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Electric Car Hoax?

Posted April 26, 2009 8:44 AM

Proton and Detroit Electric claim that their electric cars will be on sale next year, will cost around $25,000, will have a top speed of 120mph, and will have a range up to 200 miles. If so, this would be a monumental breakthrough and could put electric car production into high gear. Are these relatively small companies blowing smoke, or will they be able to deliver on their promises?

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#1

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/26/2009 5:10 PM

Due to the difficulties in going production, it is probably smoke. But I wish them well at tilting into those windmills!

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#2

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/26/2009 11:14 PM

The speed and range are reasonable (albiet high-side) predictions but not at the cost given. Batteries are the big expense and there is no sign yet that prices will plummet enough to get anywhere near the quoted price.

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#3

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 12:18 AM

We're going to see a lot of this sort of thing over the next few years. Pretty harmless except to the fools that get suckered into early investing of money. Basically they have nothing to offer until the promises of performance are independently verified in a good prototype. That is just the start. Then the promises of cost and selling price need to be verified to create a credible business model. That's the tough part that requires a whole lot of professional automotive and production engineering expertise. From there it's a long road to getting into production volumes that make it possible to meet cost targets.

Not easy getting into the business of making automobiles. But it's even harder staying in the automobile business. I can't understand why anyone would want to get into that world.

Ed Weldon

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#4

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 4:00 AM

will have a top speed of 120mph

Is it necessary? If you aim the highest legal speed+10 % it must be sufficient. If that car will be able to reach the 200 mile range (or even 120 - 150) I would buy it.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 5:27 AM

God points all. The advertised top speed should probably be taken as meaning, a cruise speed at 50-6% (just like any car) or at about 60 (+/-) in order to reach the top range stated under ideal conditions. The car will be able to reach its range but, just like any engine under variable conditions, usually will fall short....or on long downgrade (say in states like Montana) could sometimes exceed range.

The claims made, puffery duly considered, are not at all far fetched in terms of price...as hybrid currently sold are approaching lower and lower costs...to point that hybrid prices are closely approaching non-hybrid. The trick to narrowing the gap is to remove cost in other parts of the car...such as amenities and luxuries. And example of how this is presently being done already is the...HondaCivic...which can be had at price comparable (within a couple thou or less) to solely-petrol fueled Civics.

TexEx

So Hoax for electric plug in (possible plug-in hybrid)? Probably not hoax...just embellishment to generate interest and future demand.

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Anonymous Poster
#49
In reply to #4

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

05/21/2009 12:43 PM

Considering most electric motors will increase their RPM with voltage(DC MOTOR) or Frequency(AC) motor in theory one could increase the speed of the car now this maybe acheived by a combination of rewritting software or updating the motor drive unit... or maybe a combination of both, seems to me only a matter of time that the teenagers and 20's something will be knocking on my door for such upgrades .. lol

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#6

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 7:33 AM

Why would it need a top speed of 120mph if the US speed limit is 55?

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 8:16 AM

wrong!, i live in jersey, 295 is 65, and i belive the turnpike has a speedlimit of 70

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#12
In reply to #8

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 11:01 AM

Recently I took the bike through San Antonio. I10 had a speed limit of 80 mph. I couldn't believe it, but it sure was fun!

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#13
In reply to #8

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 11:04 AM

The limit on the island of Jersey is 40mph.

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#40
In reply to #13

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/29/2009 7:14 AM

NEW JERSEY =]

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Anonymous Poster
#47
In reply to #13

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

05/15/2009 9:41 AM

GOOD LOGIC, CLYDE.JUST MENTION HIGH SPEEDS IN THE U.S. AND INVESTORS WILL COME RUNNING.IN EUROPE DRIVIG IS A PLEASURE, THE NASCAR MIND ONLY SEES SPEED AS A THRILL/DARE.REMEMBER THE HYDROGEN GENERATOR THAT COST $60 TO BUILD? REAL COST IS $1,300 WITHOUT THE ELECTRONICS.HYPE WAS REAL GOOD.

