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I applaud the progress Renault has made. It is substantial.
The new zoe gets 240km range and the Leaf get 200 km range on the European test cycle. The epa range for the 2015 Leaf is 84 miles so the new zoe will get a less than 100 miles epa rating. I hate it when car makers give their range in miles using the European rating process. This is totally misleading and manipulative.
Good points mahonj. I know it sounds crazy and a bit like a nightmare for the auto-mechanics. However, the benefit is of cause that Tesla can push improvements much faster than other automakers and thereby stay more competitive. Tesla is the only automaker that does not have annual refreshes and 6 annual remakes. Instead, changes are implemented as soon as they have been thoroughly tested and approved very much like Apple's, Google's and lately Microsoft's endless software updates. Customers are so far happy because Tesla is fairly quick to come and fix things that go wrong at no cost for the customers of cause. Tesla had a big slip last year for thousands of P85 to Norway that had a faulty grease mechanism that broke the engine. That error was found and improvement have subsequently been made. Norwegian customers got their cars fixed fairly quickly which hurt Tesla's production at the end of the year because many engines needed to ship for repairs in Norway instead of production. Otherwise I do not think there has been any recalls at Tesla which is quite remarkable for an upstart.
This BEV two seater from Audi does 0 to 60 in 3.9 sec and Tesla's Model S P85D a five seater can do the same in 3.2 sec. I fully understand that Audi will not launch this version yet to the public as there is still a lot of work to do. However, Audi should be lauded for moving in the right direction. Now at least it has usable range. Also things takes time. I think Audi is moving as fast as they can to catch up with Tesla. Of cause Tesla is a moving target that keeps improving their own cars at an unprecedented speed for the auto-industry with quarterly updates of all in-vehicle software and about 20 physical modifications per week at Tesla's production lines. The arms race is on for sure in the auto industry like never before because of the coming global shift to BEVs and self-driving vehicles and the arrival or powerful companies like Apple, Google and Uber.
Another thing to cheer about Volvo's autonomous car is that Volvo has managed to hide all the sensors so that they do not compromise the good look of the car. Take a look a Nissan's or Google's self-driving cars and they still drive around with monstrous looking sensor racks. If that is still necessary you know there is still a lot of work left. To me it seems that Volvo can make a future 100% self-driving Volvo XC90 SUV PHEV simply by using its current sensor package and by upgrading its software as the software developers iron out the needed code. Volvo customers should be able to upgrade their car's software using their car's build in 4G internet connection just like Model S owners are doing today.
The link below is a video from Volvo that describes their pilot project for self-driving cars in less than 3 minutes. I can recommend it. It shows that Volvo's sensor package is far more expanded than the one applied in Model S from Tesla. Hope that Tesla will soon start selling the Model S with an extended sensor package because the one they currently have is not going to be enough to enable truly self-driving features in the future regardless of future software updates for Model S. Ordinary Volvo customers in the pilot program will be able to do other productive things legally in most driving situations. This s an enormous advantage even though it is not 100% self-driving in all situations, especially city driving. The greatest thing IMO about Volvo's nearly fully autonomous car is that the car can park itself safely if the driver is not responding for whatever reason, for example, is sleeping or is unconscious from a heart stroke. In other words, there can be situations where the car judges it is best to let the human driver take control but if he or she does not the car will simply park it-self. Indeed, Volvo is the first auto company in the world to test such a high degree of self-driving car among ordinary people. The 100 people in the pilot program are not developers at Volvo. They are just ordinary Volvo customers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9D2N4Gp3wY#t=86
