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post #31 of (permalink) Old 12-05-2018
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The grid is not setup to handle that kind of demand and electricity generation causes pollution of various flavors as well.
Coal, Natural Gas, Hydro, Wind, and Solar... All of them have serious but differing environmental impacts.

I can see another possible downside... Once the nation has been moved over to electric vehicles electricity "shortages" from pollution regulations will be used to control the mobility of the population. Don't believe it? Wait.
Also, I fear that the cost of electricity is going to increase. The excuse will be "Well, we need to upgrade the grid to meet the rising demand for electricity" Guess who's going to pay for it. Gas will probably decrease and I'll be driving my 20 year old gas-powered Impala. LOL

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post #32 of (permalink) Old 12-05-2018
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Pretty short sighted of the GM ( and the other manufacturers ) to go all in on electric vehicles.
The power gird is aging, there are warnings that come out during the summer all over the US and a number of the larger centres in Canada that "Peak Demand" has exceeded last years record, and brown outs and system failures, having to import power from other places, use your oven/stove after 7pm etc etc etc.

Now, add everyone plugging in their vehicles at 1630-1700 every night just as your AC is raging, or in the winter when your electric baseboards are firing up and drawing another 80 to 200 amps all night long. It's fine for now with minimal EV's but in a few years, where most families have 2 or 3 vehicles and WOW !

Was your present neighbourhood built with that kind of electrical infrastructure?
Mine was built in the late 70's and ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, NO it wasn't.


My $0.02
My home was built in 1978 with baseboard electric, I swapped to Fujitsu MiniSplits about 8 months before buying the Tesla. Believe the transformer is shared with just one neighbor, car is set to charge at 1am in summer when load is low and 4am in winter so the battery is warm when I leave for work. I charge it at 60amps this time of year. Voltage sag is about 5volts from 243 to 238 and that is while the water heater is recovering from my shower and the wife is up making coffee and the minisplits run pretty regularly. This is a very reasonable level of voltage sag, utilities don't care till that number hits 10%. Neighbor has a large hot tub and they and the teenagers aren't shy about leaving everything turned on.
Getting rid of the baseboard heat is what bought me the capacity, and I think why the infrastructure is so good.
Some aftermarket charging equipment can be remote accessed by utilities in order to help manage loading, often those are free from the utility. The Tesla charging equipment is set up for random staggered restarting if there is an outage that interrupts or anything to help soften grid load. I am not some sycophant, I enjoy the car, I think it is a better option than most like yourself are willing to admit. I think that with smart management of charging the grid has a fair bit of capacity in much of the country, obviously some areas have been grossly mismanaged and had issues even before EVs were a thing. I couldn't say if the current grid can handle 5% EVs or 10% or anything but I will agree it wont support a mass replacement of gas anytime in the next decade or two. Gas cars will be around a long time. I think the states and countries looking to ban gas car sales by 2040 are idiotic. Liberal feelgood stupidity from Democrats that are just "too smart to connect with voters" or maybe just too stupid to realize they are stupid.

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Originally Posted by hatzie View Post
The grid is not setup to handle that kind of demand and electricity generation causes pollution of various flavors as well.
Coal, Natural Gas, Hydro, Wind, and Solar... All of them have serious but differing environmental impacts.

I can see another possible downside... Once the nation has been moved over to electric vehicles electricity "shortages" from pollution regulations will be used to control the mobility of the population. Don't believe it? Wait.
EVs definitely still cause pollution from power generation, BUT the controls are that are easier to manage at one central location than on millions of separate cars in various states of neglect. They can also be miles outside the congested city diffusing the pollution which is China's big push. They want EVs but not because they are clean because they can spread the pollution around and be less devastating in the cities.

As EV ownership grows battery packs salvaged from wrecks or will wear out to a point where they are not good for transportation or anymore BUT maybe still function at 50-70% original capacity, I think you will see those recycled as home energy storage coupled with more solar. Even without solar home storage or bulk storage by utilities to save excess capacity when it exists and even out the load. At this point the Tesla power wall(battery to help with time of use management) is insane to buy unless in an outrageously expensive utility area with aggressive time of use pricing but the idea is sound.


