AD #2544 – EVs Not Easier to Build Than ICE Vehicles, U.S. Car Sales Dip in February, Volvo To Limit Car Speeds

March 4th, 2019 at 12:05pm

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Runtime: 9:11

0:07 U.S. Car Sales Dip in February
0:57 Volvo To Limit Car Speeds
1:29 Car Finance Costs Skyrocket in UK
2:18 EVs Not Easier to Build Than ICE Vehicles
6:05 Tesla to Debut New Supercharger, Model Y Soon
6:38 Ford Ends Taurus Production…Again
7:05 Edsel Ford’s Importance to Company’s Success

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58 Comments to “AD #2544 – EVs Not Easier to Build Than ICE Vehicles, U.S. Car Sales Dip in February, Volvo To Limit Car Speeds”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    “Model Y, being an SUV, is about 10 percent bigger than Model 3, so will cost about 10 percent more & have slightly less range for same battery,” Musk said in a tweet.”

    This sounds good. It does not clarify if it will be the base Y that will ‘cost’ (sell for?) 10% over $35k or the top Y that will sell for 10% over the top Model 3.

    Also, the conclusion “is about 10 percent bigger than Model 3, so will cost about 10 percent more” is inaccurate and/or wrong.

    First, he keeps talking about cost but he means price, or cost to consumer (before any credits and options)

    but more importantly, it is NOT linear, it does not mean if you make it 10% bigger (ie, empty space) it costs you 10% more. It costs you far less than 10% more to make, so this should help Tesla’s profitability.

    It also said the Y will have 70% in common w the Model 3, so I expect it to be sort of the Model 3 wagon suggested here. No Tesla has a lot of ground clearance like SUVs and crossovers, not even the X, so I’d be surprised if the Y does.

    My conclusion is that this should work out. Once more, Tesla is out with popular new models that are mass produced long before any of the other “Tesla Wannabes” bring theirs out.

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    That’s really surprising that the EVs have about the part numbers/components. Makes sense for the assembly of the vehicle. However knowing the number of components that are involved in engine and transmission assembly the battery and electric motors must be much more complicated that I thought.

  3. Brett Cammack Says:

    112 MPH seems to be a perfectly reasonable cap for terminal velocity. My 2003 Crown Vic LX Sport was limited to 109 MPH. If I wanted it to go any faster, I would’ve had to spring for the extended tailshaft housing for the tranny and the metal matrix composite driveshaft from the Police Interceptor (plus have the ECU reflashed).

    Factory top speed was fine with me.

  4. bradley cross Says:

    Might have been a tough choice to announce model-Y just after cutting model-3 prices. You do the cut to $35k to get more sales and to stop people keep reminding you about the $35k version. Now some folks might see the model-Y and wait for that.

    Tesla should be highlighting that $37k (plus)is $35K announced with inflation.

    And yes you can almost bet that the 10% increase in price is not related to the increased build cost of model-Y. SUVs and trucks just have larger profits. Maybe the extra steel and stamping costs them 2%.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    If Volvo was serious about safety why limit the car to 112 mph? That even seems a bit much for the family sedan. Makes me wonder if they had other issues they wanted to avoid. Like maybe the tires are only speed rated to 115 mph or engine cooling problems above that speed.
    I remember back when the nation speed limit in the US was 55 and a few cars (I believe Ford) limited some cars to @90. Which, yes was 35 over the limit but when speeds got raised back to 70 it wasn’t that unrealistic to hit the limiter on occasion.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    #4 Yeah it was kind of dumb for Elon to mention the size and cost difference like they were related. I think it was just coincidence that its 10% bigger and just so happens to cost that much more. The question is 10% more than the base model 3 or 10% than the loaded model 3?
    If Tesla can show a correlation to the cost and size then I say build the original roadster that’s about 50% the size of the model 3 and sell me one for half the price.. :-)

  7. Larry D. Says:

    4, 5 112 MPH and even 99 MPH is plenty for a long trip on cruise control, maybe they should only program the cruise to stop working for speeds over 100 MPH, but still allow higher speeds for short intervals. The link to safety is thinner than that of distracted driving. a divided highway, where most sane drivers will go over 100 MPH, even if they collide with the car in front of them it is a relative speed of only 20-30 MPH, and is far safer than a two lane 50 mPH road where you collide head on with a vehicle going 50 mPH in the other direction, where the relative collision speed is at least 100 MPH.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    5 when the limit was 55 car speedometers were forbidden to have speeds above 85 MPH, as in my 83 Pontiac 2000 5-sp. the car could do more than 95, probably close to 100, but if i remember well, in my gauges, the needle would hit the trip odometer button around 90ish and could not go further.

