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Old 1st August 2022, 12:59   #1
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Default Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

Polestar recently commissioned a new survey, which revealed that 55 per cent of EV owners in the USA bought their vehicles for reasons other than environmental benefits. The survey found that majority of EV buyers in the USA named in-vehicle technology, connectivity & infotainment system offerings as the main reason for switching from IC-engine vehicles to electric.

Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons-polestarinteriors.jpg

Gregor Hembrough, Head of Polestar North America stated that the idea of luxury defined by "what's under the hood", has been replaced by the prioritization of connectivity and integration of digital ecosystems.

Although environmental reasons weren't the most important factor when buying EVs, the survey found that younger drivers were more concerned about appearing to be environmentally conscious, as opposed to older buyers who were less worried about it. 12% of young drivers (aged 18 - 24) stated that appearing to be environmentally conscious was a big factor when choosing an electric car over an ICE vehicle. This is twice as much as Millenials (ages 25 - 41) and three times more than older buyers aged between 57 & 74.

Age also played a role in determining the trustworthiness of a brand. Up to 57% of buyers aged between 25 & 40 are confident in new electric car brands, compared to only 28% of older buyers (aged 57 - 74). Overall, 47% of all respondents in the survey were open to new brands and start-ups when buying an electric car.

The survey conducted by Polestar was commissioned by a third-party company which polled over 5000 EV and ICE-vehicle owners across all 50 US states.

Link to Team-BHP news

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Old 1st August 2022, 19:57   #2
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

I will agree. There are several other motivations to get an EV and it's a good thing. The mass market doesn't do anything for "environmental reasons". For EVs to go mainstream, they will have to offer more benefits than ICE cars:

- Image, especially with that green number-plate we see in India . It's a status symbol. A badge of honour.

- Brand & badge. Example, Teslas are super cool. In the <20 lakh segment, the electric Nexon is also seen as being super cool. I don't know of any petrol or diesel Nexons sharing garage space with luxury cars, but I do know of many Nexon EVs parked alongside S-Class, Land Rovers & Porsches (including BHPian garages).

- Having your own "fuel station" at home. Way more convenient to charge at home, than going to a petrol pump.

- The satisfaction of being an early adopter of a game-changing technology.

- A smooth AT. Your other option with cars like the Nexon are jerky AMTs.

- Laughably low running costs.

- Refinement - eerily awesome smoothness.

- The acceleration & instant torque. It's addictive.

- Etc.

Last edited by GTO : 1st August 2022 at 19:58.
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Old 1st August 2022, 22:36   #3
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

As a young lad in his early 20s, I would like to give my two cents here.

While the environmental reason comes as an icing on the cake, I am pretty sure that I don't see myself purchasing an EV purely for that. The insanely low running cost(s) is the only reason that I would be inclined to switch to one right now.

Adoption for early stage technologies is hard and I am pretty sure that I will have to endure several hardships. And while I might draw flak for this, but I value a fuss free ownership (a private good) much more than lower environmental emissions (the public good).

However, as far as the environment is concerned, I would rather prefer to fund/donate to the cause in any other way possible for me.
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Old 4th August 2022, 09:09   #4
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

EVs went from being uncool to being incredibly cool.
If proper infrastructure was available for charging (at least intra city) and an EV under 20L with real world range of 350-400 kms, I would buy one in a minute.

There’s a huge potential for EVs being a popular choice in India but like the topic says it’s got nothing to do with environment but how cheap it is to run. I’ve seen few uncles go wet after knowing how cheap the running cost is.
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Old 4th August 2022, 09:11   #5
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

I have a slightly unpopular take on the topic, which is why I prefer not to voice it too loudly. I think with all the growing "tech" culture in my generation, people see cars are glorified gadgets rather than machinery. EVs are the ultimate culmination of that. It's not just cars though, everything is being turned into a "gadget", from refrigerators to washing machines - but I digress.

EVs could have been turned into just normal cars powered by electricity, a la the Nexon EV (which I quite like), but most carmakers are trying to do something different. They want EVs to be seen as different from conventional cars, be it unorthodox designs or going completely nuts with feature selection.

As much as I like to see technology evolve and improve, I don't feel entirely comfortable with the sensory overload of extensive technology in every aspect of the new cars. Not only does it add multiple points of failure in an electric machine (the examples of XUV700 electrical failures come to mind), it sort of pollutes the purity of automotive love I've come to develop for ICE cars. They're machines you can connect with, they can last you a very long time if you can take care of them. Gadgets on the other hand are part of the use and throw culture, where you buy something and move onto shinier and newer things in a few years.

