When You Can’t Give ‘Em Away…

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When you have to resort to paying people to buy something, it ought to tell you something about the value of the thing you’re trying to “sell.”elr lead

Such thoughts apparently haven’t occurred to GM, which continues to describe the Volt-based (and twice-as pricey) Cadillac ELR electric car as a “combination of leading technology with stunningly attractive design” that is “is unlike any other coupe in the luxury segment.” So says Cadillac jefe Johan de Nysschen.

Poor dude.

He has to put on a brave face. It’s his job, after all. Like the captain of a sinking liner, he must calm the passengers so that a panic does not erupt.

GM ought to be panicking about now.

The ELR is a belly flop of such magnificence that it makes the Volt on which it’s based look like a 9.8 (out of 10) on the Olympic high dive scorecard.

Yes, it’s that bad.belly flop

Sales last year (if you want to use that word) amounted to barely half (1,310) what GM’s own internal projections (2,200) had hoped for. It is not especially difficult to fathom why this happened.

The ELR – last year – stickered for $75,995. This is a lot of money. It is in fact sufficient money to purchase, say, a Mercedes E-Class coupe($61,350) with a twin-turbo V6 and have something like $14k left jangling around in your pocket for gas money. Granted, the electric Cadillac does not require any gas money at all. But given it can’t outrun a V6 Accord or similar (which costs less than half what Cadillac expects people to pay for the ELR) much less a car like the Benz E coupe, the “savings” has the same appeal as paying $300 for a night at Motel6.

Mind, this is the “updated” 2016 version.

The original (last year’s) ELR could not outrun the four-cylinder versions of cars like the Accord.

Zero to 60 in about 8.4 seconds. The new/2016 gets into the sevens…

Also, it’s not true that the ELR won’t cost you anything to feed beyond whatever the going rate is for electricity. Like the Volt, the ELR is really a hybrid – like the Toyota Prius. It carries around a 1.4 liter gas burning engine that kicks on when the electric batteries begin to get ED… which happens after about 40 miles of driving. The gas engine operates like a portable Briggs & Stratton generator, burning gas to make electricity, to keep the car moving. At this point, the efficiency of the ELR (if you wish to use that word) declines to less than that of many current mid-sized sedans with no batteries or electric motors that cost less than half what GM expects people to pay for an ELR.electric car lemon

You can expect to average mid-low 30s in the ELR once the batteries have croaked – until you can get the thing home for a plug-in session.

Meanwhile, the ’15 Nissan Altima I recently test drove (review here) is capable of 40 on the highway with its standard four-cylinder engine. A VW Passat diesel will give you 45 or more – for less than $30k. And the Toyota Prius – which constantly cycles between its gas engine and its electric motor rather than sucking the batteries dry and then running exclusively on the motive force generated by the gas engine – will give you 50 or more, for about $24k, if you’re careful about the options.

And so, GM is falling back on the inevitable – deep discounting. $10k will be lopped off the sticker price for 2016. This is a sure sign of desperation. No car company ever resorts to discounting unless the cars are just not selling, notwithstanding a “combination of leading technology with stunningly attractive design.”

But even with a $10k haircut (and on top of that, a federal bribe in the form of a $7,500 tax credit) the ELR is not going to pull out of its tailspin. Because – like the Tesla – the concept is fundamentally flawed.

No, wait. Something stronger is necessary here. It is fundamentally ridiculous – an outrage upon common sense and market wants.

To borrow an electrical term, there is a disconnect here.electric subsidy pic

People with the means to purchase a $75,000 (or a $65,000) vehicle fundamentally do not have to sweat the price of fuel – or of getting from A to B. Yet this (economy) is the primary – the essential – market appeal of the electric car. It is the compensation one receives (theoretically) in exchange for limited range and other functional deficits vis-a-vis a gas-powered car. Take away economy – not just of operation but of acquisition – and what are you left with?

Yes, exactly.

An expensive functionally compromised car.

And who – except for a few (there are always a few) will buy such a car?

Does it take an MBA to grok this? Apparently, that’s precisely what’s needed.

Or rather, not.

Some people are too smart for their own good. Or rather, too degreed for their own good.egghead

Of course, none of this would be happening at all were it not for the distortions created by crony capitalism and the rent seeking that characterizes it. Meaning: If GM or any other car company built cars – authorized the building of a car – knowing it was sink or swim, that the car would have to sell on the merits (without government shivving the taxpayers and funneling money back to the automaker to subsidize politically driven product) the ELR and cars like it would have maybe been rendered as one-off concepts for people to look at, but nothing more.

