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Marko Tsourkan
10-03-2011, 02:44 PM
http://autos.yahoo.com/news/tesla-motors-model-s-electric-sedan-will-be-faster-than-porsche-911.html

Kyle
10-03-2011, 03:44 PM
Absolutely incredible, but it's pretty infuriating to think that the big auto makers could be doing the same thing but aren't.

The hekler
10-03-2011, 04:00 PM
It's amazing what can be done when your floating on a mountain of government loans and grants and don't have to show a profit. I prefer the more useful advances being made by Toyota, Nissan, Ford, and Chevy then subsidizing a ultra small volume luxury car manufacturer.

ecchef
10-03-2011, 06:52 PM
I hope your being facetious Heckler. At $49,900, I'd hardly call that "luxury"; & you must have an awfully short memory concerning where the govt. throws your (and my) tax dollars! I'd buy this for the very reason that it is from an independent manufacturer.

echerub
10-03-2011, 07:48 PM
*This* gets my attention. $49k is very decent though still out of my range at the moment. Environmentally-responsible, fun, and practical. Sounds like a pretty good mix with what little I know so far about the car.

wenus2
10-03-2011, 09:08 PM
Electric cars always make me laugh a little.
How are they so green?
Did electricity start growing on trees at some point and I missed it?
You still have to plug this puppy in every night to the tune $5-10.
And your local power plant still has to burn a truckload of coal every hour to make that oultet hot.

On the other hand, I applaud all efforts to move us toward a less oil dependant future. I just hope we aren't pushing straight away into a nuclear dependant future (although it doesn't seem avoidable).

The hekler
10-03-2011, 11:03 PM
Unfortunately I wasn't. GM and Chrysler (with the help of SPa) have both repaid their loans, yes they were zero/low interest but they were repaid, ford did not borrow this last go around. How is 50k not a luxery car? Besides high end pick up trucks and SUVs I can't think of too many 50k dollar cars that aren't luxery cars. Btw it's 50k after tax breaks, and I would hardly call a company that is owned in part by the largest car company in the world (Toyota) independent. Sorry the electric car is not viable at this point 160 mile range? Not practical to me. Now hydrogen on the other hand shows promise, and if the US really wanted to do something to raise MPG they would ease restrictions on diesel powered cars, there's a reason they are so common in Europe, I can get a two and a half ton Jaguar with MPG ratings approaching Prius territory.

Andrew H
10-03-2011, 11:13 PM
Electric cars always make me laugh a little.
How are they so green?
Did electricity start growing on trees at some point and I missed it?
You still have to plug this puppy in every night to the tune $5-10.
And your local power plant still has to burn a truckload of coal every hour to make that oultet hot.

On the other hand, I applaud all efforts to move us toward a less oil dependant future. I just hope we aren't pushing straight away into a nuclear dependant future (although it doesn't seem avoidable).
This is exactly what I think every time I hear about electric cars. Unless you are getting the electricity from a renewable energy source, how is it different than a standard car?
Also while $50k might be reasonable for what it is, it's a luxury car. A Honda odyssey (which has a much better seating arrangement if you ask me) runs you $27k.
All that being said I don't see any problem with the government giving low interest loans to companies like this. You never know where interesting inventions are going to come from.

l r harner
10-03-2011, 11:23 PM
i have been wanting an oil burnign dodge dakota for a few years and know it might never happen no matter how clean they make it

i too laugh about the "clean" electric cars that are full of acids to boot and battery packs that need replacing every few years (my old dodge neon got 42 MPG in 1998 and even when i was beating on it in town got over 30 ) look how far we have come (or not for that matter )

gass was cheap for years and we got bigger heaver cars and trucks then every one cryed the blues when they got caught with a tank that needed filled every other day at 60$ or more

but we need our 20 inch rims and 8K lb SUVs to commute to work in style
being over seas opens ones eyes

echerub
10-04-2011, 12:31 AM
*shrug* We're just about coal-less over here, using a mix of hydro, nuclear and a bit of wind.

ecchef
10-04-2011, 02:51 AM
Unfortunately I wasn't. GM and Chrysler (with the help of SPa) have both repaid their loans, yes they were zero/low interest but they were repaid, ford did not borrow this last go around.

OK...so who paid you back for your tax dollars that went into the bailout loans?

Why doesn't the government just use your tax dollars to pay off my mortgage at zero interest so my wife can quit her job and move over here? That would work out great for me.

