The flap over fuel economy claims by automakers brings up an interesting point. While EPA...

The flap over fuel economy claims by automakers brings up an interesting point. While EPA testing is done at just below highway speed limits, drivers in the spacious Midwest are likely to topple that average quite a bit. editor John O'Dell notes cities drivers have a much larger economic incentive to drive an electric vehicle than a rural drivers based on that notion of non-efficiency. Perhaps doubly so after factoring in the trick of finding a charging station in the middle of Nebraska.
Comments (10)
  • winston123
    , contributor
    Comments (80) | Send Message
    Yes there currently are few charging stations in Nebraska.The waiting time for delivery is 12 to 18 mos. I'm sure Tesla will solve this problem by then.
    7 Dec 2012, 03:23 PM Reply Like
  • pat1000
    , contributor
    Comments (496) | Send Message
    Keep waiting for battery life to improve that .08% per year we could bank-on to somewhat offset natural battery degradation------
    7 Dec 2012, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • juicejack
    , contributor
    Comments (88) | Send Message
    So, what's the point. Do Nebraskans drive more than 300 miles per day, every day? Is there any proof that electric powered cars consume more electricity at higher speed as gasoline powered cars do?


    A non issue, imho.
    7 Dec 2012, 07:23 PM Reply Like
  • JackB125
    , contributor
    Comments (387) | Send Message
    See the long term (2015) supercharger network map at



    Coverage across the entire US looks pretty good.
    7 Dec 2012, 07:51 PM Reply Like
  • TwistTie
    , contributor
    Comments (2429) | Send Message
    Too bad they're not eclectic cars.


    Then the Nebraskans could just plug them into Warren.
    7 Dec 2012, 09:00 PM Reply Like
  • winston123
    , contributor
    Comments (80) | Send Message
    Warren should upgrade from his VW bettle. Tesla's model S has Balls!
    8 Dec 2012, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • jtmonrow
    , contributor
    Comments (48) | Send Message
    " While EPA testing is done at just below highway speed limits, drivers in the spacious Midwest are likely to topple that average quite a bit."


    What does this sentence mean? That driving faster reduces mpg? Not my experience. Or does it mean that the wide open spaces themselves are bad for mpg? I am SO tired of crappy writing!


    And, anyway, who cares? All the EPA ratings are way high.
    8 Dec 2012, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (7253) | Send Message
    Tired of "crappy writing"? What about lack of understanding of physics?


    Not to go all Sheldon Coopery on you, by technically the faster you go down the road, the higher the aerodynamic drag, which varies with the square of velocity, thus the more horsepower is required to carry on, thus the more fuel is required.


    The EPA highway cycle averages 48 mph, and includes some speeding up and slowing down cycles as if with "traffic". If you actually average 60 mph, the speed is 25% higher, but the aerodynamic drag is 56% higher, and the horsepower and fuel consumption goes up. And if you average 75 mph, the drag is 144% higher.


    If you can drive more gently and efficiently than the EPA drive cycles dictate, especially with a hybrid, then you can significantly beat the EPA numbers. My poor car is rated at 16 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg combined. I have averaged 24.2 mpg over the last 4 years, with a monthly peak average of 26.2 mpg in summer, and a low of 21.8 mpg in the dead of winter. Cruising very smoothly down the highway at the speed limit often nails 30 mpg. But I also know that if I drove it like I did when I was a teenager, no way I could make 16 mpg average.
    8 Dec 2012, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • equail
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
    The EPA driving cycle is based on actual city-suburban routes driven by test drivers in real world traffic. The drivers' actions were determined by traffic conditions. Starts, stops, acceleration and braking rates were all recorded. After a number of trials in various weather conditions, a driving regime was developed which attempted to duplicate the real world experience of the test drivers. Initially, the driving schedule was put on a strip chart mounted on a recorder placed in the test vehicle. The driver would attempt to drive so that the data recorded from the test vehicle exactly tracked the curve determined from "real world" drives. Eventually data was reduced to computer program, the test vehicle was placed on a road simulator dynamometer and a computer controlled both the vehicle and the dynamoter loads. Fuel comsumption was measured by precisely calibrated fuel mass flow meters.
    Data from a number of vehicles is averaged, and a range selected to allow for variances due to driving evironment, operator skills, vehicle condition, and load factors.
    No two vehicles will perform exactly the same, even with the same driver, but, all in all, the system gave a reasonable estimate of what is easily possible for the average driver.
    In determing fuel economy, it is best to use a minimum of 1,000 miles. Top off the fuel tank, record the odometer, then keep track of all the fuel put in the tank over the next 1,000 miles. At that point, top off the tank, record the odometer reading. Subject odo 1 from odo 2 to get the exact mileage, add up the fuel fills and divide to find out what kind of fec driver you are.


    As for electric cars, first problem is cost. Most electrics use lithium based batteries. Li is a mineral and less than 1% of the known Li deposits lie in U.S. territory, and all of that is owned by a single prvately held company. According to the USGS, 50% of the known Li deposits are in Bolivia. Chile (world leader in Li production), and Argentina account for 30%, Russia, China, and Australia add up to another 15%. The remaining 5% is scattered around the world. One engineering estimate, based on current technology, claims is all the recoverable Li was mined and made into car batteries, you could build about 100 million cars. Currently, Li car batteries cost about $650 to $900 per Kw. The all electric Ford Fusion will use a 23Kw battery (per Mr.Mulally) which puts the battery in the area so $13 to 14,000 dollars, or about 1/4 the cost of the car.
    Until the electric car can cover the same range as a gasoline powered vehicle, and refuel as quickly, they will not be practical for anyone not primarily concerned with driving in a crowded urban environment.
    9 Dec 2012, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1917) | Send Message
    I think you may be using older data with your statements concerning "peak lithium". Nick butcher more or less proved there is enough lithium to meet the demand



    With current lithium mines, and absolutely no recycling, we have enough to make over 1 billion cars only using 20% of the lithium, that's roughly enough to replace every single car on the road currently. Also keep in mind, most lithium is mined from prehistoric oceans (super salt concentrated- so less work to extract). If lithium becomes too expensive it becomes economically viable to derive from plain old sea water. So unless your country is landlocked, there will be no issue.


    As per your $650-$900 battery costs per kwhr, that is way too high. With your range, you are saying the Tesla Model S 85 kwhr battery alone cost 55 K to 76.5 K. Hard to imagine a company claiming profitability, and the battery alone almost costing the entire price of the car. At least in Tesla's case, the selling price per kwhr is below $500. Most likely their cost is well below that.


    Besides Ford's let's look at other manufacturers and vehicles currently being produced. Remember Ford is "outsourcing" their EV parts from Magna.


    Nissan: 14 K for 24 kwhr- $625/kwhr
    Tesla Model S -10 K for a 20/25 kwhr increment- $500/kwhr or $470/kwhr
    10 Dec 2012, 02:30 PM Reply Like
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