Chevrolet Beats Tesla in Consumer Reports EV Range Test

Megalith

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Consumer Reports pitted a Chevy Bolt vs a Tesla Model S 75D and found that the latter ran out of juice at 235 miles, while the Bolt motored on for another 15 miles: I guess the point is that the Chevy is a nice value, being that the 75D costs $74,500, and the Bolt $36,620. Tesla’s Model S 100D is probably the true range champion, yet it is nearly $100K.

CR’s electric-vehicle range test involves some mixed driving, but much of it is done by driving a constant 65 mph on a highway. If you were to meander on country roads at 45 mph, you might get even more range. To ensure repeatability, the CR tests are done with the air conditioning and heater off. Hard acceleration and running the HVAC system can cut the range significantly, as can driving in very cold temperatures.
 

travisty

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Let's ignore, though, that Chevy Bolt has very few fast charging stations throughout the US or even the world - it uses a SAE standard plug which is still new. It's not compatible with chademo fast charging which Nissan's been pushing and is much more plateful (still far behind Tesla's though). It's also not compatible with Tesla's continually expanding fast charging network https://www.tesla.com/supercharger

In the end the Model S was (and still is) a more expensive car to finance the build out of infrastructure and to fund the Model 3.

Disclaimer: I was 17th in line in Colorado to get a Model 3 so I am biased. I did consider the Bolt but after sitting in one it was a huge NO. I didn't know seats could be so bad.

Edit: In either case they're both EV's so it's still a win/win no matter which one people buy
 
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SomeoneElse

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Still won't buy a bolt. When I buy a car I buy based on my preferences, not because it drove 15 more miles. The bolt is just another EV that has design in ugly (IMO) and is a small vehicle. Pit it against the model 3 which is at the comparable price range.
 

T4rd

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Yeah, but the Bolt doesn't murder virtually every other ICE powered vehicle on the road from the stop light. :p

These EVs need to drop about 25% off of their MSRP though before they can really complete with and justify their premium. Pretty sure it would take most of the life of the vehicles before a 36k EV paid for itself over a 40 MPG econobox at under 20k.
 

nutzo

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Wouldn't want either.

Limited range (235 mile is fine most the time, but what happens when it's not and you don't have time to sit while it charges?)
Neither has a spare tire and both are too small for 3 or 4 people and their luggage.

I'd rather save thousands (that buys a lot of gas), have something that can go more than twice that distance with a quick 5 minutes fuel stop, and still has room for a spare tire, 4 people and their luggage.
 

nightanole

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Yeah, but the Bolt doesn't murder virtually every other ICE powered vehicle on the road from the stop light. :p

These EVs need to drop about 25% off of their MSRP though before they can really complete with and justify their premium. Pretty sure it would take most of the life of the vehicles before a 36k EV paid for itself over a 40 MPG econobox at under 20k.
batteries are good for about 1000 cycles, so about 200k miles. So figure at even $2.50 a gallon for 200k @ 40mpg is about $12.5k in gas.

So yea, even with free eve fill ups, it would take dam near 15 years of normal driving just to break even on the $10-15k upsell for ev, and imagine if you just invested $10-15k instead for 15 years...
 

Gasaraki_

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Don't see the point of this. The 75 is not even offered anymore, the bolt is a little box on wheels and the tesla is a sports sedan. It's like comparing the Toyota Prius to the Porsche 918 even though they are both hybrids.
 
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Kor

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Comparing a commuter car to a sports car... yeah that's a valid comparison.

In other news a VW Polo Blue motion gets better range on a single tank than a 911.
 

EODetroit

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Do EVs have a standard charging port yet? (Not sarcasim. I don't know.)
Yes. Apparently its common in Europe, but less so in the US. The problem isn't the charging interface, its the availability of fast charging stations. Only Tesla has any (which are proprietary). Only Tesla has vehicles that can accept fast charging (every Tesla other than the Roadster). So this Bolt can run 15 more miles, but it'll have to wait many hours before it can go that far again. The Tesla can do it again in about an hour, or get enough range to go about 80% as far again in about half that time.

