Confirmed: Hybrid and all-electric Corvettes coming soon

Colin
By Colin Wood
Apr 25, 2022 | Chevrolet, Corvette, Hybrid, ev

In a tweet earlier today, Chevrolet announced that a hybrid version of the Corvette will be available “as early as next year,” with a fully-electric model to follow sometime in the future.

GM President Mark Reuss also confirmed the news in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” though declined to give any specific dates besides noting that “We will have an electrified Corvette next year, so it’s coming very quick.”

Just how quick will a hybrid and/or an electric Corvette be? We’ll let you discuss.

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Cheeks
Cheeks New Reader
4/25/22 10:04 a.m.

I'm sorry, but you'll never convince me that electric motors are the answer, I've driven a couple and I just think they're boring, soulless machines 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/25/22 10:04 a.m.

I know they aren't saying it, but this surely means the end of the ICE-powered Corvette in the next decade or so. I'm not anti-EV at all, but if you can't feel a pang of sadness over that, you're not a true gearhead.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 10:13 a.m.

You can be a true gearhead and not mourn for ICE-powered Corvettes. Just like how it's possible to be a gearhead and accept cars that don't have manual transmissions or carburetors or a timing advance lever on the steering wheel.

I wonder how much the C8 packaging was designed around a future hybrid variant. I can see that being more acceptable to "cars have to make noises to have soul!"crowd, but you've got extra parts to slip into a car that doesn't have a lot of unused space to begin with. At least with a full electric you get to take some bits out.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/25/22 10:17 a.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:

I know they aren't saying it, but this surely means the end of the ICE-powered Corvette in the next decade or so. I'm not anti-EV at all, but if you can't feel a pang of sadness over that, you're not a true gearhead.

Agreed. EVs are definitely the way of the future if you care about getting maximum performance. From a business, performance, and social perspective, I couldn't imagine anything else. But that doesn't mean that I don't feel inexplicably upset about it when you're talking about a Corvette. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 10:26 a.m.

Oh, there's a video embedded in the story, I missed that. Clear shot of front wheelspin and muted engine noise. So the hybrid system will likely be on the front wheels, and there may be all sorts of interesting torque vectoring tricks on the table thanks to that.

Once you've got the front electrified, you just yank out the ICE and drop in a big motor in the back while running the battery pack through that massive center tunnel. 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/25/22 10:28 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

You can be a true gearhead and not mourn for ICE-powered Corvettes. Just like how it's possible to be a gearhead and accept cars that don't have manual transmissions or carburetors or a timing advance lever on the steering wheel.

Well, I still haven't really accepted that Vettes don't have manuals anymore. smiley

Carbs and manual timing advance are one thing, taking away an internal combustion engine is something else. It's the soul of a car, especially a sports or enthusiast car. The sound and feel and vibrations and the way it builds power are all a massive part of the sports car experience. I love running my Boxster through the gears just to hear that flat six howl. Engines are a major part of the personality of a car. 

Again, I'm not anti-EV. I think they are well on their way to being better at every objective measure than ICE engines. But being a car enthusiast means embracing the subjective, and while I know why it's happening, subjectively a Corvette without a Chevy V8 in it makes me a little sad.

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/25/22 10:31 a.m.

I already decided that I'm going to buy the electric sports car that Honda announced a week or so back, so I'm fully here for the electric corvette.  

TheTallOne17
TheTallOne17 New Reader
4/25/22 10:38 a.m.

I for one welcome our new 4 door suv Corvette overlords

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
4/25/22 10:50 a.m.

I'm a little torn on this. EVs are the future, and they'll outperform any ICE around while being much more efficient. I'll certainly miss the sound of the V8, but I guess that's a small price to pay for improved performance and efficiency.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 10:50 a.m.

Noises and smells and vibrations are fun for sure. It's why I like my classic Mini without a Honda engine swap, and the fact that the Targa Miata is propelled primarily by noise very much amuses me. But while they're part of the personality of a car that has them, they're not a necessary part of the driving experience. Take them away and there's a different personality exposed, like a family sedan what will accelerate so violently you feel like you've been punched in the chest, a low center of gravity that makes a car feel much more nimble than it should be and torque vectoring that makes the car respond to the steering wheel extremely quickly. Amusingly, the way an EV "builds power" is basically the holy grail for ICE designers and they'll jump through all sorts of hoops to get it. A high compression big displacement V8 is probably as close as you can get other than the noise and vibration aspect. So other than the soundtrack, a full EV Corvette may not be that changed.

GM has publicly stated that it will stop using gasoline and diesel to power light duty vehicles by 2035 (hydrogen is still on the table but it's unlikely to ever be more than a technology demonstrator or a niche fuel for very specific applications). So unless it's like Ford's statement that they will "stop making cars (except for the Mustang, we'll totally keep making that one)" and the Corvette gets a waiver and the only ICE in the fleet, there is an all-electric Corvette coming.

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
4/25/22 10:54 a.m.
TheTallOne17 said:

I for one welcome our new 4 door suv Corvette overlords

Yea all I can think from the headline is Mustang Mach E.

They finally made an attractive corvette again after almost 40 years, don't turn it into a crossover thing. 

jimgood
jimgood Reader
4/25/22 10:54 a.m.

Which would win in a cross country race? The ICE 'vette or the electric?

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
4/25/22 11:00 a.m.

I look forward to awesome EV's. They will eventually far outstrip the current ICE vehicles.

I think that's still a little ways off. The first versions of a new, incoming technology will pretty much always be inferior to the final versions of the outgoing technology they are replacing. Like the shift from steam power to ICE.

I don't think it's going to be too long until they really figure it out.

So, I'm not really excited about this Corvette, because it's still trying to be recognizeable as a 'Corvette' in the current landscape. I think we need to see a complete paradigm shift in vehicle design of electric vehicle designed around the needs of electric vehicles, rather than still trying to look like what we expect of vehicle built around an ICE.

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
4/25/22 11:01 a.m.
BA5 said:

I already decided that I'm going to buy the electric sports car that Honda announced a week or so back, so I'm fully here for the electric corvette.  

do you have details on this?  

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
4/25/22 11:17 a.m.

Some tracks are not allowing electric cars on the track (most citing safety; fire suppression challenges; outright performance causing risks; etc.)  With the rapid shift towards electric performance cars, how will tracks manage this moving forward?  IMHO; electric cars are really exciting alternative, indoor electric go-karts are proof that electric in motorsport is fun and the impact to the surrounding area where environmental concerns (noise, smell, etc. more than car emissions) Electric can represent relief for tracks (i.e. laguna seca) that is challenged with those issues.  

 

As for the corvette moving to electric and/or Hybrid; other than the inevitable weight increase i don't see too much of a reason not to like this idea.  

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 11:18 a.m.
jimgood said:

Which would win in a cross country race? The ICE 'vette or the electric?

Which would win in an autocross or a hillclimb? Which would win in a tractor pull? :)

There's no reason this would have to look like a crossover any more than the Taycan does.

And just for fun, I pulled weights for Taycan vs Panamera because they're both similarly sized sedans (Taycan is about 2" shorter) from the same manufacturer but one is a ground-up EV.

Taycan ranges from 4600 lbs (RWD, small  79 kWh battery ) to 4744 lbs (RWD, big 93 kWh battery) to 4949 lbs (AWD, big battery).  
Panamera ranges from 4222 lbs (base model) to 4500 lbs (AWD turbo) to 5000 lbs (AWD turbo hybrid).

So - AWD is a slightly bigger weight penalty on an ICE (no surprise there). Bigger batteries have an effect on weight (well, yeah). And hybrids aren't necessarily any lighter than full on BEVs.

