We’re Gonna Turn It On

chargepoint
I hadn’t noticed this new charging point before, but apparently the company running it has over 16,000 of them in the US. This one is being installed in the parking lot of our Public Market, which is mainly in use Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so I wonder how much use it is going to get.

Of course, the first step to charging an electric car is to actually own one, and in New Jersey, maverick free-enterprise capitalist Chris Christie sided with car dealers and barred Tesla from selling cars in his state. He follows in the footsteps of other free market meccas like Texas.






93 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    To be fair, Christie was concerned that electric cars would run out of juice in heavy bridge traffic.

  2. 2
    PaulW says:

    @Baud:

    good one. you won a cookie.

  3. 3
    debit says:

    I shop at a local grocery (Lunds) and their downtown Minneapolis store has three charging spots for cars. They are the only electric car chargers I have ever seen, but it’s nice to know that if I ever bought an electric car, there’s at least one spot I know for sure I could grab a charge.

  4. 4
    PaulW says:

    At the library where I work, a lady came in trying to promote a grant program to get electric chargers installed at key places, and she figured the library would be a good place to tempt someone. I mentioned to her that our library is kinda out of the way from the rest of the city, and that she should talk to someone at City Hall about installing chargers along the major traffic areas like SR 60.

    I’m wondering if the US Government should do something about installing chargers along rest areas on interstate highways? As a federal program, it would get around any of the state wing-nuttism that would block it. Can trucks convert to battery-charged engines?

  5. 5

    So many Teslas and other EV in my neck of the woods. There are mobile apps and sites to find the charging stations with reviews and types. Been doing some work with multifamily owners on how to best retrofit existing properties and for new construction.

  6. 6
    PaulW says:

    @debit:

    so far the only charger station I’ve seen was at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Clermont, FL.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    @PaulW:
    Do they sell tofu wings? (I keed, I keed)

    Were I still a car commuter I’d certainly look at getting an electric, but am not so it doesn’t make sense for the driving I do do. Found out they’re now selling an electric Fiat 500, which is as cute as a bug, as compared to, say, the Nissan Leaf.

  8. 8
    Wag says:

    At the Denver Center for the Performing Arts there are dedicated close in parking spaces with charging stations for electric vehicles.

  9. 9
    RSA says:

    I don’t know much about EVs, but I just checked online to discover that there are a couple of dozen within about a ten-minute drive from me (mainly in downtown Raleigh, but a few scattered on the way there). I notice that they seem to be where people park their cars, which seems natural given that it could take hours for a charge. It’s an interesting contrast to the distribution of gas stations.

  10. 10
    Cervantes says:

    @PaulW:

    Can trucks convert to battery-charged engines?

    Long-haul? Not today and not soon. Multiple batteries would be needed per truck, of course, and if you could get that many batteries on the truck, you might not have sufficient weight left for cargo.

  11. 11
    KG says:

    I’d love an electric car, but I believe the key (especially for people who don’t have garages) is going to be making the charging process faster. It takes me ten minutes to refill my tank, it takes six hours to recharge a dead battery – with range that barely gets you from LA to Vegas. The one thought I’ve kicked around is making the batteries replaceable – my thought would be something like you see propane tanks, trade in you old empty one, get another full one. I don’t know if that’d actually work

  12. 12

    @KG: The “fast charging” tech is coming along. We’ll see charge times go down, but the existing fast chargers aren’t compatible with all models.

  13. 13
    the Conster says:

    Several of the parking lots in Boston have them – they’re almost always being used when I drive by. The local car dealers tried to get that same law passed here but they lost in court. My state Rep. wants to keep the Tesla store here, and I took the opportunity on his FB page to rant about the idiots who think there’s such a thing as a free market, instead of a bunch of rent-seeking assholes and their stooges in government.

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    @KG:

    It’s been proposed, but would require a relatively small group of industry-standard batteries to truly work. IIUC the dedicated Tesla changing stations are relatively darn fast, but they’re model specific and I don’t know whether any other electrics use Li-ion cells rather than NiMH.

    Conceptually, the Volt makes a lot of sense to me, as would a plug-in hybrid, until we have a robust charging infrastructure. Methinks the oil companies will be quietly doing what they can to ensure that doesn’t happen.

