The Ford Model T is probably a Safer Choice for a Cross-Country Trip than an All-Electric Car

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 16th, 2014

Week in Review

The United States is no doubt tired of winter.  It’s been a long one.  Snow, ice and cold.  Especially cold.  With below-zero temperatures in northern states.  And freezing temperatures even in southern states.  In fact, it’s been such a brutal winter that every state in the United States but one has snow.  Florida.  It’s just been a long, cold winter.  But it’s been a good one for those in the snow removal business.  And for those in providing a jump-start for dead batteries.  For batteries just don’t like cold weather.  Which is another problem with all-electric cars.  In addition to finding a place and the time to charge them (see Tesla Model S Electric Car Versus … Ford Model T? A History Lesson by John Voelcker posted 2/14/2014 on Yahoo! Autos).

While the fast-expanding network of Tesla Supercharger DC quick-charging stations now permits both coast-to-coast and New York-to-Florida road trips by electric car, the magazine conducted its test last October…

And as it points out, in its area of the country (Ann Arbor, Michigan), there were no Supercharger stations last fall.

(There is now one, along I-94 in St. Joseph, Michigan, 26 miles north of the I-90 cross-country corridor–one of 76 operating U.S. Supercharger locations as of today.)

So it couched its Tesla-vs-Model T test as the equivalent, a century later, to the question it imagined potential buyers of the first automobiles may have pondered: How does this stack up against my old, familiar, predictable horse..?

In due course, small roadside businesses sprang up to sell gasoline for the newfangled contraptions, usually in the same place they could be repaired.

But travelers couldn’t be confident of finding gasoline until well into the 1920s, a result of the Model T turning the U.S. into a car-based nation almost by itself.

Imagine driving across a state the size of Michigan on a road trip.  From St. Joseph to Detroit on the other side of the state it’s about 200 miles.  Which it will take you over 3 hours to drive at posted speed limits.  Now imagine driving this with only one gas station to stop at.  One you’re not familiar with.  One that you will have to drive around a little to find.  While you’re running out of energy.  Now imagine you’re in an all-electric car.  And you find this one charging station and there are 4 cars ahead of you waiting for their 30-minute quick charge.  Which could increase your charging time from one half hour to two and a half hours.

Every gas station has electric power.  So every gas station could sell electricity for electric cars, too.  If someone had to wait a half hour to charge their car that is a lot of time they could be buying stuff from the mini mart all these gas stations have.  So why aren’t they building these things?  Is it that they don’t want the liability that might come from a faulty charger starting a battery fire?  Is it because there are so few all-electric cars to waste the investment on?  Is there a question of how to charge for electricity?  Or do they not want to turn their gas stations into parking lots with a bunch of cars waiting for their half hour of charge time?

Perhaps the reason Michigan only has one Supercharger station is because Michigan has long, cold winters.  Limiting electric car traveling to the summer months.  In fact, if you live in a northern state look for the charging stations some big stores have installed to show how green they are.  Chances are you won’t see a single car at them during the winter.  For when it comes to cold winters gasoline has it all over batteries.  Gasoline provides far greater range.  You can jump-start a gasoline engine in the coldest of winters and then drive home.  And if it’s cold you can crank the heat up to make it feel like summer inside that car.  Something you can’t do in an electric car without sacrificing further range.

The Model T was an improvement over the horse.  But the electric car is just not an improvement over the Model T.  Because a gasoline-powered car is superior to an all-electric car.  For if one was going to travel across a state the Model T would have better odds of getting you where you were going before running out of energy.  And even if you ran out of gas someone could bring a can of gasoline to you so you could drive to the next gas station.  Whereas an electric car would require a tow truck to the next charging station.

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Electric Car Sales are so Bad that Nissan is giving away Free Rapid Charges

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 29th, 2013

Week in Review

The electric car was going to save the planet.  By getting gasoline-burning cars off the road.  Something the environmentalists and global warming enthusiasts have long wanted.  The only problem is no one but them wants this.  And there’s probably a large percentage of them that don’t want this, too (see Nissan Channels Tesla, Offers Free Leaf Charging in Texas by Alan Ohnsman posted 9/26/2013 on Bloomberg).

Nissan Motor Co. (7201), the most prolific electric-car maker, plans to offer free rapid charges for its battery-powered Leaf hatchback for new customers in Texas, experimenting with a strategy pioneered by Tesla Motors Inc…

Nissan, along with alliance partner Renault SA (RNO), has become the world’s largest seller of autos powered solely by electricity. A pricing reduction this year and low-cost lease deals have helped U.S. Leaf sales more than triple through August to a record 14,123 units…

“For the right person, near these charge stations, it could be a good thing and have some appeal,” Nerad said. “But it’s still striking me that in most instances, an electric car will mainly be a second or third vehicle for most people, because of the range limitations and how long it takes to charge them.”

The 2013 Leaf, built at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee, plant, averages 75 miles (121 kilometers) per charge. Repowering the car’s depleted lithium-ion battery pack takes about four hours from a 240-volt charger. EVgo’s direct-current fast chargers can repower the battery to 80 percent in 30 minutes, Brockman said.

The auto companies sell about 16 million annually.  That makes electric cars sales approximately 0.132% of all cars sold.   So no one is buying them.  Because of that poor range.  And long charge times.  This is why they’re giving away rapid charges.  Because the electric car is great and more people should drive them.  As long as it’s other people that drive them.  As most of us don’t want to sweat bullets wondering if we’re going to make it home before the battery runs out.

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