Bosch Backs Tidal Power Project
Goldman Sachs Invests C$30 Million in Cellulosic Ethanol Provider

Used Toyota RAV4-EV Sells for $67,300 on eBay

Rav4
The RAV4-EV

A 2003 Toyota RAV4-EV auctioned on eBay went to the winning bidder for a price of $67,300.

Toyota began sales of the RAV4 Electric Vehicle (EV) to California retail customers in March 2002 after five years of leasing to utilities and other corporations that operate vehicle fleets. Toyota then ceased production of EV in 2003.

When the RAV4-EVs went on sale to the public in 2002, they carried a manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) of $42,000. However, a $9,000 incentive from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and a $4,000 IRS credit could bring the price below $30,000.

Based on the first-generation RAV4 platform, the RAV4-EV combines a 50kW (67hp) electric motor that develops 190 Nm of torque with a 288V NiMH battery to yield a projected driving range of 85-100 miles per charge and an electronically controlled top speed of 78 mph.

(The sellers said that they pulled in 100 miles—90% on the freeway—per charge.)

The car on auction had 59,000 miles on it just had its battery pack replaced under warranty.

In its official statement on the cessation of production of the RAV4-EV, Toyota said:

Toyota believes that in order to have a positive environmental impact, a large number of consumers must embrace the technology. In order for this to happen, the vehicle must meet the lifestyle needs of, and be affordable to, the mass market. Although a significant marketing effort was undertaken for the RAV4-EV, we only sold about 300 vehicles a year.

Toyota was preparing in 2005 to crush the remaining RAV4-EVs coming off of lease, but yielded to a campaign launched by DontCrush.Com to keep the EVs on the road.

Comments

Bob Seeley

We designed and produced an automotive emissions control system back in 1970 at Rockwell that burned wood alcohol only. It exceeded EPA requirements then and those projected for the next thirty years. It was bought by GM and shelved in some storage facility back east. The old almight buck spoke again. My blood still boils when I think about it. Anyway, we did it back then so we can certainly do it now. All the delivery infrastructure is already in place. Ohhhhhhh, but noooooooo, that would somehow make too many people in high places unhappy.

Fred

Sorry to make all EV skeptics a bit lost... but as I wrote on another GCC post, I personally worked, and still am, with an MIT team and a new EV-start-up based in California which will introduce their beautiful EVs [freeway enabled] sometime within the next two years.
These are ultra efficient, beautifully styled, packed with all current and future safety measures, long range and superfast re-charging EVs, and best of all, at a reasonable price.
The main problem in this country is that people are addicted to oil and many, [too many], do not want to embrace new technology because it scares them.
Eventually, gas prices will go to $5/6.00 a gallon [like in Europe], and then you will see the chaos and the "void stare" in those people eyes.
EVs are going to be the supreme vehicle of the future!
No corn-ethanol, bio-diesel, hydrogen and other alt-fuel will be able to compete with pure EVs...the technology exist, the infrastructure is everywhere, the alt-charging power is solar/wind and the prices will come down dramatically.

Remembere: Build them...and they will buy them!

Fred Sands, PhD

Fred

Oh yeah...and to all delivery oriented biz people take a look at this!

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/04/modec_introduce.html

Forget diesel, forget gasoline!

A friend of mine who's in the coffee biz, told me that if he can put his hands on these EV-Vans he would lease at least 5 right away. He said: "When my drivers deliver a few pounds of coffee to local restaurants and coffee shops, I make absolutely no profit...it all goes in gas!"

And how about this reason: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/05/noaa_reports_st.html#more

Do I need to say more?

Fred Sands, PhD.
EV Fanatic.

Joseph Willemssen

EVs are going to be the supreme vehicle of the future!

There's going to have to be major efficiency changes, because that will require 50% of the total electricity consumption of the US at today's number of vehicle miles and relative average efficiencies. Vehicles will have to be a lot lighter, more aerodynamic, or something to pare down that amount of demand, which will only increase, barring any other changes. This will be tough to pull of, since the energy cost per mile of electrics would reduce fuel costs almost 60%, which would keep the vehicle-miles high.

NBK-Boston

The typical response to grid capacity worries is to note that in most cases, EVs are expected to charge mainly at night, when there is lots of spare generation and distribution capcity to go around. Differential peak/off-peak electricity pricing is one way to induce motorists to charge only during times when they would not be overburdening the grid.