The hekler
10-04-2011, 08:15 AM
Oh don't get me wrong I don't support propping up dying industries with taxpayer money. But the main reason the industry is dying is because of government union laws and a history of awful trade laws with Japan. I think we all know the government never gives anything back once they take it from you, I am not gonna hold my breath for them to hand me back the money of mine that the auto companies have paid back. But where that is in the past (for now) my paying for a car company to sell you a car which I then pay for you to gey tax breaks on is still going on, I'm paying on both ends for someone to buy an impractical car and I don't see any reward for it.

ecchef
10-05-2011, 05:06 AM
Welcome to Amerika. Ain't it grand?

Marko Tsourkan
10-05-2011, 10:48 AM
I look at this from a practical standpoint.

Rather than trying to defend the idea of electrical car or hydrogen car or whatever (how can you deny that it is not cool? :) ) as a vehicle of the future, I will post a few questions here.

-How much oil do we produce in US and how much do we consume?
-Where do we get most of our oil?
-Where do some of the money we spend on oil ends up?
-How much reserves of coal and natural gas do we have?
-How much (clean, as claimed by industry) coal burning to turn into electricity would contribute to greenhouse gases as opposed to car emission from petroleum products?
-How much does US invest into R&D for this types of projects as well as renewable energy technologies as compared to China?
-Where do you want to see US car industry in 10 years?
-Did you know that a good portion of R&D that puts US on the cutting edge technologically (mostly defense related) has been financed by US government for decades? Why is financing R&D into renewable energy sources and Eco-friendly technologies should be treated differently?

This was not meant to be a political discussion, so don't turn it into one.

M

Andrew H
10-05-2011, 11:02 AM
I look at this from a practical standpoint.

Rather than trying to defend the idea of electrical car or hydrogen car or whatever (how can you deny that it is not cool? :) ) as a vehicle of the future, I will post a few questions here.

-How much oil do we produce in US and how much do we consume?
-Where do we get most of our oil?
-Where do some of the money we spend on oil ends up?
-How much reserves of coal and natural gas do we have?
-How much (clean, as claimed by industry) coal burning to turn into electricity would contribute to greenhouse gases as opposed to car emission from petroleum products?
-How much does US invest into R&D for this types of projects as well as renewable energy technologies as compared to China?
-Where do you want to see US car industry in 10 years?
-Did you know that a good portion of R&D that puts US on the cutting edge technologically (mostly defense related) has been financed by US government for decades? Why is financing R&D into renewable energy sources and Eco-friendly technologies should be treated differently?

This was not meant to be a political discussion, so don't turn it into one.

M
How much (clean, as claimed by industry) coal burning to turn into electricity would contribute to greenhouse gases as opposed to car emission from petroleum products?
I agree that clean coal might be a possibility in the future, but it certainly isn't currently. These are the most recent figures I could pull up in a couple minutes but they are pretty interesting.
http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/2716/coalz.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/4/coalz.jpg/)



As you can clearly see coal contributes more CO2 per BTU used than any other method, far exceeding oil.

Marko Tsourkan
10-05-2011, 11:16 AM
Electric cars were remote possibility in 2008 and are a reality in 2012. A lot can happen in 4 years with the right incentives. Clean coal is possible, but the mix of wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, coal and natural gas plants would be more preferable.

Andrew H
10-05-2011, 01:08 PM
Electric cars were remote possibility in 2008 and are a reality in 2012. A lot can happen in 4 years with the right incentives. Clean coal is possible, but the mix of wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, coal and natural gas plants would be more preferable.

What are you talking about? Chevy unveiled the Volt in 2007, the Nissan Altra was released in 1997, and the Nissan leaf has been on the road since Christmas of last year. Not only has the idea been around since the late 1890s, countless models of working electric cars have been made.

Marko Tsourkan
10-05-2011, 01:42 PM
I am talking about production of electric cars. Unveiling a prototype is one thing, but get it in production and on the road (build infrastructure for them across the states) is another.

I am not saying that Tesla is the first electric car to be produced, or for that matter, an electric vehicle. Many mid-size forklifts have been electric for decades.

I find Tesla design very appealing. Neither Volt nor Leaf do anything for me design-wise, and neither did Prius. I am sure some people share this sentiment and will pay a premium for well designed cars.

As whether 50K car is a "luxury" car, how different it is in principle from a knife that costs several hundred dollars? Most folks outside knifeknuts community would consider them luxury as well. No? :)

M

SpikeC
10-05-2011, 03:18 PM
Who killed the electric car?

mr drinky
10-05-2011, 04:23 PM
-Where do we get most of our oil?

Don't mean to intrude, but my (former) home state of North Dakota is on track to surpass California and Alaska in oil production within 4-7 years.

k.

