Bill Ford Sends Mixed Messages About Electric Cars

By · March 04, 2011

Bill Ford at 2011 TED Conference

In a pair of talks in California this week, Bill Ford confirmed his company’s commitment to electric cars and simultaneously said that its future is uncertain. “We’ve made a big bet on electric, and I think it has a really interesting future,” said Ford, the company’s chairman and the great-grandson of the company's founder Henry Ford. “But the pace of which it develops, I think anybody that tells you [what that is], is lying. You just throw a dart.”

Ford was responding to a question from the Wall Street Journal’s environment editor Jeff Ball—during the Eco:nomics conference in Santa Barbara—who pointed to Nissan’s “aggressive” plans to sell 200,000 electric cars a year. Ball asked Ford why Ford isn’t producing new models designed and built specifically as electric cars.

Ford said that the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF are “talismanic” vehicles—apparently meaning that the models are supposed to have magical protective powers for their companies. In the meanwhile, Ford is electrifying vehicles that are already well-known in the market—such as the Ford Focus. This strategy, according to Ford, will allow Ford Motor Company to respond to an uncertain market for EVs. “We can ramp up or not,” he said, depending on gas prices and the rollout of charging infrastructure.

Ford Focus Electric

Instead of building a stand-alone dedicated EV (the way that Nissan, G.M., B.M.W. and others are doing) Ford will use existing platforms, like the Focus, to create its electric cars.

Mr. Ford said that lack of charging infrastructure for electric cars was “the reason it died” a century ago, when a third of all vehicles were electric. He added that “we have the same issue” today. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Ford worried that stand-alone electric vehicles might not appeal to enough consumers—and thus force the company to put big incentives on EVs in an effort to “shove them out the door, somehow."

Ford also made it clear that his company will invest in biofuels, efficient internal combustion engines, clean diesel and hydrogen-powered cars. “I’m a little less excited about hydrogen today, than I certainly was a few years ago, but we don’t want to drop it completely,” Ford told Ball. Any of these technologies could be moved around to various world markets because Ford is committed to global vehicle and technology platforms.

Environmental Wacko

While the exact green technology roadmap is uncertain, Ford expressed a sense of vindication that the entire auto industry and market is moving toward efficiency and eco-friendly vehicles. He told audiences yesterday at the 2011 Technology Entertainment and Design conference in Long Beach, that he was viewed as a “radical” and was told that he should “stop hanging out with environmental wackos,” when he first espoused his green believes as Ford CEO in the early 2000s.

At TED, he predicted that consumers would begin moving toward hybrid and electric cars, as gas prices continue to climb. He also warned that major global cities overcrowded with cars will have a dire impact on mobility, but that advanced communications technologies could help mitigate those congestion problems. "We are going to build smart cars, but we also need to build smart roads, smart parking, smart public transportation systems and more," said Ford.

Comments

· · 3 years ago

".., and I think it has a really interesting future". Hmm, when crude hits $160 a barrel do you think the consumer will be looking at the ev as simply "interesting" Bill?

· VoltFanSite (not verified) · 3 years ago

When gas hits $6 a gallon electric cars are going to looking like a good idea. The future of charging is restaurants. Go in and get something to eat and get a charge. Follow my Volt at http://voltfansite.com

· · 3 years ago

To my ears, Bill Ford came off as a pessimist. This "go it slow" attitude toward EVs is certainly no worse than most of the other major automakers, and the upcoming Focus EV is much better than nothing. But if the LEAF sells as well as hoped for, then I believe there will be some recrimination at Ford over missed opportunities.

I believe that Nissan has a superior product, given that the LEAF has a larger battery (likely 27 kWh total) and likely more range than the Focus EV, the option to fast charge, more interior space and cargo capacity, and likely better handling and weight distribution due to its EV-specific design. The lack of 6.6 kW charging on the LEAF will likely be remedied within a couple of years. Also remember that Ford is having to contract out part of their Focus EV production process, while Nissan is keeping everything in-house.

In other words, if EVs really take off (which I expect and hope they will), then Ford will be playing catch up.

· Michael (not verified) · 3 years ago

No one really knows the future of electric cars. Right now, it's not looking all that great. The Leaf is a gamble, but I expected the Volt to do better than this.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/03/chevy-volt-nissan-le...

