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Cheeseater, Bolt sales are lower than Tesla, and they always will be. LG Chem has (inadvertently) stated that they are only contracted to build up-to 30,000 Bolt battery packs per year. Bolt sales aren't high enough to reach that target, even if you take their highest sales month and multiply by 12 (ignoring seasonal variations).
It's still a net savings, and definitely better than buying 2 SUVs.
mahonj, 75 miles is a lot in London. This isn't the California Highway Patrol.
Let us hope that this fixes the Sprinter's rust problem.
Lad, It makes perfect sense. Like it or not, there's a market for performance cars, especially "hot hatches" that regular people can afford, and that offer a good amount of practicality. This small car offers some driving pleasure, and it uses less fuel than the previous ST. Why is that a problem? Do you really believe that no cars should be fun, just because you don't like driving? Or perhaps your argument is that only rich people who can spend $100,000 on a Tesla should have fun?
"7 times the current usage rate should be possible" How's that? The kids are at school all day, parents are at work. Sure, you could haul packages around, but there's already a super-efficient fleet of private (UPS, FedEx) and public companies that do that. The reason why there is a "rush hour" in the first place is that everybody needs to be somewhere at the same time. It's the same concept as "peak demand" for electricity. Unfortunately, transportation infrastructure has do meet peak demand, not average demand.
The obvious advantage of this system is that it's a lot cheaper to produce. Clutches require much less precision machine work than differentials. It won't last as long, but that's just acknowledging the fact that cars don't need all-wheel-drive. It looks good on the brochure, but it's almost completely unnecessary. Let's hope that Opel has done the right thing and programmed this system to disconnect the rear axle at all times. They can turn it on for the first few meters on icy roads, but other than that it's just dead weight.
Henrik, I think you misunderstand the issue. All the kids in the neighborhood get to school around the same time. Workplaces are similar. So now everybody needs an autonomous Tesla because there are none available at the time we want. That's how we got into this mess in the first place!
Henrik, I am not going to get my kids to school at 2:00 AM in order to improve your ROI. I am convinced that the vast majority of humans feel the same. If that's your business plan, then you need to revise it.
Henrik, Your idea would be relevant if schools and workplaces were open 24 hours per day, and there was no such thing as rush hour. As things stand (with humans being transported), an army of autonomous cars would stay idle for 20+ hours per day, just like non-autonomous cars.
LAD, Do you realize that Nissan, with Renault, is currently the biggest seller of EVs? What exactly do they not get? Should one of the world's biggest corporations only work on one thing at a time? Your misplaced idealism would quickly put them out of business.
Henrik, Current "autopilot" implementations are only effective on the safest roads: limited access, good visibility, clear markings. Making this feature mandatory would have very little impact on crash rates (pardon the pun). It's little more than a luxury/convenience feature, as currently implemented.
Are we talking about saving 30% compared to a current state-of-the-art tractor trailer, or compared to something we haven't seen in 10 years? Volvo says that "some of its aerodynamic features have already been implemented," which tells me that the 30% improvement is compared to a rig with no side skirts, no radial tires, etc. In other words, it's 30% better than something no major operator uses on the highway anymore.
Harvey, Not only can they be turned off, they have to be turned off if you don't want to drain the battery. People forget to turn them back on and drive around with no lights. As you say, 30 years ago that was the case with all cars. Now almost every other car does that for you, but not Toyota. Of course, Toyota will also sell you a car in Canada that has daytime running lights (legally mandated), but that doesn't turn the rear lights on! The drivers think their lights are on (the headlights appear to be, and the dashboard is all lit-up), but they are not, and their cars are invisible at dusk, in the rain, in fog, etc... It's a nasty business: squeezing every penny out of customers, even if it kills them.
It seems like most cars driving around at night with their lights off are Toyotas. The drivers don't have a clue, their dashboards are all lit-up... Maybe this AHB technology will finally fix the problem, twenty years after other brands started making automatic headlights standard. Even my lowly mid-1990s Subaru had headlights that you never had to mess with: turn them on when you take delivery, leave them on for the life of the car.
Carl, Yes, one BMW was actually within the regulatory limit, and a few other marques were close. Keep in mind that the sample size show in the chart is tiny, 22 vehicles from 10 brands. One shouldn't extrapolate from that. The interesting thing is the three brands that emit way more on-track than in the lab: Opel (GM), Ford, and Renault. VW/Audi emits somewhat more outside the lab, and every other brand emits roughly the same amount in either test.
Now is hardly the right time for Europeans to relax their NOx limits. Perhaps they should adopt the EPA's stricter NOx limits and testing regimes?
Let's start with autonomous snowblowers. Those would actually be useful. This article explains why Google-sponsored research finds autonomous cars to be "safer": they don't work in snow, or in rain, or in changing conditions, or in construction zones, or in high-density traffic, or around bicycles!
This result is hardly surprising, given that so-called self-driving cars only work in ideal weather conditions on clear roads. The human-controled accident rate is also near zero in similar conditions. In other words, the headline should be "new cars driving on perfect roads in perfect weather have fewer accidents." This has nothing to do with autonomous tech, other than the fact that it exposes some current limitations.
SJC: The 4wd model is Japan-only for now. That's supposedly because it is not quite as good as non-Japanese customers would expect. The plug-in could be introduced later, if Toyota feels that there is a market. The current plug-in Prius hasn't been a success (commercially or technologically), so maybe they won't bother. Overall, this is a small update of Prius technology. It looks like Toyota had already exploited almost all of the potential energy savings in the previous two generations. It may be a good car, but it's also the end of the road for hybrid tech. If the next Prius (in 5-6 years) gets another 2 MPG improvement, that's only 100 gallons (380 liters) over a lifetime, a savings of $1 or $2 per month.
Henrik, You've made some assumptions that may not pan-out. NOx requirements are less strict outside of the US and Canada, so a NOx level that's "up to 40x the limit" in the US will be much closer to compliance in the rest of the world. In other words, you can't just multiply 11 million times 40 and "compare to the pollution from 440 million extra cars." 10.5 of those 11 million were probably nearly compliant or fully compliant in their delivery market, so they wouldn't have been much worse than competing cars. Also, as the article above alludes, NOx is only one pollutant. We don't know that VW diesels were non-compliant for DPMs and other pollutants.
"While most new diesel vehicles cost more than their gasoline counterparts—from a few hundred dollars to several thousand—resale values after three years are 30-50% higher for diesel passenger cars and SUVS, and 60-70% higher for diesel medium-duty pickup trucks." Doesn't this put 3-year resale values at or above the new selling price? Seems unlikely to me. I know diesel cars typically hold their value better, but not by that much. Ironically, they reason they are more expensive on the used market is that a disproportionally large segment of diesel buyers want to save money by buying used. They pay more to pay less, as it were.
Thomas, As with the Cruze's diesel, Honda would probably need to make major modifications to this unit to comply with US environmental laws. I doubt it would be worth the effort, the regular gasoline Civic is already cheap to run and long-lived.
Davemart, "the 50% of people with nowhere to plug a car in" I'm not convinced that 50% of car owners live off the grid. The lack of charging stations is a short-term problem. It can easily be remedied if there is sufficient demand.