Tesla doomed

Howell

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#81
It may be easier to get an entrepreneurial company to make buses than to get a bus company to become entrepreneurial.

Per the article there are several electric bus companies competing for that segment. None of them are the usual builders.
 

jtr1962

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#82
Why do we need Tesla to make the busses? Why not have a bus company make them, or does Tesla have a better system for paying off the politicians?
You could say the same thing about why car makers haven't made electric cars. Big, established companies often have an inertia to doing things differently. The car companies also have considerable investments in tooling for ICE vehicles, plus they get kickbacks from oil companies. Given both those things, they had no interest in making electric cars until Tesla forced their hand. They still aren't making any mass-market electric vehicles.

There seem to be only three paths to major changes in large industries. Either an upstart with no vested interest in the status quo (i.e. Tesla) has to come along and prove a market exists for something new, or government regulations have to force change, or the economics of a new technology need to be better. ZEV mandates could have pushed the automakers into electrics but unfortunately too many politicians are in the pockets of big oil for that to happen. Regulations and economics ironically forced the railroads to change. For those not familiar, railroads in general are so resistant to change they would probably still be using steam locomotives if the economics of using diesels weren't better.
 

sechs

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#83
Why do we need Tesla to make the busses? Why not have a bus company make them, or does Tesla have a better system for paying off the politicians?
The correct answer here is that we don't need Tesla to make electric buses. Foreign companies already have a major head-start in that area, and we have been buying from them.

BYD, a Chinese company, has an assembly plant in the United States and has been selling to transit agencies. I'm expecting to see their buses here in the next year.
 

jtr1962

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#85
That's what I would expect too, the Chinese.
Agreed. And eventually their EV cars will make it to our shores as well. China really has little choice here. Their cities make the air in places like LA look pristine. They need to move to electric vehicles in a big way, or face bankruptcy of their socialized health care system once large numbers of people get sick from the air pollution.
 

sechs

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#86
China could go back to bikes. It actually worked quite well.

Their problem, however, is coal-based electricity production, which electric vehicles won't necessarily help.

And China doesn't really care about the health of the proletariat. It's expendable.
 

LunarMist

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#88
Why on Earth would I want to ride a bicycle? I'm not 12 or an athlete and I have to be presentable at work.
I'd drive some stupid electric car before that. :lol:
Can't the Chinese put a small gas motor in an electric SUV to keep it running when no outlets or time are available?
I'd buy something like that if it were 4500-5000 lbs.
 
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jtr1962

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#89
Why on Earth would I want to ride a bicycle? I'm not 12 or an athlete and I have to be presentable at work.
I'd drive some stupid electric car before that. :lol:
Can't the Chinese put a small gas motor in an electric SUV to keep it running when no outlets or time are available?
I'd buy something like that if it were 4500-5000 lbs.
Well, I've little doubt battery tech will soon make range anxiety mostly moot. Add to this the development of on-the-fly recharging and the need for a small gas engine vanishes.

Any particular reason you need a 5000 pound SUV? Carrying a lot of gear? Driving off-road a lot? If it's just you a small electric car is fine. As for bikes, you do know e-bikes exist if arriving at work sweaty is a concern? In fact, China is the world's biggest user of e-bikes.

Even if bikes aren't a good fit for you personally, they're a great fit for most city dwellers. I never bothered getting a car or driver's license exactly because I could get around faster and cheaper by bike than by car.
 

LunarMist

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#90
Well, I've little doubt battery tech will soon make range anxiety mostly moot. Add to this the development of on-the-fly recharging and the need for a small gas engine vanishes.

Any particular reason you need a 5000 pound SUV? Carrying a lot of gear? Driving off-road a lot? If it's just you a small electric car is fine. As for bikes, you do know e-bikes exist if arriving at work sweaty is a concern? In fact, China is the world's biggest user of e-bikes.

Even if bikes aren't a good fit for you personally, they're a great fit for most city dwellers. I never bothered getting a car or driver's license exactly because I could get around faster and cheaper by bike than by car.
In case you don't notice, people drive like maniacs. I want a solid and decently sized vehicle with shoulder room. I want to be comfortable and breathe.
I'm too old to drive some tiny POS. :D
 

jtr1962

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#92
In case you don't notice, people drive like maniacs.
I live in NYC, home of the maniac driver. ;)

I want a solid and decently sized vehicle with shoulder room. I want to be comfortable and breathe.
I'm too old to drive some tiny POS. :D
Note here since we were talking about cities when we got on the topic of bikes and electric buses that buses and trains have plenty of shoulder room compared to any car. If someone doesn't care to ride a bike, then public transit is the second best way to get around.