· Lad (not verified) · 3 years ago

You throw your darts Bill, while I drive my Leaf down Electric Avenue!

· JRP3 (not verified) · 3 years ago

It wasn't lack of infrastructure that killed EV's a century ago, it was limited battery technology, cheap oil, and the electric starter to some degree. We are no longer limited by lead acid battery technology and cheap oil is gone. The charging infrastructure is already in place since every home and business has electricity, it just needs to be upgraded in some cases. Odd statements from someone who should know better.

· JJ (not verified) · 3 years ago

I agree with using an existing platform and interchangeable parts.
The money saved on designing a new platform, could be used to provide better batteries.

But why aren't they doing it?

This week, I paid over $500 on some ignition work at the dealership.

Now how much money will Ford make on after service for the Focus EV?....
Uhmmmm...... I'm still thinking....That's what scares them.

I'm looking forward to the days of no gas fill up, no oil changes, no tranny service, no coolant changes, no ignition and no fuel problems
no exhaust parts to change, no pollution testing, no noise.

People worry about plug in their car. What about filling up with gas?
What about charging your cellphone?
It's a lot easier to plug in your car than to go to a gas station.
Their marketing departments need to trumpet the advantages of EVs, not poo poo their own product.

· · 3 years ago

Consumers want purpose built products, retrofit product never garner as much market share. Every CMO knows this. For example, Toyota develops and markets the purpose built Prius hybrid and out sells all the other retrofit hybrids combined! It's the CFOs who don't get this and they have wrecked more car companies over the years than the worst recessions. I'm all for spinning derivative products, but I'm not for pushing a platform into a segment it's wasn't engineered for. The Ford Focus EV won't put up big numbers and may be withdrawn after a couple of years. But it's not like Ford have made much investment. They are just stuffing a motor, battery, charger and controller into a Focus roller. Think of it more as a marketing exercise for the 2011 car shows.

· JJ (not verified) · 3 years ago

I've read Nick's article comparing the Leaf vs the Focus and
I realize I was wrong in my previous post.

Nick talks about the lack of space in the back seat area of the Focus and about the stuffing-placement of the battery.
I guess the Focus' battery can't be made in the shape of the gas tank.
So the Leaf is better in that sense.
Get it right the first time rather than stuff a battery somewhere.

· · 3 years ago

@JJ (not verified), that is one of many reasons why a purpose built electric car is superior to retrofitting a roller.

· · 3 years ago

Henry Ford developed a way to make a very complicated machine cheap, knowing this would drive up demand. It did and the Ford Motor Company was born.
Now his great grand son has the power to do the same thing yet he is talking about dart boards? In my opinion if Henry were alive today, he would be working at Nissan or Tesla.

· Samie (not verified) · 3 years ago

First off, am I the only one who is extremely tired of the whole Steve Jobs/Apple type of presentations? Try something original I hate sitting through these type of presentations & it makes the presenter look stupid & all the hand jesters are extremely annoying.

After my rant above, I 100 percent agree with Abasile. Honestly I could have heard this same speech back in 2001. What I want to hear is that Ford will bring a EV Escape to market, that they are investing in battery range, bring a small diesel engine to a F150, & that they will bring EV's to market but do so, at first in a diligent way. Let's not hear excuses, just bring EVs to market & let consumers decide.

· JJ (not verified) · 3 years ago

Right now they are making most of their money with the after service and parts they sell.

As I saw in the DVD "Who killed the electric car?" , they won't be making much money servicing these electric cars which is why they are dragging their feet.

I look forward to: no oil changes, no coolant leaks, tranny service, exhaust parts to replace, no ignition to diagnose and sensors to check and replace and on and on.

· Lad (not verified) · 3 years ago

The Ford Company is one of many major car companies that are members of a lobbing group, The Alliance of Automobile Manufactures (AAM). Among the other members are: BMW, Chrysler, General Motors Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

I must say there appears to be a coordinated plan among these members as to the types of cars to offer the public,i.e., ICEs and Hybrids; With the exception of Mitsubishi, I haven't seen a mass market BEV as part of their offerings...just PR vapor. Nissan, on the other hand, who is not a member, is building mass market BEVs for you and me. At this point I would rate the BEV offering from Ford as a retrofit.

