[NSR] Will electric vehicles bring fuel prices down?
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Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
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Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:55 am quote
Must agree about the looks of EV bikes. They do tend to look a bit "off". But again I think graphene batteries will make that much better giving designers a bit more scope to play with. They are quite a bit smaller with more capacity, and much lighter. Ideal for bikes.
Hooked
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Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:06 am quote
Electric cars make a lot of sense in most places, but America's not ready for them (yet)... Not even close. I predict it will take at least 2 decades before they are prevalent. Here are just a few reasons (there are more, I'm sure):

The U.S. lacks public infrastructure investment (in power generation/delivery, road/bridge building, education, and many other areas - defense spending is one of the exceptions) and the politics for improving current infrastructure are polarizing and regionalized. A fellow poster wrote about New Jersey's successful experience implementing taxes to improve roads/bridges/etc. Connecticut's experience was the opposite. The governor of Connecticut, in collaboration with some in our state legislature, tried to implement tolls recently (Connecticut is one of the few states in the region to have NO tolls). The proposal was to implement tolls on major highways at specific places and then dedicate all proceeds from those tolls to improve transportation infrastructure. Many Nutmeggers (a nickname for those from Connecticut) came out against the tolls and the proposal ultimately failed. We are left with outdated infrastructure and no plans to adequately fund updates. This speaks to the federalist political process in the U.S. (as opposed to, I suspect, the process in the U.K. - I think - and many other places), which is a big reason electric cars will take a long while to make in-roads here in the U.S.

Frankly, I don't know how much the U.K.'s (or other English-speaking country's) politics are "regionalized". Does every area/county/town make decisions regarding policy, taxation, and expenditures? From just a taxation perspective, here's how it works in the U.S. (at least in Connecticut - it varies by state): The federal government taxes primarily income (there is, generally, NO VAT or federal sales tax on most items) and also taxes other items (fuel, for instance). Then the states (50 of them), each differently impose other taxes in whatever way their individual legislatures (50 of them) see fit - examples of state taxes include individual income taxes, sales taxes, luxury taxes, fuel taxes, property taxes, et. al. - the receipts from these 50 different state tax schemes go to the respective states, not the federal government, and those states determine what to do with those monies. In many places localities (towns/cities/counties) also impose taxes, which the town governing bodies then spend as they see fit - in Connecticut, these local taxes are usually in the form of property taxes, paid on houses/property and vehicles, but in other places (NYC for example) there are additional income and/or sales taxes payable to the city. It's likely much more complex than it needs to be, but we have a federal system of government with much power given to the states.

Here's how complex my taxes are as a resident of Connecticut: When I buy an item at a store, I generally pay a 6.35% sales tax to the state of Connecticut. That is, if I buy something for $100, I pay $106.35 with the additional $6.35 going to the state of Connecticut (other states have different sales taxes - if I go to a neighboring state, Rhode Island, and buy something, I will pay a 7% sales tax). When I buy fuel in Connecticut at about $2.00 per gallon about $0.18 of the cost of this gallon goes to the federal (U.S.) government with another approximately $0.44 cents per gallon going to the coffers of the state of Connecticut. Other states have set different taxes on fuel - the one constant is the $0.18 per gallon tax that goes to the U.S. federal government. Then, I pay a yearly income tax (based on the money I earn) to the U.S. federal government. Similarly, I also pay a yearly income tax to the state of Connecticut. Finally, I pay a local property tax (to the town in which I live) based on the value of my home/property and vehicles - two automobiles and the Vespa. These local taxes vary by town and there are 169 different towns in Connecticut. The towns then spend that money as their governing boards see fit. Confused? That's because it's confusing!

