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Despite 'range anxiety,' electric vehicle owners happy

Original post made on Nov 22, 2011

Quiet enough to sneak past a librarian, a trio of electric cars parked in front of the library on Nov.12 for perhaps the first car show ever organized by a book club.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 9:29 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Gene Cavanaugh
a resident of Willowgate
on Nov 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Daniel DeBolt says the Xebra has had wheel bearings replaced and two battery replacements in "8000 miles" and the owner is happy with it?
I would be furious! Perhaps he meant 80,000 miles? Still not very good, but I suppose acceptable.

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Posted by Ditchner
a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2011 at 12:32 am

I got my leaf in May. I'm told it was on the ship that sailed just before the earthquake. At first I experimented in extreme electron saving behavior to get an idea of a max range. Driving on relatively flat roads at speeds no greater than 45 I was able to extract an approximate range of 130 miles one warm summer day in Benicia. Conversely, driving like I do in my Audi TT, I get as little as 60 miles. I rarely go more than 40 so my anxiety level is zero. Yes, I kept the TT to avoid getting trapped but now drive it so infrequently I've had to resort to jumper cables twice!

In addition to the federal tax credit and the state rebate there is a tax credit for any electrical work you do and the Blink 220 charger/installation comes free thanks to another program.

Ironically, my wife and I are not the most conservative utility customers. Our PG&E bills were already $300+/mo and adding a juice hungry 24kwh battery to the mix just piles another 350 kwh on top at the highest rates. It's not pretty. My May bill went up $150 for about 900 miles of use.

PG&E has two mail programs for electric cars. The first gives you an attractive rate in non-peak hours (after midnight) which is fine for the car but unless you use most of your electricity after midnight doing laundry, etc. then you may be paying more during peak hours than you are now, depending on your current plan. For me it would have meant higher day rates and probably would have been worse than doing nothing.

But, their 2nd plan(E-9B)was quite the opposite. It requires that you split/upgrade your electric service and add a 2nd meter. The cost of this work, for me, was $2000 for an electrician, $250 for the meter + city permit. I was fortunate that our 200 amp system was judged adequate by PG&E meaning we didn't have to upgrade and involve them for anything other than service cutoff and restart which are free. If they have to do anything else it can get costly and might make it impossible for some.

Since the installation of the 2nd meter and the charger I've averaged 1000 miles/month at a whopping cost of $16.00/mo using TT driving habits. The kwh rate at non peak is less than five cents. That's a savings of $134 from my May bill so the payback won't take long.

So, imagine a car that never has to stop at a gas station, ever, that costs $15/mo to operate, never needs an oil change, feels like an amusement ride when you punch it, and streams your current playlist from your bluetooth phone just seconds after you turn it on. Needless to say, I love this car! The Human Side of Twitter

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Posted by JPWhite
a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:33 am

A good article describing a wide range of EV's from the quirky to the sporty.

As a LEAF owner in Tennessee I read with horror the peak electric rates paid by homeowners in CA. I think I am being ripped off at 9c KwH while those in rural counties around me pay 6/7 c KwH. Those rates are the same day or night. Not having TOU rates is going to backfire if EV's take off in appreciable numbers. EV owners should be encouraged to charge at night when usage is otherwise low.

I have put 4,500 miles on my LEAF in 4 months and am enjoying the vehicle very much. Only 5 journeys were out of its range in this time, and thanks to the installation of chargers one of the those trips is now possible with the LEAF. Things will only get better for EV owners as gas prices rise and charging stations get deployed.

EV's are the future of motoring. Once you have driven one fora week or two going back to a conventional car is unpleasant. It's like going back to dial-up after enjoying broadband, the driving experience is that much better. Plus it's cheaper to drive.

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Posted by Brad
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Does anyone ever stop and ask where the electricity comes from that charges your car? Oh, not your problem? What a perfect fit for the self-righteous not-in-my-backyard progressive people of Mountain View.

Somehow burning coal hundreds of miles away from your car, and transforming that into stored energy in one of the least efficient transmissions of energy possible, is being "green."

Burning coal in Stockton is better than burning gasoline in Mountain View!

Don't ask them how much it will cost to charge up, or for that matter, turn on the TV, when everyone has a battery car, as they would like to see happen. I forgot, they don't watch TV or even have a TV.

Isn't this the same state that has rolling brown-outs due to a failing grid and no new power plants being built because it will destroy the owls' natural habitat? Where is all this new capacity going to come from?

All I know is that I feel so smug when I ride my bike past a battery car driver. Those people are such polluters, OMG!

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Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm

There is virtually no coal-generated electricity in PG&E's power mix. Night time electricity is mostly nuclear, geothermal, wind and natural gas-generated.

There are lots of new power plants being built in California. Most of them are solar, which helps provide power near the summer peak loads that occur in the late afternoon.

The rolling brownouts of 10 years ago were entirely the result of market manipulation that followed on the heels of a poorly designed deregulation of the utility market.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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