· · 3 years ago

One thing says a lot:

On the Ford stand at the motor show in Geneva, there was more floor space dedicated to the European introduction of the Sync infotainment system than to electric cars.

· · 3 years ago

@Lad (not verified). Toyota would be another outlier on your list. They made the EV RAV4 10 years ago and unlike GM they let the owners keep the cars. I think Volkswagen had a past generation EV too.

· · 3 years ago

@Chris "They made the EV RAV4 10 years ago and unlike GM they let the owners keep the cars."

That could have easily been to not repeat the PR fiasco that EV1 turned out to be. Toyota has been dragging their feet so much on even the plugin Prius.

· JJ (not verified) · 3 years ago

I don't need Ford's Sync infotainment system, just an EV with 200 km range that is RELIABLE and maintenance free (except for brake service).

· · 3 years ago

@Chris,
EVNow is correct.
Toyota was directly threatened with a co-starring role alongside GM in "Who Killed the Electric Car" by Plug-In America if they didn't stop crushing Rav4EVs. They aren't better. Just not quite as stupid and arrogant as GM. I was at their Torrance, CA HQ when the threat was made.

· Michael (not verified) · 3 years ago

@JJ

"Now how much money will Ford make on after service for the Focus EV?....
Uhmmmm...... I'm still thinking....That's what scares them.

I'm looking forward to the days of no gas fill up, no oil changes, no tranny service, no coolant changes, no ignition and no fuel problems
no exhaust parts to change, no pollution testing, no noise."

Ford is not the least bit scared about that. There are plenty of things to go wrong and wear out - tires, brakes, broken windshields, bent wheels, faulty electronics, bulbs, bearings, power windows, crash damage, BATTERIES. There are literally tens of thousands of parts to break even in an electric car.

· · 3 years ago

I commend the pressure placed on Toyota to get them to change their minds. However, if they were in league with the other car makers in the AAM, wouldn't they just have ignored the public pressure in favor of peer pressure? After all, at the time, Toyota was the number one auto maker in the US and Toyota can be just as arrogant as GM. The way they handled the problems with the Prius is a well known example. Also, Toyota has committed to bringing back the Rav4 EV with a Tesla power-train. Why not just make up a new car that has not been proven? That would support a vaporware strategy.
Unless their partnerships with Tesla and Panasonic prove to be subversive then I'm going to remain skeptical of the AAM list.

· · 3 years ago

Chris,
Toyota isn't as stupid and arrogant as GM, Ford and Chrysler. They aren't quite the stupid lemmings that will follow their peers anywhere. It seems that sometimes it takes a little whack upside the head to get them to think a bit though. GM came partially around with the Volt too. It just took a bigger whack and their internal parties that are resisting the change seem to have a bigger influence. Mr. Toyoda of Toyota, himself, visited Tesla and saw the light. I don't know if anyone from GM has ever stooped so low as to visit the Silicon Valley.

· smilin' (not verified) · 3 years ago

regardless of the future of electric cars, i would buy a focus electric today if i could. the reasons are that i am 81 now and would like to buy no gasoline for the rest of my life and i do not want a hybrid nor a foriegn built car.

· · 3 years ago

@smilin' - Can you write to me using info (at) plugincars.com? If you're willing, we'd like to tell the story on this site of how you came to this goal. Thanks.

· Guillermo Acilu (not verified) · 3 years ago

I really look forward to the Focus Electric. It looks nicer than the current EVs. Also I'd like to see some specs to be able to configure and test the car with the electric car simulator for iPhone iEV. People can simulate the exact behavior of any EV driving their normal combustion cars.

· Mark (not verified) · 3 years ago

Bill Ford has the most experience with electric vehicles with his past Think division. I believe he is a realist and a great future thinker! The Ford Focus Electric is a well thought out vehicle from the exterior design to details like cooling and heating the batteries. I applaud the Ford Board for taking a chance and building a awesome vehicle. While the Leaf might have been first put the Focus side by side and what would you buy. My vote the Ford Focus Electric.