I did a little research to see who says what about autonomous driving. What I found is that Nissan is the leader already selling self-driving cars that can handle highway traffic and these cars will get fully autonomous (that is, handle the most difficult city driving) by 2020 if Nissan can meet its own deadlines. Many other automakers are not far behind perhaps 2 to 5 years and will also have fully autonomous cars on the road before 2025 including Tesla, Audi, Volvo, Mercedes and Ford. My guess is that Google, Apple and Uber will also start selling autonomous BEVs and transportation services from them before 2025. After 2025 there will be massive volume growth for autonomous travel. By 2035 the global auto industry will exclusively make vehicles that are fully autonomous. IMO not all will be BEVs because it probably takes more time than 20 years to build all the factories that make batteries, power electronics and electric motors. However, in 2035 gassers will be a rapidly dying industry even the PHEVs. As I see it the fully self-driving system is the silver bullet that will make BEVs price competitive with the cheapest gassers and also make BEVs fully useful because it also solves their range issue and the issue with long charging times. Nissan and Tesla knows it. I believe Apple, Uber and Google knows it too. -------- 1) Nissan say they will start selling fully autonomous cars by 2020 that is capable of urban driving. They have said it repeatedly since 2013. Nissan's Infiniti Q50 is already able to drive it selves at the highway and some you tube videos can be found showing people illegally leaving the driver's seat at full highway speed just to prove it. Nissans research and testing is clearly focused on making autonomous city driving possible in all situations as Nissan believe they got autonomous highway driving covered. It will be interesting to see if Nissan can meet their own deadline and be allowed to sell these fully autonomous cars by 2020. http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/nissan-and-nasa-partner-to-jointly-develop-and-deploy-autonomous-drive-vehicles-by-end-of-year http://www.fastcompany.com/3040699/what-its-like-to-ride-the-streets-of-silicon-valley-in-nissans-autonomous-electric-car http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/nissan-announces-unprecedented-autonomous-drive-benchmarks#! 2) Audi say they will sell their first fully autonomous car by 2017 and the system will be available in the new Audi A8. However, the source is not precise about autonomous driving also include city driving. I quote " Moser (Audi Head of Product and Technology Communications) said Audi "wants to be first" to market with a self-driving car, noting that its autonomous car technology already works well, and it was just a matter of waiting for the legislation to catch up with the technology" http://www.motoring.com.au/news/2014/prestige-and-luxury/audi/a8/next-gen-audi-a8-drives-better-than-you-46963 3) Elon Musk say Tesla will build a fully autonomous car by 2020 and have it properly tested and authorized for public roads by 2023. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/11154037/Teslas-Elon-Musk-autonomous-driving-is-five-years-away.html 4) Ford's CEO Mark Fields expect the first fully autonomous cars (including city driving) to hit the roads by 2020 but does not promise that it will be a Ford. He is focused on developing a fully autonomous system that will cost so little that it can be used in all of Fords vehicles not just the luxury vehicles. That will take more time to develop because you may have to stick to inexpensive sensors such as cameras and ultrasonic sensors and forget about radars and laser scanners. Humans do not have radars and laser scanners so they are really not needed if you want to make something that can do better than human drivers. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanbaptiste/2015/02/05/exclusive-interview-ford-ceo-expects-fully-autonomous-cars-in-5-years/ 5) Volvo expect to start selling the an autonomous highway capable Volvo XC90 SUV PHEV by 2020. It will also have systems that prevent deadly accidents in city driving but will not be able to drive itself in cities by 2020. https://www.media.volvocars.com/global/en-gb/media/pressreleases/158276/volvo-cars-presents-a-unique-system-solution-for-integrating-self-driving-cars-into-real-traffic 6) Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche have lately said fully autonomous vehicles will be in showrooms between 2020 and 2030.
