31 votes

Volvo Cars to go fully electric by 2030 – it will phase out all car models with internal combustion engines, including hybrids

25 comments

  1. [16]
    JXM
    (edited )
    Link
    I genuinely hope that we can get to a point where we can overcome the range issues with current all electric cars. Right now, it takes about half an hour to "fill up" an electric car from from...

    I genuinely hope that we can get to a point where we can overcome the range issues with current all electric cars.

    Right now, it takes about half an hour to "fill up" an electric car from from empty to full at a level 3 charger (heavy duty charges like the Tesla Supercharger). It takes less than a minute to fill a gas tank from full to empty. On a long car trip, those stops can add up.

    Even if they could match the refueling speeds, I'm just not sure that in 9 years electric car chargers will be ubiquitous enough to replace gas stations.

    I'd love to see plug-in hybrids expand their range a bit more (most can only do about 50-60 miles all electric, compared to 250-300 miles for an all electric vehicle) since they are a great compromise between the clean energy of an electric car and the ubiquity of gas stations.

    Obviously all electric vehicles are the goal, since we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels pretty rapidly, I just don't see it practically happening that quickly. I'd love to be wrong though.

    11 votes
    1. [4]
      Greg
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It seems like slightly reframing the problems could help a lot. We're trying to wedge EVs directly into the ICE mould, rather than treating them as their own technology. In terms of vehicles: why...

      It seems like slightly reframing the problems could help a lot. We're trying to wedge EVs directly into the ICE mould, rather than treating them as their own technology.

      In terms of vehicles: why use the same car for the rare long range trips as for the vastly more common short range trips? You're looking at 95% of journeys being less than 30 miles. Dragging around a big heavy combustion engine and only using it a fraction of the time seems wasteful, not to mention the extra emissions embedded in all that steel and the maintenance overheads compared to a pure EV.

      For the few who do make regular (weekly or greater) trips beyond EV capabilities, owning a hybrid probably still makes sense. For everyone else, we need some kind of streamlined and cost effective way to rent an ICE vehicle for longer trips - potentially with the money saved on a simpler, shorter range EV. The difficult part will be making it seamless for the driver to book a trip, and ensuring it doesn't feel like their freedom to take great journeys on a whim has suddenly been taken away (even if that was a freedom they rarely, if ever, actually made use of).

      In terms of charging: unlike petrol, electricity is already available basically everywhere. The full 20 minute fast charge should be the major exception, not the rule. We need simple, slow chargers absolutely all over the place - supermarkets, offices, next to every parking meter, in every apartment parking space, in all newly built driveways and garages. Your car is idle for 90% of the day, so it should be plugged in for 90% of the day - running low shouldn't even cross your mind. Set up a basic standard to activate the chargers and bill to your account (QR code, some kind of ID passed over the cable, whatever) and we're good to go.

      Neither of these ideas will happen overnight, but both are 100% achievable with the technology we have now, and frankly the technology we had 5+ years ago. It's not even charity: there's good money to be made here. We just need a nudge in the right direction.


      [Edit] Clarity

      12 votes
      1. [3]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        This is very true. I have a Chevy Volt and charge it as slowly as you can possibly charge it. I don't have 220V installed and only charge at 8 Amps on 110V. This probably helps with battery life...

        Your car is idle for 90% of the day, so it should be plugged in for 90% of the day - running low shouldn't even cross your mind.

        This is very true. I have a Chevy Volt and charge it as slowly as you can possibly charge it. I don't have 220V installed and only charge at 8 Amps on 110V. This probably helps with battery life but really I'm just trying to not flip the circuit breaker. Even with this worst-case setup my car is always ready for a 40-50 mile trip without burning any gas. That means even a trip to the city and back should have 0 emissions. And I can almost certainly charge up when I'm there given the abundance of EV parking.

        You don't need any special infrastructure to make this possible. Using any old outlet you can commute without burning gas. Apartment buildings can do this today. If you're in the suburbs or a rural area you probably already have an outlet near where you park.

        7 votes
        1. [2]
          ImmobileVoyager
          Link Parent
          … at the tailpipe, old story. The carbon intensity of electricity in the USA still is about 400 gCO₂eq/kWh, with little room for improvement. Then, an EV straight out of the dealership already...

          0 emissions

          … at the tailpipe, old story.

          The carbon intensity of electricity in the USA still is about 400 gCO₂eq/kWh, with little room for improvement. Then, an EV straight out of the dealership already comes with a hefty carbon footprint, even before the first km is driven.

          Then, once it has expanded its useful life, that vehicle will be disposed of, which won't be zero-emission.

          Life-cycle analysis of the environmental footprint is what counts. Zero-emission is a concept left over from the smoggy days of the seventies, when climate change and resourses depletion were mere blips on the radar of a very few scientists.

