AD #2289 – GM Korea Feels the Pressure, Mercedes Reveals New AMG G-Class, EVs Still Face Cost Challenges

February 13th, 2018 at 11:36am

Runtime: 6:58

0:32 GM Wants Major Cost Reductions in Korea
1:13 F1 Halo vs. IndyCar Windshield
2:19 Mercedes-Benz Unveils New AMG G-Class
2:51 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Slightly Refreshed
3:00 Toyota Teases New Sports Car Concept
3:11 Tesla Model 3 Interior Impressions
4:50 EVs Still Face Cost Challenges

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60 Comments to “AD #2289 – GM Korea Feels the Pressure, Mercedes Reveals New AMG G-Class, EVs Still Face Cost Challenges”

  1. rgeniec Says:

    $12,000 gas tank…ridiculous. Just wait until the BEV car is around 100 years of innovation like the ICE engine. Sounds like he wants to hold onto the typewriter and not get a laptop. Can’t fill up your “$100 gas tank” at home and wake up each day with a full tank. That “$100 gas tank” doesn’t give you instant Torque O Rama like an EV. These guys….sheez

  2. Barry Rector Says:

    I vote for the IndyCar windscreen. The F1 brace reminded me of a ’63 Split Window Coupe design on the wrong end! LOL

  3. Albemarle Says:

    I vote for windshield. The halo looks like it would bug the driver, like a badly positioned A pillar on a tight curvy road.

    Mr. Runckle may be correct about EV acceptance but I don’t think so. It’s never about just the $. If it were, we’d all be driving standard transmission subcompacts like the Nissan Micra (under $10k Canadian) and pulling trailers when we had a bigger load.There’s lots of other reasons besides $ that you choose a car.

  4. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Jet fighter windshield; yep, that!

    Battery electrics just aren’t ready for prime time; I’m with Mr. Runkle (40 years). If instant torque is ‘all you’ve got’, well, that ain’t enough.

  5. Joe Pastor Says:

    Runkle’s main point was battery energy is way more expensive compared to gas energy. Something like $200 per KWHr vs. $7 per KWHr for gas. Coupled with the facts charging stations are few and far between, AND charging times are ridiculously long, it’s reasonable to say BEVs won’t be wholesale replacing ICE vehicles in this country anytime soon.

  6. Lisk Says:

    Since F1 gives all the teams a “universal” halo, it looks like it’s going to be a scabbed on piece, something I personally think is a bad idea in light of the complexity of a modern F1 car. I think the windshield approach is a better idea, but the windscreen should be a flat piece for better optics (i.e. military helicopters). Indy cars are moving very fast in close quarters and the distortion of a curved windscreens could cause problems. The halo also has the center support beam which is going to interrupt the driver’s vision.

    I don’t recall that many issues with flying debris that would have been prevented with the halo. Ayrton’s tragedy wouldn’t havebeen prevented as the suspension piece was slim enough to easily have ended his life. It would however have most likelyprevented Barrachello’s head injury.

    Will the new solid state batteries have a lower Kwh right at the get go or will they go through a long period before their cost is similar to today’s lithium battery?

  7. buzzerd Says:

    I vote for windshield, the halo looks like it will at some point break a piece of debris in to smaller pieces that can still strike the driver. I suppose a negative to the screen is keeping it clean, what happens when the car in front of you blows his motor and it gets a coating of oil.

  8. Chuck Joans Says:

    Windshield

  9. Mac Says:

    I agree with Mr. Runckle. It all comes down to energy density, a term we’ve used in the electrical industry for years in regard to storage batteries. When one compares the amount of energy stored per unit volume, gasoline (or better yet diesel fuel) wins by at least an order of magnitude – or 2 or 3 – over electricity. And that total ignores the time-to-refuel, which is again at least any order of magnitude difference.

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    I vote windshield but I’m sure they will need pull sheets just like NASCAR to quickly clear oil and debris.

    I think EVs will continue to grow (not to the highly anticipated rate some project) especially in highly populated warm climates. But until they can overcome range anxiety and the initial cost difference from ICE I dont think they will be largely accepted. If they see more than 15% of car sales in the next 20 years I’d be surprised. Unless a major battery breakthrough is developed.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d vote for the windshield, if it would be optically decent to look through, and if you could still see through it after a race’s worth of bugs, etc. It looks better than the halo, and should work better.

    In their present form, BEV’s can be good commuter cars, if you can charge them overnight at home. With current battery technology, because of both energy density of batteries and charge time, they are a long way from being able to replace ICE powered vehicles for ling distance travel.

