View Poll Results: Do you currently own an electric vehicle?

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  • Yes, I DO NOW own an eletric or hybrid vehicle

    6 10.71%
  • No, I do NOT own an electric or hybrid vehicle, but plan on it in the future

    26 46.43%
  • No, I do NOT own an electric or hybrid vehicle and have no interest on owning one in the future

    19 33.93%
  • NO, I live in an area that does NOT have electricity and must hurry and pedal to charge the batteries before I lose the inter

    5 8.93%
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  1. #1
    universal4's Avatar
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    Question Do you own an electric vehicle?

    Since the climate change conference is going on there has been much news about climate changes, industrial damage to the environment, and emissions etc.

    I was just watching a new story on CBS about electric vehicles and was surprised to learn how much electric vehicles have become so popular in Norway. 25% of all cars sold are electric and of those, 70% are pure electric not hybrids.

    The government is helping this path. Buying an electric car in Norway means no sales tax (saves 25%), no registration fee, free charging at government funded charging stations, tolls-ferry and bridge charges are free.

    Although hybrids are gaining some popularity here in the US, it is nowhere near what it is in Norway so I was interested to see the responses to the poll and hear some thoughts about this from other countries.

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    Unless you're charging your car's batteries via solar cells I don't see them as environmentally friendly. If you're using the national electric grid to charge your electric car then there is one big polluting power station at the other end of the charging cable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaftDog View Post
    Unless you're charging your car's batteries via solar cells I don't see them as environmentally friendly. If you're using the national electric grid to charge your electric car then there is one big polluting power station at the other end of the charging cable.
    Depends on where you live - roughly 90% of NZ's power is renewable energy (hydro or geothermal).

    But NO - I don't own an electric car ... and won't be until the practical range is at least 300-400kms.
    I live in a rural location - charging stations are almost non-existent - so I need to factor in a round trip to any range.

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    Depends on where you live - roughly 90% of NZ's power is renewable energy (hydro or geothermal).

    But NO - I don't own an electric car ... and won't be until the practical range is at least 300-400kms.
    I live in a rural location - charging stations are almost non-existent - so I need to factor in a round trip to any range.
    Yep that's it, the infrastructure just isn't there at the moment, as well as the othe point about where does the elctirc come from, which in a lot of countries is just as bad as using petrol/diesel. We've got a way to go, but it's good that more forward-thinking ethical governments like Norway are taking a lead.

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    No, but then again we live in London and don't have a petrol car either....
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  11. #6
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    Yes and electric battery scooter just enough o get to the shops and back ..

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  13. #7
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    I voted that I own an electric/hybrid vehicle, though I'm not sure my car would fit the exact definition that you're looking for, because it's a gas-powered Honda Civic hybrid, not a plug-in EV.

    We find that we get on average 40 miles per gallon -- or 7.1 liters per 100km -- (more when I drive -- it's my wife's commuting car, and she has a bit of a lead foot). A non-hybrid Honda Civic is estimated to get 28-30 mpg (9.4 liters per 100km).

    The added cost wan't insignificant -- the hybrid was about $8,000 more than a non-hybrid Civic. The question is, has it been worth it as a pure financial proposition?

    Over the last 5+ years, we've driven the car just over 70,000 miles, and after doing a bit of research, I'd estimate the average price of gas over that period was around $3.25. Assuming 40 miles per gallon as an average over the lifetime of our ownership of the car, we've purchased 1,750 gallons of gas. Had we bought a standard, non-hybrid Civic and averaged 30 miles per gallon, we would have purchased 2,333 gallons, or 583 more. Multiply that by $3.25, and we've saved approximately $1,900 in gas costs, so on the face of it, the savings does not justify the additional cost.

    I always knew that the gas prices alone would never justify a hybrid in a purely financial sense, at least not while gas prices remained below $4-$5/gallon, but I thought that when it came time to trade in the car, the difference would be negligible. So you can imagine my surprise to find that a standard Civic with the same mileage and condition has a Kelly Blue Book value $1600 MORE than our hybrid ($7,500 vs. $5,900). I'm not sure if this is a glitch in the KBB site or if hybrids simply aren't in high demand right now because gas prices in the U.S. are barely over $2/gallon.

    That said, we plan to continue driving this car for quite some time, perhaps until our oldest child can drive, and that won't be for another 7 years. Assuming it lasts that long, we'll have put close to another 100k miles on it, meaning a net reduction of about 1,400 gallons of gas over the lifetime of the vehicle. It's impossible to say where gas prices will go over that time, but assuming they average $3/gallon, over the lifetime of the vehicle we'd save about $4,400 in gasoline costs. At that point, my guess is the difference between the value of a standard vs. hybrid vehicle would be negligible, as its value would mostly be in what it would garner if sold for scrap.

    In looking at the environmental impact, burning a gallon of gas produces 20 lbs of CO2, so using 1400 fewer gallons of gas produces 14 tons less CO2. Considering my household produces about 10 tons of CO2 per year for heat and electricity (math omitted, but based on my sources this is a good estimate), this car will reduce my family's carbon footprint by 1.5 years of heat/electricity usage over its lifetime at a cost of about $3,600 over a 12-year period, or less than a $1/day. That seems like a price worth paying to me.

