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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday January 15 2015, @01:22PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the rolling-thunder dept.

Reuters reports that Elon Musk, speaking at an industry conference in Detroit, said Tesla may not be profitable until 2020 but that Tesla plans to boost production of electric cars to "at least a few million a year" by 2025. Musk told attendees at the Automotive News World Congress that "we could make money now if we weren't investing" in new technology and vehicles such as the Model 3 and expanded retail networks.

Musk does not see the Chevrolet Bolt as a potential competitor to the Model 3. "It's not going to affect us if someone builds a few hundred thousand vehicles," said Musk. "I'd be pleased to see other manufacturers make electric cars." On another topic, Musk said he was open to partnerships with retailers to sell Tesla vehicles, but not until after the company no longer has production bottlenecks. "Before considering taking on franchised dealers, we also have to establish (more of) our own stores," said Musk adding that "we will consider" franchising "if we find the right partner." Musk did not elaborate, but said Tesla "is not actively seeking any partnerships" with other manufacturers "because our focus is so heavily on improving our production" in Fremont. Last year, Tesla delivered about 33,000 Model S sedans and said the current wait for delivery is one to four months. Tesla has already presold every Model S X that it plans to build in 2015. “If you ordered a car today, you wouldn’t get it until 2016."

[Update] The above links presented conflicting reports as to whether it was the Model S or the Model X whose 2015 orders were sold out. According to Tesla Motor's own web page, it was the Model X :

The delivery estimate for new reservations is early 2016.

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15 2015, @03:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15 2015, @03:00PM (#135134)
    It's the Model X, which is mentioned as sold out for 2015 NOT Model S. The linked reference is barely 4 lines. It can't be that hard to get the correct info in the summary?
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15 2015, @04:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15 2015, @04:23PM (#135162)

      There are conflicting reports here.

      According to the first link: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/14/us-autoshow-tesla-musk-idUSKBN0KM2FH20150114 [reuters.com]:

      Last year, Tesla delivered about 33,000 Model S sedans. Musk said the current wait for delivery is one to four months. Tesla already has presold every Model S that it plans to build in 2015, Musk said.

      According to the last link: http://imarketreports.com/tesla-has-pre-sold-its-electric-suvs-for-2015-auto-show-market-talk.html [imarketreports.com]:

      Tesla has already pre-sold all the Model X sport-utility vehicles it could make in 2015, Elon Musk, the chief executive of the company said. “If you ordered a car today, you wouldn’t get it until 2016,” he said.

      Does anyone have a definitive link that resolves the discrepancy?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by DECbot on Thursday January 15 2015, @06:08PM

        by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 15 2015, @06:08PM (#135182) Journal

        The model X manufacturing line isn't completed yet, and likely it won't be producing cars until spring or early summer. I would not expect receiving a model X this year unless you ordered one of the first 10,000. (first 5,000 seems more realistic compared if the production rate will match the model S line. --but I can only speculate as I don't work at Tesla and don't have the details about the expected startup volume of the model X line.)

        --
        cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
  • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Thursday January 15 2015, @03:01PM

    by CoolHand (438) on Thursday January 15 2015, @03:01PM (#135135) Journal

    Not sure what to say but good luck. I'm not sure it will happen, but I hope it does. I'm a firm believer in electric cars, and once affordable miles with over 140 mi actual range are available, I will purchase one.

    --
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Thursday January 15 2015, @09:47PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 15 2015, @09:47PM (#135226) Journal

      Personally, where I live, a 140 mile range would leave me dead by the side of the road way too frequently.

      The idea is to remove range anxiety by having a vehicle with sufficient range that a spur of the moment side trip to a hardware store doesn't put you at risk. If you live 10 miles from work, maybe you will be ok. But if someone else in the household has to make a trip somewhere, and you've used half the range getting to work and back, they are going to have range anxiety, and will probably take the gas-car instead.

      250 would perhaps be enough for a daily commuter in my region, that would still leave enough for grocery shopping and a night out.

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      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tftp on Thursday January 15 2015, @11:55PM

        by tftp (806) on Thursday January 15 2015, @11:55PM (#135244) Homepage

        Personally, where I live, a 140 mile range would leave me dead by the side of the road way too frequently.

