Electric Cars Making Gas Cars As Obsolete As ‘Flip Phones’

7 hours ago, mthebold said:

Tesla was one of the first to use all aluminum body panels; ford followed shortly thereafter with an all-aluminum F-150.  Both have high repair costs, but this is partly due to the novelty of the technology and dearth of available mechanics.  As the technology spreads - and it surely will - will the price not come down?

Eventually but the cost of mostly aluminum for the bodies of Model S, X seems to have led Tesla to a mix of aluminum, mild steel, high strength steel, and ultra high strength steel in the less expensive Model 3

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16 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Here's your problem with the Tesla car, Janet.  Have a minor collision with it and the car is scrap.  The bodywork does not crumple, the material shatters.  Tesla itself will not repair most collisions, and have few "authorized" repair shops, who in turn charge outrageous fees.  What buyers do not fully understand is just how fragile these cars are when hit.

Once the insurance companies develop an experience curve with Tesla, I anticipate that collision premiums will go through the roof. Then what?   

 

Hi Jan,

I don't own a Tesla. I have a 5-year old Leaf. I live on an island east of Victoria, B.C.

Range is not a problem on the island. I have a 2006 Odyssey van for when I drive off island and can't take a shuttle or other public transport. I love my EV!

 

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Perhaps the ICe vs EV debate will get "better" if people on both camps stop the either/or bickering (not saying people here are doing it, but the fear on both sides is real). Petrol heads are worried that SJw's and virtue signallers with expensive Tesla's want ICE vehicles banned due to climate change, while, Matcha Latte sipping EV drivers think unless (((toxic masculinity))) is purged, they will have to drink a litre of diesel in the morning before work in a decade or so once the populist uprising is in full swing (Muh' Trump, Bolsonaro,etc)

EV's are great for short distance inside the city transport in places where electricity is cheaply and sustainably produced, while, gas powered cars could be used in long distance travel or in places where electricity is produced using fossil fuels,etc. Just because there is Formula E, does not mean that a V12 suddenly sounds bad.

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7 hours ago, Janet Alderton said:

Hi Jan,

I don't own a Tesla. I have a 5-year old Leaf. I live on an island east of Victoria, B.C.

Range is not a problem on the island. I have a 2006 Odyssey van for when I drive off island and can't take a shuttle or other public transport. I love my EV!

 

Driving a Golf Cart when living in a Golf Cart Community (a small island) makes a lot of sense.

Golf Cart Community.jpeg

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8 hours ago, Arjun said:

EV's are great for short distance inside the city transport in places where electricity is cheaply and sustainably produced, while, gas powered cars could be used in long distance travel or in places where electricity is produced using fossil fuels,etc. Just because there is Formula E, does not mean that a V12 suddenly sounds bad.

I'll be back in the Australian bush soon, hour and a half drive each way to the supermarket. Hopefully getting a Tesla Model 3 later this year, no range issues, driving to Sydney or Melbourne will take just as long as an ICE but a more comfortable safer drive. Coal is still used to produce quite a large percentage of Australia's electricity but using an EV charged from the mains creates less pollution than driving an ICE.

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All this talk regarding electric cars making ICE cars obsolete is true for the 2035+ time frame.  Are electric cars better than ICE cars with regard to moving parts, torque, performance and general noise reduction.  Absolutely.  But like a lot of inventors and idealists, this thing called cost is not taken into account.  Who is going to pay for the infrastructure to support an electric car fleet?  Tesla? Ha Ha.  Tesla makes most of its money from selling green tax credits to other companies.  In case no one noticed, electric car tax credits are disappearing.  Take away tax credits and demand drops.  35k Tesla 3 vehicles are expensive compared to similar ICE cars.  In addition, not hearing much commentary on battery replacement costs which will be come more prevalent after 4 or 5 years of everyday use.  Also not hearing much regarding recycling cost of spent batteries and all their toxic materials.  500,000 batteries can be processed without much fan fare, but try 50,000,000.  Good luck.  Cost people.  ROI people.  Comparing flip phones to ICE cars is ridiculous as the cost differences are not even in the same league.  Like most things,  it is all great when it is free, but when it costs money, buying habits change.  If you think the government is going to build out the infrastructure-keep dreaming.  Start your crowd funding projects now to build up the trillions of $ required to make the transition.  In the mean time,  every day another Chinese or Indian citizen trades in their bicycle for a scooter. 

