Hooniverse Asks- Would You Consider Buying an Electric Car?


Electric cars have been part of the automotive scene for as long as there have been cars. They have never been able to match their liquid-fueled brothers for popularity however, owing to significant shortcomings in range, weight, and ability to make that vroom, vroom noise that we’ve all come to know and love.

Still, electric-powered cars have their advantages- far fewer moving parts, instant and potentially monumental torque, and an RPM range that negates the need for a transmission. Plus they don’t make that awful vroom, vroom noise that we’ve come to find so annoying. But of course the biggest problem with the electric car today continues to be the fact that a storage battery – whether lead-acid or lithium-whatever – is, pound for pound, still far less efficient a means for containing potential energy than is a gallon of dead dinosaur. And, most of them take forever to charge.

Some companies are attempting to change all that. Tesla is not only in the market of selling electric cars, but also of selling the idea of the electric car as a viable all-around vehicle. The applaudable range of their cars, along with the installation of quick charging stations and future battery exchanges means that the infrastructure to support them is now making the electric car a more viable mode of transportation for more than just weirdos like Ed Begley Jr.

The question for today then is, with the tipping point seemingly on the horizon, and cars like the Tesla and Nissan Leaf on the market, does the idea of owning an electric car – and the potential of laughing ’til you fart over next summer’s $7.00/gallon gas – start to make sense to you?

Image source: lakearealightshow

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73 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- Would You Consider Buying an Electric Car?”

  1. $kaycog Avatar

    I don't have plans to ever buy an electric car. My friends would be shocked if I did.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I'm surprised that field hasn't excited you. I expected you to charge right in.

      1. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

        It's not quite the current fashion just yet after all.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          She's such a dynamo, I was using logical induction. I guess I'm not such a good commutator.

      2. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

        Sure didn't take her long to stator opinion.

    2. OA5599 Avatar

      I find the process of swapping out batteries quite revolting.

      1. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

        I've dropped batteries on my feet in the past. Believe me when I say it hertz.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          Do you have current discomfort?

          1. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
            ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

            If I know IZM, even if he does, he'll just solder on.

        2. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
          ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

          AC that I'm not the only one then.

          1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            Nope. This is not our first brush with that sort of negative conduct.

    3. Van_Sarockin Avatar

      If $kaycy was any better grounded, it would hertz.

  2. muthalovin Avatar

    I went to the Tesla store a few weeks ago. I fell in love with the Model S. Of all the 'lectrics out there, that would be the one I would absolutely consider. I mean, it smokes this M5!
    [youtube vvHTN0Yi1t4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvHTN0Yi1t4 youtube]
    I kinda did some back of the envelope math, and the fuel budget that I would have for a Raptor would almost lease a Model S.

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      Also, THIS!
      [youtube QPzna3p3P5s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPzna3p3P5s youtube]

    2. quattrovalvole Avatar

      I also fell in love with the Model S after I went to the store. If their battery swapping system works out, that might possibly erase the biggest disadvantage that electric cars have vs. regular internal combustion cars.

  3. vwminispeedster Avatar

    If Tesla made a $40k car with the range of the high mileage Model S I'd be all over it in a hot minute.

    1. Kogashiwa Avatar

      Same. I'd love to go electric, but range costs too much still. I'd need 400km at least – Manitoba is pretty big. Speaking of which I wonder how they do at -30 degrees? Batteries and cold get along very poorly. This is something I haven't seen talked about much.

  4. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Not today, although I do occasionally think a hopped up Power Wheels might be fun.

  5. Vavon Avatar

    I would definitely consider an electric Twizy as a commuter car…
    <img src="http://www.groen7.nl/files/2012/03/Renault_Twizy_2012.jpg&quot; width="660/">

    1. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

      You're a tall broad shouldered dude, right? I say go for it, just for the silliness!

      1. Vavon Avatar

        Any car I drive automatically looks awesome! 😉

  6. CalculatedRisk Avatar

    The battery technology is going through the roof these days. In 5 years the infrastructure and technology will have caught on enough that I would consider buying an electric. Tesla is really on to something with their battery swap stations, really excited to see how that plays out.