In any reasonable timeframe, for trips above the rated range of the vehicle, Tesla is the only electric option and it isn't even close. This article describes a corner case.
 

nightanole

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Yes. Apparently its common in Europe, but less so in the US. The problem isn't the charging interface, its the availability of fast charging stations. Only Tesla has any (which are proprietary). Only Tesla has vehicles that can accept fast charging (every Tesla other than the Roadster). So this Bolt can run 15 more miles, but it'll have to wait many hours before it can go that far again. The Tesla can do it again in about an hour, or get enough range to go about 80% as far again in about half that time.

In any reasonable timeframe, for trips above the rated range of the vehicle, Tesla is the only electric option and it isn't even close. This article describes a corner case.
You do realize superchargers are no where near daily commute areas right? They are mostly near highways for people expecting to drive 300 miles a day.

However a level 2 quick charger will put 50 miles in a tank of ev in about 10 minutes. They are not bad to use when they are near food/shopping areas or at dealerships if 24/7.
 

cjcox

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Offtopic, but I hear that in response to the Tesla 3's (the E in SEX according to Musk) center only LCD touch display, Toyata is moving to a rear seat mounted 32" OLED display in a mirrored orientation with a 2nd rear view mirror beneath the typical mirror so you can see your controls better. Stating, "Hey, Tesla isn't the only one that can innovate!".
 

MikeTrike

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They keep making shitty comparisons, because the other manufactures have ZERO compelling EV products... For the most part...

upload_2017-8-3_18-14-26.png


They haven't figured it out what to do quite yet, so they're making electric versions of the same shit...


They're way behind IMO...

 

Dekoth-E-

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Big deal. I care about 15 miles on two cars with max ranges far below what is functionally useful to me as much as I care about who got what place in the special Olympics.
 

niconx

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  • To ensure repeatability, the CR tests are done with the air conditioning and heater off.
Yea, not gonna do that here in Florida, I would end up at my dest soaked in sweat.
 

EODetroit

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You do realize superchargers are no where near daily commute areas right? They are mostly near highways for people expecting to drive 300 miles a day.

However a level 2 quick charger will put 50 miles in a tank of ev in about 10 minutes. They are not bad to use when they are near food/shopping areas or at dealerships if 24/7.
Yes, I realize it. How does anything you said modify my statement?
 

Wierdo

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Some comparisons:







I’ve heard a lot of people trying to compare the Model 3 to GM’s all-electric Chevy Bolt (known as the Opel Ampera-e in Europe). Although they’re similarly priced and both run on batteries, the parallel ends there. The Bolt is basically an economy gasoline car that’s been electrified; the Model 3 is, well, something altogether different.
...
The bigger battery is a gamechanger. Only one other electric car in the world has broken the 300-mile range barrier: the most expensive version of Tesla’s Model S, an ultra-luxury car that starts at $97,500. The new Model 3 has won Tesla the trophy for cheapest range for the money, defeating the $37,500 Bolt, which is outclassed by the Model 3 in virtually every category.
...
Another indicator of Tesla’s battery and efficiency improvements is its weight. It’s only 150 pounds more than the Mercedes C-Class, even though it’s actually a smidge bigger and has more passenger and trunk space. Five years ago that would’ve been impossible.
Source:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-31/driving-tesla-s-model-3-changes-everything


It looks like CR is simply stating that you can get more bang for the buck in a Bolt compared to the original upscale Tesla models, in which case that's kinda obvious, budget vs upper luxury products.

I'd be more interested in seeing them compare it to the Model 3 instead, the market is in for some interesting shakeups methinks.

So not sure I agree, I would say the Bolt is a nice EV but has some major disadvantages by comparison.
 
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MikeTrike

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Why is it that Tesla is the only company that can make an EV not look like this?

This is not compelling, it just looks like a Honda Accord Hybrid... Also it only has a 25.5kWh pack... 89~ mile range... My 500e has a 24kWh pack and has an 84~ mile range... Why?

upload_2017-8-3_19-33-13.png


Use Tesla as the template, not GM... Stop making them look like goddamn spaceships... They're cars, make them compelling to drive on Earth...

