Author Topic: Tesla and Towing.  (Read 281 times)

glort

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Tesla and Towing.
« on: May 24, 2019, 11:13:21 AM »

I found an interesting article on Towing with a Tesla last night.

Basically they took a mid size caravan and a Tesla Model X with the big 100Kwh battery.  The Van weighed 1700 Kg which was well below the Vehicles rated towing capacity of 2250 but still on the light side for many vehicles here which are  pretty standard at 3000Kg.

The upshot was the towed the Van 160Km, ( 100 Miles ) and the thing was well and truly ready for a recharge with only 12% or 55 Km battery remaining.
The vehicle used double the power it normal would on it's own and of course got half the range. 

This brings up a LOT of interesting thoughts for me.
Caravaning is a BIG industry in Oz mainly with the grey nomads ( pensioners/ retirees) and I'd suggest thousands of people are year do the big lap round oz.  About 4000 Km.

The drive on this test was very short by driving standards here.  Although the time seems a bit long to me, the journey took 2:23 to complete and then at a supercharger took another 1:20 to recharge.  3:40 is a LOOONG time  to only do 160 km.

This tesla has far as I am aware, the biggest battery available now and I would also suggest in that respect is a fair way ahead of the competition in this respect. IE, it's going to be a while before we see a serious competitor in the EV market.
The other thing is, if it takes 100kwh to tow this van 160Km which I would say is about half of what people would be happy with, a car with a 200Kwh battery pack is going to be a Long way off as well, probably the better part of 10 years, 5 at least.  No matter what the battery technology, it's going to be a BIG and heavy battery as well. This leads to the rule of diminishing returns where the thing is going to eat more power just dragging it's own fat arse around.

Now inevitably when discussing these things people want to jump in with the " In the future " scenarios but i'd like to limit that to 5 years , maybe 10 at the outset.

My standard road trip is to see my Father, almost 400Km away.  I have done it towing many times, anything from a box trailer to a loaded car trailer which would come in well heavier than the van they towed in the test.  The trip took very little longer that I would normally expect as I was able to maintain highway speed in all but a few Km up some hills and didn't need to refuel even with the extra load.
It's an easy under 4 hour trip.

Now if I were to do that same trip with a van, car trailer or decent boat, things would start getting very Complex.
I know exactly where the 160 Km mark is and Very luckily it's in between the 2 sections of main Highway.  there is only one destination charger there and it's a bit faster than an AC outlet but would still be by my calcs well over 2 hours but I'll call it that to allow for my bad mathematics skills.
I normally get to that point co incedently enough at about the 2:20 mark having to get out of the city which I am on the far side of which is generally over an hour itself.  I would not think it would take much longer towing but I'll add 10 min to make it a nice 2.5 Hours.

To do this 160Km it's going to take me 2.5 hours in travel and another 2 hours ( I really  think 2.5+) before I'm ready to leave.
Already I have more than doubled the trip time. But I'm not half way there yet.
The next 160 Km I would say would be at 100 kmh an hour average as there are some hills you will be slower on and there is a lot of 110 limit as well to compensate and the back 9 leg usually takes me 1;20 . Now I have an idea where that next 160 is, I know there are only small country towns anywhere near there, the main town being where dad is and I also know that I'm not going to quite make it on the range the Tesla has.  No one with a brain would chance it because if you ran out of charge, there are some VERY nasty spots on that highway where you can't pull off the road at all and you could be a long way from a town and having to get a car and a van towed would not be cheap .

Logically I'm going to have to stop for another recharge and it's almost certainly going to be at a 10A outlet.  That would have to take bare Min an hour to give me comfortable range to get there so another 2:20 to the trip for a total now of 7 hours.

I usually have dinner with dad and then drive home when the traffic has gone anyway but that's an under 4 hr trip to a min 7 hour trip.  I don't mind driving but I'm sure as ship not going to do that after dinner.

Now maybe, in the next 5 years there will be more charging stations but even if there is, there is no reason to believe they would be superchargers but maybe the 1/4 - 1/2 Speed ones. Maybe that would knock an hour off the trip but I can't see it being any more. 
That would still add up to a MINIUM of adding 50% to the trip time and we are only talking 400Km.