Marko Tsourkan
10-05-2011, 04:49 PM
Don't mean to intrude, but my (former) home state of North Dakota is on track to surpass California and Alaska in oil production within 4-7 years.

k.

I like your sense of humor.

Andrew H
10-05-2011, 05:19 PM
I am talking about production of electric cars. Unveiling a prototype is one thing, but get it in production and on the road (build infrastructure for them across the states) is another.

I am not saying that Tesla is the first electric car to be produced, or for that matter, an electric vehicle. Many mid-size forklifts have been electric for decades.

I find Tesla design very appealing. Neither Volt nor Leaf do anything for me design-wise, and neither did Prius. I am sure some people share this sentiment and will pay a premium for well designed cars.

As whether 50K car is a "luxury" car, how different it is in principle from a knife that costs several hundred dollars? Most folks outside knifeknuts community would consider them luxury as well. No? :)

M

Right but to bring you back on point to your original "A lot can happen in 4 years with the right incentives. Clean coal is possible" idea is that clean coal is a relatively new idea, compared to electric cars which have been around for over a century.
That's all I'm saying.

Marko Tsourkan
10-05-2011, 06:45 PM
Many ideas are not new, but are not commercially viable until there is a) technological improvements, b)demand and market for the products.

Motors that run from batteries have been in use for decades, but electric cars have not been commercially viable (batteries, lack of infrastructure) or practical (cheap gas).

Same about clean coal. The technology might have been there for decades, but could be too expensive to retrofit and upgrade the existing plants unless there are incentives coupled with regulations.

I think when the market for electric cars picks up (and it will in the next 5-10 years) and so will demand for electricity, you will see a shift to clean coal.

The hekler
10-05-2011, 09:23 PM
As whether 50K car is a "luxury" car, how different it is in principle from a knife that costs several hundred dollars? Most folks outside knifeknuts community would consider them luxury as well. No? :)

M


Wait a second, I know I'm new here but do you guys not consider them a luxury? A fun, useful one definitely, but multi hundred dollar knives are a complete luxury to me.

Marko Tsourkan
10-05-2011, 09:29 PM
Good question.

Andrew H
10-05-2011, 09:46 PM
If you don't use them for your work, they are a luxury. Even then I'm guessing at some point they become a luxury.

Craig
10-07-2011, 12:48 PM
This is exactly what I think every time I hear about electric cars. Unless you are getting the electricity from a renewable energy source, how is it different than a standard car?

The basic point is that generating electricity in large generating stations is a lot more efficient than it is in millions of small engines. Studies have been done, you can just Google it if you really want to know. Plus the electricity that comes out of your wall should be much cleaner than gas sources. Just because not everyone has managed to get off coal yet doesn't mean there's a flaw in the concept of electric cars, it means there's a flaw in your energy supply.


OK...so who paid you back for your tax dollars that went into the bailout loans?


This doesn't make a tonne of sense. The bailout came out of TARP, which I'm pretty sure wasn't funded with tax dollars. Instead they electronically printed money, so when the banks and car companies paid it back they just destroy it again. The taxpayer isn't directly involved.

Besides that, why would they return your tax dollars? They're running a deficit for crying out loud, obviously the money just goes to other services. You can rail against spending on services you don't like if you want, but that's got nothing to do with the automotive or other loan-based bailouts.

ecchef
10-07-2011, 02:50 PM
T. The bailout came out of TARP, which I'm pretty sure wasn't funded with tax dollars. Instead they electronically printed money, so when the banks and car companies paid it back they just destroy it again. The taxpayer isn't directly involved.

So who "electronically printed" this money to lend to the government to buy assets & equity from unstable corporations? Ya think the Federal Reserve? Do you think that a privately held financial institution just gifted this money to the govt. without service fees? And that when the time comes for repayment, recipients of these bailouts aren't going to pass the service charges along to the consumers? Most of the major players paid their TARP debt back in record time and then posted healthy profits. How convenient. And for most people, their private financial situation hasn't improved one iota. The taxpayer is directly involved with every single dollar misused by the federal government, whether it's obvious or not.

Andrew H
10-07-2011, 03:14 PM
The basic point is that generating electricity in large generating stations is a lot more efficient than it is in millions of small engines. Studies have been done, you can just Google it if you really want to know. Plus the electricity that comes out of your wall should be much cleaner than gas sources. Just because not everyone has managed to get off coal yet doesn't mean there's a flaw in the concept of electric cars, it means there's a flaw in your energy supply.


I agree with you that there is a flaw in our energy supply, and that in other countries electric cars are good for the environment. I am talking just about the United States.

