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simplicity

Posted by Snowmobile [Email] (#686) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Snowmobile) on Sat, 18 May 2019 03:58:49 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: Re: Ditto: No interest in EVs here OK, JerseySaab [Profile/Gallery] , Fri, 17 May 2019 14:01:26
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Actually, one of the biggest draws to me of EV's is mechanical simplicity. A well designed EV gets rid of several costly systems at the expense of adding a battery pack. No transmission, exhaust, fuel system, potentially simpler cooling system.

Even well designed ICE vehicles frequently have costly repairs and regularly have care and feeding costs. We've had transmission and engine problems in the saabs, never mind all the semi-costly stuff like fuel pumps, throttle bodies, radiators etc... Certainly in our climate with salt and snow, things rust and break. Exhaust systems rarely last more than about 4 years. Even DIY, a cat back for a 9-5 is at least $500. No oil changes (I'm at about $50/change DIY on the 9-5s using mobil 1, 2x/year). Tranny fluid we're at about $50/y. So just those consumables (exhaust, fluids, etc) add up to about $1000/5y or $2000/10y.

Now I doubt an EV battery pack is going to cost only $2k, and I do have some serious reservations regarding their longevity, cost effectiveness, and utility over the long term. However, I think we will see improvements over time, and I feel electric propulsion is the way to go.

I think the complexity that some see in EV's is not with EV's per se, but with *all* modern cars. It is unfair to compare a 9000 which is relatively simple or especially a c900 with a Tesla and say "EV's are complicated"... well, compare the Tesla to a modern BMW where every part is married to a computer. One could build a simpler EV (people have done DIY EV conversions). Car manufacturers don't want to build user serviceable cars, so that is a completely different issue.

I hope we will be able to transition over to EV with the next generation of cars we buy. I hope to keep a c900 indefinitely. We will see how long the 9-5's last, but I plan to keep driving them as long as possible and will not likely buy something else until they are no longer viable. Hopefully by then, the EV market will be more established.

My biggest fear tbh is the advent of (mandated) "self-driving" cars, and autonomous networking of cars. I know some have made reasonable arguments for this, but having an engineering background, it scares me big time! The recent 737 max8 crashes are a good reminder of the risks of this kind of automation and those are individual vehicles, not networks. So many opportunities for error or malice to cause a disaster! This is somewhat more sophisticated than an ignition switch, and yet GM was able to kill people over bean-counting those... can you imagine... a bad software update on a phone might brick it... on an autonomous car, potentially vastly more serious!

All that said, an EV that was a true drivers car and not just a transportation appliance would be welcome in my world imho.
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