Many times I have gone to the next capital city which is 900Km away and that's a comfortable day trip that most people would do in a day. Towing with an ev, it's now 2 Days and substantial ones still regardless if you can get a fast charge or not.
My Aunt and Uncle have towed their Van about 80% of that trip probably 20 times and think nothing of it in a day.  When it blows out to 2 days, it puts a whole load of different aspects on things.


Again, looking to the future, I can't see Vehicles practicaly having 200Kwh battery packs. There isn't a technology even in it's infantcy now that would be viable for that in the next 5-10 years.  Regardless of how many fast charge stations you put in you are still going to have to wait.
And before anyone comes out with that other old chestnut of super rapid charging as I have seen a load of claims about, they are mainly spin doctoring PR.

I saw one recently about a Jag I think it was " Recharging in only 15 Min".
Reading the story one sees the thing was charged from flat to give it a 100 Km range using an impractically costly charger for the foreseeable future and even they, a full charge is still back to the best part of an hour as if you belt the charge in initially you have to wait for the heat to dissipate out the batteries for the top off. And because of the charge rate, batteries are used to supply the power and allow the charge starion itself to recharge over time so as not to cause a local brown out.

Both the power consumption of these things and the HUGE cost mean that having this capability in rural oz hasn't got a hope in hell of coming around in the next 10 years.

There is a lot of hype about EV's and the future but there are a Lot more problems to over come first.
I'd say there is no way in hell that EV's will penetrate this market in the next 20 years let alone 10. It would be easy to say well not everyone tows heavy loads and that is true but like the US, there are a lot of people that do.  there are also a LOT of grey Nomads and they wouldn't be spending $100K+ on a tow truck and another ...... $30K on a run around. They like to have one vehicle to do everything.

Of course the implications of this are far reaching into other segments. The transport industry is a big one with everything from light trucks to Semis.
A very long way to go yet and before anyone mentions the Tesla Semi, Don't bother.
There are NO specific details on that thing to this day and all the guestimates suggest it's going to be no match for a traditional semi.  technology won't let any electric truck be for  a long while again because the energy density of liquid fuels is so far ahead of any practical battery tech that is many decades away still.  Not like they haven't been working on improving battteries forever already.

There is so much made of the Switch to EV's but I can't see them being a majority of vehicles on teh road for my or the majority of people here's lifetimes.

The test article:

https://www.carsguide.com.au/adventure/tesla-model-x-74243

glort

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 11:13:46 AM »




Last year I predicted and tried to take some bets Tesla would be gone as the company they are now within 5 years time. Many people scofff and berate this prediction but interestingly, in the several places on the net I said this, I couldn't get anyone to put up a fair dinkum bet on it ( And I'm willing to put up $100K on it)  nor could I find anyone to give me a FINANCIALLY based reason why tesla would survive for the next 5 years.

They had 2 Profitable quarters last year but this years have been disasters.
Despite Musk repeatedly saying they wouldn't need more finance, surprise, surprise, they recently had to dig yup some more billions to keep them afloat till hopefully the end of the year.

I mark now as the pint in time they really start on the slippery fast slide into oblivion.
They have lost 40% of their share price this year.  their cars simply are not selling in the numbers they remotely need. Even the Bulls are doing 180s on their recommendation and some big stock holders are looking to quietly bail. The cars they are selling they have discounted meaning they need to sell more to make up lost profit to a market that looks saturated for the premium priced product they have.

The start of competition has started to sprinkle down and it will be a good shower by years end and a full on storm of new models this time next year.
Their Cheap car that wasn't, the model 3  is more expensive than many of the offerings will be and the competition has far more dealerships and servicing than tesla has and is cutting back on is cost saving measures.

Musk is predicting the next 2 quarters will be profitable but few people I can find think that's any more than another of his predictable  " the present is shit but the future will be better " endless talking up of the company as he has done endlessly and hasn't eventuated.
As well as cars, their solar division is tanking pretty bad as well. They have barely mentioned the Solar rood since it was announced years ago ( Much to my Unsurprise given there were already several companies already offering the essentially same thing) and they arent even mentioning if that will ever be available now.

