What is the major hurdle in the acceptance of electric vehicles: range, recharging time, price?

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by voltsxamps, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

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    I will chime in on why I like my i3. A few years back, I had a F350, Lotus Elise and Prius and found myself driving the Prius most for my long commute a few years back as I enjoy the efficiency (MPG, reliability, less maintenance) when on 4 wheels. Now that I've moved and have a short (56 mile RT) commute and cant split lanes, I ended up with an i3. I like: 1. cheap initial price ($16k for 2yr old with 9k miles), 2. warranty (BMW supporting 75% range at end of federal 8yr/100k bty wty), 3. performance (more get up and go than Leaf, also rear wheel drive), 3. free electricity charging at work (cover all my charging M-F), 4. super low maintenance compared to ICE, 5. quiet, 6. remote (phone) access for conveniences like turning on HVAC to cool/heat before I get in or auto setting my "have car at TBD temp at this time/day" setting, 7. promised battery upgrade which BMW has delivered on where first gen bty can be upgraded to second gen bty for 50% more range when a new battery is needed (10 to 20yrs from now given my 15k/yr average). Maybe the electric BMW scooter with same batteries for next bike next year once a used one shows up cheap...
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  2. Traxx

    Traxx Long timer Supporter

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    Both, I was mainly curious if it was economy or performance that was driving you.
  3. jsinclair

    jsinclair Been here awhile

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    The economics of it is what made us look into them in the first place. The performance , features and driving dynamics is what sold us.
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  4. Traxx

    Traxx Long timer Supporter

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    For me comparable economics (initial price) then range and performance. I am eye balling the zero sooooooo hard right now. If I could get at least a 1/2 ton crew cab pick-up then it would be on the short list.
    I am more likely to get a high end all around vehicle vs 2 specific vehicles.
    My family leans far to the crew pick up end.
  5. EvrythingAwesom

    EvrythingAwesom Long timer

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    We sold a 46KPH-top-speed Lithium LIFEPO4 electric scooter, for cheap, because it was losing range and voltage was dropping fast on a ride. Also, we didn't use it more than 3X a year in the last two years. The battery pack was from mid-2012. We had never checked the tire pressure because the tires were stiff and looked fully-inflated. However, the actual tire pressure, before the buyer arrived, was 10PSI on the tires! We inflated the tires to 50PSI front and 45PSI rear. The buyer got 37 kms and says he still had more power left. Lesson: The battery pack was still like-new! Keep the tire pressure high!
  6. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    What is the major hurdle in the acceptance of electric vehicles: range, recharging time, price?

    I believe it is range, and the nuisance of recharging while on the road. Hotel/Motel chains and Bike Dealerships should pick up on this, and feature free overnight charging stations nation-wide. I also believe it may be a good idea to establish bikes with extremely easy battery removal/install features, and have battery EXCHANGE stations nation wide. When you run low you pull in, swap the easily exchangeable battery, swipe your CC or APP, and off you go.

    Otherwise, the image remains of a short range commuter, errand running bike, and not a full time use vehicle for travel, etc.
    Traxx likes this.
  7. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short guy

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    I met a Kia plug in EV/hybrid user who could not get the plug out of his car today. He tried to turn the car off to reset everything. After a few resets it finally released the plug so he could leave. I don't know how it works, maybe his credit card was maxed out?
  8. Crilly

    Crilly Long timer Super Supporter

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    It is the car that can lock it. He just did not know how it works.
  9. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short guy

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    I also found it interesting why he was in Hope. He lives in Kelowna (?) and put gas in the car 9 months ago and has been running electric since then. He was trying to use up the old gas so that he could put some fresh stuff in.
  10. Andylaser

    Andylaser Heavy Metal

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    Just got back from a business trip to Shanghai and pretty much 98% of the scooters there are now electric. I dont think range is an issue there, as most are used for local commuting and deliveries. They almost all had removable battery packs, so they could be taken indoors and charged overnight. I wouldn't be surprised if those using them commercially for deliveries had a spare pack on charge and swapped them over when required.

    Having said that, in China they also ride on the pavements and use pedestrian crossings to cross busy streets. This is a bit disconcerting, especially if you cant hear them coming. At night, they like to conserve battery life by not using lights. Having said all that, a basic mini scooter can be bought brand new for about $400.
  11. MJSfoto1956

    MJSfoto1956 Been here awhile

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    One of the things that likely concerns people is how to efficiently repurpose the batteries after they lose 20% or so of their capability. If I "roll my own" then I have to figure that part out. If I buy into a brand's system, then my expectation is that they will provide a methodology for repurposing my old (but still useful) batteries. BMW and others are planning this, but AFAIK, nobody has yet delivered it other than Tesla (i.e. Tesla PowerWall).
  12. _mtg_

