Engineering Explained Presents 5 Reasons To Buy An Electric Car – Video

1 year ago by Mark Kane 40

Engineering Explained recently tested the 2016 Nissan LEAF, but instead of filing another ordinary review, presented 5 reasons to buy an electric car in general:

Nissan breaks the ice as new Nissan LEAF 30 kWh hits showrooms

Nissan LEAF 30 kWh

  • the instant torque and peak torque from 0 RPM
  • the incredibly low maintenance (tire rotations and cabin filter changes)
  • the incredible efficiency (about 3x the efficiency of an ICE vehicle)
  • the convenience of charging
  • the affordability of leasing an electric car.

Well, with more of these kinds of presentation to the general public, we will just see more and more EV sales records being set.

Tags: , , ,

40 responses to "Engineering Explained Presents 5 Reasons To Buy An Electric Car – Video"

  1. Anon says:

    This is good motivation for folks wanting a cheap low range Leaf.

    1. Just_Chris says:

      You say it as if this is a small customer segment or as if these people are strange.

      Prioritizing cost of a vehicle over range that you don’t need or power you can’t use is perfectly sensible. This is the case for most people who live in a town, suburb or city.

      The auto industry is great for giving the impression that everyone cares deeply about the vehicle they drive, this just isn’t the case,for a lot of people the color of the car is more important than its performance. The difficulty is getting those who don’t care about their car to realize that there is a better option to what they have now.

      I replace a Toyota Yaris with a LEAF, the leaf is superior in every way except range. The total cost of ownership is about the same (note: I don’t live in the US so I don’t get the breath taking low lease rates you guys do). I don’t need the range so why would I buy a ICE car?

      This post should have been titled “5 reasons why people who commute a short distance to work in a cheap ICE hatchback in the USA/Norway/UK/Holland/pretty much anywhere, are stupid”

      1. Anon says:

        Your interpretation does not match my intention.

        1. Just_Chris says:

          My post was overly combative, I miss understood, I apologise in full for any ofence

          Chris

      2. m says:

        10/10! MW

  2. deborah 007 says:

    Tesla is my favorite…But as long as it is a “Green car” it is better than the fossil fueled 🙂 ….Go Green !!!!!

  3. Mart Shearer says:

    “press on the gas”, “gas pedal” — some habits die hard.

  4. goodbyegascar says:

    I am a lifelong, middle-aged EV enthusiast. I have followed battery developments since the 1970s, and I was never confident that I would live to see the day when an electric car is cheaper to own and operate than a gascar.

    These are great times, and they’re only getting better!

    1. DWK says:

      Me too, way back in the early 70s I drove an electric forklift, my first thought was “why don’t they make cars like this?” the tech was so obviously superior! After much research I concluded battery energy density was really the only problem. No longer!

    2. deborah 007 says:

      So true !!!! The world is changing for the better 🙂

  5. Mxs says:

    Unfortunately, if one doesn’t want to drive something as Leaf, there’s nothing right now. Unless, one wants to pay mad Tesla S or X money territory.

    Regardless, how often or many times people will list the old list of advantages ….

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Chevy Bolt is coming this year. Model 3 at the end of next year. (And there is always the Volt if PHEV works better for you.)

      1. Mxs says:

        We will see shortly whether the Bolt will tick all the right boxes …. There’s so much more to a car than just bunch of numbers on screen or paper ….

        1. Mont says:

          Have A Spark and they did a pretty good job in the conversion and tech; now they’ll have a ground up platform to deliver.

          Chevy has had good products in Hatchback/Crossover cars IMHO, so the Bolt shouldn’t disappoint.

          We’ll be replacing the Spark with Bolt and Fiat 500e+Infiniti G37 with the Model3

          Add Powerwall and our house will be fully electrified.

      2. KenZ says:

        The Volt is great, and frankly with the Gen2 Volt, the AER is almost what an old Leaf delivers!

