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Electric cars, mostly by Tesla, make more news but will need more batteries

Tesla-SElon Musk is confident he can soon produce a 200 mile range electric car with a price tag of $35,000, not far from the average price of a car bought in the US. With his supercharger stations giving the necessary infrastructure, it could be the breakthrough to making electric cars an everyday reality. He’s going to need more batteries, though, more than the entire laptop industry uses, and that means more factories to produce them.

Tesla faces some competition at the luxury end.  Until now its products have had a clear run for rich customers prepared to pay for a high-performance clean car.  Soon, though, there’s to be an i3 from BMW, a B-class EV from Mercedes, and Cadillac’s plug-in hybrid ELR.  Fortunately for Tesla, none of them will match its performance. The i3’s range will be 100 miles, with 0-60 in 7 seconds, while the ELR will have only 35 miles on electric power and 0-60 in 8 seconds.  Against them Tesla’s Model S wins hands down with 265 mile range and 0-60 in 4 seconds, plus free supercharging.  Tesla is simply ahead on the technology of electric cars.

A report reveals that 5 major US cities contain half the electric cars on US roads. Some 52% are based in San Francisco (19.5%), Los Angeles (15.4%), Seattle (8%), New York (4.6%) and Atlanta (4.4%).  It’s partly limited range that means cities are their main habitat, but it’s also incentives.  Tax breaks and access to carpool lanes seem to make a difference that other states and cities are bound to notice.

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2 Responses

  1. And leaving aside battery efficiency and life and time to charge because we are told these are just a matter of a bit more thought, investment and wishing really hard and will be right along with a perpetual motion machine delayed for the same reasons… who will build/pay for the additional grid infrastructure and generating capacity (not least to power all those battery factories), and, er, where will the electricity come from?

    Go on make me laugh ”renewables” right, like windmills and solar and wood chips from felled trees in Western USA transported over ten thousand miles by sea.

    If say, 20% of all cars in the UK ran on electricity, I wonder what additional energy input would be required to produce the electricity to replace the equivalent amount of energy supplied to those cars by petrol or Diesel?

    What exactly is the advantage?

    Rule No 1: there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

  2. My best guess is that we’ll build more gas-fired power stations (cleaner than coal or oil) to power electric cars (cleaner than petrol or diesel), and we’ll probably buy the batteries from abroad.

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