Electric cars - How quick will mainstream adopt?


My take on adoption is that the typical two car family will be like you are saying - first the family member with the short commuting / daily driving radius will buy one, and then as the recharge grid expands, ranges, improve, and range anxiety expires, the second driver will then adopt. Figure that whole conversion to take 10-15 years.


We’re already doing that on a small scale. Wife has a plugin Prius because she has a free charging station at her work. Even with the low range, her commute is close enough she never has to buy gas unless we take longer trips. Still have the maintenance of a gas car though. I’d like to get a fully electric for our 2nd car (replace my gas car), and use the Prius for longer trips.


Thats almost 600 miles. Most ICE cars cant do that on a single tank. I dont think 600 miles on a charge will ever be the norm.

Agree on the charging, but I think that will come sooner than people think. By 2030, i anticipate charge times 10 minutes or less.

I think the price points will always remain higher than gasoline cars. The tradeoff is far less (in theory) maintenance costs and (again in theory) a longer life.


Tesla is an AC induction motor on model s and x.

The model 3 uses a permanent magnet motor for higher efficiency. I dont know if that is a.c. or dc however.


So here is what I think needs to happen based on experience when it comes to charging. In the industrial environment, charging our automated vehicles has been a challenge.

  • With companies running a single 8 hour shift, we had batteries that could operate at 12 - 15 hours without needing a charge. The drawback was that it took 8 hours to charge it back up. You also had to start with 12-15 hours because around year 7 of the battery, you could only get about 8 hours out of it. Also, those types of batteries needed a “maintenance” charge once every 10 days to keep any type of “memory” from forming reducing life.

  • With 24/7 companies, we went to a charge station where the vehicle drove up to and connected automatically. You could charge in shorter intervals, but you couldn’t drive as long between charges. We did this with Lithium Ion in my last few months employed there. You could hit the Lithium Ion harder, about 5 minutes of charging for an hour running.

  • The best option was a battery swap. We had a battery exchange machine that carried all of the batteries. When one of the units needed a charge (12-15 hours of run time) it would tell the battery exchange machine to get a battery ready. Once the vehicle reached the exchange machine it took 68 seconds to exchange the battery. Then you ran another 68 seconds.

So put that into the automobile world. What if all cars had the same battery size and mounting as a standard? You could drive down the highway where you could see signs that indicating the number of ready batteries available at a battery station. You pull in and without getting out of your car the battery is swapped in less than 2 minutes. You may have to pull up to the pay booth just prior to the swap station to pay for the swap. Each battery pack could have an RFID chip in it that knows when the battery was produced, how many charge cycles it has had, if it was in a collision, etc… Tesla has toyed with this idea and you can see the video below. This is the way to go in my opinion, but the battery would need to be some type of lease so the car owner never owns a battery. The batteries are owned by the battery swap center and when their batteries get swapped at any battery swap center the battery owner gets a portion of the proceeds.


It looks like they are AC from my quick research.


Yes, Musk is a visionary who is crazy. The best thing for Tesla is happening, but not because Musk wants it to. He needs to work in the background, but let someone with experience growing a company do that while he works on rockets and high speed people movers.


Battery degradation hasnt been much of an issue with Tesla. Battery degradation is amplified by heat. Tesla counteracts this with their coolong system and it has made a huge difference. Their cars with hundreds of thousands of miles are still 90%+ of original capacity. I think that is very reasonable, especially since gasoline powered cars lose efficiency over time too.

I dont think swapping will be normal. With gasoline you just install a different sized tank. With batteries standardization would limit the design choices of manufacturers. It also brings into question liability issues. If you get a bad battery that ruins your car, does liability fall on the car manufacturer? The battery manufacturer? The service center that swapped it out? Theyd all be pointing the finger at the others. It could be a liability nightmare.


I think mass adoption will come with fleet adoption. When major automotive fleets like the USPS and their peers go electric, that will be the herald of consumer adoption. I believe the middle-class electric car is probably 15 or so years away.


I wasn’t suggesting it would be. That’s why I said with stops being basically what they are now. If you have to stop twice for 30 minutes each to get there, that’s pretty damn inconvenient. If the battery swap tech or ultra fast charging happens, that’d be good. But we can’t figure out how to charge our phones that quickly, much less car batteries.


clt likes the Dowless battery idea.

Reaching an industry standard is key.


Tech exists to charge a phone in seconds in theory, the issue is heat. Cooling systems don’t really work on a phone, but on a large battery pack they are feasible.


I don’t drive 600 miles (about 9 hours at average highway speeds) without stopping a couple of times to eat, stretch and bathroom. If I have to charge my car while I do, it’d be a pretty minor inconvenience in terms of time. Now, if your complaint is planning your trip so you can hit charge point(s) along the way, I can see that being an issue until the network expanded.


The charging network was my wife’s biggest worry when we discussed it the other day. I looked it up and with very minor planning you can easily hit charging spots. You do have to think a little bit differently though. You have to plug your car in and then go have a sit down meal. Can’t do Slim Jim’s, Mountain Dew, and a piss break when you travel electric.


Even when I’m just stopping at a gas station to fill up, piss, and grab a snack that’s usuwlly a 15 minute stop if im traveling with a woman. You can get up to 80% charge in 20 minutes on a supercharger. I feel like people forget you don’t have to fully charge when you plug in.

If you are driving a long range model 3 a full charge + 80% charge will take you approximately 575 miles and all you need is one 20-30 minute stop to accomplish that. It’s not really that big of an inconvenience and to me not one at all.


As a gear head I hate this, absolutely hate it. This will be the end of the backyard hobby mechanic IMO. Gasoline powered cars have a soul and a personality that I feel the electric cars lack. I’ve sat in a Tesla and driven one and it’s missing something.

With that said I can’t fault society moving this direction. As many have said cost, reliability, range and quick charging will be the drivers. The performance is top notch.

As someone who has enjoyed the rawness that is an automotive and motorcycle hobby the advent of electric vehicles on a mass scale spells the end of a huge part of what it means to be a gear head IMO.


NWA - I think ICE vehicles will become more pure hobbyist pursuit, instead of ubiquitous transport. You may actually like the shift in that direction. I don’t think gear heads will ever die off, though the number of repair shops will.


Pure hobby means more expensive and slowly the younger generation loses access and parts become hard to find. For those that view cars as strictly transportation this is a no brainer. For those that find enjoyment in the tinkering in a garage this will be a slow death.


I understand what you mean. As much as I like the tech advances of the electric vehicles, the engineering in mid to upper level cars these days is really something to behold. If we had a post apocalyptic society, it would take us forever to recreate even a V6 Toyota Camry. The loss of all that knowledge does seem like a shame.


I can’t wait for the self-driving electric car of the future.

To be real for this thread, we will consider an electric for our next vehicle, as most of our drives are very short. Family vehicle will need to be bigger and be used for the longer trips, but no reason our “small” car can’t be electric.