  7. Alff Avatar

    I'd rather have a WVO powered Cummins Ram.

    1. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

      <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3118/2855456815_eafb1e5aa4.jpg"&gt; I wouldn't mind a wood gas Amazon either…

      1. Alff Avatar

        Anyone stuck driving behind you is glad you don't.

        1. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
          ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

          So you're suggesting natural gas then? I … uh … ahem … okay then … I guess nobody would like to be stuck behind that.
          My wife put this on the back of her van:
          <img src="http://i1.cpcache.com/product_zoom/157476509/dad_farted_bumper_sticker.jpg?color=White&height=460&width=460&padToSquare=true"&gt;

          1. Alff Avatar

            Where did she get it? I like it.

          2. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
            ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

            A store for tourists in FL, but I google searched and there are many, maybe you could make one at zazzle.com or a similar service if you want it just so – I think ours starts with "Help," and already it's gotten some laughs. You need a ram hood ornament too while you are at it, we have a Honda one.

    2. texlenin Avatar

      amen, Alff! Diesel/electric, with wheel-hub motors.
      Being a true Hoon, just gimme a Doble steam coupe-
      far more dangerous for all involved.

  8. don fehlio Avatar
    don fehlio

    I'd love a Model S, but no way I can afford one. My girlfriend is considering one of these though. I mentioned to a friend of mine she wanted a 500E, and he got really excited until he realized she wants an electric Fiat, not a Porsche-developed Super-W124.
    She's also considering a Mazdaspeed 3, Rav4 or FR-S because she can't make up her mind at all.
    <img src="http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2012/11/162013fiat500e-opt.jpg&quot; width="600">

    1. Alff Avatar

      Is she an aggressive driver? The 'speed3 owners I know give it mixed reviews – high marks for ouput, low marks for turbo lag and torque steer. Having driven one, I think they're being a bit picky. They would argue that my standards are too low.

      1. Kogashiwa Avatar

        Torque steer and turbo lag is there for character!

        1. FreeMan Avatar

          The lags give you time to prepare for the torques!
          Also, schizophrenic girlfriend is schizophrenic! At least all the vehicles fit into a general category of "performance", except the Rav4, though that could be fixed with a trip to Stuttgart…
          As to the original question, it's all about range. I do a minimum 60 miles/day, and that's to the office & home with no other stops, it's usually much higher.

          1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            "The lags give you time to prepare for the torques!"
            Good thing I had already swallowed that gulp of coffee.

          2. Alff Avatar

            I travel about the same distance, requiring a daily charge. This leads me to wonder if it's a bad thing to continually be recharging partially depleted batteries.

          3. DonFehlio Avatar

            My girlfriend drives maybe 20 miles a day, but in heavy traffic. Still, it should be fine, and we have my car for longer trips or carrying things. Fiat also gives you 12 free days with a rental car as well. The biggest issue is that I would have to give up the garage so she can park there and charge her car overnight.

          4. Alff Avatar

            Not to mention running 220V, if it's not already so equipped.

    2. moorewr2 Avatar

      I'd lease a 500e if it was available in FL.

  9. MrHowser Avatar

    I would consider leasing one, but not buying one. The technology seems to be developing quickly enough that in five years, the current crop of electrics will seem woefully outdated. I wouldn't want to be tied to a five year loan on a car nobody wants.
    The lease deals are decent, and I have a 40-mile round trip commute. Easily doable in an electric vehicle with 100-mile range. However, I'd feel a little silly if our "new car" couldn't go on a road trip. That's why the only one I'd seriously consider is the Volt.

  10. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    <img src="http://www.putnamgem.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/e4.jpg"&gt;
    A couple of years back, my wife and I were a local trailer-and-hitch place getting a bed cover put on our truck. They were also a GEM dealer. Out front, they had a very clean used e4 they were trying to get rid of. The manager said they were having a hard time moving it because it was the stripper model, without the enclosed cab or storage box, and was out of warranty. He told us he'd take $3400 cash for it. We seriously considered it.

