avery rents an apartment and his landlord will not allow him install a charging station.  So for a petrol driving man like me, the natural question is why would he buy an all electric car?

He says he has a system, he and his electric car friends (Apparently, electric car owners know other electric car owners- he knows nine people who own electric cars ). share information,  Best charging locations (for non Tesla owners) restaurants and bars that have free complimentary charging for their customers.  They tend to shop at locations that have charging stations.

His commute to Auburn is 42 miles. While his car uses extra energy going up hill, he said he can recapture most of that energy going downhill.

He said, his energy costs (the cost to charge his car) for March was fourteen dollars.

He said, his Chevy Bolt has been trouble free.  He has 31,000 miles on his Bolt and with an exception of a small rattle in passenger door its been trouble free.   The car currently needs a new set of tires.and there is a sizable dent on the drivers door. A victim of a steel pole  in a midtown alley. 

He really likes the Bolt, its peppy and fun to drive.  He wishes he would have bought a model with more options.  He said the fit and finish could be better, but its wayy better than an a hundred thousand dollar Tesla his friend owns.  

He likes:  Very low operating cost.  Its very peppy and fun to drive.   Roomy and flexible.   The he can drive in the car pool lanes.   What he paid for the Bolt, after Credits and discounts it cost him $26,000.

He dislikes:  The unavailability of fast chargers for the Bolt.  In and around Sacramento it its  On a trip to Oregon it was maddening, its like drip, drip, drip. Taking more than 90 minutes for a half charge.    Its the only reason, I would choose a Tesla over the Chevy.  The verbal attacks he has received since owning the Bolt.  Earlier this year, a lone driver in a car pool lane forced him out of the lane.   People have tried to unplug my car as it was charging.  Its like I’m driving an evil car.  Its ridiculous until its not.  While I’m one person, I feel I’m helping our planet.   My next car will be electric. When are you coming to the dark side?  

CityFella 

 

 

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Watch Out Tesla: Hyundai and Kia is coming soon, like today


Image result for niro ev

The 2019 Kia Niro EV

The Hyundai Group (Hyundai-Kia-Genesis) is serious.    Hyundai’s popular Sonata and Elantra models as well has Kia’s Optima’s and Forte has seen huge declines in sales.  Like the most of auto industry, consumers are choosing SUV’s over passenger cars.  With one exception Tesla.  If you in any major city you have seen a Tesla.

There are more 2018 Model 3’s on the road than the Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu, and Nissan Altima.

Elon Musk now has the worlds attention.  Within the next 16 months, nearly every automaker will have an electric vehicle with a range of at least 200 miles in their lineup. The problem is, most of the planned vehicles are out of the price range of the average car buyer.  Jaguar I pace starts at 69K , Audi’s E-tron with 240 mile range will hit the streets in April starting at 74K.

The Tesla Model 3 was supposed to be at 35K the affordable electric car.  However, few has seen one. The average Tesla is selling for a pinch over 50k.   Tesla says, they will begin offering the base model this spring.  If you buy the base model as advertised, it will have a range of 264 miles and if your sticking to that price you must like the color black. Any other color is a fifteen hundred dollar option.

General Motors electric offering is the Chevy Bolt.  For 35,000 you can get a nicely equipped Bolt with a range of 240 miles.   The designers at GM went the Prius direction when it came to styling.   A car that said, I’m driving  I’m driving an environmental friendly non polluting car. Unfortunately the Prius isn’t selling and the Chevy Bolt are accumulating dust at Chevy Dealerships.

Its a sound car and a good alternative to Tesla. Unlike Tesla, no one would call the Chevy Bolt sexy.

Enter Hyundai

Hyundai, developed its first all electric car in 1991.  In 2011, the Company introduced the Hybrid Sonata Hybrid to the US Market. Currently, the automaker has seven variations of Hybrid, Plug In Hybrid models including two all electric models the Kia Soul EV and the Hyundai Ioniq models.  Those two electric models have a range of less than 115 miles.

