Electric Vehicles



  • We've discussed EVs on other threads, but I thought it would be good to have all of it here, particularly as Tesla just announced a new base Model 3.

    https://cleantechnica.com/2019/03/01/tesla-online-sales-bigger-news-than-35000-model-3/

    The news is that they've dropped the price for their "mass" model to USD$35K and flagged shutting down dealerships. Instead for anyone who buys online, you get a week or 1000 miles to test drive and return if you're not happy. From that article:

    On the surface, the online sales model is simple. No need for a test drive. Simply order your car and pay for it. Tesla will bring it to you. After a week with the car or 1000 miles, whichever comes first, you can return it for a full refund if you don’t want it, no questions asked. You may as well treat it like a free rental, Musk laughed. Musk says ordering the car can be done in under a minute using a smartphone. Returning one would be just as simple and hassle free. Sweet.

    That's an interesting model and contrasts favourably with some of the horror stories you hear about other US manufacturers (e.g. Jeep).

    At USD$35K it would be around AUD$50k here on the current exchange rate. Most importantly, it skips the Federal Luxury Car Tax at that mark so you save a bunch of money there. Still no federal incentives but you're starting to seriously undercut something like a BMW 3 Series, though you wouldn't have as many toys.

    At the same time, there have been news articles out about Model 3 reliability issues and Teslas catching fire generally (Model S bursting into flames). So it is what the market will make of it, however in the US where the Model 3 has out for about a year now, the overwhelming consensus is that people fucking love it. Once it gets past the mad fanbase* and into general production, the judgement of reliability will be interesting to watch.

    Will I get one? Dunno. It is a fair bit to fork out for a car, and even worse, Mrs TA is the next one due for a replacement vehicle so she'd be driving around in a Tesla and I'd still have my much-loved, though non-electric, X-Trail.

    *A group in which I unashamedly include myself



  • I think Tesla have left it too late. Now with every other manufacturer coming to the party and releasing vehicles that not only look good, but have build quality we expect, Tesla now have competition. The badge meant early adopter tech head, but that's swamped by two classes of people; badge snobs and the price conscious risk averse.



  • I've driven the following EVs:

    • Tesla Model S - the 90D version. This is near top-spec and a fucking hoot. From memory it was mid-4s to 100km/hour, and near silent doing it. As someone who has never owned a luxury car it was fucking amazing, in short.

    • BMW i3 - bloke at work had one of the full EV versions on loan so we drove it out for a site visit. Zippy as fuck. Weird looking. Interior and controls were deliberately "concept" IMHO and you'd struggle to justify the AUD $70K minimum price tag.

    • Renault ZOE - work has a couple of these as pool cars. Again: has a bit of zip and the feature set is good for a small car, but it is a fucking small car and for AUD$52K the French designer who left out half the lining on the boot can GAGF.

    • Hyundai Ioniq - released late last year in Australia, Mrs TA and I took one for a test drive a few weeks back. Gotta say I was pretty impressed overall, but the AUD$53K price tag is a bit steep on a car with a range of ~220km, though it DOES have a lot of kit crammed into that. I blogged about it.

    The challenge for Australia at the moment is the chicken v egg battle of EVs and infrastructure. People question why we'd build the infrastructure if there are no EVs. Others question how we can have EVs with no infrastructure.

    Both things are getting addressed, but at a fairly slow pace due to lack of federal policy on energy. State governments are doing a fair bit here, but I'd say we are well behind NZ on this. While driving east from Taupo I saw road signs indicating distance to the next EV charger. That is a great move that you won't get here for some time.

    Spoke to a guy in Taupo who had one of the Ioniqs and was charging it before he left in the morning for Auckland. Does Welly to Auck a fair bit he said, and Taupo is his second charging stop and a perfect overnighter. Looking at google maps there appears to be a fair bit of charging availability on major roads.

    In any case, there will be detractors who say that it'll never take off in Australia because the distances are too big. But most people aren't driving hundreds of km a day, particularly urban dwellers like my family.

    In my situation, the inconvenience of a "small tank" in an EV is more than made up for by the fact I've got a petrol station in my garage.

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  • @antipodean said in Electric Vehicles:

    I think Tesla have left it too late. Now with every other manufacturer coming to the party and releasing vehicles that not only look good, but have build quality we expect, Tesla now have competition. The badge meant early adopter tech head, but that's swamped by two classes of people; badge snobs and the price conscious risk averse.

    It is interesting to look at from an economic pov. While there has been a lot of criticism about Tesla's lack of profit, Musk's stated goals of changing the industry - with altruistic themes of saving the planet - has no doubt worked to a degree.

    Seems to me that Tesla and SpaceX are about keeping the lights on, and moving forward. Profit is kind of secondary based o performance to date, though I'm sure many investors are waiting for the point where its all just gravy.

    The electric truck area is one thing I reckon they'll have trouble with. Light urban EV - particularly trade vehicles, delivery short haul etc is potentially worth a lot, and China recognises that. EDIT: Buses also. Big business.



  • If anyone is interested in seeing what's out there, check out Fully Charged Show on YouTube. They tend to get in on what is happening pretty early.

    I'm keen to see Rivian get to market, based on this video. The crew cab seems to have a heap of great little features that look perfect for going camping.



  • @NTA said in Electric Vehicles:

    In any case, there will be detractors who say that it'll never take off in Australia because the distances are too big. But most people aren't driving hundreds of km a day, particularly urban dwellers like my family.

    I'd say that the infrastructure will quickly follow consumer demand. Short range (the majority of Australian driving) will create the requirement for charger infrastructure and service stations already exist so a smart person would simply add them there. As quick chargers mature the wait time will be a lunch break.

    Add to that the enormous home solar infrastructure in this country and the cost to charge at home can be minimised. The upper middle class will drive this.