        Has anyone, anywhere, seen a range calculator for EVs that takes the terrain into account? Silicon Valley is surrounded by hills and mountains, and those Teslas are heavy. What will it take to visit the summit of Mt. Diablo, for example, from San Jose? What will it take to drive from Sacramento to Reno? How about the Grapevine? There is no point in taking range estimates that are made on flat land and applying them to a hilly terrain.

        • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Friday January 16 2015, @12:34AM

          by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @12:34AM (#135248) Journal

          Save for the B-pillars, the car body is all 5000 and 6000 series aluminum. I'd say they are quite a bit lighter than a steel sedan of the same dimensions.

          --
          cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
          • (Score: 2, Informative) by tftp on Friday January 16 2015, @12:55AM

            by tftp (806) on Friday January 16 2015, @12:55AM (#135254) Homepage

            Per Wikipedia: Tesla Model S has curb weight of 2,108 kg (4,647.3 lb). My Prius (Gen. 2) has curb weight of 1,317 kg (2,903 lb). Feel the difference.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Friday January 16 2015, @02:36AM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @02:36AM (#135271) Journal

              But compare it to a car more closely aligned in its class, a luxury sedan and the Tesla is not
              that much heavier.

              Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan 4,630 lbs
              Mercedes-Benz E-Class 3825 lbs.
              Infiniti Q70 L 5.6 AWD 4,345 lbs
              Cadillac CTS-V Luxury Sedan 4253 lbs

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              • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday January 16 2015, @02:57AM

                by tftp (806) on Friday January 16 2015, @02:57AM (#135274) Homepage

                It means that you have discovered (for me) yet another flaw of Model S. I have no use of a land yacht. See Toyota Camry: 990–1,130 kg (2,180–2,490 lb.) Be environmentally conscious, for FSM's sake :-)

                • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 16 2015, @05:20AM

                  by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @05:20AM (#135289) Journal

                  Either is just about 100% recyclable wouldn't you say?
                  But one, still uses gas.

                  --
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                  • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday January 16 2015, @08:12AM

                    by tftp (806) on Friday January 16 2015, @08:12AM (#135313) Homepage

                    The problem is that you have to waste energy to accelerate and slow down an extra thousand pounds of stuff every single day. This is energy that you waste to accelerate and partly burn, partly reuse during braking. As energy for an EV still has to come from somewhere, from a place that burns coal, natural gas or fissile materials, it is not free. You want a light car. Gasoline just happens to be a light fuel with high internal energy, whereas an EV needs a heavy battery.

                    • (Score: 2) by RedBear on Friday January 16 2015, @09:23AM

                      by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @09:23AM (#135318)

                      The problem is that you have to waste energy to accelerate and slow down an extra thousand pounds of stuff every single day. This is energy that you waste to accelerate and partly burn, partly reuse during braking. As energy for an EV still has to come from somewhere, from a place that burns coal, natural gas or fissile materials, it is not free. You want a light car. Gasoline just happens to be a light fuel with high internal energy, whereas an EV needs a heavy battery.

                      If you bothered to do the actual efficiency calculations you'd soon realize that it is a very bogus conclusion that the gas vehicle is either more efficient or somehow better for the environment just because the Tesla is much heavier. Turns out in the real world the Tesla uses energy so much more efficiently that you will produce significantly less CO2 even if you always charge with electricity produced 100% from the dirtiest coal plants you can find. Yes, gasoline is energy-dense, with several times the energy density of any battery per pound, but the internal combustion engine wastes at least 70% of that energy simply creating heat and overcoming the inertia of the various heavy metal engine parts and drive shafts. At best, only 30% of the energy in each gallon of gas actually does anything to move the vehicle. So the effective difference in energy density between gas and batteries isn't nearly as large as many imagine.

                      Don't forget to include in your calculations the fact that it takes approximately 4.5kWh of electricity from the "dirty" grid to refine every gallon of gasoline. So when one looks at the big picture every car on the road is actually an electric car, at least partially. The difference is that a real electric car uses the same electric energy massively more efficiently. Meanwhile electric vehicles also have the ability to be powered by clean, renewable energy if such is available in your area. Fossil fuel vehicles will never have a way to be clean.