· dawgdays (not verified) · 3 years ago

You people and all your conspiracy theories crack me up. Its a simple supply and demand equation for Ford and the other makers. Everyone wants the mileage benefit of the electric but very few actually want to buy one with the current added cost of the battery. For ~$17k I can buy a gas Fiesta that gets 40mpg and goes 4X farther on a 3 minute fill up vs an overnight charge. Its also a bit peppier. I have ten people sitting around me at work right now and I'm the only one who would seriously consider buying one of these and of those who are in or soon will be in the market for a new car that number drops well below that 1 in 10. That makes it a very small market for the auto makers with very big tooling and sourcing costs which equals little to no profit. Profit is why these companies are in business to start with which is why you only see a couple of them going out on a limb with these vehicles right now. There is no grand conspiracy its just a simple business economics decision. When and if battery prices get down to <$100/kWH this market will explode.

· · 3 years ago

As that character in "Who killed the Electric Car" stated, "they would sell people a car that ran on pig s#*t if they though everyone would buy it". Well true, and so is everything else you said about tooling up plants and battery costs. Other than the after parts business I don't hear allot of outright conspiracy stuff in here. It's more of a desire on the part of those who favor ev's over ice to have the government and private enterprise step up and help hit the start button so to speak. Who built the Hoover dam? Do we still benefit from it? Who operates it? How do battery manufactures achieve economy of scale to get to your $100/kWH? Whether anyone wants to believe it or not we have a long history of public/private parterships...socialism ala' light.

Your also failing to consider what our fuel prices would look like without hundreds of 1.5 million dollar (each!) Tomahawk missiles launched to secure oil and other ways in which American oil consumption is subsidized. You should also think about what oil prices might look like when a true oil shock hits. when oil hits $160 a bbl, the guy next door with rooftop pv and an ev in the garage might not look like the village idiot after all. I appreciate realists, I consider myself one of them but some bold and creative thinking.. and action is needed.

· · 3 years ago

@dawg Oh, and lest you you the "C" word again I use the Tomahawk as a small illustration of the blood and treasure we expend in the region, not just Libya. One could say that the American defense contractor got paid for it and it's employees promptly spend their paychecks in their communities (shopping for Chinese goods in American stores), deposited to "American" banks and American and foreign shareholders take profits from time to time. The same could be said for mass electrification for ev's too, should we ever decide to spend that same money there.

We get most of our oil from N. American sources but the amount we import from bad guys happens to be the same amount we use for transportation. I've asked this before but could someone who knows more about this than I do fact check me on that. I think it's an important point. The grid is domestic power. Where are all the hawks? Are they that afraid of being accused of eating granola?

· · 3 years ago

@spicoli,
Most consider me to be a hawk. There are a lot of us pushing for EVs for exactly the reasons you mention. Unfortunately a lot of supposed hawks are wimps too and afraid of being accused of eating granola.
I, personally, think that our energy issues would be helped if liberal Prius drivers would remove their stupid crunchy bumper stickers and drive a bit faster in order to de-politicize saving energy.

· · 3 years ago

@ex-EV1 driver, thanks for that! Whats funny is that there actually is a bit of a fashion statement going on with the prius and the Leaf has similar lines leading me to believe that is was a conscious decision in the design process to go after that demographic. I like the Focus for the opposite reason, I want to disappear. I would be proud to drive an EV but understated is more cool, if you care about those things. If the Leaf had 200 mile range and was shaped like a large turd I would still drive it. And yup, lose the Earth First sticker and hit the ...."gas". :)

· Anonymous (not verified) · 3 years ago

I think its really good that ford has an electric car but honestly on the outside it looks UGLY (it looks like a cross between a wagon and a car)

· Anonymous (not verified) · 3 years ago

Halliburton rules!

· FocusLoveAZ (not verified) · 3 years ago

I love how everyone is bashing this idea..shouldn't we be happy that they are doing it? Have you seen pictures of it? 100 mile range on a 4 hour charge, and it hold 5 people plus it is a Focus...come on, this car is going to kick butt, maybe not right out of the gate, but it will..there is a reason why Ford was the only American car maker not in trouble during the auto crash a few years ago.