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Anonymous Poster
#32
In reply to #6

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/28/2009 2:18 AM

100 to 110, for instance, could be a max speed appropriate to a 55 avg cruising speed (limit)...but one must consider the market (demand and expectation). As allowable or dared driver speed demands dictate (e.g. U. states' limits, from about 55 on un-posted to 70 and over on posted and unposted, have long since superseded double nickels), the top speed margin must be increased for safety and durability.

But the point made about the top/cruise speed ration versus speed limits is a cogent one. In realistic terms, though, it is the speed of radio only which imposes a practical constraint on max speed. That and grid lock.

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Anonymous Poster
#44
In reply to #6

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

05/08/2009 2:58 AM

Hi PWSlack and the other US people,


> Why would it need a top speed of 120mph if the US speed limit is 55?

Please think outside the box, i.e. there is a world outside the USA. E.g. in Europe the speed limits are higher. Average speed on freeways (Autobahn) is approx. 90 mph, but can be higher like in Germany, where there is no speed limit.

In Europe a car with max. speed 55 mph, would not be considered as a car, but as a moving obstacle.

Regards,

M. from Austria (Europe), who spent a few years in Florida (USA)

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#7

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 8:14 AM

Think about this.

We pay taxes on gasoline to offset the repairs and maintain our road systems. How does the government charge a road tax for these electric cars?

When you see the government come up with a viable way of taxing these cars, you will know that the government has been informed that a viable alternate fuel auto is in the future.

How far off base do you think I am? Want to bet?

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 10:30 AM

Pennsylvania and other states are already investigating taxing based on GPS mileage readings. The idea is that miles are tracked via GPS technology and the user is taxed on miles driven.

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#14
In reply to #10

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 11:21 AM

They would have a tough time with this one in determining which state, county, and city get my tax dollars! Separate meters and plugs for cars would be a better answer.

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#43
In reply to #10

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/29/2009 8:49 PM

Based on my discussions with CARB, very problematic. Primarily that it goes against equal protections and most doctrines of effective (fair) taxation...unless, of course, all gasoline taxes used for road upkeep are repealed. But even then weight would become a factor which, despite any benefits, would cause many to cry foul.

Perhaps a better measure of road wear-and-tear (and one related to fossil fuel consumption) would be a tax on tires...even on tire tread wear.

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#15
In reply to #7

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 11:41 AM

Haha!

When you see the government come up with a viable way of taxing these cars, you will know that the government has been informed that a viable alternate fuel auto is in the future.

How far off base do you think I am? Want to bet?

Too Good!

Right up there with funding things with tobacco taxes!

If it works, you need a new revenue source, if it doesn't - well all is good.

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#23
In reply to #7

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 1:59 PM

I agree. I questioned a lady who works for the TCEQ here in Texas. When asked about taxes, she gave me the "you're crazy" look and denied that taxes had anything to do viable alternatives...

The only thing fair about taxes on our gasoline is that those who drive more or heavier vehicles pay more road taxes. However, given the way government spends money, I seriously doubt most of it is going to maintain the road systems...

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#34
In reply to #7

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/28/2009 5:07 AM

In economics a loss leader works with cars or drugs, first you persuade people to start or switch to using your product, then when they are hooked and have no alternative you jack up the price or impose the tax. I see one disadvantage, since you (USA) don't have a road fund licence system a tax on the fuel (electricity) means that non users would have to subsidize users. I imagine persuading people to give up their i.c. cars would be harder than getting money out of them. Governments have ways; don't you have to pay for your licence plate?

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#41
In reply to #7

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/29/2009 11:54 AM

Up in Oregon, where they don't seem to have any sense of humor about such things, they are studying the practicality of charging road taxes based on the miles you travel using GPS devices attached to the car. I think that's a fair way to get the folks who have plug in electric vehicles to pay their share. It wouldn't cost much to have manufacturers hard wire such gadgetry into the control systems of any new cars that have plug-in hardware.

What would get my hackles up would be if owners of older cars were required to buy expensive electronic boxes to retrofit. You stick this thing up on the windshield where it can smell the satellite and the highway patrol can smell it. Then some thief steals it and you get the bills for his ride for the next 5 years while you fight a hopeless war with some DMV computer.

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/29/2009 12:06 PM

If it turns into near the problem we have in Phoenix with stolen license plates your vision could well come true.