    _mtg_ Been here awhile

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    Whoa, I didn't realize you can buy a used i3 that cheap. Just checked local craigslist, and yep, there are plenty here in Denver at about that same price. Good to know
  13. Muiraine

    Muiraine Adventurer Supporter

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    It isn't storage alone as an issue so much charge time. You can recharge at a DC Fast Charge Station at 20kW up to 80% to 85% of its state of charge (SOC) in about 20 minutes. That's over 75 miles in Sports Mode for some bikes like the Energica models that all fast charge in stock configuration and possibly a couple Zero models with additional equipment purchases. These bikes meet the international standards for using the J1772 Fast Charge Stations of which there are over 20 near me here in San Francisco. There are more than that over in the East Bay. Personally, I would like to be able to ride down to San Jose (48 to 50 miles) without Economy Mode or a 20 minute stop to Recharge.

    As for EV adoption? Not many informed people argue the numbers, what folks can't let go of is the visceral feel and sound of an ICE powered bike. It's an emotional issue I've researched for years.

    Interesting story. A friend got me a seat one night to see Les Paul perform at a club in New York. I've played mostly Gibson Les Pauls starting with a 1973 Deluxe Goldtop through an assortment of amp and speaker combinations from a Pignose, to modified Fender Twins, Bassmans, Ampegs, Sunn, a brief flirtation with Orange, and a freaking warehouse of Marshalls.

    Checking out people's gear is an automatic reflex and that night Les shocked me by playing through one of the Line 6 Spider modeling amp/speak combos, a 2006 edition I think. Line 6 (now part of Yamaha) pioneered the idea to precision model the physics of a pre-amp, power amp and speaker output, reproducing all of their complex characteristics. I had been very skeptical because something as complex as the Voodoo in my stacks seemed impossible for software and hardware to produce but seeing and hearing, the Master made me a believer.

    What the hell does that ramble have to do with motorcycles? Well, using the same concept as Line 6 and the science of Psychoacoustics, I've been working to create an aftermarket kit that precisely recreates the subsonic vibration and audible sound of classic motorcycle engines.

    My motto: Science You Feel!

    Just like die-hard guitar pickers, nothing like this will pass muster for die-hard bikers, but for many this opens the door to a new world of sounds and feelings from the past, present, introduces the ability to purchase authorize and endorsed engine profiles, as well as sample or synthesize, modify engine profiles uniquely their own, engine sounds and feelings only imagined in the Firefly 'Verse, the Star Wars or Star Trek Universes, and others.

    Like most of my projects, this will likely fail due to the "Semmelweis Reflex", a metaphor for the reflex-like tendency of people to reject new evidence and or new knowledge because it contradicts established norms, beliefs or paradigms.

    Nobody has ever stopped me from trying though.
  14. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    Back in the early 20th century when the Industrial Revolution was still going strong, motorized transportation was split between ICE, steam and electric. Each had their followers. Electric was relegated to rich old ladies for in-town errands, because at the time the heavy batteries, coupled with narrow wheels made them impractical for anything else. Steam finally kicked the long warm-up problem with the flash boiler (search on 'Doble') and was on track to beat out the ICE. But ICE won. Historians battle over why, but I think it was because steam was nearly silent and ICE let you hear the power it was developing. That was quite a draw back in those days.

    There is still an emotional aspect to that draw, but as the world continues on its accelerating rush toward tech the noise is losing its appeal. In the early 20th century people responded to coal smoke, hammers on anvils, railroad trains, etc. as the signs of progress. Now those things are seen as crass, quaint, annoying, detrimental and, well, old. As far as EVs are concerned, noise is known to be completely unnecessary. Once you get accustomed to living with an EV, putting an artificial sound on it just seems painfully nostalgic, immature or outright nuts. And let's face it, annoying.

    Give it time. The desire by some to stick a noise on an otherwise serenely silent EV experience will eventually disappear. My personal story is that I was, long ago, involved with ICE deeply enough to be a mechanic on a championship-winning AMA Superbike team. I was immersed, and sound was a big part of it. Fast forward a few decades, and I still think about the latest, best ICE bike because I can't turn that part of my head off. But I also know that with both an ICE bike and EM in the garage, the ICE would just gather dust. A large part of that is the noise. I'm just so done with it. I had to come a long way. Most don't have so far. Noise with EMs is a dead-end street.
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  15. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    A few videos on the subject for your audible pleasure :ear











  16. Muiraine

    Muiraine Adventurer Supporter

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    Competition between Internal and External Combustion (Steam) and Electric Power

    My history and that of the industry: I’m 60 and holding, been wrenching and riding motorcycles for about 47 years now. I was born barely a decade after WWII while both my parents were finishing up at Howard University in DC. My Aunt Bessie was an Officer in the W.A.C. assigned to President Eisenhower’s detail as what would be considered today an Executive Administrative Assistant.