    From this article, it looks like gasoline has about 100 times the energy density of lithium ion batteries.

    https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/201208/backpage.cfm

  12. JWH Says:

    I’ll vote for the windshield as it appears the vast majority have. Much better looking & should keep debris from hitting driver.

    Not a fan of EV’s for my usage. Realize they will suit some people depending on their circumstances. We are in Southeast Michigan & it’s 5 miles into town. We are not ready to commit to an EV for a few trips/week into town. In addition, last September drove out to AZ & Colorado putting 4500 miles on in about 11 days. Not feasible with EV’s as they exist today.

  13. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Tomorrow I’m driving from So. Jersey to Ottawa IL…no problem with my Honda Accord. An
    EV car, well that is going to be an adventure in electric procurement. I’ve seen some of those charging stations…good luck making this trip in 11 to 12 hours. Mr Runkle is right but I think his time line is still to short.

  14. phred Says:

    For full on race cars…if I am in the cockpit…I want a roll gar to protect me in a roll over, wild crash, and to impact the sidewall if I roll into it. With a windshield “ONLY option” after the “glass shatters” my head is the first thing pooping up out of the cockpit to impact the wall or track. For safety I want both!!!

  15. phred Says:

    For EVs…they might make sense as a local around town only car. but not for your only car or for freeway long comutes. The high speed will “eat range”. For the LA freeway that travels at 5 to 15 MPH…maybe if not too long a commute. And where would I get off to find a “charging station’??

  16. Mark Says:

    Got to say I don’t care at all for the Tesla interiors. Too plain, stark, and I want the gauges placed behind the wheel where they belong, not off in the center of the dash. Plus you must have buttons and knobs for some of the controls.

  17. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    The windshield for open cockpit race cars is the only sensible choice. The “Halo”, what idiot came up with that solution? I’m sure it was a person that will never have to test how well it works with things such as small pieces or metal.

  18. Roman Says:

    That gas tank analogy is silly. If he wants to use that analogy he’d have to say that that the $12,000 gas tank comes with a free engine, transmission, etc. And its only $3 to fill up. Not such a bad deal.

  19. Lisk Says:

    The Indy car windscreens may be able to keep much cleaner longer than you think. It will be laid down, mostly out of the airflow. A tear off system much like the driver’s helmet visors and stock car windshields is a pretty simple fix.

    While I’m not a fan of a BEV, betteries are getting better in terms of energy density. Look at the quality of gasoline since the second World War. Back then the gas was so bad, an average passenger car could only operate at around a 6:1 compression ratio. Gasoline had seen a lot of improvements since then. Adding lead to gasoline was a deadly way to get the octane levels up but unleaded aviation fuel now exceeds 100-octene. As for batteries, back in the mid-80′s, a NiCd battery only put out about 500 Ma per cell and took 4 hours to charge, now a LIon is nearly 3,000 Ma per cell, can charge in an hour or less, and the cost in 1985 dollars is similar. Fast forward five years and I think you will see something upwards of 10,000 ma per cell. Then you will see the range double or triple. This will mean a battery can be smaller and lighter and provide similar range. That being said, BEVs will never be widely accepted until the are dead on with the cost and performance of a similar ICE powered vehicle.

  20. John McElroy Says:

    The halo and windshield are coming into open-wheel racing because Felipe Massa was hit in the head by a spring that came off the suspension of another F1 car. It fractured his skull and took him out for the rest of the season. Justin Wilson was killed when he was struck by the nose cone that came off another Indy car. Those accidents took place in 2009 and 2015, respectively. It’s amazing it’s taken this long to come up with a fix.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 The “halo” would probably have saved Jules Bianchi. Maybe that was the thought of whoever came up with it. As far as small pieces of debri, the polycarbonate face shield helps. Still, a very strong windshield make more sense to me.

  22. Lambo2015 Says:

    I wonder what percentage of the population live in apts? Until apartment complexes offer charging stations you can basically rule that whole segment of people out of consideration.
    Hotels/motels will need to get on-board as people take road trips they are not going to want to stop for the night to sleep and then stop elsewhere to charge their car. So even if charging stations are available unless they are conveniently placed where consumers are prepared to stop for 4 hours+ at a time the road trip in an EV wont happen.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 According to a web site I found, 17% of Americans live in apartments and condos.

    I’d probably have an EV as one of my cars, if there were charge stations at my condo. I’d probably have a Prius Prime now, even though I’d rarely have a place to charge it, if they sold them in FL.

  24. Lambo2015 Says:

    Quick search found 35% of the US population is renting. Even worse is 50% of the population under 30 years old are renting. According to the US census bureau dated 9/2017.
    So you can take about 111 Million out of potential BEV buyers.