Last November, Hyundai announced they would sell an all electric version of the Hyundai Kona.  This car,while smaller than the Tesla has an all important range of  258 miles.  Only seven fewer miles than the standard Tesla model 3 and a well equipped model will begin at $37,000 excluding the $7500 Federal Tax Credit, no longer available on the Tesla***

The  Hyundai Kona, recently received the Prestigious “North American Utility Vehicle of the Year” a first for any Hyundai.   The Kona. should go on sale any moment in California. That’s the good news for California Residents.  The bad news, is there is a long waiting list.

However, the Kia is plans to release an all electric version of its Niro next month. The NiroEV is larger than the KonaEV. The two vehicles share the same  64-kWh battery  however the range on the NiroEV is 239 miles.    Unlike the KonaEV, the NiroEV will offer faster charging,  a CCS DC fast-charging setup, which can refill the battery to 80 percent in 75 minutes.  30 minute will add approximately 100 miles of range.

  Kia says the NiroEV will go on sale mid-to-late February and will be available in 12 states.  California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington.

Pricing for the Niro EV will began around 38,000 before the $7500 Federal Tax Credit.

What is the Federal Tax Credit and why is it no longer available on Tesla’s? 

The Federal EV Tax Credit is not a rebate on the price of the car that you get instantly when making the purchase. You have to apply to receive it when you file your annual tax return. You or your tax professional will fill out an IRS Form 8936, which is submitted with your return. Since it is a tax credit, you have to wait until you file your next year’s return before you will receive the tax incentive.

You cannot claim the tax credit until you take delivery of the new vehicle. Deposits and prepayments do not count. It is not available on leased vehicles.

Each vehicle manufacturer is allowed to sell up to 200,000 qualifying plug-in electric vehicles (battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids) before the EV tax credit on their products begins to phase out.  This isn’t for one model, its applies to all EV models sold by a single Auto maker.

***Last year, Tesla sold nearly 150,000 Model 3’s,  When you include Tesla’s Model S and the Model X its has sold more than 200,000 cars.   To stay competitive, Tesla has reduced prices on all of their models.  

General Motors is projected to reach its maximum by late spring early summer**

In addition to the Federal Tax Credit,  some states are offering credits and rebates. Colorado is currently the most generous of the states, offering a credit of up to $5,000 that can be used in conjunction with the federal tax credit to save you up to $12,500 off the price of the car. In some cases, the incentives come in the form of an instant vehicle rebate.

California offers rebates up to $7000*  for residents on purchased and leased Electric Vehicles, plug in’s and fuel cell vehicle.  The state offers higher rebates for lower income car buyer.  *Unlike Colorado, California’s rebates are based on specific models and the is less you earn, the greater the rebate.

Sometime, Somewhere in 2019  “The 2020 Kia Soul EV “

The Kia Soul is Kia’s best selling model by a wide margin.  It is known for its generous interior space and urban dimensions.   It will also be powered by the same battery as the Kona EV, and the Niro EV.   The Kona and Niro storage is larger the the Soul’s but the Soul upright interior is larger.   The 2020 Soul’s are all new, and with an estimated range of 239 miles the 2020 SoulEV has more than double the driving range of the 2018 SoulEV . The release date of the SoulEv is unknown.  Some sources say next month, others say mid summer.

Currently on sale in California, is the first SUV fuel cell vehicle the Hyundai Nexo

with a base price of 59,000 and a range of 380 miles. Last month Hyundai sold 35 models.   The challenge for fuel cells vehicles, is refueling  stations.

If your keeping count, the Hyundai group has four electric vehicles, four plug in vehicles and one fuel cell SUV.

The demand is high for electric vehicles, with prices under 40K Hyundai will be Tesla’s largest competitor this year in the US.

While Tesla has an apple like following, Hyundai will put a sizable dent into Tesla’s sales by the third quarter of this year.    Tesla’s Model 3 was to be the peoples car, and its technology is superior to anything on Hyundai’s drawing board.   However, what separates these companies is price and service.

 Tesla, has a much smaller dealer network than the Hyundai Group and a shorter warranty.  However, many of Tesla’s fixes can be done electronically without the customer stepping into a service department.  Hyundai has more experience building cars.

If I wanted to buy an electric car today, are there any deals?  