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    I like the sound and smell of a petrol engine, so no electric car for me in the near future.

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  17. #9
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    I've never entertained the idea of purchasing an electric vehicle. If it doesn't use petrol/diesel, then it's not a real car

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  19. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPWA Aaron View Post
    In looking at the environmental impact, burning a gallon of gas produces 20 lbs of CO2, so using 1400 fewer gallons of gas produces 14 tons less CO2. Considering my household produces about 10 tons of CO2 per year for heat and electricity (math omitted, but based on my sources this is a good estimate), this car will reduce my family's carbon footprint by 1.5 years of heat/electricity usage over its lifetime at a cost of about $3,600 over a 12-year period, or less than a $1/day. That seems like a price worth paying to me.
    Aaron - thanks for the detailed response and calculations. Very interesting and useful to see the calculations. 70,000 miles in 5 years?! We would not do more than 8,000km a year (about 5,000 miles)

    I'm not surprised that an old hybrid is worth less - after 5 years the technology is probably in the "junker" category for hybrids and the batteries would not be usefully recyclable to another vehicle - there is a LOT of manufactured wastage in the technology that possibly impacts on the CO2 savings.

    One point about family CO2 calcs - is that they typically do not factor in all the consumables (food, plastic wrap, toys, clothes) that people use in their day to day life. The cost to manufacture with plastic and the cost to destroy recycle is significant. I'm not sure why this is skipped over so often - as the biggest significant factor on humanities impact on the planet is that there are 7 BILLION people now (and growing), and the manufacturing of "cheap" food and clothes and product is the biggest component of greenhouse gases.

    DERAIL :
    Over here the biggest issue is apparently COW FARTS and effluent!!
    You think I'm joking - but I'm not.


    NZ is a farming country - There are just 4m people, 7m cows, and 38m sheep. SO Agriculture actually create 48% of all our greenhouse gases.
    Energy (including road transport) is 39%, Industrial 6% and waste 6%.
    Source : http://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default...pshot-2015.pdf

    So per HUMAN capita, New Zealand has the largest methane emission rate (0.6 t per person per year)—six times the global average. Of course that's a silly stat as most of the methane is not coming from humans - but it's the one the media uses.

    And because Methane is a particularly impactful warming gas - methane also accounts for over 40% of all emissions in terms of global warming potential. But overall for warming gases - NZ is close to normal as CO2 is down (see page 6 for chart with Australia, United States UK and average).

    There is no easy solution- but there is significant variation per animal - so we are spending millions of dollars a year in an effort to make livestock fart less. But electric / hybrid cars vs petrol /diesel cars? Not the big issue at all down here.

  20. #11
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    I would like to get myself Tesla in a near future, but also prefer smell of petrol and the noise of the engine etc.

    TheGooner, you said about driving range of 300-400km, but in Tesla S you can drive for ~530km without charging, so you can make a trip of 260 there and back which is not that bad!
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  22. #12
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    I saw many Tesla taxi cars in Amsterdam this summer, and when they accelerate they make this funny voice like in the Jetsons cartoon lol
    Anyway, I don't own a electic vehicle. I own a diesel Opel Vectra caravan that I use to transport my band's equipment. I would love to have an electric car some day, why not. It would be nice if there were electric vehicle's in my city since it was pronounced the third most poluted city in Europe. It's a disaster.
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  24. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBinaryAff View Post
    TheGooner, you said about driving range of 300-400km, but in Tesla S you can drive for ~530km without charging, so you can make a trip of 260 there and back which is not that bad!
    Good point Mr Binary.

    IF Tesla ever make it out of subsidised California with their product, with left hand drive cars, and a service agent within range ... then I'll certainly look at it. I've heard that this is a very good car.

    As it is no local mechanic could help me keep it maintained.
    And when Tesla does a product recall (as they've done recently) do I have to ship it back to the US to get it fixed?

    EDIT :
    One person has brought one in to my country - from the Netherlands - it cost him $180,000 local - about $120,000 US!
    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/bringi...-nz-2014112218

    His car can go up to 500 kilometres on a single charge, but that takes a minimum of four hours with a special three-phase power source he had installed. Tesla Supercharger Stations cut that down drastically, but none exist in New Zealand.
    Last edited by TheGooner; 3 December 2015 at 4:43 pm. Reason: found an example.

  25. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    Although hybrids are gaining some popularity here in the US, it is nowhere near what it is in Norway
    The distances traveled in the US compared to Norway would be a deciding factor of popularity.

  26. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    Good point Mr Binary.

    IF Tesla ever make it out of subsidised California with their product, with left hand drive cars, and a service agent within range ... then I'll certainly look at it. I've heard that this is a very good car.

    As it is no local mechanic could help me keep it maintained.
    And when Tesla does a product recall (as they've done recently) do I have to ship it back to the US to get it fixed?