                      Opposition to electric vehicles as being somehow just as bad or even worse than fossil fuel vehicles is very ill-informed. If you are worried about the environment at all you really have no rational choice but going electric.

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                      • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Sunday February 01 2015, @02:41AM

                        by cafebabe (894) on Sunday February 01 2015, @02:41AM (#139962) Journal

                        Electric cars compete at a significant disadvantage to hydrocarbon cars. This is because electric cars carry the deadweight of discharged batteries whereas spent hydrocarbons (mostly) become vapor. This disadvantage doesn't apply to electric trains because they don't carry the deadweight.

                        --
                        1702845791×2
        • (Score: 2) by McGruber on Saturday January 17 2015, @11:05PM

          by McGruber (3038) on Saturday January 17 2015, @11:05PM (#135741)

          Has anyone, anywhere, seen a range calculator for EVs that takes the terrain into account? Silicon Valley is surrounded by hills and mountains, and those Teslas are heavy. What will it take to visit the summit of Mt. Diablo, for example, from San Jose? What will it take to drive from Sacramento to Reno?

          That's an interesting question, but my guess is that it won't be as big of an issue as you think. When I've driven I-80 over Donner Pass (the Sacramento to Reno trip tftp mentioned above) in a gas car, I have to downshift and/or constantly brake from Donner Summit all the way down the mountain. If I were in a Tesla, I presume that its regenerative braking would be recharging the battery on its descent.

          My guess --and I'm pulling numbers out of my ass-- is that a Tesla might use 50% of its charge to go from Sacramento up to the top of Donner Pass, but then it might only need to use another 5 to 10% of the charge to get the rest of the way to Reno.

          • (Score: 1) by tftp on Sunday January 18 2015, @12:02AM

            by tftp (806) on Sunday January 18 2015, @12:02AM (#135746) Homepage

            My guess --and I'm pulling numbers out of my ass-- is that a Tesla might use 50% of its charge to go from Sacramento up to the top of Donner Pass, but then it might only need to use another 5 to 10% of the charge to get the rest of the way to Reno.

            Perhaps that is so, but prospective buyers don't know until they try - and Tesla wants them to buy the car first, and only then try different routes. This is exactly the problem with Tesla that I wanted to point out. Tesla should hire a few drivers to drive a few common routes and publish all the records. It can't be that difficult. Once the energy loss is measured, it becomes trivial to add so many MJ here and so many MJ there and a charge here and a charge there... They don't even need to actually drive all the routes - it would be enough to measure performance on different inclines and different road surfaces. It would be also easy to add temperature and weather compensation once enough data is gathered. Make it as an Android/Google Maps application and let everyone try the virtual Tesla on their own trips. This is so obvious that I cannot imagine why Elon Musk hasn't figured it out. Unless, of course, it's not in his interest to figure it out...

      • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Friday January 16 2015, @03:27PM

        by CoolHand (438) on Friday January 16 2015, @03:27PM (#135384) Journal

        I have a ~70mi round trip commute. So I doubled that for small side trips.. :)

        --
        Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Thursday January 15 2015, @03:04PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday January 15 2015, @03:04PM (#135137) Journal

    I am personally glad for Tesla's recent announcement, because it will suppress the stock price enough for me to get a better return when I buy in. See, my younger brother is an engineer at Ford, so I get the inside-baseball story from him on that company all the time; Ford is ahead of the curve as far as Detroit car companies go, but Tesla runs circles around them in terms of innovation. Elon Musk, with the supercharger network, the Solar City tie-in, the battery factory, has demonstrated he's a deep strategic thinker. He has created the only car company I've ever seen where the car you buy from them gets better *after* you buy it, thanks to software updates, battery upgrades, and the availability of its supercharger network.

    The measure of the potential of Tesla can also be seen in how much he's shaken up the car industry already. With his small company and small production batches he's already essentially forced the big companies to get serious about EVs in a way that nothing or no one has been able to do before. Without Elon Musk and Tesla, there would be no Volt, no Bolt, and no EV from any other major company. And no, Leaf fans, though I am one, the Leaf could never have put the fear of god into the Big 3 the way the Model S has.