Sunny Tai

Speaking of safety in electric cars...remember this?

http://www.conceptcar.co.uk/news/design/cardesignnews28.php

180 mile range and 2+1 seating arrangement.Its enough for most people

tonychilling

Fred: I have a question about quick charging.
If the assumption is 240miles/charge and 4miles/KWh, then the battery must hold 60kwh. If the re-charge time is 6 minutes, then source must provide 600Kw for 6 minutes.
How is the NEC(national electrical code) ever going to approve a customer handled electrical connector that can handle 600v@100 amps? In the rain?
I think EV charging will be mainly done at home.

I think the hybrid will be the bridge to the EV car over 20 years.
1) Customers will not by enmass a car without "emergency travel range" as proivide by IC engine.
2) allows battery range to expand as technology gets better
3) allows energy companies the continued revenue stream
4) Allows dealerships time to adjust to loss of service revenue due to more and more use of EV mode of hybrid.

I think Toyota already figured out this consumer/political maze and is executing
the IC->hybrid->Pluggable Hybrid->EV car path.

Shaun Williams

"Batteries simply do not have the energy density required to compete against chemical fuels, especially when you also demand long life (= shallow discharge)."

Last I heard chemical fuels were consumables (not hard to compete with a lifecycle of one!) What's wrong with batteries being recyclable consumables? Especially once the price is driven down by demand which will also drive improvements in the technology.

"PHEVs are niche concepts for vehicles used almost exclusively for very short trips at low speeds."

Rubbish. PHEVs are not designed to use their electric components exclusively it's all about supplementing with an alternative energy source. Make sure you even begin to understand the "concept" before you dismiss it.

-----------------------------------------------------

"One of my friends is fierce proponent of EV cars. He is in tow truck business."

Would that be one of those "dirty diesel" trucks that cause "250 000 per year premature death of Europeans".

...nothing if not entertaining.

Engineer-Poet
There's going to have to be major efficiency changes, because that will require 50% of the total electricity consumption of the US at today's number of vehicle miles and relative average efficiencies.
Hogwash.  Current gasoline vehicles, at their 15% tank-to-wheels efficiency, deliver less than 90 GW.  This is about 20% of total average electrical generation, and could easily be handled off-peak.  If we need more fuel, we could generate this juice by burning oil in 60%-efficient CCGT's instead of 15%-efficient gas drivetrains until we can build more nuclear or wind plants.
How is the NEC(national electrical code) ever going to approve a customer handled electrical connector that can handle 600v@100 amps? In the rain?
Ground fault interrupters and heated connectors?
Joseph Willemssen

The typical response to grid capacity worries is to note that in most cases, EVs are expected to charge mainly at night, when there is lots of spare generation and distribution capcity to go around.

But for wide adoption, as Dr. Fred noted, people will need to be able to fill up as they need it with quick recharge batteries. So we don't know how behvior will be once quick recharge options are available.

It still doesn't get around the fact of how much extra power output would be required, and the economic incentives against efficiency (since electricity is a cheaper "fuel", mile for mile).

Joseph Willemssen

Hogwash. Current gasoline vehicles, at their 15% tank-to-wheels efficiency, deliver less than 90 GW. This is about 20% of total average electrical generation, and could easily be handled off-peak. If we need more fuel, we could generate this juice by burning oil in 60%-efficient CCGT's instead of 15%-efficient gas drivetrains until we can build more nuclear or wind plants.

Your usual claim is that a Prius requires .25 kWh/mile, correct? As a gas-powered vehicle, it gets 55 mpg.

Contrast that with the current US fleet average of 20 mpg. So, using those relative gasoline efficiencies as a guide to what a US fleet conversion would consume, you're talking about an average of .69 kWh/mile. Americans drove around 2.7 trillion vehicle-miles last year, which at .69 kWh/mile equates to 1.8 trillion kWh. Electrical supply in 2004 was 3.7 trillion kWh, or about twice that - as I said.

Population increases will push up vehicle-miles, and the fact that electricity is cheap as a fuel will deter efficiency improvements in the overall US fleet, if a conversion to EVs were to occur. Expensive fuel drives efficiency improvements, like it or not.

I'm not saying it's not doable, but people need to understand the scale of things being discussed.

John W.