          You don't need any special infrastructure to

          charge one EV. To charge the 280 000 000 cars that roam American streets and roads, you'll need to double the whole electric infrastructure, from powerplants to meters. All that low-carbon. While simultaneously de-carbonating the whole existing infrastructure. And also decarbonating space heating. And also developing C&S to offset the industrial processes that cannot be low-carbon, such as cement production.

          Also, petroleum-based plastics are a by-product of fuel refining. Forgoing petroleum as fuel means that plastics will be less available and that substitutes need to be developed and industrialised.

          Don't get me wrong : I love EVs, and shifting from petroleum-propelled to electric is indeed an acceptable first step, but it is far from being the whole story nor the end of our efforts. And yes, it does require a lot of structural transformations.

          Soon enough we'll need to reckon that it is undesirable to privately own an automobile.

          8 votes
          1. teaearlgraycold
            Link Parent
            You make some good points. I do at least know that the electricity I’m putting into the car is nuclear, wind, and solar in origin.

            You make some good points. I do at least know that the electricity I’m putting into the car is nuclear, wind, and solar in origin.

            2 votes
    2. [5]
      Rez
      Link Parent
      I don't think range is the issue, more the inconvenience of charging. Most people aren't doing regular long-distance trips. And if I am, I can factor in that time easily since I shouldn't be in a...

      I don't think range is the issue, more the inconvenience of charging. Most people aren't doing regular long-distance trips. And if I am, I can factor in that time easily since I shouldn't be in a rush and can use it as a break of some kind.

      But if it takes an hour to charge, that's much more of an inconvenience for my daily living. That could mean a grocery store trip then has to add on all that time for charging rather than just filling up gas. Now you can charge at home, but that assumes you have a home, let alone that you've configured your electric (i.e. another cost) to be able to charge your car properly. And electric cars have the most utility in a city, where a lot fewer people are going to own homes. If you don't have a dedicated garage for your car, you're probably parking in a carport or on the street, meaning you're never going to have passive charging (e.g. while you sleep), meaning you'll always be having to eat that time to go charge somewhere. That makes the appeal of electric cars relatively limited, as it's most convenient for those who own a home in a city (suburbs can work if you have a small commute). Best case scenario is that your workplace has a charging station you can use so it charges while you work, though I imagine many higher earning WFHers had to adjust their charging routine once they were no longer going in to work. Even being able to charge at home also implies you only have the one car to charge, as many households will have 2 or more vehicles, meaning you'd either have to constantly juggle your car placement or go out and take the time to charge at a station.

      10 votes
      1. [4]
        JXM
        Link Parent
        That's another good point. It was about $1,200 for me to add a charger to my house ($450 for the electrical work to add a dedicated circuit and about $600 for the charger, plus misc. materials to...

        That's another good point. It was about $1,200 for me to add a charger to my house ($450 for the electrical work to add a dedicated circuit and about $600 for the charger, plus misc. materials to add a hole allowing the charger to pass from the garage to the driveway). That's a significant cost that a lot of people can't afford.

        But I'd imagine that places like apartment complexes and city streets will start slowly adding electric charging stations as the shift to electric cars continues. I just don't see it happening by 2030.

        6 votes
        1. Autoxidation
          Link Parent
          Unless you absolutely need a level 2 charger, a level 1 charger (a 120v outlet) nets me 5 miles of range per hour, which is pretty fine for most commutes given how long cars sit around.

          Unless you absolutely need a level 2 charger, a level 1 charger (a 120v outlet) nets me 5 miles of range per hour, which is pretty fine for most commutes given how long cars sit around.

          6 votes
        2. [2]
          DaveJarvis
          Link Parent
          Change'll happen sooner than that. Vancouver went through a pilot project three years ago to install lamp post EV chargers (video), aiming to "have everyone in the city within a 10-minute drive of...

          But I'd imagine that places like apartment complexes and city streets will start slowly adding electric charging stations as the shift to electric cars continues. I just don't see it happening by 2030.

          Change'll happen sooner than that. Vancouver went through a pilot project three years ago to install lamp post EV chargers (video), aiming to "have everyone in the city within a 10-minute drive of a fast-charging station," thereby addressing the orphans problem significantly.

          5 votes
          1. JXM
            Link Parent
            That means you're a 10 minute drive away so you might have to park a mile away and then walk back home. That doesn't seem doable to me. Maybe I'm misunderstanding?

            "have everyone in the city within a 10-minute drive of a fast-charging station,"

            That means you're a 10 minute drive away so you might have to park a mile away and then walk back home. That doesn't seem doable to me. Maybe I'm misunderstanding?