It's definitely a myth that big, heavy vehicles are safer overall. If they do offer any extra protection to their occupants in a collision, that protection comes at the expense of killing more people in smaller vehicles they collide with. Not so sure I'd feel all that great about myself if I survived a collision in a Hummer which killed 3 or 4 people in a compact car. SUVs started a silly arms race on our highways.
 

LunarMist

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#93
I live in NYC, home of the maniac driver. ;)


Note here since we were talking about cities when we got on the topic of bikes and electric buses that buses and trains have plenty of shoulder room compared to any car. If someone doesn't care to ride a bike, then public transit is the second best way to get around.

It's definitely a myth that big, heavy vehicles are safer overall. If they do offer any extra protection to their occupants in a collision, that protection comes at the expense of killing more people in smaller vehicles they collide with. Not so sure I'd feel all that great about myself if I survived a collision in a Hummer which killed 3 or 4 people in a compact car. SUVs started a silly arms race on our highways.
If some drunk or idiot causes an accident I want decent chances even if they are in a 5000 lb. vehicle.
 

LunarMist

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#94
3200lbs, plenty roomy. And the big thing I notice old people complaining about is getting in and out; they seem to want to partially fall out as opposed to climbing up ;)
Is that the wrong link or is there an electric version I'm not seeing? I've been driving well over 40 years and never owned a vehicle that small.
The shortest vehicle I had was around 194" and the longest around 230".
 
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#96
Is that the wrong link or is there an electric version I'm not seeing? I've been driving well over 40 years and never owned a vehicle that small.
The shortest vehicle I had was around 194" and the longest around 230".
No electric version yet, probably 4 years out. But much less than 5000lbs and safer than most. Designing a car intelligently can lead to much better crash outcomes than just throwing weight at it. Clocker could probably contribute more on this.
 

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#97
I feel pretty useless the times I take my 3400 lbs car to the store for buying one liter of milk.

E-bike sales are booming in Europe
too, and they seem to be very nice both for commuting and recreation. I'm often passed by a lady on a an E-bike on my way to work, and the other day I saw a guy taking on a 12% ascent sitting down not even breaking a sweat.

By the way, isn't it strange/worrying that one liter of gasoline, that is pumped up from below the bottom of the ocean, is much cheaper than a pack of milk or one bottle of mineral water?
 

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#98
It's definitely a myth that big, heavy vehicles are safer overall. If they do offer any extra protection to their occupants in a collision, that protection comes at the expense of killing more people in smaller vehicles they collide with. Not so sure I'd feel all that great about myself if I survived a collision in a Hummer which killed 3 or 4 people in a compact car. SUVs started a silly arms race on our highways.
So you're effectively taking both sides of this argument? They're simultaneously not safer while being safer?

FWIW, heavier cars are generally safer for the occupants. Study after study shows this. A basic understanding of physics confirms this.
 

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There's such a big ratio between the the mass of even a small car and the mass of a human that there shouldn't be any significant difference in the human occupant's deceleration in a single vehicle collision.

In multi-vehicle collisions, each vehicle has to dissipate the total combined energy, so the lighter one is at a disadvantage.

So heavier cars can be no safer in some situations while still being safer in a mismatched collision (at the expense of the occupants of the lighter car).

Does this mean that people who drive pickups have no regard for other people's lives? Probably.
 

jtr1962

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So you're effectively taking both sides of this argument? They're simultaneously not safer while being safer?

FWIW, heavier cars are generally safer for the occupants. Study after study shows this. A basic understanding of physics confirms this.
Safer for the occupants doesn't translate into safer overall. Suppose hypothetically you have a collision between two vehicles of the same mass and 1 person dies in each vehicle. That's 2 deaths. Now let's say you do the same collision but one vehicle is much more massive. Nobody dies in vehicle A but 4 people die in vehicle B. Sure, vehicle A was indeed safer for its occupants but that safety came at the expense of increasing the number of people killed in vehicle B, and the total number of people killed.

And as Dave mentioned, there are better ways to make a vehicle safe than mindlessly adding mass. Indy cars can smash into a concrete wall at 200 mph without killing their occupant, for example.
 

jtr1962

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Does this mean that people who drive pickups have no regard for other people's lives? Probably.
Exactly. I recall reading something a number of years ago where a woman was so thrilled her SUV saved her in a collision (at the expense of everyone in the car she hit) that she vowed to buy an even larger SUV next time. This borders on sociopathic.
 

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Of course the Fiat will have a disadvantage, but it's not as bad as it looks. I have never liked large/huge cars. They waste energy and they are no fun to drive.
 