  15. 15
    Joey Giraud says:

    No one likes to compete, least of all capitalists. Free-Marketers say one thing and do the opposite: they collude, create barriers to entry, and support monopolies.

    OTOH, charged about electric cars! They’re coming, baby. My sons may never own a piston engine..

  16. 16

    There was some guy on Chris Hayes’s show last night defending the NJ ban — he was from the car dealers’ lobby group, of course — and his line was that “we’re protecting the consumer from shady business practices,” which made me gigglesnort. The car dealers are worried about shady business practices?

    I think my irony meter needs a recharge.

  17. 17
    Cervantes says:

    @the Conster: In the Boston area many hotels have them, too, in their parking garages.

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    There are a couple of charging stations near me. I never saw them used except one time in the two years they’ve been there. And then all of a sudden in the last few months I’ve seen cars there frequently. More electric cars?

  19. 19
    debit says:

    Meanwhile, I am seriously considering buying one of these when they come out. Not electric, but at 84 MPG and for less than $7000, very tempting. My car died a few weeks ago, but it’s not a chore for me to go car free for the summer (I do every year). Come winter, however, I’ll be looking at purchasing a car.

  20. 20
    Tommy says:

    I don’t what to totally out exactly where I live more then I have, but the local community college, which also has a rail line, got a huge grant from the state of IL and feds. They are putting in what they are calling “car parks.” Like a mini-covered parking area for a single car, with solar on top. A charging station under it.* Will be done in the next year. At least now, I am not sure there will be any charge to use it. First come first serve.

    Well and parking is free for the rail line anyway. Also they are putting in a bike path as we speak.

    I say this cause I do have hope things are changing. This community college, and I know it is cutting edge (big political name in the area behind it, wife of our former Congress person), wants to be 20% renewable by 2020.

    It is at this point I should note I live in a town of 5,700 people in rural IL. This community college is in a town of 45,000. Things are changing …..

    *The school already has about 15 of the above “stations” of the pic posted at the top, but about 1/3 the size.

  21. 21
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Liquor distributors, realtors, and car dealers are the holy trinity of state politics. Even more so, local poltics

    Mess with them, you’re toast.

  22. 22
    ceece says:

    Had the Nissan Leaf almost 3 years now. I charge overnight ($ 1.50) or at the fast charger at the dealership (free). Love that car. It’s not for long roadtrips, but it is awesome for every day use. Lots of cargo space, and drives like a Mini. Almost no maintenance costs either.

  23. 23
    Joey Giraud says:

    T@trollhattan:

    I’m betting that electric car charging is going to be done best by inductive means, like the cellphone charger pads that you don’t need to plug in. And there will be chargers everyplace there’s a parking meter.

    And maybe even solar cells on top of the car to help out, perhaps even little windmills. Just like Homer Simpsons’s dream car.

  24. 24
    Tommy says:

    @ceece: That is wonderful to hear. I own a, how to you say it, V6 VW Passat that I ordered from Germany in 2001 cause I wanted it manual (loophole of the engine not being “chipped” also). Well long story short it stuns me a car that can go 134 gets 28 MPG on the highway. Seat five six feet people.

    And yet me say it again, it is a 2001 model.

    I have just at 30,000 miles on the car cause when I first bought it I lived in DC and well, didn’t drive it much. Now I work for myself out of my house and drive it less.

    In a long winded way what I am getting at is if Ford is selling “Car X” this year. Just gas. It doesn’t go 130 plus. Isn’t shipped from Germany on a boat (as my car way). Don’t you think they might be able to somewhat better the fuel mileage I get on my car I bought in 2001?

  25. 25

    @KG:

    Which is why the short term solution may be plug in hybrids. If a car can get 50-100 miles of battery only rage on an overnight charge, this would cover most people’s daily car use. For anything over this range, such a car could run as a gas (or diesel) electric hybrid.

  26. 26
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    Hmm. Just googled electric car charging stations and there are 5 within 15 minutes of my house. I had no idea.

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    While we’re talking about cars, the self-driving cars cannot come soon enough for me. I enjoy driving, but every day and in traffic it becomes a chore. I’d much rather rest, sleep, read, work, do a crossword, whatever with that time and just wake up when the car gets me to my location.

    In locations without safe, easily accessible public transportation, self-driving cars will be a boon for seniors who want to stay in their homes, and could except for the transportation issue.