    TOday;s speedometers are also ridiculous, econoboxes that cannot go more than 110-120 MPH have speedometers going to 160 MPH and above.

    My 1990 Accord 5 speed had the best analog speedometer, 0-130 and a line every 2 miles, while my more recent cars have a wider speed range and a line only every 5 or even 10 miles.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    6 I bet Musk meant price (=cost to the consumer) when he said ‘cost’. No automaker reveals their costs anyway.

    Re EVs being ‘easier’ or not to build or having more or less components, who cares? The correct question to ask is, can an EV be built cheaper than an ICE of the same technical data and performance?

    Even better, compare the LIFE CYCLE COST of the EV and the corresponding ICE. This is the most rational criterion a car buyer can use.

  10. Larry D. Says:

    This is one impressive supercharger, looks like it can take 40 vehicles (no gas station I know has 40 pumps) and fills them with solar generated electricity, plus nice landscaping. Is this a drawing (artist’s impression) above, or a photo?

  11. Keith Meintjes Says:

    The reason econoboxes have 160 “mph” speedometers is so they can be changed with software (at no cost) to display speed in kilometers per hour. (Actually, the reverse is true. They are “kph” speedometers that can be recalibrated at no cost to sell in the USA.)

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    #9 EVs being easier or having more or less components, Who cares? I think a lot of people care as it is widely assumed by many that EVs should be easier and cost less to produce under the assumption that their were less components. I believe Johns segment was to just clear up those misconceptions. I think we already know that an EV cannot be built cheaper at least from a component cost standpoint. So if it requires that same labor to assemble its not any cheaper from a labor standpoint.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    “#9 EVs being easier or having more or less components, Who cares? ”

    Come on, you know what I meant, this is an irrelevant criterion, any rational buyer would care less about that, and instead ask which car, the EV or the ICE, of identical specs and performance, has the smaller LIFE CYCLE COST.

    I could care less if one of the two has more components or is more difficult to assemble. That is inside baseball for the buyer.I

  14. Larry D. Says:

    11 160 in KM would be an extremely low top speed, the weakest version of any econobox, with the smallest engine, can easily exceed 160 KPH. On the contrary, few, if any, cars exceed 160 MPH, most makers have limiters at 155 even if the cars can do more.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 I always figured electric cars had a lot more parts than ICE cars, because they have thousands of battery cells. I guess battery cells aren’t parts.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My newer cars, from the 2010 Mini and Prius and newer, have digital speedometers that will, presumably, read up the the actual top speed of the cars. The Prius has only the digital readout, but the others also have an analog speedometer. I never look at them, so I don’t even know how high the numbers go.

    My 1974 Plymouth Duster had a speedometer with numbers that stopped at 85 or 90, as I remember, but the needle would keep going. The numbers on the speedo of my 1982 Honda Gold Wing stopped at 85, and there was a pin to stop the needle at 85.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 To my knowledge, there is no speed limiter on Corvettes, but mine has only seen triple digits once, in 3 years, and barely. I think the drag limited top speed is ~180.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 I’d be pretty sure it’s and artist’s conception, but it looks pretty cool.

    Speaking of EVs, and the possibility of my getting one, it is looking more and more unlikely. The condo board has been looking into options for charging cars in the garages, and putting credit card reading charge stations in the parking lot. For various reasons, including local codes, the power utility rules, and what would work for condo owners, nothing looks like it would work out, at least for now.