  • @NTA said in Electric Vehicles:

    It is interesting to look at from an economic pov. While there has been a lot of criticism about Tesla's lack of profit, Musk's stated goals of changing the industry - with altruistic themes of saving the planet - has no doubt worked to a degree.

    I think ultimately that's how he'll be remembered; a visionary that forced the major manufacturers to adopt quicker.

    BTW that Rivian is ugly as sin.



  • @NTA how much does the model s go for in aus?

    I can’t see the model 3 being close to 50k AUD.

    If the model 3 is only 27k GBP here I’d be first on the list.



  • @MajorRage said in Electric Vehicles:

    @NTA how much does the model s go for in aus?

    I can’t see the model 3 being close to 50k AUD.

    If the model 3 is only 27k GBP here I’d be first on the list.

    In the ACT - which is the lowest in value because they don't have Stamp Duty - the lowest cost Model S is about AUD$130K, or about GBP70K drive away at current exchange.

    Think you can reserve a Model 3 for GBP1K?



  • @antipodean said in Electric Vehicles:

    BTW that Rivian is ugly as sin.

    It'll turn heads - and maybe stomachs 😉

    But 5 ton towing, shitloads of torque, swimming rivers, and a big range. Lot to like.

    Let's also remember I own an X-Trail - 2012 model aka "Last of the Boxy Ones". So style isn't really top of my list 😃



  • @MajorRage if I was in the market for one - and I don't earn nearly enough to consider it - base Model S in Sydney is AUD$135,390 which includes:

    $600 registration fee (State)
    $12,285 Luxury Car Tax (Federal)
    $5,540 Stamp Duty (State)
    $490 Compulsory Third Party Insurance (State)
    $875 delivery fee from Tesla

    Top of range 100D with all the toys (full ludicrous mode, autopilot, self-drive premium package etc) is just shy of $189K and the luxury tax almost doubles.



  • Honda going urban. I think its cool tho Australia might not be the ideal market for it.



  • I know a thing or two about electric buses



  • @NTA see, I’ve driven 3 variants of the model s and I just don’t see the pricing. It made sense in Hk where a 530i was around 800k including govt tax, snd the p85d similar. But I over here it’s 45k for the 530i snd 85k for the 85d

    The running costs differential simply don’t make up the difference. Especially when I still think the 530i is the better car.



  • @MajorRage A friend and I drove a 535d around central europe last year, and it was a bloody good car.



  • @Tim said in Electric Vehicles:

    @MajorRage A friend and I drove a 535d around central europe last year, and it was a bloody good car.

    There aren’t many better than that! I’d buy the 535d over a 530i too but no diesels in Hk so can’t compare



  • @MajorRage said in Electric Vehicles:

    @NTA see, I’ve driven 3 variants of the model s and I just don’t see the pricing. It made sense in Hk where a 530i was around 800k including govt tax, snd the p85d similar. But I over here it’s 45k for the 530i snd 85k for the 85d

    The running costs differential simply don’t make up the difference. Especially when I still think the 530i is the better car.

    Agreed. But that's what we don't really get about the Euro car market - your "luxury" cars are cheap as fuck. In those areas I'm surprised there is any electric car activity at all.

    Norway makes it work via pre- and post-sale incentives, but most places aren't that concerned about EV uptake yet. Look at BMW's comments about having the majority of their offerings still using petrol or diesel into the 2030s, where a lot of manufacturers are going the other way.

    As even plugin hybrids are going to come under increasing scrutiny for emissions, it'll be interesting to see all that play out.

    Hybrids like the Prius are a waste of time IMHO. "Self-charging" electric is how they're framing it. FFS...

    You'd think - with our vehicle manufacturing industry now goneskis - that the luxury tax would be scrapped here. But I guess like all taxes, its harder to remove than implement.

    @mariner4life said in Electric Vehicles:

    I know a thing or two about electric buses

    We saw zero coverage of that BTW. Has it happened yet?



  • @NTA said in Electric Vehicles:

    @MajorRage said in Electric Vehicles:

    @NTA how much does the model s go for in aus?

    I can’t see the model 3 being close to 50k AUD.

    If the model 3 is only 27k GBP here I’d be first on the list.

    In the ACT - which is the lowest in value because they don't have Stamp Duty - the lowest cost Model S is about AUD$130K, or about GBP70K drive away at current exchange.

    Think you can reserve a Model 3 for GBP1K?

    Have they scrapped stamp duty on cars in the ACT?

    EVs get it real easy in London at the moment. No congestion charge (even though they still take up space on the road) and 'free' parking in prime locations by just pretending to charge. Cant see that lasting as the fights for charging spots break out.

    Unless I have the need and money for a 'city car' then EVs aren't an option for me. I like the ability to drive long distances too much.
    Fuck staying in Taupo after a 4.5 hour drive when I could continue on and reach my destination.
    Also (and this is key), they don't sell pies at charging poles.



  • @Crucial said in Electric Vehicles:

    Have they scrapped stamp duty on cars in the ACT?

    Not sure as I don't live there. But Tesla don't list it in the price when you build a car on their site, so maybe it is an EV perk?



  • @NTA said in Electric Vehicles:

    @Crucial said in Electric Vehicles:

    Have they scrapped stamp duty on cars in the ACT?

    Not sure as I don't live there. But Tesla don't list it in the price when you build a car on their site, so maybe it is an EV perk?

    Google is our friend. EVs are Cat A in this scheme which means zero duty.

    The ACT Government is the only jurisdiction in Australia to have a differential duty scheme for new cars, utes and light commercial vehicles to provide an incentive for the purchase of lower operating emission vehicles and a disincentive against the purchase of vehicles with higher operating emissions.


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