  28. 28
    Ruckus says:

    Had a long talk yesterday with a Tesla owner. He has driven long distance, knowing where the Tesla fast charge stations are. Stops for a coffee and adds 150 miles to his range. Stops for lunch and gets a full charge 200-240 miles. Car is beautiful, he says it works great, handles great, goes like you can’t believe. And he is used to very fast motorcycles, which is how we met. Cost is not cheap but not out of line with upper end cars, Mercs, BMW, Audi.
    Back to recharging. There are more charging stations than you might believe, Tesla is adding fast charging stations all over the place so the car is able to be driven pretty much anywhere with little down time. Yes it takes longer than getting gas but we’ve been doing that for decades so the infrastructure is mature and the effort/time thing is not that bad from my acquaintance’s story.

  29. 29
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    I use offsite long term parking when I fly. I love my little parking company, Canopy, they have wind and solar power and these are all over the lot.

    Juice Bar

    The whole place makes me smile. Of course none of that offsets my air travel footprint, but we do what we can.

  30. 30
    Scotius says:

    This is a brilliant move on Governor Christie’s part. I can’t think of a group of people more universally loved and admired in the US than car dealers. That should get his poll numbers back up.

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    @TaMara (BHF): How does that work if you leave your car for more than a day or so? Like if you’re on a week long trip, does your car hog that charging station or do they have some system where they rotate cars in and out so everyone’s gets charged? Seems great if your car is there for a day but less great if it’s there for a week or even several days.

  32. 32
    Ruckus says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy:
    Problem is that with a hybrid you have the worst of both worlds rather than the best of both. Not enough electric range because the engine/generator takes up room/weight/cost that could go to batteries for longer range, not enough power to run the car without the gas/diesel generator because of weight/cost compromises.
    It sounds good but doesn’t really answer the question, is electric a good useable source of power.

  33. 33
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @debit: The Elio is very cool … and affordable! Just now, I showed it to my nine-year-old grandson, who promptly pulled up this:

    http://www.core77.com/blog/tra....._23193.asp

    Also very cool – it runs on compressed air, costs approximately $10,000.

  34. 34
    Mrs. Skink says:

    @PaulW: I would think putting a charging station at a library is a perfect idea, charge your car while browsing the internet and the book section? Especially if the location is a bit out of the way.

  35. 35
    BubbaDave says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy:
    I’ve got a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi (plug-in hybrid). 21-23 miles range on wall power before I have to burn dinos. 55.7 MPG lifetime. I use gasoline about once a week– but I live 2.1 miles from work, so home->work->lunch->work->grocery store->home is under 12 miles. Does not suck. Took it on a 2500-mile round drip (driving from Dallas to Calumet, MI and back) and it was great.

    Plus, made in the US by UAW labor. Because good jobs for Americans matters. And I buy my electricity from Green Mountain, so all that juice is renewables. Basically, this car IS my hippie cred. ;-)

  36. 36
    trollhattan says:

    @Ruckus:

    They’re still head-turners even after a year or so of being around. Nice design.

    No chance I’m getting a ninety-large car but a lad can dream. Semi-related, Elon Musk has announced his Li-ion battery factory will be in a western state not named California, so we’re getting hosed on the vast tax-avoidance packages extended him to take over the NUMMI plant. Thanks a heap, Elon.

  37. 37
    Mark C says:

    Christie did not bar Tesla from selling cars in NJ anymore than the state bars Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Benz et. al. He just didn’t exempt them from the laws all other car manufactures must follow. Laws that have been on the books since long before Christie was born. That said, laws that require new cars to be sold exclusively through “independent” franchised dealers have long out-lived their usefulness and should be changed. But it’s hardly fair to grant Tesla a special exemption that gives them advantages not available to other OEMs. There have been a number of new brands (or re-introduced brands) that have been marketed in the US over the last 20 years or so (KIA, Mini, Fiat) and although they were owned by larger companies, they still had to go through the expensive painstaking process of building out dealerships. This barrier is likely why some small & large OEMs do not sell cars here. So the laws should be changed but not just for Tesla if your rationale is “free markets”.

  38. 38
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @trollhattan:
    He’s keeping it in the US – isn’t he? Progress is sometimes a matter of the perfect yielding to the good. Elon Musk could have had the batteries manufactured in China.