 

nightanole

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Yes, I realize it. How does anything you said modify my statement?
The odds of a weekly use tesla supercharger station is very low. However the odds of a level one or level 2 fast charge station that you drive my on your daily commute is very high. So both cars, in real world applications, will be charging at the same rate. In fact, the chevy will get more miles per minute charged vs the P185, on the normal level 2 chargers, because it has a smaller battery yet goes farther. Both cars can get 90 miles in 30 min, and my local station advertises 50 miles in 10min for VWs. The bolt gets 90 miles per 25kwh.

So your down side of chevy not having a "fast charger" while tesla does, doesnt help much in daily life. On the other hand if you could figure out a nice 2000 mile trip, and hit every super charger station, well that poor chevy would be charging for 6 hours total during the trip .
 

Wierdo

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batteries are good for about 1000 cycles, so about 200k miles. So figure at even $2.50 a gallon for 200k @ 40mpg is about $12.5k in gas.

So yea, even with free eve fill ups, it would take dam near 15 years of normal driving just to break even on the $10-15k upsell for ev, and imagine if you just invested $10-15k instead for 15 years...
1000 cycles figure - varies but lets go with that - is for full charge/discharge, not partial. For partial you multiply that by anywhere from 10 to 100 fold for the average driver, depending on charge pattern, and before factoring in other conservation methods such as wear leveling and such.
When Eindhoven University of Technology Systems and Control Professor, Maarten Steinbuch, looked at this data, he found that "on average the batteries have 92% remaining at 240.000 km. If the linear behavior would continue, then the ‘lifetime’ (still 80% capacity left) can be calculated as follows: 92-80 = 12% times 45,000 km = 540,000 km.”
...
Working with the figure that batteries will retain more than 80% of their capacities for up 310,000 miles and considering that the average US drives about 13,5000 miles, on average, a Tesla battery does not need replacing for around 23 years.
23 years to hit 80% capacity is not so bad I think.

Sources:
1. https://steinbuch.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/tesla-model-s-battery-degradation-data/
2.
 

nightanole

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1000 cycles figure - varies but lets go with that - is for full charge/discharge, not partial. For partial you multiply that by anywhere from 10 to 100 fold for the average driver, depending on charge pattern, and before factoring in other conservation methods such as wear leveling and such.


23 years to hit 80% capacity is not so bad I think.

Sources:
1. https://steinbuch.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/tesla-model-s-battery-degradation-data/
2.

I wonder what magic they are using. Laptop batteries dont last much more than 5 years (way below 80% charge). Cell phones need battery replacements, and they are only a few years old. I work constantly with 18650's(panasonic 2200mah from licensed pack makers) a work, and if the device is from 2005-2009, i dont even bother testing them, since i know they will be well be low my 85% mark for replacement. And we baby our batteries, we send them out at 40% charge, and refurbish the device every year.
 

MikeTrike

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I wonder what magic they are using. Laptop batteries dont last much more than 5 years (way below 80% charge). Cell phones need battery replacements, and they are only a few years old. I work constantly with 18650's(panasonic 2200mah from licensed pack makers) a work, and if the device is from 2005-2009, i dont even bother testing them, since i know they will be well be low my 85% mark for replacement. And we baby our batteries, we send them out at 40% charge, and refurbish the device every year.
How you use them matters...

Also this...

upload_2017-8-3_20-36-8.png
 

sfsuphysics

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Eh, I just spent about $35k (after taxes and all that shit) on a Rav4 Hybrid for the wife/kid, while I plan to drive my 2006 into the dirt, and hopefully I can get another 5+ years off that, spending $35k for a car isn't horrible, of course this is Toyota and getting 0.9% while I doubt Tesla will have anything close to that, could have gotten the non-Hybrid for 0% which is amazing, but I rather like having 33-35MPG off a SUV.

And this would be a perfect EV scenario, already have a long distance car for the kid (aka car seat), while the EV could be for commuting. Now the downside is that PG&E (local power) is about to lay the fucking hammer down over the next few years with massive rate hikes.
 
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Vaulter98c

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batteries are good for about 1000 cycles, so about 200k miles. So figure at even $2.50 a gallon for 200k @ 40mpg is about $12.5k in gas.