With the exception of the European makes and the Chrysler Pacific plug in hybrid models, deep discounts are available.  There are also deep discounts for the lower range (less than 150 miles) all electric vehicles.

However, the best buy is on the all electric Chevy Bolt.  The Bolt has a range of nearly 240 miles.  When it was released, they sold quickly at full price.  Today, they are sitting on dealers lots.  Deep discounts and are available (check Chevy’s website for rebates) and as of this writing The Chevy Bolt still qualify for the full ($7500 Tax Credit-today**)  

How does the Niro Drive?

CityFella

Tesla Protest in North Carolina? (Superchargers Blocked)


By: Fred Lambert/Electrek.com

In what appears to be an act of protest against Tesla, a bunch of pickup truck drivers used their trucks to block access to a Supercharger station and reportedly yelled profanities about Tesla until they were removed from the premises.

The incident happened in Hickory, North Carolina last weekend.

A Tesla owner and Reddit user Leicina stopped to charge at the local Supercharger station located next to a Sheetz, but all the stalls were blocked by 3 large pickup trucks.

This is not exactly uncommon and it is referred to in EV community as ‘Icing’ a charging station – when ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles are occupying a space for an EV.

Most often than not, it’s a mistake from the driver or someone who simply doesn’t care, but the situation in Hickory appeared to be different:

It was certainly not a mistake and the pickup truck drivers actually appeared to be targeting Tesla in protest.

Leicina wrote about the incident:

“I’ve never had a supercharging experience like this one. These trucks blocked all the chargers, chanted “F” Tesla, and were kicked out by a Sheetz employee.”

An employee from Sheetz, who is in charge of the parking lot, ended making them leave at the request of the Tesla owner.

Leicina said that it “took them 10 minutes or so and one of them did that ‘I’m going to hit you’ maneuver after circling the parking lot.”

Electrek’s Take

ICEd charging stations are certainly nothing new, but this is a particularly extreme case of it.

99% of my interactions with strangers related to my Tesla vehicles have been positive and I think that has mostly been the case for other owners so I wouldn’t want anyone to think that this is normal, but it’s still worrying.

I guess it also depends on where you live.

Leilani Münter, a racecar driver, environmental activist, and Tesla owner, also lives in North Carolina and reported truck drivers coal rolling, basically spewing black sooty exhaust fumes, on her when she is driving her Tesla.

Leilani Münter

@LeilaniMunter

This is scary. I’ve been coal-rolled in my Tesla by several trucks in NC, the drivers were hostile. If you don’t know what it is google “Stephen Colbert Coal Rolling.” One day these conflicts will end very badly. @Tesla @hickorypd @StephenAtHome @cleanairNC @cleanenergyorg @CMPD

Mike Hoffman@McHoffa

@LeilaniMunter careful charging in Hickory. The ignorant people are aware of us https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/a8rl0a/ive_never_had_a_supercharging_experience_like/?st=JQ0DQJLU&sh=73d632fe 

It’s hard to imagine the reasoning behind doing something like that or hating Tesla in general.

Even if you love gas-guzzling trucks, that doesn’t mean you should hate Tesla. I don’t know if something like this has ever happened to another car brand at some point.

I know that some American were insulting and shaming people who drove foreign vehicles back in the day, but I don’t know if it ever got to that point.

Speaking of that, what some of these morons forget sometimes is that Tesla is actually an American brand, creating a lot of American jobs.

I feel that the reason they hate Tesla is probably due to years of listening to the media back when they were attacking Tesla for taking subsidies from the government.

Of course, if there was any good logic behind their thinking they would go against pickup truck making brands like GM and Chrysler who not only took subsidies from the government but also took bailout money from them.

Somehow, I don’t see that happening.

Auto Reliability ( Re think the wiz bang)


Image result for volvo infotainment systemRelated image

Image result for hyundai turbo engine

 

 

All new could be all wrong if your buying a new car.  Buyers of the latest and greatest are more often than not, are  The unofficial guinea pigs for Automakers   If often takes a few years to get the bugs out of all new car.  Last week, Consumer Reports released their annual new-car reliability ranking.   The culprit in some of the newer models seems to be the infotainment systems, the complex nine and ten speed automatic transmissions and the new Turbo Charged engines.