Another problem comes when they have 2 near 10 Yo models, one new model and another new model and a truck they want to release that both need substantial  R&D and tooling up factories for..... which they don't have the factory space to start with. They are building a factory in china which will also consume probably Billions in cash and needs staffing and all the other operational costs and expenses thrown at it.  Still a big question then if the sales  will be worth the money given the Chinese Gubbermint wants to be a Major player in that game and have the might and money to make tesla look like a lemonade stand run by kids. 

I was going against a lot of the pundits last year, seems the majority have come over to my dark side now.
Only thing i'm thinking right now is that my prediction may have been optimistic.

3 years not 5 is looking a better bet all the time.







mike90045

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 06:12:41 PM »
EV Range Extenders:   (Just tow your generator, unlimited range)

« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 06:14:34 PM by mike90045 »

BruceM

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 10:17:34 PM »
Trucks and hauling are more compatible with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  It's well refined now, Toyota spent a bundle developing it. 

Battery storage is much simpler...but our civilization may have crashed before long haul trucking via battery is viable.


glort

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 10:53:41 PM »
EV Range Extenders:   (Just tow your generator, unlimited range)

What a great Idea! I have no doubt things like this will become available. Not like using an EV to get away from fossil fuels is ironic when you have to power it with Fossil Fuels to get where you are going!   :laugh:

I still reckon a 2 Ton Truck with a 50 Kw Diesel Genny on the back recharging flat EV's stranded by the roadside.
Maybe there would also be a call for people wanting a fast recharge at points where there was not a faster charger available.

There is a DIY EV guy on YT that some time ago built a battery Trailer as a range extender.  From memory he used re purposed Tesla packs and all up got 800 or so miles. He could recharge his Tesla at a Supercharger but the thing wouldn't accept the battery pack so it was kind of a one off deal where once the thing was flat, it had to be recharged at a normal charger not a super charger.

OK if your trip is within  the range of the combination but if further it's going to be at least an over nighter to recharge or Pulling a dead weight and reducing the charge in the car.

Sure is going to be a lot of changes in the EV world and all of them I can see are going to be Giant leaps backwards over what we have now and have had for a long time. 

glort

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 11:07:00 PM »
Trucks and hauling are more compatible with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  It's well refined now, Toyota spent a bundle developing it. 

I think Honda and Mazda have thrown their hats into that ring as well.  No doubt it will be the way the truck manufacturers go too because there is no way to get the range anything like they have now and still haul and worthwhile amount of freight and stay under weight limits.... or be able to turn the things round in a reasonable time.

Quote
Battery storage is much simpler...but our civilization may have crashed before long haul trucking via battery is viable.

I think the inherent problems with recharging might be a significant obstacle as well. 

Many EV proponents are either ignorant or in denial over this aspect. They wouldn't have a clue between the difference between a Volt and a watt. As such they suggest impractical ideas which they are too clueless to see the flaws in.
With all the push to powering grids from unreliables, I can't see a lot of places having the power to spare for recharging EV's.

 A fuel like Hydrogen which could be produced elsewhere and delivered as a ready to go fuel in bulk in a short time has a LOT of advantages. Sure it's not perfect but different situations make some things acceptable and some impractical.
Decent range, light weight and workable refuel times would be paramount for the transport industry and that sector alone might bring Hydrogen to wide availability.

It would certainly be the way to go for the Grey nomads wanting to tow caravans and the recreational boating market as well people that tow horse floats etc.

cobbadog

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2019, 07:35:29 AM »
I'm guessing that is why a Hybrid style vehicle is a better option then a full electric only. Don't know what towing capacity a Hybrid has but at least you should not get stuck waiting for a recharge somewhere or a no where to charge up situation.
Hydrogen vehicles are a long way from being viable. Hyundai brought one into the country this week and it is expected to be around the $100,000.00 mark way to much to be a viable vehicle to buy and use.
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glort

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2019, 09:21:12 AM »
Hyundai brought one into the country this week and it is expected to be around the $100,000.00 mark way to much to be a viable vehicle to buy and use.