As I said above charging at low times of use can make use of the grid we have, and there are options that can throttle or stop use if load is too high. It isn't enough to replace any significant portion of the gas cars on the road, I believe the average age of cars on the road in the USA is like 12years so even if something miraculous happened and EV sales spiked to 10% of new it would be a long time before they began offsetting a volume of the cars on the road.

Gas will spike again surprised it hasn't, weak leadership in Europe and the USA in the past and in most places in the present has emboldened Russia, Iran, and China militarily. When some crap hits the fan gas will spike, electricity is more stable in price, less manipulated. Yes prices will rise with demand at some point but to suggest it will be worse than what happens with gas prices is IMO not a defensible position. Yes we have had it good for awhile but something will happen.

I might have said it earlier, I think I save something on fuel vs. the LS3 car this replaced(17mpg on premium), in summer I think I save a fair amount, in winter not so much, don't think it cost more but isn't saving what it does in summer, but whatever it is it in no way justifies the purchase of such a car. End of the year I suspect a 4cylinder midsize or below car that gets mid-30s or better would be cheaper on "fuel". Winter battery and cabin heating drastically increase energy use vs. the other three seasons. Impala being half as much to insure and OK but not great on gas would be cheaper at the end of the year insurance/gas wise. I don't have numbers to back that up but the "published data" suggests a model S should cost I think it was 1/4-1/3rd as much to fuel as a 25mpg car at $2.69/gallon but that was just based on published efficiency which takes a beating in winter and gas has fallen below that. In January the car will report double energy use with my short commute and sub-zero weather, but that does not take into account the energy used from the house while plugged in just what is used from the battery while driving. Things like warming the battery before charging and the morning preheat of the cabin are not reflected and I believe take a big bite out of my theoretical savings. I don't care enough to actually meter what goes thru the wall connector.

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post #33 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2018
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I haven't studied trending sales, but I do see how the Impala sales dropping almost 28% from 2016 to 2017 can lead to a model dying. The numbers don't look much better for 2018.

The 9th gen Impala is a solid car to me, but it should have been RWD with an AWD option (similar to the Dodge Charger/300)...also with a turbo option or an V8.
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Car companies need to start building cars that people actually *want* to buy - instead of building cars that people buy just because there is nothing better available - then maybe car sales wouldn't be so poor. :-)

Where is the Impala SS? Where is a Grand National-like Buick? Cool cars like that are what "car people" want. Hell, cool cars like that might even get people to buy the non-SS versions just becuase they see that the SS version is so cool (kind of like people buying V6 mustangs becuase the "real" V8 Mustangs are "cool" - but can't afford them - or can't afford the insurance on them).

The 9th gen Impala could have been a car that people really wanted - if they had an all-wheel drive version and an SS version.

Then again, maybe the "car" really is dead... Personally, I'm not even interested in an SUV. I have a feeling that cars are dying partly becuase the auto manufacturers *want* them to - so they can sell more expensive, higher-profit SUVs. Basically, they're forcing you to buy SUVs -for which they make substantially more from... However, when gas prices go back up (and they will) - then they'll start making cars again. :-)
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Originally Posted by jtrosky View Post
Car companies need to start building cars that people actually *want* to buy - instead of building cars that people buy just because there is nothing better available - then maybe car sales wouldn't be so poor. :-)

Where is the Impala SS? Where is a Grand National-like Buick? Cool cars like that are what "car people" want. Hell, cool cars like that might even get people to buy the non-SS versions just becuase they see that the SS version is so cool (kind of like people buying V6 mustangs becuase the "real" V8 Mustangs are "cool" - but can't afford them - or can't afford the insurance on them).

The 9th gen Impala could have been a car that people really wanted - if they had an all-wheel drive version and an SS version.