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4 hours ago, DA? said:

I'll be back in the Australian bush soon, hour and a half drive each way to the supermarket. Hopefully getting a Tesla Model 3 later this year, no range issues, driving to Sydney or Melbourne will take just as long as an ICE but a more comfortable safer drive. Coal is still used to produce quite a large percentage of Australia's electricity but using an EV charged from the mains creates less pollution than driving an ICE.

Good for you, what I meant was you can have both.

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2 hours ago, Cobra67 said:

All this talk regarding electric cars making ICE cars obsolete is true for the 2035+ time frame.  Are electric cars better than ICE cars with regard to moving parts, torque, performance and general noise reduction.  Absolutely.  But like a lot of inventors and idealists, this thing called cost is not taken into account.  Who is going to pay for the infrastructure to support an electric car fleet?  Tesla? Ha Ha.  Tesla makes most of its money from selling green tax credits to other companies.  In case no one noticed, electric car tax credits are disappearing.  Take away tax credits and demand drops.  35k Tesla 3 vehicles are expensive compared to similar ICE cars.  In addition, not hearing much commentary on battery replacement costs which will be come more prevalent after 4 or 5 years of everyday use.  Also not hearing much regarding recycling cost of spent batteries and all their toxic materials.  500,000 batteries can be processed without much fan fare, but try 50,000,000.  Good luck.  Cost people.  ROI people.  Comparing flip phones to ICE cars is ridiculous as the cost differences are not even in the same league.  Like most things,  it is all great when it is free, but when it costs money, buying habits change.  If you think the government is going to build out the infrastructure-keep dreaming.  Start your crowd funding projects now to build up the trillions of $ required to make the transition.  In the mean time,  every day another Chinese or Indian citizen trades in their bicycle for a scooter. 

Think you need to catch up with whats going on. Tesla doesn't by a long way make "most of its money from selling green tax credits". Tesla's charging infrastructure is getting to be dam good already and along with other companies putting in charging infrastructure. A Tesla Model 3 is actually quite similar in price to other cars in it's luxury class. EV costs are dropping rapidly, wait till some of the big boys start producing EV's with intent. Batteries last these days far longer than an average ICE. Why can't more batteries be processed, economy rises with scale. China especially is going full speed for EV's and even India.

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31 minutes ago, DA? said:

Think you need to catch up with whats going on. Tesla doesn't by a long way make "most of its money from selling green tax credits". Tesla's charging infrastructure is getting to be dam good already and along with other companies putting in charging infrastructure. A Tesla Model 3 is actually quite similar in price to other cars in it's luxury class. EV costs are dropping rapidly, wait till some of the big boys start producing EV's with intent. Batteries last these days far longer than an average ICE. Why can't more batteries be processed, economy rises with scale. China especially is going full speed for EV's and even India.

"Batteries last these days far longer than an average ICE."

Ouch. The Limo suburban I last used to go to the airport had more than 400,000 miles..... on the first engine.

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2 hours ago, Robert Ziegler said:

"Batteries last these days far longer than an average ICE."

Ouch. The Limo suburban I last used to go to the airport had more than 400,000 miles..... on the first engine.

That statement always gets me.  When was the last time anyone had to overhaul much less scrap an engine on their car (ok, there are exceptions, but there will be with EVs too)?  Engines in this day and age are some of the most reliable pieces of machinery ever built.  What are they talking about when they say that?

