The old saying is “As California goes, so goes the nation”. That certainly has been very true for a high percentage of automotive trends, especially the utter dominance of import brands. As a former Californian and a statistics geek, and I pore over relatively obscure reports like “California Auto Outlook”, published quarterly by the California New Car Dealer’s Association. The news for dealers has not been good, in terms of overall new car registrations in CA. For the fourth year in a row, they are down, some 4.5% in 2019, and a total drop of 15% since their peak in 2016. During that time frame, CA’s economy has been on a tear and its population increased by 2%. It’s hardly a stretch to assume that the projected trend for reduced private car ownership in favor of ride-hailing and other mobility offerings has already made an impact in CA.
One car is clearly bucking the trend: the Tesla Model 3 is in a virtual tie with the Camry for #2 best selling new vehicle, and not far behind the top selling Honda Civic.
And no, pickups and SUV/CUVs are not the top sellers in CA. In that regard, the Golden State is either behind, or really far out ahead.
The steady continued decline in CA new vehicle sales since 2016 was a bit of a surprise to me. This is during a period of very strong economic growth (2016: 4.1%; 2017: 6.1%; 2018: 6.3%), faster than all but a few states , and continued population growth. And the San Francisco Bay Area, which has generally led the state in economic growth from high tech, saw the biggest regional drop in new vehicle sale in 2019 (YTD), down 6.2%.
Here’s the best sellers in the main categories. The only
domestic Big Three brand represented is Ford, with its perennial strong F-series. But its sales are merely 11.6% ahead of the Toyota Tacoma, the dominant truck in its class (Compact/Mid Size Pickup).
Here’s the whole chart, with the top five best sellers of each segment( 2019 YTD through 3Q):
The Honda Civic is #1 overall (58,967), followed by the Toyota Camry (48,760) and Tesla Model 3 (48,483), which is outselling the Mercedes C Class almost 4:1, and the BMW 3 Series 6:1. The best selling light truck is the Toyota RAV4 (40,029). Honorable mention goes to the Ford Flex, which was #4 in its category (Large SUV). Yes, it has been popular in CA. (Note: In Large Vans, the Ford Transit is incorrectly labeled as “Transit Connect”)
The chart on the left show which brands are up in 2019 vs 2018, and which are down. The one on the right compares respective brands’ share in CA vs the total US market.
This chart details each brand’s performance, 3Q and YTD. Yellow highlights show a positive result, bucking the overall downward trend of the market.
Although certain passenger cars are still the top sellers, the total light truck segment is the largest one, and increasing, from 54% in 2018 to 58% in 2019. But these state-wide ratios are undoubtedly more exaggerated regionally: the percentage of passenger cars and the relative lack of large pickups on the freeways of the Bay Area and Southern CA is very noticeable. Almost startling, coming from an area where large trucks are so common.
Here’s a more detailed look at the receptive trends: retail cars are down, strongly; retail light trucks down mildly.
Befitting its trend-setter role, EV’s now have a 5.5% market share. That is very significant, especially compared to the 1.8% in the US overall. And that number would be not insignificantly lower if CA were taken out of the US total.
EVs now sell at the same rate as hybrids in CA. Hybrid share had been falling, as EV’s and plug in hybrids were growing, but 2019 saw an uptick in hybrid share. I’m guessing that the RAV4 hybrid may be a major factor in that; it’s already the #1 selling hybrid in the country. And plug-in hybrids’ share will likely take an upturn when the 2021 RAV4 Prime arrives, with its high performance and 39 mile pure-electric range. I can see that being very popular in CA.
The rest of the report is about used vehicle sales, which increased less than 1% so far in 2019.
It’s looking very much like California is already well past Peak Car.
Full California Auto Outlook 2019 3Q report here.
Where I live in California, Tesla’s are no longer rarities but not exactly ubiquitous. On Thanksgiving, however, we drove “over the hill” into Santa Clara County, into the heart of Silicon Valley. As often as I go there, I continue to be amazed at the number of Tesla’s I see. At one major intersection in Palo Alto, about ten cars passed … six were Tesla’s. And we didn’t just see Model 3’s and Model S’s; there were plenty of Model X’s as well. Looking at the numbers Paul shows, the Tesla statewide total exceeds the Civic numbers, so it’s no surprise that the fairly similar looking Tesla models seem so common when taken as a whole.