    The way I see it, the advent of the Chevy Bolt helps further the tipping point against ICEs. It signals to all the other players that the era of the internal combustion engine is over, and they had better all get onboard or get sharply left behind. And Tesla will be the luxury, high-margin brand in that new field. That's what you call serious return on a stock.

    (As a footnote, I mean to trade in my ULEV the instant the Tesla mass-market car is available. Else the sucker will have no trade-in value shortly thereafter.)

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Thursday January 15 2015, @06:12PM

      by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 15 2015, @06:12PM (#135186) Journal

      Until Tesla franchises, I doubt you will be able to trade in your ULEV. List it in classifieds, yes, trade to the Tesla store, doubt it.

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday January 15 2015, @06:30PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday January 15 2015, @06:30PM (#135194) Journal

      I am personally glad for Tesla's recent announcement, because it will suppress the stock price enough for me to get a better return when I buy in. See, my younger brother is an engineer at Ford, so I get the inside-baseball story from him on that company all the time;
       
      I guess insider trading is only bad when the 1% do it.
       
      (mostly sarcastic)

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday January 16 2015, @07:34AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @07:34AM (#135308) Journal

        I guess insider trading is only bad when the 1% do it.

        I gather the SEC really only cares if it's trading on short term knowledge, like advance warning of a company's announcement next week, not long term knowledge like the company has been losing ground to a competitor for the last three years. So if younger brother spills the beans on a long term competitive problem of Ford's, he might be violating an NDA, but probably is not going to stumble over any insider trading issues. On the other hand, if younger brother tells about a new model that Ford releases over the next few days and older brother trades on that half an hour before the news becomes public, both brothers stand a good chance of getting caught, depending how obvious the insider trading is.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by FatPhil on Thursday January 15 2015, @06:45PM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday January 15 2015, @06:45PM (#135198) Homepage
      > Without Elon Musk and Tesla, there would be no Volt, no Bolt, and no EV from any other major company.

      But there were - before Musk! GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota all had EVs before the Tesla. And they were popular, and in real demand. And then, mysteriously (he says crossing his fingers behind his back), the plug was pulled, and they all disappeared. OK, I mean trashed, even if they were in perfect working order.

      Who Killed the Electric Car?
      www.imdb.com/title/tt0489037/

      However, we can indeed thank Musk for breathing new life into the concept. Quite how he's been allowed to get away with it, I'm not sure, but I'm glad he has. With the level of demand being as high as it is, does it mean we're out of "innovators", and into "early adopters" on the Rodgers' bell curve?
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday January 15 2015, @10:56PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 15 2015, @10:56PM (#135234) Journal

        The documentary was pretty much a hack job of half truths and exaggerations, but mostly it was done decade too soon.

        None of those companies really has adequate range to meet daily use in the modern era, and quite frankly most of those were mere demonstration products, and contrary to your assertion there was never any significant, real demand for them.

        Their range was too limited, the charge stations weren't being built where they were needed, and most of them were still using lead acid batteries.

        It makes a nice conspiracy story but realistically the technology was just not there yet. Its just barely here now.

        Now every manufacturer has an electric vehicle waiting in the wings, or on the showroom floor. Many are still putting small gas engines in them because their range is just not adequate yet due to the high cost of batteries. And billions are being poured into battery plants and battery technology.

        As for how Musk did it, history will show, he started at the high dollar luxury end, (which appeals to people who actually take care of their things) and thumbed his nose at the whole car dealer concept, and engineered a car that was viable not only as an every day driver but a weekend getaway car as well. So Range, range, and more range.

        He knew he was never going to make money opening traditional dealerships because maintenance was so low sending a guy around in a truck was cheaper.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday January 15 2015, @11:28PM

          by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday January 15 2015, @11:28PM (#135240) Homepage
          > adequate range to meet daily use

          How many km do you drive per typical day?
          --
          I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
          • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday January 16 2015, @12:09AM

            by tftp (806) on Friday January 16 2015, @12:09AM (#135245) Homepage

            How many km do you drive per typical day?

            This is not a correct question to ask, as you cannot apply joules that you haven't spent yesterday for a hill climb that you are trying today. The only correct question would look like this:

            What is the longest trip that you ever make per day?