This is a link to a recent Nissan announcement about autonomous cars developed at Nissan I quote "The work of NASA and Nissan – with one directed to space and the other directed to earth, is connected by similar challenges," said Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co. "The partnership will accelerate Nissan's development of safe, secure and reliable autonomous drive technology that we will progressively introduce to consumers beginning in 2016 up to 2020." Nissan has set 2020 as the timeframe for the introduction of autonomous drive vehicles that have the ability to navigate in nearly all situations, including the most complex situation, city driving." http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/nissan-and-nasa-partner-to-jointly-develop-and-deploy-autonomous-drive-vehicles-by-end-of-year It seem that Nissan is ahead of Volvo because they believe autonomous city driving is also doable in cars to consumers in 2020. That is the same day Tesla believe they can make an autonomous Tesla that can begin road testing and authorization processes with authorities which is expected to take until about 2023. @ECI Volvo may not be able to sell 100,000 limited autonomous XC90 SUV PHEV in 2020 as they are not a big automaker. However, Nissan and Tesla can. Tesla's capacity in 2020 could be 500,000 BEVs and it could be much more in 2023 when Tesla believe their fully autonomous technology is ready for consumers. I expect all of Tesla's cars to come with this technology. I also expect Apple's car to have it by 2023 or perhaps 2025. It takes no time to manufacture the necessary sensors and chips once the software is done. So when the technology is ready it will be on all luxurious cars made by those who has the technology.
The first Volvo XC90 SUV PHEV is in all likelihood going to be sold in 2020 with a fully autonomous highway capable system. Therefore, it should also be possible for a dedicated team at Volvo Trucks to get the world's first fully autonomous highway capable BEV truck in action on Swedish highways with the needed supercharger stations with automatic truck shifting capability. Trucks with human drivers can transport containers the last mile from customers to these supercharging stations and by 2025 human truck drivers may no longer be needed at all for land base container freight.
Forget diesel and natural gas. The future of heavy duty tractors is fully autonomous BEVs. You can start by building a network of supercharger stations for these autonomous heavy duty BEV tractors along the mayor highways. It will cost less than building gas stations for natural gas. This low cost is being proven by Tesla's fast expansion of their supercharging infrastructure. The idea is that an autonomous BEV tractor with a range of about 100 miles and a 200 kwh battery can move a standard container anywhere on land and that long-distance transport is done by changing tractors in seconds to new fully charged tractors at the tractor supercharging stations. This is done automatically without human involvement. I am certain the economics of a BEV heavy duty tractor is much better than that of a diesel or a natural gas because BEV tractors can be made for much longer mileage life and electricity is always a cheaper fuel than diesel and natural gas. I will try to make the concrete business case for autonomous BEV tractors versus diesel tractors but before I do so I need a little help to get realistic assumptions about tractor economics as it is not my field. Specifically 1) how much does a new heavy duty diesel tractor that moves standard containers typically cost, 2) typical mpg, 3) life durability in miles, 4) insurance cost per 10,000 mile, 5) how much is a truck driver paid hourly and 6) maintenance cost per 10,000 miles. Any clue is welcome preferable with a source.
From my impression of what Tesla's top priority is with regard to the capability of their autopilot system it is to make an autonomous parking system that can park the Model S and Model X on private property (where normal legislation does not prevent such systems) and automatically plug-in the car for charging. The second top priority will be to get all of Tesla's public parking lots with super charger stations approved for autonomous parking and automatic charging by the authorities. This can be accomplished within 36 months globally IMO. The fully autonomous car will be a stepwise project getting more capabilities as time allows for its development and proper authorization. Expensive luxury cars are obviously getting the most advanced systems before the lower cost cars. I think it may not be until 2025 that we will see truly autonomous cars that can go anywhere (even off road) and that are made without a steering wheel and a gas pedal and that can be owned and used by people without a driver license for instance kids, disabled people and elderly.
Sorry for this posting spree. However, I just watched the 30 minute video where Volvo presents their autonomous driving system and it is really informative. I can highly recommend seeing it. https://www.media.volvocars.com/global/en-gb/media/pressreleases/158276/volvo-cars-presents-a-unique-system-solution-for-integrating-self-driving-cars-into-real-traffic Apparently, Volvo's ambition is not to build an autonomous system for all driving conditions. Sophisticated parking scenarios and city driving is not included. They focus on making an autonomous highway commute possible and making a system that makes crashing a Volvo with deadly outcome nearly impossible wherever you drive. Volvo's time frame is to start selling such cars is 2020. The first Volvo to get this system will of cause be the new Volvo XC90 SUV PHEV which is also the one that is used in the pilot program with the 100 cars in Sweden.