Not to mention all the hi tech stuff is leading to subscription models in place of machines you can actually own. But this is entirely different debate altogether, whether you truly own something or not. Those who follow the right to repair debate will understand.

ICE cars are often held for 10-15 years if not more, I'd like to see people trying to hold onto their EVs for more than 5-7. I'm still not totally clear on the math of low running costs when you have to account for battery replacement.

Last edited by RoadMonkey : 4th August 2022 at 09:14.
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Old 4th August 2022, 10:00   #6
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

As of today, I see acceleration and the refined cabin experience as the only reasons to switch to an EV. Everything else can be argued and can go different ways as per individual preferences. Lower running costs are offset by higher prices. The ability to charge at home is offset by the charging times and queues that will happen in the public chargers in the near future. Acceleration and silent cabin are the only undeniable facts in favor of an EV as of now.

Long-term benefits are surely there since it will establish a channel for trying out alternate power generation mechanisms by the government without having to migrate millions of car owners. But I don't think that should be a consideration factor for an individual.

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Old 4th August 2022, 10:32   #7
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

The biggest draw for EVs is the running cost. I calculated the running cost for an EV from my house in Navi Mumbai to my college (70kms round trip) and it is actually cheaper than what I spend per week in a mix of local train and auto fares with the occasional Uber ride thrown in. I donít see EVs as cars to go drive in the hills for fun but it certainly beats Mumbai locals in rush hour.


Maybe one day I swallow my pride and bring home a green plate.
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Old 4th August 2022, 10:40   #8
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

Well, running cost alone is a very skewed calculation. Just calculate the total cost of ownership, and you will end up with a different answer for cost per kilometer.

A 20L car run for 1L km with free electricity, free financing, and zero residual value comes to 20 rs/ km, which is about 1400 rs for a 70 km round trip. Of course this is a back of envelope cost for the stated set of assumptions, but others are free to calculate on their assumptions, as there's no one answer.
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Old 4th August 2022, 10:59   #9
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

The marketing of EV's would make you believe you are adding green patches to the Earth as you drive along. In reality, we still continue to generate most of our electricity through coal, oil, and gas. It's the same electricity that powers up the EV's and our homes. What's different in the case of EV's is no emissions as we know it; instead we'll just be dumping all of those batteries over time somewhere, and the mining (and subsequent exploitation of land and human resources) for minerals that make these batteries will go up exponentially. It already has gone up in the last decade.

As someone has averred in a comment above, I see this route as something that reduces the overall lifespan of an automobile going forward. Gone are the days of keeping a car for a decade or 15 years. What we have seen when it comes to technology and the way it operates is that obsolescence is planned by the tech world in a way that makes it impossible for you to use a piece of tech even if you wanted to, even if you maintained the tech well. They'll just roll out another update that's crucial and your piece of tech that's 'too old' to get that particular 'update' will be useless. So, you now have no choice but to dip into your wallet again and buy the most recent one. This is the way our electronic devices are at the moment. The more I see the marriage of tech and automobiles, especially in the way EV's envisage them, the more I feel we are headed the same way as we are for the piece of sleek brick in our hands.
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Old 4th August 2022, 15:40   #10
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrakeDancer View Post
What we have seen when it comes to technology and the way it operates is that obsolescence is planned by the tech world in a way that makes it impossible for you to use a piece of tech even if you wanted to, even if you maintained the tech well.
Great point! Never thought about it but looking at my cell phones or laptops, I've never upgraded because I wanted some new fancy software or because my phone was physically damaged or not working well, but because of OS bloatware, forced upgrades that ultimately became incompatible with the phone. Hope the same thing doesn't happen with EVs!

Also agree that switching to an EV for "green" reasons doesn't make much sense. Still too many unanswered questions about battery recycling, lithium mining, and of course the big one- power generation sources.

But still, if we can move emissions from tailpipes to the power generation and manufacturing sources, it'll still be easier to control and we'll get better air in our cities at least. So that's still a considerable win.

(And if they can control honking in Bangalore through a software patch, I won't complain! Something like if a person uses the horn for more than x times in y minutes, disable the dam horn for one day, or reduce the range of the vehicle by z km!)