        1. Yes,… but it’s *not* an EV! MW

          1. iwatson says:

            It is an EV unless you need to drive further than it’s range. In the Volt, the car automatically transitions from an Ev to a gasoline hybrid. In the Leaf, if you need to travel beyond the cars range, you take another car. 1 car that does both (the Volt) or 2 cars (Leaf+Gas car).

  6. Speculawyer says:

    “the convenience of charging”

    This needs to be emphasized heavily because it really flips the refueling argument on its head. Most people assume gas cars are better because you can refuel in 5 minutes. No! EVs are better because you only spend 5 seconds plugging it in to refuel it every night. As long as you have 200+ miles, you will only very rarely have to actually wait for a charge. Only on those rare days when you drive more than 200 miles. But that is like 2% of the time. 98% of the time, it is the EV that is much more convenient.

    That’s why oil industry toadies like this guy doesn’t get it:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2016/04/08/what-keeps-killing-electric-cars/

    1. Mxs says:

      Agreed …. For vast majority of people this is a mute point. Or as you said slightly more convenient ….

    2. Anon says:

      Oh, he totally gets it. But he’s paid to proselytize for the other side, despite his own, his family’s, and the planet’s long term best interests.

    3. m says:

      Hmmm… The main problem with the article is this very issue. For a huge section of the motoring public who may want to swap their ICEVs for EVs (real ones, that is; not delusion-inducing hybrids), there simply is no practical way for them to operate an EV because they have no way of charging at home (flat-dwellers and terraced house owners).

      When the typical EV range is nearer 200 miles then they may (assuming sufficient infrastructure is in place by then) be able to charge once a week at their supermarket or gym or some other place where they spend an hour or so every week. But there is very little sign of this happening here in the UK and certainly no-where near enough to cater for even half the cars on our roads.

      There is equally little sign of any acknowledgement on the part of our local authorities that *all* streets used for on-street parking are going to have to be made EV-charging-friendly… *if* the UK governments state ambition of having us all driving around in EVs in a few years time is going to happen. Realistically, the only way they can do it is to have marked bays, each with its own charge point and residents vie to rent one or more at, no doubt, huge cost. But at least the electricity might be free! MW

      1. Just_Chris says:

        The marked bays are a good idea, there are people in London who would give their right ball for a private bay on their street why not charge them insane prices for the privilege and use the revenue generated to install similar bays around the country. Even if they game the system an buy silly Porsches with pathetic weeny batteries at least they’d pay for the rest of the country to move on.

        Ps sorry Porsche drivers but your cars are silly

        1. Rob says:

          Nice idea, but any money generated in London by the London councils, would stay in London.

      2. scott franco (the evil EV owning republican) says:

        “For a huge section of the motoring public who may want to swap their ICEVs for EVs (real ones, that is; not delusion-inducing hybrids), there simply is no practical way for them to operate an EV because they have no way of charging at home (flat-dwellers and terraced house owners).”

        Respectfully disagree. I know many EVers who operate using a work charger only. If your commute round trip is less than half the range of the car, this works.

      3. Speculawyer says:

        I think apartments, condos, and other places will just need to start having assigned parking and places to install chargers.

        DC-fast-charging is nice for long trips but it really should not be depended upon. The ‘overnight L2’ charging is just a much better model for many reasons:
        -It is less stress on the battery.
        -DC fast-chargers are very expensive whereas L2 chargers are cheap
        -It would be hard to install enough DC fast chargers to handle lots of people without night-time charging.
        -The utility isn’t real happen with big bursty loads like DC chargers. Most applications like that have to pay steep ‘demand charges’ for drawing such high current.
        -The grid has massive excess capacity for charging vehicles at night . . . but sometimes they don’t have enough electricity during the day.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Since ‘fast-chargers’ run on commercial rates, utilities LOVE big bursty loads – especially SCE where they charge over $20/kw demand fine/month or $2000 per month for every 100kw drawn. And of course you pay confiscatory rates for the added electricity used after that.

          The next thing I find irksome: This guy continues the overly simplistic Bromide that ‘electric cars are more efficient’. Even though I have 2 evs substantially charged by solar power, there is no way I’d say my cars are ‘more efficient’.

