Latest Reader Questions (Nov. 14, 2017)

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Here are the latest reader Questions, along with my replies: 

Pauls asks: Have you seen this?

My reply: Yes, and I think it’s worth quoting the Head Clover:

Adam Shaivitz, a spokesman for the Texas DMV, said the decision to ban dune buggies came about “because many of these vehicles do not have key safety components or do not have a body at all. These vehicles, as manufactured, were not designed for on-road use. These vehicles, as modified from previously manufactured vehicles, also do not keep their on-road qualities.”

In other words, Clovers are aggrieved that you might end run their “safety” protocols, because they view you as their property. Freed adults, after all, are free to not be parented by other adults. The fact that you are parented proves you’re not free.

I have no doubt that, as the Safety Cult metastasizes, they will go after older vehicles built before ABS, air bags and so on. Unless there is pushback. And I don’t mean pathetic appeals to your “representatives.” I mean refusal. I mean fuck off.

And prepared to back that up, if need be.

It is going to come to this, I fear.

Dave asks: What’s your take on the Bollinger B1? While I love that it skirts many of the regs that you lament by having a 10,000 lb. gross vehicle curb weight, from what I’ve seen,  the estimated price would be around $60k (smaller battery pack). This would firmly put it in a similar situation to Tesla with respect to the economics.  Of course there is also the possibility that like the Elio (delayed now until 2019), the B1 could forever be 2-3 years away. And while electrics provide some interesting benefits for an off road vehicle (Jeep has confirmed it’s working on an electric Wrangler), range anxiety might be worse stuck miles from the nearest outlet. I can’t help but think a hybrid or Volt style system would be preferable. I love the approach of the B1 – bare bones utility and great off road performance. The concept could be extended to a basic work pickup as well. But I think that its fatal flaw is the full EV drive train and expected price. Thoughts?

My reply: While electric vehicles have a few plusses – chiefly, instant torque and fewer parts – their many liabilities (especially cost but also range/recharge issues) cause me to regard them as fundamentally silly.

If we were running out of gas; if gas cost $8 per gallon then maybe EVs would make some kind of sense. But since neither of those conditions obtain, I just don’t get it.

Take away the mandates and subsidies, and EVs would be limited to concept cars – hand-built one-offs designed for experimental purposes only – or toys for the affluent, who just like the idea of electric vehicles.

. .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. Thanks for the answer.

    I guess I was more looking for your opinion on the features of the B1 specifically. It is very utilitarian and in many ways a back to basics machine that I would figure to be up your alley. But then there’s the EV issues…

    Oh, I noticed that you edited my question to read “curb weight ” instead of gvwr. The latter is correct. The B1 is listed with a 3900# curb weight and 6100# payload capacity to put it into the Class 3 category like a 3500 truck.

    Thanks again.



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