Because the idea is preposterous.

And it does not take an MBA to grok it.

For an electric car to be economically viable – as opposed to politically desirable (in some quarters, perhaps) it must above all else be less expensive to acquire and operate than otherwise similar cars.

Period.

Performance – and “combination of leading technology with stunningly attractive design” – are maybe applicable considerations when you’re shopping for a car like a Porsche 911 or Corvette (which cars, incidentally, can be refueled in minutes rather than hours and which you can run full-tilt and not sweat the range or lose any performance – unlike every electric car, including the ELR, the Volt and the Tesla).

But they are non sequiturs when the object of this exercise is – or ought to be – figuring out a way to get from A to B for less.

Until the electric car can do that, it will never be mass market viable. Which means it will never be more than a toy. Which would be fine – if the rest of us weren’t held up at gunpoint and forced to “help” subsidize their existence.

Why do we put up with it?

When you have the answer, send it to me at my Gettysburg address… .

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54 COMMENTS

  1. Tesla’s home battery will be unveiled April 30th 8pm PST. This power pack could significantly lower your electricity bills,

    There’ll likely be a 400 kilo-Watt hour commercial/utility battery for large buildings and a 10 kilo-Watt hour residential battery that could power your home for about a week.

    I wonder if you could tinker with it so it could also run in your car like a Toyota Mirai, so you could get free power for your auto and home by using a free Tesla charger system while at work, and then using it to power your home at night.

    Soon everything will be freeeeeeeee! Love it.

  2. Shock Me:

    Maybe you’re Belgian descent and your comment is somewhat understandable.

    But my you should broaden your horizon back just a bit more to make anything less than a cliché.

    Wasn’t that long before the time-frameou CHOOSE to focus on (last 100 years) that Belgium was part of that larger Germany entity ended by Napoleon in 1806.

    And there you have a name that is associated with a country that did a HECK of a lot more rolling through than the 2x you mention, and “Belgium” (really the terroritory TODAY called Belgium) was included in the that romp a lot!

    Hope you’re not ever buying anything French at all if you feel this way once you’re historically informed.

    Now if you accept the WWI derived British propaganda as being true even now about German troops in Belgium, that STILL isn’t any worse than Belgium treated the natives in the Congo less than 50 years before WWI.

    The US would never export anything either, cause there could be lots of people pissed of at the way Sherman and Sheridan rolled through the great plains

    Point of all this:
    such comments, even when stated in jest, as your’s doesn’t appear to have been, are silly, and smack of some damned historical ignorance.

    • It wouldn’t surprise me much to learn I was ignorant of some branch of European history, they don’t really teach it very well here.

      As a matter of fact, I don’t own anything French except perhaps a surname. Didn’t plan it that way. They just don’t sell anything I need or want. I’m sure the Corsican was a real trip but at some point you have to let things go. Napoleon never held my Granduncle in a POW camp or killed everyone in my grandfathers infantry unit. I don’t drink but maybe I’ll make it a point to NOT order brandy if I end up in a bar by accident?

      I’m well aware of the treatment of peoples in the Congo, so yeah I get to carry that. I don’t expect a warm if I ever have a layover in Kinshasa. Thanks bunches for that Leopold!

      I’d be cool with no one buying our stuff, we’ve caused way more trouble than we’ve neede to nearly everywhere in the world for the last 100 years from Atlanta to Wounded Knee to the Washita River to the Perfume River and Hue to the Kyber Pass and Hanoi.

      A nice little boycott might be just what is warranted for all the sh*t we’ve stirred up and can’t seem to stop doing.

      But hey what do I know.

  3. “be less expensive to acquire and operate than otherwise similar cars.”

    Actually, you’d look at the total cost (initial price + operating cost over expected lifetime).

    A plug-in EV (with or without a fossil-fuel backup generator) becomes much more attractive when gasoline is $5/gallon vs. the current $2.50/gallon.

    • Well, maybe less unattractive. I still don’t see the math working, even w/gunvermin subsidies. How ’bout $10/gal.

      • It works at $10/gallon even if you add in the eventual cost of replacing the drive battery. At $2.50 the electricity is still cheaper but we are talking under $20 bucks to refill the 10-gallon tank on these things. At $5.00 gasoline the EREV is a definite win per mile even if you never plug it in.

  4. Hey, what happened to Etniks, or whatever his name was. The battery conspiracy guy. I was going to reply to one of his posts, but can’ find it now.