Now, with multiple layers of government and taxation in every state, all making different decisions, imagine the difficulty of coordinating governmental efforts to incentivize the private building of electric vehicle charging stations, especially given that the revenues from the current fuel tax flow to the government. Remember, many states (including Connecticut) AND the U.S. federal government tax tradition fuels (gasoline/petrol/diesel), so by subsidizing EV charging stations and encouraging EV use, the governments are actually reducing their revenues. And it's not like the EVs are going to stop using roads - the public transportation infrastructure would still be needed, but the money to support that infrastructure would dry up due to the reduction in fuel tax monies. So, other tax schemes would be needed and Americans HATE taxes, especially new taxes (see anecdote above about tolls in Connecticut). We HATE taxes even if they aren't really NEW taxes (and just attempts to recapture dwindling fuel tax receipts due to the proliferation of EVs).

And that, my MV friends, is just one small part of the difficulty of implementing EVs in the U.S as opposed to the rest of the English-speaking world. There are other reasons - I can keep going and going.

Here is another one: Americans have rather defined and consistent individual vehicle preferences for gigantic vehicles - What's the best 3/4 ton pickup truck EV out there?.

Another: The current limited range/functionally of EVs given our geography, climate, work environments, and hobbies. Here's a question for some non-U.S. citizens - Do you ever work all Friday with your vehicle, then, after work, hook up your trailer with four snowmobiles (weighing 2000 pounds total) and drive your family of four 300 miles north at 75 mph to a remote area of your country (where passing without four-wheel/all-wheel drive is impossible) for a weekend of snowmobiling at 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 degree C) or colder and then drive back south another 300 miles on Sunday? I'm curious - let me know...
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
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Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:03 am quote
Very interesting points schuman.

The one other consideration that has to be factored in is, when Americans see how good EV's are in all their forms they will want one. That's what happens once you have driven one and realise how good they are. You guys are no different to us British or any other folks around the world, no matter what your state of the grid or taxes are like. It will happen and it will happen much quicker than you think. It has to. Politicians will be forced to act. You guys produce a quarter of the entire planets CO2. That cannot continue. And the bonus is that in doing this you will generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process.
Hooked
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Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:28 am quote
Stromrider wrote:
Very interesting points schuman.

The one other consideration that has to be factored in is, when Americans see how good EV's are in all their forms they will want one. That's what happens once you have driven one and realise how good they are. You guys are no different to us British or any other folks around the world, no matter what your state of the grid or taxes are like. It will happen and it will happen much quicker than you think. It has to. Politicians will be forced to act. You guys produce a quarter of the entire planets CO2. That cannot continue. And the bonus is that in doing this you will generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process.
Many Americans love Tesla (especially, it seems, the younger ones and investors), and I'm personally sold on EVs. Then again, I don't "need" a pickup truck or giant SUV. Our family doesn't buy new cars anymore, so the prices will need to come down on used EVs (or new ones) before we get one. And I'm hoping Zero Motorcycles (or another manufacturer) will make a more affordable electric motorcycle (or hopefully a scooter). I hate maintenance and the maintenance on two-wheeled vehicles seems more cumbersome and frequent than that on automobiles. Imagine riding without yearly fluid changes and weekly gas-ups. It'll be brakes and belts! And instant acceleration. Heaven!

Sadly, many Americans don't care about pollution, and our politicians and policies follow suit. One of my students told me just yesterday that his dad drives multiple Dodge pickup trucks, from 3/4 ton to 1 ton, and loves it when the trucks "make a lot of smoke"... And I live and work in Connecticut, one of the most liberal states in the U.S.! That particular father actually has a preference for pollution... To sell him, we will have to come up with a way to make the EV "smoke"! Lol. Only in America!
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
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Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:18 am quote
Lol...yeah, I know what you mean. I have relatives in Ohio and Texas. They wonder if America will ever conform to the norms of the rest of the world regarding saving the planet. But...on the other hand they are a growing majority of folks who are becoming concerned about being able to breath in the future. They are seeing the reality, it's only a matter of time before most folks do.

Nice talking with you.
Ossessionato
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Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:52 am quote
Have any of you seen the new VW ID3 EV. The top of the range car, which is slightly larger than a VW Gold (latest model) has a 77kw battery and has a range of 342 miles in normal use. That means it will likely go well over 420 miles in urban and town use. It also has a 215hp engine with 400nm of torque. O-62 in 6.6 seconds. Very quick charge times but I don't remember what they are (I think a full charge in around 1.2hrs? at 20c). Fully loaded with all the tech you can think of. Cost over here is around £36,000 or so I believe after government EV grant. There are other lower powered versions, and they are all good and cost less.
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Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:44 pm quote
OK
I tend to think of EV's and charging stations as a system. Until the charging system gets a little more extensive (and the car price comes down) probably won't be shopping for an EV.