In this report there seems to be a trend. Some Vehicles with new technology:  engines, transmission, infotainment systems have dropped in reliability.  Highly rated brands like Buick, Honda, Tesla, and other reliable name plates have seen steep drops from 2017.  Older lower rated cars like the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300 with designs that date back to 2006 have risen in reliability.   In some cars, like the Tesla nearly every function is handled via the infotainment system. In those cars, some owners complained about freezing screens, preventing them from changing station, to adjusting the temperature.  Some systems like Chrysler’s give you the option of using knobs or the screen.

The Ford Fusion, one of the best built domestic vehicles, have seen its ratings fall due to problems with Ford’s new Sync 3 system.  The second generation Buick LaCrosse enjoyed a good repair history. The third generation introduced in 2017 was all new with a new  8 speed transmission, buyers of the third generation complained about a rough transmission.

Each year, Consumer Reports sends a questionnaire to its members to learn about issues that they’ve had with their cars over the past year, and the severity of those issues. In their latest survey , CR got info on over 500,000 vehicles from model years 2000 to 2018, gathering information bout problems that owners have had in twelve key areas, including engine internals, accessory drive, cooling system, transmission internals, drive train, fuel system, electrical system, brakes, climate control, exhaust, in-car electronics, and others.

                         Consumer Reports Most Reliable Brands for 2018                                                     

  1. LEXUS-(Best Model-GX\ Worst-IS)
  2. TOYOTA (Best Model PriusC\Worst-Tacoma)
  3. MAZDA (Best Model-Miata\Worst-CX-3)
  4. SUBARU (Best Model-Crosstrek\Worst WRX)
  5. KIA (Best Model-Sedona\Worst Cadenza)
  6. INFINITI (Best Model-Q60\Worst Q50)
  7. AUDI (Best Model-Q5\Worst-A3)
  8. BMW (Best Model i3\Worst X1)
  9. MINI (Best Model Countryman\Worst Cooper)
  10. HYUNDAI (Best Model Santa Fe XL\ Worst Ioniq)
  11. PORSCHE (Best Model 911\ Worst-Cayenne)
  12. GENESIS (Best Model G80\Worst G90)
  13. ACURA (Best Model ILC\Worst MDX)
  14. NISSAN (Best Model Maxima\Worst Versa Note)
  15. HONDA (Best Model Fix\Worst Clarity)
  16. VOLKSWAGEN(Best Model Passat\ Worst Atlas)
  17. MERCEDES-BENZ (Best Model GLS\ Worst E-Class)
  18. FORD (Best Model Taurus\Worst Mustang)
  19. BUICK (Best Model Encore\Worst Enclave)]
  20. LINCOLN (Best Model Continental\Worst MKZ )
  21. DODGE (Best Model Charger\Worst Journey)
  22. JEEP (Best Model Renegade\Worst Compass)
  23. CHEVROLET (Best Model Impala\Worst Traverse)
  24. CHRYSLER (Best Model 300\Worst Pacifica)
  25. GMC (Best Model Yukon\Worst Sierra 2500 HD)
  26. RAM (Best Model 2500\Worst 3500)
  27. TESLA (Best Model  Model 3\Worst Model X)
  28. CADILLAC (Best Model XTS\ Worst Model ATS)
  29. VOLVO (Best Model XC60\ Worst Model S90)

A Mighty Fall

In a quest to build lighter, more fuel efficient cars.  Automakers have turned to smaller turbo charged four cylinder engines and complex 8, 9 and 10 speed transmissions.  Four cylinder engines that are as powerful as the old mighty V8 engines.  Ford has replaced large displacement V8 for smaller displacement engines in their trucks and large SUV’s. The massive 5800 pound Ford Expedition Max is powered by 3.5 (213 cubic inch) turbo charged six cylinder engine generating 400 horsepower and 480 pound feet or Torque. Chrysler’s, 5.7-liter (345 cubic inch)  HEMI V8 engine produces 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. To give you a sense of size, the first Ford Mustang was a six cylinder was 200 cubic inches.   