  5. What really bothers me about these GM boondoggles is that none of these cars would be built if GM had been allowed to go into bankruptcy and liquidate as it should have back in 2009.

    That would have been the only viable option for GM at the time as it’s balance sheet was so far out-of-whack that no reasonable bank or creditor would have loaned them another dime.

    Oh, well…..

    • Here’s why GM was ‘too big to fail.’ If they went bankrupt, they would have taken the UAW down with them. A lot of campaign contributions would have disappeared, and that is NOT allowed.

  6. >> People with the means to purchase a $75,000 (or a $65,000) vehicle fundamentally do not have to sweat the price of fuel

    So they built this in the hope that rich people would buy it as a novelty car?

    Wow. Someone needs to go back to marketing school.

  7. I own a Chevy Volt. While I agree they should not be subsidized, you are leaving out several pertinent facts:

    1. If your commuting trips are less than 40 miles per day you only use gasoline on the infrequent longer trips where you can expect the gasoline mileage of a normal car. Even at public charger prices, this makes it a quarter the price of gasoline.

    2. Even in charge-sustaining mode the Volt saves gas by turning of the engine at a stop light (similar to a Prius in only that case).

    3. The Volt uses no gas when the battery has a charge above the amount reserved for the infrequent CS mode.

    4. It is wonderful in city driving and quick of the line which makes it good both in city traffic and for interstate on-ramps.

    Now some reality:

    If the goal is to save money overall, the ELR and a brand-new Volt is not the car for you. The premium for the battery for and power control portion is just too high to pay back over in break even based on fuel savings alone.

    If that is your goal and you want to play with an almost serial hybrid, you are better off finding one used with less than 36,000 miles. The new Volt comes out in 2016 model year and you should be able to snap up some bargains.

    The car is smooth to drive and accelerates well especially from 0-40. The two monitors are clear and bright even in full daylight.

    The center console IS overly studded with capacitive switches but they are tolerable.

    I’m carrying an extended warranty on the vehicle because for me the chief problem is that anything that breaks will be expensive to fix.

    If I could, I’d removed the power windows and door locks, add a full-sized spare and never travel any where without a jump-start battery because you are dead in the water if the 12-volt battery fails (no gas or charge port will open except remotely and there is no cabled backup, the displays will go dark, and the power electronics managing the perfectly intact main battery will not run).

    Even with these caveats it is the best car I’ve ever owned and is even dead smooth like my Buick at 100 mph (which, of course, never EVER EVER happened ;)) I doubt it goes much beyond that though.

    I don’t think it would take much for the On Star service to report “bad” behavior if the government ever want to learn of any though.

    • Hi Shock,

      You raise some interesting points. One, I’d like to elaborate a little bit. Imagine if they focused on economy – and accordingly, left off the power accessories you mention and kept the electronic bells and whistles to a minimum? I bet they could have brought the price down considerably.

      This – the up front cost – is in my estimation the most critical problem with electric cars. It defeats the whole point of the exercise, as I see it.

      A $25k or so electric car that cost say 25 percent to operate what a conventional/otherwise similar and appx. $20k IC car cost to buy would, I suspect, find plenty of buyers and not require subsidies.

      But once you’re into the $30k range (let alone the $70k range) economy becomes – if not irrelevant – a tertiary attribute at most.

      And then, such liabilities as limited range/recharge times and mediocre over-the-road performance become huge obstacles to market viability.

      I mean, why buy a Volt when you could have bought, say, a BMW 3 Series diesel?

      • In answer to your question:

        1. Diesel costs even more per gallon than gasoline in my area.

        2. I prefer to buy American, although I like the i8’s whimsical design.

        3. I’m still sore at the Germans for rolling through Belgium, twice.

        4. There are no BMW dealers or service departments within 25 miles of my home. The Chevy dealer is a mile away.

        • Shock Me –
          1 – diesel costs more per gallon in most areas of the US, because and only because of the EPA. But it’s still a reasonable price/mile in most cases.
          2 – so you are prepared to pay more for an American vehicle, just because?
          3 – If you’re sore at the Germans, what about the US and its wars?
          4 – this one makes good sense

          • 1. True but then I’m trying to avoid petroleum products in general (except for the 2 year engine oil change) and I don’t get a discount from the EPA.

