TaosEV
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:06 pm

Reactions from bystanders

Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:00 am

I thought it might be fun to share some of my experiences with comments and reactions from bystanders, and to hear what other i owners' experiences have been in that regard. I'll start with a couple of recent ones here in Taos, NM.

I was waiting for the i to come out of the carwash when a couple came out to the driveway to wait for their car. While her husband wandered to the far side of the car, the woman told me the car was the cutest she'd ever seen and was really intrigued when I told her it was electric. She asked for all kinds of details and couldn't believe the 112MPGe figure. When her husband came back to her, she told him it was electric ... he grunted, and dismissively waved at the i and walked off. Guess what kind of car they were driving? A Dodge Ram 2500 pickup.

Walking back to the car in a public lot the other day, I was surprised to see two older Japanese couples standing around the car taking pictures. One of the gentlemen was extremely excited to see "Japan in Taos" and wondered if my Kei car was electric. When I told him it was, he became even more excited and peppered me with questions faster than I could answer them. While he declined my offer of a ride around the block, he did sit in the driver's seat so his wife could take his picture.

And pulling into the supermarket parking lot, I passed one of the employees out gathering carts from the lot. He heard the low-speed sound, and followed me to my parking space. A young guy, he was completely amazed at the technology of the car, even crawling underneath the car to check it out. He also really liked the design of the car ... suggesting only that I install some ground effects lighting underneath. When I asked him what color lights I should install, he said "cool green of course."
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2012 iMiEV
2007 Zenn
1998 Honda EV+
1995 GM Impact prototype consumer test driver
... over 60,000 miles in electrics

Vike
Posts: 402
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Re: Reactions from bystanders

Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:21 pm

TaosEV wrote:When her husband came back to her, she told him it was electric ... he grunted, and dismissively waved at the i and walked off. Guess what kind of car they were driving? A Dodge Ram 2500 pickup.


I've said it before and I'll say it again - You there, driving the Hummer! Be nice to EVs! You don't have to drive one, and hey, more/cheaper gas for you!

Too simple an idea, I guess.
2012 Silver ES w/QuickCharge+DRL/foglights, Eaton Level 2 EVSE, since 9/9/2012

JoeS
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Re: Reactions from bystanders

Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:01 pm

Having driven Corbin Sparrows for years, we're very used to being accosted by curious bystanders. The iMiEV engenders similar curiosity, with women (as TaosEV noted) usually thinking the car is soooo cute. We've had people ask us "Can I touch it?" :roll:

I keep catching myself forgetting to start the conversation by reminding people that this is a non-polluting zero emissions vehicle which uses no imported oil and then have a few quotable statistics to support even the worst-case coal-generated electricity scenario (helps that I have solar at home). :mrgreen:

The pecking order of questions is usually first validating that the iMiEV is 100% electric, then concern over range (and ignorance that opportunity charging is possible - for some reason, many people have the misconception that you have to fully discharge the batteries before you can charge them again - a camcorder NiCd legacy? - helps to use the cellphone analogy), and I'm perplexed and bemused by the large number of people professing to be concerned over 'safety' - both from a vehicle size/crashworthiness standpoint as well as battery 'safety', so it helps to talk about six airbags, ABS and ASC, and good maneuverability/handling and small size to escape dangerous situations...

I have to throw in the top speed (~81mph) as many people wonder if it can go on the freeway…

Telling people that range is a 50-100 miles, depending on how you drive, results in looks of disbelief and perhaps a certain loss of credibility on my part. Not only that, but the concept of intermediate charging yielding a plausible daily mileage of over 150 miles somehow doesn't register. I like to counter by asking the person how far they can go on a tank of gas (invariably they don't know), then I try to educate people and tell them that a more useful metric is how far you can go on an hour's worth of charge (I use 10-15 miles/L2chargeHr).

That 150+mile day scenario I paint involves getting up early in the morning (car's fully charged) to take someone to the airport - 40 miles round trip, plug the car in. Take kids to school and come home, 10 miles, plug the car in. A few hours later, do a doctor's visit and some errands - another 20 miles, plug the car in. In the afternoon, pick up kids from school and do some errands, 10 miles, and plug the car in. In the early evening go visit some friends 40 miles one way and plug into their dryer outlet while spending the evening having dinner - three hours later the car is more than ready for the 40 mile trip home. That's a plausible 160-mile day. Recharge overnight and the 'tank' is full in the morning.

:idea: :idea: Now that I think about it, perhaps a better answer to the range question is 150-200 miles/day. :idea: :idea: :shock:

The question that is very rarely asked is the car's efficiency in terms of miles/kWh or kWh/mile or kWh/100miles or even MPGe - people just aren't used to thinking in those terms when it comes to electric cars. I do throw in a 2-3 cents/mile electricity cost vs. 20¢/mi gasoline cost.

We keep our iMiEV in station-wagon mode with the back seats down, so we like to show off the cavernous flat-floor interior. Touting its silence, good visibility, ease of getting in/out, seating position, turning radius, etc. is more readily understood than talking about its great regeneration. Dang, I start talking like a car salesman and have to point out that I'm just a happy private owner whose wife very reluctantly lets me drive it...

To the owner of the Dodge Ram 2500 pickup I would say that it's great for a construction job or towing a trailer but why on earth would someone want to take it to a supermarket?
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

Don
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Re: Reactions from bystanders

Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:14 pm

JoeS wrote:To the owner of the Dodge Ram 2500 pickup I would say that it's great for a construction job or towing a trailer but why on earth would someone want to take it to a supermarket?
I know people who drive them everywhere, 95% of the time towing or carrying NOTHING in the bed . . . . those same folks seem completely unable to understand that this little car could take care of that 95% of their transportation needs for next to nothing when you consider they're probably spending 30 cents a mile or more driving those behemoths . . . . or that their truck could last them 40 years if they only used it for what it was designed for . . . .

