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There is actually some good logic with that idea. A lot of folks don't really sit down and analyse what their actual driving habits are with much detail. Someone who is free in life to do a lot of travel or has extremely long commutes or business travel has heavier (SIC) requirements for transitioning to an EV relative to range whereas someone like myself, who generally drives locally and for short distances can worry less about it. The article is accurate referencing the cost of more range, too...that should be clear for anyone actively shopping.

Of course, there will always be the buyer that has to have the biggest, longest or baddest, regardless of what their actual use will be... :) :D
 

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I had a Bolt EV before Chevrolet bought it back in December. The decision on range should really be based off if you plan to lease or buy. If you lease, then I agree with the article. If you buy, then it is about how long you plan to keep your car (time and miles).

I looked into buying a Nissan Leaf, with the larger battery, when my Bolt was bought back. What had been observing at the time was the 60kWh Leaf’s were not degrading as quickly as the 30kWh Leaf’s. There was a lot of belief that the bad thermal management was causing most of the degradation, but they were observing the high cycling of the battery was also a large contributor.

Best practice is to only charge an EV battery to 80% (Unless it is LFP, which most are not). Assuming the Solterra has a 220-mile battery, that is about 176 miles. Factor in a 15% range loss for cold weather, we are down to ~149 mile, for your base low range, assuming your battery pack has 100% capacity. For my Bolt, after 82k miles, I lost about 10% of my battery pack. The battery was rated for 57kWh, a full charge was netting me 52kWh. I needed about 120 miles a day for my commute (Don't ask, they changed offices on me and didn't offer relocation). The Bolt was making it, but many times I drove without heat as that took a 25% hit on range.

If you plan to buy an EV and keep it for 10 years/100,000 miles you will want the biggest battery you can afford. The replacement cost will be, at least, $15K+ for a new battery. At that point you are better off buying a new car, with newer tech.
 

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...I needed about 120 miles a day for my commute (Don't ask, they changed offices on me and didn't offer relocation). The Bolt was making it, but many times I drove without heat as that took a 25% hit on range....
Oof.
 

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If you buy, then it is about how long you plan to keep your car (time and miles).
I don't disagree, particularly if the EV being purchased will likely become "the vehicle" for all uses including those that require more range and especially for a one vehicle household. That said, I'm not personally all that worried about having to replace a battery. I do buy my vehicles, but they are 5-7 year entities, not super long term.
 

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The Solterra/BZ4X battery pack is designed to retain at least 90% capacity after 10 years: Toyota bZ4X Battery To Retain 90% Capacity After 10 Years
If the battery warranty does not support that claim, I would not believe it. Chevrolet allowed a 40% degradation before they would address any battery concerns. The question is when does the battery hit 90%? The way it is worded, we would assume year 9, but it is very likely it will be mostly after year 1 and then plateau as the final percentages add up.
 

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Honestly.. after owning heavy EVs and lighter EVs - I much prefer lighter ones because the handling is better. Long range EVs (with large battery packs) often handle like heavy boats - which you don't realize until you drive a lighter one back to back.

I 100% agree with this video:

 

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I think in the somewhat near future, battery technology will be at the point that "long" range vehicles won't pay a significant weight penalty. Hoping anyway.
I'm seeing the opposite happen near term. We are moving to cheaper LFP/LiFe/A123 since the raw materials are plentiful but these batteries are less energy dense and heavier.

Also, all the solid state research is focused on moving away from a liquid electrolyte (which is why lithium batteries are often so flammable). LFP hits both of those concerns - it is less energy dense (bad - heavier) but also less "flammable" (good) than traditional li-ion used in every EV.

Battery chemistries have not vastly improved over the last ten years.
 

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Ok, see you back here in 5 years to see whose prediction is closer!
l’ve been waiting ten years now for first widely commercial solid state batteries. And nothing… I own $10K in hobby grade lithium batteries for RC jets and helis and want higher energy density. Still nothing. It seems commercial research is focused on cheaper… like sodium-ion based batteries.

Wet fuel still has 800x the energy density (by volume/weight) of li-ion batteries which is why large commercial passenger planes aren’t likely to be battery powered for very long time… or ever. There simply hasn’t been any energy density breakthroughs and even if… manufacturing of high grade batteries is non trivial and will not happen overnight.

My argument riles up BEVs owners (and I own a Model Y) - PHEVs are infinitely more practical until charging is everywhere or until battery tech improves which might be 10-30 years. Heck, Li-ion research is 20-30 years old and patents are beginning to expire on them.
 

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l’ve been waiting ten years now for first widely commercial solid state batteries. And nothing… I own $10K in hobby grade lithium batteries for RC jets and helis and want higher energy density. Still nothing. It seems commercial research is focused on cheaper… like sodium-ion based batteries.

Wet fuel still has 800x the energy density (by volume/weight) of li-ion batteries which is why large commercial passenger planes aren’t likely to be battery powered for very long time… or ever. There simply hasn’t been any energy density breakthroughs and even if… manufacturing of high grade batteries is non trivial and will not happen overnight.