            2. I’m NOT paying more for American. I’m only paying more than perhaps all other used vehicles that are under $23K. I’ve had Hondas (assembled in Tennesee), Suzuki Grand Vitara (Twin of the Geo Tracker), Eagle (Mitsubishi Joint Venture with Chrysler assembled in Illinois).

            3. Half my people were Belgian immigrants that settled in the South following the War to Prevent Southern Secession. The other half immigrated to the United States following WW1 and settled around Detroit. So none of my people have ever directly experienced invasion by Union or American forces except in the gentlest sense of the late Reconstruction/Carpet Bagger and or Marshall Plan periods.

            (Some may have participated in exterminating the indigenous people in the American West or the Belgian Congo but I have no direct evidence or anecdotes related to that).

            So the Japanese never did anything to my family and I’m prepared to buy Korean even though the North Koreans and Chinese shot at my pop at Chosin. If he can forgive that I can too.

            4. I thought so too.

            • “I’m trying to avoid petroleum products in general” – fine, but I don’t remember stating that in your original post.
              You pays your money and you takes your choice. But don’t blame the PRICE of diesel when you don’t want it anyway.

              • Not blaming the PRICE of diesel just the fact that it is more than gasoline which I’m trying to avoid. Why would I pay more for an ICE powered by a more expensive fuel?

                The only knock on my vintage of used Volt is that it uses Premium gasoline when I go to put three gallons in after a 200 mile road trip.

                • Sorry, but I’m having trouble following your line of thought. First you complain about the price of diesel, then you say it costs more than gas which you are also trying to avoid.
                  What’s wrong with either gas or diesel, if they are more economical, total cost of ownership vs. elec.? Maybe not your Volt, which you apparently bought used.

                  • What’s wrong with diesel is that it costs more than gasoline. Therefore, even if the ICE diesel fuels is the same price the we only need to determine cost per mile to decide. For example the diesel might getter better mileage and make the higher per gallon price a wash.

                    What’s wrong with gasoline has many dimensions, but mostly it’s a personal decision on who I would rather enrich and how much it will personally cost me to do so. All other things being equal I’d like to enrich someone as local as possible so some of the money might come back my way.

                    Also gasoline irritates my sinuses so there’s that. But mostly I’m curious about electric cars and this was the ride that fit my trip length and use case. YMMV.

                    I’m not to save the earth or anything, that Rick can take care of itself.

                    • Hi Shock Me,

                      I just got done driving the ’15 Passat TDI (review is up on the main page)… and never averaged less than 43-ish MPG. This is about 8-10 MPG better than the Volt I test-drove (when it was operating on the gas engine’s power).

                      The Passat also has a highway range of 800 miles.

                      Pretty solid, eh?

                    • Shock Me – thanks for the clarification. I at least come closer to understanding your POV.

                    • I agree. If my use case involved frequent long distance travel, such a vehicle would merit consideration.

                      It would be well suited to my annual 2K+ road trip to visit my son. Far fewer stops more time on the road. But at my age nature calls more frequently anyway.

  8. The government-approved media, including Consumer Reports, is misleading Americans about electric and hybrid cars and the ‘eMPG’ number they use for ‘comparison.’
    The batteries in hybrids go about only 30-40 miles. Period. The eMPG number in the reports are in the 90-100 mile range. This is only because once the battery is completely drained, the gas engine kicks in and recharges the battery ‘on the fly.’
    This accounts for the difference between 30 miles and 90 miles.
    The media is simply misleading people about the batteries. Despite a hundred years of battery R&D, these batteries are worthless junk that shows that battery technology will NEVER be a dependable part of our future transportation needs.

  9. “$300 for a night at Motel6″….at’s about right for a room in the patch……soon to be much cheaper. Drive like your life depended on it, turn the thermostat down or up, depending, drive hard everywhere you go and go places you don’t even care to. Don’t wear out bearings, leave your vehicles idling. Just use lots of oil. These damn fuel efficient vehicles are killing the economy.

  10. electric cars will become viable when two things happen (no, one of the isn’t Hell freezing over).

    It’s when 1. batteries can give decent performance and a range of 250-300 miles per charge and 2. a universal battery pack is adopted(like OBD2 connectors) that can be changed out in under 5 minutes.

    Here’s how it works (in theory at least). Your range is low and you pull into a fuel station, drive over a pit, or on to a lift, where someone operating a machine removes the battery pack, places it on a rotating charge carousel, retrieves a fully charged pack off the carousel and installs it in the vehicle.

    • Could work, but the liability issues would have lawyers drooling.

      Who owns the pack? If it bursts into flame, who gets sued?