            5 votes
    3. [4]
      Autoxidation
      Link Parent
      The time to charge really isn't that big of a deal IMO. I've got a Tesla Long Range AWD with around 300 miles of range. A 500 mile trip in reality is about 2 charging stops when I start from 100%...

      The time to charge really isn't that big of a deal IMO. I've got a Tesla Long Range AWD with around 300 miles of range. A 500 mile trip in reality is about 2 charging stops when I start from 100% at my house, and each stop to charge is about 20 minutes. Here's an example of a regular trip I made pre-Covid. For an ~8 hour drive, those are pretty natural stopping points to me to get out, stretch my legs, grab a bite to eat, or visit the bathroom. It's really easy to grab food at a drive-thru and eat in the car while it charges while watching a show or a movie.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        JXM
        Link Parent
        Maybe this is just me and most people feel different, but if I'm driving a long trip (anything over 3-4 hours), I'd rather just get food at a drive through and eat while I drive. I don't usually...

        Maybe this is just me and most people feel different, but if I'm driving a long trip (anything over 3-4 hours), I'd rather just get food at a drive through and eat while I drive. I don't usually want to stop and relax or watch a TV show. I just want to get where I'm going.

        7 votes
        1. [3]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [2]
            Autoxidation
            Link Parent
            If you're going to use numbers at least don't exaggerate them. 38 minutes of charging added to a 460 minute drive is only 7.6% of the total travel time spent charging, and that can be done while...

            If you're going to use numbers at least don't exaggerate them. 38 minutes of charging added to a 460 minute drive is only 7.6% of the total travel time spent charging, and that can be done while eating/bathroom/stretch breaks are implemented. A large amount of people aren't going to forego eating for 8 hours or opt not to stop for at least one bathroom break.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. Autoxidation
                Link Parent
                I didn't claim those three added up to the amount of time spent charging, only that they can be done concurrently. Nor does everyone always opt for fast food. If you're frequently making hours...

                I didn't claim those three added up to the amount of time spent charging, only that they can be done concurrently. Nor does everyone always opt for fast food.

                If you're frequently making hours long trips, you're an outlier, and not the first serviced here while EVs are still relatively young. That doesn't mean that EVs don't already meet most of the needs for the average person.

                3 votes
    4. joplin
      Link Parent
      I live in LA. A friend from San Francisco drove down in his Tesla and there were charging stations all along the drive, he said. Now maybe in 9 years if you're going cross-country you'll have some...

      Even if they could match the refueling speeds, I'm just not sure that in 9 years electric car chargers will be ubiquitous enough to replace gas stations.

      I live in LA. A friend from San Francisco drove down in his Tesla and there were charging stations all along the drive, he said. Now maybe in 9 years if you're going cross-country you'll have some spots where you can't do it, but I think it will end up being like cell phone coverage. At first, it's around the major cities. Then they cover the area between the major cities because people commute and take trips, etc. Eventually, the rest will fill in and you'll have coverage almost everywhere. It will trickle out of the big cities along the highways, and eventually reach rural areas. I think in 9 years we could get pretty good charger coverage for something like 90% of likely journeys.

      5 votes
    5. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      It seems like we’ll be able to find some kind of solution here. If we had batteries that could handle 1000 miles of range I don’t think anyone will be too upset. There’s no way you wouldn’t be...

      It seems like we’ll be able to find some kind of solution here. If we had batteries that could handle 1000 miles of range I don’t think anyone will be too upset. There’s no way you wouldn’t be stopped for a while to charge given our need to sleep.

      Until then, for most drivers a PHEV will take care of 90% of your miles without burning any gas.

      3 votes
  2. [8]
    Nivlak
    Link
    I do hope that there would still be some kind of “stick shift” for electric vehicles. I really enjoy driving standard transmission but I would switch to EV quickly if there is an option that gives...

    I do hope that there would still be some kind of “stick shift” for electric vehicles. I really enjoy driving standard transmission but I would switch to EV quickly if there is an option that gives you manual transmission feel.

    4 votes
    1. spctrvl
      Link Parent
      It'd likely have to be simulated; electric vehicles are nearly all single speed, since electric motors have a much wider range of efficient operating speeds, cuts costs and it's good for reliability.

      It'd likely have to be simulated; electric vehicles are nearly all single speed, since electric motors have a much wider range of efficient operating speeds, cuts costs and it's good for reliability.

      6 votes
    2. [5]
      elcuello
      Link Parent
      This is really interesting. Does it really mean that much to you and have you driven automatic for long periods of time and still felt this way? I say that as a person who has driven stick all my...

