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I think it's a little optimistic and simplistic. Can Tesla still be the standard bearer for an affordable electric car when GM will likely beat the Model 3 to market by about a year?
 

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I think it's a little optimistic and simplistic. Can Tesla still be the standard bearer for an affordable electric car when GM will likely beat the Model 3 to market by about a year?
I think it'll come down to city driving vs single car "open road" driving. Bolt might sell like hot cakes for people in cities that do 50 miles or less a day and maybe 75 to 100 on the busy days or special events just outside of town, etc. However, the quick super charging ability of Tesla probably will put them into the number one choice for anyone that just owns one car, or just wants one primary new car and has a second one for teenage kids or something. Even one or two trips a year could be a deal breaker for a lot of people. I like to hit Seattle/Portland maybe twice a year and it's a 200 mile drive from where I live. Both the Bolt and Model 3 will have issues with that (too close for comfort!) unless the Model 3 offers an upgrade AWD option with larger battery at 250 to 300 mi. Anyway, it's too tight, however almost exactly half way there is a Supercharger (106 miles from Supercharger to Seattle). The battery wouldn't be empty so it probably wouldn't take the full 30 minutes to reach 80%, maybe 15 to 20 minutes. Then I've got 160 miles more range and only 106 miles to go. That's probably a safe bet AND should let me check into a hotel and dash off to dinner or something and THEN let the car charge over night, compared to hitting the city and being on the hunt for a charge point right away.

For Portland it's 137 miles to a Supercharger and then 82 miles more to Portland, even better once I've topped off at 80% (160 miles) range, ~78 miles probably would be enough for a weekend stay where you walked around down town most the time and maybe drove to the zoo and back and then hit a Supercharge before heading home.

GM (and others) really really really need to group together fast and bring out ~100kW charging. They've got the city daily driver down, but if you want to hit a mass market and still plan to have the car be $35-$40k you need to make it so they can buy one new car and take the family on drive away trips still without having to charge for 2 hours half way into a 5 hour drive. It would be nice if they just sucked it up and worked with Tesla to adopt their standard and double the footprint by next year. Tesla is open to sharing the standard (for reasonable terms) and even if it isn't the "BEST" right now, it has such a massive footprint as a DC fast charge option that you could basically replicate the convenience of gas stations within the next 12 months or so.

Also, bigger batteries still probably are a must. 200 mile range is probably enough for most households to buy into, but if you had a 300 mile range and a DC fast charge then your charge times during a 200 mile trip would be like 10 minutes and you would have enough range to finish the trip and maybe even make it back to that same charge point on the return.
 

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...Even one or two trips a year could be a deal breaker for a lot of people...
There are lots of ways around that problem and GM could help Bolt EV owners w/o having to invest in charging stations.

For example, any Bolt EV owner could be entitled to rent a GM product from an affiliated car rental company at a steep discount. An owner who needs extended range relatively rarely could be better off renting on just those occasions rather than investing in a more costly vehicle.

And GM could be better off supporting such rentals with price and service concessions rather than heavily and quickly investing in fixed location charging infrastructure. GM invented the Volt as a means to transition to an EV future and they can probably come up with other good transition strategies while the charging infrastructure matures.

KNS
 

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There are lots of ways around that problem and GM could help Bolt EV owners w/o having to invest in charging stations.

For example, any Bolt EV owner could be entitled to rent a GM product from an affiliated car rental company at a steep discount. An owner who needs extended range relatively rarely could be better off renting on just those occasions rather than investing in a more costly vehicle.

And GM could be better off supporting such rentals with price and service concessions rather than heavily and quickly investing in fixed location charging infrastructure. GM invented the Volt as a means to transition to an EV future and they can probably come up with other good transition strategies while the charging infrastructure matures.

KNS
This is basically what Fiat provided with the 500e. I get 12 free rentals from Enterprise-Alamo for each of the three years of my lease. Unfortunately, Fiat stopped offering this benefit last year.
 

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Typical WSJ puff piece linking unrelated 'facts'. Tesla will be the leader? Lol. Business does not survive without profit. I'd bet on BYD over Tesla.

We'll eventually get there when EVs are directly competitive with gas cars. Not happening any time soon. Especially with big oil and legacy pickup truck sales dominating the market. China will probably get there first.
 

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I heard an interesting argument for the same thing (a rapid transition to electric vehicles), but it's the flip side of the supply-and-demand equation. The claim is that gas stations are relatively low-profit businesses (most make most of their profits from their attached convenience stores), so as the percentage of electric vehicles on the roads increase, gas stations will start to fail because of a modest drop in customers. This in turn will make gas a little less appealing, which will lead to a few more people getting EVs, which will cause more gas stations to fail, and so on. These effects are likely to be almost unnoticeable at first, but sooner or later there'll be a tipping point and there'll be a massive shift, similar to the way digital photography overtook film photography in a matter of a few years.

I don't think I entirely buy that argument -- at least, not by itself. Gas still has too many advantages over electricity, particularly for long-distance travel. Also, cars are much more expensive than cameras, and it'll take a decade or more for current production vehicles to age off the roads. Still, as level 3 (and beyond?) charging becomes more common and as EV ranges improve, the declining-gas-station scenario might become a factor in the transition to EVs (or something else, like hydrogen).
 

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I think the article subject line is misleading and ambiguous. Perhaps if there was a standard definition of what "will be here" means.

My headline would say... "Why take-up rates of plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars maybe as high as 20 percent sooner than you think"

Doesn't have the same ring to it as the original. And 20 percent is arbitrary.
 

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I heard an interesting argument for the same thing (a rapid transition to electric vehicles), but it's the flip side of the supply-and-demand equation. The claim is that gas stations are relatively low-profit businesses (most make most of their profits from their attached convenience stores), so as the percentage of electric vehicles on the roads increase, gas stations will start to fail because of a modest drop in customers. This in turn will make gas a little less appealing, which will lead to a few more people getting EVs, which will cause more gas stations to fail, and so on. These effects are likely to be almost unnoticeable at first, but sooner or later there'll be a tipping point and there'll be a massive shift, similar to the way digital photography overtook film photography in a matter of a few years.

I don't think I entirely buy that argument -- at least, not by itself. Gas still has too many advantages over electricity, particularly for long-distance travel. Also, cars are much more expensive than cameras, and it'll take a decade or more for current production vehicles to age off the roads. Still, as level 3 (and beyond?) charging becomes more common and as EV ranges improve, the declining-gas-station scenario might become a factor in the transition to EVs (or something else, like hydrogen).
If gas is what attracts customers to the more profitable attached convenience stores, then fast charge stations could serve the same role.

KNS
 

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If gas is what attracts customers to the more profitable attached convenience stores, then fast charge stations could serve the same role.
Only if the charging is an order of magnitude faster than it is, even with something like a Tesla. I seldom spend half an hour strolling the aisles of a convenience store -- the whole point of them is that they're for quick shopping. You won't add enough charge to make plugging in worthwhile if you're in and out of the store in three minutes.

Now, put charge stations outside of movie theaters, in shopping-mall parking lots, and near sit-down restaurants, and they become worthwhile. Of course, that's where a lot of charging stations are appearing. (Well, not movie theaters -- at least, not near me.)
 
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