Below are the calculations for the business case for an autonomous taxi BEV. Furthermore, the cost to drive one mile in an autonomous BEV taxi is compared to the cost of owning a Toyota Camry and the cost of using a Camry with a human taxi driver. The conclusion is that the autonomous BEV taxi will cost you 0.16 USD per mile to drive. The self-owned Camry will cost you 0.41 USD per mile or about 500 USD per month if you drive 15,000 miles per year (= ($0.41*15,000/12). Finally, the human operated taxi Camry will cost you 1.41 USD per mile which is representative of actual taxi rates. Reducing the cost of taxi driving from 1.41 USD to 0.16 USD per mile using an autonomous BEV taxi is simply revolutionary. The world will change for the better as a result. Fewer traffic accidents, no air pollution from land transportation, no import of oil for making transportation fuels, no wasted time by traffic congestion. Time spend for transportation can be used productively to sleep, eat, work or for entertainment or education. The average American household can reduce transportation expenses from 500 USD per month per car needed in household to 200 USD per car (= ($0.16*15,000/12). This is as big as it gets for the automotive industry. Documentation for costs to drive one mile: 1) Life cost to own Toyota Camry: 65,133 USD = (23,000 USD for Camry + 16,000 USD for life gasoline + 4,800 USD for life maintenance + 21,333 USD for life car insurance). Life cost per mile: 0.41 USD = $65,133/160,000 miles service life. 2) Life cost of Toyota Camry with human taxi driver: 225,133 USD = (23,000 USD for Camry + 16,000 USD for life gasoline + 4,800 USD for life maintenance + 21,333 USD for life car insurance + 160,000 USD for taxi driver). Life cost per mile: 1.41 USD = $225,133 /160,000 miles service life. Now consider a fully autonomous taxi with an ultra durable 24kwh lithium titanate battery (10,000 cycles) giving it about 85 miles of range and a service life of 850,000 miles. With autonomous driving the range issue and charging time issue no longer exists as you can change the vehicle in seconds to go an additional 85 miles and keep doing it until you reach your destination. This is the BEV conception that will wipe out any gasser on the market because its total cost per mile is unbeatable by any gasser. 3) Life cost of autonomous BEV taxi: 133,467 USD = (35,000 USD for BEV taxi + 28,800 USD for life electricity + 17,000 USD for life maintenance + 56,667 USD for life car insurance - 4000 USD scrap value of battery). Life cost per mile: 0.16 USD = $133,467/850,000 miles service life. ------ Add 1) Toyota Camry assumptions: 1) Service life is 160,000 miles. 2) Long-term price of gasoline is 3 USD. 3) It gets 30 mpg so 16,000 USD spend on gasoline = (160,000/30)*$3. 4) Maintenance cost for oil change, tires, brakes, coolant, etc is 300 USD per 10,000 miles so 4,800 USD = (160,000/10,000)*300 USD. 5) Insurance cost is 2000 USD per 15000 miles so life car insurance is 21,333 USD = (160,000/15,000)*$2000. Add 2) Toyota Camry taxi assumptions: 1) Service life is 160,000 miles. 2) Long-term price of gasoline is 3 USD. 3) It gets 30 mpg so 16,000 USD spend on gasoline = (160,000/30)*$3. 4) Maintenance cost for oil change, tires, brakes, coolant, etc is 300 USD per 10,000 miles so 4,800 USD = (160,000/10,000)*300 USD. 5) Insurance cost is 2000 USD per 15000 miles so life car insurance is 21,333 USD = (160,000/15,000)*$2000. 6) Hourly pay to chauffeur is 20 USD and hourly markup for time wasted and taxi company overhead is another 20 USD. Operating hours in service for life of car assuming 40 mph is 4000 hours =(160,000/40) so total life cost of chauffeur and taxi company overhead is 160,000 USD = (4000*($20+$20)). Add 3) Fully autonomous BEV taxi assumptions: 1) Service life is 850,000 miles (= 85 miles battery range*10,000 deep cycles) which corresponds favorably to warranty for Toshibas lithium titanate batteries (see http://www.scib.jp/en/product/detail.htm). 2) 0.28kwh is used to drive one mile (=24kwh battery/85miles range), 3) electricity cost is 28,800 USD = (12 cents per kwh * 0.28kwh* 850,000 miles) which could be much lower off peak, 4) maintenance cost for tires, brakes, coolant, etc is 200 USD per 10,000 miles so 17,000 USD = (850,000/10,000)*200 USD, 5) scrap value of battery after 850,000 miles is 4000 USD. 6) Insurance cost is 1000 USD per 15000 miles so life car insurance is 56,667 USD = (850,000/15,000)*$1000. The lower car insurance for autonomous vehicles assumes that they are twice as good as human drivers to avoid accidents. 7) The Leaf sized vehicle costs 35,000 USD with a 24kwh battery. It is assumed 12000 USD (=24kwh*$500) can be attributed to the battery pack, 6,000 USD for autonomous technology (computers, sensors and redundancy of critical systems) and 17,000 USD for other car expenses. All costs are including gross margins.
