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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It always amazes me the insistence of folks on these huge range
requirements. For the typical commute, it is illogical to make this a

To me, it is like taking your entire refrigerator back and
forth to work with you every day, when all you need to actually carry
is a lunch bag.

A smart manufacturer would come out with a sensible EV with,
say, 75 miles range at a reasonable price, then offer a "pig pack"
option so they could advertise 350 miles range. The consumer would
then be given the economic choice directly. You can have a $15,000
practical commuter that goes 75 miles. Then they get to pony up for
the $50,000 option so you can go 350 miles (then give up the trunk
and have it handle like an overloaded water truck.) NO ONE would buy
the optional battery pack because it makes no sense.

The consumer would say to the cost of the optional pig pack
"That is crazy! It would be nuts to spend an extra $50,000 when you
can simply plug it the car in your garage daily instead." "The
salesman would reply, "Yes sir. That is a very sensible decision you
have made."

Bill Dube'

At 09:29 AM 9/7/2007, you wrote:
jerryd wrote:
> > Sorry to disagree with you but batteries
> > are not the problem, decent low drag, weight gliders are.
> > With a built as EV glider you need a
> > smaller battery pack and get much more range, acceleration
> > per $. And this is with reg t105's!! And easy to get 100
> > mile range!
>Can you point me to some examples of kit-based EVs (in the EV album or
>elsewhere) that have demonstrated decent performance, are appointed with
>trim and safety features like a production automobile, seat 4 people and
>have 100-mile range at highway speed, on lead-acid? I can't remember
>ever seeing one. And as I will argue, it would be the utter minimum of
>acceptability for the mainstream, as people can already buy these
>qualities with much better range, in a $3000 used Honda Civic.
>I agree we could improve the prospects for a lead-powered EV "a little"
>by starting with a super-light aerodynamic kit car. But at what cost
>(safety, durability, build quality, etc)? How long has it been since
>you've picked up an automotive magazine and read the reviews, all the
>little niggling details (cheap plastics, car door doesn't sound right
>when it closes, etc) that determine a car's sales fate in the US market?
> > For instance the GM Volt could be built
> > right now with lead batts with a 40 mile range before
> > needing the gas motor.
>And if it had no gasoline engine (setting the PHEV topic to the side for
>this discussion), no one but us EV zealots would even think of buying
>I have a bit of a first-hand connection to this topic, as I've recently
>started a small business here with a friend, to do conversions. At the
>moment we're not really ready for prime time and we have a very minimal
>website put up with just some basic information and a contact form. Even
>though we're not really advertising it very much, we've gotten quite a
>lot of requests for more information. More than we were expecting,
>really, and from pretty far and wide.
>At the moment, we don't have much on the website to set people's
>expectations about what lead-powered conversions are capable of ... that
>they're not general purpose vehicles, they're "commuter cars". I agree
>that this is unwise and we're currently collaborating on some verbiage
>to post to explain the situation, but in the meantime it's actually been
>a good opportunity to see what people want, without being "coached" into
>giving a request that's "reasonable to us."
>Most of the requests we get demand at least 100 to 150 miles of range.
>At 70mph, with A/C (we're in Central Texas, this is a must for most
>people). The range requirement is typically the first thing mentioned.
>"I need a [whatever car type] that can go 150 miles on the freeway,
>seats four and has good A/C". And, folks genuinely think they're being
>conservative and open-minded, since their gas car can do 300 miles
>between trips to the gas station, and they can fill up in 2 minutes!
>When I then have to tell them that a typical conversion gets about 40
>miles on lead-acid, and that to do 150 they'll need lithium (at an
>enormous price increase, easily doubling the price of the project), we
>lose most people's interest pretty quickly. Despite mentioning the usual
>tips like "charging at work" and "using it for commutes and errands".
>People come to us excited to have found a way to do the right thing, and
>then all the wind gets kicked out of their sails. "40 miles? That's
>just not enough."
>There isn't *one* problem. There are several. People are unwilling to
>change their lifestyles or reduce their convenience for an important
>cause. People are generally unwilling to consider trying new things.
>Part of what makes us a community is that we're a little different from
>most people -- we are willing to mold our lifestyles around our
>vehicles' requirements, because we believe in it as a cause, or just
>because we think EVs are fun and worth the trouble. But the biggest
>problem is most certainly, and always has been, the battery technology
>that forces us to impose this set of compromises.
>People don't want a 10% improvement over what's possible with lead acid.
>They want a 300-400% improvement. People don't want to have to replace
>their expensive battery pack every few years -- they don't currently
>have to disconnect and replace their fuel tanks, why should they? People
>don't want lithium batteries that are a "little" cheaper. It seems most
>people won't consider lithium until it costs a third of what it does
>Gradually, the battery problems are being resolved, though progress is
>slow. But to get people to expect less from their cars, especially here
>in the US -- you're not fighting to change a person's mind; you're
>fighting to change an entire culture. That can and does happen, but it
>takes a lot of pressure, and it makes the pace of battery technology
>improvement seem fast in comparison.
>In the meantime, I have to accept that our market is a very small one
>comprising the very wealthy with money to throw at curious whims, and a
>few extraordinarily dedicated people like ourselves. And that I really
>need some more explanatory info on our website to filter out those who
>have not been, and will not be, indoctrinated that the current state of
>BEVs is acceptable.
>Christopher Robison
>[email protected]
> <-- 1999 Isuzu Hombre + Z2K + Warp13!
>For subscription options, see

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