 

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People need to get their heads out of the sand.  Yes the infrastructure required to charge millions of EVs will cost trillions.  Who will pay for that?  Taxpayers.  I'm all in favor of market forces deciding how transportation evolves in this country.  But that's not what we have.  We have political forces doing it.  So you can rest assured it will be, and already is, excessively expensive.  Buyers of Tesla EVs get tax credits adding up to $10,000.00/vehicle counting Federal and California tax credits.  The state tax credits vary.  Essentially this is government sponsored theft to steal from all the taxpayers to benefit a few tax payers who buy the cars and of course Tesla (and other EV dealers), which could not survive without it. Also politically connected persons who have prepositioned themselves to profit off of the government policies and mandates they heavily lobbied for, are enriching themselves.  More government politician arranged rip off of the taxpayers.  Recall Obama's failed Solindra fiasco for solar panels - another taxpayer rip off.   EV's can offer a lot of benefits, but if they are so good, then they shouldn't need 1 cent of taxpayer money (i.e., credits).  On the contrary, just as vehicles pay excise taxes on gasoline for road maintenance, EV owners should pay an annual excise tax to pay for all the electrical infrastructure that will be required AND road maintenance.  If that were done, which would be economically fair, no one would own an EV because they'd never be affordable.  

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19 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

That statement always gets me.  When was the last time anyone had to overhaul much less scrap an engine on their car (ok, there are exceptions, but there will be with EVs too)?  Engines in this day and age are some of the most reliable pieces of machinery ever built.  What are they talking about when they say that?

 

I agree that engines are far more reliable than those when I grew up. However, if you've ever had to make expensive engine repairs you can appreciate the simplicity and lack of moving parts in an EV. I'm not ready to make the switch yet, but I am looking forward to not dealing with the following taken from my F150 with 155,000 miles as an example...

Routine oil changes

Transmission fluid changes. Fortunately no major transmission repairs yet.

Radiator flushes, replace worn hoses. water pump replacement.

Tune ups such as changing plugs, wires and coil packs, flush injectors etc 

Brake jobs

Repair leaking intake manifold

Repair leaking rear main seal

 

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(edited)

4 hours ago, Refman said:

I agree that engines are far more reliable than those when I grew up. However, if you've ever had to make expensive engine repairs you can appreciate the simplicity and lack of moving parts in an EV. I'm not ready to make the switch yet, but I am looking forward to not dealing with the following taken from my F150 with 155,000 miles as an example...

Routine oil changes

Transmission fluid changes. Fortunately no major transmission repairs yet.

Radiator flushes, replace worn hoses. water pump replacement.

Tune ups such as changing plugs, wires and coil packs, flush injectors etc 

Brake jobs

Repair leaking intake manifold

Repair leaking rear main seal

 

You had to do all that to your F150 by the time it got to 150k miles?  What year is your F150?  How many miles do you drive per year?  I'm not trying to wind you up, but this discussion needs to happen anyway, so lets break down the issues you listed and go for it.

How often do you do oil changes?  If you run synthetic oil, you should change your oil and filter at about every 7,500 miles.  I'm going to assume 12k miles/year which would make your F150 a 2005 model (150k/7,500 = 20, Oil & Filter change costs @ $30-$40, 20 x $30/$40 = $600/$800).  That would make your oil & filter change costs about $46-$62 per year.  $92-$124 per year if you drive 24k miles per year.

Why do you do Transmission fluid changes?  The transmission is a sealed system and although you shouldn't have to change the fluid/filter often, it's probably a good idea at 150,000 miles, not before.  Cost = @ $100-$150 (one time in your scenario).

Why do you do radiator flushes?  Again, this is a sealed system and there is no need to flush it in this day and age.

You had worn hoses?

You had to replace a water pump?

How often do you change your plugs, wires and coil packs (why do you replace your wires and coil packs?).

You paid for an injector flush?  Why?  Because that's what Ford wanted to sell you?  Pour a bottle of injector cleaner in once a year.  Costs about $6-$15 a bottle.