There are still certainly regional differences. In my town, the Civic, Camry, Accord, Corolla, Highlander, CRV and RAV4, as well as the Tacoma, F150 and Ram pickups seem very popular, but so are the Kia Soul, Honda Fit, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Crosstrek and Outback, and even Jetta and Golf (all based on observations of recent model year examples of these cars). In the commercial van space, ProMaster and Transit seem way ahead of Sprinter and Nissan NV. I’m not surprised though to see the Range Rover at the top of its category.
Thanks Paul for the time to pull this info together, compile it and publish it.
I find it weird the Honda Civic sells 10x the Honda Fit does, when basically all the extra size you’re buying in a Civic is eaten up by a massively oversize console.
I hear that the Honda Fit is not ideal for longer distance driving due to the engine revving at 4K RPM at 70 or so MPH. At least where I grew up near Ithaca the snow and rough roads made you wish you had something more capable from what owners would tell me.
As Teddy has noted, the Civic is a better highway vehicle. The Fit is great for driving around town. It’s not so great for traveling 70-80 mph on a limited access highway for any length of time.
While booking a trip to SoCal for a week, I decided to look on Turo for a rental car just to see. As I look again just now, there are 71 vehicles that fit my parameter (the only parameter I have is that there be no fee to deliver the car to the airport for me). Of those 71, a full 15 (21%) are Teslas (10 M3, 3 MX, 2 MS). But not a single Camry. Not sure if that means anything whatsoever but it’s there. And a whole lot of M3 owners seem to be able to be without their car for a week, I assume they’ll rent something cheaper or take a spare car or whatever…
Interesting info on the charts though, thanks for that! With the fact that you don’t get a sales tax credit when trading a used car in in CA, continued ride sharing growth, and the expense of gas and insurance in CA along with the housing costs, it’s no wonder that less and less people are purchasing cars.
I do believe though that the HOV lane single-user passes are a HUGE driver in electric vehicles sales in CA though, just like they were for Hybrids back when that was introduced (and poorly managed/semi-cancelled last year).
Some interesting quirks and features there. Fancy a market where Porsche outsells Buick 2:1!
Interesting that the Model X doesn’t appear to have the success of the sedans. It might be a dull reason like supply, but it IS an ugly bastard. Contrarily, the 7-y.o. Model S outsells the A6 and S-class (and I wouldn’t mind betting it outdoes the 7 and A8 as well).
Remarkable to an outsider to see the world’s biggest (or second) auto maker, VW, with a weeny market share, even in CA.
Surely the huge concentration of wealth from Silicon Valley, perhaps LA, means that a state stat is a bit misleading? All those pickup sales are going somewhere – somewhere further east in the state, presumably, since you say they’re not in San Fran. My point being that given the big shift in wealth/sustainability generally of smaller-town USA, are the rich bits of California really any indication of what the (poorer) masses will be buying in the rest of that huge land?
My point being that given the big shift in wealth/sustainability generally of smaller-town USA, are the rich bits of California really any indication of what the (poorer) masses will be buying in the rest of that huge land?
I’m not exactly sure how to try to answer that, except that it’s very obvious that the percentage of pickups increases as one leaves the major metro area. In the more remote parts of the state, pickups are every bit as common as in so many other places.
But then this phenomena is not purely limited to the CA metro areas. Big city dwellers do not (yet) by pickups at the same rate as non-city dwellers.
But: there’s no doubt in my mind that pickups are becoming more common among city dwellers, compared to the past. They’re hot. And I would not be surprised to see the Tesla Cybertruck be a fairly common sight on the freeways of the Bay Area in a few years.
Remarkable to an outsider to see the world’s biggest (or second) auto maker, VW, with a weeny market share, even in CA.
VW has been losing hundreds of millions of dollars in the US for a very long time, as they lack the necessary scale to be profitable. North America’s is VW’s only global weak spot. More like a black hole. They almost abandoned the US some years back. Now they’re doubling down, with more and bigger SUVs. And soon, with EVs. It will be interesting to watch.
The Model X isn’t doing that badly in California – it also outsells Buick’s entire lineup. As well as outselling what was once a very popular CUV, the Acura MDX. Hardly a failure.