My argument riles up BEVs owners (and I own a Model Y) - PHEVs are infinitely more practical until charging is everywhere or until battery tech improves which might be 10-30 years. Heck, Li-ion research is 20-30 years old and patents are beginning to expire on them.
I agree that PHEV can be a lot more practical for people - give me a PHEV Outback with ~30miles EV-only range and I'd be very happy. Heck, double the Crosstrek PHEV range and get rid of the tacky blue trim inside and I'd consider downsizing . I do have some mild concerns about that kind of thing, mainly maintenance (oil change timing, etc.), but I think it makes a lot of sense for a lot of people. If memory serves, Dodge might have said they're doing an EV truck with a "range extender" generator? Which kinda sounds like a PHEV but a lot more battery capacity.
 

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Folks who want/need to travel may very well be better served by a PHEV since it's the best of two worlds.

Relative to the "range extended generator" idea, that was something I liked about the VOLT...the very small inboard gasoline engine that could generate power when the batteries were getting exhausted. It raises the complexity level a little, but it's still an interesting way to bridge between EV and reality for some situations.
 

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As much as I love the concept of the PHEV, I feel it add more complexity to an already complex product. One of the primary advantages of a BEV is the lack of required maintenance. I find that most PHEV's still have annual maintenance required. My Bolt went to the shop once a year for an inspection required by the state. Otherwise all other work (tire rotations and cabin air filters) I could do myself with little effort. There was not a $200+ yearly surpriss on fluids needing flushes. The car just ran.
 

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No question, the BEV is (hopefully) going to be an easy maintenance vehicle with only mandated inspections, tires and brakes for service. I'm only suggesting that there are a lot of folks who ... in the current marketplace ...may be better served by a PHEV based on where they live and/or how they drive. That's all. My plan is for an EV for all the general ratting around. I have my Ascent for any long distance travel in the mean time.
 

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I don’t necessarily agree with the author. From what I can tell they start with 14,500 miles on average in a year and then switch the measurement to number of trips (though I could have misread as haven’t had my tea yet to wake up) But if 87% of my trips are under 40 miles, what about the other 13%? Someone else posted, and if I recall correctly, the majority of their trips were short but the majority of miles was from longer ones. I equate it to my life, I take thousands more car trips in a year than I do plane, but I certainly fly a lot more miles. I’ll also don’t mind the heavier weight with all of the pickups and suvs on the road as I don’t want to be part of the 40-50% increase in fatalities. I’m sure we could all have a lot of fun debating the morals/ethics of that.

Keeping a car or renting one to cover 13% of my trips or for the majority of miles driven doesn’t make sense as we are a 1 car house. The few times we both need to get someplace, we use public transportation or call a Lyft.

Help me out! I still struggle with the value prop of the Solterra, especially if it is just an around town car. Is it the claim of battery life, the 1-2 inches of ground clearance over the competitors? For you does that beat out the slow charging and low range? Legit ask as I really want this car but the logical part of me will always win over the emotional side.
 

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I don’t necessarily agree with the author. From what I can tell they start with 14,500 miles on average in a year and then switch the measurement to number of trips (though I could have misread as haven’t had my tea yet to wake up) But if 87% of my trips are under 40 miles, what about the other 13%? Someone else posted, and if I recall correctly, the majority of their trips were short but the majority of miles was from longer ones. I equate it to my life, I take thousands more car trips in a year than I do plane, but I certainly fly a lot more miles. I’ll also don’t mind the heavier weight with all of the pickups and suvs on the road as I don’t want to be part of the 40-50% increase in fatalities. I’m sure we could all have a lot of fun debating the morals/ethics of that.

Keeping a car or renting one to cover 13% of my trips or for the majority of miles driven doesn’t make sense as we are a 1 car house. The few times we both need to get someplace, we use public transportation or call a Lyft.

Help me out! I still struggle with the value prop of the Solterra, especially if it is just an around town car. Is it the claim of battery life, the 1-2 inches of ground clearance over the competitors? For you does that beat out the slow charging and low range? Legit ask as I really want this car but the logical part of me will always win over the emotional side.
This will not be your only opportunity to buy a Solterra, or any EV for that matter. If you have misgivings now, given your driving patterns, then perhaps it would be good to not turn those misgivings into regrets. If you buy the Solterra now, and then find out it's not right for you, you will likely regret it. If you take a pass now, you'll have it (and other EVs) to choose from later, it's unlikely you'll regret NOT getting a first-year first-gen Solterra.

Just my 2 cents worth, FWIW (what I would do if I was in your situation).

Aside: renting a car for long trips isn't the worst thing you can do....
 

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This will not be your only opportunity to buy a Solterra, or any EV for that matter. If you have misgivings now, given your driving patterns, then perhaps it would be good to not turn those misgivings into regrets. If you buy the Solterra now, and then find out it's not right for you, you will likely regret it. If you take a pass now, you'll have it (and other EVs) to choose from later, it's unlikely you'll regret NOT getting a first-year first-gen Solterra.

Just my 2 cents worth, FWIW (what I would do if I was in your situation).

Aside: renting a car for long trips isn't the worst thing you can do....
For example, look at the upgrades that have gone into the Polestar 2 in the past couple years -- it almost seems like a different car.
 
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