 

Nearly all manufactures foreign and domestic has made major changes with all new engines, transmissions, infotainment systems.   To put things in perspective, for nearly twenty years most of the automatic transmissions built were four speed transmissions .  Twelve years ago, six speed transmissions were common.   Four years ago, eight speed transmissions came to market.  In the last few years 9 and 10 speed transmissions have come to market.     Every manufacturer is now building smaller displacement turbo charged cars for the first time.  Longevity for the most part is unknown.

According to Consumer Reports, this new technology has damaged the reliability of some brands.  Buick, the most reliable American brand fell 11 spots from 2017 to 2018.  Tesla also dropped sharply.

Honda, a brand known for its reliability also dropped sharply in Consumer Reports Ratings .   Honda, added turbo charge engines to some of its current generation Civics.  The new Accords has new 9 and 10 speed transmissions, all new turbo charged engines and new infotainment systems.  As a result the all new Accord, one of the most reliable cars was down graded to average.

Honda’s Odyssey minivan is no longer recommended and  Consumer Reports says,  the Clarity line of cars apparently has “electronic glitches” that bring it to “much-worse-than-average.

Consumer complaints about the 1.5 Turbocharged engine in Honda’s best selling CR-V to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could lead to major recall.   Honda says ,A fix will be issued by dealers by mid-November and will be covered under the vehicle’s warranty. Honda will also preemptively fix 2019 CR-V models before they go on sale, although it does not yet say what exactly the fix entails.

Toyota Magic 

Toyota’s to my eye aren’t necessarily sexy, they aren’t exciting to drive. But they sure are reliable.  There are more twenty, and thirty year old Toyota’s on the road than nearly any other car.

Unlike Honda, most of Toyota engines are naturally aspirated.  The company hasn’t rushed to turbos.   The company still build 6 speed transmissions. Last year it added 8 speed transmissions to the Camry and Avalon.

The magic started early on.  On auto production lines in Europe and American the lines buzzed on.   If there was a defect, it was handled after the car rolled off the line.  At Toyota, workers could stop the entire production line if they realized anything was wrong. Management could fix the problem before it was an issue down the line.

Slow and Steady 

One of the first infotainment system came from Ford,designed by Microsoft it was called Ford Sync.  In 2008, it was optional on nearly every Ford or Lincoln vehicle.   With a push of a button, one could make a phone call, change a radio station, change a CD track by a voice command.

By 2010,a more complex system was introduced called “My Ford Touch”  This system allowed the user with the aid of touch screen to read text messages and more.   While it was very profitable for Ford, it was an utter failure, with owners saying that it crashed and was unreliable.  There were several attempts by Ford to repair the system but they were not successful. JD Power said “My Ford Touch” had a negative effect on Ford’s overall reliability.   Consumer Reports suggested buyers avoid the system entirely.  Despite all the negative press, the public wanted this expensive option.

Automaker went all in adopting this new technology.  Toyota didn’t.  It was one of the last carmakers to adopt the technology.

And that is the theme or secret sauce to Toyota.  While the other automakers rush new technologies to market. Toyota and Lexus (Toyota’s luxury division) is slow and conservative.  Unlike other automakers adding new engines and other technology to all models across the line, they gradually add new engines, electronics and transmissions to the product line.   The trade off is superior reliability.

Brand Recommendations for 2019 

If your buying a new car you may just want to keep it simple and stay clear of the infotainment systems.  All of the cars will have Bluetooth, that will allow hands free calling.   You may even consider installing  an after market stereo from establish brand like Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood and JVC.   This would require some modification to your car.  They all have bluetooth and the  trade off is in most cases superior sound, and better electronics.  Many of these units have back up cameras, navigation and your steering wheel controls will control these units.

If you must have a infotainment, the best are from Audi, BMW, Hyundai/Kia/Genesis,  and Mercedes Benz.  Chrysler has a conditional recommendation. Prior to 2018, their U-connect system was considered one of the best in the industry.   However, some software additions has made the system buggy with occasional screen freezing.  We suspect they will work the bugs out in 2019.   The worst of the worst, is Volvo. The company has built award winning and compelling cars with some of the BEST interiors in the industry . However, like many luxury cars infotainment system if you want a Volvo you do not have any other option.