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
4/25/22 11:25 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
jimgood said:

Which would win in a cross country race? The ICE 'vette or the electric?

Which would win in an autocross or a hillclimb? Which would win in a tractor pull? :)

There's no reason this would have to look like a crossover any more than the Taycan does.

in an autocross, it depends on which one I'm driving...  in which case the other car will win (and since i'm so bad at autocross the other car could be a miata on 3 cylinders and all season tires)

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
4/25/22 11:26 a.m.
ClearWaterMS said:

Some tracks are not allowing electric cars on the track (most citing safety; fire suppression challenges; outright performance causing risks; etc.)  With the rapid shift towards electric performance cars, how will tracks manage this moving forward?  IMHO; electric cars are really exciting alternative, indoor electric go-karts are proof that electric in motorsport is fun and the impact to the surrounding area where environmental concerns (noise, smell, etc. more than car emissions) Electric can represent relief for tracks (i.e. laguna seca) that is challenged with those issues.  

Solveable problems are solveable.

An amateur team ran an all-electric car to completion of the 25-Hours of Thunderhill. They engineered a method of pit-stop switching out batteries.

Now let's see some professional and factory teams tackle this problem, and we should see some really interesting vehicles coming out.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/25/22 11:33 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

The problem here is that both the Taycan and Panamera are complete abominations. Both are big, heavy, heinously ugly, 4-door, cash cow compromises. Like the Mustang Mach-E. I think some here are worried that's the fate of the Corvette as society goes down the EV path. I am sure Chevy will keep the Corvette proper sports car, regardless of drivetrain. Just like how Porsche will also very likely keep the 911 a proper sports car, even once it's an EV. They will both also sell some crossover BS to the  masses.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 11:36 a.m.

It doesn't really matter how much of an abomination the two Porsches are, they're a decent direct comparison between similar cars that were engineered as a full electric versus a full ICE. If you've got a more palatable comparison, we can use that instead. I was mostly looking at what the effects were in terms of mass. Take the rest of the vehicle as a constant.

One really interesting stat that came out of there is that increasing the capacity of the battery by 1 kWh adds 10.3 lbs. You can very clearly scale cost and weight vs range and performance by playing with that.

trigun7469
trigun7469 UltraDork
4/25/22 11:36 a.m.

Good times to un-invest in jorts and New Balance shoes.  I would like to see a team Joest (during the Audi heyday) and Ganassi solve the battery swap issue in sports car, might give people that hate things like FE (which is a joke) more hope in the future of racing and car culture.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 11:38 a.m.

The Mach E wearing the Mustang name is simply a way to market the new Ford electric CUV. It's not the result of making a Mustang fully electric, but it sure has messed up people's idea of what an electric car has to be. Thanks, marketing team.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/25/22 11:39 a.m.

Last night, I mentioned to my dad that I'll be driving the new Nissan Z later this week. His immediate reply: Is it gas or electric? 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/25/22 11:40 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I get what you're saying, and agree. Just trying to explain the worry some folks have every time they hear "heritage nameplate + EV news". I'm not worried about the future of EV sports cars. But I am still waiting on a proper one to be made again (Tesla Roadster being the first and only so far).

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 12:15 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

The prospective of an AWD EV Vette is enough to make me start dreaming about what airbrushed underhood mural I'd choose for it!

MrFancypants
MrFancypants HalfDork
4/25/22 12:20 p.m.

I'm all in for an EV sports car.  I've never really been into building and tuning ICEs, so give me all the power right off the showroom floor and I can focus on messing around with cornering and braking.

If anything I'm more sad about the loss of manual gearboxes than I am ICEs, but automatic gearboxes are where ICEs are headed so I may as well skip straight to an EV (which may still have multiple gears: see Taycan).

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 12:20 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

But which hood? ;)

MrFancypants
MrFancypants HalfDork
4/25/22 12:22 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

The Mach E wearing the Mustang name is simply a way to market the new Ford electric CUV. It's not the result of making a Mustang fully electric, but it sure has messed up people's idea of what an electric car has to be. Thanks, marketing team.

To add: that same marketing team also decided to release two completely different vehicles with the "Bronco" badge applied to them.

Sadly names have no meaning to auto manufacturers.

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/25/22 12:32 p.m.
ClearWaterMS said:
BA5 said:

I already decided that I'm going to buy the electric sports car that Honda announced a week or so back, so I'm fully here for the electric corvette.  

do you have details on this?  

Our very own GRM covered their press release here a week or so ago.  Admittedly it's not actually much to go on, but the one on the left looks like it might be a continuation of this:

Which I really liked.  And I've been really digging Hondas for a while now.  They 'fit' me very well.

 

 

YoursTruly
YoursTruly New Reader
4/25/22 12:45 p.m.

EV's are fast, but the miata didn't be the best selling sports car of all time by being fast. Engines add soul to a car.

I have driven and even worked on developing EVs and PHEVs, but all they feel like is spicy golf carts. The Tesla Plaid is hoot for a few squirts, but the novelty wore off quickly. 

I will mourn the inevitable death of the ICE just as I mourn the death of the manual transmission and previous generations grieve over the death of carbs.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 12:55 p.m.

In reply to YoursTruly :

Thing is, the engine is the weakest part of the Miata package. It's never been special, just good enough. And as the platform has evolved, it has gained an engine with more low-end torque, a flatter power curve and sharper throttle response. It's been moving closer and closer to an electric powertrain all along.

I've torn cars down to individual nuts and bolts and have never found the soul module. I've got two cars sitting beside each other in the garage that are very similar in a lot of ways. One is an EV, the other has one of the world's great engines in it. And I find myself driving the EV far more often because it just gets stuff done without all the fuss of warming up an ICE and making sure it's always in the correct gear.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
4/25/22 12:58 p.m.

Considering how much the typical Corvette is driven and how much time it spends in the garage, electric seems like a good match.  Much like the all electric Lambo's that are supposed to be coming (it will make it hard for all those sheiks sons to do the revving thing though)

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 1:08 p.m.

In reply to YoursTruly :

Soul is relative.  I have come across many Alfa owners in my life, and most of them will tell you that the Miata has barely any soul, if any.  

Which tells me that soul is more what perceptions people bring to anything as opposed to something concrete and real.

You say EV's have no soul, other gush over the immediacy of instant torque.  Same vehicle, different perceptions and expectations brought.

ian sane
ian sane Dork
4/25/22 1:17 p.m.

Interesting. Time marches on. I will be sad when ICE disapears. But EV stuff is so ridiculously cool I guess it won't be all bad.

ICE car guys are going to be like horse girls in the next few decades. Just....weird.

RichardSIA
RichardSIA Dork
4/25/22 1:29 p.m.

Good for me that I have never really been interested in the 'Vette anyway.
RIP Corvette.
Now change the name to something appropriate, like "Electro-Barge".

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/25/22 1:30 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to YoursTruly :

Thing is, the engine is the weakest part of the Miata package. It's never been special, just good enough. And as the platform has evolved, it has gained an engine with more low-end torque, a flatter power curve and sharper throttle response. It's been moving closer and closer to an electric powertrain all along.

I get your point about electric powertrains representing the ideal that ICEs have been striving for all along. But I'd counter that the imperfections in IC engines are what make them fun. My old 944 Turbo had really bad turbo lag that made it hard to modulate the throttle and get consistent performance. But damn if it didn't make me giggle when the boost did come in. One of my favorite things about the Fox body Mustangs I've had was that you could sit there with the car idling, punch the throttle in neutral, and the whole car would twist on it's suspension because of the torque and mass of the engine. I've already mentioned the sound of the Boxster's engine, which I love, but I also loved the sound of the Coyote in my 2011 Mustang, for completely different reasons. Speaking of Mustangs, why did Ford go to all the trouble and expense of making the flat-plane engine for the GT350? For the feel and the sound of it. Those things matter.