So yea, even with free eve fill ups, it would take dam near 15 years of normal driving just to break even on the $10-15k upsell for ev, and imagine if you just invested $10-15k instead for 15 years...
Couple this with whatever the maintenance fees are, because I can damn well promise you they will be higher on the EV's than they are on ICE cars with millions of parts all over the world already in stock and being mass produced

That, and what happens if you run out on the road? Granted I never have in my ICE engine, but it's a huge buff for me that I can just reach in my bed and pull out a 2 gallon can, or any service vehicle that I would call would also have a gas can
How many service trucks out there have giant fast charging battery banks on them?

And the biggest negative for me, where are the damn trucks? My new RAM 1500 gets like 24-26 on the highway and I average about 20+ combined, you would think this tech would have started with semi's where you have the room for more batteries and the such, but until there is an EV truck it's not even worth me reading the articles
 

sfsuphysics

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Couple this with whatever the maintenance fees are, because I can damn well promise you they will be higher on the EV's than they are on ICE cars with millions of parts all over the world already in stock and being mass produced
Depends how much maintenance you actually do on your car vs. letting a "pro" do the work. Many things that literally are not an issue with EVs, Oil change, timing belts, spark plugs, emission tests and related stuff, transmission fluid, hell even brakes last longer because you're not using them as much, regenerative braking comes to mind, and for the DIY mechanic many of these costs of minor but for the vast majority they do add up.

That, and what happens if you run out on the road? Granted I never have in my ICE engine, but it's a huge buff for me that I can just reach in my bed and pull out a 2 gallon can, or any service vehicle that I would call would also have a gas can
How many service trucks out there have giant fast charging battery banks on them?
No one has a service truck with a fast charging back, you get towed (probably by flat bed truck) to a service station that can deal with your problem. But this shows the new mentality that NEEDS to happen for drivers, you need to know your limitations, you look at that "miles remaining" and you leave yourself some buffer space depending upon possibly conditions (AC/heat needed, hills, etc). If you're unwilling to change, then yeah stick with your ICE, and comfort that you NEVER have to plan on were to fill up (hint: sarcasm).
 

Vaulter98c

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I've never had this problem but like I said, it could happen. I don't plan on my house burning down but I have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. I don't plan on shooting someone but I never leave the house unarmed. I don't plan on wrecking the car but I have insurance for if it happens. I don't plan on my house flooding but I have flood insurance for if that happens. I don't plan on getting shot or seriously injured, or for others to, but I have tourniquets and a gun shot kit and other medical supplies in my truck. I don't plan on starving but there are MRE's and bottled water and even chemical heaters stashed under my seats.

I'm sure 99.9% of the people who have run out of fuel didn't get stuck because they thought they were fine, things happen. I plan ahead for these things but I still have plenty of options in case I get stuck in these scenarios and I like having the option open to me if needed.

Granted there are idiots out there, hence we have warning labels on everything, and even if EV's got 1000 miles a charge there would still be idiots that screw themselves, but this is something in every facet of life so meh
 

nutzo

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I wonder what magic they are using. Laptop batteries dont last much more than 5 years (way below 80% charge). Cell phones need battery replacements, and they are only a few years old. I work constantly with 18650's(panasonic 2200mah from licensed pack makers) a work, and if the device is from 2005-2009, i dont even bother testing them, since i know they will be well be low my 85% mark for replacement. And we baby our batteries, we send them out at 40% charge, and refurbish the device every year.
If you could set your laptop to only charge the battery to 50%, and to shut off the laptop when the battery dropped to 10%, your battery would last much longer, just not very long between charges.
 

mope54

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It's ridiculous to compare the Model 3 to anything right now because the $35K version won't be out until sometime next year when every other manufacturer is going to be selling 200+ mile EVs--except they'll still have their $7500 federal tax incentive (except GM).

I haven't really saved too much with my eGolf but I only pay .12 per kwh, which is about 1/3 the cost the rest of California pays for electricity. If I still lived in San Diego, OC, or LA I'd have lost money compared to gas.

I do find it hilarious when people start comparing maintenance costs. Synthetic oil gets changed about once per year, timing belts every four or five years, and I don't know anyone who regularly changes their spark plugs or brakes (although I do explain to my relatives to do it). I'd be surprised if new cars even needed brakes that often. I've changed my '89 BMWs brakes less than a dozen times, my '98 VW a couple times, and our 2014 VW was still on its original brakes with plenty of life left when they bought it back with over 120K miles. Those things are hardly barriers to driving an ICE.