Locally got a lot of space with not a lot of people. I imagine it will be a long time until charging stations are found anyplace but along the I-80 corridor. Not only do they need enough people to use it to justify the expense of building it, they also need a ready source of electrical power (in some cases, quite a bit of power) to run it.
Hooked
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Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:49 pm quote
Re: OK
Jimding wrote:
I tend to think of EV's and charging stations as a system. Until the charging system gets a little more extensive (and the car price comes down) probably won't be shopping for an EV.

Locally got a lot of space with not a lot of people. I imagine it will be a long time until charging stations are found anyplace but along the I-80 corridor. Not only do they need enough people to use it to justify the expense of building it, they also need a ready source of electrical power (in some cases, quite a bit of power) to run it.
Until then, Toyota has the solution - the RAV4 PRIME. It's an all-wheel drive Plug-In Hybrid. You can switch between full EV mode and Hybrid mode. Want to save the planet? Drive 42 miles (shorter than my daily commute) on purely electric power in EV mode. Want to challenge the BMW 3-series next to you at the red light? Put the RAV4 PRIME in Hybrid Sport mode and blast from 0 - 60 in 5.7 seconds. If I was going to buy a new car, the RAV4 PRIME would be it. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the cost savings on maintenance and fuel as one would enjoy with a pure EV, but it comes with the benefit of being able to use gasoline (if needed). The $38,100 starting price is a deterrent, but it's eligible for the $7500 federal tax credit and possibility state credits, as well. This could get it down to around $30,000 - not bad for a new RAV4. Check it out:

https://www.toyota.com/rav4prime/
Moderaptor
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Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:04 pm quote
Re: OK
Jimding wrote:
I tend to think of EV's and charging stations as a system. Until the charging system gets a little more extensive (and the car price comes down) probably won't be shopping for an EV.

Locally got a lot of space with not a lot of people. I imagine it will be a long time until charging stations are found anyplace but along the I-80 corridor. Not only do they need enough people to use it to justify the expense of building it, they also need a ready source of electrical power (in some cases, quite a bit of power) to run it.
Most people will be charging at home - nearly all EVs have a range of at least 200 miles, so for those commuting less than 100 miles each way an EV makes very good sense.

Going on a road trip might take a bit more planning right now, but I expect soon it'll be mandated that every gas station should have at least two quick-charge stations. Probably most gas stations will get them installed before that anyway, as they should provide extra income. Gas stations make such small margins on gas that making a bit more on providing electricity may be enticing.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:36 pm quote
Re: OK
jimc wrote:
Jimding wrote:
I tend to think of EV's and charging stations as a system. Until the charging system gets a little more extensive (and the car price comes down) probably won't be shopping for an EV.

Locally got a lot of space with not a lot of people. I imagine it will be a long time until charging stations are found anyplace but along the I-80 corridor. Not only do they need enough people to use it to justify the expense of building it, they also need a ready source of electrical power (in some cases, quite a bit of power) to run it.
Most people will be charging at home - nearly all EVs have a range of at least 200 miles, so for those commuting less than 100 miles each way an EV makes very good sense.

Going on a road trip might take a bit more planning right now, but I expect soon it'll be mandated that every gas station should have at least two quick-charge stations. Probably most gas stations will get them installed before that anyway, as they should provide extra income. Gas stations make such small margins on gas that making a bit more on providing electricity may be enticing.
It might be but there will be an issue with how much a gas station charges for charging. That I imagine can be worked out or regulated however my guess is they will make less of that than petrol. They will advantage in many cases of a customer stuck somewhere while the vehicle charges. So I imagine stataiosn with Wendy's and Dunkin' Donuts, Wlamarts and Tim Horton's etc may do better.
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Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:48 pm quote
In some parts of the world the gas stations will have their own solar generation - and if they charge the normal 'going rate' for EV charging (whatever that settles down [or up!] to) they'll be coining it once the capital costs are paid down. With solar panel's projected lives being >40 years now, that may happen quite quickly.

