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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The problem as I see it with long range BEV's is same problem 5 years ago and I am not sure if much has been solved. Batteries are still expensive and the cost to replace these batteries are glossed over by BEV manufacturers. For example a 53kwH Tesla battery costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $38k USD for just the part. That is 70+ cents per kw. The 85kwH battery would cost a customer somewhere in the neighborhood of 60k to replace.

Lets say the battery on the 85kwh Model S lasts 100k miles (70% capacity) and the cost has come down by 30% or so. These are very generous assumptions as the cost for the 53kwH battery used in the Tesla Roadster has not come down a single penny in the past 4 years. That still puts the 85kwh battery at 42k after 100k miles. Extrapolate that over 100k miles and this car is one of the most expensive cars ever to operate over 100k miles.

In sharp contrast a PHEV does not take as heavy a toll on its battery and these batteries tend to last a lot longer (batteries are also cheaper ~$12k for a Fisker Karma battery) Long term unless some huge breakthrough happens with regards to cheap batteries (not necessarily increased capacity/range) high mileage BEV owners will be in for a rude awakening in a few years. I am skeptical about battery costs coming down to the point of this not being an issue (in the next few years).
 

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This is where the Chinese come in. They will be able to do the job for less labor. Unemployment benefit is much better here, therfore no incentive to look for a factory job like making batteries. Just my $0.02.
 

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The problem as I see it with long range BEV's is same problem 5 years ago and I am not sure if much has been solved. Batteries are still expensive and the cost to replace these batteries are glossed over by BEV manufacturers. For example a 53kwH Tesla battery costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $38k USD for just the part. That is 70+ cents per kw. The 85kwH battery would cost a customer somewhere in the neighborhood of 60k to replace.
Tesla is offering a battery replacement option for the Model S that costs you $12K to replace the 85kwh battery after 8 years:

A Battery Replacement Option will be available for purchase soon. The option allows you to pre-purchase a new battery to be installed after eight years for a fixed price: $8,000 for 40 kWh batteries, $10,000 for 60 kWh batteries, and $12,000 for 85 kWh batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tesla is offering a battery replacement option for the Model S that costs you $12K to replace the 85kwh battery after 8 years:

A Battery Replacement Option will be available for purchase soon. The option allows you to pre-purchase a new battery to be installed after eight years for a fixed price: $8,000 for 40 kWh batteries, $10,000 for 60 kWh batteries, and $12,000 for 85 kWh batteries.
This is a marketing ploy IMO. They did the same thing with the Roadster. 8 years is a long time its all about selling cars today. Plus there are all sorts of strings attached. Has anyone successfully purchased t his replacement option for the Model S?

http://www.plugincars.com/tesla-model-s-replacement-battery-packs-125571.html

Here is a great article on it.

Also I had a typo I meant $700/kwh not wh

Amazing that Tesla is able to build a Model S for just $ 20,000 ($ 80,000 minus Smooth's $ 60,000 for the battery).
This is the price that Tesla charges the customer. I am not sure of what it costs Tesla to build a pack...do you have any information on that?
 

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SmoothO, you're missing the bigger picture here.

There's no question that storing electricity on-board is better than generating it on-board. Otherwise, the Karma wouldn't have a battery to store 20kWh's worth, Fisker would just generate electricity all the time. The Karma gets 52 MPGe on electricity, but only 20 MPG on gasoline. So, overall efficiency on electricity is better than gasoline by more a factor of two (With Model S at 89 MPGe, it's more than 4X more efficient than the Karma on gasoline).

If power could be transmitted into batteries as quickly as it's poured from a gas pump, then it would be game-over for ICE vehicles. So, all the talk about battery costs and lifetime are really just side shows. You're wrong on these, btw, but that doesn't matter.

The real question, that you should have asked, is whether it's better to carry around your own mobile power generator or to plug in to a fixed powerplant when you have to travel long distances (more than 40-45 miles for the Karma). We know it's better for short distances - even Fisker agrees. But for long trips, well, there's no one best answer for everyone.