As someone who has lived my entire 60+ year life in California it does seem like we are a predictor of many trends, whether automotive, cultural or social. And I don’t think the ASP (average selling price) of a Tesla is much higher than the ASP of a typical US double cab 4wd pickup. So I don’t think it’s about wealth. I don’t know what (other than capacity and model range) is limiting Tesla sales but I suspect “dealer” location and charging infrastructure (real or perceived) may be the biggest obstacles. I live in a popular tourist town on the ocean, 30 miles from Silicon Valley, population about 60000 and with State Highway 1 running right through town, and there is no Supercharger in town and only one in our county.
As a VW owner, I am surprised by their low numbers and the overall lack of success here since the heyday of the Beetle. On the other hand, there is strong regional popularity, judging by the fact that my town has a VW dealer, but no dealers of any GM brand.
I live a long way west of California and Tesla seems to sell quite well here despite the horrendous price tags while not a common sight on the roads yet they are everyday sightings and other EVs seem to be selling quite well.
Amazed that the Ford Fusion does so well (especially so after its discontinuation has been announced) in a market that seemed to abandon domestic sedans long before I was even born. Above the Nissan and Hyunida/Kia twins, even.
Whenever I lived in Sunnyvale in 2010, seeing any American sedan of any size class with a retail dealership sticker/license plate bracket on the trunk (and not a rental barcode in the rear door window) was an very rare sight. Fords were slightly more common than Chrysler and GM sedans, which seemed basically non existent in the silicon valley suburbs my aunt and uncle lived in. Getting back off the plane in Detroit… it was like I was in a different country.
Now that I think about it, a fair number of those Fusions are probably rental cars too…
The answer to the Fusion question is simple and it is the same reason that the Model 3 sells so well it is available with a plug. That gives you a tax break but the single rider HOV access that vehicles with a plug are eligible for.
When looking for my wife’s current vehicle it was surprising how many of the off lease Fusion Energis have made it to the Ford dealers in Washington as evidenced by the fact that they are still wearing the HOV access sticker.
I was surprised at the weakness of the Tesla Model S in its segment. That car is getting some serious age on it, and for something that sells as much for its style and “it factor” as for its capabilities, some updating is in order.
I would love to see some breakdowns in that population growth figure. From what I have heard lots of middle class folks have been leaving California because they can no longer afford to live there. I wonder if the growth in population is coming at the high and low ends of the income demographic. Only one of those demographics buys a lot of new cars. If middle class is truly shrinking there, that might explain the dip in new vehicle registrations.
Model S sales are substantially cannibalized by the Model 3. The S sold as well as it did because there was no cheaper alternative. Now there is. Most Tesla buyers aren’t actually that interested in a larger car. And the lack of a lwb Model S means it’s not really directly competitive to the lwb German sedans.
The Model S will not be “updated” visually in the foreseeable future. It gets constant improvements under the skin, a la VW Beetle. It recently got more efficient motors and longer range. And the Plaid version due next year will have three motors, a larger battery pack and significantly improved performance and range (>400 miles). Musk does not believe in visual changes for the usual reasons. It may well be around for a number of years yet.
The volume cars will be the 3 and the Y, and will generate the bulk of the revenue and profit.
Am I the only one who will be SORELY disappointed in the Plaid series Teslas if they don’t include plaid seats? Door trim, too, and preferably more colorful than recent VWs…
Considering Elon is enough of a Spaceballs fan to name his cars and features after it AND a fan of the James Bond Lotus Esprit with its green/red Tartan interior, it’s unfathomable the model S plaid won’t have plaid in it.
I don’t know what society’s aversion is to Plaid in car interiors, it’s way better than that awful diamond pleat that was all the rage a few years ago.
There is a factor affecting new vehicle sales in California not mentioned here: the flight of residents out of California. I read last week that 87,000 people moved out of the state in October alone, more than the net inflow of new residents. Most of those moving out went to Texas, though Arizona and Nevada also got significant numbers of the people moving out of California. Those fleeing the high cost of living in California and its burdensome regulatory climate are those most able to afford new vehicles while those coming into the state are unlikely to be able to afford a new vehicle.
Good point, and the people that can afford to move elsewhere are people that are in the meat of the new car market, the middle class.
At what point are Tesla retail sales adversely affected by lack of infrastructure for charging the cars?
When there were fewer EVs on the road the line/wait for charging station use may have been nominal. With multiple years of increasing sales of EVs there seems to be an issue in some places of too many EVs/too few charging stations. If that is the case are EV sales stagnating or falling – because of the hassle of owning these cars?