Not so sure about that mate.
From the article I linked......

We chose the most appropriate and cheapest version of the Model X Long Range (formerly known as 100D), which listed at $129,500 at the time of testing.

Ours was optioned up to $188,215 (drive away in NSW) though, with Pearl White Multi-Coat paint ($2800), black and white premium interior trim ($2100), six-seat layout ($8500), Full Self Driving Capability ($7100), Autopilot ($4300), and then on-road costs.


Our LandCruiser LC200 was the second from the top-of-the-range VX, which currently lists at $98,510 in diesel form.

$188K for a vehicle to put anything behind to me is lunacy especialy when you are going to be lucky to get 160Km out of it.
If you look at the cruiser though which is pretty much the tow truck of choice, they are near as Dammit $100k  so  it seems the numbers are not as important as what you get for them.  Of course the caravan itself was $55K!

I reckon they will have a hell of a lot better chance of selling Hydrogen in the Bush especially IF there is a way to get like a gas bottle  and take it to an out of fuel vehicle. Not sure that's possible due to the pressure but even if you can't refil, maybe it would be possible to connect and use it direct somehow?

Maybe I'll be wise to put a tank of Hydrogen AND a generator on that rescue truck idea I have in mind?  :laugh:

One thing is for sure, all these alternative fuel problems sure puts into perspective all the advantages we have enjoyed with liquid Fuels!

mikenash

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2019, 09:30:20 AM »
EV Range Extenders:   (Just tow your generator, unlimited range)



Inconvenience aside - is this as dumb as it looks?  I Guess someone will do the numbers . . .

Will, say, $25 of diesel to run the generator for a few hours in the evening give you enough charge to run your EV for the equivalent of $150 of petrol?  Or $200 of petrol?  Or just $25 of petrol?

If you were a bit of an "outback" type and there was an EV equivalent of a Nissan Patrol . . .

glort

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2019, 10:51:24 AM »

Inconvenience aside - is this as dumb as it looks? [/quote]

Well to me it is!

The reason for going to EVs is to protect the environment by getting off fossil fuels.  If you are then going to power you EV with them, why fk about spending the millions, expending the resources and creating the emissions going the EV route in the first place instead of just keeping on using FF in the first place?

Having to use FF fo power your EV is to me at very least an admission that EV's are not yet ready for prime time.
Of course 80% of the worlds power still comes from FF or Nuke so for the next 2 decades at least, the majority of EV's will be FF powered anywayl

 
Quote
Will, say, $25 of diesel to run the generator for a few hours in the evening give you enough charge to run your EV for the equivalent of $150 of petrol?  Or $200 of petrol?  Or just $25 of petrol?

The engine that is going to burn that diesel is only about 33% efficient in converting the energy to mechanical power so there's a BIG loss to start with. Given the example is a stationary engine, I'd be thinking under 30% efficient.
I believe a generator ( with wide variance)  could be around 70-80% efficient at turning the mechanical power to electricity.  You would then have to charge the battery with about a 5% loss through the charging electronics and  I believe about 20-30% loss in the battery charging itself for the chemical reaction again depending on the battery chemistry. Once the battery is charged there is again some loss through the controller and the electrical Motor.

Thats a LOT of INefficiency so I'd be betting your EV won't go near as far as a decent Diesel vehicle on the same amount of Fuel.
If we take the example literally of that little toy car, Looking at something like a VW Golf or Polo doing 50+ MPG is going to be real hard to beat.
$25 worth of Diesel will take those things a LONG way. I'd be confident the engine efficiency in one of those things and most electronic diesel vehicle engines would leave the efficiency of all but the very best stationary engines for dead from the start.

That said, If that's all you had or wanted to take the EV on a trip without a stupid long time for the journey, there may be strong over riding factors beyond efficiency.

Quote
If you were a bit of an "outback" type and there was an EV equivalent of a Nissan Patrol . . .