Surely if you take lots of 300+ mile road trips, having an on-board generator that lets you take advantage of quick gasoline refueling is more convenient. Then again, for the Karma at least, if you take lots of those trips, then you're getting closer to having an overall efficiency of 20MPG, which is pretty bad. If you don't take those trips, then plugging in at home only is more convenient than occasionally stopping for gas, not to mention the upkeep of a gas engine and all the necessary mechanisms to support it.

Plug-in Prius advocates might argue that having a "big" 20kWh battery is worse than having a better hybrid system. The PI Prius gets more than 2X the efficiency of the Karma when running in hybrid mode. For around-town trips, 13 all electric miles may just be enough, so why spend more for more battery that just takes up more space from passengers and cargo, not to mention costs more (and you're already spending more for ICE engine and support anyway)?

Why did Fisker insist on an all-electric drivetrain when they undersized the battery in terms of performance, and when that resulted in greatly reduced efficiency? Between needing the ICE to get good performance (Sport mode), and using the ICE to generate electricity to run the electric motors being more lossy than just running the ICE to drive the wheels (like the Volt), the Karma has its own compromises.

So, like everything in this world, you pick the compromises that matter the most to your situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
SmoothO, you're missing the bigger picture here.

.

If power could be transmitted into batteries as quickly as it's poured from a gas pump, then it would be game-over for ICE vehicles. So, all the talk about battery costs and lifetime are really just side shows. You're wrong on these, btw, but that doesn't matter.



So, like everything in this world, you pick the compromises that matter the most to your situation.
I 100% agree that BEV's are more efficient than ICE's. There is no question about that. My point is the cost. The cost of a battery after x amount of time/miles. Right now the Roadster battery costs exactly as much as it cost in 2008 to the end customer. I am sure Tesla has been able to reduce its internal prices but it cannot be by that much; hence Tesla will be offering lower capacity replacement batteries for the Roadster. If the 53kwh battery had gotten cheaper, then if a customer spends 20k they should be able to buy 53kwh capacity not the 36kwh or so that they may be offering at that price point. I think it makes more sense to carry 20kwh on board that can be changed out today for $12k than it is to carry a $40k battery.

I have first hand experience with this, a few months ago I purchased a 53kwh battery from Tesla for an astronomical sum. There was almost no movement on the price which leads me to believe that the Tesla cost for 53kwh is still in the 30k range.

To be clear the point I am trying to make has to do with the cost of batteries and the fact that (if previous history is any indicator) the costs have not come down much at all in the past 4 years. Perhaps the cost comes down significantly in the next 4. Even Tesla is not offering a battery replacement after 4 only after 8 (with a bunch of caveats attached). Heck I would buy that replacement option today but it is not available, at this point it is just some future "option" on the Tesla blog (and my 90 days have expired so I guess I will never be able to buy this replacement?).

Until the end user can buy a replacement battery for at most 1/3 the price that these batteries cost now I cannot look past the big white elephant in the room.
 

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Plug-in Prius advocates might argue that having a "big" 20kWh battery is worse than having a better hybrid system. The PI Prius gets more than 2X the efficiency of the Karma when running in hybrid mode.
That is a stupid comparison. No buyer would be choosing between a Karma and a PI Prius.

The real comparison for me is the efficiency of the Karma running in ICE mode vs. large ICE sedans. Here is my personal experience:

Karma: 22 mpg
BMW M5 (V10): 12 mpg
BMW 750iL (V12): 12 mpg
Lexus LS600hL (V8 hybrid) - 18 mpg

The direct inject turbo 4 with generator and regen is more efficient than the V8/V10/V12 cars.
 

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That is a stupid comparison. No buyer would be choosing between a Karma and a PI Prius.

The real comparison for me is the efficiency of the Karma running in ICE mode vs. large ICE sedans. Here is my personal experience:

Karma: 22 mpg
BMW M5 (V10): 12 mpg
BMW 750iL (V12): 12 mpg
Lexus LS600hL (V8 hybrid) - 18 mpg

The direct inject turbo 4 with generator and regen is more efficient than the V8/V10/V12 cars.
+1

You could not have _given_ me a Prius or just about any other BEV or Hybrid. I like the Tesla Model S but it's styling is way too bland for my tastes. Different strokes for different folks.