          Pruis’ lovers will instantly challenge that ‘high efficiency’ statement, but I’ll use a CNG car since it is directly an Apples to Apples comparison.

          My Solar panel/inverter combo makes electricity at about a 13% sunlight power in to electricity out. My charging efficiency is quite high at around 90%. My discharge efficiency depends on exactly how I’m driving, but it is probably around 75%. so that puts my power input to power output efficiency overall at a bit under 9%.

          I don’t call that in any way efficient, but then Sunlight is prolific, even in my area that gets about the same amount of Sun as Alaska – plus they haven’t implemented any ‘Sunshine Tax’ yet.

          Someone with a Honda Civic CNG could come up to me and say that overnight, or on a cloudy day, when the electricity substantially comes from non-combined cycle (i.e. 40% efficient) gas power plants (now that they’ve shut down the last Coal plants), that even assuming exceptional 90% distribution efficiency (we’re down to 36% efficiency in case anyone is counting) and then factoring in the above 67.5% charge/discharge/motor efficiency, now we’re down to around 24% efficiency.

          Assuming a Honda CNG gets around 30% CNG efficiency, and it takes another 5% to compress the gas (lets say we use an ICE compressor, which is the way the gas company around here usually does it since the gas is around 1/10th the cost of electricity currently, or 1/3 the cost as a fuel input), that means that running a HONDA CNG civic at home is already a bit more efficient than my EV’s. And then if it is cold outside and I need to heat the cabin (and in most ev’s a resistance heater also for the battery), the efficiency of the Honda improves while my evs’ efficiency gets even worse, something that would happen for several months out of the year in my locale.

          1. Mark N says:

            The efficiency of your solar panel does no matter except to compare to other solar panels or in a financial calculation. The power from the sun is 100% efficient after purchase of the panels. You do not pay for what the panel does not use. There is very little if any running cost. This makes your EV far more efficient than the NG which requires ou to pay for all the energy to gather and compress every kg of fuel.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              Hey Mark N:

              I just love reconciling these statements:

              1). “EV’s are efficient!”
              2). When it comes to Solar “Efficiency doesn’t matter.” (!!!!!)
              3). You have to pay for the natural gas.

              In my personal case, well, maybe, but in a business’ case, they have to pay for everything all the time, and one just offsets the other.

              And currently my retail cost of electricity is around 10 cents/ kwh. My marginal cost for natural gas is about 1.4 cents per kwh, but that includes delivery charges – a business might find their natural gas cost at $.00683/ kwh (a bit over 1/2 penny), and their delivery charges about $.002/kwh for a final marginal cost of $.00883/kwh when their blended marginal cost (energy plus demand) for electric is about $.09/kwh. This is for my area here in National Grid (western NY state – Buffalo).

              What with the rate increase for nearby Rochester Gas and Electric (customers there are being ‘punished’ to keep the old clunker GINNA Nuclear Station still running), and a big plastics factory owner I talked to told me his blended marginal cost for electricity is now 14 cents/kwh, right next to the Nuke plant, in Ontario, NY. So much for “Nuclear Power will be too cheap to meter!”, as people were told when these things were initially built.

              So a business would currently find a bonanza in the price of methane, and electricity would be ‘only’ ten times more expensive – whereas in nearby rochester, the situation is much worse, as mentioned.

              This guy also owns 1- 850 kw windmill, and 1 – 600 kw windmill, which lowers his otherwise very high electric bills. State incentives also reduce his capital costs for the huge structures – but wind power in general is getting very compelling in many parts of the states – even much lower ultimate cost than solar.

              But it still negates nothing I’ve said in the previous posting.

              1. Bill Howland says:

                COrrection: Harbec plastics, Inc has 1- 250 kw and 1 – 850 kw windmill, plus alot of methane powered microturbines to make the onsite generation concievably above 2 MW.

                The owner told me the Ontario town board would only let him build the 850 kw windmill a fraction as high as originally planned, so it is only putting out about 1/2 the kwh originally expected. But since he is at the lakeshore (Ontario), the siting at least is good.