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#46
In reply to #7

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

05/12/2009 10:08 PM

I assure you they are trying to figure that out...but basically every cell phone you buy already has a GPS in it so no problem to include one in the MCU of the EV.

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Anonymous Poster
#50
In reply to #7

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

05/21/2009 12:50 PM

um havent ya seen an electric meter box dumb arse ... they will just tax the charge rate kilowatt hours and probably make special laws for power used in a motor vehicle simular to the tax on people using old cooking oil as fuel... in some countries if ya use cooking oil the state will hit ya with a tax bill cause you didnt pay the tax on the fuel.

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#51
In reply to #7

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

07/31/2009 5:39 AM

build it and they will come (the tax men that is)

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#9

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 8:31 AM

There have already been new tax proposals based on mileage driven & efficiency of cars. Through units on your car it would track your mileage and you would receive a bill.

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#11

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 10:38 AM

Are they blowing smoke; probably. However, I continue believe it is possible to advance energy independence in transportation

Will they be able to deliver on their promise; in today's society, do promises hold integrity in general? I say NOT. However, I believe that integrity still exists.

Do I suspect that these marketeers will capitalize on the relatively narrow minded thinking, un-suspecting public to suck the working capital out of them? Yes

120 mph? same reason cars now have speedometer with a top end of 120 mph-just because of market attractiveness to buyers.

Electric cars in this economic crisis is keenly attractive. The American people are flogged with the world dominance of oil dependence and will flock to purchase such a gadget just because of cunning advertising (will simply overlook, 30% grid efficiency to charge the battery if battery is means of electric energy storage). They will overlook total cost of ownership (like the the expense of battery replacement) much like overlooking total cost of ownership of printers when considering the expense of ink cartridges.


IMAGINE energy independent self-sustaining homes each having their own energy supply in forms that are conducive to their surroundings (wind, solar, hydro electric) and storage in many forms such as pumped storage (water tank, pressurized underground caverns, etc).

IMAGINE this local, more efficient energy source would then provide energy transfer to your transportation; one form being to charge batteries.

IMAGINE a society that captures and stores the energy expended for exercise.

IMAGINE more energy efficient stuff (lighting, heating, cooling, food preparation)

IMAGINE all the people living in harmony.

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one (engineer).

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#16
In reply to #11

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 12:58 PM

"storage in many forms such as pumped storage (water tank, pressurized underground caverns, etc)."

Any practical ideas on how to build such pressurized underground caverns?

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 1:04 PM

Nukes have worked well in the past?

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#24
In reply to #17

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 2:00 PM

Yeah - But I'm not sure the county planning department would go along with that.

Uhhhhhhhh.......But wait!....How about a Cold Fusion Mini-Cavern Excavator? (Must write business plan; post 10,000 word disconnected rant on CR-4, raise money from foaming mouth radicals so I can buy groceries!!!!!)

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#18

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 1:26 PM

Blowing smoke? the others may be however, if I get the funds promised I have the plans to build an electric car that can out-do anything Detroit can and or ever will build without copying my design.

Imagine a vehicle that can go coast to coast without using oil, water, gasoline or an electric charge. I have the design and all I need to do now is build a prototype and market my product. At the moment I cannot give you an estimate of what it will cost the public but it will be affordable to everyone.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 1:31 PM

OK, I'll take the bait. Then what does it run on?

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#20
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Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 1:36 PM
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#25
In reply to #19

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 2:08 PM

Our gullibility!

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#27
In reply to #25

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 2:17 PM

It's the gullimobile! Famed for its gullimobility!

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 2:21 PM

This looks like a likely candidate for the gullimobile:

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#35
In reply to #27

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/28/2009 6:54 AM

didn't Disney do a kids movie about that...

OOPs that was the gnome-mobile

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#22
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Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 1:55 PM

I'm expecting to hear the evil, mad scientist laugh somewhere in here...

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#26
In reply to #18

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 2:15 PM

Use compressed natural gas, a small enough diesel cycle engine and a big fuel tank and it just might make the trip without refueling. Bert Rutan got a lot of good press with essentially the same line of thinking.

Also I think a solar powered vehicle of the level of sophistication of the racers in Australia would probably be able to do that on Interstate 10 at the right time of the year. That would make a neat competitive event. Reminiscent of the original Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash.