How many brake jobs have you done?  It shouldn't be necessary to change the brake pads more than every 50k+ miles, soon after you start to hear the squeak alert that is built into the pads.  That's 3 brake pad replacements for your truck.  Brake pad replacement for an F150 should cost  between $150 and $250 including labor.  That's $450-$750 over the life of your truck so far.  Bonus: if you replace the pads when necessary, your rotors and drums should not need any work at all by 150k miles.

Leaking intake and rear main is rare.  Sorry you got hit with this.

I understand your costs and circumstances may not add up to the above, but it's a good place to start a conversation.

Edited by Dan Warnick

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I like my flip phone. Cost me $3.00 a month for 30 minutes of air time & holds it's charge for nearly 7 days.

 

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9 hours ago, Robert Ziegler said:

"Batteries last these days far longer than an average ICE."

Ouch. The Limo suburban I last used to go to the airport had more than 400,000 miles..... on the first engine.

On average.

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(edited)

Does anyone realize that lithium is a highly potent anti bipolar medicine that is also toxic? How will the batteries be disposed of once expired?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_toxicity

Edited by ronwagn
reference
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6 hours ago, GSLester said:

People need to get their heads out of the sand.  Yes the infrastructure required to charge millions of EVs will cost trillions.  Who will pay for that?  Taxpayers.  I'm all in favor of market forces deciding how transportation evolves in this country.  But that's not what we have.  We have political forces doing it.  So you can rest assured it will be, and already is, excessively expensive.  Buyers of Tesla EVs get tax credits adding up to $10,000.00/vehicle counting Federal and California tax credits.  The state tax credits vary.  Essentially this is government sponsored theft to steal from all the taxpayers to benefit a few tax payers who buy the cars and of course Tesla (and other EV dealers), which could not survive without it. Also politically connected persons who have prepositioned themselves to profit off of the government policies and mandates they heavily lobbied for, are enriching themselves.  More government politician arranged rip off of the taxpayers.  Recall Obama's failed Solindra fiasco for solar panels - another taxpayer rip off.   EV's can offer a lot of benefits, but if they are so good, then they shouldn't need 1 cent of taxpayer money (i.e., credits).  On the contrary, just as vehicles pay excise taxes on gasoline for road maintenance, EV owners should pay an annual excise tax to pay for all the electrical infrastructure that will be required AND road maintenance.  If that were done, which would be economically fair, no one would own an EV because they'd never be affordable.  

No technologies often need help to break into a market. The USA tax credits are already starting to go for Tesla and now GM. Not sure were you get this tax payers are going to have to pay trillions for infrastructure, it's been built now. The cost of EV's is coming down sharply and will be cheaper than an ICE in a few years. Tesla Model 3 is basically the same price when compared to other luxury cars of the same class.

Then don't forget all the savings in health and well as financial getting rid of all that pollution in urban areas. This costs the tax payer billions every year.

EV's as renewables are a developing industry (that are creating masses of jobs) and aren't yet mature, give it till 2025 and then see how things have changed.

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2 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

Does anyone realize that lithium is a highly potent anti bipolar medicine that is also toxic? How will the batteries be disposed of once expired?

They will be recycled. If lithium is so toxic don't go near the sea it's full of it.

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14 minutes ago, DA? said:

They will be recycled. If lithium is so toxic don't go near the sea it's full of it.

Are you saying that the lithium can be reused economically? If disposed of, how?

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4 hours ago, ronwagn said:

Are you saying that the lithium can be reused economically? If disposed of, how?

Used EV batteries can be then used for storage of electricity produced by a power plant.

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(edited)

11 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

You had to do all that to your F150 by the time it got to 150k miles?  What year is your F150?  How many miles do you drive per year?  I'm not trying to wind you up, but this discussion needs to happen anyway, so lets break down the issues you listed and go for it.

How often do you do oil changes?  If you run synthetic oil, you should change your oil and filter at about every 7,500 miles.  I'm going to assume 12k miles/year which would make your F150 a 2005 model (150k/7,500 = 20, Oil & Filter change costs @ $30-$40, 20 x $30/$40 = $600/$800).  That would make your oil & filter change costs about $46-$62 per year.  $92-$124 per year if you drive 24k miles per year.