  11. P161911 Avatar

    A plug in hybrid yes, but a pure electric no. Not until batteries become a commodity and can be quickly and easily swapped, something like industrial forklift batteries. I imagine pulling into the service station and positioning the car in the right spot while the robotic arms swap the depleted battery pack for a fresh one once I pay. I don't have a long commute, but I make way too many trips of over 100 miles on the weekends for an electric car to work for me. I did look into leasing a Volt, but the deals weren't there and local changes to title taxes hurt it.

  12. vetteman61 Avatar

    I don't like electric cars, but what really turns me off is the hypocrisy of it all. The fact they try to say that electric cars are "green" yet if you look at the environmental cost of producing them, maintaining and ramping up a power grid to support all the extra electricity and then the disposal of them when they are done. And then the tax system must be considered concerning what will happen when the government is no longer getting sufficient taxes from fuel and where they will then begin getting the revenue that they have been accustomed to.
    All of this is part of change, but it isn't going to be the easy, bed of roses that those pushing this technology would have everyone to believe. I'm so sick of holier-than-thou types touting their "green" and "good for the environment" attitudes. The only thing that's "good" for the environment and "green" is walking or riding horses.

    1. RegalRegalia Avatar

      Vetteman61 on progress:
      If I don't understand it, it doesn't exist.

    2. Alcology Avatar

      Or a bike. I definitely agree, very expensive all around including environmental cost. Personal transportation just costs. But it's fun.

    3. HTWHLS Avatar


    4. Wildcat445 Avatar

      I think you nailed it for me also–I also realize that electricity (especially here in S.E. Michigan) is not exactly generated "clean". And whoever said electricity was inexpensive compared to gas, has never gotten our electric bill. (For what little the two of us use, it costs way too much!) We do have the ability to get "interruptible" meters at reduced costs for air conditioner and heat pump usage, so I would probably tap into that if I had to.
      I just don't feel the technology is mature enough–EVs seem like toys to me. Even Honda (and one other manufacturer) nearly admitted a couple of days ago that they are only making EVs to meet their CAFE goals and have a non-emissions vehicle. As much as I drive some days, no EV would ever meet the range I need.
      I'm all for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, though. If anything, I'd bet the future lies in that technology or something similar. EVs and plug-in hybrids just reek of a temporary and clumsy solution IMHO.

  13. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

    <img src="http://iafra.org/photos/singletons_exp_800.jpg&quot; width="660"> Brent Singleton just changed my mind.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I love electric conversions. I've wanted to do an electric VW-based kit car ever since I first discovered Electro Automotive.
      <img src="http://www.electroauto.com/gallery/graphics/aztec.jpg"&gt;

  14. Number_Six Avatar

    Wouldn't get a car yet but I'd get a Brammo Empulse right now.
    <img src="http://www.gearculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/brammo-empulse1.jpg&quot; width="500" />

  15. I_Borgward Avatar

    We're at an interesting crossroads with electric cars.
    A few years back, I'd researched building my own electric conversion out of an old Porsche 914. I quickly figured that I'd be into it for an easy $10K in parts plus more $$$ spent on tools. It'd monopolize my free time and my shop space for months, and I'd be in near constant terror of doing something stupid and initiating a very expensive smoke test. When I completed it, I'd have a 40-year-old car with maybe a 50 mile usable range.
    Or, I could make a hefty down payment on a new Leaf, get in it and drive. All shaken down, proven and reliable, with a full factory warranty.
    While my inner masochist thrills to the very thought of the first option, every other part of me would go for the latter.

  16. racer139 Avatar

    I would consider the volt, but as of now I dont have enogh info and the kocal dealer is no help in providing said info, or even a volt to test. I like the fact that when the charge is depleted it will then run a sort of generator to continueto charge the car. What I dont know and would like to know is how long does a tank of dino last? Seeing as the system is like a biggish genset a tank should last a while. Also while camping it could be used to power things if it is set up to do so. The closest I have come to a volt was a few months ago in the supermarket lot, like the dealers the owner seemed reluctant to talk about it.