· · 3 years ago

@FocusLoveAZ, It remains to be seen how good the Ford Focus Electric actually will be and what the price will be (if it is higher than the 2012 model Leaf, I would guess that the FFE will be a tough sell). Will the production FFE have that hump that takes up much of the space in the trunk? Will the liquid cooled battery pack create maintenance problems? What is the actual range? (If the battery pack really is 23 kWh, I think that we can forget about anything close to 100 miles, except under specialized low speed conditions.)

Ford is dipping a toe in the BEV waters but doesn't seem convinced that there will be a market for the cars. Hence, the ability to shift production to other versions of the Focus if they can't sell the BEVs.

I am hopeful that you are right and that the Ford Focus Electric really will "kick butt". We shall see.

· · 3 years ago

@dgpcolorado

I think some your arguments are incorrect.

The hump in the back I will agree will probably get in the way, though it is a hatchback so there'll be plenty of room above and the seats can be fold down. I also think it's a plus to have the battery that easily accessible (I'm not sure if it's difficult of easy to get to the Leafs)

Will the liquid cooled battery pack create maintenance problems?
Probably not. It's an electric pump. If they are made with quality in mind they will be reliable. The Leaf's 2012 w/ cool weather climate package will more than likely have a water pump as well. The battery needs to get heated/stay warm somehow - Nissan's belief that the battery will stay warm on its own is questionable and their reluctance to release the Leaf in colder markets seems to show some lack of trust in their (Nissan's) statement.

Actual range: It's been found that the Leaf does not use all of the battery - something between 21-22 kwh. Ford can tweak the usage and use a higher percent of the battery to match the Leaf. It will be interesting to see the actual range. Also take into account Ford's motors will be more powerful. I'm thinking it's give more control over how much energy is used: Floor it and you'll use more charge than the Leaf floored though if you ease into the acceleration you'll have a broader range of acceleration compared to the Leaf.

Ford is NOT 'dipping a toe in the BEV waters' they're diving in in the deep end. Ford has the C-Max (BEV) van coming next year and plans to have 25% of their cars electric by 2020.

Their manufacturing process is not to allow them to make more gas cars when BEVs don't sell - which won't happen. The approach Ford's taking is the economy of scale. When Ford can use the same parts (except the drive train) / assembly line for 4 models of the same car, the price of construction drops considerably compared to the single-model Leaf / Model S / i-Miev.

I do agree with your hope that the Focus EV will kick butt, I'd love to own another US car after 6 years with a Prius. If the focus is worthless though I do have a Leaf reserved when they're released in Colorado...

· · 3 years ago

I've closely examined both vehicles in person and the one thing that stands out to me is how much more interior room the LEAF has. Both passenger and cargo room is much more in the LEAF. I would say the LEAF's rear hatch area probably has twice the cargo room as the Focus a result of the battery taking up a lot of room back there.

I like the focus a lot, especially the active thermal management, and the 6.6kWh charging makes it infinitely more usable for me personally. However you can tell the focus is at a disadvantage because it wasn't designed to be an EV and the LEAF was. You just can't retrofit an EV drivetrain into an ICE platform without compromises. Plus the Focus weighs 350lbs more than a LEAF and that is going to cost you in terms of efficiency.

· · 3 years ago

@Travisty, I don't see how a liquid cooled/heated battery pack can't be a maintenance problem. There are seals to leak, a pump to break down and, perhaps, some sort of radiator and associated hoses to leak. It also may make getting at the cells to test/replace them more difficult. Maybe there isn't any other practical way to properly regulate the temperature of a battery pack, given the high heat capacity of water/coolant versus air. If so, we will just have to live with the extra complexity. And maintenance issues. It remains to be seen how Nissan will handle it in the next Leaf models.

The range of the FFE remains to be seen but the Ford website says the battery pack is 23kWh:
http://www.ford.com/electric/focuselectric/2012/
I don't buy the idea that 23 kWh is enough to provide 100 miles of range at anything like normal cruising speeds, never mind doing 65-70 mph on a freeway.
Test drives of prototypes notwithstanding, the final specs and performance of the production car remain uncertain, so far as I am aware (it will be interesting to see what mileage the window sticker will report). Here we are at the end of May with the FFE due to be released this Fall and very little is known about it. I am also concerned that Ford will price it above the 2012 Leaf making it a tough sell. But I'm not aware of any pricing yet, are you?