The comment we get most often about the car is "I'll bet that thing is really great on gas" to which I give my standard reply "It must be - We've never put any in it"

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

danpatgal
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Location: Ephrata, PA

Re: Reactions from bystanders

Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:30 am

I know too many people who drive big trucks to badmouth them ... sooner or later they'll get it too - we're just ahead of the curve :).

I dropped some things off at the Goodwill last week, a guy there remarked at how he really liked the style, it reminded him of the VW Bug. When I told him it was 100% electric (this happens EVERY time we say this), his follow-up question was, "A hybrid ?". No, 100% electric. Then the normal how far/fast/plug in questions come and I give some details. My wife must be more approachable than I am, because she tends to have more of these encounters than I do.

My wife is also less nerdy :geek: than I am about the numbers and details - all she wants to tell people is what it costs to travel - in terms of a gallon of gas price. A metric all ICE drivers can understand. It didn't take me long to say 16kw divided by 0.13/kwh is roughly $2 for a full charge ... and it goes further than most standard cars go on 2 gallons of gas (especially in the city). Depends on the car, but it's basically like getting gas for less than a dollar. If you get cheaper electricity or have PV solar (like we do), then the cost is even less per "gallon". But, people like simplicity, so I just say, "We fill up for less than a dollar a gallon"! That gets gas guzzler's attention.

jray3
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Re: Reactions from bystanders

Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:59 pm

I'm eagerly awaiting the first real success in EV or EREV pickups. http://www.viamotors.com/ may be it, I like their approach. Work trucks have the most to gain from electrification, but GM chose to refine the luxury SUV hybrid instead.
I like to try and establish rapport with the dismissive truck drivers by saying "This little electric go-cart is so much cheaper to fuel and more fun to drive on the days I don't need my F250 Diesel." Getting into tree-hugger mode sends up their shields immediately. Truth be told, EVen with rural property and a hobby involving literally tons of heavy metals (lead, nickel, cadmium), I only wind up driving the big ol truck about 8-10 times per year.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 110,300 miles
2016 KIA SOUL EV, 90 kW, 27 kWh, 34k miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh

JoeS
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Re: Reactions from bystanders

Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:14 pm

In the maximum miles/day thread I discuss the math leading to a summary of miles that can theoretically be driven by the iMiEV in one day.

Over July 4 I had a chance to try out my "new" approach to answering the range question, whereby I include miles/day in the discussion. Went over to a friend's house (he owns a Leaf) - he was hosting the July 4 block party, and naturally the conversation turned to our electric cars. Leaving politics and the environment out of this overview, let me say that it seems to me that most people are clueless and are unable to even understand and correlate an EPA range of 62 miles with a daily range of over 200 miles or even entertain the possibility of 900 miles/day on a Quick Charge.

After separately talking with various mostly non-technical people, I've concluded that the safest answer when asked "how far can the car go on its electricity?" is to simply say "over 200 miles in a day". Most people then go on to other questions, but if they wish to peel back the onion skin I have no problem elaborating. It seemed to me that 200 miles/day was far more readily accepted as being "ok" rather than my usual answer of 50-100 miles/charge.

Anyone have any thoughts on promulgating this concept?
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

fjpod
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Re: Reactions from bystanders

Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:51 pm

personally, I would stick to "about 80 miles per charge". People are used to charging their cell phones once per day...but you could use the analogy of charging it more often

JoeS
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Re: Reactions from bystanders

Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:07 am

fjpod wrote:personally, I would stick to "about 80 miles per charge". People are used to charging their cell phones once per day...but you could use the analogy of charging it more often
Hi fjpod - whereas I agree that some of us could get the 80 miles out of a single charge, that is not how we typically use our vehicles. What I am trying to convey is that we have the ability to opportunity-charge throughout the day and achieve significantly greater mileage if we need it. Just as an ICE driver usually adds fuel when it gets down to 1/4-tank, so do we. It's this pushing-the-limits unrealistic scenario of "how far can you go on a single charge" that I am attempting to shift. Cellphones are a good analogy to point out that you can charge as often as you wish; however, although their battery capacity (in strong signal strength areas) is good enough to last more than a day, in bad signal strength areas cellphone batteries often don't last a day as they're constantly trying to establish a tower connection (but that is also changing as technology advances). Hey, we're at the forefront of this latest-generation BEVs, and I feel that educating the public is part of our responsibility.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

fjpod
Posts: 529
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Location: NYC

Re: Reactions from bystanders

Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:09 am

JoeS wrote:
fjpod wrote:personally, I would stick to "about 80 miles per charge". People are used to charging their cell phones once per day...but you could use the analogy of charging it more often
Hi fjpod - whereas I agree that some of us could get the 80 miles out of a single charge, that is not how we typically use our vehicles. What I am trying to convey is that we have the ability to opportunity-charge throughout the day and achieve significantly greater mileage if we need it. Just as an ICE driver usually adds fuel when it gets down to 1/4-tank, so do we. It's this pushing-the-limits unrealistic scenario of "how far can you go on a single charge" that I am attempting to shift. Cellphones are a good analogy to point out that you can charge as often as you wish; however, although their battery capacity (in strong signal strength areas) is good enough to last more than a day, in bad signal strength areas cellphone batteries often don't last a day as they're constantly trying to establish a tower connection (but that is also changing as technology advances). Hey, we're at the forefront of this latest-generation BEVs, and I feel that educating the public is part of our responsibility.

yeah, but you don't fill up your ICE with gasoline several times per day. I don't believe in comparing EVs to ICE's, but the general public does.

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