  25. Lambo2015 Says:

    Kit my search may include those that rent homes because it only specified renting. So yea 17% sounds more realistic. But still if your renting a home the landlord will probably not be willing to install a charging outlet and those within trailer parks may own their home but also may not be able to install a charging station.

  26. Lambo2015 Says:

    Kit My search didnt specify apartments so that may include people renting homes. But either way I doubt many landlords renting a home will be willing to install a charging outlet. Also trailer parks may be considered owning but also may not be able to install a charging station.
    Point is there is a huge percentage of the population that BEV’s just wont work for them currently.

  27. Don LaCombe Says:

    Autoline has had some really interesting shows through the years and would put the Runckle interview in the top 10 (and I’m a Ford Guy).

    Electric cars have a long way to go to compete with gasoline or hybrid cars. If I put $20K plus in a vehicle I need to know that it can go any distance at any time needed. Get the charge time down to 10 minutes with comparable miles to “tank” and that might make me change.

    We didn’t get much of a look at the windshield car but it sure looked awfully thick. I think the F1 solution might be the better of the two for now.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 About half of the renters are in houses, not apartments, according what I found. Still, the apartment dwellers, as a group, would probably be the most likely to do their driving within the range limits of an EV.

  29. Lambo2015 Says:

    Kit the search I did didnt specify apartments so that may include people renting homes. Either way I doubt many landlords renting a home will be willing to install a charging outlet. Also trailer parks may be considered home ownership but also may not be able to install a charging station.
    Point is there is a huge percentage of the population that BEV’s just wont work for them currently.

  30. Lambo2015 Says:

    Kit It wont matter if apt dwellers drive within the EV range or not if they cannot charge their car at home/apt for the 8 to 12 hours its there while they sleep it wont matter how well the range works for them.

  31. Bob Wilson Says:

    One reason for a plugin hybrid is a right-sized battery that all but eliminates burning gas around town. Even in Detroit where electricity is $0.16/kWh and gas $2.75-3.00/gal, we find:

    Prius Prime – $4.00/100mi EV or $5.23/100mi gas ($2.75/gal)
    BMW i3 REx – $4.64/100mi EV or $7.80/100mi gas ($3.00/gal)

    Prius Prime for 15,000mi ~= $184.50/year savings.
    BMW i3-REx for 15,000mi ~= $474.00/year savings.

    FYI, the brake pads don’t wear out and in Dixie with $0.10/kWh, the savings are even greater. Recharging over night means a full battery well before dawn.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 Exactly. That’s why no one in my condo complex has a BEV. There is no place to charge it.

  33. Lambo2015 Says:

    #20 The search I did didnt breakdown apartments or houses just renting, so that may include people renting homes. Either way I doubt many landlords renting a home will be willing to install a charging outlet. Also trailer parks may be considered home ownership but also may not be able to install a charging station.
    Point is there is a huge percentage of the population that BEV’s just wont work for them currently.

  34. Lambo2015 Says:

    26 Not to mention many renters of homes still will probably find their landlord reluctant to install charging outlets.

    Throw in trailer parks and they probably cannot install a charger either.

  35. Lambo2015 Says:

    Even people renting homes will probably not find many willing landlords willing to install a charging outlet. Throw in trailer parks too and its a huge percentage of the population that just wont even consider an BEV.

  36. Lambo2015 Says:

    I doubt many landlords renting a home will be willing to install a charging outlet. Also trailer parks may be considered home ownership but also may not be able to install a charging station.
    Point is there is a huge percentage of the population that BEV’s just wont work for them currently.

  37. Ctech Says:

    Given his analysis and the calculations here, Mr. Tinkle may be right. Carcos will need to consider the ability to charge an EV for renters. Even if you are renting a house with a garage the owner may be reluctant to invest in a quick charging station for a renter with an EV.

    The windshield beats the halo hands down.

    It was once said here that Chrysler (before the Fiat takeover) probably couldn’t survive without an international presence. Is HM heading away from an international presence?

  38. Ctech Says:

    That should be GM…..

  39. Lion Boy Says:

    Munro & Associates: I respected their reviews in the course of watching them on Autoline. Based detailed and objective criteria.

    Telsa fan boys, cultish with self-induced myopia.

  40. buzzerd Says:

    There was a story on the news the other day about a condo that was dealing with plug in cars. The plug ins weren’t on separate meters so the majority of the condo owners didn’t want people charging their cars from lot plug ins. Yet another thing that will have to be worked out and it can but it takes time and usually money.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 A Chevy Bolt can be charged in 10-12 hours with a 120 v outlet, so renters of houses with garages should be able to charge such a car overnight, without the landlord doing anything special.