Then again, maybe the "car" really is dead... Personally, I'm not even interested in an SUV. I have a feeling that cars are dying partly becuase the auto manufacturers *want* them to - so they can sell more expensive, higher-profit SUVs. Basically, they're forcing you to buy SUVs -for which they make substantially more from... However, when gas prices go back up (and they will) - then they'll start making cars again. :-)
I agree. I don't know if the consumers actually wanted more SUV's (or whatever those mini-SUV's are), as much as automakers started making them more available. When I walk through the parking lot in at work though, more than 50% are SUV/CUV's and there are maybe 2 or 3 cars with v8's. I do realize that the most of the world could care less about getting to the 1/4 in less than 13 seconds.

I can't complain too much, because I've never bought a new car in my life, and unless I start making $200k a year or more, I won't.
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Then again, maybe the "car" really is dead... Personally, I'm not even interested in an SUV. I have a feeling that cars are dying partly becuase the auto manufacturers *want* them to - so they can sell more expensive, higher-profit SUVs.
Here's what I hope is going on. No doubt, the market has shifted significantly towards SUV's. But what has also happened, is that an excess of sedans has been put into the market, and now there is a glut of them, including many used ones coming from rental agencies and lease agreements. I read somewhere - danged if I can cite where - that when this glut thins out, the new sedan market should pick back up. So I suspect, and hope, that car production will increase in the next couple years.

I, too, am not an SUV guy. And I hate seeing the sedan production cuts going on at GM and Ford. Not sure about Chrysler - are they cutting back on Chargers/300s and/or Darts/200s or Challengers?

For that matter, what about the imports? What are they doing with their sedans? For sure, I know the Japanese are trying to grow their share of SUVs. But I haven't read any stories about killing Camrys or Maximas.

Also, the glut may be brand related - too many new/used Impalas and Fusions for the current market of Impala and Fusion buyers - other brands may not be in as bad of shape.



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Chrysler seems to be doing well with RWD sedans, market is there GM builds better vehicles they just chose to not be in the segment. They had the SS Sports Sedan that even today nobody ever heard of it. Was a GREAT car, I loved mine but it was so rare I wouldn't destroy it with salt which meant I deprived myself of it 4+ months of the year.

Today I used the Tesla to pick up a boxed portable basketball hoop at Walmart, it fit with lots of room with the seats folded, could have maybe even gotten 2 more in with room for smaller stuff around.
People have been taught that you need an SUV or truck for moving things when sedans and wagons can work great.
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post #38 of (permalink) Old 12-19-2018
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Originally Posted by plano-doug View Post
For that matter, what about the imports? What are they doing with their sedans? For sure, I know the Japanese are trying to grow their share of SUVs. But I haven't read any stories about killing Camrys or Maximas.
My understanding is that foriegn car companies are actually *expanding* their car offerings. So it doesn't seem to be a "car" issue, but more of an "American car" issue. People just don't "respect" American cars. It seems that people think they are crap. Personally, I've had great success with American cars (I've never owned a car from a foreign car company) - they've been extremely reliable in the past 20 years or so (some of the 80's cars did have reliability issues though). The other problem is that their resale values drop like a rock so fast - which is another reason that people don't buy them new. All goes back to brand "reputation", I guess. Even though their cars are just as reliable as imports now, a lot of people still have a bad taste in their mouth from when they weren't so reliable, I guess. Maybe I'm dumb, but I always stuck with American cars - even if they weren't as reliable. Just wouldn't feel right driving a Honda - ever.

It is what it is, I'm just whining becuase I happen to like American cars and would never buy anything else. But at the same time, like the poster above, I don't purchase them new, simply because it doesn't make much financial sense becuase of the resale value issue. Although, I *would* buy a brand new car if there was one that intrigured me enough to take the financial hit.

I get it - it's a complicated issue - lots of reasons why they are going away. Businesses are there to make money. I just never expected it to get *this* bad where they basically quit making American cars. Sad day.... I might actually have to start looking into a <cough> Dodge <cough>. :-) I love the looks of some of the newer Dodges (Challenger, Charger, etc), but reliability always seemed to be an issue with them.

