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Electric cars and Tesla (PLEASE leave politics out of this thread!)


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One car I think we can all agree on here is cool is this Detroit Electric from 1931.  https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/25593/lot/456/?category=list&length=10&page=39

 

This exceptional machine is the sole surviving example of Detroits ultimate iteration of the electric car. Unlike previous electrics which made their propulsion known in formal if a bit stuffy broughams, this example takes its styling cues more from Packard. It sports a faux radiator and louvered hood mimicking its gasoline powered competitor. The design of the Detroit sheds light on the unfashionability of electric cars in this era. Detroit's attempt to regain dwindling market share proved a failure and this is believed to be the only survivor.

Despite the long hood, the engine is mounted mid-ship and drive is by shaft to the rear axle. The interior features a cluster of electric gauges and an elegant speed control stock at the steering wheel.

It was acquired by Frank Spain from the famed Harrah's Auto Museum Collection during the 1986 dispersal sales. William Harrah's network of car sleuths turned up some of the greatest automobiles and it is no surprise he ended up with this historic electric. Surviving today in largely original condition it appears to be untouched for many decades. Curiously, the Detroit shows evidence of quite a few miles showing that this machine did a good bit of service.

This Detroit Electric is without question one of the rarest and most desirable early electric cars. With such strong interest in electrics today this is bound to be a star of any collection.

 

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What was the range after a couple of 12 second runs ? I have no doubt electric vehicles can be very fast. However it always comes at a substantial range cost. Battery's only store so much power. Especially 2003 battery's.

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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23 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

What was the range after a couple of 12 second runs ? I have no doubt electric vehicles can be very fast. However it always comes at a substantial range cost. Battery's only store so much power. Especially 2003 battery's.

 

Greg

You have to find the owner and ask him. 16 years ago. I just haul cars and ask about the cars. No knowledge in 2003 about how these things work.

 

 

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I drove into town a little while ago.  Counted 13 Teslas on the way in.  In some parts of the country (including this one), they are definitely a thing.  Whether that’s virtue signaling, a status symbol, an honest attempt at environmental conscientiousness, gullibility, or because they were objectively evaluated to be the best car for the money is probably best left to another discussion.

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Ford also tried again in 1998 with their 'Th!nk' city car.  It didn't pan out, and they sold it to Global/NEVS in 2003.

 

Now Ford is trying again by investing $500 into Rivian.

 

Craig

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It still seems strange to me that for all the years that Tesla, and other electric cars have been around, that there are still people asking whether the car is a viable alternative to an internal combustion engine. I think that a more appropriate question would be, how long is is the internal combustion engine going to survive in Europe an Asia.

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"290,000 electric vehicles will be sold in the U.S. in 2001." ~ BMW pic above

It actually took until 2018 for EV sales to hit that level; 2017 was 199K, 2018 was 361K.
It takes very little research to see the historic norm for marketplace changes- it always takes far longer than the fans believe for the tide to change.
Yet there are still folk that will tell you in all seriousness that EVs will be the majority of vehicles sold in "3-5 years", something we've seen claimed for the better part of a decade now.

 

Electric vehicle percentage of the U.S. market in 2018 was 2%.

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41 minutes ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

It still seems strange to me that for all the years that Tesla, and other electric cars have been around, that there are still people asking whether the car is a viable alternative to an internal combustion engine. I think that a more appropriate question would be, how long is is the internal combustion engine going to survive in Europe an Asia.

 

Probably more to the point are the questions a] is the electric car ; all factors considered , better for the environment. b} is the electric car cost competitive with conventional IC engine cars. c} is the electric car able to be a practical alternative operationally, range, cold performance, safety and no doubt other considerations I am unaware of. 

Some of these questions can be answered "probably" however others are at this time still quite unclear.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, 1912Staver said:

Probably more to the point are the questions a] is the electric car ; all factors considered , better for the environment. b} is the electric car cost competitive with conventional IC engine cars. c} is the electric car able to be a practical alternative operationally, range, cold performance, safety and no doubt other considerations I am unaware of. 

Some of these questions can be answered "probably" however others are at this time still quite unclear.

 

And some are an indisputable "no".

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2 hours ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

It still seems strange to me that for all the years that Tesla, and other electric cars have been around, that there are still people asking whether the car is a viable alternative to an internal combustion engine. I think that a more appropriate question would be, how long is is the internal combustion engine going to survive in Europe an Asia.

The answer to that depends in large part as to whether change is the result of market forces or government mandates.

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11 hours ago, countrytravler said:

 

 

Could this be the next form of hot rodding for all vintage/classic cars in the future? 

 

I started a conversion about 15 years on a 1984 Alfa GTV but abandoned it due to funds and time availability. 

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  • countrytravler changed the title to Electric cars and Tesla. Please leave politics out of this post. PLEASE!!!! I do not want it to get shut down.

Just a thought, but you might want to delete the word TESLA from the heading and that might keep the discussion more civil and fair, and allow the conversation to focus on the important general topic of electric vehicles. 