    Yeah, it seems that GM’s abandoning these markets may be short sighted. I guess they want to be a North America/China car company.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 A Chevy Bolt can be charged in 10-12 hours with a 120 v outlet, so renters of houses with garages should be able to charge such a car overnight, without the landlord doing anything special.

  43. Ukendoit Says:

    I understand the argument that BEVs aren’t ready for primetime yet. The energy density is not quite there yet, but much like the old incandescent bulbs vs LEDs, too much ICE energy is wasted creating heat. Eventually, the BEVs will make more sense across the board if they keep advancing. People now may buy them because they have convenient charging access and/or enjoy the fun driving dynamics of a low center of gravity and instant torque, and ICEs will be around for a long time, but eventually the ICEs will just be for the nostalgia. I won’t venture when, 40, 50, 80 years, but to say the BEVs won’t ever make sense is short-sighted.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #29 This company, and others, sells metered charge stations for EV’s for condos/apartments, and for work places.

    https://www.chargepoint.com/businesses/apartments-and-condos/

    I may look into it at some point, for my condo complex.

  45. Lambo2015 Says:

    31 When apartment and condos install charging stations that might help but I just don’t see the public embracing them on any large scale until the charging stations are a popular as gas stations and charging is reduced to minutes and not hours.
    The other factors can change like gas and battery prices and almost all other arguments, But until the ease of use is on par with ICE I just dont see it being accepted mainstream.

  46. Lambo2015 Says:

    To me its kinda like going to the golf course. Do you care if you get a gas or EV golf cart? Most people dont care and maybe even prefer the EV cause of noise. The point is the ease of use is the same. (cause you dont refill the tank or battery) They will both cover 18 holes and do the same job. So most people dont care.

    When the difference for cars is as seamless as golf carts people wont care which one they drive .

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    EV’s, as they exist, will work as commuter cars for the great majority of people, if they have a place to charge them. They do not work as an only car for most people, but as Bob Wilson has often pointed out, plug-in hybrids work well as an only car.

    Lower cost would help sell more EV’s, but a lot of people don’t care much about cost, as evidenced by all of the $50K trucks that never haul anything. People buy what they like, and quite a few apartment dwellers would probably like EV’s, if they had a place to charge them.

  48. Lambo2015 Says:

    So Kit how long before building codes require a 240V outlet in new construction garages? Probably already is in California.

  49. Lambo2015 Says:

    So any bets on when the building codes start requiring 240V outlets in newly constructed garages? Probably next year in California.

  50. Lambo2015 Says:

    So any bets on when the building codes start requiring 240V outlets in newly constructed garages?
    Probably as early as next year in California.

  51. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Here is a possible system to make EV’s practicable Good reading!
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170601151813.htm

  52. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    At the bottom of the transcript/comments page I noticed oriental script…clicked on it and got a different show with John talking and a voice over in either Mandarin or Japanese. You have different shows for other countries?

  53. Steven Says:

    Windshield.

  54. Bob Wilson Says:

    If the web link works, use ‘plugshare’ to find charging stations near restaurants, bars, and other entertainment businesses. Park, charge, and have a good time.

    Charging stations are not and should not follow the ‘gas station’ model. Rather, they are the attraction to business that want the well heeled, plugin owners.

  55. Lambo2015 Says:

    #38 Thats what I was thinking too. EV filling stations will need to exist any place where people park for any extended time. So places like parking garages at sporting events, grocery stores, movie theaters/malls, restaurants and bars. I think gas stations would find charging stations to be a waste of money as who is going to want to sit at the gas station for a couple hours?

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #38 Interesting site. The closest of those stations to my condo is about a half mile away, at a privately owned pier. It is a Tesla charger, and you have to pay their $10-20 parking fee to get to it. There are free chargers at the public library, about two miles away. That would be a good deal, if I spent hours a day at the library.

    The bottom line is that, for me to consider a plug-in car, I would need to be able to charge it at home, overnight.

  57. Lambo2015 Says:

    Kit how mad would you be when you get to the library with only 10% battery left and realize you left your charging cord at home? Do that with my cell phone all the time.
    If the charger has one you know it will fair as well as most gas station air hoses. Idiots will steal it for the copper.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    57 Yep. Also, the stations could be in use. Worse yet, they could be “iced,” by inconsiderate jerks, as commenters to Bob’s link mentioned happening at the pier near me with expensive parking.

  59. Len Simpson Says:

    The Nissan Ehope has a 48 volt batt, gas generator that only runs when needed.No plug in, 1K lighter (or more) than Tesla , many thousands cheaper—- it’s day is coming

  60. Rattrodder1439 Says:

    Halo,hell no….That would be like using a condom with holes in it and hoping it would protect you from and accident……

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