On a good day, my Karma will get 100 MPGe. On a bad day of pure ICE driving, it's 22 mpg. Even that (22 mpg) is still far, far better than the V8, V10, V12s I've own(ed). Given that Karma is as sexy - if not sexier - than all of the Italian and German super models I've owned...life couldn't be better.
 

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... I have first hand experience with this, a few months ago I purchased a 53kwh battery from Tesla for an astronomical sum. There was almost no movement on the price which leads me to believe that the Tesla cost for 53kwh is still in the 30k range.
I was wondering about that. I found claims from 4 years ago (Jan 2009, give or take) that the Roadster pack would be "about" $30k but no actual price; and I could find no actual price for a Roadster pack from 2012 or 2013. Surely people have bought some over the last few years: out of the ~2000 Roadsters sold, some must have met with accidents fatal to the battery but not to the rest of the vehicle (i.e., the pack was not considered repairable but the rest of the car was). Those would provide some actual data.

Meanwhile, I found this paper (google URL, Duke U study). I also found this article (Better Place claiming to have batteries for $400/kWh for delivery in 2012, with current price about $500/kWh in early 2010) and this article (McKinsey research claiming current price of $500-600/kWh in mid-2012, projecting a cost of $200/kWh by 2020, and maybe $160/kWh by 2025).

The first article has a graph showing an actual price of under $400/kWh in 2005! But this is for "consumer-grade" li-ion. "Automotive-grade" batteries are obviously substantially more expensive. Assuming $500/kWh is accurate for 2012 (that would make your 53 kWh pack cost $26500), and McKinsey's 12%-per-year claim for the subsequent eight years, we'd get:

2012: $500/kWh
2013: $446/kWh
2014: $398/kWh
2015: $355/kWh
2016: $316/kWh
2017: $282/kWh
2018: $251/kWh
2019: $224/kWh
2020: $200/kWh

In reality, cost changes tend to be stepwise rather than continuous, of course. Perhaps it's $500/kWh in 2010 through 2012, drops sometime in 2013 or 2014 to $400/kWh, stays around there until a drop to $275 in 2017, etc.
 

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I bet the average Karma driver gets between 150 and 200mpg. That would be difficult to achieve in a Prius.
 

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I average between 100-120 MPG plugging every night, but doing more then 70 miles on various trips and usually 30 miles for the majority of the time
 

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The MPG calcs that Fisker touts really bother me. That's akin to saying the Tesla Model S gets infinite miles per gallon since it uses no gas (technically it would be 'DNE' since you can't divide by zero).

Fisker should show what the actual energy use is in MPGe since the electricity used to locomote the Karma does come from somewhere. By rough math, if real world driving gets us 40 miles of range using 20kwh of energy, then the MPGe in all electric mode is really more like 67 MPGe (2 miles per kwh x 33.7 kwh per gallon of gas). That would be the upper limit of what Karma owners actually get (range would be 20 to 67 mpg depending on gas vs battery use) not the 409 MPG the Karma displays!
 

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The MPG calcs that Fisker touts really bother me. That's akin to saying the Tesla Model S gets infinite miles per gallon since it uses no gas (technically it would be 'DNE' since you can't divide by zero).

Fisker should show what the actual energy use is in MPGe since the electricity used to locomote the Karma does come from somewhere. By rough math, if real world driving gets us 40 miles of range using 20kwh of energy, then the MPGe in all electric mode is really more like 67 MPGe (2 miles per kwh x 33.7 kwh per gallon of gas). That would be the upper limit of what Karma owners actually get (range would be 20 to 67 mpg depending on gas vs battery use) not the 409 MPG the Karma displays!
@Socalguy, I agree, it depended on how much electricity cost is and the comparison of that towards a gallon of gas at todays prices to make a fair comparison. Unlike most ofther Karma users who live if good climate, some of us do not use it as a daily drive, so MPG is not a factor as much as the cars look and feel.
 