  17. Devin Avatar

    Today? No.
    Ten years from now? Maybe.
    Problem is I live in a big province where everything is spread out. Slow recharge times and short range would make an electric impossible as an only car. Also, I don't know how most electrics cope with the icy grip of winter, but everything else I have with a battery doesn't like it. But, it's entirely possible those problems will be solved within the next decade.
    Also I can't afford any new car for a while anyway.

  18. MVEilenstein Avatar

    Electric don't exactly spark my interest.


    Yes, if they can develop better energy storage technologies. I live in a sprawly midwest city where 70-100 mile drives are common, so they just don't have the range right now. But as someone who used to be deep into RC cars, I always preferred electrics. Crazy torque, far more simple, cleaner, etc. But the problems there mimic full size cars, where you have a 30 minute recharge cycle for your battery, whereas gas is instantly back up and running. So when they develop better batteries/capacitors/Mr. Fusions or whatever can make electrics viable, I'll be on board.

  20. smokyburnout Avatar

    I realize that an electric car would be all I need 355 days a year, but that only one I've ever seen remotely within my budget was a homebuilt car that needed a whole new battery pack, so not yet.

  21. Alff Avatar

    I wouldn't pay cash for one but I might charge it.

  22. jeepjeff Avatar

    I do 170 mile drives into mountain storms every December. That's going to be a task for a liquid fuel vehicle for a long time to come. Hard to carry extra batteries, nowhere to charge in the middle of nowhere, and cold conditions could negatively affect range. Yes, Tesla is going to sell the AWD dual-engine Model X next year, but it won't have the range (nor the ground clearance, I find myself wading through pretty deep snow in the mountains every year).
    OTOH, I have two vehicles, the other which is my wife's Civic. It is 95% an around town vehicle. While we occasionally use it for road trips, as long as we have something that can accomplish the above trip, that's not necessary. My wife loves the Model S and really wants one (not that we can afford it). Of course, she's also Texan and is thus cross-shopping the Model S with a beater full-size truck, so who knows what's going to happen when we need to replace the Civic.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      What your wife needs is this: <img src="http://thumbs.ebaystatic.com/d/w140/pict/231012182225.jpg&quot; width="500"> http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Other-Makes-Walker
      I could do with one as well to drive the dogs to the dog park and back, but don't quite have that kind of disposable cash yet.
      Alternatively you could propose this, but the association with the previous owner may tick off your wife: <img src="http://duckman.pettho.com/characters/d_electric.jpg&quot; width="800"> source <a href="http://:http://duckman.pettho.com/characters/grandma.html” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://:http://duckman.pettho.com/characters/grandma.html” target=”_blank”>:http://duckman.pettho.com/characters/grandma.html

  23. Neen85 Avatar

    I'm down…
    Boogie Woogie Woogie!!!!
    <img src="http://www.weddingaces.com/wp-content/uploads/electric-slide1.jpg&quot; width="600">

  24. Sjalabais Avatar

    Due to the bizarre incentives in Norway that price electrics at less than 1/3 of normal car owner costs, I have considered one. The Leaf is the most sold car of all in my state, priced like a no-options Golf with a buy-back-guarantee at 60% of purchase value after three years. No taxes, no tolls, no parking payments, allowance to use bus and taxi lanes, low running cost and a fair bit of usability speak for themselves. Even the Tesla, priced like the entry-model Volvo V70 in my neck of the woods, is quite interesting, especially considering the performance bonus and the gorgeous design.
    But for now I just can't get over the limitations. Quick charging stations are often occupied, I don't believe the batteries will work too well over time or in winter (I have a laptop, after all), and…this being Hooniverse I am not afraid to say it…the depreciation of a new car is almost as nuts as buying a used electric vehicle with a worn battery. So: No.

  25. jeremy![™] Avatar

    yes actually.
    <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8388/8509148702_5107288e1d_z.jpg&quot; width="640" height="313" alt="IMG_1557_RAW">
    both those cars are fun as hell to drive.