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Of course the Fiat will have a disadvantage, but it's not as bad as it looks. I have never liked large/huge cars. They waste energy and they are no fun to drive.
"MafiosoItaliano4584 months ago (edited)
In a few words, ADAC wanted to show just how safe are small cars and how safe are large cars. Specifically, when the 500 and Q7 were put to the test, the spokesman and mr.Ambos said that the Q7's crash structure penetrated the 500's passenger cell (''die Fahrgastzelle'') and shove all of the 500's available legroom (''Fußraum''), leading to the driver's deadly injury! And the 500's passenger cell and knee-airbag weren't able to handle this much speed and fury (56km/h or ''sechs-und-fünfzig km/h''! They also said that the forces the 500 received are more like 80km/h or ''achtzig km/h!'').
So the 500's 5-star safety rating (''fünf Sterne!'') is simply a marketing trick!"

I would agree with you that a light and nimble car is more fun to drive. KTM X-bow would be perfect for me for days when it's too slippery for the motorcycle. However if my wife and kids are travelling, I would rather they be in the Suburban. Not because I drive recklessly. But because there is no telling what the next impaired/drunk/distracted driver will be driving when he plows into you.
 

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Exactly. I recall reading something a number of years ago where a woman was so thrilled her SUV saved her in a collision (at the expense of everyone in the car she hit) that she vowed to buy an even larger SUV next time. This borders on sociopathic.
Without knowing the specifics, she was probably just happy to be alive, not so much that she was reveling in the unfortunate deaths of others. Frankly I find the idea that you would deliberately choose a lighter car to increase your chances of death by motor vehicle accident so as to "be fair" to others hard to get my mind around. I don't think one needs to apologize for trying to improve the chances of surviving a crash, for themselves or their families.
 
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This sounds like a fairly straightforward prisoner's dilemma problem, where each persons best interest is against that of the community as a whole. Other places seem to have sorted it out with financial incentives (registration costs tied to engine displacement, for example). We could do the same with a solid gas tax, or at least lowering the "gas guzzler" tax to something that would apply to more than the most absurd vehicles.
 

jtr1962

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Agreed. Now especially with gas prices low this would be a great time to have a sane gas tax. Have a variable tax which keeps the price of gas at, say, $4 or $5 per gallon regardless of the actual price of oil. Increase this in 50 cent increments each year until you hit maybe $10 per gallon. That will probably take most of the heavier vehicles off the roads. It'll also give some stability to the economy, and money for public transit. It's actually easier for the economy to adjust to continued higher gas prices than huge fluctuations. In the long haul we'll see more efficient vehicles plus loads of electrics. And a lot more use of bikes and public transit.
 

jtr1962

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Frankly I find the idea that you would deliberately choose a lighter car to increase your chances of death by motor vehicle accident so as to "be fair" to others hard to get my mind around. I don't think one needs to apologize for trying to improve the chances of surviving a crash, for themselves or their families.
The reason for choosing a lighter vehicle is often to save money. Gas may be temporarily cheap, but it's still expensive enough that a small vehicle will save someone a significant amount of money if they drive 10K or 20K miles per year compared to a hulking SUV. And some people, like my sister, just may not like to drive large vehicles.

If we had stricter licensing procedures and permanent license revocation for drunk drivers or drivers who cause serious injury or death in collisions then the whole issue of "crash survivability" would be a lot less important. Preventing crashes in the first place is a much saner policy. The way to do that is to reduce general traffic levels and to get bad drivers off the roads for good.
 

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There is no dilemma.
People can drive what they want and are accountable for any negligence. Drivers of large vehicles need to be cognizant of that risk and likewise drivers of small cars need to accept their safety risks.

I just don't want a light, flimsy vehicle due to the limitations of the battery power.
 

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There is no dilemma.
People can drive what they want and are accountable for any negligence. Drivers of large vehicles need to be cognizant of that risk and likewise drivers of small cars need to accept their safety risks.

I just don't want a light, flimsy vehicle due to the limitations of the battery power.
This. I rarely let my son drive the Suburban because it generates tremendous amounts of momentum in a very laid back/efortless fashion. The brakes (which are serviced regularly) simply take a while to bring the beast to a stop. It can catch my wife and I out at times, with 20+ years driving experience each. If you aren't scanning far ahead, and take into account stopping distances, it could easily cause a horrible mess. Any kind of very sudden input to the wheel at speed and it could be rolling. When I get into the son's Bronco I'm stunned by the sharpness/strength of the factory brakes (also maintained regularly), and the ease at which it can slow to a stop. It also sounds like it works for its speed, once it's up to 55 MPH you can definitely feel it.
 

jtr1962

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I just don't want a light, flimsy vehicle due to the limitations of the battery power.
No such limitation. A heavier vehicle actually has more room and weight capacity for batteries than a lighter one. It has to do with basic physics. A good amount of a vehicle's energy is expended pushing air out of the way. A larger vehicle may have more frontal area, but a 40,000 pound bus doesn't have 20 times the frontal area of a 2,000 pound compact car. As a result, the large vehicle needs less power per pound at any given speed than a smaller vehicle. A 2,000 pound compact cruising at 60 mph might need 10 HP. A 40,000 pound bus might need 125 HP.