Within the last week I’ve read about the difficulty of living with these cars due to lack of recharging facilities – a Bolt in Quebec and lines of Teslas waiting in California. The charging infrastructure may never reach the level of saturation that gasoline fueled cars enjoy (require). Perhaps California has reached a point of too many EVs/not enough charging capability that consumers of cars are placing their convenience ahead of their enviro-conscience. This to me remains the winning argument for ICE over EV.
If you own a single family home with a garage, you’ll basically never have to worry about EV recharging infrastructure because you can just replenish at night. I have to imagine most Tesla owners are wealthy enough to be in that situation and to also own an ICE car for when they go on long trips. Because road trips during the holidays are probably the only time when owners encounter bottlenecks, and those people likely represent a minority of car buyers.
I’d say the bulk of the Model 3 owners are not so well off that they have an ICE car for long trips, while the S owners may have an ICE too, the S is their “flagship” so they don’t want to show up at Grandma’s for Thanksgiving in anything but their best (most expensive) vehicle. So yeah that is why there are lines Superchargers in CA on Thanksgiving weekend.
If California is the bellwether for the auto industry, it probably is a good warning for many of the OEMs, particularly the “Americans” (GM and Ford, FCA is fully a European based company in my eyes). Not only are the classic American standards losing ground, like sedans are, so are larger trucks. It seems that the tastes of America are now more like those around the rest of the world, and that is a death sentence if Ford and GM continue down that path. Ford may have a hit with the Mach E, or it may be another resounding Meh from buyers. Time will tell.
The issue seems to follow politics,unfortunately, with one group leading the charge for globalism and the other more xenophobic and looking to be fully self sufficient, and neither wanting to deal with the other side. California has seemingly tipped to one side, but there are bastions of the other side still there as well. It won’t be a radical shift, but a slow slide, as we see with the statistics Paul put together so well.
Even with strong government incentives such as tax credits, high gasoline taxes, and HOV lane access, the take rate on EV’s in the strongest market in the U.S. is now at 5.6 percent of vehicles sold (year to date). That figure is no doubt somewhat limited by supply and price of the available choices, so it’s easy to forecast that there will be a substantial increase in EV sales as more options come to market, prices fall, and underlying technology improves. Thus it’s tempting to compare EV’s to other tech revolutions which ultimately conquered the nation and then the world, such as the telephone, the automobile, radio, television, personal computers, the internet, cellphones, and smartphones. However almost all of these wonders filled a vacant place in the market (radio) or were vast improvements over the functional equivalents they replaced (Automobiles are a lot less maintenance intensive than horses).
I don’t see the Electric Vehicle as being in the same class. They fall (to my mind) more into the area of the Microwave oven, the Run-Flat tire, or the Electric Blanket. All of these are very common and improvements over their predecessors but have merely supplemented rather than supplanted their predecessors.
For the majority of car buyers (at this point some 98 percent of American buyers) the savings and advantages of electric cars are simply not substantial enough to compel them to drop ICE vehicles. Gasoline promises to remain cheap into the indefinite future and that limits the EV market. I don’t really see that changing so my feeling is that EV’s are limited to reaching perhaps 25 percent of the marketplace over the next 25 years; their niche will remain fundamentally urban and sub-urban. One could point to GM’s decision to drop ICE sedans completely for EV’s, but note they aren’t abandoning ICEs for their cash cow big vehicles, and neither Honda nor Toyota are following suit. VW -is- “following” GM but their motives are driven by their Euro-centric viewpoint, and the EU is killing diesels, highly taxing gasoline, and thereby artificially forcing the market towards EV’s, but those forces don’t exist here and in a real sense neither does VW; as such a small percentage of their world sales, the U.S. is not a strong influence on their designs.
So, in conclusion to this rambling post, I’ll just paraphrase Mark Twain and say,
“Rumors of the death of the internal combustion vehicle have been greatly exaggerated”.
The savings with an EV are significant, it is just that many people don’t understand just how much cheaper it is to run an EV than it is to run an ICE car*. The other problem is that as of today there is still not an EV that appeals to the masses, ie a CUV/SUV that is affordable.
* I have a plug-in Hybrid and running it on electrons from home is about half the cost of running it on gasoline.
Lokki, I very much agree with your assessments and sentiments. A great post!
