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Thu May 3, 2012, 12:43 PM

Electric-car sales fall in April

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2012/0501/Electric-car-sales-fall-in-April

Sales of plug-in electric cars fell last month, with especially low sales of the Nissan Leaf, following their strong showing in March.

Last month, just 370 Nissan Leaf battery-electric cars were sold, down from 579 in March, and bringing this year's Leaf sales to only 2,103 in the first four months. Last month's Leaf sales were the lowest monthly number in more than a year.

Nissan has sold 11,796 Leafs in total since the car went on sale in December 2010. Nissan has said it will sell 20,000 Leafs in the U.S. this year, but that will require it to sell 2,500 each month from now through December.

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Electric-car sales fall in April (Original post)
NickB79 May 2012 OP
Vincardog May 2012 #1
Gregorian May 2012 #2
OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #17
Turbineguy May 2012 #3
NickB79 May 2012 #4
OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #18
NickB79 May 2012 #22
kristopher May 2012 #5
Turbineguy May 2012 #19
kristopher May 2012 #20
madokie May 2012 #6
chaska May 2012 #7
kristopher May 2012 #8
chaska May 2012 #13
Fumesucker May 2012 #21
tinrobot May 2012 #9
Nihil May 2012 #10
chaska May 2012 #14
FBaggins May 2012 #15
IDemo May 2012 #16
SkatmanRoth May 2012 #11
dmallind May 2012 #12

Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 12:51 PM

1. Could it be time to lower the price?

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 01:16 PM

2. New designs are expensive. They'll come down in price. Look at stereos now vs. 1970's.

The amount of time and energy that went into just the Chevy Volt is staggering.

There's another phenomenon that isn't getting much attention yet. China is replicating cars that already exist, and marketing them under slightly different names. Man, do we have a wake-up call coming. This war isn't going to include bombs. And it's all out war.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #2)

Mon May 7, 2012, 05:03 PM

17. Yes, they will come down in price, the question is how much and how fast

An amplifier in the 70's may have used vacuum tubes (valves for our English-speaking friends) or transistors. Today, you can buy single chip amplifiers.


A comparative advance in battery storage capabilities is difficult to imagine. There’s always going to be a significant amount of raw material involved. Doubling the range of an EV will require about double the raw materials.

Today, a LEAF™ is comparatively expensive, and has a comparatively short range. To make a significant dent in the market, the price needs to be cut, and the range increased.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 01:17 PM

3. Doing some math:

Plugging in your all-electric car you get the equivalent of 42,650 BTU for $1 (at $0.08/KW)

From gasoline at $4.00 per gallon you get 31,000 BTU for $1. But your powerplant is only about 33% efficient. That's 10,030 net BTU per Dollar

So you are paying about 4 times as much for energy costs to run your gasoline powered car.

Diesel fuel costs more but has a higher energy content. Diesel contains 30,220 BTU for $1 (at $4.60 per gallon). Diesel engines are more efficient as well. The efficiency is about 40%. That amounts to 12090 net BTU per Dollar. This gives diesel about a 20% overall cost advantage over gasoline.

These figures disregard the differences in driving techniques between people.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #3)

Thu May 3, 2012, 01:34 PM

4. You also save on reduced maintainance: no oil changes, for one. NT

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #4)

Mon May 7, 2012, 05:37 PM

18. While this is true, it does not influence the typical consumer much

CFL’s have been on the market for 30+ years now.

They’ve always been more cost efficient over the lifetime of the bulb.

So, it’s a “no-brainer.” Right?

The following is from a 2010 Department of Energy report:
http://www.energystar.gov/ia/products/downloads/CFL_Market_Profile_2010.pdf
ENERGY STAR®
CFL
MARKET PROFILE


DATA TRENDS AND MARKET INSIGHTS



CFLs still have the potential to deliver considerable residential lighting energy savings.
As most light sockets in America still hold incandescent lamps, more than two-thirds of the CFL savings potential remains unrealized. Even states with long-running and well-funded CFL programs have filled only one in five sockets; other states can have averages as low as one in 20.



Consumers are buying fewer CFLs. The market for CFLs has declined by more than 30 percent following a peak of shipments in 2007. While shipments of CFLs remain much higher than those in 2000, more than five of every six general service lamps shipped is still an incandescent. If CFL market share remains at current levels, unit sales will decline and future growth in socket saturation will slow further.

The vast majority of consumers are satisfied with CFLs. More than 85 percent of consumers report that they are satisfied with the performance of CFLs. The reasons for the decline in shipments are many, including reduced promotion by retailers and the recession, but consumer dissatisfaction is not a major contributor.

New efficiency standards alone will not transform the market.The standards set by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 may have less effect on the lighting market than program sponsors and regulators expect. Many specialty lighting products are exempt from the new standards, and compliant incandescent lamps, which offer minimal energy savings over non-compliant lamps, are already available to consumers.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #18)

Fri May 11, 2012, 01:58 PM

22. I switched over to CFL's in 2005, and it's been awesome

This article infuriates me; I had no idea CFL's weren't as widely used yet.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #3)

Thu May 3, 2012, 01:37 PM

5. Those ICE powerplant efficiency numbers to not apply to automobiles - too high.

The range for auto's is 12-18%. Your numbers are benchtop steadily running at optimum RPM.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #5)

Thu May 10, 2012, 09:30 PM

19. You are quite correct

kristopher. That is precisely the advantage of the hybrid. The engine runs on a duty cycle, computer controlled, instead of by the lead foot of the driver.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #19)

Thu May 10, 2012, 10:04 PM

20. To clarify

Glad you came back to this, but your text is a bit unclear in relation to your earlier numbers.

