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Posts Tagged ‘range anxiety’

EV Sales Hampered More by Price than Range Anxiety

Survey shows buyers wants vehicles below $25,000.

by on Dec.02, 2013

EVs like the Chevrolet Volt, pictured with GM CEO Dan Akerson, have eased buyers' concerns about the range of EVs. However, they're still too expensive.

All of the efforts by manufacturers to make electric vehicles more popular seem to be working; however, there is one issue that they haven’t resolved that may be keeping EV sales from taking off: price.

EVs and all their variants – hybrids, plug-in hybrids, etc. – are still too expensive, in spite of potential savings on fuel.

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Navigant Research, a consulting firm located in Boulder, Colo., surveyed nearly 1,100 people to determine how they feel about new vehicle prices and electric vehicles. The company found that 71% want their next vehicle to cost less than $25,000, while 41% are looking below $20K. (more…)

Tesla’s Elon Musk Sets off on an Excellent Adventure

Tesla founder heads cross-country for 5 days with 6 kids and 90 minutes a day for charging.

by on Sep.06, 2013

Musk and family intend to dispel range anxiety fears.

The company can’t build cars fast enough to supply demand, and investors can’t get enough, either, driving Tesla Motor stock up nearly six-fold since the beginning of the year. Nonetheless, founder and CEO Elon Musk clearly seems frustrated by critics who continue to focus on issues like battery range and charging times.

So, Musk is about to set out on a cross-country journey meant not only to give his family a vacation but to also help put an end to the issue of range anxiety – at least when it concerns the Tesla Model S.  By the numbers, the South African-born entrepreneur plans to spend six days driving 3,200 miles with five kids in tow.

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But the figures that really matter concern the estimated 90 minutes a day – or nine hours in total – that Musk expects to spend charging up his Model S sedan using the rapidly expanding network of so-called Supercharger stations Tesla is installing across the country.

“Should go long way in dispelling range anxiety worries,” tweeted Musk, an inveterate user of the Twitter service whenever he wants to reach fans and the media. “At 1.5 hrs/day, we will only ever need to charge when stopping anyway to eat or sightsee, never just for charging itself.”

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Tesla Plans Cross-Continent Expansion of Supercharger Network

Battery-carmaker hopes to end “range anxiety.”

by on May.30, 2013

Tesla plans to place "several 100" Supercharger stations across the U.S. and Canada by mid-decade.

Battery-car start-up Tesla Motors hopes to put a quick-charging “supercharger” within the reach of all U.S. motorists – and most of those in Canada – over the next several years, something that could eliminate the so-called “range anxiety” that has so far been a factor in the limited sales of plug-based” vehicles like Tesla’s Model S.

The roll-out of the Tesla Supercharger network will now come twice as fast as originally planned, with about twice as many of them being put in place, according to the maker’s founder and CEO Elon Musk. The fast-charging system will also be upgraded to reduce charging times by nearly half compared to the first chargers now in place, said Musk.

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“It does mean quite a lot to mainstream customers, being able to drive you (battery) car wherever you want to go…at a moment’s notice,” said the South African-born executive. “So (this is) very important to accessing a broader audience” for battery-electric vehicles like the Tesla Model-S sedan that went on sales last summer.

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Tesla Posts $90 Mil Q4 Loss – But Moves Up Profit Forecast

Model S production rapidly accelerating - but will demand follow?

by on Feb.21, 2013

Finally, there may be a reason for Tesla Founder and CEO Elon Musk to be smiling.

Shortly after traders finished the day, Tesla Motors revealed another loss for the fourth quarter of 2012 – but the electric vehicle maker also said it now expects to be “slightly profitable” during the first three months of this year, well ahead of its earlier forecast of clawing into the black by “late 2013.”

The maker has been ramping up production of its first relatively mainstream battery-car, the Model S, after a slow start and won at least a partial victory, just before the earnings announcement, as the New York Times conceded it may have fallen short in a critical review of the Model S.

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In a federal filing, Tesla revealed it lost $89.9 million during the October to December period, an increase of just over 10% compared to the year-earlier loss of $81.5 million.  Revenue, however, increased from $39.4 million to $306.3 million as Tesla finally ramped up production of the new battery sedan. For the full year, Tesla lost $396.2 million on revenue of $413.3 million. It lost $254.4 million the year before on $204.2 million in revenue.

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eVgo Hopes to Make a Go of it with Vast EV Fast-Charge Network

“Freedom Stations” take aim at range anxiety.

by on Dec.05, 2012

An EV owner prepares to plug into a Level III charger at an eVgo Freedom Station.

While battery sales have been improving in recent months they slowed unexpectedly in November despite the surge in the overall U.S. automotive market. While analysts will likely debate what this specific setback means, even electric vehicle proponents acknowledge sales are being constrained by two key challenges: price and range.

It’s likely to take some time – and some significant developments to lower costs and increase the capacity of today’s lithium-ion battery technology.  But a Texas-based start-up is betting it can help overcome the issue of range anxiety by setting up a network of high-speed chargers dubbed “Freedom Stations.”

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“We think we can overcome the issue of range anxiety and provide EV owners range confidence,” says Terry O’Day, the director of California Business Development for eVgo.