    My Dad a first generation US Citizen born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio took us back there to live with my Grandparents while he completed his internship. We actually lived in a semi-rural town named Madisonville. When we went into Cincinnati Grandma would drive us to catch the B&O train at Oakley Station, and we’d get off at Union Terminal, take a cab or bus the rest of the way into the city. A few years later Dad was called to active duty as a surgeon in the Air Force, they gave him Captain bars and packed the family to Westover AFB near Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts where we spent most of the 1960s.

    Back to Cincinnati at the end of the decade, met my Cousin Vernon who taught me how to start and ride a Honda 50 in a cornfield while my brothers distracted my Dad who definitely would never of let that happen. Driving an old John Deere that could flip over and kill me was ok but a scooter, that in his mind was crazy talk. It was over 4 years before could get a license to ride by which time I’d got my hands on a Kaw 650

    Beginning in Great Britain and spreading worldwide, the Industrial Revolution which happened in the 18th Century (1760 to 1840) was manifest primarily by the most advanced agricultural nations’ of the time experiencing rapid industrialization and urbanization. The cultural shock of that experience continues to reverberate to this very day because it disrupted social structures that had changed little in any fundamental sense for several millennia before then. In the politically insular United States of America of the time, the introduction of the transcontinental railroad, expansion, and consolidation of the West, nearly unimagined wealth from slave labor and the cotton gin, and the somehow unexpected dominance of hydroelectric power utterly changed to the demographic landscape of America in historic terms, overnight.

    The competition between coal, alcohol, petroleum distillates played out within the arena of industrial usage long before personal cars as common conveyances existed. The Internal (Alcohol/Diesel/Gasoline) and External Combustion (Steam) and Electric Powered (Battery/Grid) Engines all competed for industrial business use powering overland rail, subway and overhead trains, inclines and trolleys, with heavy machines like “Steam Shovels” still common long after alcohol and gasoline had replaced steam-powered tractors on farms.

    For most of the Industrial Age average American used Mass transportation, but truth be told, even the wealthiest people rarely using personal vehicles except for special occasions, there being no practical reason in anyone’s mind to do otherwise. Frequently cars we see powerful industrialists and heads of state riding in were nearly always for effect. The biggest changes at the level of common folk happened not long after a Dr. George Sperti (January 17, 1900, Covington, Kentucky – April 29, 1991, Cincinnati, Ohio) invented the KVa Power Meter, which eventually made possible the “business” of commodifying electricity.

    The biggest problem that held back electric vehicles wasn’t their weight but their energy density/power density, loss of power in cold temperatures, and the lack of a cogent business model for electric vehicles during the 19th century a time when few people owned personal cars. That lack of a sound business model at the time meant that mass production of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), particularly by Henry Ford around 1910; the invention of a semi-reliable automobile starter by Charles Kettering in 1912; the discovery and hence large-scale production of oil ie petrochemicals, particularly in Texas around 1920; and the nascent beginning of real highways with the first United States concrete paved street in 1893 on Court Avenue in Bellefontaine, Ohio all conspired to make ICE vehicles more competitive.

    People actually liked the idea of electric vehicles better originally. Numerous books, magazines, and news articles attest to this from the period. People were used to electric trains and trolleys getting to work or market every day. However, from a business perspective, you could more easily measure coal, alcohol, gasoline. Firestone colluded with the Oil Barons, basically bought out the electric transportation systems that continually reminded people every day about reliable, cheap electric transportation then cooked up fake books explaining how electric vehicles cost too much to maintain then replaced everything with gas-powered vehicles at the taxpayers cost. People still lie about what happened despite it being in the Congressional Archives because they were prosecuted uselessly for what they did and then as now these corporations walk away with slap on the wrist.

    Even after Sperti’s meter, the commodification and marketing of electricity at the level of personal transportation continued to plague industry until a relatively brief time ago, and I mean we’ve made progress, not licked the problem at all. By the way, Dr. Sperti was a moral and scientific mentor to me in my youth and his loss first to illness, then his death some ten years later affected me for over a decade.

    We are still struggling to conceptualize electromotive systems, having strangely replicated the “Gas Economy” in the form of Electric Gas Tanks not just a metaphor (looking at you Zero Motorcycle with Power Tank & Charge Tank) and Filling (ie Charge) Stations, using the same comic Design Thinking that gave us the “Horseless Carriage”. Nobody then could see how ridiculous that idea was and change didn’t happen because people outgrew horseless carriages, not at all, people moved on because of a revolution in marketing brought on by the repurposing of the wildly successful wartime propaganda system that had worked lockstep with the military-industrial complex as we know it today during its infancy.