  19. Lambo2015 Says:

    Pretty hefty goal for Volvo to not have any deaths in 2020. Especially with many Volvo vehicles already on the road without the safety devises that are in todays vehicles. Limiting the speed in school zones and such although a respectable venture, makes me wonder what all the municipalities are going to do without all the ticket revenue? Those traffic camera companies will hopefully go bankrupt as the cars can get programmed to obey the speed in those locations. Uber and Lift have already had a significant impact on DUI lawyers.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    17 All the Germans used to have 150 MPH speed limiters by agreement among BMW, M-B and Audi, except Porsche so I’d guess the Corvette also does not have one, being a common rival to the 911 in comparison tests.

    My 98 740iL had a very low limiter at 128 and soon after I bought it in 2005 I tried to test if it indeed worked, was returning from a business trip in Iowa (John Deere) and as soon as it exceeded 120, there was a traffic jam right in front of me, and I’m glad the brakes were good, and I was able to slow down fast.

    18 On closer inspection it’s clearly a drawing. Would be cool if the actual things looked like that.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    18 you could keep an EV in IN and the Prius in FL

  22. Jim Haines Says:

    Never would own a Volvo before and sure won’t ever in the future not going to have a car tell people where when and how

  23. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Speedlimiters have been used on some cars depending on what tires have been installed at the factory (as well as certain other options either installed or not). And after modification by authorized dealers some of the limiters can be raised or eliminated. Limiters on Japanese motorcyles have been in effect for quite some time at 300 kph (186 mph). I’m thinking Volvo is trying to establish itself (again) as a leading safety company.

  24. PHILIP Says:

    Volvo idea of limiting speed in school zones has several problems – in school zones the ‘legal’ speed changes depending on what time it is, day of the week, and the season.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 I only spend about 4 months a year in IN, and wouldn’t want to spend ~40K on a car that would just be staying up north. I suppose a Leaf a few years old would be cheap enough to use a few months a year and leave up north, but it’s not a car I would particularly like.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 Volvo could install cell phone jamming electronics in their cars, so people couldn’t text while driving. That would make the cars safer.

  27. Lambo2015 Says:

    #23 For those reasons you mentioned, I’m thinking Volvo is limiting the speed and passing it off as a safety “thing”. 112 seems like such an arbitrary number that I have doubts it was done for safety. The truth will come out eventually.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    27 112 MPH is 180.2 KPH. Maybe the limit in Europe was 180 KPH and they just converted it to miles. 180 is still not a particularly key no. I guess 200 was too high for them. The 155 (not 150 as i earlier mentioned) the Germans used in the past was really 250 KPH.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 112 is the maximum speed for “S” rated tires, which are commonly used on a lot of cars. Maybe that’s where the number came from.

  30. Lambo2015 Says:

    #26 Doesn’t make their car any safer when the oncoming car can still text and drive.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    25 I live in a condo in MI but it has a closed 1 car garage and driveway that can hold a 2nd car, plus extra parking spaces (although we are only allowed 2 cars per condo). AN EV even with 100 mile range would cover all my non-long trips needs and would charge overnight. Don’t they have similar units in FL?


    18) I have a similar situation. Once you get over the price of the EV, the cost to install the charger at my house is the second thing to get over. Luckily I have a single family home so installing it in the garage is easier then in your situation. However, the cost is off putting. To install a high capacity charger will cost $6000. I could do a low capacity charger for $3500 and charge in 6-8 hours instead of 2 hours. It is still additive to the cost barrier of going EV though.

    I suspect your condo association was looking at the expense of installing commercial high capacity chargers and comparing it to expected revenue from the users. Those are even more expensive than the home units including a massive commercial electrical panel upgrade which would be required. If the projected usage was low then they would likely never get their money back before a charger replacement was necessitated. Then there is the maintenance of the charger…And yes they are maintained suprisingly frequently. We have 20 at my work and they are always being maintained to keep them working. They fail surprinsgly often even though they are only used about 8 hours per working day max. Some that break are barely even used and they still fail.

  33. cwolf Says:

    I doubt manufacturers will allow Life Cycle Costs to vary much because they need buyers to keep buying new cars. Some say EV’s may last twice as long as an ICE. Given that the average age of cars are 8-11 years, who in the heck wants to drive an EV much more than that? The interiors of most aged cars look pretty ratty to me and ride like a piece of crap!