Unless there are differences I'm not aware of (I've only driven a handful of EVs), electric powertrains all deliver performance the same way. An ocean of silent torque. Yes, it's cool in it's way, but once everything is powered that way, what's the difference?

Again, I agree that electric powertrains are objectively better. But we don't love these inanimate hunks of steel, aluminum, and plastic for objective reasons, do we?

leifmadsen
leifmadsen New Reader
4/25/22 1:39 p.m.

Whether you like it or not, all-gas engines will be out in about a decade for new builds. Canada is targeting all-electric for consumer vehicles by 2035 (https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2021/06/building-a-green-economy-government-of-canada-to-require-100-of-car-and-passenger-truck-sales-be-zero-emission-by-2035-in-canada.html) . California doing the same. Europe likely as well.

While it might not be mandated in all US states or countries, the continuing limited markets for all-gas consumer vehicles will quickly dry up, and it won't be worth creating those versions for a limited market.

So whether you like it or not, new vehicles will be hybrid or all-electric in the coming decade. Don't worry, I fully expect some pretty fun hybrids and all-electrics are gonna be kicking around. If you want to get more excited about tuning and screwing around with all-electric, check out this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ub38tMJ8nkY&ab_channel=HighPerformanceAcademy) about AEMs VCU which is basically the standalone ECU equivalent for electric cars. Seeing the tuning capabilities and such made this kind of vehicle instantly more exciting to me.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants HalfDork
4/25/22 1:41 p.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to YoursTruly :

Soul is relative.  I have come across many Alfa owners in my life, and most of them will tell you that the Miata has barely any soul, if any.  

I'm not an Alfa owner, but I prefer to describe vehicle "soul" using animals. I'd say that the Miata has the soul of a Corgi, athletic, fun, and easy to live with. An EV Miata would definitely still be athletic, fun, and easy to with if electrified.

An Alfa is more like a Pekinese, mischievous but high maintenance and stubborn owned by people who believe other animals who lack these qualities "have no soul" to make themselves feel better about the abusive relationship they're in. If you enjoy being kicked in the crotch over and over again adding EV propulsion to an Alfa would not make it better (for you).

dalek
dalek New Reader
4/25/22 2:10 p.m.

IMHO they should call it something else. If they do I would have no issues. Otherwise, it is like those famous performance/muscle car badges which were then applied to FWD econoboxes.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
4/25/22 2:17 p.m.

Will these electric cars have little Bose speakers outside making little noises for me?

What's next? A slot in the road so I stay on it?

 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/25/22 2:19 p.m.
leifmadsen said:

Whether you like it or not, all-gas engines will be out in about a decade for new builds. Canada is targeting all-electric for consumer vehicles by 2035 (https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2021/06/building-a-green-economy-government-of-canada-to-require-100-of-car-and-passenger-truck-sales-be-zero-emission-by-2035-in-canada.html) . California doing the same. Europe likely as well.

While it might not be mandated in all US states or countries, the continuing limited markets for all-gas consumer vehicles will quickly dry up, and it won't be worth creating those versions for a limited market.

So whether you like it or not, new vehicles will be hybrid or all-electric in the coming decade. Don't worry, I fully expect some pretty fun hybrids and all-electrics are gonna be kicking around. If you want to get more excited about tuning and screwing around with all-electric, check out this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ub38tMJ8nkY&ab_channel=HighPerformanceAcademy) about AEMs VCU which is basically the standalone ECU equivalent for electric cars. Seeing the tuning capabilities and such made this kind of vehicle instantly more exciting to me.

Totally agreed. As I keep saying, I'm not anti-EV, there will probably be one in my garage in the next couple of years. I'm not even saying that the Corvette shouldn't go electric. If/when the whole industry goes that way, it'd be pretty silly to keep it an ICE vehicle.

All I'm saying is that I will be a little sad when one of the most iconic sports cars of all time goes full electric. That's all.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
4/25/22 2:38 p.m.

This is why most tracks will not allow electric cars, and if they do, they probably don't know why they shouldn't.  Also, if you're in a crash in one, I sure hope you're in an area where the FD has had the extensive training to deal with the problems presented by large amounts of Lithium-Ion batteries.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/federal-regulators-warn-risks-firefighters-electrical-vehicle-fires-n1271084

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
4/25/22 2:44 p.m.

Swamp Rat 38 catches fire during burnout.

Don Garlits (at 90!) brought his new electric dragster out to Palm Beach International Raceway this last Saturday for the "Last Lap" celebration.

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
4/25/22 3:20 p.m.

In reply to leifmadsen :

The problem is that the demand for lithium is growing at a substantially faster rate than the supply, and there is nothing I have seen indicating a reversal in that trend in the coming years. That could put a bit of a wrench in all of these mandates.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants HalfDork
4/25/22 3:22 p.m.
racerfink said:

This is why most tracks will not allow electric cars, and if they do, they probably don't know why they shouldn't.  Also, if you're in a crash in one, I sure hope you're in an area where the FD has had the extensive training to deal with the problems presented by large amounts of Lithium-Ion batteries.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/federal-regulators-warn-risks-firefighters-electrical-vehicle-fires-n1271084

I'm sure they'll figure it out, because if they don't they'll go out of business.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
4/25/22 3:23 p.m.
BA5 said:

Our very own GRM covered their press release here a week or so ago.  Admittedly it's not actually much to go on...

I'd like to see what they look like. I'd like to see EV's designed around the space requirements of an electric vehicle, and not modeled on the space and layout needs of a conventional car that has an engine and transmission that everything needs to be designed around.

Your space/layout constraints are suspension, electric motors, and people (and safety for those people).

I'm envisioning something laid out a bit like a McLaren F1 with a centrally located driver pushed forward to allow for impact crumple zones. Then passenger seats to either side and a bit back to keep them behind the front wheels. Then the third row where seats can fold up to fit 1.5 more people, or folded down for additional storage capacity.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/25/22 3:24 p.m.

A Corvette EV doesn't bother me half as much as the idea of a Corvette SUV.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 3:45 p.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to YoursTruly :

Thing is, the engine is the weakest part of the Miata package. It's never been special, just good enough. And as the platform has evolved, it has gained an engine with more low-end torque, a flatter power curve and sharper throttle response. It's been moving closer and closer to an electric powertrain all along.

I get your point about electric powertrains representing the ideal that ICEs have been striving for all along. But I'd counter that the imperfections in IC engines are what make them fun. My old 944 Turbo had really bad turbo lag that made it hard to modulate the throttle and get consistent performance. But damn if it didn't make me giggle when the boost did come in. One of my favorite things about the Fox body Mustangs I've had was that you could sit there with the car idling, punch the throttle in neutral, and the whole car would twist on it's suspension because of the torque and mass of the engine. I've already mentioned the sound of the Boxster's engine, which I love, but I also loved the sound of the Coyote in my 2011 Mustang, for completely different reasons. Speaking of Mustangs, why did Ford go to all the trouble and expense of making the flat-plane engine for the GT350? For the feel and the sound of it. Those things matter.

Unless there are differences I'm not aware of (I've only driven a handful of EVs), electric powertrains all deliver performance the same way. An ocean of silent torque. Yes, it's cool in it's way, but once everything is powered that way, what's the difference?