As for the battery, so they're supposedly going to be useable for 23 years? That's great. The car is going to be useless in half that time. This model 3 really shit the bed, in my opinion. It was supposed to be the mass produced car from Tesla. If I am going to spend $45k on a vehicle I'll get an Audi or Volvo--both of which have nice hybrids. When my eGolf's lease is up next year I'll see whether the 200+ mile eGolf is out or get a hybrid. Our BEV experiment didn't really pan out as a primary car.
 

nutzo

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Eh, I just spent about $35k (after taxes and all that shit) on a Rav4 Hybrid for the wife/kid, while I plan to drive my 2006 into the dirt, and hopefully I can get another 5+ years off that, spending $35k for a car isn't horrible, of course this is Toyota and getting 0.9% while I doubt Tesla will have anything close to that, could have gotten the non-Hybrid for 0% which is amazing, but I rather like having 33-35MPG off a SUV.

And this would be a perfect EV scenario, already have a long distance car for the kid (aka car seat), while the EV could be for commuting. Now the downside is that PG&E (local power) is about to lay the fucking hammer down over the next few years with massive rate hikes.
PG&E, the utility that somehow manages to be even worse than SCE (who I'm stuck with).
Rates are so high, it's more expensive to charge an electric car than to pay $3/gallon for gas in a hybrid.

SCE does have special rates for charging electric cars at night, but these rate significantly increases the rate during the day. Since I have family at home during the day, and the daytime rate is so high, it would raise my electric bill even higher than it currently is, and that wouldn't include the addition to charge a car.
Only way it would make sense for me to charge an electric car at home, would be to install a 2nd meter, and that would take me too many years to break even.

I have a short commute, so short that even a hybrid takes years to break even. If I where to drive an electric car, and work had a free charging station, so I never had to plugin at home (free electricity), I'd save less than $500 a year compared to $3 gas in my hybrid. Would still take me too many years to break even on a electric.
 

travisty

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Couple this with whatever the maintenance fees are, because I can damn well promise you they will be higher on the EV's than they are on ICE cars with millions of parts all over the world already in stock and being mass produce
EV's are much cheaper maint wise.

How many times I've taken my Nissan Leaf into the dealership over the last 6 years/60k miles?
1

How much I've spent?
$50

Brake fluid refresh or whatever was all that's been needed.

If i was still in my Prius i would have taken the car probably around 15 times for oil changes. I honestly don't remember what that cost, i want to say around $50 each time since they had changed to synthetic.
I'd probably have gotten the brake fluids flushed too so ~$800 saved and no driving to the dealership and waiting an hour or more.
No driving to the gas station either which is nice. Saved at least $4500 on gas during that time too. Have solar on my roof so electricity is basically free (after the solar panel investment sure). $12,500 in tax credits. The leaf ended up, over the last 6 years costing me a net about $14,500.

Back to the subject though, ICE vehicles will cost a lot more over their life - ICE and transmissions have a lot of moving parts that do break - heck an ICE + transmission probably have more individual parts than the entire Model 3 has. EV's are much simpler mechanically speaking, just a battery, a motor, and (depending on the car) a set of static gears - the only moving parts are the motor's shaft, a set of static gears, and the car's axle.
 

mope54

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The moving parts argument is also relatively silly.

An ICE does not have *that* many moving parts in it. A manual transmission has some gears in it, not like they break often. The clutch is a wear item. The emissions equipment does present some failure points that can get costly. Automatic transmissions *do* have a lot of parts in them and they aren't really repairable by an average Joe, but modern transmission don't tend to break often or ever anymore. Certainly last as long as the car unless you're not taking care of them. ICE drivetrains last for a million miles easily. I could be biased/misinformed, though, except for my '89 BMW I've only driven diesels for the past few decades and the eGolf. None of my relatives cars from 2000+ have broken down though and almost no one does anything so much as changing the oil. I used to joke about my old Datsun and Toyota pickups with the straight sixes, where you could drive them with a rod sticking out the block as long as you pulled the plug. I think the old mopar sixes had that bulletproof reputation, too. And those were from the 60s-80s. I definitely don't miss carbs, though.
 

