Some inside baseball that’s relevant to the bum’s rush (Uncle’s rush, really) toward an Electric Car Future:
They don’t send me electric cars to test drive. Not one. Not yet. Probably not ever.
They send me everything else – except for GM, which stopped sending me cars to punish me for expressing un-PC opinions about the company’s leg-humping of “diversity” (see here for more about that). But the point is, GM did send me cars and could send me cars.
Why is this relevant to the EV discussion?
Because it demonstrates badly how gimped EVs are – and I figured someone (it won’t be the “consumer” press) ought to tell you about it, in case you’ve taken too many pulls on the electric car crack pipe and actually bought into the EV hype, which is potentially much more dangerous to your wallet than a time share or a Pampered Chef distributorship.
Okay, gather ’round.
My place in SW Virginia is about 200 miles from the central press car hub for the northeast region, which is located in the Northern Virginia/Maryland suburbs. Press cars are brand-new cars put into a special fleet for distribution to car journalists like me. A driver who works for the fleet management company drives a new car to a journalist’s house or place of business, drops it off for him to test out for a week and then comes back the following week to pick it up.
It’s no problem for the delivery drivers who work for the press fleets to make the trip from there to here in 3-4 hours, traffic depending. Usually doable on a full tank but if it’s a muscle car or some such, no problem. Just refuel and back on the road.
Unless it’s an EV.
Because an electric car can’t make it from there to here without stopping at least once – for a minimum of 30-45 minutes each time and that’s the best-case scenario, assuming the driver can find a “fast” (high voltage) charger. These are still hard to find – and if one can’t be found, then it’s an overnight stay for the driver and what was a 3-4 drive becomes a two-day ordeal.
Two days’ pay for the driver, plus the cost of a hotel for the overnight stay. The EV will not have burned any gas during the odyssey but a lot money and time will have been burned through.
The other option is a flatbed truck – which could get the EV here in a few hours – but that gets into money (and time) too. And as hard as it may be for government parasites to grok, people who can’t legally just steal money to support their activities have to think about what things cost and operate within certain economic parameters.
So, no EVs for me – or any other car journalist outside the orbit of an EV’s range on a single charge. Which means only urban/suburban journalists within about 50 miles of the press car hub get EVs to test drive.
This accounts for the vacuous, dishonest coverage of EVs. All you need to do is flip it around to see what I mean.
Imagine Consumer Reports or some other Pravda-like organ of the establishment car press got a non-electric car to evaluate and it conked out after 100 miles (or even 200 miles) and had to be hooked to a special and hard-to-find apparatus for at least 30-45 minutes before they could it back on the road again.
Imagine this car’s performance noticeably deteriorated in cold weather; that it could not be refueled in very cold weather – unless an enclosed/heated garage could be found. That running the car’s heater and headlights had the same effect on the car’s range as a hole in the gas tank of a non-EV would have.
The resulting coverage would make what happened to Ford/Firestone back in the ’90s seem like a minor bitch about the location of the cupholders. There would be open talk of gyps and cons and general preposterousness. A car that can’t make a 200 mile trip without a major (and possibly overnight) pit stop?
That is something even a Yugo could do.
And the Yugo didn’t cost what an EV costs.
But you’ll not be told such tales by the Pravda-like car press because the only car press that gets EVs is the urban/suburban press and that is very much like expecting to get political coverage that’s even-handed toward Trump out of a Latinix transqueer gender studies professor at Berkeley.
Which brings to me to the worshipful coverage given the 2019 Audi eTron – which is Audi’s first all-electric crossover SUV and the tip of the spear – so to speak – of what is on deck to become an LBGTSUV EV juggernaut.
It is a very weird juggernaut in that there is almost no market demand for these EVs, which in total comprise barely 1 percent of all new cars sold, almost all of them in urban areas of California and Arizona (where, not coincidentally, it is warm all year long). Yet Audi (and VW) as well as Mercedes and BMW are practically tripping over each other to get as many EVs into production as possible.
Who do they think is going to be buying them?
The eTron will sticker for $75,000 – to start. A “well-equipped” model will sticker for $86,700.
Keep in mind that Audi will be competing (if that’s the right word) for buyers in that 1 percent bracket with all the other hawkers of similarly high-dollar EVs. If the market for these EVs doesn’t somehow come into existence after the fact, there is is going to be much more than Hell to pay. It could mean the collapse of several big-name car brands, who’ve “invested” (abuse of language, hence air quotes) in vehicles for which there is no market, in the desperate hope that one will come into being.
It is not a coincidence that the biggest bum’s rushers toward the Electric Car Future are German companies – Audi/VW, BMW and Benz. It is because in the home market there are fatwas even more severe and lunatic than those in force here. Fatwas which forbid cars that aren’t capable of at least part-time all-electric operation from even being used in certain “protected” areas, such as urban areas. These areas are being expanded upon. It is an artificial – government created – “incentive” to build EVs, though no one seems to ask aloud what “incentive” buyers will have to purchase them if they can’t afford them.
It doesn’t matter. The car companies won’t contradict the now-sacrosanct EV orthodoxy, even if it ultimately kills them. The reason being that management isn’t going to suffer. The fish rots from the head down, but in the case of huge corporations, the heads are extremely well-paid even if the company rots under their watch, so what do they care? Most of them are not “car guys.”
They are money guys (and gals).
And so long as the getting’s good, they’ll be getting – and then, going.
Meanwhile, the Pravda press will continue on its knees, supplicating the EV god.
And outliers like me will sit back and watch the show.
. . .
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