Rafael Seidl said: "Regular hybrids make sense for stop-and-go traffic." Wrong. At least with the hybrids oriented for mileage, like prius, insight. With 3 dollar gas, maybe 5 dollars a gallen in a couple years as demand goes up up up, the insight driver is laughing all the way, even if he has the car a decade and has to change a battery pack. They make sense in the city or freeway.

You also said: "PHEVs are niche concepts for vehicles used almost exclusively for very short trips at low speeds. EVs are dead and should stay that way."

Huh???? You are obviously very confused about plug in hybrid's, and show a strong bias against EV's. Where do you come from man, Detroit headquarters?

And Joseph Willemssen, one of the main arguments you employ in your reply to engineer Poet is fundamentally flawed. Fred was originally talking about EV's, not hybrids which still use gas. That is the context of your original reply to Fred. Your comparison between a prius versus regular vehicle mileage average is useless here: it doesn't address what Engineer Poet was saying. Sorry. :)

Fred and Engineer Poet are right. While *right* now EV's are not so feasible for most, we are on the threshold, and in 2-5 years we will be seeing all kinds of wonderful EV's rise to prominance. It just depends on who's all willing to make them and break with established infrastructure. Many will buy them if they would only be made efficiently (not some 5000 pound "big auto producer" variety.) Look at the article on Firefly's new battery posted May 2, and see the comments.

Joseph Willemssen

And Joseph Willemssen, one of the main arguments you employ in your reply to engineer Poet is fundamentally flawed. Fred was originally talking about EV's, not hybrids which still use gas. That is the context of your original reply to Fred. Your comparison between a prius versus regular vehicle mileage average is useless here: it doesn't address what Engineer Poet was saying. Sorry. :)

Let me clarify, since you didn't understand what I said.

EP regularly tells us the Prius in all-electric mode uses 0.25 kWh/mile, so I start by assuming that to be correct. Since we don't know what the average US light vehicle would consume in all-electric mode (since very little of the fleet can run in all-electric mode), all we can do is guess what it would be by comparing the Prius as a whole to the light vehicle average as a whole (55 mpg v 20 mpg) to get a sense of the relative efficiency difference between them. That then means we can get an estimate of how much electrical energy per mile would be required to move this theoretical "average light vehicle". Take 0.25 and multiply it by (55/20) and one gets 0.69 kWh/mile. Then you multiply that by the number of vehicle-miles last year (2.7 trillion) and that then tells you how much electrical energy would be required to move the US light vehicle fleet in a given year. It ends up being about 50% of our total current electricity consumption.

Or, we can take a vehicle which currently is rated at 20 mpg (eg, the 2WD Dodge Caravan) and you can tell me how much electrical energy per mile would be required to maintain its current performance level with a 55 city/45 highway split and 300 mile range. If it's less than 0.69 kWh/mile, please give me the correct figure.

John W.

Okay, Joseph W., thanks for clarifying what you meant. I can misunderstand people at times too. :)

Yet the math about electric vehicles taking half our grid power sounds off. It will take forever for our society to be a the point where we all drive electric cars, for starters. Heck, there's still people on this forum even who don't like their future for some weird reason. Secondly, as has been pointed out, there is a huge surplus of electricity at night, when the *majority* will recharge. Sure there will be some during day, but the majority will be at night. Infrastructure can gradually grow to meet demand over the years if it needs to, but probably won't even need to.

And someone (can't remember who) said no house can handle 600 volts at 100 amps for minutes at a time. Just wanted to comment that while new batteries *can* be recharged in minutes, that doesn't necessarily mean they *have to* be charged up in minutes, with a charging system that also handles a slower charge. If there are restraints to your house's/neighborhood's grid system, you will just have to live within them and take longer, perhaps hours after all, to recharge the battery. Yet, I could easily live with that still.

Richard F

If all you naysayers can get over your decadent lifstyles and realize that electric cars take a different mentality, we could all benefit from this technology. Instead of worying about the "Unexpected" long distance emergency vancation scenario, you focus on the daily driving most Americans do, you will see that this technology is actually very practical. Even if batteries need to be replaced and you do the math, the cost of such an expense drawn out over a period of the life of the batteries would still cost less than a fossil fuel vehicle. But if "Convenience" of refueling is your only gripe because you forgot to plug your car in to recharge it, then maybe you should consider a bicycle. Hey it doesn't need any recharging, nor refueling, and you would definitly kick the oil habit! We also wouldn't have to breath your polution!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)