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That is a stupid comparison. No buyer would be choosing between a Karma and a PI Prius.
My post is obviously not about car comparisons, it's about technology comparisons. From BMWs and Audis with start-stop "mild hybrid" technology, though Prius, PI Prius, Volt, C-Max Energi, Karma, and BEVs there are a range of using differing amounts of batteries to achieve efficiency and performance.
 

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The MPG calcs that Fisker touts really bother me. That's akin to saying the Tesla Model S gets infinite miles per gallon since it uses no gas (technically it would be 'DNE' since you can't divide by zero).

Fisker should show what the actual energy use is in MPGe since the electricity used to locomote the Karma does come from somewhere. By rough math, if real world driving gets us 40 miles of range using 20kwh of energy, then the MPGe in all electric mode is really more like 67 MPGe (2 miles per kwh x 33.7 kwh per gallon of gas). That would be the upper limit of what Karma owners actually get (range would be 20 to 67 mpg depending on gas vs battery use) not the 409 MPG the Karma displays!
I think the applicability of the metric depends on what you are trying to measure. If the goal is to measure how much gasoline you are displacing with stored electricity, then the hybrid MPG calculated by the Karma is a relevant and useful measure. But if you are measuring how much energy is being used by the Karma to move a fixed distance, then you need to factor in energy from any source. I think the message being presented by Fisker about the Karma with these numbers is how little the ICE is used in typical operations, and for that measure, the hybrid MPG is a relevant metric.
 

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My point is the cost. The cost of a battery after x amount of time/miles.
Running a TCO analysis on the appropriate amount of battery to use in a car is difficult. The point I made earlier, which was apparently missed by many here, is that there are currently a number of solutions across the range from "just a little bit more so we can shut the engine off at stop lights" to "enough so that we don't even need an ICE."

So, are you talking about technology cost comparisons, or actual car cost comparisons? Your initial post seemed to me to be about BEVs in general, not any specific BEV. Do you still want to take that approach?
 

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The MPG calcs that Fisker touts really bother me. That's akin to saying the Tesla Model S gets infinite miles per gallon ...
I completely agree, and have been saying so for years. MPG has been used as a measure of a car's cost to drive, but it only worked when all cars used gasoline. So, they came up with MPGe. They even use MPGe for CNG vehicles, since the idea behind it is to standardize on how far you can go on a certain amount of stored energy.

Fabulist said:
...the goal is to measure how much gasoline you are displacing with stored electricity...
If that were true then the meter wouldn't measure how much gas you used, but how much gas you didn't use. So, instead of displaying MPG, plug-ins should measure kWh consumed, and divide that by 33.41 to get the gallons equivalent saved, and display that.
 

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If that were true then the meter wouldn't measure how much gas you used, but how much gas you didn't use. So, instead of displaying MPG, plug-ins should measure kWh consumed, and divide that by 33.41 to get the gallons equivalent saved, and display that.
Again, there is more than one way to use a metric to convey a message. Converting KWH to Gallons of Gasoline is somewhat abstract and, at best, an approximation. The actual amount of gas used to go a certain distance is a very familiar measure and can be calculated directly from the miles travelled and the gallons of gas actually used, without having to resort to conversions from one unit to another.

We are all familiar with MPG for ICE-powered cars; the Fisker MPG provides a very direct comparison of how much actual gasoline you have to use to make your daily rounds in a Karma versus a Pruis, Gumpert, Bently, Pigani, Koenigsegg, Veyron, etc. It's not the only valid metric, nor is it all-encompassing but it is useful in its own way. I fully agree that we should have access to a lot more information, such as KWH/Mile, Gal/Mile, Gal/hour, etc. to get a full sense of how energy efficient the Karma really is. But that does not make the hybrid MPG useless or invalid, it's just another piece of information that is relevant to a particular aspect of the car's operation.
 
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