I don't buy the notion that Ford is committed to EVs when we get statements like this:

"Mr. Ford said that lack of charging infrastructure for electric cars was 'the reason it died' a century ago, when a third of all vehicles were electric. He added that 'we have the same issue' today. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Ford worried that stand-alone electric vehicles might not appeal to enough consumers—and thus force the company to put big incentives on EVs in an effort to 'shove them out the door, somehow.' "

That sure doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement of EVs to me! As I've said elsewhere, I don't buy the notion that public charging infrastructure is the only thing that will allow EVs to be successful, because the vast majority of charging will be at home, usually at night. The lack-of-charging-infrastructure argument is a red herring, IMO. Right up there with "range anxiety".

· · 3 years ago

@Tom, I'm guessing that the 2012 Leaf will have 6 kW charging and offer the rumored cold weather package, perhaps as an option. Given that the FFE is launching a year after the Leaf, I think it is fairer to compare it to the next Leaf model, not the current one. If the 2012 Leaf does get those improvements, the FFE will have some stiff competition.

· · 3 years ago

@dgp: Yes, I would agree. Once Nissan adds the cold weather option with thermal management and 6.6kWh charging, the Focus really doesn't have any advantage over it, unless you just like the design of the Focus more. I think overall the Focus has received a better reception as far as the design goes, and there have been a good amount of people that call the LEAF ugly. I like them both, but the Focus is a bit more sporty and some people will opt for that over the utility of greater space that the LEAF has.

· · 3 years ago

@dgpcolorado

Bill Ford's quote was made to investors. This is what he had to say. Investors don't want to hear Ford is taking a huge risk with investing only in EVs - why Ford is wasting its time with fuel cells. Sadly big investors like board members are scared of risk.

Bill Ford is fully behind EVs and their success. This article is a good look into his goals
http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/05/17/bill-ford-looks-ahead/
(Basically Bill wants to go green, it's the investors and those who were previously in power who were content siding with OPEC)

To the coolant pump:
Even the current Leaf has coolant and pumps - used while chraging only: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3938

To the point about the smaller battery.
As I said in my previous post Nissan doesn't use all of it's battery only 21 or 22 kwh - the members of the mynissanleaf.com group are still figuring it out. If that's the case a 23 kwh battery could go 100 miles.
But let's say it does take 24 kwh to go 100 miles. That's 4.2 miles/kwh. In this case the Focus - considering nothing else - will still go 95.8 miles. If the 4.2 mile difference is that big of a deal a BEV in their current form's probably not the best car for you.
This is a naive estimate but until we know more about the Focus EV's performance we're left guessing.

@Tom
Thanks for the input. I have yet to see either car - no car companies care much about Colorado. I've been in the 2012 Focus and it does seem smaller than even the Prius though I can still fit comfortably at 6'5" (longer legs than torso) even moreso than my 2005 Prius. I'd like to see how well I fit in a Leaf.

· · 3 years ago

@Travisty, My concern about the 100 mile range claim isn't for my own use (I am aware that EVs aren't intended for rural folks like me). Rather, it is the problem of "rosy scenario":

The Leaf was promoted as having 100 miles of range (and Nick Chambers got more than that when testing it under ideal conditions) but reports from owners suggest that it is quite a bit less under real world conditions. Over-promising and under-delivering is a PR problem for EVs. Perhaps Ford will prove me wrong and the FFE will get 100 miles of range in real world conditions — wet or snowpacked roads — with just 23 kWh. But I have my doubts. And, don't forget, the range will likely diminish as the battery pack gets older. Nevertheless, even an 80 mile range would be adequate for the majority of drivers in this country, most of the time. However, if it is 80 miles, say that it is 80.

· · 3 years ago

@dgpcolorado,
I hear your concern about liquid cooling, however, I don't think it is quite as severe as you do. We have liquid cooling in all of our ICE vehicles that have to remove a whole lot more heat than an EV, operate at much higher temperatures (both the coolant and the ambient environment), and a lot more vibration. I, too, hope that eventually a feasible air cooling approach comes out but, in the mean time, I don't see liquid cooling being a big problem.
@Travisty,
I think you'll like the fit in the Leaf. The interior space is great although it may have more headroom than legroom. At 6'4", the Leaf has more driver headroom than any other car I've driven that has a roof.