Now look at battery capacity. Maybe the compact can carry 300 pounds of batteries (going by a weight equivalent to the gas engine and transmission. Now look at the bus. The engine and transmission probably weigh upwards of 2 tons. That's 4000 pounds of batteries. The fuel might weigh another 1000 pounds. The frame likely could easily hold a few thousand pounds extra on top of that. So maybe you can get 8000 pounds of batteries into your bus. This gives you something like 27 times the energy storage of the compact car but you only need 12 or 13 times the power. End result-the bus can go twice as far.

Similar calculations would apply to large electric passenger cars except the range increase relative to a small car might not be so dramatic. You certainly won't get less range. If we bothered to make SUVs more aerodynamic then range would be enhanced further.
 
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People can drive what they want and are accountable for any negligence. Drivers of large vehicles need to be cognizant of that risk and likewise drivers of small cars need to accept their safety risks.
Drivers of excessively large vehicles aren't being held accountable. Example:

Miata vs. Suburban.
Accident easily kills Miata driver. Had the other vehicle been smaller, a fatality would have been way less likely.
Regardless of who is at fault for the accident, at least some of the responsibility for the fatality rests on the decision of the Suburban driver in choosing something far more likely to kill someone.
 

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Agreed. Now especially with gas prices low this would be a great time to have a sane gas tax. Have a variable tax which keeps the price of gas at, say, $4 or $5 per gallon regardless of the actual price of oil. Increase this in 50 cent increments each year until you hit maybe $10 per gallon. That will probably take most of the heavier vehicles off the roads. It'll also give some stability to the economy, and money for public transit. It's actually easier for the economy to adjust to continued higher gas prices than huge fluctuations. In the long haul we'll see more efficient vehicles plus loads of electrics. And a lot more use of bikes and public transit.
I'm pretty sure you have a typo in there. You meant insane gas tax right? ;)

There's nothing quite like a regressive tax on the poor.

Which reminds me. There are too many fat people too. We should raise the price of groceries until people weigh less and obesity rates go down.
 

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Miata vs. Suburban.
Accident easily kills Miata driver. Had the other vehicle been smaller, a fatality would have been way less likely.
Regardless of who is at fault for the accident, at least some of the responsibility for the fatality rests on the decision of the Suburban driver in choosing something far more likely to kill someone.
First, why is the Suburban automatically at fault? Maybe the Miata driver is out street racing and ran into a parked Suburban. Even if the Suburban driver is at fault in the accident, unless you can show the person who bought the Suburban intentionally bought it because it was more deadly to others you're living in a complete and utter fantasy land. By the way, why isn't Mazda at fault for making a car that was unsafe for the conditions a driver of one would find themselves in?

Do you guys have any more wildly preposterous ideas I can mock?
 

LunarMist

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First, why is the Suburban automatically at fault? Maybe the Miata driver is out street racing and ran into a parked Suburban. Even if the Suburban driver is at fault in the accident, unless you can show the person who bought the Suburban intentionally bought it because it was more deadly to others you're living in a complete and utter fantasy land. By the way, why isn't Mazda at fault for making a car that was unsafe for the conditions a driver of one would find themselves in?

Do you guys have any more wildly preposterous ideas I can mock?
I agree. Whoever is at fault is at fault, though there may be comparative negligence. If the dipshit in the Miata drives negligently and smashes into a lawful, safely driving Suburban, the Miata may be 100% at fault. Even if the Miata driver expires, his/her insurance would have to pay the claims from the Suburban driver. Another example would be if the Mitata driver drove 20 feet off the road edge and smashed into a homeowner's concrete block wall on their property. It's not the wall's fault if the occupants die, although they might have lived if the homeowner had a chain link fence.
 

jtr1962

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I'm pretty sure you have a typo in there. You meant insane gas tax right? ;)

There's nothing quite like a regressive tax on the poor.
Not too many really poor can afford cars. If being regressive concerns you, you could always have a refundable gas tax credit which gradually phases out as income increases.

$5 might be much, $2/gas seems pretty reasonable to me. It is regressive, which is why I mentioned the gas-guzzler tax as an alternative.
I was figuring we got through $4+ per gallon gas once, so we're not jacking the price to levels which never existed before. Note here I mean the total of gas price plus the tax would equal $5, not that the tax itself would be $5. At current gas prices, a $2/gallon tax like you propose would probably more or less be the same thing I propose, except my tax would vary. It would fall to zero if gas prices hit $5 per gallon.

We could still have a gas guzzler tax in addition. That would discourage buying large vehicles in the first place, while the gas tax would discourage using existing larger vehicles.
 
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