  34. cwolf Says:

    The thing I have against EV’s is the charging. I read some Fast Charging stations cost almost as much as filling a gas tank. A 120V 24 hr. charge gets you what… 30 miles? On 120V @8 hours gets you 80%, if one spends a couple thousand buck for one installed in the garage.
    And, because of the added battery weight I hear the tires wear out about 30% faster. The list goes on and on….

  35. Lambo2015 Says:

    33 With the new electronics being such a big part of the cars now I would suspect cars will turn over even faster. Not due to them wearing out but with each model year you will see significant changes in software. Sort of like, Why make a cell phone last 6 years when they are basically obsolete after 3 to 4 years. So the life cycle already probably exceeds the desire to hold onto a new car.

  36. Brett Cammack Says:

    Clearly you’ve not encountered a BUC-EE’s. :)

  37. cwolf Says:

    Lambo, I seriously doubt people wish to keep their cars as long as they do by choice, but because they can’t afford another new one. As long as the middle class keeps eroding, I don’t think this trend will change anytime soon. Someone on this site just got a swell Tesla3. I wonder if his insurance went up. Some are paying $1200/yr. I read. Just another reason why owning an EV is less affordable for now.

  38. joe Says:

    Whoever says EV’s are just as hard to build as ICE cars don’t know what they are talking about. I’ve worked all my life for GM as an engineer and and I can tell you building and assembling EV’s is a much simple process….like day and night. With a little knowledge, it does not take much to figure that out!

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 My condo, built in the ’80s, has one garage per unit in “row” buildings, with 10-15 garages per building. They have “community” power, intended only for a door opener, a light, and not much else. No freezers, refrigerators, etc. There are 4-6 garages on one 20 amp breaker. Our board checked into the possibility of residents having their own service to their garage, for charging cars. The utility won’t allow it, saying the garage buildings weren’t intended to have power other than the way it now is, or some such thing.

    There is quite a bit of “open” parking, where it might be possible to install some type of charge stations, but there are issues with that too, probably both with the city, the utility, and some of the unit owners. We’ll see what happens.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30 Yeah, that’s true, but if only one of the drivers heading for each other is texting, it might make things a little safer.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 You get about 4 miles per hour of charge with a standard 120v outlet, so 96 miles for a 24 hour charge. If I had access to such an outlet for charging a car, it would work for the vast majority of my driving.

  42. Lambo2015 Says:

    39 Sounds like a lot of excuses.. Guarantee with enough $$$ the permits could be had that will allow the apt to install enough power. Or a single shared charger station. Like so many other things its just a matter of economics. Plus there is no incentive for the complex. Not like they are going to make money by installing them. Would just be a selling point to attract new tenets. Hard to justify the cost for what might or might not be a selling point.

  43. cwolf Says:

    Kit, I can appreciate your interest in having an EV in Florida if you could get a charger installed at your condo. But if you were to drive it to/from your place up north, wouldn’t finding a station along the way require you to go further off the beaten path to find one and are all stations adaptable to all EV’s? It would be tolerable for awhile but would grow old pretty quick. Doesn’t it take about a half hour to charge up (80%)? This would also get tiring IMO.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41 As it now appears, a shared charging station or two is the most likely thing for our condo. The thing that would be most appealing to me, would be having my own service in my garage, but the utility company won’t do it.

  45. cwolf Says:

    I just had another thought; If Kit experienced cold wet/snow weather halfway on his journey, is it a reasonable expectation for an advertised EV range of 220 miles reduced to something around 150 miles? Just guessing, this 1/2 leg could require 5-6 or more needs to recharge. That a lot! This would also add up to 3 added hours of waiting time to charge to a long trip.
    I suppose this wouldn’t be of sacrifice if one had a prostate problem. At least you wouldn’t need to carry a pee can in the car. :>)

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42 A Tesla, using their “superchargers” would be the only option for driving an EV between FL and IN, but it’s not something I would want to do. With those, yeah, it takes about 30 min for 80% The way I’d find an EV appealing, would be for my usual driving to restaurants, stores, the space center for volunteer work, etc. I could see replacing both my Mini and Corvette with one quick, good handling EV as a “fun” car that would also be good for my local driving. For 1100 mile trips, I’ll probably stick with cars that will go 400+ miles between stops, if I want to do that.