      Pack dies from age in your car? Who is stuck with the bill for replacement?

      Pack is not secured properly at station, falls out killing driver behind……..

      And so on.

      Biggest issue (to me) is where does the power to recharge come from? The overtaxed grid powered by coal, nukes and gas?

      Electrictricity is still just an energy transfer system. The same amount (roughly) of energy is required to move a car, regardless of the source. Factor in conversion losses and hot/cold region effects on batteries and the perceived advantages of electricity vanish.

      Better to just power cars with natural gas.

      IMO anyway.

      • I didn’t say it was perfect. Yes, you’d have to pay for a “fill up”, just as you do now. As far as the liability and hazard issues, I don’t see it being any more dangerous or “liable” than what we have now with service garages and filling our own pumps(except in NJ).

        I’m not advocating for electric cars just that for them to be viable these conditions would probably be the ones that needed to be met.

        TANSTAAFL!!

      • While natural gas may be better than electricity, it is not better than gasoline. I have run vehicles on both propane and CNG, (I currently own a dual fuel propane/gasoline Ford Expedition).
        With gasoline, it is roll into the gas station, put your credit card in the slot on the pump, fill up your gasoline, go on your merry way.
        With propane it is pull up to the propane tank, go inside the store, wait for one of the employees to come outside to your truck. If he is alone, he has to wait until everyone else is out of the store, then lock up behind himself so no one walks out with all the Snickers bars (and/or beer) while he is outside fueling your rig. Then, the employee trundles out to the propane tank, and invariably looks at your vehicle and says “Oh…. cool, man, a propane CAR… You’re really helping the environment!” Then he unlocks the hose, resets the fuel meter, and drags the hose to your vehicle’s fuel port. Now, the fuel port on a vehicle is different from the fill port on a standard propane bottle, but none of these gas station gurus know and/or remember that, so there is the inevitable test fit, and search for the adapter. Once the fuel connection is finally made, and the fuel dispensed, everything has to get put away and locked up. Then its back into the store, serve all the angry customers in line at the door who were waiting for Johnny Efficiency to fill your car, wait for them to square up. then pay for your propane, and you are on your merry way.
        Except that propane, due to its low octane rating, gets far worse MPG than gasoline. And the tanks are smaller than a gas tank, so you have to fuel up more often….
        Natural gas powered vehicles are similar but worse in that you can rarely find a station that dispenses CNG.
        So let’s review: higher cost per mile for fuel, way more inconvenience, and lower range per tankful of fuel….
        I just can’t see why propane hasn’t caught on.

        • Yeah, natural gas is a dead end for consumer vehicles, at least here in the U.S.

          There is only one model (Civic GX) that comes from the factory equipped for natural gas – and that (small) car has a real-world range of around 180 miles.

          Further, outside California, there is no public network of natural gas stations – home fueling stations start at $3,000 and have to be rebuilt every 2-3 years.

          • “natural gas is a dead end for consumer vehicles” – that may be true at present, but it would not have to stay that way.

      • You buy the car, not the battery. The battery is owned by the manufacturer of the car or the charging devices or a third party battery manufacturer. Car companies pay the battery manufacturer for the rights to sell cars with their batteries installed. The user doesn’t have to worry about what happens to “their” battery at the battery-swap station much like gas grill owners don’t have to worry about what happens to “their” propane tans at propane tank exchange refillers. Also, when the batteries are depleted (won’t hold a charge), the user doesn’t have to worry about paying someone thousands of dollars for hazardous materials pickup and recycling. Batteries will transmit their status to the home company and once they fall below a certain health status (65-70%) the company will pull them from circulation for recycling.

        If a battery is damaged in a wreck and causes injury or damage, the battery manufacturer can then investigate whether if damages were the battery’s fault, a defect in the car it was installed in, user negligence, or a combination of those factors and the legal process can continue based on those findings. The investigation will be a short affair due to constant battery health monitoring hardware on every battery.

        Tesla has the range issue cracked, but not the price or recharge time. Battery swap points will solve the problem and not including the price of the battery in the cost of an electric car will bring the price down A LOT.

    • Mark, makes sense. An indicator that sense weight, connection or both communicates with the lift or something, and when a new one is in place and is confirmed to be attached, you’re ready to go. It requires a minimum of input from the occupant/driver. Most people can’t wipe their butt properly so keeping their function to the least amount if preferable.