As for large power plants being more efficient than smaller engines I don't see how you get to that solution. The amount of energy that is lost transferring the energy through the grid line alone probably would nullify any advantage they have over small scale production, if they have any to begin with.

Craig
10-11-2011, 01:53 PM
So who "electronically printed" this money to lend to the government to buy assets & equity from unstable corporations? Ya think the Federal Reserve? Do you think that a privately held financial institution just gifted this money to the govt. without service fees? And that when the time comes for repayment, recipients of these bailouts aren't going to pass the service charges along to the consumers? Most of the major players paid their TARP debt back in record time and then posted healthy profits. How convenient. And for most people, their private financial situation hasn't improved one iota. The taxpayer is directly involved with every single dollar misused by the federal government, whether it's obvious or not.

The US department of the treasury prints the money then gives it to the Fed, more than likely. I'd have to look it up, but that seems like the obvious mechanism. It's also one that's fairly routine for the players involved, so it's not like there's a tremendous overhead here. I mean on loans in the hundreds of billions, the overhead to actually make and distribute the money is probably under 0.0001%.

I'm not really sure what you're on about with the fed being private. It's an organization whose authority is derived from Congress whose management is appointed by the President and is subject to congressional oversight. The fed pays about 96% of it's profits back to the DoT every year as well.

Yes, the taxpayer is involved. Ultimately it's the taxpayer that is underwriting all these loans, and they would be on the hook one way or another if they defaulted. But I said directly involved, which would be the case if it were actual tax revenue that went into the bailouts, as you suggested.

I don't really understand your anger about the bailouts. They cost the US taxpayer almost nothing and they kept the American banks, and thus the US and world economies from collapsing. I can understand anger at the banks for screwing themselves up so badly or anger at the government for failing to regulate the banks well enough to prevent that kind of a collapse, but anger at the bailout itself is largely misplaced, imo.


I agree with you that there is a flaw in our energy supply, and that in other countries electric cars are good for the environment. I am talking just about the United States.

As for large power plants being more efficient than smaller engines I don't see how you get to that solution. The amount of energy that is lost transferring the energy through the grid line alone probably would nullify any advantage they have over small scale production, if they have any to begin with.

Transmission loss amounts to about 5-6% in the US, which isn't that big a deal. There are a lot of factors that go into how energy-efficient something is, if you want to read a whole lot about it, this isn't a terrible place to start: http://www.electroauto.com/info/pollmyth.shtml Keep in mind that they're biased, but they cover a lot of ground and it's not a bad starting point.

In broad strokes, a power plant gets about 50% energy efficiency from the fuel it consumes, while cars get somewhere in the 15-25% range (see: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/atv.shtml). Yes, you have to deal with transmission loss (~5%) and even larger charging loss (~10%) and conversion (from electricity to mechanical motion) loss (~10%) with electric cars, but that doesn't make up the difference. Also, with combustion cars you have to refine the fuel, which comes at a loss (~8%) and you have to distribute it to gas stations then have the cars drive to the stations periodically to fill up (~I have no idea, but I bet it's at least 5%.) On top of electric cars being more efficient system for turning potential energy into physical energy, electric cars need a lot less physical energy to move around because they're so much lighter.

The hekler
10-11-2011, 05:35 PM
Some very good points and stats except for the last one, electric cars are heavier not lighter then their gasoline counterparts look up the tesla roadster compared to the lotus Elise. Tesla 1,235 kg... Elise 860 kg both cars are built on the same frame as tesla actually sources from lotus.

Craig
10-12-2011, 10:18 AM
Some very good points and stats except for the last one, electric cars are heavier not lighter then their gasoline counterparts look up the tesla roadster compared to the lotus Elise. Tesla 1,235 kg... Elise 860 kg both cars are built on the same frame as tesla actually sources from lotus.

Comparing to a Lotus isn't fair though, is it? I just meant that electric cars are usually smaller cars, you're right that they're a little heavier than their equivalent gas cars.

The hekler
10-12-2011, 11:09 AM
It's the only fair comparison as the tesla is really just an electric lotus elise for 3 times the price and I wouldn't call half again the weight "a little more". But I can see your point the leaf is certainly smaller then a suburban but those aren't fair comparisons are they? Yes electric cars tend to be smaller then gasoline powered ones but that has more to do with the flaws in electric cars not the waste of gasoline powered ones. Certainly electric motors are extremely efficient for their weight I believe the tesla's motor is actually only 30 kgs or so the batteries are the killer. The tesla actually uses banks of laptop batteries I believe, if there is a future for electric cars the batteries are where the work needs to be done, which is why hydrogen is the future it does away with the batteries yet still uses the same type of electric motor.