    EDIT :
    One person has brought one in to my country - from the Netherlands - it cost him $180,000 local - about $120,000 US!
    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/bringi...-nz-2014112218

    His car can go up to 500 kilometres on a single charge, but that takes a minimum of four hours with a special three-phase power source he had installed. Tesla Supercharger Stations cut that down drastically, but none exist in New Zealand.
    One of the girls that works with us has a cousin who works for Tesla here in Oz. 2 people I know bought one a couple of years back and they just arrived this year I think. 250k AUD each.

    Seems like a huge waste of money to me. Then again, I'm not a car enthusiast.

    I don't have an electric car, but I have recently been looking for a new car that uses less petrol. All these new cars have the technology where the engine cuts out at the lights. I have to say I bloody hate it, but I can see how if you're doing a long trip it wouldn't be so bad.

    What would be amazing is if we could take a leaf from the scandies and get those windmills put here to create energy. Or make all new houses have to have solar panels installed on the roof. My dad makes money from the energy company because he installed solar panels so any extra they dont use gets put back into the grid and they pay him for it. I dont see why someone wouldn't want to do that tbh. If I could do it at my apartment I would.
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  28. #16
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    Great responses as I thought it would be an interesting discussion.

    I do not currently own an electric vehicle, but would certainly consider a hybrid.

    Rick
    Universal4

  29. #17
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    We use bikes in the Netherlands. I've seen this sick looking BMW around and I saw it plugged into something like an electric charger. Looked funny I just googled it and says it's an i8. Id definitely want one of those. Usually when people say electric cars or hybrids nothing unique comes to mind, but this one is something special.

    Anyways may sound strange from a guy, but Im not into cars. I pick small places to live that you can get around by walking or bike. It's a good thing i left the US ey Rick ?
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    The problem with eco-power - is when it relies on weather to provide it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renee View Post
    What would be amazing is if we could take a leaf from the scandies and get those windmills put here to create energy.
    It works on windy days - but not too windy or the windmills have to be stopped. So it's an unreliable source and can only really be a fringe source - say 2-5% of a countries power plan. If I recall the actual cost per KW of wind power is very expensive over the lifetime of windmills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renee View Post
    Or make all new houses have to have solar panels installed on the roof. My dad makes money from the energy company because he installed solar panels so any extra they dont use gets put back into the grid and they pay him for it.
    Coastal Australia (and probably much of the outback?) has high sun hours and is well suited to solar power for self use.

    However, the "grid" can't store electricity in batteries - so when there is less demand for the power during the day the prices charged / paid for energy during the day are much less. Then everyone gets home at night when the sun goes down - and starts cooking, watching TV, putting on the heater / air conditioner ... and everyone wants power NOW with no solar possible.


    So solar works best for businesses that have large roofs and actually can USE the power as they generate it during the day. Office blocks / factories etc.

    There is an option for home solutions where the consumer has also paid out for a huge lithium battery array to store the power. Unfortunately - these batteries degenerate over time (like all rechargeable batteries) and the usual lifetime is just 10-15 years. Again this means that solar power / stored in batteries is much more expensive then mass generated - and is not actually environmentally friendly with toxic batteries.

    -----------------

    So direct generation (wind / solar) generally won't make most houses self-sustainable ...


    And just like electric cars struggle to replace combustion cars due to lack of infrastructure ... there is a similar argument against private generators that want to sell power to the companies. If you are not taking power from a generator but trying to sell it instead, then why should THE GENERATOR pay for the cost of maintaining the connection? You're selling power now - YOU maintain the line. Uh-oh!

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  32. #19
    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    Aaron - thanks for the detailed response and calculations. Very interesting and useful to see the calculations. 70,000 miles in 5 years?! We would not do more than 8,000km a year (about 5,000 miles)

    ...

    One point about family CO2 calcs - is that they typically do not factor in all the consumables (food, plastic wrap, toys, clothes) that people use in their day to day life. The cost to manufacture with plastic and the cost to destroy recycle is significant. I'm not sure why this is skipped over so often - as the biggest significant factor on humanities impact on the planet is that there are 7 BILLION people now (and growing), and the manufacturing of "cheap" food and clothes and product is the biggest component of greenhouse gases.
    My wife drives the car to work every day, and it's 25 miles each way. She also takes 1-2 trips a month up to her company's office in Maine, which adds another 300 miles. It definitely adds up.

    As for the CO2 calculation, yes, I only calculated the CO2 footprint from our natural gas and electric bills. I shudder to think what our consumer footprint looks like, though I'm sure it's much better now that our twins are out of diapers.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    However, the "grid" can't store electricity in batteries - so when there is less demand for the power during the day the prices charged / paid for energy during the day are much less. Then everyone gets home at night when the sun goes down - and starts cooking, watching TV, putting on the heater / air conditioner ... and everyone wants power NOW with no solar possible.
    My wife works in the energy industry and has said for years that the person who can crack this problem stands to make billions. It appears that Elon Musk is on the case: https://www.teslamotors.com/POWERWALL.

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    I don't have an electric car at the moment, but my dream car today is the new Tesla. I really want to live an off-the-grid life in the distant future. And reading that you compare price and emission, I really don't think this is the best approach.

    If you follow Arnold Schwarzenegger on facebook, he posted a great letter this week, titled: 'I don't give a **** if we agree about climate change'. I highly recommend it to everyone!
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