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Commented On: Tesla's Musk Promises Deep Dive Into Electric-Car Emissions

Green Car Reports 0 Views 67 comments
Discussing Zehner is a complete waste of time.

The DOE, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Sierra Club have all been following all of the EV studies for years (including the older 2010 one Zehner cherry-picks from) and they are all solidly behind the environmental benefits of vehicle electrification. In fact USC and SC pointed out some of Zehner's errors.

Second, it doesn't matter. Very few people buy cars based on their environmental friendliness. That criteria comes in last based on surveys of EV owners as to their reasons for buying.

EV opponents attack this angle because 1. they THINK it is the only reason to buy an EV, and 2. it is the most complicated EV advantage, so it is the easiest to raise doubts about.

Commented On: How We Became An All-Plug-In Electric Car Household

Green Car Reports 0 Views 46 comments
Definitely. We LOVED our Prius when we first got it. We HATE it now, even though it's now a PHEV (but a weak one where the engine comes on if you drive with traffic). In fact we don't drive it anymore; our son is leasing it from us.

My wife and I both went electric in 2009, a few months after trying our first EV. Gas cars feel broken now. EVs are so much nicer! It seems most EV skeptics miss that point (because they haven't driven one).

Commented On: Conquering Electric-Car Range Anxiety: A Complete Guide

Green Car Reports 0 Views 21 comments
Thanks for picking up on my article and starting a discussion, Antony. Yes, I'll give the press a pass for discussing range anxiety when they are trying to help. :-)

My post was long (there is a slightly shorter one on the Plug In America web site now at because the fear is multi-causal, but my intended point was short:

There is no reason to ever have range anxiety. There are a million easy ways to avoid driving an all-electric car near the edge of its range, including buying a PHEV instead of a BEV (but I gave plenty of alternatives even if you buy a BEV). It's dead simple to drive electric most of the time, and use gas for long trips.

Drive electric!

Commented On: Ordering Eco Trim: Gas Savings, But No More Resale Value

Green Car Reports 0 Views 4 comments
Yeah, what John said.

Plus, I think part of the problem is that the differences are too small, so used-car buyers are not going out of their way to seek these differences out.

If you look where the mpg difference is large - say between a 2006 Jetta, gas vs. TDI - you do find a large resale value difference. People are willing to pay a sizable premium for a TDI, despite the fact that it is a little slower than the gas version.

Commented On: Green Car Buyers Need 4-Year Payback, Says Ford

Green Car Reports 0 Views 5 comments
The punchline is that EVs *do* pay for themselves. For example, over 10 years I'd spend $51,165 if I bought a Ford Focus Titanium including gas, maintenance, taxes. That assumes constant $4 gas. If I bought a Focus EV, I'd only spend $47,935, including maintenance, electricity, EVSE, and a new battery--at which point the EV's resale value would be far above that of the Titanium. And I don't have to "wait" for the "payback" unless I pay cash--if I lease or buy on credit like most Americans, I subtract the fuel savings from the very first month.

The EV is smoother, quieter, has better throttle response, and has more equipment. And this is despite Ford not trying--they are converting a gas car in very small quantities, which is expensive.

Commented On: Green Car Buyers Need 4-Year Payback, Says Ford

Green Car Reports 0 Views 5 comments
With gas cars, people pay extra for all sorts of options. The ONLY feature that has "payback" calculated is the "green" option. "Green" is so unpleasant that most drivers will only take it if it pays for itself.

This makes sense for gas cars. To make a gas car green, you have to get it to use less gas. You reduce weight by making it smaller and removing content; reduce drag by streamlining it (which doesn't have to make it ugly, but often does), and put in a smaller engine, which makes more noise and produces less power. A green gas car is a lesser car.

But larger electric motors are MORE efficient. Electric drive is smooth, quiet, torquey, responsive--features gas drivers pay extra for! Better cars don't have to "pay for themselves".

Commented On: Consumer Reports Hates 2012 Mitsubishi I’s Range: Is It Right?

Green Car Reports 0 Views 15 comments
Consumer Reports insists on rating BEVs as if it's the only car owners have available. Imagine if they rated the Miata that way.

All the single-car families with a plug-in that I know have a PHEV. Families with BEVs have a another (gas) car available. So they can still get anywhere they want, without waiting for a charge. They just have to swap cars on special needs days. Like every two-car family swaps cars when they have a sports car/minivan/pickup truck/family sedan/commuter hatchback. My wife has done this for years, and it's dead simple.

The only thing you have to do is pick pick a BEV with enough range so that you don't have to switch constantly. 62 miles won't work for everybody, but it will work for quite a few.

Commented On: 2008-2011 Tesla Roadster: Should You Buy One, And For How Much?

Green Car Reports 0 Views 3 comments
All of the old 2-speed transmissions were replaced by Tesla, so any car you'll find on the market has a single speed.

Commented On: 2008-2011 Tesla Roadster: Should You Buy One, And For How Much?

Green Car Reports 0 Views 3 comments
The Model S is of course much more practical.

But I've been driving a Roadster as a daily driver for 2.5 years. It's very easy to drive for short trips, and quite comfortable and smooth for long road trips. And of course it's great fun to drive on a deserted, twisty mountain road.

The only downsides are that you have to kind of "climb out" of the car, and there's not a lot of storage space--the trunk is pretty small. (I added a hitch so I can carry a bike rack or an extra cargo box). If you can live with those downsides, and can afford one, I highly recommend it.

Tesla's VP of service promised that more stuff will come out for the Roadster--charging adapters, extended warranty, smartphone app, etc.

Commented On: Stick-Shifts Are Back, But Automatics Give Best Gas Mileage

Green Car Reports 0 Views 13 comments
Back when I drove gas cars, I always preferred manuals. Cheaper, more fun to drive (because of the extra control over the powerband), AND better mpg in those days. The only downside was harder driving in stop-n-go traffic.

Like a lot of auto enthusiasts, I thought I would miss shifting when I went to an electric vehicle with no gears to change. But I didn't lose the control I feared. You still have the same control in an electric, it's just in the extremely responsive accelerator now. In fact, it's way better--there is no need to downshift when you want to accelerate suddenly!
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