  39. 39
    kindness says:

    See, those states are ‘Free Markets’ as long as it is your own homies makin’ the bank. Otherwise it’s get the fuck out of here you hippie.

  40. 40
    Cervantes says:

    @Mrs. Skink: Your library has a book section?

  41. 41
    muddy says:

    The Post Office ought to have them.

  42. 42
    muddy says:

    The Post Office ought to have them.

  43. 43
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @muddy:
    That is one hell of a great idea. Maybe someone here knows if it could be done without involving our useless fucking Congress.

  44. 44
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @Violet: I don’t know. They are designated kind of like handicapped spaces, all in a row and it looks like more than one space is serviced by a station. They have concierge/valet services there, so maybe you give them a time and they plug you in before you return. For now, it looks like there are more stations than could possibly be electric cars parking there.

  45. 45
    kindness says:

    @Mark C: Wow I could have heard that from David Brooks.

    With Tesla the economy of scale doesn’t work with a dealer type situation.

  46. 46
    muddy says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I’m a constituent of Bernie Sanders, I’ll give them a call tomorrow. He’s very into Post Office issues.

  47. 47
    jon says:

    My girlfriend’s ex works at SpaceX and I went on an informal tour of their rocket factory in LA. I’m impressed with this Elon Musk guy. The comparison to a Bond villain? Apt, if you combine it with Lex Luthor and the Man of Bronze and Ozymandias, perhaps.

    Arizona is one of the states trying to get the Tesla battery factory, and like Texas (another of the four states in the running, the others being Nevada and New Mexico) doesn’t allow for direct sales outside of dealerships. That’s probably going to lose it for us. New Mexico needs the jobs, so I’ll be happy if they win if we don’t.

    As for the Tesla cars, I’d love one. But I’ll wait for the next generation models where he says a sedan in the $30K range is a possibility. I know a Leaf or Volt will work for me, too. Of course, what I really want is an electric bicycle. I also want a lifestyle that would let such a thing be used enough to make the purchase worthwhile, but with the oldest child someday soon driving that’s a possibility.

  48. 48
    jon says:

    @Ruckus: Seems to work okay for locomotives, which might soon become the manly vehicles of choice for people like Arnold Schwartzeneggar.

  49. 49
    Origuy says:

    The McDonalds near my house was completely rebuilt a couple of years ago and they added one or two charging stations. Where I work has a few, and the owners are supposed to coordinate so that they don’t hog the chargers all day.

  50. 50
    Ruckus says:

    @jon:
    Locomotives aren’t plug in hybrids. They have diesel generators and electric motors.
    A car like the Volt would be better if it used a small diesel generator and electric motor. Diesel is more efficient than gas, especially at study load. But then you should know that in Europe there are a lot of small diesel cars that get better than 50mpg, some up to 80mpg. So what would the point be of having the electric motor and battery with that?

  51. 51
    SatanicPanic says:

    What the fuck? Can’t sell cars because he doesn’t want to go through dealers? What kind of bullshit is that? Fucking free market is just like the Bible with these people- means whatever is convenient

  52. 52
    Cain says:

    @Ruckus:

    I test drove a Tesla, and I’m very seriously looking at purchasing one. I would never normally buy such an expensive car, but it’s such a great experience coupled with the fact that it is green technology and teh superchargers pretty much lets me drive anywhere for free. If I were to buy an equivalent I would be paying $$ for premium gas and what not.

  53. 53
    bin Lurkin' says:

    @jon: I’ve been on an electric bike for a couple of years now, I put my own system together with a recumbent bike I already had and an add on electric hub motor/controller/battery kit..

    A couple of pictures of my “Grocery Getter I”, I’m working on “Grocery Getter II” now, should be finished in a couple of weeks or so, just in time for spring. have about 4,500 miles on GGI right now and I’m incorporating the lessons I have learned on my next machine.

    http://s13.postimg.org/gfw0v0k.....tter_1.jpg

    http://s13.postimg.org/8ofawgg.....tter_2.jpg

    http://s13.postimg.org/ci8r5lx.....tter_3.jpg

    The bike is uber comfortable, cruises at 20 mph with a little pedaling going up hills and I can carry a week’s worth of groceries and a 20 lb bag of dog food in the trailer with no problems..

