Future Cars: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby FISHMANPET » January 11th, 2016, 12:50 pm

Spoilers man, some of us haven't seen the new Star Wars yet!

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Anondson » March 20th, 2016, 8:46 pm

Singapore taxes electric car owner an emissions tax that includes power grid emissions.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-dr ... e29176596/

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby mulad » April 1st, 2016, 6:35 am

Tesla had their reveal event for their Model 3 last night. They've gotten a lot of people to sign up for their waiting list (over 115,000), and people were standing in long lines at company stores/"dealerships" around the country. I haven't seen a whole lot of detail about the product itself, but it won't really become available until late 2017 or later.

http://www.startribune.com/potential-cu ... 374151001/

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby PhilmerPhil » April 1st, 2016, 7:42 am


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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby VAStationDude » April 24th, 2016, 9:31 pm

http://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11447838/s ... -obstacles

Google guy: fully autonomous vehicles are 30 years away.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Mdcastle » April 25th, 2016, 6:28 am

Right now self-driving cars can do routine, well mapped situations pretty well. Once idea might be to designate the freeways and some major highways as "autonomous vehicle corridors". You'd still have to drive your car if you wanted to go to a resteraunt in Uptown on a Friday night but a long commute from the closest house to the city you can afford (which happens to be in Glencoe) to downtown or a vacation trip from the Twin Cities to Chicago would take away the bulk of the boring driving and allow the driver to nap or do other things.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby mplsjaromir » April 25th, 2016, 7:50 am

If you think Tesla selling 50,000 cars is good for the Earth's climate you have a baby's sense of scale.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Tiller » April 25th, 2016, 8:18 am

*400k preordered Tesla model 3s

from VA's article:
Similarly, it wouldn't be surprising to see self-driving buses along fixed routes or trucks that can use autonomous technology to platoon and save fuel on highways. The technology is advancing rapidly, and it's likely to become useful in all sorts of unexpected places.
Which links to:
http://qz.com/290281/forget-self-drivin ... ing-buses/

Sounds like transit will get a boost before cars. #BusDownForWhat

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Silophant » April 25th, 2016, 8:33 am

Yep. That's what's always ignored by the 'self-driving cars are almost here and will obsolete mass transit' crowd: Pretty much every major advancement in the tech will make sense for buses before SOVs, and for trains even before buses.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby winterfan » April 25th, 2016, 8:35 am

PhilmerPhil wrote:Self driving bikes? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSZPNwZex9s
Uh, oh. Now the Dutch are going to start getting fat. Seriously, exercise is one of the main selling points of riding a bike isn't it?

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » April 25th, 2016, 8:39 am

mplsjaromir wrote:If you think Tesla selling 50,000 cars is good for the Earth's climate you have a baby's sense of scale.
Well, you gotta start somewhere. That's 50,000 vehicles I'd rather have on the road than gas-guzzlers.

We love our LEAF. Even at only ~110 miles of range, it's plenty for day-to-day living. With the mass-market 200-mile range vehicles coming out late 2016, it'll be quite practical to use them for in-state interurban travel. We need more charging infrastructure for sure.

BEVs won't completely replace gas cars for a long long time but they'll continue to increase in number.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby VAStationDude » April 25th, 2016, 8:41 am

It's not difficult to envision entire rail transit ROWs covered by cameras feeding information to driver less trains. The systems could be paid by federal capital dollars and save local operations money.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Tiller » April 25th, 2016, 8:46 am

Many rail transit systems could probably be automated with today's technology, if there weren't political obstacles in the way.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby JT$ » April 25th, 2016, 12:25 pm

Tiller wrote:Many rail transit systems could probably be automated with today's technology, if there weren't political obstacles in the way.
Many rail yards/switching operations have used remote controlled or semi-autonomous locomotives for a while. Not saying that is the same thing as public transit, but the technology exists in some stage on trains. And I believe some cities have automated tram networks, although the majority of those don't have right of way issues (subways, elevated, self contained airport trams, etc)

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Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Anondson » May 24th, 2016, 11:17 pm

(Maybe not right thread, but this felt close)

While looking at selling my current beloved Jeep for a more fuel efficient small hatchback, I came across a few listings for used electric cars, generally under $11,500. What does one need to know about buying electric cars used? What should a cautious buyer look out for to keep from getting taken advantage of?

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby steve0257 » May 25th, 2016, 7:26 am

Anondson wrote:(Maybe not right thread, but this felt close)

While looking at selling my current beloved Jeep for a more fuel efficient small hatchback, I came across a few listings for used electric cars, generally under $11,500. What does one need to know about buying electric cars used? What should a cautious buyer look out for to keep from getting taken advantage of?
How much life is left in the battery pack? The batteries do wear out, and from what I understand they are very expensive to replace.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Anondson » May 25th, 2016, 7:29 am

steve0257 wrote:How much life is left in the battery pack? The batteries do wear out, and from what I understand they are very expensive to replace.
Its a 2014, with under 8,000 miles. I can't think it's much wear yet... Would a dealer be able to disclose this? Or must I test it somehow?