Just read this on Bloomberg. Apparently Apple want to launch a BEV in 2020 and currently has 200 people working on it with a budget to hire up to 1000. Apple is poaching employees from all the auto-motive battery makers and people who are experts in robots for auto manufacturing and also Tesla. I think it is now safe to say that Apple definitely want to make a BEV by 2020. I think Apple could launch a BEV in that time frame with an advanced autopilot system. However, I doubt the "iTransporter 1" will be fully autonomous or sell in big numbers (there is simply not enough time for that not even with Apple's resources). Volume production of Apple BEVs with autonomous driving will come a few years later by iTransporter 2 or iTransporter 3 that will not require a driver license to buy or to use as a taxi service. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-19/apple-said-to-be-targeting-car-production-as-soon-as-2020?hootPostID=9f3917f4905f086a568d81c5d794101a
The autopilot in Tesla's Model S includes one forward radar, 12 long range ultrasonic sensors, one forward looking camera. For comparison Volvo's autonomous car includes, 7 radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 6 cameras and one laser scanner. Moreover, Volvo's autonomous system is redundant so if it breaks a backup system takes over. Tesla's autopilot is not redundant. If it breaks the human driver must take control or the car crashes. The only point where Volvo is at least 3 years behind Tesla is that Volvo does not have a BEV on the market. Autonomous systems makes sense for all types of cars but mostly for BEVs because it solves once and for all the problem with limited range and long charging time. You simply change vehicle in seconds to move beyond the range of the first autonomous BEV that transported you. Problem solved.
With autonomous BEVs coming in just a few years after 2020 and US oil shale production still growing on a monthly basis despite 50 USD per barrel I am less worried about oil than I have ever been. I still think it is unfortunate that the Saudis have let the oil price fall this fast to such a low level. Clearly, 50 USD is very painful for the high cost conventional oil drilling in the US. This is evident from the 40% annual drop in vertical and directional drilling rigs that are drilling in conventional oil fields. The 13% annual drop in horizontally drilling rigs that are drilling in oil shale is less dramatic a decline because it has become the lowest hanging fruit in the oil industry. Source for increases in us shale oil production http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/drilling/#tabs-summary-2 Source for drops in various US drilling rigs http://www.wtrg.com/rotaryrigs.html
This is a big and present surprise for me. It is more evidence that self-driving cars are coming and coming sooner than many think. Musk lately said that Tesla could make an autonomous car by 2020 and then need another 2 to 3 years for testing, validation and authorization of the car in cooperation with authorities to get it approved for driving on public roads. So it seems Volvo currently is 3 years ahead of Tesla in this regard. If Volvo can pull this pilot program off and log several million miles from 2017 to 2019 with a minimal number of incidents in a large variety of driving conditions then it seems that Volvo could win the honor of being the first automaker in the world to sell a fully autonomous vehicle in 2019 or 2020 that is approved for such by all the relevant authorities. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/11154037/Teslas-Elon-Musk-autonomous-driving-is-five-years-away.html
An autonomous BEV that is only 4.5 feet wide and has two seats around a center office table could drive side by side on the same lane and in train formation with similar autonomous cars. That would lower the air drag and get more people through without adding lanes. Such formations would be impossible with human drivers but not with AI drivers that can react instantly and exploit the also nearly zero latency of a fully BEV drive train where you get full torque or braking power in milliseconds. The problem with humans and combustion engines is they both have high latencies. Another problem with human drivers is that they slow down to study traffic accidents and other stuff instead of just speeding on as they should to get the traffic moving. Autonomous cars will not do that. I do not believe for one second that a narrow but tall two seat autonomous BEV will be instable. It has a heavy battery and two heavy engines at the floor of the car and nearly zero weigh above wheel height apart from the passengers. At high speeds in windy weather it could deploy fins to become even more stable but I don't think that would be necessary if you do the stability calculations.