            For me the answer would be "about 450 miles." One could say, of course, that I ought to have another car for such a trip - but don't you think that it would be a bit wasteful to own a car that is driven a few times per year?

            If we set those rare trips aside, even then I cannot tell. I drive about 80 miles per day once per week. But I don't know how these translate into flat land figures, as the trip is across a hilly terrain, and it includes considerable climbs and descents. I cannot say how much of the recovered energy can be put back into the battery (they can't be charged with infinite power) and how much energy will be required to drive the EV uphill. I suspect that you could easily double the trip distance for those conditions, making it, say, 150 miles once a week. As I wouldn't want to arrive home with less than half of useful charge, the total range has to be about 250-300 miles. I can give you a much more accurate answer once a proper range calculator is developed, one that takes into account such factors as terrain profile, wind, and rolling resistance on some portions of the road, and even the driving pattern (start-stop in a city still uses friction brakes sometimes.)

            • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Friday January 16 2015, @12:49AM

              by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @12:49AM (#135252) Journal

              A friend of mine rented a Model S P85 while putting around Austria for the weekend (well, perhaps I should say flooring the accelerator while climbing mountains). 150 to 200 miles would be a good estimate for aggressive driving through hilly terrain. Driving like Grandma through Kansas would likely get you the estimated 250 miles. A quick google search finds this interesting tidbit: a constant 20 to 30 miles per hour Tesla estimates a range of 400 miles [teslamotors.com].

              --
              cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
              • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday January 16 2015, @01:17AM

                by tftp (806) on Friday January 16 2015, @01:17AM (#135259) Homepage

                A quick google search finds this interesting tidbit: a constant 20 to 30 miles per hour Tesla estimates a range of 400 miles.

                Indeed it is interesting. But range in a gas car is usually (in a city) an abstract factor, as you can see gas stations at every other intersection. Range in an EV is what separates you arriving home on time, safe and sound, from sitting on a shoulder of a busy freeway in pouring rain, at night, waiting for a tow truck.

                I see that speeds in range 70-80 mph are resulting in range that is only 240-200 miles of range. That is on a flat terrain, and with constant power: zero acceleration during the trip - all the energy is spent on wind and rolling resistance. A hilly terrain will simply not allow you to drive that fast, so the energy loss will be driven by other factors (by lifting the car, primarily.) Braking and acceleration would be also affecting the performance. This is, actually, what I dislike about Tesla's presentation - they *always* give me theoretical charts; but once a journalist takes an actual drive, he is villified for all the "mistakes" that he made - and that any regular Joe would have done as well. I want to see trips, in .kml format, that have the SoC overlaid. I want to see lots of those trips, so that useful statistic can be gathered. Perhaps I would even find trips in the area that I am interested in. Theory is no good when you buy a car, especially when Tesla themselves put a hundred disclaimers there - "not a real trip," "professional driver in controlled conditions," and "YMMV." Seems like Tesla wants the drivers to be responsible for figuring out if the car that they haven't seen is a good fit to their travel pattern. Like "Buy the car to learn if it is good enough for you." Perhaps Tesla should rent vehicles to people for a week or two. As far as I know, they are not doing that. I would have rented one, assuming that charging can be arranged.

            • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Friday January 16 2015, @01:16AM

              by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @01:16AM (#135258) Journal

              You don't have to buy a car for that one 450 mi trip -- you can rent one.

              • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday January 16 2015, @01:22AM

                by tftp (806) on Friday January 16 2015, @01:22AM (#135261) Homepage

                You don't have to buy a car for that one 450 mi trip -- you can rent one.

                I considered renting a car once for such a trip (for a week,) because it was still cold and I had to cross some mountain passes - which begs for a 4WD. It appears that it would have costed me well above $500 just because of calendar time - even though it included only two days of driving. I chose to take my own car.

              • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 16 2015, @02:49AM

                by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @02:49AM (#135272) Journal

                Given that you decide to own a car anyway, owning one that does what you want makes more sense than owning one that doesn't quite do what you want so you have to rent another and pay for both. Especially if we are talking about more than once a year vacation.

                450 miles isn't that much of a trip, its just what you can do comfortably in a day.