I don’t fundamentally disagree with you, but remember that cars replaced horses, with horses still around but only as a hobby. ICE tech will never ‘die’, but it will be like a rotary dial phone. Used by old people who never have replaced one, or as a fashion choice, not as a primary device. Are people still using coal stoves to heat their homes, or chopping wood? Yes, but not many. And you don’t see companies still making them, except specialty manufacturers, not mainstream appliance companies.
EV will take over as price of battery tech drops and ease of charging increases. Gas will eventually become either more expensive, or legislated and taxed into submission, until the only folks still using ICE tech are hobbyist. It may take 25 years, or 50, or it may take one good OPEC embargo or terrorist act or war that stops oil delivery. We don’t know what that tipping point will be like, but it is more likely than not. Oil prices will go up, and EV prices will come down. My bet is on faster than slower, but your mileage may vary.
This comparison has always felt misleading, when cars displaced horses not everyone owned a horse beforehand, the affordable car opened everyone up to private personal transportation, independent of income or access to a stable. Cars changed road design and city layouts in effect. EV operates within the same infrastructure ICE cars do, and other than respective charging stations not much will change in the future.
With regards to EV vs ICE, at best the closest analogy would be LED vs incandescent or fluorescent lighting, and just like those each technology still has individual pros and cons that will suit certain applications better. Regarding the ICE powertrain in its current 2019 state as something akin to a pointy stick to the EV’s lightsaber grossly understates the level of technology in them as they exist now.
The ICE engine is at or near its plateau in development, EVs still have strides to make to be truly equal to them – and for the record I accept they probably will – The present day ”I have my routine worked out to charge it at night and it’s virtually free, range anxiety is a myth” is an easy statement for well to do home owners in urban areas, not so much for the 95% still buying ICE cars it would seem, and as EV marketshare grows and suddenly that 5% of cars charging at night becomes 95%, the gravy train is going to inevitably come to an end. Same goes for gasoline tax funded road maintenance. If ICE cars get taxed into oblivion(good luck in the US) don’t expect the remainders to single handedly make up for the significant lack of revenue for road maintenance and infrastructure.
I expect fluorescent lighting to mostly disappear in the next few years; there’s few remaining applications where LEDs won’t work better. Offices and retailers have been swapping out long fluorescent tubes for LED tubes or entire fixtures, and incandescent-retrofit LED bulbs are cheap and bright enough now to make quirky, mercury-containing CFL bulbs redundant.
I’m hoping there were be some major advancements in solar panel technology that will make them more efficient. Solar roof panels (along with a storage battery) can make recharging your EV truly free once the initial costs to buy and install them are made. What if instead of enough panels to cover half the roof, you only needed something the size of a satellite dish? You could even build solar panels into the car itself, helping to recharge the batteries in the daytime. But in the meantime, the loss of gasoline and diesel tax revenue will need to be addressed.
Keep in mind in regard to fuel taxes, the US fuel tax on gasoline has remained unchanged at $0.184 per gallon since 1993 (although another quick search said 1997). Suffice it to say it’s been 20+ years so a projection for the next 25 years, based upon the past 25, doesn’t bode well for “legislated and taxed into submission”.
In regard to state fuel taxes, similar is the case with a few states not having touched their fuel tax since the 1990s. Current rates of fuel taxation range from $0.612 per gallon for gasoline, plus 2.25% sales tax, and $0.879 for diesel, plus 9.25% sales tax, in California to a low in Alaska of $0.1466 for gasoline and $0.144 for diesel.
While Congress has a huge infestation of stupid in both parties, they aren’t suicidal. The bigger likelihood is states share of federal highway dollars struggling to keep with up costs (which has already happened) and roads going to shit before gas is “legislated and taxed into submission”.
And really, at what point is that reached? At whatever point that is, California is the closest to realizing it.
The big reason that the Model 3 is doing so well in CA is that it gives you access to the HOV lane with a single occupant. Depending on the commute that can save a lot of time and has a lot of appeal. Save a 1/2 hr a day and the car is paying for itself, not to mention the fact that CA has some of the highest gas prices in the US. So the car is both “making” and saving money.
So unless other states enact legislation that both causes gas prices to rise significantly and they grant HOV access (and that actually saves people significant time) CA is not a belwether for EVs.
Some east coast states such as Maryland and Virginia allow single-occupant EVs as well. Both of those states also grant such access to plug-in hybrids too.