Again, I agree that electric powertrains are objectively better. But we don't love these inanimate hunks of steel, aluminum, and plastic for objective reasons, do we?

Fair enough - although I don't think many people really miss 1980's turbo lag all that much :) If the electrics are too polished, we can certainly add a turbo lag emulation subroutine. Shaking the car on the springs is a little harder, but with the right active suspension parts...I totally get that one, the fact that you can see the shake of the Targa Miata at idle on my on-board accelerometer display makes me giggle.

There is a noise when an EV is deploying lots of power, and it changes with higher power ones. It's a great sci-fi whine that you can almost feel. In fact, one of the fun things about the first year of the F1 hybrids (before they were designed to make more noise) was that you could hear the electrical current being shuffled around. Quiet high performance cars aren't really new, the first time I saw a Porsche 962 on track I realized the only noise it makes is basically a whoosh, like a big turbo Miata we built a few years back. But you have to love the 962.

We love certain aspects of cars because of what their flaws remind us of. That turbo lag, for example. Or the noise of a flat-plane crank. If the flat-plane didn't perform, the noise wouldn't be appreciated. I think the whine of a high output EV will come to take its place in that list of desirable sounds.

I showed this video to my wife last week, and she commented about how much she loved that whine. And then she also said she really likes the M5, and she has said that the noise is a big reason why we can't sell it :) So for her, the noise of both the EV and the M5 are good noises. A Corvette that doesn't roar isn't not a Corvette, it's just a Corvette making a different noise.

 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 4:02 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

But which hood? ;)

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/25/22 4:24 p.m.

Just checking to make sure there are old men in here yelling at clouds.

Check.  Carry on.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 5:15 p.m.
MrFancypants said:
alfadriver said:

In reply to YoursTruly :

Soul is relative.  I have come across many Alfa owners in my life, and most of them will tell you that the Miata has barely any soul, if any.  

I'm not an Alfa owner, but I prefer to describe vehicle "soul" using animals. I'd say that the Miata has the soul of a Corgi, athletic, fun, and easy to live with. An EV Miata would definitely still be athletic, fun, and easy to with if electrified.

An Alfa is more like a Pekinese, mischievous but high maintenance and stubborn owned by people who believe other animals who lack these qualities "have no soul" to make themselves feel better about the abusive relationship they're in. If you enjoy being kicked in the crotch over and over again adding EV propulsion to an Alfa would not make it better (for you).

Soul is what you want to see.  And not see what you want to ignore.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 5:18 p.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to YoursTruly :

Thing is, the engine is the weakest part of the Miata package. It's never been special, just good enough. And as the platform has evolved, it has gained an engine with more low-end torque, a flatter power curve and sharper throttle response. It's been moving closer and closer to an electric powertrain all along.

I get your point about electric powertrains representing the ideal that ICEs have been striving for all along. But I'd counter that the imperfections in IC engines are what make them fun. My old 944 Turbo had really bad turbo lag that made it hard to modulate the throttle and get consistent performance. But damn if it didn't make me giggle when the boost did come in. One of my favorite things about the Fox body Mustangs I've had was that you could sit there with the car idling, punch the throttle in neutral, and the whole car would twist on it's suspension because of the torque and mass of the engine. I've already mentioned the sound of the Boxster's engine, which I love, but I also loved the sound of the Coyote in my 2011 Mustang, for completely different reasons. Speaking of Mustangs, why did Ford go to all the trouble and expense of making the flat-plane engine for the GT350? For the feel and the sound of it. Those things matter.

Unless there are differences I'm not aware of (I've only driven a handful of EVs), electric powertrains all deliver performance the same way. An ocean of silent torque. Yes, it's cool in it's way, but once everything is powered that way, what's the difference?

Again, I agree that electric powertrains are objectively better. But we don't love these inanimate hunks of steel, aluminum, and plastic for objective reasons, do we?

While I totally see your point, EV's are not the source of that going away- electronic throttle is.  Add in the super fast, no lag turbos, and you now have a car that has no real flaws in driving like cars used to.  

Which is also to say, it would be really easy to program in "turbo lag" in an EV.   I will say that not many customers would be doing that- the general acceptance of very linear foot to power control isn't going to put in driving flaws any time soon.

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/25/22 5:50 p.m.

Electric cars still need the Jetsons flying car noise...

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/25/22 6:18 p.m.

My 2016 Mini doesn't engage me a quarter as much as the BMW 2002 or the MGB, and I keep having what feel like physical withdrawal symptoms over how long since I've had an A1-chassis VW.

All of which is to say that modern cars, EV or not, are really, really good, and I'd rather use one for commuting and road trips than the cars where I've found myself troubleshooting DGVs at rest stops, but the "soul" ship has long since sailed.

Or maybe to say that it's totally subjective. In any case, the transition to EVs isn't any more "the one thing" than adding computers was, or any of the other things that were supposed to be the end of hot rodding, or the beginning of hermetically sealed appliances... It's a little different for everyone, but I put it to you that if you're that wound up about what gives a car that special something, you should probably not be relying on the manufacturers to be building you what you want. Start with something built in the last half-century and make it what you want.

We have this funny habit, as the short-lived and shorter-memoried creatures that we are, of turning remarkably short slices of time into "time immemorial" and bestowing the weight of history on these miniature eras. We've got "traditional" hot rods that have spent decades paying homage to a first draft that lasted a few years. The history of the motorcar is little more than a century. Call me crazy, but I would be awfully surprised if any of us had a really good guess at what humans and transport will look like in fifty years. Kids born today are likely to look at us like we look at steam engine nuts. That is, a tiny proportion (hello, GRM) will think they're really cool, and the vast majority will not have any idea why anybody would do that.

And the thing is, that's fine. I'm delighted to be playing with cars and motorcycles and living in the time in which I exist. The past didn't look like this, and neither will the future. Kids born twenty years from now will be into different things that haven't been invented yet. Somewhere in there energy density and control tech might give us really practical, affordable personal aircraft that look and fly even better than the current R/C drones. Sounds like a tangent, but what's a kid who's 13 in 2050 going to have on their wall? A Countach? I don't think so.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/25/22 6:31 p.m.

Electric cars are one trick ponies. Once you get past the quick torque there's  nothing interesting about  them. The electric Corvette makes sad.

my opinion doesn't matter because I can't buy a new car.

why aren't manufacturers and citizens pushing back against these EV mandates?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/22 6:46 p.m.

Once you get past the quick torque electric cars can do everything an ICE can do other than making a racket. What's the problem with that? What's not interesting about a low center of gravity and precise torque vectoring? It's not so much that they're one trick ponies, it's that they basically differ from gas-powered cars in one way only.

GM's decision to go electric (and hydrogen) is not a mandate from outside the company. It was an internal decision. Some manufacturers are definitely pushing back against various requirements, just like they have against safety requirements and emissions regulations over the decades. Citizens, as it turns out, are voting with their wallets.

We do have to give a shout out to Colin for yet another seamless photoshop job for article.

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/25/22 7:11 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Thanks for saying so well exactly what I was thinking. Additionally, I want to drive. I want as little impact on where I'm going as possible. I want fast, fun, and efficient. Why can't I have all that? Let me keep my hands at nine and three, point the car where I want to go, and let the computers figure it out. Does it make an F35 pilot any less skilled cause that's how fighter jets work? Nope, they're still cool.

I have a 75 Stingray in the garage. I build scale models of Corvettes. When I get time I draw them as well. I read about them. I collect everything I can about them. I'm about as Corvette as they come (sorry, not balding, no NBs or polos) but I can't wait to see what comes next for Corvette. And, I think Zora, the engineer, would whole heartedly approve!