The onboard ICE for the electric drive contributes to the advantage of that hybrid, yes. But it is offset by 2 factors, one is the weight of battery/ICE combination and the second is the reduced amount of driving with power provided by the ICE.

The primary savings of the series hybrid is found in the ratio of battery:ICE use. The more the car is operated in battery mode, the larger the difference with traditional drive trains. Your use of 33% and 40% for the traditional drive trains should probably be about 15% and 22% (IIR diesel C).

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 02:00 PM

6. the Leaf is gawd awful ugly

UUUgly is what I call them. We're holding our for a ford focus EV

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 03:01 PM

7. You mean coal-powered cars?

Even gas is so much cleaner than coal. Electric cars are not a solution to the problem.

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Response to chaska (Reply #7)

Thu May 3, 2012, 03:07 PM

8. Electric drive autos are an important part of the solution

The fact that you don't think so or that you use Republican talking points to refer to the matter says you really don't understand how we get to our final destination - a carbon free energy system.

We decarbonize the personal transport sector with battery electric drive as we are deploying both wind and solar generation into our developing "smart grid". The simultaneous growth of both sectors work together since the ultimate role of battery electric cars acts together with the variable nature of wind and solar to provide "virtual power plants" that are managed in a totally different way than today.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #8)

Mon May 7, 2012, 02:39 PM

13. Republican talking points???

No, I'm an Environmentalist. And not, like you, a Utopian.

Technology will not save us. Getting rid of the car may (along with a massive reduction in the human population). I like my pie on my plate, not in the sky.

100 years from now we'll be living like we did 100 years ago.

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Response to chaska (Reply #13)

Fri May 11, 2012, 04:09 AM

21. No, 100 years from now we'll either be living a lot better..

Or we'll be living more like 10,000 years ago and there will be damn few of us living..

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Response to chaska (Reply #7)

Thu May 3, 2012, 05:54 PM

9. Blame the power companies, not the vehicle companies.

An electric car is as clean as the electricity the powers it, so don't call the car dirty, call the power company dirty.

My own electric car is powered by mostly renewables and natural gas, thanks to my rather green municipal power company.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #9)

Fri May 4, 2012, 05:11 AM

10. Good response.

Electric cars (or even PHEVs) are far cleaner than standard "gas-guzzlers"
unless you are *very* careful about your cherry-picking of "comparative data".

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Response to Nihil (Reply #10)

Mon May 7, 2012, 02:55 PM

14. No, it's not a good response....

And sorry, gas guzzlers ARE much more efficient than electric vehicles. Stop and think about it. Most electricity comes from coal which is highly energy intensive to mine. And contains a far lower concentration of energy than gasoline (fewer BTUs per pound).

And solar can't even begin to compete with coal because of the very same problem, that sunlight is highly diffuse in terms of energy concentration. It takes massive infrastructure to concentrate it to the levels necessary to power our civilization.

Using less energy (vastly less) is the right path. Alternative energy is inevitable but it won't solve any of our problems. Only by addressing the human infestation on planet Earth will we make true progress. That or just plain running out of energy, which will also reduce population. And by energy I mean fossil fuel, for without that none of the other is possible on the scale necessary.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not a winger. And my position is not right wing either. I know about energy, and perhaps more importantly, I know about the common pitfalls to human thinking that set us up to believe the nonsensical traps we continually fall into.

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Response to chaska (Reply #14)

Mon May 7, 2012, 03:02 PM

15. Sorry... that's very shortsighted

You can't wait until generation is cleaner before you start developing electrical vehicles.

Also... not everyone lives where coal is king. Think of electric cards in areas with high wind penetration. There are places where the variability of wind power (combined with high penetration) causes short-term gluts of power. A smarter metering system targeted at those cars could provide plenty of cheap and clean power.

Obviously areas with high hydro/nuclear penetration don't even need "smart" metering.

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Response to chaska (Reply #14)

Mon May 7, 2012, 04:50 PM

16. It's a good thing we have you around to correct those Argonne National lab types


The information on well-to-wheel energy use, which includes energy used in mining and transport of fuels, has been studied and reported upon by the likes of Argonne and Pacific Northwest labs. It's not a matter of debate any longer, if it ever was - electric vehicles are energy savers over internal combustion.

In the below figure, gasoline-powered vehicles are seen at the far left and are labeled "ICEV: Crude RFG" (internal combustion engine vehicle -reformulated gasoline). Compare their per-mile energy use (remember, this is well-to-wheel energy use) against the battery-electric vehicle at the far right. The difference isn't even close.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 07:25 AM

11. The weather is warming up and bicycles are coming out

Some folks may be putting off buying an EV while the get a few months of riding. Sales will pick up when the weather turns in the fall.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 05:33 PM

12. US sales =/= sales

The Oppama plant puts out 2000 Leafs a month give or take as the Smyrna and Sutherland plants are not online yet. That's all they can make. If YOU were Nissan how many would you allocate to the US, where you get 35-38k USD a unit, and how many to Japan and Europe, where you get 50k USD? We get a bare trickle to keep deposit holders from giving up entirely and that's it.

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