Why do you do Transmission fluid changes?  The transmission is a sealed system and although you shouldn't have to change the fluid/filter often, it's probably a good idea at 150,000 miles, not before.  Cost = @ $100-$150 (one time in your scenario).

Why do you do radiator flushes?  Again, this is a sealed system and there is no need to flush it in this day and age.

You had worn hoses?

You had to replace a water pump?

How often do you change your plugs, wires and coil packs (why do you replace your wires and coil packs?).

You paid for an injector flush?  Why?  Because that's what Ford wanted to sell you?  Pour a bottle of injector cleaner in once a year.  Costs about $6-$15 a bottle.

How many brake jobs have you done?  It shouldn't be necessary to change the brake pads more than every 50k+ miles, soon after you start to hear the squeak alert that is built into the pads.  That's 3 brake pad replacements for your truck.  Brake pad replacement for an F150 should cost  between $150 and $250 including labor.  That's $450-$750 over the life of your truck so far.  Bonus: if you replace the pads when necessary, your rotors and drums should not need any work at all by 150k miles.

Leaking intake and rear main is rare.  Sorry you got hit with this.

I understand your costs and circumstances may not add up to the above, but it's a good place to start a conversation.

Hi Dan,

2004 F150 with 155K on the odo.

I drive about 10,000 miles a year. Oil is changed regularly around 7,500 miles. I change the tranny fluid because it's recommended and cheaper than replacing a transmission. Even anti freeze breaks down over time, so a flush a replace every 10 years is not so bad. Hoses do go bad over time. 

The plugs, wires and 2 coil packs were replaced recently due to a couple of misfires I was getting.

The leaking intake manifold was a common problem on the V6, not sure about the rear main.

It's all just part of owning a truck. Probably the most eye opening thing is the money spent on gas which amounts to about $20K.

 

Edited by Refman
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22 hours ago, mthebold said:

That's true, but there's a reason to use steel in specific applications: it has a higher strength/weight ratio than aluminum.  Thus, we see steel wire rope instead of aluminum wire rope.  Aluminum has an advantage for bending loads and body panels, where the thickness of the material matters as much as tensile strength (lower density = greater thickness/mass = improved part performance). 

It's also true that, between the introduction of the Model S and Model 3, the steel industry saw the threat from aluminum and responded by offering improved steels.  Right now, we have 1st generation automotive aluminum competing with 2nd+ generation automotive steel.  No doubt both the steel and aluminum industries have improved technologies coming down their R&D pipelines to continue the fight. 

Long term, my naive guess is that aluminum wins more market share.  Refining capacity, connecting technologies (welding, glue, etc), repair shop technologies, and repair infrastructure for aluminum are currently primitive, which gives the incumbent steel an advantage.  That advantage will narrow.  I also saw a company (lost the source) working on non-electrolytic metal refining.  Electricity is approx. 25% the cost of aluminum refining, so this could narrow the cost gap.  Recycling automotive aluminum on a large scale - which is not yet possible because we've only begun to use it on such scales - could also eventually reduce costs.

Finally, corrosion is a major problem for steel.  Not only does it lead to part failures, but engineers must over-design parts to account for it.  On vehicles, engineers we see two types of over-design:
1)  Add heavy, expensive coatings.  This is really only feasible on non-load-bearing components like body panels because a single scratch can cause the entire coating to fail.  That can't be risked on load-bearing components exposed to the elements. 
2)  Make the part thick enough that it meets strength requirements after 15ish years of corrosion in the worst climates. 

Both of these options add weight and cost money.  Aluminum requires neither because it has a self-regenerating protective coating.  Like iron, aluminum reacts with oxygen to produce a metal oxide.  Unlike iron, aluminum's oxide does not flake off.  It bonds to the underlying metal, protecting it from further oxidation.  You can scratch aluminum as much as you like; the coating immediately regenerates.  Thus, there are aluminum parts that require neither coating nor excess thickness.