MrFancypants
MrFancypants HalfDork
4/25/22 7:58 p.m.
alfadriver said:
MrFancypants said:
alfadriver said:

In reply to YoursTruly :

Soul is relative.  I have come across many Alfa owners in my life, and most of them will tell you that the Miata has barely any soul, if any.  

I'm not an Alfa owner, but I prefer to describe vehicle "soul" using animals. I'd say that the Miata has the soul of a Corgi, athletic, fun, and easy to live with. An EV Miata would definitely still be athletic, fun, and easy to with if electrified.

An Alfa is more like a Pekinese, mischievous but high maintenance and stubborn owned by people who believe other animals who lack these qualities "have no soul" to make themselves feel better about the abusive relationship they're in. If you enjoy being kicked in the crotch over and over again adding EV propulsion to an Alfa would not make it better (for you).

Soul is what you want to see.  And not see what you want to ignore.

I can see that, but I like to buy with my eyes open. Even if I'm just following my heart and buying the shiny red Alfa because just look at it, it's gorgeous, if my brain isn't fully educated about the nightmare my garage might become my resolve to struggle through that nightmare won't be strong enough to actually enjoy the car.

Hell, to some of us there's enjoyment to be found in flaws, like old school turbo lag or rejetting a carb. 
 

But I'm still excited for EVs. Because sometimes I think it's more fun to be in a moving car than it is get a flooded RX-7 to sputter back to life.

I'm pretty sure the Corvette crowd isn't as concerned over the hybrid or electric drivetrain as they are about the shape of the tail lights

 

/flame suit on

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/25/22 8:27 p.m.
stanger_mussle (Supported by GRM undergarments) said:

I'm pretty sure the Corvette crowd isn't as concerned over the hybrid or electric drivetrain as they are about the shape of the tail lights

 

/flame suit on

Plus, with no ICE taking up space, there's more room for golf clubs.

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
4/25/22 9:04 p.m.

With all this conversation, I still don't see any discussion of what I see as the major problems with all EV situation: where do we propose to get all the electricity to charge these vehicles, and what the hell do we do with expired lithium batteries ? 

We currently have an electric infrastructure that can just barely manage to support our current demands, what happens when we overload it with millions of EVs ?  I realize that it will take decades for ICE vehicles to disappear, but I don't see any progress to date to upgrade the electric supply side of things.

And just wait until the cartels in South America get control of the major lithium supplies, the Energizer Bunny will not be happy.

There is no one answer to the energy supply issue, it will take a combination of many sources to fulfill the future needs of the world, but this rush to EV land is of concern to me. I really don't think this has been thought through very well at all.

Error404
Error404 HalfDork
4/25/22 9:43 p.m.
300zxfreak said:

With all this conversation, I still don't see any discussion of what I see as the major problems with all EV situation: where do we propose to get all the electricity to charge these vehicles, and what the hell do we do with expired lithium batteries ? 

We currently have an electric infrastructure that can just barely manage to support our current demands, what happens when we overload it with millions of EVs ?  I realize that it will take decades for ICE vehicles to disappear, but I don't see any progress to date to upgrade the electric supply side of things.

And just wait until the cartels in South America get control of the major lithium supplies, the Energizer Bunny will not be happy.

There is no one answer to the energy supply issue, it will take a combination of many sources to fulfill the future needs of the world, but this rush to EV land is of concern to me. I really don't think this has been thought through very well at all.

Gotta keep those child miners employed, right? Think of the children! If they don't die in a mine or as foot soldiers in a war or from the toxic runoff then they'll probably build some serious character.

As for the rush, I think they know that they just need to make the right sounds and hand gestures to rake in the good will and make it up as they go along. They've got plenty of time before people have the money and they have the supply given that we're still doing good to keep TP on shelves.

(Not in the "excited for EV" camp but I'm excited to see all the reasons that I'm wrong.)

BAMF
BAMF HalfDork
4/25/22 10:05 p.m.
300zxfreak said:

With all this conversation, I still don't see any discussion of what I see as the major problems with all EV situation: where do we propose to get all the electricity to charge these vehicles, and what the hell do we do with expired lithium batteries ? 

We currently have an electric infrastructure that can just barely manage to support our current demands, what happens when we overload it with millions of EVs ?

The secret of the electrical energy industry is that our utilities have sized their operations around peak demand. Most of the time that is during daytime hours, when people are working.  The utilities can throttle back somewhat at night, but less than you might think in  many cases. If you have seen an offer from your utility trying to lure you into time of use billing, now your know why.

If people mostly charge their cars overnight like their cell phones, it may not be as bad as some think it will be.

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/25/22 11:24 p.m.

Plus, utilities plan and build on decades long timelines. They're been prepping and building out for all this for the past 10+ years. 

I used to design high voltage switches that were specially designed for this, and business was booming. 10+ years ago!

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
4/25/22 11:48 p.m.

Well, except for the fact that supply chain issues are hitting utilities hard right now...

https://nbc-2.com/news/local/2022/04/11/supply-chain-impacts-on-electric-utilities-make-it-difficult-to-keep-the-lights-on/amp/

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
4/26/22 5:01 a.m.
racerfink said:

Swamp Rat 38 catches fire during burnout.

Don Garlits (at 90!) brought his new electric dragster out to Palm Beach International Raceway this last Saturday for the "Last Lap" celebration.

I know this isn't likely to go on Don Garlits' career highlights video, but how badass is he? 90 freaking years old, and still chasing speed in innovative ways.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/26/22 7:15 a.m.

In reply to MrFancypants :

The only reason flaws are accepted is that the rest of the performance more than makes up for it.  It was well known at Ford that the best cars in the eyes of the consumers were always the worst in reliability- Sierra Cosworth, Taurus SHO, Mustangs, etc.  

EV's deliver that performance, and even fill a hole that ICE's have.  So the lack of flaws will be more accepted than the addition of flaws.

This coming from someone who autocrossed an Alfa that I knew was slower than a Miata in my same class because it was more interesting to drive.

 

MrFancypants
MrFancypants HalfDork
4/26/22 10:14 a.m.
300zxfreak said:

where do we propose to get all the electricity to charge these vehicles

We can literally charge them with the sun.  Do the math to see for yourself, you can take out a loan to have solar panels installed on your home, which ends up being offset by paying nothing for household electricity and vehicle fuel.  The cherry on top is that the battery in the car can power your home for days if there's a power outage.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/26/22 10:48 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Thank you, it had to be a quick turnaround, but I'm still pleased with the result. smiley

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/26/22 12:15 p.m.

I'm going to miss new IC cars but I'm excited by the new electrics.  I think an electric C8 will be awesome.

I'm less excited by hybrids.  Particularly in performance applications like the C8.  I've driven a NSX on track and it was cool and all but it didn't really do anything better than other supercars in its class.  The computers did an amazing job of applying power from the various sources to the different wheels at the right time and the electric motors in the front made neat noises when they were working hard but it felt more like a really great technology showcase than an exciting performance car. 

madmrak351
madmrak351 Reader
4/26/22 12:44 p.m.

We are in a small group of people who expect a car the be more than a reliable transportation appliance. For the vast majority out there the lack of involvement in the driving experience is welcomed. Electric vehicle performance is definitely more than exceeding ice already. Maybe they will decided to incorporate an unnecessary but entertaining manual transmission driveline in a sporting EV someday.

bigben
bigben Reader
4/28/22 11:43 p.m.