Other vehicles on the caution list includes the Honda Accord and Civic.   Honda has a solid reputation.  With new turbo engines and transmissions, have resulted in a decline in ratings.    However, in a couple of years we think they will have worked out of these issues.     Tesla’s  Gull wing Model X has been an disaster,doors, rattles and electronic issues.   The Model S air suspension and door handles has problematic for the company.  The popular Model 3 isn’t as complex as the other models two and more expensive models and so far its most reliable vehicle.

CityFella

Tesla shows how (5th best selling car in the USA)


 

Image result for tesla model 3

   While drivers are abandoning cars for SUV’s  Tesla has quietly become the best selling Luxury car company in America.  Selling more cars than BMW, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, and Lexus.

Last month, Tesla’s Model 3 was the 5th best selling car in the US.   This is not a misprint

1. Toyota Camry
30,141
2. Honda Civic
27,677
3. Honda Accord
26,725
4. Toyota Corolla
26,155
5. Tesla Model 3 (est.)
17,000
6. Hyundai Elantra
15,475
7. Nissan Altima
14,925
8. Nissan Sentra
13,314
9. Ford Fusion
11,286
10. Kia Optima
11,074

This follows reports we’ve written after discovering that Tesla production appears to be passing up Jaguar production globallyPorsche sales globallyBMW sales in the USA, and combined brand sales of all models in or near the Model 3 class in the USA. (cleantechnica.com)

Tesla is the only electric automaker with a supercharger network that extends from coast to coast.

In order to help move cars during its end of the quarter delivery rush, Tesla is bringing back free unlimited Supercharging to inventory cars and Model 3 vehicles until the end of the month, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Tesla has apparently made a lot of inventory cars unmatched to custom orders that the automaker is now trying to move by the end of the quarter.

Tesla was the first mainstream electric automaker to build stylish cars and the first electric automaker building powerful cars with driving range.

The model S at nearly 100K is one of the best selling Luxury cars in the world

Image result for tesla model s

CityFella

“Space X” Elon Musk is an immigrant from one of Trumps S***hole Countries


Image result for elon musk spacex

 

On Tuesday, the nation was temporarily distracted from the State of our union and watched the successful launch of Falcon Heavy, the world most powerful rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp (Space X) wants the reduce the cost of space travel. One day it hopes transport humans to other planets.

The Founder and CEO of the company is Elon Musk is an immigrant from South Africa. He is also the CEO of Tesla, the company that single handedly made electric cars cool.  On the top of Falcon Heavy was a Tesla Roadster.

The 46 year old billionaire became a US Citizen in 2002

CityFella

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zzzzzz Your next-NEXT car will be Electric!


Yes, your next NEXT car will be electric.   A report from research firm,Bloomberg New Energy Finance says by 2022,” the report says, the cost of ownership of battery electric vehicles will fall below that of an internal combustion engine vehicle.  Bloomberg projects by 2040 25% of the cars globally will be electric.

In 2016, nearly 160,000 electric vehicles was sold in the US . Last year Toyota sold nearly 390,000 Toyota Camry’s

Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than an internal combustion vehicle.

The current challenge for electric car production is the availability of batteries which currently accounts for one third of the cost of the vehicle.

California Clears The Air

Automobiles are responsible for more than 40% of air pollution.

Air pollution exposure can trigger new cases of asthma, exacerbate (worsen) a previously-existing respiratory illness, and provoke development or progression of chronic illnesses including lung cancerchronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema.

1.2 million die each year in India to diseases related to Air Pollution.  In China over 2 million people die annually.

In 1967, The State of California established the Air Resources Board(CARB).  One of the goals of CARB is maintaining air quality.  One of CARB’s responsibilities is to define vehicle emissions standards.  California is the only state permitted to issue emission standards.  Other states can choose to follow CARB standards   There was a time when Automakers  built two engines, one designed for California and the other for the other 49 states.