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @PaulW:

    Can trucks convert to battery-charged engines?

    As Cervantes said, not for long haul work, but there’s some hope for shorter distances. ISTR there was a discussion of replacing diesel trucks with electric ones to reduce emissions at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. My impression is that they do a lot of short trips interspersed with idling, which is the best case for electric vehicles.

  55. 55
    Cervantes says:

    @Roger Moore:

    a discussion of replacing diesel trucks with electric ones to reduce emissions at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

    Here, for example.

  56. 56
    dollared says:

    @SatanicPanic: Yup. Christie wants Tesla to play on a level playing field. That’s good. Fuck Tesla. Those entitled Silicon Valley pricks can franchise a local dealer just like everybody else.

  57. 57
    dollared says:

    And MM, you’re getting played by a bunch of libertarians. Just so you know.

    Next, can you flog us with the UberX campaign to free us all from insurance and safety requirements in taxis?

  58. 58
    dollared says:

    @kindness: Bullshit. All they have to do is franchise a local dealer. It can be a 7-11. But the point is that they have to operate like everyone else, and empower someone in the local community, rather than control the entire process vertically from California. This isn’t hard, this is just libertarians in action.

  59. 59
    trollhattan says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    True, but get a load of the depth of California’s investment in the company.

    Of course, Tesla founder Elon Musk and the others who run Tesla can move their operations wherever they see fit. That’s the American way.

    But California has plenty of green invested in Tesla Motors; policymakers ought to think hard about the incentives they provide private enterprise.

    It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that Tesla might not exist without California. The Legislature has passed numerous environmental laws that have all but forced auto manufacturers to produce electric vehicles.

    Wealthy Californians with environmentalist sensibilities purchase more than their share of Tesla’s products – about one-third.

    And it’s important that the state has been generous with its tax dollars.

    In December 2009, an obscure arm of the California treasurer’s office, the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority, approved a sales tax exemption for Tesla’s purchase of manufacturing equipment that is expected to save Tesla $31 million.

    In January 2012, Tesla finalized a second agreement with the authority that would result in $24 million in tax savings. In December 2013, Tesla struck yet another deal with the authority that will save it $35 million.

    The California Energy Commission has awarded Tesla $10 million to manufacturing its Model X at the Fremont factory. California’s Employment Training Panel spent $648,000 to help train Tesla workers.

    Through California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, the California Air Resources Board has given $2,500 rebates to more than 3,000 Tesla buyers, amounting to $8.6 million.

    Exactly why Tesla decided to build its battery factory outside California is not clear. A company spokesman sent an email to The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board saying: “No comment at this time. However, please note that a location has not been finalized.”

    http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/.....rylink=cpy

  60. 60
    Cervantes says:

    @dollared:

    But the point is that they have to operate like everyone else, and empower someone in the local community, rather than control the entire process vertically from California.

    If operating like everyone else is the issue, why not give all manufacturers the option not to use local dealerships? Would that approach bring any benefits? Meanwhile, what do local dealers contribute?

  61. 61
    trollhattan says:

    @Cervantes:

    IIRC the beer distributors had a similar anti-competitive structure until noted free market capitalist Jimmy Carter did away with it. Would be fine with me if car distributorships met a similar fate.

  62. 62
    OliverD says:

    The public charging stations aren’t that big a deal for electric car owners. I just plug my Nissan Leaf into a standard outlet in my garage overnight. I could cough up a $1,000 or so for a home charging station that will charge 2x faster, but so far haven’t needed it.

    Here in Georgia (shockingly), EV buyers get a $5,000 state tax credit and can drive in the highway carpool lanes. Between the $12,500 (state & federal) tax credits plus savings on fuel, oil changes, etc,, the Leaf made financial sense for my first-ever lease of a new car.

  63. 63
    jon says:

    Car dealerships could easily shift their businesses toward maintenance and the delivery of all sorts of vehicles if there was a better distribution system that didn’t constantly lead to the need for Incredible Price Slashing! and other forms of Insanity! Hire more drivers and fewer of those idiots who nod their heads when the salesmen visit them to get a new deal in the negotiation process (actually they’re discussing their golf game or their kid’s school plays before they come back with the same deal at a different price,) and they’ll survive.

