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Members thoughts on the different EV brands

Posted: Fri, 07 Jun 2019, 15:52
by bladecar

I am an avid EV enthusiast. Chiefly from a global warming point of view, but also because we have the technology, we just haven't used it.

I would like to start a conversation about the pros and cons of the different ev brands which are appearing now.

I would like to see discussion about the quality and problems of different brands with regard to their price and their "purity" :)

So, I mean, I'm attracted to tesla most of all but I recognise that they are relatively expensive and are under the pump as a brand because they are still getting to the point of being profitable. Something that I am not sure about is that tesla is related to the solar panel and battery companies, as well as spacex. I don't know if the profitability of one or the other is useful to its sister companies or if they play the stupid accounting thing of pretending that the other companies don't exist with regard to overall profit.

Now, we have Renault Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Nissin and others, in no particular order, with more mainstream body types but maybe nowhere near as specialised for ev performance.

Some of you own these vehicles and are getting to know them.

I'd like to have a useful conversation here about these different models and some to-ing and fro-ing about their desirability and acceptable compromise.

I know I could say that tesla is out because of cost and that I could argue for one of the others in a more affordable range. But I could also argue that tesla is an ev through and through.
I could also say that maybe tesla won't be around in 5 years because of cost blowouts (and that other ev's would be much slower to market IF tesla was no longer around - since many ice vehicles cannot compete with the best teslas :))

Can we try to decide, over time, which model is the best bet (remembering cooled battery packs vs non-cooled battery packs :)) as this would be very useful.

Re: Members thoughts on the different EV brands

Posted: Fri, 07 Jun 2019, 16:19
by jonescg
Tesla has built a very compelling product, and they had to. Being as good as an ICE was not good enough - it had to be better. And if it had to be expensive, it needed to be MUCH better. That's why they are an outstanding vehicle with an outstanding price tag. Because they had to smash perceptions along the way, the vehicle has everything that opens and shuts, and does it efficiently and powerfully.

However for those of us who don't need a 7-seater saloon or SUV capable of towing a caravan up the Blue Mountains at 160 km/h, a 200 km highway range car is ideal. So for most people 40 kWh worth of battery, 5 seats, all the basic modern conveniences and a reasonably fast charge (DC or otherwise).

And this is the gap in the market I believe. For those of us who don't want a luxury car, just a basic car capable of a long trip without too much hassle, but we also don't want to pay $55k for it. It will be great when BMW and VW (and maybe one day Chevy) bring their 40-60 kWh cars to market. Hyundai is well on their way.

So right now I'd say the Kona is on the money, but would be nice if it was even $5k cheaper. The Bolt EV would be perfect for me, but I suspect we'll never see it in Oz. Zoe... well despite the fact I had a lemon the other weekend, it was actually a capable car. DC fast charging would be my only addition. Oh, and get the economy into the 170 Wh/km range and I'll consider one. Will be interesting to see how the VWID3 goes...

Re: Members thoughts on the different EV brands

Posted: Fri, 07 Jun 2019, 19:40
by dgh853
Tesla has set a high standard to follow but there is plenty of room for middle market brands like Hyundai and Kia to be leading the EV sales volumes. The upcoming Kia Soul EV is a very good vehicle with large space and the Hyundai Ioniq/Kona option compelling for their own reasons. The Kona and Soul do a great job of looking like any other car whilst still being quite efficient. It's also important though that they bring the smaller battery variants into Australia to allow passionate EV and environmentally minded people to buy one.

Nissan have increased the battery range of the Leaf with each iteration but this has resulted in increasing prices. Keeping a smaller battery version in the range will hopefully see models back under $40K which is where we were 6 years ago with the Gen 1 Leaf. With the improvements in technology and styling since then I think Nissan could do well with that strategy (assuming they can sort out some decent thermal management as well).

Renault have an excellent vehicle in the Zoe but the price point need to be below $40K before anyone will take much interest.

Tesla have pretty much hit their minimum price for at least the next couple of years. There is no compelling reason for them to bring out lower cost vehicles as they are leading the EV sales charts with premium vehicles.

Premium car makers like BMW, Audi and Jaguar will continue to electrify their fleet because of the refinement and performance that EVs offer. I expect they will be successful if they build EVs that outperform their ICE vehicles from a standing start. Wealthy people like to know they have something superior to everyone else after all.

Can VW and others get in there and produce low cost EVs? That's the big question. European cars have historically been more expensive than those from Japan and Korea in Australia and I expect that will continue so Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Kia will be the likely price leaders in EVs in Australia for some time and I wish them all the best.

Re: Members thoughts on the different EV brands

Posted: Fri, 07 Jun 2019, 20:51
by brendon_m
I wouldn't say no if you gave me a one but teslas arent that good. The design is fantastic but the build quality is the same as any other American built car (poor). They have a long way to go in refining the build process but because of the lack of real competition it currently doesn't matter.
The zoe seems good and I'm surprised there aren't more of them out there but once again build quality, not as bad as America but the French are not exactly renowned for reliable cars.
Other Euro brand cars in general are notoriously expensive in Australia to buy and repair but the premium brands will find a niche in people with too much money to care.
Korea and Japanese cars seem to be aiming more for the general public and if they can get the price down by $5-10 k with the good build quality that those brands bring that's when the market will really move to the masses. Which is what is really starting to happen throughout the rest of the world.
There might be some stuff from various startups but I see how much trouble tesla has gone through to be competitive and I don't see any one else breaking far into the scene now that the major manufacturers are getting on board. Tesla had a massive head start so they stand a good chance of being around in 10 years but once everyone else starts churning out EVs its going to be hard for anyone else to break into the market.
Personally I think Chinese cars will be the norm before most people know it.
40/50 years ago no one wanted a low quality Japanese car. Now they are some of the best built cars.
20/30 years ago no one wanted a low quality Korean car. Now they are some of the best built cars.
10 years ago no one wanted a low quality Chinese car.
5 years ago no one wanted a Chinese car but it might have crossed their mind because the price is low and the quality has increased a bit.
There is a massive market of EVs in China and they are getting better all the time...
Thats my 2ยข anyway.

Re: Members thoughts on the different EV brands

Posted: Fri, 07 Jun 2019, 22:23
by brunohill
Chinese government policy will also support this, much more so than most other countries.