Specify " Equivalent" .

Are you talking something as roomy as my patrol with the same carrying/ towing capacity? Something with the ability to go 700Km+ loaded to the gunwhales on one tank of fuel and at least another 200 if I turn the thing down and drive it to save fuel?

 I have at least 7 times now done a 3000KM round trip on just the fuel I set out with carried in the back along with all  my crap and still had room for 1-2 Passengers. Something that I can do this with?  Are you talking something I can tow a laden car trailer 4-500KM with on one tank of fuel, refill in under 10 Min and then do the same distance again with again with?
 Are you talking something that is 25 years old  with 500K + km  and never had major work done and is affordable to the average person and has good availability on the used market for $10K and WELL under with still good life expectancy?

Are you talking something that IS actually emissions free and NOT run by fossil fuels indirectly as I have been running the ones I have had on used veg oil for 10+ years?

The EV equivalent of my patrols will never be available in my life time and I HIGHLY doubt will have an equivalent in anyone's on a whole load of different parameters.

That's why I'm on my second and looking for a 3rd and wondering If I should buy another and mothball it for 10 Years or until I need it. And I'm not an outback type, mine are set up as tar babies rather than bush bashers because I have them for the room and comfort, the carrying and towing capacity and the fact they just suit my requirements in a vehicle better than anything else I have ever found.

But yes, if they made something with the same capabilities  in an EV I'd certainly get one.

Of course that IF is akin to saying IF I win the lotto I won't have as much need for one because I'll be buying my own aircraft and flying that when I want to do a longer trip.   :laugh:

mike90045

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2019, 02:20:19 AM »
Actually, a properly set up range extender, can be quite efficient.
Match the engine to the generator load, run at optimum RPM, and it's better than shifting, running outside optimum RPMs and the battery handles green light an hill acceleration.

glort

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2019, 01:20:15 PM »

So much for faster Charging....

Tesla is reducing the amount fo charge owners can put in their Vehicles at some of their Busiest  chargers.
Unless using the " trip Planner" , vehicles will only be able to charge to 80% instead of 100% capacity.  Seems to be a step backwards but I have suspicions about the root causes .

A lot of vehicles in the US were sold with unlimited free supercharging. Clearly the Power company's aren't giving the power away so it's an ongoing  cost for Tesla and Must be a significant one. The company has made it clear it's on a cost cutting crusade so this is no doubt related with a typical Tesla spin.

Installing these chargers must also be a significant investment cost but one they would need to keep some pace with. If talk starts getting round that people have to wait long times just to use a charger, the PR would be very detrimental to the companies interests. As they sell more cars ( now at lower Profit) they need to be either increasing the stations  charge rates, increasing the number of chargers or increasing the throughput. This is aimed at the latter.
Tesla have announced 250KW Chargers but I see a couple of problems with that.  Being tesla, an announcement is always a LOOONG way ahead of fruition so may be a couple of years before any of these are installed.  Next problem is you can only install them where there is sufficient power available.
Don't know anything about the US but here in Oz, any large power consumer requires it's own Transformer to bring the power down from the HV lines... where they are installed. 2 stalls of 2 chargers each is a MW of power.  If they have say 8 stalls which seems to be common.... Wow! Big install money, big ongoing power cost.

3rd problem is i'm not sure how many cars can take this charge level. Might only be model 3 at this stage but I know it's not all of them so they will only speed up charging for a percentage of cars... when and where they are available.  All the rest will be on the old system that drops and shares the 100Kw rating of the charger when 2 or more vehicles are at not only the same charger but the same group of chargers in many cases.

Another is Location.  Obviously they would pick the best/ cheapest locations first. The more they put in an area the more those costs would rise. I believe they lease many like carpark corners in places like Wartmart  but again there is going to be a saturation point as to how much of their space they want taken up and the Infrastructure costs of having sufficient power connection.

I have little doubt this is primarily a cost cutting measure spin doctored to be something else.  They need to ensure availability of chargers and I'd be guessing right now the last thing they want to doing is spending any money on new facilities or increasing ongoing costs.