Was the peak in ’16 simply due to folks recovering from the ’09 crash? Like, people coming to the realization that things were stabilizing? It was okay to replace that ’08 that was getting long in the tooth?
Why wouldn’t that have been the case for the rest of the country?
A minor correction: “Here’s the best sellers in the main categories. The only domestic brand represented is Ford…” Tesla’s a very domestic brand too. Funny how we think of it in the context of the German and Japanese brands; a mark of its unique success as a super cool and American brand.
Doh! Fixed now; thanks.
@Scoutdude, not every state/city else uses HOV lanes or has the traffic problems/commute distances CA has in their cities to socially engineer the same effect.
I don’t know, perhaps I’ve become too jaded but it seems a California’s influence on the rest of the country was stronger when it had something to aspire to for us midwestern rubes to envy and emulate: Surf culture, hot rods, fame, fortune, houses on hills, rebelling from the man – but I think with more media exposure than ever, the ability to become a geographically independent “star” on social media, ever more cynical bombardment of planned obsolescence from Silicon Valley, and Hollywood whose glamour has aged worse than many of the starlets it has chewed up (to put it mildly), there just isn’t that dream factor there once was to the state. Yeah, we’re still jealous of the sunny warm weather, not so much the droughts and fires though. I think the automotive market is now more of just a regional reflection of the area rather than the bellweather for the country it had been.
That was my point, demand for EVs is heavily influenced by the HOV lane access. As I mentioned above the reason the Fusion does so well in CA is due to the fact that the Energi version is eligible for HOV access.
In my area we have HOT lanes, High Occupancy Toll lanes and that has proven that there are people willing to pay a good amount to save a little time. On one of them there are a lot of takers when $6-7 will save 15-20 minutes. The other one gets a lot of people happy save 20 min for $5-6. Do that on a regular basis and it can add up.
Or you can look at the price of homes and rent and see people making the other trade off a longer commute to save several hundred per month.
So I can certainly see people choosing the car that has the built in time savings. If Toyota would just put a plug in the Hybrid Camry they would leave the Model 3 in the dust.
“California” has become a four letter word to a lot of the rest of the country. I for one would never want to live there (and have turned down a promotion which would have relocated me there.)
Mostly because of the relentless smugness of its residents who seem to think they’re just inherently awesome because of where they live. Only NYC is worse.
That’s true about most big cities though…
You can make a case that, like most technologies, adoption of EVs grows exponentially, not linearly. Usually a bumpy curve year-to-year, but overall it’s a compounding effect. Exponentials are sneaky. They start slow but eventually take off.
For example, connecting computers to the internet made the internet more interesting, which drew still more computers onto the internet. It was slow starting… I’ve been using the internet since it was a strictly non-commercial federally-funded research net back in the 1980s. It grew slowly but steadily and exponentially. In the 1990s it hit the steep part of the curve.
Another exponential growth effect: more EVs on the road demand and get more charging stations. More charging stations invite still more EVs to get on the road. Yet another is simply volume production. EV batteries are getting cheaper every year as more factories get built and paid for.
And so it grows. EVs are currently growing about 60% per year in the US. Numbers should hit the steep part of the curve in the 2020s. The West Coast of North America, including California, is at the leading edge, as usual.
So, I looked it up. It takes 75 minutes for a “supercharger” to top up a Tesla battery charge to 100%.
Now how does that not make taking the car on a road trip (with a 75 minute pit stop after going the 250-320 indicated range) torture – for both the driver and for drivers of others of these cars waiting behind in line?
I understand that the car can be plugged to a socket at the home garage. Just fine for commuting in LAX or SFO. But how can this ridiculous “supercharger” time not adversely affect the selling of these cars – especially when more of them are on the road and now waiting for the charging station to be free in Wausau or North Platte? In the winter?
This is a problem for these cars and has to place limits on their market share. Only if the charging time can shrink exponentially (to that of an ICE car) can the market share grow.
I do not believe that is completely correct. It may be 75 minutes to charge it FROM ZERO to 100% but that would not be “topping it up”. I think that info is for the 85kwh original Model S using the 150kw charger (I’m sure I’m mixing up my kw and kwh descriptors, I know..,whatever).
I believe that going from zero to 80% rakes 40 minutes but you never take it all the way to zero, same as in a regular car.