  47. Mark Brichacek Says:

    One possible reason EV’s are not easier to build is that their battery has a heating and cooling system and the power electronics has its own cooling system,at least the Fiat 500E does.A plug-in hybrid like the Pacifica is even more complicated as it has three separate cooling systems.

  48. ChuckGrenci Says:

    #38 Joe,
    I’d agree with you if you take out the construction of the battery. Battery construction is pretty much on par (for complexity) to assembling an engine (not the same, mine you, but a very convoluted construction). Just putting the finished assemblies together may be similar but if you read John’s comments you can believe he is telling it like it is.

  49. Larry D. Says:

    39 Since you seem to be retired and have plenty of time, you could fix this easily by joining the Board. I wish I had time to do it here, they have too many outrageous rules and fees, and some neighbors really pushed me to run for the Board but I did not. Seems it is just a matter of changing some of the rules there.

  50. Larry D. Says:

    36 I have seen very large gas stations on I – 80 in Ohio, used them when I’d travel east to Wash DC because of their really low prices. But stations with over 12 or 20 pumps were 1 in 1000, while this proposed solar ev charger with 40 or 50 superchargers could be a standard design and they would make 100s of them.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48 Since I am not full time here, I probably shouldn’t be on the board, even if I wanted to run, and could get elected.

    As far as fixing things, the best option for charging electric cars, a charging outlet in an owner’s garage on a separate account is not an option, since FPL, the electric utility won’t install service, even if an owner would pay for it. The existing wiring to the garage buildings, which is underground, could probably handle a little more load, making “sub metering” an option, if only a few people wanted it. Only 120v is available with the existing garage wiring, though. One of the board members and i are still looking into other options.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48 If I were full time here, I’d consider running for the board. Still, there is no easy “fix,” since owners’ having their own chargers in the their garages is not an option, since the electric utility won’t install service. The existing wiring to the garage buildings is not adequate to do much “sub-metering” to charge cars, and is only 120v. We are still looking into options.

  53. Lambo2015 Says:

    #50 Reinforces the point I made weeks ago about even if the power companies can produce enough power for millions more EVs, it still comes down to a major change in infrastructure and how to get that power to individuals homes. Most EV owners would probably not even consider an EV without a home charging station. Cant imagine anyone would just plan to charge at a local station like we do with gas cars.
    I personally don’t believe the current US grid could handle 20% of US cars being EV.

  54. Lambo2015 Says:

    According to this article the power grid can handle 75% of all US cars being EVs,, With a slight catch, They cant all be grouped in a few select states and would need to be dispersed in the country where we have access power.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    We are looking into this.

  56. Larry D. Says:

    52 so this so-called article compares the electric grid of TODAY to the demand for electricity when there are 150,000,000 electric cars in the US fleet. Do you know how many EVs are there in the US today, and at what rate they increase every year? Omitting scrapping, there are barely 500,000, and every year, mainly due to TESLA, you have 200,000 new ones. Even if all of these live for an incredible 100 years each, how many years will it take to reach 150,000,000 EVs? By that time, IF it ever arrives, the power grid will be three times its current capacity.

  57. Ukendoit Says:

    From what I’ve read, even if the “prime time” for EVs is not here yet, it is quickly approaching. The research being done in nanotechnology is amazing and will potentially grow battery technology and alternative fuel sources by leaps and bounds. Watch the link under my name for just one example (for solar energy). There are others talking about using paper and nanotubes of carbon to make very lightweight, affordable, and energy dense batteries, too. With billions of dollars being directed in research from governments and automotive interests, EV viability is ever increasing (especially when you consider how stagnant battery tech was for 100+ years). It is still not ready for me to jump to solar and EV just yet, but I am keeping an eye on all the new technology.

  58. Ukendoit Says:

    *alternative energy sources, not alternative fuel sources.