A few years back Denmark put video surveillance in all taxis, buses and trains. The result was that crime rates at these places plummeted to nearly zero. And the very few people who still are dumb enough to do something illegal in these places are nearly all caught. You are more secure in a Danish taxi than at home where you could be surprised by a burglar or something worse. A technology company like Apple, Tesla or Uber could make things even safer by developing active video and voice surveillance software that could alert a human security operator in a call center in case the AI software sees or hears things that needs the attention of a human security operator. Moreover, like at Uber you will not be allowed to order a cap unless your credit card has been verified ahead. Also to further increase security you could develop face recognition, voice recognition software in combination with fingerprint and iris scans that you need to activate outside the taxi by stating you name and looking into a camera. Once your ID is confirmed the door to the taxi will open. The only real concern is hackers. The autonomous cloud controlled taxi will obviously solve the city congestion problem IMO.
Another interesting perspective has come to my mind. The first autonomous taxis allowed to operate on public roads (such as, an autonomous Tesla Model 3 by 2023) could immediately undercut the standard 1.4 USD taxi rates per mile so everyone would try to get a ride with such a car when they need a taxi. That would mean they could be operated almost around the clock in the early days of autonomous taxi driving. This is important because if you can operate an autonomous taxi say 18 hours per day covering 40 miles per hour (using remaining 6 hours for maintenance, cleaning and charging) you could do 262,800 miles per year! The average American car do 15,000 miles per year so each autonomous taxi can replace 17 to 18 ordinary cars. By 2023 Tesla's annual global sales could be over 1 million BEVs and if they were all operated as autonomous taxi's they could take at least 17 million ordinary gassers off the street per year! This is insane. In other words, when autonomous cars first arrive in about 2023 they will hit the global auto industry like a sledgehammer knocking everybody out of business that are not able to quickly change their production system to autonomous BEVs. You adapt quickly or you go bankrupt quickly. Getting autonomous BEVs to market ASAP is simply a life and death decision for the global auto industry. The sooner they get it the merrier.