      This is really interesting. Does it really mean that much to you and have you driven automatic for long periods of time and still felt this way? I say that as a person who has driven stick all my life but it seems a bit odd and counter intuitive to not want to have more freedom with your hands and feet when you drive despite what you're used too. I get that you have more "feel" with the car with stick but I really can't see that not fade away as soon as you realize you can get that feel with only two pedals and less handwork.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Weldawadyathink
        Link Parent
        I’m not who you asked, but I’ll throw my 2 cents in. It feels really good to master something. Stick shift is like that. Once you are well practiced, everything runs smoothly. When you are in a...

        I’m not who you asked, but I’ll throw my 2 cents in.

        It feels really good to master something. Stick shift is like that. Once you are well practiced, everything runs smoothly. When you are in a complex driving scenario, you are constantly making decisions. But you are also operating the car without being conscious of it. Then you look back on all the things you did instinctively and it is exhilarating.

        I love driving around San Francisco’s hills in a stick. No hill hold, no fancy helper electronics, just me, a shift knob, a handbrake, and my three pedals. I haven’t met a single person who agrees with me. Most people stop driving a stick once they drive in SF.

        That being said, I don’t care about a simulated stick shift in an electric car. In an automatic, you still have to think about shifting, only you have no direct control of it. You have to do things like step on the gas not to accelerate, but to make the car shift so you have the option of accelerating quickly. That is not a problem with a single gear electric car.

        What I really want is single pedal driving. You still use the brake pedal for emergencies, but you use only the gas pedal for normal driving. When fully released, the car provides moderate braking force (about what you would use slowing down to a stop). This, to me, seems like the true future of (human) driving.

        5 votes
        1. elcuello
          Link Parent
          Well smack my ass and call me Judy that's a good answer. Come to think of it I feel the same way I just haven't thought about it much. I agree that simulated stick shift is a silly idea. It's...

          It feels really good to master something. Stick shift is like that. Once you are well practiced, everything runs smoothly. When you are in a complex driving scenario, you are constantly making decisions. But you are also operating the car without being conscious of it. Then you look back on all the things you did instinctively and it is exhilarating.

          Well smack my ass and call me Judy that's a good answer. Come to think of it I feel the same way I just haven't thought about it much.

          What I really want is single pedal driving. You still use the brake pedal for emergencies, but you use only the gas pedal for normal driving. When fully released, the car provides moderate braking force (about what you would use slowing down to a stop). This, to me, seems like the true future of (human) driving.

          I agree that simulated stick shift is a silly idea. It's either or. The EV cars I've driven lately (rentals) have provided moderate breaking force when the pedal is released so for me that's already here. I rarely used the break.

          2 votes
      2. [2]
        Nivlak
        Link Parent
        I grew up driving automatic transmission first for maybe 5 years. At one point my car broke down and I was able to borrow a car from a friend that was a stick shift with no power steering. I had...

        I grew up driving automatic transmission first for maybe 5 years. At one point my car broke down and I was able to borrow a car from a friend that was a stick shift with no power steering. I had no idea how to drive a stick shift at that time, other than playing video game simulators. I had no choice because I needed the transportation so I gave myself a crash course on stick driving and ended up getting pretty into it. Ever since then I’ve had the itch I guess.

        There’s no question that driving automatic gives you more freedom with your hands and feet but the things I used to do with my free hand was eat food or do anything else than pay attention to my driving. I also drive a car that is a bit faster than most so that added with the stick shift it’s just too much fun for me personally, I don’t see it as a chore.

        4 votes
        1. elcuello
          Link Parent
          Coming from a place and a time where automatic were almost never seen this is hilarious :) That's an argument I haven't heard before and I guess that's true too. I just instinctively thought that...

          I had no idea how to drive a stick shift at that time, other than playing video game simulators.

          Coming from a place and a time where automatic were almost never seen this is hilarious :)

          There’s no question that driving automatic gives you more freedom with your hands and feet but the things I used to do with my free hand was eat food or do anything else than pay attention to my driving.

          That's an argument I haven't heard before and I guess that's true too. I just instinctively thought that more "freedom" in the car would be better but come to think of it we humans have a tendency to be distracted from the real task when given too much freedom.

          3 votes
    3. OGWhales
      Link Parent
      I know that Formula E cars use gear boxes, some of them 5 speed (rules surrounding this change a lot). Turns out the rules require use of a single transmission, so I know one gear is required, but...

      I know that Formula E cars use gear boxes, some of them 5 speed (rules surrounding this change a lot). Turns out the rules require use of a single transmission, so I know one gear is required, but using a gearbox with multiple gears can still add efficiency.

      That said, spctrvl is right that the motors are able to operate efficiently without a gearbox, and any efficiency gains from a gearbox are outweighed by the increased cost and maintenance—unless you are a Formula E team. I'd imagine the only time you might be using a gearbox on an electric is in a race car at a track or something... which means it's not totally out of the question : )

      2 votes