A few years ago CARB set a mandate for cars sold in the state. By 2025,15% of all cars sold in California must be zero polluting vehicles.  These would include, Electric, fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen.

Naturally there was resistance by auto manufacturers.  How committed was the state to implement this programs in 2006 there were a few charging stations and no hydrogen stations.

To build an electric vehicle from the ground up would cost the industry billions without a guarantee of acceptance by the public.

To meet this mandate, Auto manufactures modified existing vehicles adding an electric motor.  The problem is these cars had a very limited range(most were less than 100 miles) and to completely charge the cars took 8 hours or more.  The electric vehicles were based on a compact or subcompact platform, the average cost for these electric cars was $40,000 (before state and federal incentives) The manufactures lose money on each electric sold.   As for styling ,automakers seems to be dragging their feet, building something to meet the requirements.

Image result for bmw i3 price

BMW I-3

The worlds best selling electric vehicle in the Nissan Leaf.   The Leaf was introduced in 2011 and more than 250,000 Leafs has been sold worldwide.   The current Leaf has a range of 107 miles.

Image result for nissan leaf

 

 Tesla Brings Sexy

Founded in 2003 The Palo Alto, California based Tesla started building electric vehicles in 2008.,  A two seat Roadster with a range of 200 miles.  It was the first production automobile to use the lithium-ion battery.

In 2012, Tesla introduced the model S.

Image result for 2012 tesla model s

  Unlike the other automakers,the S was built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.  The batteries are larger and is a part of the cars structure. thus having a considerable longer range (265 to 351) than other electric vehicles .

The S was an instant hit.  With a price range from $80,000 to $100,000 its style attracted buyers who would normally purchase premium luxury cars from Mercedes Benz, BMW and Jaguar.

In 2015, Tesla introduced the model X, SUV.

Tesla has a network of high-powered Supercharges located across North America, Europe and Asia for Tesla vehicles.  Software within the vehicles navigation directs Tesla to charging stations.  The company also operates a Destination Charging program, under where shops, restaurants and other venues are offered fast chargers for their customers. As of  December 2016, Tesla has nearly 1000 stations globally, and 6,400 and charging locations. 

Image result for tesla supercharger station roseville

Tesla Supercharing Center, Rocklin, Ca

Earlier this year, Tesla briefly surpassed Ford and General Motors in market capitalization for a couple of months, making it the most valuable American automaker.

An Electric World?

The Government of Norway intends to ban internal combustion engine cars fueled by gasoline or diesel by 2025.

  Sweden, Japan and the Netherlands do not have an official mandate, however,their governments are  looking at 2025.  Implementation in Japan and the Netherlands would not be difficult. In the Netherlands 6% of the cars sold are electric.  In Japan 14%

China, home to some of the world’s most polluted cities has a mandate similar to California requiring manufacturers to sell a minimum of 8% “new energy vehicles” by next year.  Virtually every car company argued the time table was too aggressive. Even though sales of the low or zero emissions vehicles are higher than in most other countries, except Norway, they still account for less than 3% of the Chinese new car market.

There are now strict limits on the number of new vehicles that can be registered in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but qualified NEV models are exempt, encouraging buyers to shift. With some of the world’s most polluted cities, some observers believe China could call for an outright ban on internal combustion technology in the not-too-distant future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       India wants all its cars to be battery powered by 2030 — and that means it not only wants to end the sale of internal combustion vehicles but convert or replace all other vehicles already on the road by the end of the next decade, a goal few see possible.

France and Germany, the ban is expected to be far more contentious. Auto manufacturers in both countries have condemned the moves by their respective governments to ban the internal combustion engine, saying that it would make the economy less competitive. European automakers have lagged behind Japanese and American ones in both hybrid and all-electric car technology, as conventional

European gasoline based and diesel cars already have high fuel economy. In response to so-called range anxiety, in which an electric car’s limited range may leave the driver stranded on the motorway, the Holland administration is expected to pair the proposed phaseout with national investment into charging stations as well as additional investment into TGV lines, to make it easier to travel long distances in France without a car.