      4. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

        Actually, if you manage to get a solar car park installed at your workplace, you can charge during the day, and put all that “coal powered car” myth to bed permanently.

    4. scott franco (the evil EV owning republican) says:

      Great quote:

      “Many people think that the electric vehicle’s time has finally come, with the roughly 300,000 orders for Tesla’s Model 3”

      But that does not mean EVs are advancing?????

      Just a look at the authors tagline is sufficient:

      “Michael Lynch , CONTRIBUTOR
      I analyze petroleum economics and energy policy.”

      Its been my experience that naysayers in the press never come out and say “I was wrong”. They just get quiet and perhaps pick another technology to dis.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Oh, he is a well-known oil analyst that had been saying for years that oil prices would drop. Like a broken clock, he was finally right. But he is definitely an oil guy.

  7. Mister G says:

    As a Leaf driver since September of 2012..I agree with the engineers.

  8. Ocean Railroader says:

    There is a real possibility I could buy a electric car soon. The reason why is the Chevy Bolt hitting the roads this November could cause used leaf prices to crash or my old gas car needs a $600 dollar dino juice repair. Whatever comes first.

  9. Nanda says:

    Why no tire rotation ? I thought EVs are heavier than gasoline counterparts.

    1. CBonville says:

      The article was saying that the only routine maintenance needed early on is tire rotations and cabin air filter changes. Brake jobs happen much later than for ICE thanks to regenerative braking.

  10. Mark N says:

    I am a fan of EV’s, conserving energy, and overall efficiency. But I believe that both the energy and cost efficiency of EV’s will and should be considered by potential buyers. Some will only convert to EV’s when the total ownership cost is clearly better than ICE. I have tried to justify an EV to myself and substantiate the low running cost claims via calculation. I’m an engineer in the auto industry and a spreadsheet fanatic, so I can’t help it.
    Looking at pure running cost from actual energy costs ($.145/kWh after the first 14 kWh in Michigan and cost per mile of gas), and maintenance costs based on the US average per year of car age minus some costs not required for EV’s, I have concluded that the cost per mile to drive an EV in the US is about equivalent to an efficient 35MPG gas car running on $2/gallon gas – which is what gas costs right now. So I don’t see 3 times the efficiency from a cost standpoint. It may be from an energy standpoint at point of use, and even including the supply stream, but likely due to oil subsidies (including the environmental cost oil is shielded from), the cost equation does not work out yet. If the environmental and health costs of oil use were applied to barrels of oil as Obama proposes, the cost equation should completely flip and EV’s would become much more popular.

    1. Mark N says:

      I should clarify that the CONSUMER cost equation IN THE US does not clearly work in favor of EV’s yet. We pay the cost with taxes that pay for environmental clean up and health insurance that pays for the health care needed. But that is constant for everyone so it does not factor in a car purchase decision based on out of pocket cost. Of course in parts of the world with higher petrol cost and/or taxes, this is different.

  11. Mark N says:

    But I will make the decision to buy an EV with decent range to get to work and back as long as the cost is the same or even close to a gas car. I am willing to pay what I can afford to offset the gas guzzling SUVs.

    But I will need a PHEV with extended range for 600 mile days I do on vacation and business trips. I can not wait hours at a recharge station for my car to charge when I need to drive 400 miles in a day to visit a customer for a one hour meeting. In that case PHEVs make a lot of sense right now. They are a beast adapted to the current environment. Until a fast charge infrastructure is in place, hybrids are necessary.

  12. J-M says:

    One missing benefit — 0 emissions! Cleaner air with no tailpipes = lower strain on climate adaption which is why every responsible jurisdiction in the world should be incentivizing the heck out of EVs.
    I’ve owned a BMW i3 and for a yr now and LOVE it! Cheaper and cleaner to run (BC’s clean grid is 96% renewable and electricity is $.08/kWh), more fun to drive (0-60km/h in under 7 seconds), and wake up to a full tank of electrons every morning!