  64. 64
    catclub says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Andrew Tobias says insurance agents are a fourth member of the quartet. Car dealers, Liquor Distributors, Realtors, Insurance Agents. All extremely well represented at state capitols.

  65. 65
    JoyfulA says:

    @jon: Electric bicycles don’t work on hills like we’ve got around here, DH learned.

  66. 66
    catclub says:

    @Ruckus: “some up to 80mpg”

    this is what riles me about that Elio. It gets a fabulous 84mpg, and is a single person vehicle.
    But diesels in Europe are already getting nearly that for 2 or 4 people.

  67. 67
    Cervantes says:

    @trollhattan: I’m not sure what Carter action you’re referring to. I know that in 1978 he signed the following into law (HR 1337):

    Allows any adult (formerly only heads of families) to produce wine and beer for personal and family use and not for sale without incurring the wine or beer excise taxes or any penalties for quantities per calendar year of: (1) 200 gallons if there are two or more adults in the household and (2) 100 gallons if there is only one adult in the household.

    Beyond that I am not sure — what “anti-competitive structure” is it that you think President Carter “did away with”?

    (Erik Kain once posted an article here at Balloon Juice asserting that “[in] 1979, Carter deregulated the beer industry.” That was … a very broad assertion based on … something he had read somewhere.)

  68. 68
    Peter says:

    The charging situation is a big part of why I feel so conflicted about buying an electric vehicle. I want to support the electric vehicle market, but as things stand they’re just so much less practical. Sure, faster and more common charging stations are going to be a thing in the future, but who knows how soon that’ll be? Or, in the case of faster stations, if they’ll be compatible with my battery.

    I imagine as things are I’d opt for a plug-in hybrid, so I have the option of burning fossilized plankton if I need to or if I need to make a longer trip.

    (Although naturally, this is purely an academic discussion since I’m nowhere near the financial situation of being able to afford a new car)

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    @JoyfulA:
    I sold electric bikes in my store.
    Like everything else there are cheap underpowered ones and ones that are not. The good ones were about twice the price of the cheap ones but are much better made and had the power to work in NorCal. A good shop will/would not try to sell you a bike that didn’t work where you live and what you intend to use it for.
    We had customers who commuted with their electric bikes and most of them tried the cheap ones first and found out there is a minimum power/cost/quality equation to use one realistically. Pretty much like every other form of transportation. There is also a reasonable and an unreasonably high equation. Do you need a Ferrari to drive to work in traffic? Do you regularly carry 6-8 people everywhere?

  70. 70
    Ruckus says:

    @Peter:
    Google electric car charging stations.
    When you are ready to purchase do this again.

  71. 71
    Chris T. says:

    @Roger Moore: A company called Wrightspeed (started by a guy named Ian Wright) is building hybrid battery/microturbine drive-trains for local-transport trucks (things like FedEx/UPS delivery trucks and garbage trucks for instance). Basically gives you 3 to 4 times the mileage.

    They don’t build the trucks, just power-trains for them.

  72. 72
    dollared says:

    @Cervantes: They provide a local retail presence that provides support and repairs to vehicles in which consumers have made a major investment.

    This a traditional area that has been regulated. If you would like to free all auto manufacturers from this requirement, learn the reasons why it exists and provide reasonable solutions to the problems that these laws (which exist in nearly every state) are meant to solve.

  73. 73
    dollared says:

    @Chris T.: 4 times the mileage would violate the laws of physics. Most hybrids can achieve 30% improvement through recapture of drivetrain energy.

  74. 74
    Mark C says:

    @kindness: There are several high-end brands that sell less than 25 percent of Tesla’s volume that have dealers. The dealer model was originally established to save the OEM’s the expense of having to build-out showrooms & maintenance facilities. It’s been a common practice for dealerships to have multiple brands and it’s easy to imagine a Bentley/Lexus/BMW/Benz dealer having a dedicated Tesla showroom.

  75. 75
    Cervantes says:

    @dollared: In other words, it’s always been done this way and you can’t explain why?

    Here are my questions again: Why not give all manufacturers the option not to contract with local dealerships? Would that approach bring any benefits? Meanwhile, what do local dealers contribute that cannot be provided directly by a willing manufacturer?

  76. 76
    willard says:

    @Tommy: Crash test standards. Compare the weight of your vehicle with those for sale now. IIHS keeps raising the bar, requiring more high strength steel. Most of it is complete bullshit.