I think another big point being omitted in the EV discussion, besides the supply vs demand of lithium batteries (all those new iPads at home need batteries too you know) and the disposal or recycling of worn out batteries, is the resulting effects on the used car market. Do you think you'll be able to buy an old electric Silverado with 200,000 on the clock for cheap and then put another 100,000 mostly trouble free miles on it? Yeah right.

Mechanical parts are not the big ticket items to repair in modern ICE vehicles its the electronics they're dependent on. It is quickly going to become cost prohibitive to buy or own a used EV. 

Remember that first car you bought with your own money when you were a kid, well those won't be available or they will need a new battery or computer component that there is no way you can afford.  Better just put your money down on a Segway or use your watch to summon a driverless EV to pick you up.

Oh, and in regards to sound. I think we are going to need some ordinances to regulate the decibel level of that EV whine. The loud high pitch is grating on the ears.

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
4/29/22 7:54 a.m.

In reply to bigben :

Much of the noise on a lot of EVs is artificially added to meet legal requirements around insufficient noise at low speeds making it hard for pedestrians to notice EVs.  Hybrids do it too when the gas engine is running, at least on newer models (older ones don't). 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
4/29/22 8:10 a.m.

I agree--GM is on track to ruin the driving experience and remove the soul from cars!

My car, a 1929 Ford Model A, is the last true driver's car. There's no synchronizer big brother nannies forcing perfect shifts from imperfect drivers; you learn the mastery of a perfect double-clutched shift and are forced to rev-match every downshift. Synchronizers are just watering down the driving experience.

It also has no automatic igniting timing advance, because that's another way drivers are forced to disconnect from their cars and purposely blocked from driving nirvana. My engine is down on power or pinging on MY schedule, not operating according to some far off beancounter's whims.

The Model A doesn't water down the braking experience, either: My foot gets to decide when and how the wheels stop, without being crudely translated by fluids and pistons. Thankfully they aren't boosted, either, which would be even worse.

I could go on and on--hard to believe GM forces the Corvette to breath air through a filter instead of witnessing the real environment al fresco like the Model A. I hear the fuel will be filtered, too, just proving that driving has gone soft. 

Yes, I'm certain: the 1953 Corvette is going to ruin driving for good!

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
4/29/22 9:21 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

GM has publicly stated that it will stop using gasoline and diesel to power light duty vehicles by 2035 (hydrogen is still on the table but it's unlikely to ever be more than a technology demonstrator or a niche fuel for very specific applications). So unless it's like Ford's statement that they will "stop making cars (except for the Mustang, we'll totally keep making that one)" and the Corvette gets a waiver and the only ICE in the fleet, there is an all-electric Corvette coming.

Any manufacturer claiming anything out past more than a couple of years is pure conjecture.  Peering into the crystal to see 13 years out is about as accurate as any economists' forecasts out that far.  Now, they may very well have a strategy for "full electrification" out that far, but any number of things could change, in a fairly major way, between now and then.  Electric cars amounted to approximately 3% of all new vehicle sales last year.  Clearly the amount of press they are getting far outstrips their actual weight in the marketplace. 

For most peoples' use cases, a hybrid drivetrain seems to give the best balance of range, cost, emissions, and performance.  The Corvette isn't the first supercar to tread into this territory. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
4/29/22 9:33 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

God, I love you.laugh

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/29/22 10:14 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:
Keith Tanner said:

GM has publicly stated that it will stop using gasoline and diesel to power light duty vehicles by 2035 (hydrogen is still on the table but it's unlikely to ever be more than a technology demonstrator or a niche fuel for very specific applications). So unless it's like Ford's statement that they will "stop making cars (except for the Mustang, we'll totally keep making that one)" and the Corvette gets a waiver and the only ICE in the fleet, there is an all-electric Corvette coming.

Any manufacturer claiming anything out past more than a couple of years is pure conjecture.  Peering into the crystal to see 13 years out is about as accurate as any economists' forecasts out that far.  Now, they may very well have a strategy for "full electrification" out that far, but any number of things could change, in a fairly major way, between now and then.  Electric cars amounted to approximately 3% of all new vehicle sales last year.  Clearly the amount of press they are getting far outstrips their actual weight in the marketplace. 

For most peoples' use cases, a hybrid drivetrain seems to give the best balance of range, cost, emissions, and performance.  The Corvette isn't the first supercar to tread into this territory. 

I agree that GM may change its tune, but this is also an industry where you have to make plans a decade out. There's no fast pivot here. So all we have to go on is what GM has publicly stated as a corporate goal.

BEVs aren't available in all segments of the marketplace at the moment, so while their total sales volume is quite small when you count all the light trucks out there they're still making quite an impact in the markets where they are available. Tesla sells a Model Y for every 3 F150s right now, about the same as the Tacoma.

Hybrids are either the best of all worlds or the worst. I think plug-in hybrids are a stopgap, the VCR/DVD combo of automobiles. They try to be full electric but have to carry around a complete secondary drivetrain just in case. Using a hybrid system to supplant an ICE powertrain, however, has some advantages. That's the way the Corvette and the various supercars have gone, using minimal battery capacity for maximum effect.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
4/29/22 11:02 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
volvoclearinghouse said:
Keith Tanner said:

GM has publicly stated that it will stop using gasoline and diesel to power light duty vehicles by 2035 (hydrogen is still on the table but it's unlikely to ever be more than a technology demonstrator or a niche fuel for very specific applications). So unless it's like Ford's statement that they will "stop making cars (except for the Mustang, we'll totally keep making that one)" and the Corvette gets a waiver and the only ICE in the fleet, there is an all-electric Corvette coming.

Any manufacturer claiming anything out past more than a couple of years is pure conjecture.  Peering into the crystal to see 13 years out is about as accurate as any economists' forecasts out that far.  Now, they may very well have a strategy for "full electrification" out that far, but any number of things could change, in a fairly major way, between now and then.  Electric cars amounted to approximately 3% of all new vehicle sales last year.  Clearly the amount of press they are getting far outstrips their actual weight in the marketplace. 

For most peoples' use cases, a hybrid drivetrain seems to give the best balance of range, cost, emissions, and performance.  The Corvette isn't the first supercar to tread into this territory. 

I agree that GM may change its tune, but this is also an industry where you have to make plans a decade out. There's no fast pivot here. So all we have to go on is what GM has publicly stated as a corporate goal.

BEVs aren't available in all segments of the marketplace at the moment, so while their total sales volume is quite small when you count all the light trucks out there they're still making quite an impact in the markets where they are available. Tesla sells a Model Y for every 3 F150s right now, about the same as the Tacoma.

Hybrids are either the best of all worlds or the worst. I think plug-in hybrids are a stopgap, the VCR/DVD combo of automobiles. They try to be full electric but have to carry around a complete secondary drivetrain just in case. Using a hybrid system to supplant an ICE powertrain, however, has some advantages. That's the way the Corvette and the various supercars have gone, using minimal battery capacity for maximum effect.

From carfigures.com:

How many Model Y did Tesla sell in 2021?

Tesla sold 161,529 Model Y in 2021.

How many F-Series did Ford sell in 2021?

Ford sold 726,004 F-Series in 2021

Granted this may not break out F250/350 sales separately, but it's in the ballpark.  It will be interesting to see what the electric ford pickup sales numbers are.  From what I've seen they've sold out production already.  Likewise with they Maverick, though that's a hybrid.

Agreed that non-plug in hybrids offer the most advantages in that technology. 

For most people, the prospect of a battery-powered car is pretty enticing- lots of real advantages.  The main stumbling block is really the charging infrastructure, particularly for those who can't charge at home - like people who live in apartments with on-street or uncovered, sprawling parking lots.  Currently, there's a huge income gap between folks who own electric cars vs. everyone else, and that's likely to not get significantly better.  So this push towards electrification is going to leave much of the population under the median household income out in the cold. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/29/22 11:20 a.m.