nutzo

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I do find it hilarious when people start comparing maintenance costs. Synthetic oil gets changed about once per year, timing belts every four or five years, and I don't know anyone who regularly changes their spark plugs or brakes (although I do explain to my relatives to do it). I'd be surprised if new cars even needed brakes that often. I've changed my '89 BMWs brakes less than a dozen times, my '98 VW a couple times, and our 2014 VW was still on its original brakes with plenty of life left when they bought it back with over 120K miles. Those things are hardly barriers to driving an ICE.
My previous 4cyl Camry had 70,000 miles before I needed to change the brakes, and that was with 85% city driving.

My Camry Hybrid only has 20,000 miles, but the brake still look like new. Based on others experience I expect them to last 150,000 or more.
My Hybrid also uses Synthetic oil. 10,000 miles or 1 year change interval. The ICE only runs about half the time, and the oil still looks like new when I change it every year. Now that the car is past it's 3 year warranty, I might start stretching the time a bit and change it closer to the 10,000 mile mark instead.
Plus the Hybrid has no belts to change, and the transmission fluid is considered "lifetime" although it's a good idea to change it at 90,000 in heavy driving conditions.

Yearly oil change and the occasional fluid check is the only extra over an electric car.
 

travisty

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The moving parts argument is also relatively silly.

An ICE does not have *that* many moving parts in it. A manual transmission has some gears in it, not like they break often. The clutch is a wear item. The emissions equipment does present some failure points that can get costly. Automatic transmissions *do* have a lot of parts in them and they aren't really repairable by an average Joe, but modern transmission don't tend to break often or ever anymore. Certainly last as long as the car unless you're not taking care of them. ICE drivetrains last for a million miles easily. I could be biased/misinformed, though, except for my '89 BMW I've only driven diesels for the past few decades and the eGolf. None of my relatives cars from 2000+ have broken down though and almost no one does anything so much as changing the oil. I used to joke about my old Datsun and Toyota pickups with the straight sixes, where you could drive them with a rod sticking out the block as long as you pulled the plug. I think the old mopar sixes had that bulletproof reputation, too. And those were from the 60s-80s. I definitely don't miss carbs, though.
I've only had three cars to this point myself - a truck for a few years, a prius for about 8 then the leaf. For my parents though... Had a '95 ford explorer. Every 50k miles - happened at 50k, 100k, and 150k - the transmission died. Had to replace the whole thing. A 2002 or 2004 BMW 5 series. Was in the shop almost every month with some engine problem.
 

mope54

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Well, I can't really respond to that other than to suggest Tesla isn't free from lemons, either. Your Leaf also had its own share of class action lawsuits, IIRC. I've never owned a Ford, but have heard of those referred to as Exploders. I bet you know hundreds of millions of cars are not in the shop every 50K miles, though.

Regardless, I did limit my comments to 2000+ vehicles as they have improved over the past decade. I don't ever buy an automatic transmission for a lot of reasons and one of them being you can actually start the car and drive it even without a working clutch. That said, I bought my wife a $500 dollar Geo Metro and made her learn how to drive stick on that since it cost less than replacing my BMW's clutch.

I love my electric Golf, it just won't make it to LA and back so it's not working out for us. Like I said, once VW releases the 200+ model I imagine it'll meet our needs otherwise we'll probably go for an eTron. Wife keeps talking about an SUV so I'm giving a serious look to the Kia Niro PHEV, though.

It's not that I'm shitting on EVs but that the rationalizations used to justify a Tesla are vastly overblown in my opinion. I'm also not that impressed with the Teslas, either. I did it, though. I leased a full electric vehicle and installed about $20K worth of solar on our roof (and a shit ton of remodeling that I was assured were necessary since we were going to stay here for a while). Now we're waiting for escrow to close in a better school district a year later so I got screwed. Not that it mattered, like I wrote earlier, the savings just aren't there for my area of SoCal because energy is just too cheap right now.
 

talon95

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I love how they test the range at 65mph. Who drives that slow?!?! Highway speeds here in KS are 75mph with everyone going 80 or more. What's the range at 80mph?
 
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