A prime application of aluminum is truck frames, which are already being developed for heavy trucks along with other aluminum parts.  Once heavy trucks prove the technology, it wouldn't be out of the question to see aluminum in light & medium truck frames as well. 

You get the picture.  The Model 3 is a highly optimized, relatively low-volume, technologically progressive vehicle.  I would expect the rest of the automotive industry to slowly bring aluminum usage more in line with what Tesla is doing today.  From there, I would expect aluminum to slowly gain market share over steel.  That's just an educated guess though; I'd love to have an expert tell me where I'm wrong. 

Great info. I didn't mean to suggest that cost was the only reason Tesla used steel in the Model 3. I think the other large factor, as you say, was safety considerations. Here is an exploded view of the Model 3's body showing where each metal is located in the body structure. Interestingly, SpaceX (another Musk company) engineers have aided Tesla, specifically with aluminum casting. SpaceX knowledge of materials in unforgiving regimes is surely helpful in fabricating strengthened materials and they've recently built their own foundry to that end.

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20 hours ago, DA? said:

Think you need to catch up with whats going on. Tesla doesn't by a long way make "most of its money from selling green tax credits". Tesla's charging infrastructure is getting to be dam good already and along with other companies putting in charging infrastructure. A Tesla Model 3 is actually quite similar in price to other cars in it's luxury class. EV costs are dropping rapidly, wait till some of the big boys start producing EV's with intent. Batteries last these days far longer than an average ICE. Why can't more batteries be processed, economy rises with scale. China especially is going full speed for EV's and even India.

Think you need to read Tesla's latest financial statements.  Tesla will lose its tax credit status and and has subsequently dropped the price of its vehicles.  Companies do not cut prices because sales are strong.  Adjusting for the loss of tax credit story is hog wash.  Tesla sells its Green credits to other industries that must comply with state and federal GHG limits.  Government working for you!  That is a fact and the amount of money they earn from each vehicle is peanuts if not a loss save for government tax credits. 

No doubt EV costs are dropping quickly as economies of scale start to develop.  However, going from a 2% market share of the global auto market to 10% is not a linear function.  As EVs expand market share, the infrastructure required from using the excess in off peak hours to being on demand, all the time is going to stress the system.  Again it all comes down to cost.and who is going to pay.  Are you willing to pay for an upgraded system in the Aussie bush as your neighbors start to plug into the grid and stress the system?  Or will you just use the metro areas to charge your Tesla 3?  How about replacing Australia's coal plants (and India's and China's) with nuclear or renewables?  When it is free, it is for me.

No doubt EV are better than ICE vehicles in many categories.  But, the pace of transition is greatly exxagerated.  Reminds of the 2000 time frame when Pets.com and RubberDogPoop. com and NeverShopAgain.com were going to revolutionize the world.  Only took 15 years to realize the dream.  Hence my 2035 time frame.  Talk to me about technological advancement all you want, but the laws of ROI and cost and profit and demand and supply will nullify all that talk.  Just ask Elon how his visions of a pure robotic factory blew up in his face.  Looked great on paper and theory, but then reality hit.

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23 hours ago, mthebold said:

 I would expect aluminum to slowly gain market share over steel.  That's just an educated guess though; I'd love to have an expert tell me where I'm wrong. 

PArdon me........ I'm not an expert..... but.............. a soft reminder that both steel and aluminium are non - renewable resources.... when everyone is competing to get the raw materials.......... many things could happen.......  quality and safety would likely be the first few things to be compromised.

Heard of a smart but not so classy idea --- carbon reinforced plastic............ ^_^ It's hard + cheap + synthetic.......................

Who fancies driving a plasticy car?? :S

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Electric vehicles won't stress the grid, they'll stabilize it. We're talking about moving storage of electricity. Those cars can send electricity back to the grid when they're not used.

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