I was using a Car and Driver article with 2022 sales figures as of early April.
55k Model Y
140k F150.

Ford has doubled their production plans for the Lightning several times. The most recent plan is 150k/year with 200k reservations currently in place, and they're going for 200k Mach-Es. (source: ford.com). They're definitely having trouble keeping up with demand at the moment.

I know a number of EV owners who can't charge at home. It's a problem for short range compliance vehicles for sure, less of one for modern EVs with 200+ miles of range. One of them recently jumped in the car to get to work and found out he'd only have 3% battery when he got there. So he stopped by a charger to get a few electrons while he grabbed coffee at an attached Starbucks. By the time he'd made it back to the car with a cuppa joe, the car had gone from 15% to 40%. No problem. The charging infrastructure is more complete than you might think, because it's a lot less visible than gas stations with big signs. If you can't charge at home, you make more use of opportunity charging (I can charge my car while at the farmer's market, or when at a concert, or at the mall, or visiting Sam's Club - and that's just thinking of what's in my little rural town off the top of my head) or you ironically treat your EV more like an ICE and make a special trip to a special car feeding place every couple of hundred miles. It's a different way of dealing with a car, but it can be made to work without any real compromises. And it definitely encourages businesses to install chargers.

Another EV owner uses a 120v charger plugged into a normal household outlet, and tops up when required. If you live in an area where outdoor parking spots have block heater outlets, this is a plausible option.

There are a bunch of good EVs available at the price point of the median new car selling price in the US - which means that they're in the meat of the market. What's missing is the lowest strata, the aging fleet of used cars. That's a reflection of what the new car market looked like 5-15 years ago, and eventually there will be more and more affordable used EVs available for the population in the lower income levels. Given that they'll cost less to operate and maintain, it may actually benefit that group. Of course, there will be some models you'll want to stay away from in used form but that's the case for ICE vehicles as well.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
4/29/22 12:50 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I live in an area with a visible number of EVs; every day I see a handful of them out on the road.  And I do notice the charging infrastructure.  Like you said, there's a few spots at various stores, restaurants, some places of business, too.  And a few gas stations near me have charging areas, too.  So, yes, this works- but again, with only a few percent of the vehicles out there being EVs.  If the EV population goes up significantly, there's going to have to be a proportional increase in those charging areas to accomodate- or there's going to be fights breaking out over who gets to use the 2 charging spots at Target.  Right now corporations seem willing to put in these charging stations as bit of good PR and customer relations.  What happens when it goes from that to a requirement?

My statement about missing the lower end of the income spectrum was not directed at the price of the vehicles themselves, but at the availability of charging.  Lower income equating to more likely to rent vs own, which means less likely to have a charging spot where the car is parked 90% of the time.  It also means less likely to work for an employer who's likely to provide a charging station.

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
4/29/22 1:06 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

As demand increases, I'd expect to see things like paid parking lots with 2 price tiers for "charging" or "non-charging" spaces. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/29/22 1:19 p.m.

The infrastructure is growing at the pace of EV growth. It's never going to be an immediate changeover - even if no more ICE vehicles were sold starting today, it takes years (decades, really) for the fleet to turn over. The good thing is the electrical grid is fairly mature, so charging stations are mostly a matter of end points. We've got time to do it, and the concern about infrastructure has been present since EVs first started selling in any real numbers but we're keeping up because we've got time. I've been paying fairly close attention over the past couple of years for some weird reason, and the growth in charging availability in my area over that time has been dramatic.

Businesses will start wanting chargers not for good PR, but to actually attract customers. If you have the choice of Target with no charger or WalMart with a charger and you need to charge, you'll go to WalMart.

Those people without the ability to charge at home can charge elsewhere, as noted. While shopping, while playing in the park, whenever the vehicle is being used for a short trip. It's certainly possible - in my sample of friends with EVs that don't charge at home (or that have very slow charging at home), they don't have access to charging at work either. But even charging at home can be done off a normal outlet (slowly). And like I said, the worst case scenario is basically exactly the same as an ICE, you go to a charging station and charge the car when it needs to be charged. It might take a bit longer than filling up with gas, but not enough to completely derail the possibility. 

I just checked the charging map for my town, and there's at least one set of chargers attached to an apartment building. Thinking about it, that's a fairly major new complex of buildings so it was planned from the start. I expect we'll see that become more common, especially as it not only makes the apartments more desirable but it's also a potential income stream for the landlord. The library has them, the state park camping has them, Popeyes has them, the skate park has them, medical offices have them, at least two grocery stores have them, there are a bunch downtown. These are all places that people go to for other reasons, so why not charge the car while you're there? I think the trick with this sort of use is to constantly sip instead of running the battery empty and then filling up all the way like you do with an ICE. It would take a change in thinking to adapt to it.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
4/29/22 1:24 p.m.

In reply to rslifkin :

I agree, there's solutions to all these problems.  I'm not taking a stance pro or con, nor am I throwing my hands in the air, saying "it can't be done!".  But there is going to have to be a lot of very big, very expensive infrastructure to support this.  For Target (just to pick on them) to install a couple of chargers in their lots, they probably already had sufficient excess electrical supply to the store to handle that.  But if they want to drop in a row of 30 chargers, that's going to require a pretty sizable service upgrade.  So, yes, to your point, free charging's going to go away, which is fine- customers should pay for the service they're getting. 

Interesting anecdote, we're looking at getting another solar system installed on our property (we have two meters, one of which has a current system) and just got a notice from the power company that our transformer was near capacity, which was going to limit the size of the system we could put in.  I suspect this will become more and more of a problem.  They did say that we could pay them to upgrade the transformer, though the cost of doing so would pretty much make it unfeasible. 

This is relevant to the discussion of charging because I'm sure at some point, the infrastructure isn't going to handle any more "plug ins", which means investments in transformers, lines, etc are going to have to be made. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/29/22 1:28 p.m.

No argument with any of that. It's not really a technical problem, it's just a matter of doing it. If Target decides it's worth upgrading their service to offer 30 chargers, all that needs to be done is write a check. 

We ran into the same thing with the transformer upgrade in our area with solar. Luckily it wasn't necessary but they had to check. The cost to upgrade it was going to be about $1k, which wasn't significant given the size of our system. I'm very happy with our the math is working on our solar setup even before you take the EV and $4/gallon gasoline into account.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/29/22 1:35 p.m.
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) said:

why aren't manufacturers and citizens pushing back against these EV mandates?

The EV mandates don't happen in a vacuum. They work with the automakers to see what is possible, and what is probable, and how to navigate a best course of action.

rattlecan
rattlecan New Reader
4/29/22 1:40 p.m.

Car guys/gals like us will kep ICE cars as toys for decades to come. I mean look how we fall all over ourselves for ancient air-cooled Porsches. We love old, loud, greasy and arguably inferior tech because it gives us all the good feels, and that's totally okay, even if from an all out performance perspective electric is hard to beat. You'll still see ICE cars at vintage track days, car shows, club events, etc. That said, 99% of people just need a daily appliance and frankly I can't wait until those are all electric. 

 

 

Caperix
Caperix New Reader
4/30/22 9:19 a.m.

I'm thinking GM is offering 3 versions of the corvette as a sales test to decide how to develop the c9.  I'm sure both the hybrid & BEV versions will be faster than the ICE version but the corvette has a following of it being a v8 car with the noises that brings with it.

