Electric Geek Transportation Systems

Yeah that’s too bad. Our Kia dealer in California only had the “premium” Niro EV kit and said they sell everything they get, quickly. We do seat 5 (2 adults, 3 kids ages 7, 7, 10) in the Kia Niro OK but it was replacing a station wagon with similar amounts of room. It is definitely not a minivan replacement.

Per @Daniel_Hollas there is the Mercedes MPV which has at least been announced, no idea on availability or even pricing, but given it’s a Mercedes and thus super premium, I expect it to be $100k+. Probably the Tesla Model Y is the nearest thing to a competitively priced electric minivan that’ll happen anytime soon.

But how long did you have to wait for your Niro? Or were you able to just grab one and drive off?

They had them in stock, at least a few. California is probably a big market for them though, as they’re only sold in 12 US states currently.

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Would be interesting to know their profits margins on this car. If they’re selling only in ZEV states, they’re either production constrained or don’t really want to sell them. (Hopefully the former)

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I thought I’d made a post here but when I came back it had disappeared. Did it get eaten by mods or something?

Anyway, I wasn’t talking about an apartment building, I literally have a house in the city (New Yorkers might call it a brownstone) with zero attached parking of any kind, and I just have to find curbside parking – often 2-3 blocks away.

If I wanted to charge near home I’d need to lobby the city to electrify some of the curbside spots, then they’d presumably need a payment program for that (eventually, even if it launched as free to encourage adoption), and they’d need to actually enforce parking laws because inevitably the spots would wind up taken by non-EVs and offenses are rarely ticketed in my neighborhood.

That’s not such a big deal for me, because I think my office has a few EV spots and the cops here are pretty aggressive about enforcement. (Although, I fully expect the infrastructure folks to lag behind rolling out new ones by months-to-years if demand starts to increase.) But what about my SAH wife? She drives from home to the store or school pickups but rarely parks anywhere else. I don’t think she is a 1% edge case, and (other than pie in the sky city-funded streetside chargers) I have no idea how to solve it.

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You replied on a preview post that wasn’t supposed to be here, that appeared when the blog post was still being composed and wasn’t complete. You can tell because the URL is very odd, with a GUID in it. Sorry about that!

Interesting, sounds like the only viable solution in that scenario could be paid charging spots… somewhere… nearby? You can download the popular charge mapping apps to look, if you are curious. I can see how that’d be a pain in the butt though, when all you want to do is get home.

Yeah, in this scenario I think you’d need to charge at work.

There is a third option here: 1) home 2) work 3) shops and stores. Commercially it encourages people to shop and stay, spending more money, right? So if she frequents stores near a level 3 charger, that’ll get you to 80% in 30 minutes.

I think to get any further you’d really need to download one of the charge mapping apps and see for yourself. Here’s what it looks like for me.

The first view is all chargers (realistically, probably mostly level 2 chargers, they’re basically washer/dryer connections) and the second view is the rarer level 3 chargers. Do note that the app is NOT showing me Tesla superchargers becase I can’t use them, but on this map there’s only one 12 port station in Alameda. As you can see, we have a ways to go on building out a non-Tesla “works with every other EV” level 3 charger network :wink:

In your situation where it’s much harder to charge at home you would need to locate level 2 chargers at work (presumably, where you can stay there for ~7 hours and get charged up to 80%) , and specifically level 3 chargers at shops and stores to cover the home situation.

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Well done!
I got a Smart Forfour EQ a couple of months ago and I’m super happy

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The “hundreds of moving parts” made me chuckle. Make it a couple dozen and we can shake hands. EVs might be mechanically simpler, but do remember it is easier to mess up a patch (on a gas or electric car) than it is to mess up a mechanical part.

All new cars are becoming more and more computer like, even the internal combustion engines. Besides you could have an electric vehicle with a simple dashboard, case in point this '80 trolleybus.


I think that the tipping point for electric vehicle will be when their cost will be in line with similar natural gas powered car. Because the people buying natural gas vehicle have to plan carefully the refueling and ahve in thei card big and heavy tanks.

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My wife and myself. And she likes the way we travel when we’re going a long distance. If I’m by myself it’s usually on my motorcycle.

I dunno, it comes across an awful lot like, “WHY WON’T YOU SEE THE LIGHT AND CHANGE YOUR WAYS?!?”

When someone makes an electric or hybrid vehicle that appeals to me I will most likely give it a shot. I’m 57 and have owned 17 cars since I started driving at 16. When I’m dropping $50k or more on a car why should I compromise? I think expecting me to do so is unreasonable.

And not once did I say, or even suggest, that my usage is typical or mainstream. I have maintained that it is my usage. I happen to despise crossovers and SUVs, but if your usage pattern dictates that’s what you need I’m not going to convince you otherwise because it’s your money and your usage.