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » May 25th, 2016, 10:43 am

I'll re-state some of our conversation from last night for the benefit of others.

Batteries do degrade over time so your maximum range decreases. The exact characteristics of this vary widely among manufacturers. The Volt, for example, never reports the absolute max capacity of the battery when new so you're actually not using the battery to its full capability when you first buy the car. But the buyer also doesn't see degradation effects later on. The LEAF, on the other hand, gives you the full battery capacity so you see loss of range over time.

Even within a manufacturer, batteries can vary widely. The first LEAF battery had severe degradation problems in hot climates and the general rule for best life was never charge the battery beyond 80% and never deplete it below 20%. The more recent chemistry completely changes that so you want to fully charge every day.

I'm not sure mileage or age is a good proxy for battery life. Charge cycles are important too. If someone did a ton of L3/high voltage charges there's going to be more degradation than if someone did an L1 charge every time.

None of the manufacturers tell you this stuff. As a LEAF owner I've found mynissanleaf.com invaluable. There's a ton of information there. There's a sister site for the Focus Electric: http://www.myfocuselectric.com. Check the forum.

As for buying used, I doubt the dealer even knows what to tell you. Dealers are pretty clueless with electric cars. You have to do this stuff on your own. The LEAF has a 3rd party app LeafSpy that uses an OBDII interface to report battery capacity. It took a significant amount of reverse engineering for the developer to figure out exactly what the numbers mean and how to report it. People buying used LEAFs frequently bring an OBDII interface and their phone and plug it in to check the state of the battery.

A quick search didn't turn up a similar thing for the FFE, unfortunately. I would definitely ask the dealer if they warranty the battery life in any way. The FFE has battery thermal management, something the LEAF lacks so the battery may very well be just fine.

If the FFE reports it in its IVI system, you'll want to check the number of charge cycles that have been done on the car and what type (L1/L2/L3). The FFE forum may have a thread on how to interpret the numbers.

See if there's a used FFE thread on the forum. You can also post there asking for advice on how to evaluate the car. At least on the LEAF forum people are super friendly and helpful.

Overall I wouldn't worry a ton about it. With 8,000 miles there probably hasn't been a huge number of charge cycles and probably very few high-voltage charges.

One pleasant surprise we had with the LEAF is that L1/110v charging overnight works just fine for us. We still haven't installed an L2 charger though we plan to do that in the future. So you may very well not need an L2 charger right away. Spend some time with the car first to see what your usage patterns are.

HTH.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Anondson » May 25th, 2016, 8:37 pm

David, this was amazingly informative. Thanks so much for this info.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » May 25th, 2016, 8:55 pm

No prob.

It's likely the FFE has a gague that reports battery capacity. Not the current state of charge/estimated range but the max capacity. On the LEAF this is an *extremely* rough estimate, which is why LeafSpy was developed to get a finer-grained measure. You can ask on the FFE forum whether the gague on the Focus is useful at all. Maybe an app isn't necessary if the information is already there.

One other thing to be aware of: I don't know about the FFE but the range estimator on the LEAF is so bad it's affectionately known as the "Guess-O-Meter." This is because the car can't know the future, how many hills you'll encounter, etc. so it is often super-conservative. The newer LEAF (including ours) has a display of % charge remaining (State Of Charge) which is a much better indicator of range. To be safe, if I'm driving long distances I'll turn around and head home when the SOC reaches 50% or so. Then I know I have enough to get home. The only time that's ever happened though is when Julian falls asleep in the car and I'm just driving around aimlessly until he wakes up. :)

Another thing to be aware of is that range dramatically decreases in winter. The heater is a killer. On the LEAF there's a heat pump if the outside temperature is above freezing and a resistive heater (basically a toaster) below that. The resistive heater just kills the battery. The LEAF also has heated seats and steering wheel which actually really decreases the need to use the heater. The denser cold air also plays a factor. So expect to get 60%-70% of your summer range in the winter.

High speed also kills the LEAF battery and may do the same on the FFE. Go 70mph and you'll see the LEAFs charge fall quickly. So I try to keep it about 60mph if at all possible. It makes a gigantic difference. As a plus I can set the cruise to 55 on the I-94 commute to work and never have to hit the brake. :) The LEAF also has several different drive modes that change the regen braking and acceleration characteristics. I don't know what the FFE has in that department.

Range just hasn't been an issue for us at all. 107 miles (EPA estimate) is fine and we usually get much more than that. No, we don't take it to William O'Brien State Park but we do take it to Afton and Cottage Grove. We could in theory take it to Duluth because there's a QC (Quick Charge) port at about Forest Lake or so. Others have done it. I am not that brave though.


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