      I don’t see this as the mode of delivering hotshot loads to the middle of nowhere……and that’s great. Then I won’t have to sit behind people who take up diesel pumps with their RV who have decided to make an hour stop of it. Lots of truckstops have caught on though and have an RV only pump for these dolts.

      2-3 years ago GM started selling a line of light trucks that were CNG. That’s about as good as it gets ecologically. So why didn’t the greenies jump on this and make it cheap? Obviously a carmaker doesn’t have to care where the profits originate, only that they receive them. But look at the price hickey for these vehicles and you’ll understand why large companies such as pipeline companies use these vehicles. Apache Pipeline and another company I can’t recall right now have fleets of pickups using CNG. I’ve spoken with some people who operate them and they have no complaints. They say you’ll never mistake one for a diesel but that’s to be expected.

      • Greenies don’t jump on CNG because it’s still a “fossil fuel” and they can’t wrap their heads around a clean-burning fossil fuel. Nevermind that we have enough natural gas to outlive the current human society (and likely the next one). They have a battery fixation and no amount of data showing environmental damage from battery production and electricity generation will change their minds.

  11. The auto makers are forced to build these cars in order to meet imposed regulations and sidestep penalties. GM knew no one wanted a $75K Volt but had to market one to appease Uncle Sam and the tree hugger clan. GM is a “green” company, it sells a fleet of electric Edsels that taxpayers unwillingly purchased, lock, stock and barrel.

  12. The sad thing is, its a good looking car. Maybe they could recoup some of the R&D by making a purely gas powered one. Would that stingray V-8 fit in it? At least some turbo 6’s for a pretty fast personal coupe. Granted that wouldn’t sell in huge numbers, but it would be more then what they have now.

    I remember seeing the super bowl ad, and going wow, nice car! That is, until I saw that stupid plug………………ugh

    • Hi Rich,

      I agree. This car would be great with a different powertrain. The 3.6 V6 used int he CTS, for example. With a turbocharged version optional.

      That would make sense.

      The electric powertrain doesn’t.

      If i’m spending $70k on a luxury-sport coupe it damned well better be quicker than four cylinder $24k Altima… and be able to for faster, longer, too.

      • Heck, if GM would make a hydrogen-powered Volt it would still be better than the 60-year-old train tech they’re using.

        Yes, the Volt operates on the same principle as diesel-electric train locomotives. Big diesel engine powers a generator and electric motors move the train.

        • Do the trains have a massive battery they plug in at night? Because my Volt runs on gasoline. The gasoline fuels the generator which generates electricity only after the battery has reached the charge sustaining level.

          Also when it is more efficient (i.e.,When the battery has been fully drained and you are traveling at highway speeds.), the 1.4 L engine turns the wheels directly through the use of a planetary gear set in the transmission. Does a train do that too?

  13. I bought one of these but I opted for the cheaper version. I ordered mine with just the electrics and added a generator from Northern Hydraulics that was on sale for a great price. The great part is I can pull it close to the house meter and made a pigtail that will plug right into my outside load center. With a bit of help from a home made ADAPTER KIT, when the power goes out at the house, the Caddy starts up and shuts down when the power comes back on. When we take the RV out we generally pull the Caddy as a back up generator/emergency a/c. Why, we can even use it to go into town or make a liquor run.

    For those who say that’s a lot of money for a back-up generator/ac, I say maybe so….but we’re doing it in style. Who else in the neighborhood has a back-up gen with a Caddy nameplate? ’nuff said.

  14. Yuuup. Vehicles like this and Tesla exist so the rich people and celebrities that buy them can have both a status symbol and feel like they’re helping the environment.

    • Which would be fine with me, except for the fact – obnoxious beyond description – that they force us (middle and working class people who could never afford such a car ourselves) to “help” them buy ’em!

      • That is the part that really pisses me off. Why the Fuck should I be paying for someone else to feel all smug and superior? This immoral twit puts a gun to my head to make me pay for part of their car and they get to act like they are somebody special.

        Seriously though, if they want it, let them pay for it, then they can feel as smug as they want. Until then they are nothing but a common thief and should be treated as such.

        Ps. Long time no talk to, keep up the good work and keep slamming the clovers!

        • Thanks, Brad!

          And, yeah. It never ceases to amaze me that this stuff is just accepted. How would people react if the government proposed that luxury skyscrapers be built in the middle of Death Valley (with extra high capacity AC and water flown in by helicopter) so as to “ease congestion” in major urban areas? These luxury apartments would be heavily subsidized to “encourage” people to move there…

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