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 2:50 PM

Don't reminisce for what isn't gone

Team Polizei

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#36
In reply to #29

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/28/2009 7:05 AM

Acuras are exotic, that is just wrong.

Team polizei, looks just silly, funny looking guy who shaved his head in an attempt to look tough. Why do they do that? Just a bunch of 'trust fund' dumb-ass fools.

<rant mode off>

Now had they built the exotic car themselves and raced it that would be cool.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/28/2009 8:27 AM

I think we need one more category to go with off-topic and good answer. We need a good off topic answer! Good off topic answer, Mr. Trees!

BTW...I'm glad the girl didn't shave her head, you want to talk about silly and funny looking... Only those of us who are folically challenged already are allowed to shave our heads and look cool.

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#38
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Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/28/2009 9:07 AM

Only those of us who are folically challenged already are allowed to shave our heads and look cool.

And god bless fashion for finally embracing you!

As for Trees, I ran into these folks from the technical end - I was running the backroads of New Mexico and Arizona A LOT - and wanted better tech than OEMs offer.

Ended up in long discussions about the practicality (very good) and costs (not so good) of low-light cameras, infra-red systems, etc. It was good to have someone who had played with it and knew the comparative costs.

When we got to actually mapping trunk-lines for police monitoring, etc. I lost interest. i run a CB for traffic hazards as I am geared too low for substantial speeding and the costs of tracking/eavesdropping on trunked digital police lines is WAY out of proportion with my needs.

I ended up cutting out the back of my headlight buckets and throwing in better lamps.

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#39
In reply to #37

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/28/2009 7:24 PM

Since my head has resembled a billiard ball for years I resemble that comment

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#31
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Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 7:17 PM

Alright GUEST, please register so that we will know who to give credit to when you accomplish this herculean task. Other wise you are just a guest and not really seriously expecting this forum to believe you. We are not asking for blueprints, just a little commitment on your part.

Regards Dragon

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#21

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 1:38 PM

I recall when gasoline was cheap in Washington State. I also recall hearing that the combined federal and state taxes on gasoline is now at approximately 75% of the overall cost. It has obviously, quietly crept up to its current level over many years. Who can say this won't happend to volts or any other type of fuel. That is, if economy is what we're after.

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#30

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/27/2009 6:23 PM

Probably not smoke, but the claims will probably be separated such that if you're doing 120 you will not get the 200 miles.

Price might be "exclusive batteries" since in theory if you invest in GOOD batteries you should be able to transplant them into your next car.

Besides, given the current rate of currency devaluation, that much money will be more than most could afford.

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#33

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

04/28/2009 2:34 AM

Smoke and the general misapprehension of the "blowing smoke" figure of speech aside, the alleged performance claims cease to be a point of contention once it is realized (remembered) that the upstart (would be) businesses seeking a place in the personal transport manufacturing sector are not acutally seeking to produce full-up cars/vehicles to compete with current manufacturers; rather, such a vehicle is imminently feasible—and the claimed price (give or take)—provided that the live and dead weight to be transported remains very low; such as would (will) be the case with one-person, perhaps even two-person, transporters. Ultimately, it need not be the case that any car, electric or otherwise, must exceed 3000 pounds, or even 1000 pounds, in weight.

Bonus question:

What is the "blowing smoke" interpretation (definition) error being made by IP and other post-ers?

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#45

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

05/08/2009 3:26 AM

lets see....batteries, electricity, 120 mph and maybe add some HHO and there, you could get smoke...... maybe fire???? yeah,yeah,yeah.... FIRE!!!! (plagerized from Bevis and Butthead......

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Anonymous Poster
#48

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

05/21/2009 1:09 AM

I highly doubt they will be able to solve the high demand for these and deliver on time. Your looking more like 20 year waiting list for just one sorry.

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Power-User

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 454
Good Answers: 24
#52

Re: Electric Car Hoax?

07/31/2009 12:33 PM

You know that when electric ars are equipped with GPS so that the government can track them and charge taxes or "road user fees" by the mile, about 30 seconds later, there will be a special office to track the minority party politicians and find out where their mistresses live. "Senator XXX declines to comment on the accusation that his car was parked overnight near the home of a blonde who was not his wife."

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