Electrics are better when designed from the ground up as electrics so like the f150 lightning I think they are watching the market responce with an adapted design that's quicker & cheaper to put together.

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
4/30/22 9:31 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:
Keith Tanner said:

GM has publicly stated that it will stop using gasoline and diesel to power light duty vehicles by 2035 (hydrogen is still on the table but it's unlikely to ever be more than a technology demonstrator or a niche fuel for very specific applications). So unless it's like Ford's statement that they will "stop making cars (except for the Mustang, we'll totally keep making that one)" and the Corvette gets a waiver and the only ICE in the fleet, there is an all-electric Corvette coming.

Any manufacturer claiming anything out past more than a couple of years is pure conjecture.  Peering into the crystal to see 13 years out is about as accurate as any economists' forecasts out that far.  Now, they may very well have a strategy for "full electrification" out that far, but any number of things could change, in a fairly major way, between now and then.  Electric cars amounted to approximately 3% of all new vehicle sales last year.  Clearly the amount of press they are getting far outstrips their actual weight in the marketplace. 

For most peoples' use cases, a hybrid drivetrain seems to give the best balance of range, cost, emissions, and performance.  The Corvette isn't the first supercar to tread into this territory. 

That's a pretty broad and simplistic assumption. OEMs most definitely make plans more than "2 years" out. It takes several years just to produce a vehicle program, it would be practically impossible to develop a vehicle without planning well ahead of this. There are a multitude of factors: regulatory standards, production tooling, plant operations, vehicle development time, etc.

Today, A 2+ model year vehicle would be a 2024 or 2025 model year prototype, and yes those vehicles exist and are testing right now.  How can one produce a product that is destined for release in several years without some amount of forecasting?

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/30/22 9:49 a.m.

In reply to engiekev :

I had been told that a lot of the reason they are forecasting that X% will be EV by 2035 is that they are currently starting development on the vehicles that will be released in 2035, and that is simply the target they aimed their arrows at given how rapidly people are adopting EVs.

BAMF
BAMF HalfDork
4/30/22 10:14 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

Interesting anecdote, we're looking at getting another solar system installed on our property (we have two meters, one of which has a current system) and just got a notice from the power company that our transformer was near capacity, which was going to limit the size of the system we could put in.  I suspect this will become more and more of a problem.  They did say that we could pay them to upgrade the transformer, though the cost of doing so would pretty much make it unfeasible.

How odd. If anything, you're reducing the amount of power the transformer needs to transform. If you have a 200 amp single phase service, your max power usage would be 48kW (your main breaker would probably trip if you did more than about 38kW for any length if time). Every kW of solar you add is at least a kW the utility does not have to generate and transform. 

The only way their statement makes sense to me is if you're upgrading from 200 amps to 400, and their rules about sizing service requires them to ignore solar. Or if you and everyone else on the transformer are massive power exporters. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/30/22 10:27 a.m.

In reply to BAMF :

In my case, the concern was that we have a lot of solar in the neighborhood already. Pretty much every house is a producer.  On days like today when the load is low (it's not AC season yet and it's a weekend) and production is strong, we're probably pushing something like 10-12 kW into the grid and will be doing so continuously for hours. 

We also have a problem on-site. The array is on my shop, which has a service rated at 100A and has a buried cable up to the house. The installer did the math and decided the cable was okay to feed power from the 16.4 kW array back to the house if we derated the circuit to 70A. Well, it's not. The array hits about 10-12 kW, voltage increases at the shop because the cable can't take the load and micro inverters start dropping offline. Again, this is a circuit that was originally designed to meet the requirements for a 100W supply. We'll be doing some digging to upgrade that puppy. Anyhow, I can see the same thing happening with a transformer. Rating for occasional peak usage isn't the same as continuous supply. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/30/22 7:00 p.m.

Just going to throw this in here because it's relevant to recent conversations: turns out Tesla has a 72 kW charger out there that's aimed at urban use. It's about 10x faster than a level 2, but less than 1/3 the speed of the newer Superchargers. Turns out it's a really good for restaurants according to my friends. The faster chargers finish too fast and then you have to go move your car or pay idle fees. The urban charger takes long enough that you can get more done :)

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
4/30/22 10:15 p.m.
engiekev said:
volvoclearinghouse said:
Keith Tanner said:

GM has publicly stated that it will stop using gasoline and diesel to power light duty vehicles by 2035 (hydrogen is still on the table but it's unlikely to ever be more than a technology demonstrator or a niche fuel for very specific applications). So unless it's like Ford's statement that they will "stop making cars (except for the Mustang, we'll totally keep making that one)" and the Corvette gets a waiver and the only ICE in the fleet, there is an all-electric Corvette coming.

Any manufacturer claiming anything out past more than a couple of years is pure conjecture.  Peering into the crystal to see 13 years out is about as accurate as any economists' forecasts out that far.  Now, they may very well have a strategy for "full electrification" out that far, but any number of things could change, in a fairly major way, between now and then.  Electric cars amounted to approximately 3% of all new vehicle sales last year.  Clearly the amount of press they are getting far outstrips their actual weight in the marketplace. 

For most peoples' use cases, a hybrid drivetrain seems to give the best balance of range, cost, emissions, and performance.  The Corvette isn't the first supercar to tread into this territory. 

That's a pretty broad and simplistic assumption. OEMs most definitely make plans more than "2 years" out. It takes several years just to produce a vehicle program, it would be practically impossible to develop a vehicle without planning well ahead of this. There are a multitude of factors: regulatory standards, production tooling, plant operations, vehicle development time, etc.

Today, A 2+ model year vehicle would be a 2024 or 2025 model year prototype, and yes those vehicles exist and are testing right now.  How can one produce a product that is destined for release in several years without some amount of forecasting?

 

I didn't say that the automakers weren't planning out that far. In fact, I said specifically that they probably do have a strategy.  My point was that any number of things can and likely will change in the intervening decade. How many times has a car builder dropped a new product to market at the exact worst time- like, say, a new full size SUV just as gas prices surge?  

To put it another way, you can plan for the future, but you cannot predict it. 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
4/30/22 10:20 p.m.
BAMF said:
volvoclearinghouse said:

Interesting anecdote, we're looking at getting another solar system installed on our property (we have two meters, one of which has a current system) and just got a notice from the power company that our transformer was near capacity, which was going to limit the size of the system we could put in.  I suspect this will become more and more of a problem.  They did say that we could pay them to upgrade the transformer, though the cost of doing so would pretty much make it unfeasible.

How odd. If anything, you're reducing the amount of power the transformer needs to transform. If you have a 200 amp single phase service, your max power usage would be 48kW (your main breaker would probably trip if you did more than about 38kW for any length if time). Every kW of solar you add is at least a kW the utility does not have to generate and transform. 

The only way their statement makes sense to me is if you're upgrading from 200 amps to 400, and their rules about sizing service requires them to ignore solar. Or if you and everyone else on the transformer are massive power exporters. 

Keith Tanner made some good points about this. With a grid tie solar system, power flows both ways. The transformer has to be sized to run both ways. And in my specific case, we already have one solar array on a building, and our neighbor has a sizable ground array.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/30/22 10:57 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

That is exactly it - they aimed their arrow in that direction, and the lead times are long enough that they couldn't just undo it.

That was a lot of the rationale behind the GM bailout in '08 or whenever that was.  They had some really good things they had been investing in for a long time, like the Volt, and they needed a push to see it through.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants HalfDork
5/1/22 11:57 a.m.

As excited as I am for EV sports cars at the moment I don't feel like I can get full enjoyment as my favorite roads aren't exactly a high priority for charging infrastructure. Hopefully that'll change sooner than later.

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