So if there is still some left, say 10%, then going to 80% likely takes around half an hour to 35 minutes and then you go another 200-225 miles and do it again. I assume that’s when you eat, take a piss, get a snack, whatever. Sure, I could do 400-450miles at a stretch back in the day by myself but with kids? Forget it, we’re stopping anyway. Yes, still more of a hassle than getting gas on the one or two annual occasions of a long trip when you just want to get there. I do also recall the numerous trips from SF to LA for T-Day or Xmas in I-5, the gas lines at Kettleman city were often a good half hour as well.
I agree that if I bought a new whiz-bang electric, I sure as hell would want to take it on trips instead of renting something else or taking one of the other cars. So yes that would be a downer. But the reality really is for most people that this would be a once or twice a year occurrence at most. Day to day having the car filed up in my garage while I sleep instead of (ever) going to the gas station? Yeah, absolutely, sign me up when the price/format/range equation works for me.
The new V3 Superchargers are much faster. It can add 100 miles of charge/range in 7 minutes. After that, it tapers down some. But a full charge from near empty took about 34 minutes:
The reality is that the majority of Tesla drivers don’t need or want a complete fill from empty when at a Supercharger. They may just need enough o get them to their destination.
Nobody is suggesting all the drivers in Wausau or North Platte are going to buy EVs. It’s a choice.
EV charging rates have come down substantially, and will continue to do so. Getting 200 some miles in 10-12 minutes is already in sight.
Keep in mind that up until the late 70s or so, diesel was not easy to find either. Diesel Mercedes drivers kept a directory of stations that sold diesel. It was not nearly as convenient as filling a gas car. Yet an increasing number bought them, and as they became more popular, more stations carried diesel.
Paul – I don’t suggest people in Wausau or North Platte won’t buy EVs. The point is that drivers traveling distances, the ones who need to go another 600 miles and have to stop for “fuel”, are not going to want a car that takes 75 minutes to top up in the winter in those places. I know that a stop for gasoline at North Platte in the winter can be fast and easy and I certainly never want to deal with an EV in such a circumstance if both the charging time and range are so compromised.
My prejudice against those cars stems from the number of long distance drives in the west I make every year.
If these charging depots can provide enough “juice” in ten minutes for me to make the 330 or so miles from Pueblo to Albuquerque non-stop in the winter, fine. Until then, I say these cars are not competitive.
Why is it whenever EVs are being discussed, suddenly everyone in the country has to drive 600 miles four times a week?
Charge rates are not linear. The closer you to get to 100% the longer it takes to add another 1%. That is why most quick charge times are quoted for charging to 80%. With the Tesla’s built in trip planner it will minimize the time spent charging by having more partial charges instead of fewer full charges.
However the reality is that most people don’t drive 600 miles in a day and if you do that more than once or twice a year then an EV is not for you, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t competitive.
The reality is that fast and public charging is a red herring. Regular use would mean that it is much more expensive to drive than a comparable ICE powered vehicle. With our higher than average gas prices and moderate electricity running our plug in Hybrid on directly purchased electrons is about 1/2 the price of using gasoline. However buy those electrons from a 3rd party and using EV is twice the cost of using gas.
That is using a level 2 “slow charger” as that is all most plug ins are capable of. It gets much worse once you go to a fast charger. Instead of paying by the KWh you pay by the minute. At Electrify America (VW Penance) stations the per minute rate is broken into 3 tiers and that is based on the initial charge rate. Because of the non linear charge rate that means you really really don’t want to charge to 100% because you are paying a potentially huge premium for using that fast charge plug that is going about as slow as the cheaper Level 2 plug.
So yeah Plug in hybrids with a moderate range like the new RAV-4’s 39 mile estimate is the best of both worlds. The cheap home electrons can do most people’s daily commute and when you need to go a little or a lot further the ICE powers up and you keep on going.
How much of stagnating sales might be due to cars being more reliable and lasting longer? Just anecdotally my upper middle class cohorts are slow to pull the trigger on replacing a vehicle, and when they do, for the same money they rather have a used Lexus than a new Toyota.
California, as a ‘trendsetter’, has much to answer for.
CA may no longer be a leader in new car sales but it remains the land of CCs. In addition to seeing an ancient 2CV in traffic a week or two back, today I hear (and smell) a beautiful exhaust system in traffic ahead of me – this gorgeous Mercedes 300SL gullwing coupe. Regular sightings like this, along with the weather, almost make up for outrageous traffic and taxes, and fuel and housing prices.