Originally Posted by Dozhdbog
It's really not about energy density at all, it's more about the reusability of batteries and charging them in the most energy efficient manner.
There's a reason it only costs 6 bucks to drive 300 miles in a tesla.
And it would help tremendously, of course, that new Li tech potentially will allow triple the capacity.
I totally disagree. Gasoline and diesel have the highest BTU per cubic volume (and mass) and per unit cost of any fuel type. Energy density per unit cost is critical to the success of any fuel type. In a personal transportation application, the ability to add energy back into the drive train in the shortest amount of time is critical to the acceptance of the vehicle. Tesla can add supercharging stations along major thoroughfares in the US all they want, but what happens when you need to drive 300 miles into Nebraska off interstate?
Until petrol-fuel goes away, electric cars cannot compete in a cost-competitive environment. The ICE technology is over 100 years old and has the benefit of 100 years of efficiency improvement; and as in all technology, gets cheaper as time goes on.
Listen, I think the Tesla and Volt are revolutionary cars, but as the Volt has proven, price is the ultimate determining factor.
Now, I decided to run some numbers. I looked into the Tesla last weekend; their website is great because it has a lot of information and fuel cost calculators. I also have kept extremely detailed cost information on my current E90. I know down to the penny how much gas I have purchased, how far I've driven, the total cost of my car purchase price including down payment and loan financing, and all my maintenance/repair costs (keep in mind my maintenance cost is mostly free DIY labor so the data is a bit skewed). My total operating cost so far to drive 194,000 miles is $76,498. Based on the Tesla Website for the Tesla S with the 60KW battery pack to drive the same miles the total, which only includes purchase price (including the Fed tax credit but no loan cost) and electricity at 12 cents/KW, is $70,136. So it is close. What I don't know is the maintenance cost of the Tesla. I don't know the cost for tire replacement, brake replacement, and what normal service costs are (all of which are real numbers in my $76K E90 total ownership cost. If I take out maintenance in the E90 to compare numbers between the E90 and the Tesla the E90 drops by $13K down to $63K, so the ICE car in view is cheaper. Also, not known is how less efficient the Tesla's battery gets over time and how much charge it will hold at high mileage; and, even, if the battery lasts 194,000 miles.