I have now made the calculation of the business case for autonomous taxi BEVs fully realistic by also including insurance cost. Furthermore, the cost of the autonomous BEV taxi is now compared to the case of owning a Toyota Camry and the cost of using a Camry with a human taxi driver. The conclusion is that the autonomous BEV taxi will cost you 0.16 USD per mile to drive. The self-owned Camry will cost you 0.41 USD per mile or about 500 USD per month if you drive 15,000 miles per year (= ($0.41*15,000/12). Finally, the human operated taxi Camry will cost you 1.41 USD per mile which is representative of actual taxi rates. Reducing the cost of taxi driving from 1.41 USD to 0.16 USD per mile using an autonomous BEV taxi is simply revolutionary. The world will change for the better as a result. Fewer traffic accidents, no air pollution from land transportation, no import of oil for making transportation fuels, no wasted time by traffic congestion. Time spend for transportation can be used productively to sleep, eat, work or for entertainment or education. The average American household can reduce transportation expenses from 500 USD per month per car needed in household to 200 USD per car (= ($0.16*15,000/12). This is as big as it gets for the automotive industry. Documentation for costs to drive one mile: 1) Life cost to own Toyota Camry: 65,133 USD = (23,000 USD for Camry + 16,000 USD for life gasoline + 4,800 USD for life maintenance + 21,333 USD for life car insurance). Life cost per mile: 0.41 USD = $65,133/160,000 miles service life. 2) Life cost of Toyota Camry with human taxi driver: 225,133 USD = (23,000 USD for Camry + 16,000 USD for life gasoline + 4,800 USD for life maintenance + 21,333 USD for life car insurance + 160,000 USD for taxi driver). Life cost per mile: 1.41 USD = $225,133 /160,000 miles service life. Now consider a fully autonomous taxi with an ultra durable 24kwh lithium titanate battery (10,000 cycles) giving it about 85 miles of range and a service life of 850,000 miles. With autonomous driving the range issue and charging time issue no longer exists as you can change the vehicle in seconds to go an additional 85 miles and keep doing it until you reach your destination. This is the BEV conception that will wipe out any gasser on the market because its total cost per mile is unbeatable by any gasser. 3) Life cost of autonomous BEV taxi: 133,467 USD = (35,000 USD for BEV taxi + 28,800 USD for life electricity + 17,000 USD for life maintenance + 56,667 USD for life car insurance - 4000 USD scrap value of battery). Life cost per mile: 0.16 USD = $133,467/850,000 miles service life. Elon Musk estimates that Tesla will be ready with fully autonomous vehicles by 2020 and that the authorities will need 2 to 3 years more to make the necessary changes in the legislation to make it legal on all public roads. See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/11154037/Teslas-Elon-Musk-autonomous-driving-is-five-years-away.html ------ Add 1) Toyota Camry assumptions: 1) Service life is 160,000 miles. 2) Long-term price of gasoline is 3 USD. 3) It gets 30 mpg so 16,000 USD spend on gasoline = (160,000/30)*$3. 4) Maintenance cost for oil change, tires, brakes, coolant, etc is 300 USD per 10,000 miles so 4,800 USD = (160,000/10,000)*300 USD. 5) Insurance cost is 2000 USD per 15000 miles so life car insurance is 21,333 USD = (160,000/15,000)*$2000. Add 2) Toyota Camry taxi assumptions: 1) Service life is 160,000 miles. 2) Long-term price of gasoline is 3 USD. 3) It gets 30 mpg so 16,000 USD spend on gasoline = (160,000/30)*$3. 4) Maintenance cost for oil change, tires, brakes, coolant, etc is 300 USD per 10,000 miles so 4,800 USD = (160,000/10,000)*300 USD. 5) Insurance cost is 2000 USD per 15000 miles so life car insurance is 21,333 USD = (160,000/15,000)*$2000. 6) Hourly pay to chauffeur is 20 USD and hourly markup for time wasted and taxi company overhead is another 20 USD. Operating hours in service for life of car assuming 40 mph is 4000 hours =(160,000/40) so total life cost of chauffeur and taxi company overhead is 160,000 USD = (4000*($20+$20)). Add 3) Fully autonomous BEV taxi assumptions: 1) Service life is 850,000 miles (= 85 miles battery range*10,000 deep cycles) which corresponds favorably to warranty for Toshibas lithium titanate batteries (see http://www.scib.jp/en/product/detail.htm). 2) 0.28kwh is used to drive one mile (=24kwh battery/85miles range), 3) electricity cost is 28,800 USD = (12 cents per kwh * 0.28kwh* 850,000 miles) which could be much lower off peak, 4) maintenance cost for tires, brakes, coolant, etc is 200 USD per 10,000 miles so 17,000 USD = (850,000/10,000)*200 USD, 5) scrap value of battery after 850,000 miles is 4000 USD. 6) Insurance cost is 1000 USD per 15000 miles so life car insurance is 56,667 USD = (850,000/15,000)*$1000. The lower car insurance for autonomous vehicles assumes that they are twice as good as human drivers to avoid accidents. 7) The Leaf sized vehicle costs 35,000 USD with a 24kwh battery. It is assumed 12000 USD (=24kwh*$500) can be attributed to the battery pack, 6,000 USD for autonomous technology (computers, sensors and redundancy of critical systems) and 17,000 USD for other car expenses. All costs are including gross margins.