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Chrysler seems to be doing well with RWD sedans, market is there GM builds better vehicles they just chose to not be in the segment. They had the SS Sports Sedan that even today nobody ever heard of it. Was a GREAT car, I loved mine but it was so rare I wouldn't destroy it with salt which meant I deprived myself of it 4+ months of the year.
I think the SS failed becuase it looked too "plain". It didn't really look like a sports car - and most people that want a sports car want it to look *and* perform like one. They want to "stand out" a little - and that just wasn't the case with the SS - even though it performed very well (from what I've read - never drove one).

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Today I used the Tesla to pick up a boxed portable basketball hoop at Walmart, it fit with lots of room with the seats folded, could have maybe even gotten 2 more in with room for smaller stuff around.
People have been taught that you need an SUV or truck for moving things when sedans and wagons can work great.
I completely agree - with the fold-down rear seat in my 2012 Impala, I can fit some big "stuff' in that car! Love that the rear seat folds down.
Although, I think a lot of people like the way that they sit up high in SUVs as well (my parents love that aspect).

I still like my cars though. :-) SUV"s just all look the same to me - no "wow - look at that" with SUV's. People seem to customize cars more. Or maybe that I just don't notice the customized SUVs? I'm sure people are customizing them.
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post #39 of (permalink) Old 12-19-2018
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Someone mentioned that the foreign cars are not having issues. Nope, just read an article on the prius down on sales from the peak 8 years ago by 67% and I read a few weeks back that the camary was off by 14% over the last year.
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Market forces versus Manufacturer driven sedan reductions

I also tend to lean toward the idea that the drop in sedans is more driven by the car manufacturers for higher profits per vehicle, although there is also a consumer market force there too.

It reminds me of my thoughts on vehicle automation. I believe there is a lot of desire for reasonable safety automations and warnings (blind spot, lane assist, emergency braking, etc..). However, it seems to me that there is more interest from automakers and politicians in fully automated vehicles than there is from actual consumers. I may be wrong here (happens more than I would like to admit), but I have a sneaking suspiction that a lot of fully automated cars will get made, with nowhere near enough buyer interest in them.
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I may be wrong here (happens more than I would like to admit), but I have a sneaking suspiction that a lot of fully automated cars will get made, with nowhere near enough buyer interest in them.
I agree, I think the production of fully automated vehicles is coming. The two factors I see in the pursuit of that technology are 1) the manufacturers' fear of not having a capable product when the market takes off, and 2) the millennials' inclination to be rickshaw passengers, versus earlier generations (me) who prefer to drive themselves.

Regarding the 1st item, you need only look at the early post war years to see how many manufacturers went belly up because they failed to keep up with new features, such as hydraulic brakes, for example.

As for the 2nd, I don't pretend to understand all the factors, but I guess today's kids would rather ride as passengers so they can fiddle with their smart phones

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In that vein, I see no mention of the Malibu, so I'm assuming it's still alive, along with its other GM siblings. I read that as GM consolidating their sedan offering to that platform, which is somewhere between the small Cruze and the larger Impala.
...
On a side note, since the Malibu is on a short wheel base version of the same platform as the Impala, maybe they'll add the LFX as a Malibu option In the lighter platform, that might be a hot ride

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The Malibu's sales are also dropping.

2016 - 227,000
2017 - 185,000
2018 - trending towards 149k

I don't know if that's actually bad or if 2016 was just a great year for car sales.
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The Malibu's sales are also dropping.

2016 - 227,000
2017 - 185,000
2018 - trending towards 149k

I don't know if that's actually bad or if 2016 was just a great year for car sales.

I think 2016 was the first year of the redesign, making it look a lot like the Impala.
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Weren't we supposed to be zipping around like George Jetson by now?
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I think 2016 was the first year of the redesign, making it look a lot like the Impala.
That coincides with the Impala moving to the epsilon2 platform which the Malibu also uses. (The Malibu uses the short wheelbase version of the platform while the Impala uses the long version.) So some of that similarity is inherent in sharing the platform.

That said, I think some of the similarity is also on purpose - historically, it seems like every brand of car has always had a couple of distinctly different models that shared many of the same styling cues.

Since the reintroduction of the Malibu nameplate, I think it has gotten better looking each year.

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