I'm hugely optimistic about this, and it HAS to take place if global warming can be throttled back. Even then, it may not be enough to save coastal cities such as New York or London. I reckon they're doomed within 100 years unless we all get on board NOW.
Ossessionato
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Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:35 am quote
Here in the Uk we are also about to tackle the other biggest CO2 polluter, gas boilers in our homes. Currently there are 23+ million homes using them to heat the home and provide hot water. They produce huge amounts of CO2, at least as much as cars and probably more.

The Government is going to incentify the fitting of a range of replacement systems that run on green energy. The tech is there so why not use it.

Like you Jimc, I'm very optimistic about EV's and green energy generally. It's happening and spreading at an exponential rate now throughout europe and especially the UK. But the big thing is China. They are switching to green energy very quickly and have created millions of new jobs. They have some fantastic EV cars coming next year. The ones they currently make are not bad but the best is yet to come. At least they have come to the realisation that they could not carry on as they were, something many other countries are yet to admit.
Ossessionato
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Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:31 am quote
Given the success of the topic, i updated the title.
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Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:56 am quote
yabbut
jimc wrote:
In some parts of the world the gas stations will have their own solar generation - and if they charge the normal 'going rate' for EV charging (whatever that settles down [or up!] to) they'll be coining it once the capital costs are paid down.
It'll have to be a solar farm with significant battery storage. To charge a typical 70kWh car battery pack in one hour, you need 280 square meters of solar cell, at today's top cell efficiency rates at noon during the summer on a clear day. That assumes 100% efficiency in your charging systems, probably not achieved.

Want to bring it down to 15 minutes? Four times the area, actually more, since likely to lose more energy to heating while charging.

Multiple charging stations, or availability of charging at night? A big battery, and more multiples.

Realistically, you'd rarely achieve that level of solar-to-electric energy conversion, so a good deal more area than that, in real life.

Quite a bit of money to lay out unless you are reasonably sure the capability will be used (and more importantly, paid for). Although you could probably work out a deal to sell the excess power back to the grid, although many utilities pay far less for the power they buy than they charge to customers.

Ideally, people charge at night, at home. In real life, someone forgets to plug in the car at night, mostly discharged in the morning, so they'll need a "top-up" on the way to work.

A bit of a chicken -or-egg situation. Do you build the charging capability in anticipation of demand? Or wait until the cars become popular, then build?

In Europe Porsche and others are building in anticipation, and to drive adoption. But much easier to do in a relatively small geographical area.
Ossessionato
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Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:48 am quote
You build the solar farms first so there is capacity. If EV owners are not using them, the grid will. You can earn considerable money from selling juice back to the grid. You simply cannot go wrong producing electricity. That's how it is over here and it'll be the same over there. Although most EV car charging stations over here especially on motorways can handle 15 cars at a time. And those draw their power from the national grid which is getting a considerable amount of it's power now from green energy. In another 8 years or less 88%+ of our electricity will be produced from clean energy. We won't be burning oil or gas to produce it.

In the UK in the last two years green energy installations from solar and indeed wind too, have become incredibly cheap to build. It's already halved in the last 5 years and is set to become cheaper still by about one third very quickly. One of the main reasons for this is China producing high quality high tech solar panels that last many years longer than previously, and will produce more electricity per square metre. They use less toxic chemicals in them and as such are cheaper to produce by far. The latest solar energy panels even produce some electricity at night.