    People were sold everything from radioactive mouthwash and vitamins to equally nonsensical streamlined vehicles which from an engineering perspective were really Mass-Produced Streamlined Horseless Carriages, seriously go look at the pictures and think hard. In fact, you can count on one hand the number of production cars that were functionally streamlined, before and after WWII and either nobody bought them or other manufacturers greased palms and called in favors to make sure those companies failed.

    Locomotives Engines, the literal business end of a train, where for generations the most streamlined vehicles on the planet reaching peak efficiency ironically with turbo-electric traction engines, machines that were as beautiful to look at as they were terrifyingly fast and powerful.

    Cars caught up though and here is just one lesson in vehicle design and psychology, cars were to eventually become so aerodynamically smooth they lost much-liked identifying features such as radiator grilles and exposed headlamps - their "mouths" and "eyes" - and both owners and designers missed them. The Smooth-as-a-Melted Jelly Belly school of car design peaked in the early 1990s in the US, then Retro Design started making a comeback that hasn’t let up yet, two steps forward in stylistic terms, one step back, as the saying goes.

    Motorcycles never had far to travel to return to its Retro-Roots. A new generation of cars though sprouted old-fashioned and often gratuitously antique features: gap-mouthed, chrome-wrapped radiator grilles, machined-billet looking aluminum details and dashboards, with dials that looked as if they had been borrowed from a 1920s car or bike. It has been difficult for many designers and manufacturers to give up the idea of the horseless carriages and iron horses as motorcycles. We still talk of "horsepower". The symbol of Ferrari, among the fastest and, occasionally, the most beautiful of cars, is a prancing horse.

    We have named cars Mustangs and Colts and biker clubs with names like The Iron Horsemen are legendary show no sign of dying out. We speak of coachwork as if the makers of Rolls-Royce or Maserati bodies were engaged with horse and tackle rather than gears and camshafts. We park our motorbikes and cars in garages that look like stables. But, then, I suppose, humans have been working with and grooming horses for many thousands of years.

    So “Noise with EMs is a dead-end street.”
    Kind of like, "You damn kids with your heathen Rock n Roll get the hell off my lawn!"

    In science, we call it assumption testing. There is literally a formula in Systems Analysis for it that I used to help generate reports for 20 years, but what’s important about it is that instead of first assuming somebody else doesn’t know what they are talking about I have learned to be patient and thoughtful, check my possible biases, my motives, and then, of course, my facts.

    I’ve been researching and working on psychoacoustics in motorcycles since 1985 when I read about how every automotive manufacturer on earth spends hundreds of millions tuning to get motorcycles, cars, boats, planes to have signature sounds. Harley-Davidson isn’t alone in suing other companies for copying their sound, they have all done it at some time or other because it triggers people, sounds trigger people on a deep emotional level and those triggers mean cash in the coffers.

    You have your anecdotal opinions, good for you. How you “feel” about motorcycle sounds is something nobody, least of all me should ever say is wrong. However the feelings of one or a hundred don’t invalidate the observational science spanning generations in the study of the psychology of sound.

    These following links are only the most recent studies I’ve been informed by in my creation of this one product/service out of dozens I am actively working on, and which are all systemically connected conceptually - wetware, software, and hardware.

    What Noise Does the Electric Car Make?
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/524241/what-noise-does-the-electric-car-make/

    Interior and Motorbay sound quality evaluation of full-electric and hybrid-electric vehicles based on psychoacoustics (PDF)
    https://www.researchgate.net/public...id-electric_vehicles_based_on_psychoacoustics

    Future Acoustics of Electric-Vehicle (PDF)
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301439478_Future_Acoustics_of_Electric-Vehicle

    Interior and Motorbay Sound Quality Evaluation of Full Electric and Hybrid-Electric Vehicles based on Psychoacoustics
    https://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/ince/incecp/2016/00000253/00000001/art00023

    Sound Design for Electric Vehicles
    https://physicstoday.scitation.org/do/10.1063/PT.5.7122/full/

    Oh and thanks for the live demonstration of the "Semmelweis Reflex"
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  17. more koolaid

    more koolaid Been here awhile

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    “Noise with EMs is a dead-end street.”

    I'm I the only one that finds tire and wind noise unattractive,
    or ever appreciated the music of a Ducati exhaust popping on deceleration?
  18. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    I get where Muiraine is coming from, and maybe I'm the odd man out. But I'm not alone. If people want EMs to have noise I think that's really tacky, but it's a free country. Just realize that if that noise can't be turned off, you've lost me as a customer. I'm simply not going there. And I think a lot of of people will agree once EVs become mainstream.
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  19. _mtg_

    _mtg_ Been here awhile

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    Part of what attracts me to the idea of an electric motorcycle is the lack of noise.
  20. manybike

    manybike Omnipresent Supporter

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    What about wind noise ? traffic noise ? I often cannot tell what gear I am in on my 650gs until I look at the gear indicator, the wind noise drowns out the motor noise.
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