The head fiction writer is " Leaking" emails suggesting 90k+ units delivered for the quarter and while a chunk will be for OS markets, sales in the US tend to be fairly concentrated with places like Cali having a significant purchase rate and other places having virtually none.  The more they sell the more they will have to build infrastructure for. I believe most vehicles now only have limited free supercharging but they will still have to cater for it even if they will be charging owners.  Wouldn't mind betting charging costs soon go up as well.

Does raise an interesting question though, what are all the other manufacturers going to do about charging stations?  Logicaly they would share them but there are already different standards and I can see a whole other bunch of problems.

Might be a great thing for the Restaurant industry though.
All these people sitting round waiting for their cars to charge will be thinking of at least a coffee and a snack if not a full meal.
The ev drivers might think they are doing well saving on fuel but are they going to take the cost of all those meals into account they normally would have had at home?    :laugh:

cobbadog

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2019, 07:12:56 AM »
All I know is that electric or otherwise, they do not make me want one. I will be the opposite of a greenie and keep burning fossil fuels.
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glort

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Re: Tesla and Towing.
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2019, 09:29:32 AM »

Was reading about the model 3 Tesla getting preliminary approval to be sold in Oz.

The $35K Tesla that barely ever was ( and isn't any more in the US)  is estimated to cost in the cheapest model they will bring here, an economical $90,000.
One can buy a fairly decent car for $60K and have 30 K left to send on fuel.
I'd like to see what the bill for insuring a tesla would be as well. I bet that would make ones Eyes water. I'd bet even having a relatively Minor repair such as collision damage would have the car saving a LOT of electricity as it sat round waiting for Parts.

The Muddle 3 has been approved for 910 Kg towing which is Nothing more than a decent Box trailer load. Of course towing any more is likley to have you struggling to get to the local tip and back as these things don't have 100KWH battery packs. 

I think If I were going the EV route, maybe in 20 years time, I'd definitely be going for something more mainstream from one of the established manufacturers.  Of course the stupidity in that statement is that Tesla is going to be lucky to be around to see the end of next year so buying a tesla in 20 years time would be something you'd buy the kids for their first car as it wasn't worth anything and good for them to learn on.

Seems to me with a lot of things I have pointed out, EV's coming near rivalling the abilities of IC cars are many decades, not one or two, off in the very distant future. I think in that kind of time frame, I go back to another feeling in that they may never be the main stream thing they are championed to be.
There are already competing technologies and in another 10 years likely to be other things in their infancy which may come to fruition earlier and thwart the EV before it ever reaches the saturation levels predicted.

No matter what pie in the sky one looks at now, EV's are a giant step backwards on the advantages IC cars have now that we take for granted.
Trying to push a tech of the future when blind freddy can see it's a going step back into the past will be a lot harder to sell than I think most people assume.  I can see why the auto industry will be full into EV's, it's the exciting new technology that everyone will want as sells so many products in the keeping up with the ones's scenario. I think that once they get out into the wild and people start seeing the reality of the things, the gloss may tarnish and the sales will not come so easy.

I could just imagine owning one where you are Cobba. Going to the main town and back would require careful planning with a lot of EV's atm and where the heck You going to get the thing repaired? And please no one tell me they don't need servicing. Even if that were true, they are just cars.
The power train might be different but the problems with failing electric window motors, needing new brake pads, Fixing squeeks and rattles, replacing worn shock absorbers and all the other things that are NO different to any other car but will have to be done by qualified people or the stealer ships to maintain warranty are something else. Many cars new require a dealer computer to be plugged in to clear a fault code when you change the oil or a blown tail light.  When cars go to the next level of computers on wheels, You won't be able to change a flat tyre yourself. Will have to be flat bedded for a stealership for them to do it for " safety" reasons.

I want to keep running my Vehicle on Veg oil as long as possible.  Very little chance of that fuel drying up in the foreseeable future and I will be unaffected by power shortages for either charging up or pumping fuel.
More convinet than an EV will every be, cheaper to run and it's even environmentalist approved!