                By the way, here is a range estimate chart produced by Tesla for the model S
                http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/tesla-breaks-down-battery-range-model-s [autoweek.com]

                --
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            • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday January 16 2015, @10:00AM

              by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Friday January 16 2015, @10:00AM (#135323) Homepage
              > > How many km do you drive per typical day?

              > This is not a correct question to ask, as you cannot apply joules that you haven't spent yesterday for a hill climb that you are trying today. The only correct question would look like this:
              > What is the longest trip that you ever make per day?
              > For me the answer would be "about 450 miles." One could say, of course, that I ought to have another car for such a trip - but don't you think that it would be a bit wasteful to own a car that is driven a few times per year?

              That would be what rental cars are for. Wouldn't you like the added assurance that if you have some mechanical issue, there will be a replacement set of keys in your hand within hours, and you don't have to care about the one you're leaving behind? I used to have the same outlook as you, and asked pretty much the same question myself here several EV stories ago, but was fortunate to have my eyes opened to the fact that rental cars just make so much sense for the "few times a year" tasks. The few hundred dollars that costs is less than the insurance, road tax, maintenance, and depreciation on a car that you own. There's no shame in not owning everything that you use.
              --
              I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
              • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday January 16 2015, @07:32PM

                by tftp (806) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:32PM (#135486) Homepage

                That would be what rental cars are for. Wouldn't you like the added assurance that if you have some mechanical issue, there will be a replacement set of keys in your hand within hours, and you don't have to care about the one you're leaving behind?

                Rental cars cost money on calendar basis, separately from distance driven. If you rent such a car for a week-long trip to relatives who live on a ranch, you are in for a surprise in the nearest credit card bill.

                Additionally, how would one rent a car? Some rental companies actually deliver and pickup cars, but other do not. It is maybe 10 miles of driving from my home to a nearest rental location. Should I leave my car at their parking lot for a week? I don't think so. Anything else (such as asking a friend) quickly devolves into a complicated, limiting scheme. Compare to just starting *your* car and driving wherever you want.

                When we look at other issues, no, I am not willing to pay for a set of replacement keys. I prefer to not lose my keys. I have a spare with me on long trips anyway. I don't want to trust a car that may have a mechanical problem, or that was repeatedly redlined by a careless customer. I don't want to drive a car that may have traces of drugs in it, left by an earlier customer. There are all kinds of problems with a car that you don't know anything about. It's safe to use in a city; but if you need to cross Nevada using one of those smaller desert roads where gas stations are available every 100 miles, you need to be careful.

                Most certainly a rental vehicle is not a good idea for trips that one makes regularly. It's too much hassle and it's too expensive. As others have already pointed out, it's most reasonable to buy a car that does all that you need. Some people even buy trucks, even though they rarely carry such a load. Specialized cars - one for grocery shopping, one for road trips - are not efficient. Not today, at least. My personal expectation is that eventually the network of chargers will expand, and the charge time will go down. If a car can be recharged in 15 minutes at every gas station, and if it can then drive 250 miles (which is already possible) then it becomes a useful vehicle for all purposes. What is missing today is first the chargers, and second the shorter charging time. I'm even willing to negotiate on the charging time. But lack of chargers caused that NYT journalist to become stranded. A 120V outlet is *not* enough for an EV - it barely can keep the battery from discharging on its own, sitting still.

                The few hundred dollars that costs is less than the insurance, road tax, maintenance, and depreciation on a car that you own.

                I'm paying, I think, about $300 per year for insurance on my car. It is considerably less than cost of a rental car for a week or two. Maintenance is very cheap and, for me, done twice per year regardless of the mileage. Depreciation is driven not only by miles driven but also by the calendar age of the car, so it won't help you much if you don't drive it. As matter of fact, the most effective use of a car is to drive it as much as possible, like taxis or city buses. A car that doesn't move still gets older.

                • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday January 17 2015, @11:54AM

                  by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Saturday January 17 2015, @11:54AM (#135645) Homepage
                  Regarding "keys", please look up "synecdoche" in your nearest dictionary. I conclude you're American, and aparently irony isn't the only trope you have no clue about.
                  --
                  I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.