  26. Maymar Avatar

    Currently, not so much. I live in a building with no parking, so charging's a bit of an issue. We'll also see if, when I buy a house, I actually get one with a garage (not easy to come buy in my price range). I'd say I drive enough for work that range might be a bit of an issue, but I really want to move to a position where I'm in the office.
    So, one day, maybe, if things work out, and I have space for two or three cars. I love the hell out of the Nissan Leaf, the Smart ED is a neat little thing, and I can't wait to get my broke ass behind the wheel of a Model S one day. Just not feasible now, however much I'd rather plug a car in every night when I get home instead of visiting a gas station every couple days.

  27. LSB Scott V Avatar

    Myself, no, I would not consider an electric vehicle.
    However, I think it varies greatly depending on your circumstances, means, and your commute in general. If it was a short ride, then perhaps an electric vehicle would be a viable option.
    In turn, you must look at the downsides of electric vehicle ownership. You're bound by the limitations of your vehicle and its battery. Also, you're bound to have an issue with the car at some point during your ownership. If that's the case, there aren't too many people out there that will be able to fix your electric vehicle…it's quite a different system than even a hybrid.
    Overall, I'm not quite sure if it's something for everyone, or if it's something that the automakers should be pushing on consumers. I'm still not quite sold on electric being the wave of the future.

  28. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Almost everyone could manage most of the time with an electric. The issue is really range, and that would make extended holiday travel tedious. More tedious. And there's the issues of forgetting to plug it in. Though that would probably straighten out pretty soon. So, what's needed, is for Ford to buy back Hertz, and add a weekend rental into the lease of your daily drive electric.

  29. mattc Avatar

    I will echo many other posters. The current electric offerings are far more appealing than in the past (model S) and the battery tech is improving. The biggest impediment is infrastructure and cost. The cost are going down and the Tesla quick battery swap idea (if done right) may be a game changer. I believe that far more will adopt as the second/third gen models arrive and the support services are properly lined up.

  30. scoudude Avatar

    I'd buy a Model S if it wasn't a hatchback. We seriously considered leasing a Leaf when a local dealer was offering deep discounts on a couple left over 2012's. What stopped me was the fact that I saw the ad at 10pm and we were getting on a plane at 9am the next morning. Of course a week later when we got back the left overs were gone and the lease price was back up. It is a good thing since a few weeks later my wife found out that she was going to have to go into the office 3 days per week instead of once a month. As it was the 12K miles per year would have meant it wouldn't have meant she would have had to keep her other car to stay under that MPG. None the less at the $99 per month with $2K down meant that the fuel savings would have meant we got to drive it for free based on our electric cost and her car at the time.

  31. HTWHLS Avatar

    You know what test I haven't seen with an electric car? The effect on the usable range when you are sitting for 40+ minutes, not moving, in a traffic mess, with the a/c on. Show me an electric car (not hybrid) that can stand that test and maybe I'd consider it.
    There are a host of really good electric cars out there; they're called "golf carts."
    Wonder where the electricity to charge that big battery pack is going to come from since coal-fired plants (those that produce the vast amount of electricity in this country) are forced to shut down? The greens and liberals don't want nukes, oil or coal. There isn't a realistic substitute like solar or wind and biomass is as disgusting as they claim oil is.
    Electric cars have their place (golf course, around town puttering) but will never be a valid substitute for an IC-engine powered vehicle using fossil fuels.
    Teslas are beautiful cars; swap an LS6 in one, and I' d consider it.

  32. Delta Sierra Avatar
    Delta Sierra

    Nope, no electric cars for me just now, too many issues.
    But I do regret the demise of the Fisker Karma. I saw one on the street last week and it is a very, very beautiful car.

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  34. feme cougar Avatar

    Wow, this post is good, my younger sister is analyzing such things, thus
    I am going to tell her.

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  36. lee colleton Avatar
    lee colleton

    Gas already costs around $7 per gallon if you factor in environmental and health costs. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/05/3630136/social-cost-of-fossil-fuels/

    1. lee colleton Avatar
      lee colleton

      My Mitsu i-MiEV can recharge from 0% to 80% in less than 30 minutes using CHAdeMO, the Nissan LEAF & Kia Soul are similar. They take hours to charge on L1/L2 but only seconds to plug in. Cars usually charge while people sleep: can’t be hooning 24/7

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