– Ben Martens

Electric Cars

My Subaru is nearing 100K. Hopefully I’ll get another few cheap years out of it, but then I’ll have a decision to make. I’m really interested in the possibility of getting an all-electric car. My commute is ~12 miles each way which seems easy for almost all the electric cars out there today. There are lots of free charging stations around the area and there are so many Teslas and Nissan Leaf’s around here that you hardly even notice them anymore.

The costs are really coming down and you can make a fairly convincing argument that you’ll finally break even on the cost after the life of the car (though people on either side of the argument will still say that’s either too conservative or too unrealistic.)

There seem to be two design ideas on the market:

  1. Most companies spend a lot of money on the battery packs and provide something that will survive many charge/discharge cycles over many years. There are charging stations at many parks and businesses.
  2. Tesla is building their own “super charging” stations which give you a half charge in only 20 minutes or you can do a complete automated (ROBOTS!) swap of the battery pack in 90 seconds. Charging is free. Battery packs cost about the same amount as a tank of gas.

Tesla is making cars people really want to drive with good recharging capabilities and everyone else is following an agreed-upon standard. Who’s right?