A new subsidiary of Houston-based power company NRG, eVgo wants to install nearly 400 – and possibly more — high-speed Level III chargers in Texas, California and along the Mid-Atlantic region.

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Upgraded Nissan Leaf Due in December

Nicer interior, better heater – and up to 25 miles more range.

by on Mar.20, 2012

Nissan plans some significant improvements - including better cold weather range -- for the 2013 Leaf.

Nissan will be updating its now year-old Leaf late in 2012, upgrading the cabin, adding a more efficient heater and – sometime likely to matter most to buyers of the battery-electric vehicle – adding as much as 25 more miles of range in cold weather.

That’s a particularly significant development.  Lithium-ion batteries like the same sort of temperatures humans do and don’t perform much better in cold weather – especially when those humans in the cabin turn on the Leaf’s electric heater.

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Even before the updated 2013 Nissan Leaf hits market around December the maker is expecting to double U.S. sales.  They averaged around 1,000 a month during the latter months of 2011 – though demand actually plunged during the first two months of 2012, to 676 in January and 478 in February.  But the maker is looking to reach 2,000 a month by summer, according to a Detroit News interview with Nissan’s chief U.S. product planner Mark Perry.

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GM Licenses Technology to Extend Battery Range

Developed by Argonne National Lab, material could reduce “range anxiety.”

by on Jan.07, 2011

The new technology from the Argonne National Lab could squeeze more range out of a Chevy Volt battery pack, like this one.

The roll-out of electric vehicles is likely to be a slow one, most experts agree, because of the high cost, limited range and long charging times required by even the most advanced lithium-ion batteries.

But the Chicago-based Argonne National Laboratory has apparently come up with technology that could address at least two of those problems – and General Motors has just licensed the new material for use in battery-based vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt.

If the technology lives up to expectations, it should permit GM engineers to address so-called “range anxiety” by squeezing more miles out of a battery between charges.  The Argonne-developed material also allows batteries to be charged at higher voltages, which could reduce the time needed between charges.

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McBlog: GM, the Volt and What I Really Want

Columnist Denise McCluggage weighs in on the rush to “electrify”

by on Oct.22, 2010

A "brilliant" bit of engineering, but is the Volt really the right solution?

The General has done so many things with a ham-fist and a diverted eye that it’s easy to pick on anything America’s automotive giant does. But the Volt is not one of General Motor’s clumsy enterprises. Repeat; not. (Although press relations surrounding the introduction of the car had some avoidable ackwardness.)

Electric. Ah, the American driving public, one of the most ignorant – well, stupid — when it comes to car matters (except for me and thee, of course), has been lit up by that word, “electric,” as if plugged into a damp socket. That and “hybrid” seem to trigger both the “I-Me” gene and the altruistic love of planet at the same time. Whee! I get to use the Diamond lane. And I’m kind and caring to my environment. Also patriotic about avoiding foreign oil. (Though that really means Canada and Mexico and not the dreaded Mideast they envision.)

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That rising clamor for cars that plug-in and/or are weighted with batteries plus the related eagerness for state and nation to throw money and privileges at the folks who acquire such cars, have overridden some sober business calculations that might – if considered in quiet repose – militate against plunging so forcefully into the act of building electric cars for profit.

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Exclusive Report: Nissan May Offer Free Car Loans To Leaf Buyers

Deal designed to offset “range anxiety.”

by on Oct.07, 2010

A proposed week-long free car loan program could help Nissan overcome "range anxiety" about the Leaf battery car's 100-mile range.

Struggling to find a way to overcome the so-called “range anxiety” about electric vehicles,  TheDetroitBureau.com has learned that Nissan is preparing a program that, if brought to market, would give Leaf buyers a longer-range alternative – at least for one week a year – by providing them with a no-cost loan of a conventionally-powered vehicle that could be used, for example, for a longer vacation than possible with the 100-mile range of the Leaf.

Imagine cutting your energy costs by 80% or more.  That and the premise of helping the environment will be two of the key selling points when the new wave of battery-electric vehicles, such as Leaf, starts reaching market later this year.

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The downside is that pure battery-electric vehicles, like the 2011 Leaf, have relative modest range and long charging times, limiting their capabilities in the eyes of most potential buyers.  It could be a critical weakness of the battery market, analysts warn — and something competitors will try to benefit from.

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Mobile Charging Station for Electric Cars Revealed

Swiss company shows roadside recharging for stranded EVs.

by on Sep.13, 2010

Range remains a real problem for potential buyers.

A Swiss company involved in energy storage and electric grid load leveling management is showing a mobile charging system for electric cars, which it claims is a world first. The so-called “NationMobile Angel Car” (sic) can be used for charging batteries of stranded electric vehicles.

Range anxieties among potential buyers – as well as the lack of a recharging infrastructure which contributes to these worries – are among the impediments to making EVs more than the limited production, technical curiosities that they are today.

Forty percent of consumers report they are likely to test drive an electric vehicle, according to a recent study of U.S. adults. However, overall awareness of EVs remains low. Even those who follow EV developments and news reports remain concerned about batteries – the Achilles heel of what remain very expensive vehicles.

“For a new product category, interest in electric vehicles is strong and likely to grow as more vehicles enter the market and consumers become more aware of them,” said Chris Ely, manager of industry analysis, for the Consumer Electronics Association, the publisher of the study.

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