Last edited by am1m : 4th August 2022 at 15:41.
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Old 4th August 2022, 16:01   #11
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

What ICE enthusiasts believe:
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What is the reality or future we are aspiring for(cartoon from UK, we dont have renewable tariff yet):
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Batteries are 92% recyclable, they don't end up in landfills. ~7Tonnes CO2 released for making an ICE car, it's ~ 9Tonnes(falling faster, may match ICE cars less than a decade) for making an EV, the difference can be covered easily in less than 20K kms, yes we are still not talking about particulates & cancerous gases.

Last edited by SKC-auto : 4th August 2022 at 16:17.
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Old 4th August 2022, 16:05   #12
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrakeDancer View Post
The marketing of EV's would make you believe you are adding green patches to the Earth as you drive along. In reality, we still continue to generate most of our electricity through coal, oil, and gas. It's the same electricity that powers up the EV's and our homes. What's different in the case of EV's is no emissions as we know it; instead we'll just be dumping all of those batteries over time somewhere, and the mining (and subsequent exploitation of land and human resources) for minerals that make these batteries will go up exponentially. It already has gone up in the last decade.
1. Multiple studies have shown that even if you run an EV on a very dirty grid, it is still greener to use an EV. Example Bloomberg study: link

2. Would you prefer emissions in the city where millions live and walk on the roads by thousands of engines or one plant outside the city emitting smoke that can be easily captured/treated/regulated?

3. Do you worry about people buying gold will dump them in landfills later? It's the same with batteries. They are full of precious rare earths that dumping them in landfills is like dumping money into the ground. JB Straubel ex-CTO of Tesla is already recovering 92% of the materials used in building a battery: link

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadMonkey View Post

ICE cars are often held for 10-15 years if not more, I'd like to see people trying to hold onto their EVs for more than 5-7. I'm still not totally clear on the math of low running costs when you have to account for battery replacement.
Would manufacturers offer 8 year warranty on batteries if they expect the majority of them need to be replaced at 5 to 7 years? Do you see manufacturers offering 8-year warranty on engine and transmission for ICE? What does it say about the reliability of these vehicles? MG Astor gets a 3-year warranty whereas the exact same car in the EV variant gets 5 year warranty. I am ignoring the 8 year battery warranty here. Even when you exclude the battery, MG expects the EV variant to be far more reliable than the ICE variant. I keep my cars for 10+ years and that is one of the reason my next car is going to be an EV
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Old 4th August 2022, 19:09   #13
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

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Originally Posted by ajayc123 View Post
Well, running cost alone is a very skewed calculation. Just calculate the total cost of ownership, and you will end up with a different answer for cost per kilometer.

A 20L car run for 1L km with free electricity, free financing, and zero residual value comes to 20 rs/ km, which is about 1400 rs for a 70 km round trip. Of course this is a back of envelope cost for the stated set of assumptions, but others are free to calculate on their assumptions, as there's no one answer.
Absolutely agree with your point Sir. But all cars in my garage are abysmal in terms of fuel efficiency. And all of them are highly depreciating assets. I rarely sell my cars in the short term and thus don’t worry about residuals. So in my mind, I spend 20 lakhs and enjoy Air conditioned transport that is practically free. Company registration helps too.



PS- My Octavia uses about 9-10 litres of petrol if I take it to college (70kms) and it costs a bomb to maintain. Its value is only about 30 percent of what we got it for in 2015.

Last edited by revsperminute : 4th August 2022 at 19:10. Reason: Grammar
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Old 4th August 2022, 19:22   #14
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

Its a no brainer if you want to compare it to an Octavia, but my reference point was your statement:
Quote:
local train and auto fares with the occasional Uber ride.

Last edited by ajayc123 : 4th August 2022 at 19:24.
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Old 4th August 2022, 20:12   #15
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Default Re: Volvo Polestar: Majority buy electric cars NOT for environmental reasons

Compared to petrol/diesel, the visible pollution is zero. But I do not agree that EVs are environment friendly, unless the power we use to charge the vehicles is sourced from renewable sources. We are still burning coal (cutting down trees and damaging the environment) in many places to power the villages & cities.
I would prefer a strong hybrid for next 5 years and then may move to an EV, if we have a good infrastructure in India, there is no load shading, and car companies allow us to charge our cars without any hassle (read Tata Nexon EV owner's horror stories) .

All said and done, if I do buy an EV right now, it would be for the tech and the snob value, not for environment friendly reasons, at all.
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