· · 3 years ago

"However, if it is 80 miles, say that it is 80"
dgp: It's not that simple. I get what you are saying and I agree the worst thing that can happen is people buy a "100 mile" BEV and then can't make their round trip commute of 87 miles and want to sue for a refund. However it's going to happen, it's inevitable.

It's not that simple because there are so many factors that go into what your range is that you simply can't put a single number on it, it has to be a range like "70 to100 miles". I've been driving my MINI-E for two years now and if you've read by posts you know I record data from every trip I take. I have complied an incredible amount of data in all kinds of temperatures and driving conditions and even I can't tell you in a single number what the range of the MINI-E is. One day I can go 130 miles, and the next 85. How fast I'm driving, is it raining/snowing, what is the ambient temperature (Yes, it will even effect thermally managed EV's), am I driving alone or with a passenger and 300lbs of cargo. You have to expect a range, and you have to expect the manufacturers give you a number that is on the optimistic side, just as they do with your gas mileage figures. I think you need to weigh the manufacturers claim against the EPA's figure and even factor in your own driving habits. I know it's not as simple as saying 25 miles per gallon, but that's what we're dealing with.

I know MINI-E drivers that have said they can't get more than 80 miles out of it, and others that routinely get 110-120 miles per charge. Your range can vary that much depending on how you drive.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 3 years ago

It's all about the batteries. Anyone who claims to be optimistic about electric cars
can only be so if optimisitic about battery technology. The brainless greenie minded
notion that one needs a "heroic and concerned" automaker for EVs to suceed clearly doesn't understand squat about how a free market economy works, or much about automaking. Some have claimed that it's "practically impossible" to start an
auto company. True, if the company makes ICE powered vehicles, since there's so much overcapacity out there and cutthroat competition, and startup costs are enormous.
But electric cars making is a whole different animal - no need for big foundries
to build engines and transmissions, no giant drivetrain engineering staff, hell, you don't even have to build the electric motor. Or the batteries. Or any of the hundreds of other parts required by gas jobbies. Electric cars have far fewer parts and are much easier to design and build. Even in this depression economy, Tesla has
managed to build an auto company that is far ahead of GM or any other automaker -
just look at their Model S design. They're at least two years ahead of everyone, according to analysts. And they had sucessful IPOs in the worst of business startup
conditions. And they're developing their car more than twice as efficiently as GM, an old and bloated dinosaur with labor rates that no one at GM wants anyone to know about. They've gone bankrupt once and will do so again. Their Volt was an obsolete and doomed technology the day it rolled out the door. Nobody is buying this overpriced, ugly and slow moving cramped vehicle, sans those with overactive feelings of guilt. It will be sold in such small numbers that it will have zero effect, on carbon emissions and oil dependencies. The only realist and smart fellow in the auto electrification movement is Elon Musk. He knows that battery prices are too high for mass adoption of electric cars. It will take some time before those prices drop. Until they do, this cheerleading nonsense is pointless. For the average customer, electric cars simply don't have value, even if gasoline prices are $10 per gallon. EV proponents are too often flat-out liars about the economics of EVs. The cost of the battery must be included in any calculations of operating costs. The public will catch on to this fraudulent argument, EVs will acquire a bad reputation, and those who are pushing them regarded as Charletans. I see plenty of such Charletans writing articles for this website. I advidse them to clean up their act and tell the truth. For a change.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Electric Cars Pros and Cons
    EVs are a great solution for most people. But not everybody.
  2. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  3. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  4. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.
  5. The Ultimate Guide to Electric Car Charging Networks
    If you plan to charge in public, you'll want to sign up for charging network membership (or two).
  6. Electric Vehicle Charging for Businesses
    How do you ensure that electric car owners will be happy with every visit to your charging spot?
  7. How to Use the PlugShare EV Charging Station Tool
    Locate EV charging stations and optimize their use with a powerful mobile app.
  8. Quick Charging of Electric Cars
    Add 50 to 60 miles of range in about 20 minutes. Here's how.
  9. Calculating the Real Price of EV Public Charging
    Compare the cost of charging on the road to what you pay at home.
  10. Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette
    Thou shalt charge only when necessary. And other rules to live by.