  77. 77
    PaulW says:

    @trollhattan:

    If Chrysler can bring back the PT Cruiser as a full electric, I would so buy it.

  78. 78
    PaulW says:

    @Mrs. Skink:

    Thing is, you want the chargers to be in locations where the majority of drivers will know to go, such as existing gas stations or popular eateries along the major highways/interstates.

    As for trucks being unable to go electric anytime soon, I kinda figured the weight issue was a major block…

  79. 79
    PaulW says:

    @Cervantes:

    Your library has a book section?

    Yes. And some of them are titled “Last of the Grapefruit Wars”, “Strangely Funny”, and “Mardi Gras Murder”. You should support your local library and check out some reading materials today!

    P.S. most libraries also use Overdrive for eBook lending, available on ALL eReader tablets.

  80. 80
    debit says:

    @catclub: It’s a two person vehicle, actually. The second person sits directly behind the driver.

  81. 81
    Cervantes says:

    @Mark C:

    There are several high-end brands that sell less than 25 percent of Tesla’s volume that have dealers. The dealer model was originally established to save the OEM’s the expense of having to build-out showrooms & maintenance facilities.

    Sure, but what if we have a manufacturer who does not want to be saved that expense?

    It’s been a common practice for dealerships to have multiple brands and it’s easy to imagine a Bentley/Lexus/BMW/Benz dealer having a dedicated Tesla showroom.

    Sure, we can imagine that.

    We can also remember that (for example) Apple used to rely on stores that sold multiple brands — until they concluded that they were being very poorly served by such stores. Since its inception, Apple Retail has won just about every award and accolade there is in retail, not merely in computer retail.

    The question that follows is obvious.

  82. 82
    dollared says:

    I repeat: this is basic consumer protection. People invest in a car that is often equal in value to their net worth, they want skilled, dedicated support and repair facilities nearby. That’s why closing dealerships is so difficult.

    You find an equivalent solution that Tesla will sign up for (hahahahahaha…..), then apply those new rules to all car manufacturers, and you’re in business.

    So far you’ve just been begging for Tesla to get a measurable market advantage over its competitors with no provision for consumer protection. Like any “libertarian” lobbyist.

  83. 83
    dollared says:

    @Cervantes: And this is just like the Monsanto campaign to label all people opposed to their business practices ” anti-GMO” and by UberX and Lyft to label all people interested in sustainable, safe transportation that serves all people at all hours with predictable pricing “anti=technology.”

    It’s just pro-business astro-turfing trying to enlist pro-technology liberals into advocating for libertarian businesses. For free.

  84. 84
    Mark C says:

    @Cervantes:

    As I originally stated, all OEMs should have the option of retailing their cars in whatever way they feel is best. I just object to Tesla getting special rules that only apply to them.

  85. 85
    bin Lurkin' says:

    @JoyfulA: Unlike animals not all “electric bikes” are equal. At this juncture electric bikes are only really just starting to be developed beyond “cheap Chinese junk” and I’m not talking about the sailing vessel.

    There are indeed electric bikes that can handle even very steep hills but for the most part they aren’t available on the American market except as a kit you add to an existing bike. One quite expensive commercial product made in the USA that will handle steep hills is the Optibike. Optibikes had won numerous Pikes Peak Hill climbs until last year when a home built $1600 ebike won, crushing numerous $13,000 Optibikes (you can actually build a better bike from a kit than you can buy still and for a lot less money).

  86. 86
    Ruckus says:

    @dollared:
    You do know that you sound like a car dealer don’t you?
    As suggested above maybe Tesla wanted their customers to have a better sales/use experience than a multiple line dealer normally provides. I leased new cars from 1985 till 2003, every 2-3 years. I was for a decade during that time, in charge of a small fleet of trucks as well, from purchasing, service to disposal. My experience with dealers leaves me to believe that the majority have to be dealt with as very untrustworthy. Not all for sure but most.
    Now back to the issue, why shouldn’t Tesla ask for an exception for themselves? Because it cuts into a dealers profit? Even a company store would have local employees so it really is a case here of profits for local patronage. The idea that a local dealer provides better service/protection for the customer is laughable on it’s face.