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An interesting statement by the gent doing the Porsche conversion in the video. " you can charge it on solar " . Is this a practical charging method ? How long would this take ? Assuming a solar cell that a less than millionaire's can afford, say an all up cost similar to the cost of the same sort of energy provided by gasoline. Would it take say 200 years of use to amortise the cost of the solar cell ?

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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If one does not use their electric conversion car for their daily driver, one could install solar cells on the garage or carport roof and have it charging for the next drive. :)

 

The cost of solar cells has come down. I’m thinking the cost to build an array capable to charge the Porsche conversion would be within reason. One would have to have enough cells connected in series to exceed the voltage of the batteries for charging. 

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Interesting video statement # 2, we have to sell this concept based on performance. I probably got the quote wrong, however that is the gist of Mr. Porsche converters message. Where is the energy to provide all this thrilling performance coming from ? If self owned solar cells then I don't see a big problem. If plugging in to the grid then not so environmentally friendly.  I hope no real 356 Speedsters  were harmed in this effort. Intermeccanica ?

Personal prejudice, I don't like rear engine {motor} cars at all. Use a 550  replica as a starting point and I could probably be won over.

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Chinese built electric sports car rumored to be coming to the US in the near future.  Has solar panels built in the roof. Photos are from their showroom in Shanghai.  Fuel door is for charging input.

 

 

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Edited by TerryB (see edit history)
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Just now, 1912Staver said:

Any idea of what percentage of the required power is supplied by the cells ? Practical innovation or window dressing ?

 

Greg

No, I think it’s to take full advantage of any charging opportunities available.  It might help power heating or cooling duties while the car is sitting?  If I could read Chinese I might know more about it.

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1 hour ago, Gunsmoke said:

Just a thought, but you might want to delete the word TESLA from the heading and that might keep the discussion more civil and fair, and allow the conversation to focus on the important general topic of electric vehicles. 

 

The general topic of electric vehicles is inexorably intertwined with Tesla, as both Tesla in particular and the electric vehicle industry as a whole are a stew of developing technology, market forces, and governmental favoritism.

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58 minutes ago, AzBob said:

If one does not use their electric conversion car for their daily driver, one could install solar cells on the garage or carport roof and have it charging for the next drive. 

Well, it takes 4 days to charge a Tesla from a conventional 120V circuit.  How many solar cells are you going to put on this garage?

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52 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

An interesting statement by the gent doing the Porsche conversion in the video. " you can charge it on solar " . Is this a practical charging method ? How long would this take ? Assuming a solar cell that a less than millionaire's can afford, say an all up cost similar to the cost of the same sort of energy provided by gasoline. Would it take say 200 years of use to amortise the cost of the solar cell ?

 

Greg

 

In California, where that conversion and video was made, solar is a renewable source that makes sense. After all as that old song says “it never rains in Southern California”. At present there are companies here that claim to be able to put a solar system on your house at a price that is competitive with buying power from the local power monopolies. It looks like they target your monthly utility bill as the number to beat when you consider monthly payments on financing the system. I don't know for a fact that it is true or just marketing as the last time I seriously investigated that was a long time ago when the prices were different. If true, then your cost to go solar is basically zero.

 

I do know that with the time of use billing on my utility provided power that the “fuel” cost for an electrically driven mile in my plug-in hybrid is about 1/2 that for a gasoline driven mile. And I'm getting darned closed to 60 MPG on the gasoline driven miles. If the gas mileage was worse the electrical miles would be even more advantageous.

 

Anyway, given the current local apparent cost of solar (if the local marketing is to be believed) and the number of miles per KWh I am getting, my guess is that your pay off will be quite quick and reasonably affordable by non millionaires. But, like real estate, this is probably local. It depends on your local electrical rates, cost of gasoline, amount of sunny days, etc.

 

There was an interesting article in the NY Times a while back on what the power mix is for electricity generation in different states. Some states are already getting most of their electricity from renewable sources. And some of those states surprised me because wind or hydro power aren't things that come to mind. Who knew that Idaho gets something like 3/4 of its electrical power from hydro and wind? I sure didn't. If you have an electric vehicle there you really are pretty low carbon on your transportation.

 

Getting back to the topic of converting old cars to electric: I have a personal aversion to modifying old cars away from stock. Doesn't matter if the modification is putting in a newer gasoline engine, suspension, brakes, etc. like the typical hot rod. Or ripping out the drivetrain and replacing it with electric. That all seems just wrong to me as my focus is on the historical aspects of the vehicle design.

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Like I posted this before, these solar panels are 5 kw. When they were first installed, I saw the meter, showing they were delivering that, and installed correctly.

You can use that to charge your "Power Wall" home battery, during the day. Then the "power wall" transfers the energy to your car at night.

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http://www.tesla.com/powerwall

 

21 Drakes Summit.JPG

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I am not impressed by performance. I do like the idea of driving for free. Charge your car with sunlight, no fuel expense. I would like to drive with a solar panel on the roof. At this point it is all very expensive, I realize that. But the idea of an economical EV charged by solar panels may at some point become practical for me. We are back up to $4 per gallon gasoline at this point.

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