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Yes, the issues of range, availability of charging stations, heavy and long haul capabilities, etc, are still in search of solutions. But on the topic of commercial viability for SOME applications and overall durability and reliability, this is interesting reading and encouraging.

Economics of electric vehicles
 

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Very interesting article and good to see some real data. I'll offer a few comments-

1-Lots of miles in a short period of time is very different than the same amount of miles over 10 or 20 years.

2-I do expect there are services where full electric cars make good sense.

3-Depreciation is a big cost too and it will be a while before we can understand how the market values a used 2 or 3 year old Tesla with a hundred or two thousand miles. Being stuck with a battery replacement is a giant expense.

4-I used to take a Lincoln Town Car back and forth to the airport when I was working. The guy I used had a few cars and bought 5-7 year old Town cars with less than 70,000 miles on them and drove them to 500,000 miles which took 2-3 more years. He used Amsoil, never had an engine need rebuilding, head gaskets or valves need grinding. Occasionally he did have to fix a transmission, most needed an AC compressor and an alternator. Few needed a starter. ANyhow, amazingly reliable and there were a few low cost garages specializing in repairing these vehicles so the cost was low.

5-For now I think there is a great opportunity for certain commercial users with Hybrids. My two favorite are buses, particularly airport buses but also city buses and garbage trucks. These buses have a low overall average HPO requirement but a high peak hp requirement and spend a lot of time idling and coasting to a stop. Imagine a 75 or 100 hp engine running constantly at full load charging a battery and running services for the vehicle and the battery providing the peak power for acceleration and short periods at higher speed. It seems aperfect fit and would be nicer for everyone. Second, garbage trucks are quite similar and they roar the engines at high speed to get the hydraulic power to operate their hydraulic lift. They also do vast amounts of stop and start as the roar from house to house.

6-I think it will be a long time before an all electric car can be the only vehicle most people in the US or Canada will want. I can see it as a very viable second car for kid hauling and/or commuting. I also think there will be a good commercial uses, especially in a hybrid application.

7-The increased reliability and reduced maintenance cost makes sense to me, exclusive of the battery issues which is the real question for most. The cost of power is also an issue. California has very high KWh rates that are extremely progressive. 25 or 35 cents per kwh can be add up quickly although it is likely still less than their elevated price of gas for a similar vehicle. In the rest of the country 12 cents or so per kwh is quite reasonable for sure.

8-It will definitely be interesting to see how this all develops.

Thanks for posting, it is a very useful article.
 
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