OK that rumor only took a few hours on the internet before unnamed sources confirmed to Reuters that Apple indeed is working on an autonomous BEV which is the only way that Apple can use its software and design expertise to beat the old automakes on their own game of making vehicles. So watch up GM, Toyota and VW because you are in for some serious competition going ahead. It will be truly interesting to see how this will play out in the coming 5 to 7 years. Codenamed project Titan Apple has currently approved that 1000 people are employed to make it happen. The race is on among the technology and automotive giants as well as the Tesla startup for the biggest business opportunity of the century. Again, my bet is that Tesla will be first to market and that all Tesla vehicles will have autonomous capability including Model 3 starting from about 2020 to 2023. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/02/14/uk-apple-autos-idUKKBN0LI0IN20150214
It appears Apple is also working on an electric car and it would make no sense for Apple if this is not an autonomous BEV. See http://www.thedrum.com/news/2015/02/14/apple-rumoured-be-working-top-secret-electric-car-resembles-minivan Autonomous cars are coming in 5 years or so and I think it will either be Tesla, Apple or Google that will be the first to sell such a car. The old automakers will probably not be up to it IMO. They are thinking too conventionally and they do not have the software developers that are the most critical to get this done. Making a BEV is not the problem any longer. There are plenty of people for hire that can do that. Tesla is my bet on who will be first. They have a lead with that autopilot in the Model S that can receive software upgrades as soon as they are ready. My bet is also that most of the future headlines in the auto world will not be about new BEVs and PHEVs but rather about new capabilities for auto-pilot systems. It is more interesting because it is more transformative for the industry and the world than just going from gas engines to electric motors. Most people do not care what engine moves their car anyway. Here, again Tesla will get the front page each time they add software and hardware upgrades to their vehicles that will take them one step closer to the end goal of a fully autonomous system.
@Herman Tesla did not specify exactly what these shipping issues where. My guess is that when Tesla announced the Model S with autopilot and dual drive a lot a Tesla customers (possibly over 1000) canceled orders that was not yet delivered (there is a lead time of 2 to 4 month between placing an order and receiving it) and instead ordered the new version of Model S and perhaps paid Tesla something for the trouble. So Tesla may have some older version Model S that need to be sold when orders come in for those. Tesla did say they had unexpectedly high demand for the P85D and the new option with higher quality seats and the newest one with executive back seats. That means they need a little more time (a few months) adjusting their production capacity for these options. With a backblock of 10,000 Model S orders and 20,000 Model X reservations this is not the time for shareholder panic. Tesla said they are still supply restrained. That is the only "problem" they have.
Roger your parents (or anybody else) do not have to forego social status by dropping car ownership. They could order a fully loaded autonomous Model X (with a 150,000 USD sticker price) for every trip they make and still save money compared to owning a 80,000 USD car parked in the garage most of the time. Congestion is minimized with autonomous cars for reasons in addition to those ai_vin mentions. Autonomous cars can safely keep a shorter distance to other vehicles at higher speed than any human driver can do. You can also increase the speed at highways. No need for a 65 mph speed limit in all lanes on the highway if autonomous cars can do it safely at 85 mph. Also most people today drive alone in large cars with 4 to 7 seats. An autonomous taxi service will not send you a 7 seater if you order travel for one at the lowest fair. It will send you a standard one seater with a build in office table for your laptop to get work done or for entertainment. That one seater will take up much less space on the roads. Also autonomous taxis are online cars that know about congestions in real time and can find alternative roads to avoid it.