Given that nuclear power too is now considered to be very green by anyone that knows anything about the latest stations and reactors ie: they either produce no waste at all or in some cases just the tiniest little bit (dependant on the type of reactor), you can now actually see for the first time just how green energy can and is working out. It's virtually impossible for any new nuclear station to have a 'meltdown' due to the way they are designed and built. It's also cheap when compared to green energy over the life of the stations even allowing for decommissioning. In the states it's just a case of you guys catching up with europe. Got to say that in my own travels in the US your power grid is very much third world in some parts. This is of course mainly due I suspect to the large size of your country and the disconnected governments that run each state. But that doesn't actually matter with green energy. With a little effort you can be first world again quite quickly. EV's will come and you will have plenty of power for them. That is an absolute certainty and it will happen faster than you think.
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Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:44 pm quote
theschuman wrote:
Electric cars make a lot of sense in most places, but America's not ready for them (yet)... Not even close.
Well, I can only speak for myself. Our 2 person household has been driving one EV and one hybrid for the past 7 years. The EV does nearly all of the "around-town" miles and charges in our garage. The hybrid does the longer trips. The EV has been a revelation. Of course, no fuel for the past 7 years, but also very little maintenance. An EV is very inexpensive to operate. The cost of the electricity for charging is about 1/3 the cost of fuel for a comparable gasser. I can't imagine being without an electric vehicle.
Hooked
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Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:33 pm quote
Dooglas wrote:
theschuman wrote:
Electric cars make a lot of sense in most places, but America's not ready for them (yet)... Not even close.
I can't imagine being without an electric vehicle.
I think EV's are great... Unfortunately, Americans have other preferences and new electric vehicles are sold primarily to the wealthy due to their high cost relative to their non-EV siblings. This will limit their numbers in the U.S.

As I have said before, I can't highlight enough the obsession (in eastern Connecticut of all places) with pickup trucks. I was walking our dogs past our neighbor's house last week. The neighbors are building an additional three car garage, so some workmen were over. I counted FIVE half-ton and 3/4 ton pickups, two of which belonged to my neighbor who uses them recreationally. It's likely the workers needed nothing more than a Ford Transit or minivan, but each of them had their own giant pickup. My neighbor doesn't "need" two recreational pickups (and I don't need a Vespa), but he has them and drives them. Another neighbor's daily driver is a Ford F-150... He sells insurance. Drive a couple of hundred miles east of the Portland area and let me know if you see many EVs.

On another note, despite our reputation as a wealthy nation, we have great disparities between rich and poor. Wealthy people tend to buy the fancy new cars (including EVs)... The rest of us drive the wealthy's used cars. I'm relatively wealthy, but I still buy used cars! My cousin just bought a Tesla and paid $45,000 for the car plus another $5000 to have his house rewired by an electrician to accommodate the charger. So much for saving money with the EV!

Additionally, a lot of the U.S. is rural, necessitating driving, and much of our population is poor and can't afford new cars (or EV cars). Thus, Americans keep cars longer than other societies... Average age of cars in the U.K. - 8.3 years in 2019 (https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-8739771/Britons-keeping-cars-longer-says-new-report.html). Average age of cars in the U.S. - 11.9 years (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/28/25percent-of-cars-in-us-are-at-least-sixteen-years-old----record-high.html).

I'm not saying that EV's aren't good vehicles... They are amazing. But the U.S. won't be overtaken by them for at least two decades. The reasons are varied - societal preferences, geography, economics, etc. - but the fact remains that American's aren't ready for EVs.
Hooked
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Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:39 pm quote
Dooglas, that's almost exactly our position, one pure ev, but a plug-in hybrid too. As we have solar pv most of our charging is pretty green, and any imported at night isn't as brown as the electricity mix can be during the day.

Across the evs, past and present we are at about 200,000 electric miles, so hopefully can be forgiven burning some fossil fuel in my scoots!

People can be suspiciously conservative of new things, but unless you are in very sparsely populated regions and or do mega miles, evs are already good, and are only getting better.
Moto Giro Titan
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Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:14 pm quote
As per my post earlier in the week, Iíve been fortunate enough to try the EV bike experience. Iím loving my Zero so far, hope to be able to share the experience here as the weather improves or I head south!

80619BF8-9FC3-4D33-A450-2A9D65C2ED1C.jpeg

Ossessionato
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Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:25 am quote
Wmak, will look forward top hearing more about the EB. Thanks for posting about it.
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