Honestly I’m just surprised that people would view a marathon 700 mile trip (you said 14 hours!) as something to be done in one day, without any kind of (significant) stopping, even for meals!

We have 3 kids so for me that’s so far outside the realm of possibility that it’s basically a fantasy. To be honest, I’m not sure I’d want to do that even if I was driving solo. But you do you, my friend. You do you.

Wash your hands every time? Are gas pumps that dirty in the United States? I have never (felt that I) needed to wash my hands after filling up…

The problem is that fuel is a nasty chemical, and especially diesel fuel smells bad.
Gas fuel smells much less, they only add stinky chemicals on it to warn of leaks. And at least in Italy there aren’t DIY methane or LPG fuel stations (because especially with methane a procedure has to be followed to prevent explosions)
By the way a think that always puzzled me is why methane fuel station are so rare and no home pumps are available, because in Italy the methane network for houses is widespread. I suppose because due the high pressure used to fill the tanks it’s a complex system to mantain.

In fact the problem for home recharging station could be weirdly solved with microgeneration, even using natural gas or a mix of technologies.
Use a Fiat Panda (literally) engine to heat your home and make electricity in winter. This engine could be tuned to run on biogas, especially the older engined they used, but even running it on methane could be interesting because it’s possible to mix energy sources.

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I’m not a car person, either. I like the idea of electric cars but I do wonder to what extent the growth projections are being taken seriously by government. A mass rollout of electric cars may need a renovation of the electrical grid, as well as a significant ramp-up in electricity generation. Do we have enough generation to support 30% of gasoline cars moving over to electric, for example, and can we supply such massive amounts of energy (in aggregate) at peak demand times to residential areas when everyone expects to charge for the next commute?

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Another technology common in (some countries of) Europe is “gas” but “gas” as we mean it in Europe, so REALLY gas: CNG or LPG. It runs quite strong in Germany, Austria and Italy , a little bit less in the other countries.

Admittedly, it is “clean” but not as clean as electric, but a CNG car or a LPG car you can load in 5 minutes at the gas stations that happen to have CNG or LPG (not all of them… sadly…) and the difference in price between a GAS (american meaning!) car or a diesel car …. and a CNG / LPG car usually is not terrific…

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Ehm… LPG and CNG do not pollute the air on a properly tuned system. That’s a fact, and a reason most city buses and taxis run on CNG even in backwards countries like my own, however that’s beside the point.

From a global warming perspective, both can be worse than gasoline - you cannot have combustion without emitting CO2, and any combustion where more fuel (the case for LPG, dunno about CNG) is used will result in more CO2. Both are fossil fuels and LPG in particular is a petrol product that will run out at the same time gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel will.

As a side note, LPG is extremely popular in Bulgaria. It is a rarity that a petrol station does not offer LPG and all major chains do. The fact is, though, that people only use it because it is hella cheap. LPG is always priced around 40% of what gasoline is and running LPG results in a 50% savings in terms of money spent per km.

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I am not fully defending SpiralGray here, but I am currently on the market for a new car, and I am explicitely looking for a car with which to do roadtrips through Scandinavia (I am living in Germany). And even though both Norwayy and Sweden have a rather good charger network (better than Germany) an electric car is out. The main reason is that I cannot charge at home, bvecause I am renting a flat in a city (no, sometimes getting a charging spot at work does not cut it for everyday use, but it is a good development in general). A secondary reason is that for these kind of trips I might start with large chunks of driving in one go (say 600-700 miles), with maybe a fast food break in between that would not allow me to charge enough. We use two drivers for these trips, so this is perfectly doable, and if I want to do a roadtrip in northern Norway, I don’t want to take 4 or 5 days to get there instead of two and a half and shrug and say that the journey is what counts or something.
I realize this is an edge case, but it is not too far fetched either, and these things are currently solved for diesel and petrol cars, but not yet for EV. I want an EV, because I am a computer guy and not a car guy, just like you, but I will have to wait some more years before this finally makes sense for me.

Software updates…

I’m jonesing for an electric car. As a lifetime used-car buyer, I have some questions! :slight_smile:
Electric cars are essentially giant mobile devices. Do you see anyone using 10-year-old mobile devices? I don’t. What happens when manufacturers decide to stop issuing software updates? What happens when a manufacturer decides to cripple the car’s performance just because the batteries are beginning to “wear”? Are the MOT/DMV up to date with regulations for vehicle software updates?

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How many people do you see driving around in a huge pick-up because once or twice a year they take a big load to the dump?

Probably not many. I strongly suspect the main use-case is “penile compensation device”. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

In most places, you get free garbage pickup a couple times a year. Even if you don’t (and you don’t have any friends), Home Depot will rent you a truck for almost peanuts, and they don’t care if you get it dirty and smelly or scratch the bed.

The argument seems very post hoc justification.

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Now this is the car I’d love to buy… if not for the waiting list… and mass production of it. What a concept! Recharges as you drive it (in the sun).