Germany may also push to end sales of gas and diesel cars by 2030, but there is strong opposition, especially since half of its electricity comes from coal. Yet German automakers are launching major drives to electrify and that could help build momentum for a switch.

Volvo Leads the Way

In July, Volvo told the world ,all the models it introduces starting in 2019 will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries.

Volvo headquartered in Sweden, is owned by Geely Automobile Holdings of China, which already produces battery-powered cars for the Chinese market. The decision by Volvo to focus on electric vehicles could ultimately give it and Geely a head start if, as many analysts expect, sales of battery powered cars begin to take off. China is already the largest market for electric vehicles.

Next!

With the American automakers focus on the very profitable SUV’s  will they have the billions necessary to build electric vehicles?  Currently every electric vehicle sold in America loses money.

Last year General Motors introduced the Chevy Bolt, the first car built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.   The car has been well received by the press.  Car and Driver says the Chevy Bolt ” is so cutting edge that it makes all other affordable electric vehicles seem irrelevant.”  At 238, it has more electric range than any car on the market with one exception, Tesla. It actually has a greater range than the highly anticipated Model 3

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Nissan just announced their next generation Leaf will have a range of 150 . Hiroto Saikawa CEO of Nissan says a Leaf with a range of 300 miles is possible within 3 years.

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Unlike Tesla, this car is affordable. its very quick and roomy AND it starts at $38,000 (before incentives) $40,000 less than the current Tesla model S.   If there is one problem with the car, its the styling.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

 

It not ugly or Toyota Prius Quirky.   Tesla gave buyers a reason to trade in their BMW’s and Mercedes . One would expect more from the General.

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Waiting in the wings is Tesla’s people’s car the  Model”3”. Tesla began building the car in its Fremont, California plant in July.    Pricing for the “3” begins at $35,000(before incentives), if its the “3′ you want, you’ll have to get in a very long line as 450,000 people have placed deposits on the “3”.  Based on Tesla’s track record the 400 thousandant should receive his “3” by 2020   Tesla has an Apple like, cult following and those people are willing to wait.

Game Changer?

With all the luxury manufacturers taking aim at Tesla. Jaguar, a company known for its stately vehicles, is introducing a compact luxury electric SUV called the I-Pace( Est arrival is first quarter 2018).  Its engineering comes from Tesla’s play book.  The batteries anchor the car with two electric motors, one at each axle.  Jaguar says the range of the I-pace is estimated at 220 miles.

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The SUV, will be built in Austria and the platform will be used on other Jaguars as the company says half of its vehicles  will be electric by 2025  The cost for I-Pace begins a tick under $100.000.

If $100,000 seems hefty.  Tesla sells to variations of the Model S for $100,000 and the Model X SUV sells for over $100,000.    If Jaguar is remotely successful, expect the automakers to quickly follow suit.

Perhaps with the assistance of Tesla’   Tesla build a Gigafactory, outside of Reno Nevada.  Panasonic is currently building car batteries in a section of the uncompleted building and Tesla will eventually build cars there.

  Cummins, known for diesel trucks recently introduced its first application for inthe first electric commercial truck

The truck has a range of 100 miles and is capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer.  Cummins electric power train is being targeted at urban delivery vehicles (like a beer truck or food delivery truck) as well as for short haul trips in and around ports and other terminals. It can be recharged in about an hour at a 140 kWh charging station, and Cummins’ goal is to get that down to 20 minutes by 2020, reducing down time for its business customers. Production begins in 2019.

There are challenges ahead for the industry.  There isn’t a standard for charging. In Most charging stations uses Level 2 J1772 charger.these will work on all electric cars. Those charging stations are fairly slow, often requiring hours to fully charge your vehicle.  If you own a Tesla you can drive from coast to coast due to their network of superchargers where owners can charge their cars in as little as 30 minutes. Those charger are exclusive to Tesla vehicles.

The other challenge is much greater.  Is  our national electrical (grid) prepared for an  increase of electric usage?  As a result of individual scharging their vehicles at home?

Your next-next new car is likely to be an electric car.  With ranges considerable more than the cars of today.

Like your cell phone, charge it and drive.

CityFella