  87. 87
    pacem appellant says:

    @ceece: I take issue with the Mini comparison. My previous car was a 2006 Mini Cooper S, and my current car is a 2013 Nissan Leaf. They do not drive comparably, though that hasn’t stopped me from trying (to my spouse’s consternation). All that said, I love the Leaf. Gets me to work, and and back, and since I live in the Gay Area, charging stations abound (though, weirdly, are scarce on the peninsula). Last weekend I drove from South Bay to Walnut Creek for a conference, bringing the charge to ~20%. But the hotel had free charging! The infrastructure is getting there, and there are businesses now (like that hotel, like my employer) who cater to EV drivers and offer free charging.

    Anything can change, but in 2 years, I’ll bet Toyota’s CEO is going to to be eating crow for predicting the downfall of Telsa and the electrics. (They’re throwing their next-gen R&D into fuel cells, fyi.)

  88. 88
    Chris T. says:

    @dollared: I’m not the one making the claim. This does say “cost equivalent” so there’s a lot of wiggle room, but:

    Wrightspeed has retrofitted an Isuzu NPR with their Route™ powertrain. The NPR holds 70% of the world’s cab-forward box truck market. With its conventional diesel powertrain, the NPR averaged about 12 miles per gallon in testing with a metro drive cycle. With the Route™, under the same test conditions, Wrightspeed measured 44 miles per gallon (on a cost equivalent basis), a more than 300% improvement.

    (link)

  89. 89
    dollared says:

    @Chris T.: Got it. I think we’re talking about a mix of greater efficiency and a fuel substitution effect. For example, natural gas, per BTU, can be 1/3 the cost of gasoline.

    It sounds great, so hopefully it’s not all hype.

    If you want to see a bunch of good engineering commentary on new vehicle innovation, I recommend http://www.greencarcongress.com.

  90. 90
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus:

    You do know that you sound like a car dealer don’t you?

    Not a particularly convincing one, either.

    Oh, well. Takes all sorts to make the world go around.

  91. 91
    Cervantes says:

    @dollared:

    I repeat: this is basic consumer protection.

    Wait, you’re arguing that car dealers protect consumers? Try this Google search for “car dealership” and “consumer protection.” (Out of an excess of fairness, I’ve excluded used car dealers.) See more than 200,000 results? Tell me, what sort of “basic consumer protection” do you observe in the first, say, 10,000 results?

    People invest in a car that is often equal in value to their net worth, they want skilled, dedicated support and repair facilities nearby. That’s why closing dealerships is so difficult.

    Who’s talking about closing dealerships?

    And if people aren’t satisfied with whatever meager and sub-standard support and repair options Tesla wants to offer directly, then they can instead freely buy some other car from the most consumer-protecty dealership in town, yes?

    You find an equivalent solution that Tesla will sign up for (hahahahahaha…..), then apply those new rules to all car manufacturers, and you’re in business.

    “Sign up for”? What do you mean?

    The only new rule I’ve been talking about is to give all manufacturers the option of selling directly instead of via a dealer.

    So far you’ve just been begging for Tesla to get a measurable market advantage over its competitors with no provision for consumer protection. Like any “libertarian” lobbyist.

    Two things: (1) What is this “measurable market advantage”? Can you explain? And (2) Who’s been begging for anything?

  92. 92
    Cervantes says:

    @dollared:

    And this is just like the Monsanto campaign to label all people opposed to their business practices ” anti-GMO” and by UberX and Lyft to label all people interested in sustainable, safe transportation that serves all people at all hours with predictable pricing “anti=technology.”

    I have no idea what meaning you’re trying to convey here. See that first “this”? What does it refer to?

    It’s just pro-business astro-turfing trying to enlist pro-technology liberals into advocating for libertarian businesses. For free.

    Again, I have no idea what you’re getting at, sorry.

  93. 93
    Cervantes says:

    @Mark C:

    As I originally stated, all OEMs should have the option of retailing their cars in whatever way they feel is best.

    We agree.

    I just object to Tesla getting special rules that only apply to them.

    We agree again.

    You probably know more about the subject than I do, so here are two questions: (1) Is Tesla asking for the rules to be changed equally for all manufacturers or would they object to that? And (2) What, if anything, have other manufacturers said (lately) about these rules? Are they lobbying for any sort of change?

    (Thank you.)

Comments are closed.