Inside EV Baseball

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Most people have no direct experience with electric cars – and neither do I. 

Well, not officially

The difference is, I should have it – because unlike 99.9 percent of the population, I am a car journalist. The car companies send me new cars every week to test drive and evaluate.

It’s been my full-time job for more than 25 years. 

But I don’t get electric cars.

And not just me. Other car journalists don’t get them, either. And that ought to serve as a kind of 9 volt canary in the coal mine about electric cars. 

Why don’t some of us get them? 

It’s not because we don’t want them. “Want” in the sense of professional obligation. I’ve been accused of not liking electric cars – which is true.  I also do not like minivans and most “crossovers,” either. But I want to drive them in order to write about them because I know there are lots of people out there who are interested in them. 

My personal affection or lack thereof is as professionally immaterial as a doctor’s liking or disliking of his patient. 

I want to get electric cars for the same reason I want to get any other car: To get seat time and real-world experience, in order to convey useful information to the people who read my stuff, which is how I make a living. And that is important to me. 

But I don’t get electric cars – for two reasons. 

The first reason is that I live too far away. My place is up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the far southside of rural SW Virginia. The press pool for this part of the country is located in the DC area, which is about 220 miles one way. 

This is too far for electric cars. 

They run out of juice before they get here. Which means they have to be flat-bedded here – and that gets into money as well as hassle. It also begs the same question the little boy posed to the emperor about his new clothes… .

Any other car can easily make a 220 mile trip without being at least temporarily crippled by it.

They have been making the trip, regularly, each week – for the past 15 years that I’ve lived where I now live. The distance has never been an issue because it isn’t one – for non-electric cars.

Even if there is a wreck on I-81 (which is the major stretch of Interstate between DC and here) and the trip becomes a six-hour-long slog in stop-and-go traffic, it’s not a problem. The driver can blast the AC – or the heat – to keep comfortable and if he has to pit to refuel, it’s a five minute stop. 

It takes longer to get and pay for a cup of coffee than it takes to fill up the tank. 

An electric car, on the other hand… .

If it has a best-case range of say 150 miles (like the Nissan Leaf) that means at least one 30-45 minute stop and probably two – because the best-case range is exactly that and not a realistic range. It is interesting that Uncle allows such latitude when it comes to certain things – yet is stricter than a Jesuit when it comes to other things.

Highway driving is to electric cars what pulling a few spark plug wires is to a non-electric car. EVs are fundamentally city cars and their best-case range predicated on low-speed/light-load driving. 

The situation is analogous to electric power tools – which are fundamentally the same thing. How long will your cordless drill’s battery charge last if you run the drill continuously? How long does it last when you use it to do heavy work, like put screws through 2×4 wall studs? 

Electric cars are no different. 

Well, there is a difference – and it’s an important one. Most power tools come with a spare battery, which you keep on the charger and swap out with the discharged one, so that you can keep working without waiting. 

But you can’t swap out an EV’s battery. So, you’re forced to wait. 

If this is a problem for the car press, it will be a problem for the general population, too.

While lots of people live in cities, most of them can live without cars and already do. It is the people in the suburbs who most need and depend on cars – and for them, electric cars will be a problem, for the same reason they are a problem for me. 

It can take longer to travel 50 miles in the vicinity of a major city than it takes to get from a major city to where I live. I know this because I lived it – and that was 15 years ago, when I lived in the DC area.

It is surely worse now than it was then.

Plus, winter. And summer. Both of which tax the EV’s batteries, because they entail use of accessories that consume a lot of (wait for it!) electricity

Yes, I know. “Fast” chargers. But if 30-45 minutes is “fast” then we might as well go back to using prop-driven airplanes to cross the Atlantic. Just for the romance of it.

Also – and they aren’t telling you this, either – you lose 20 percent of the best-case EV range when using these “fast” chargers, in order to avoid damaging the battery.

Thus, even the touted 238 mile best-case range of a longer-legged  EV like the new Chevy Bolt is really only 190 miles after “fast” charging. It can’t quite make it here in a single swing at bat. And once it finally gets here, I wouldn’t be able to drive it to test it because I’d have to wait for it to recharge. Since I don’t have a “fast” charger, that means  overnight on the 120V household outlet.

Lose a day to waiting. 

And the same on the other end. 

Unless I remember to plug it in the night before the driver comes to pick the car up, he’ll have to wait. 

Luckily, I have a spare bedroom. 

But think about these logistics as they apply to you – which they will, if you’re gulled by all this emperor’s-new-clothes idiocy into an electric car. 

You will have to add time to longer trips – and you will have to think about all your trips in a way you don’t have to now. The freedom to just go will have become as much a memory of better times as being able to just board an airplane, without being felt up or having to assume the I surrender pose in an irradiation chamber so that a government worker can view your anatomy in lieu of fondling it.

Oh. Yes. There is another reason why car journalists like me don’t get electric cars. It is because we write stuff such as you’ve just read. You know – the truth about electric cars. This is troublesome to the manufacturers thereof – especially Tesla, which only manufactures electric cars. 

Tesla not only wants favorable coverage, it must have it. Because unfavorable coverage means kaput for Tesla. And that is why Tesla only allows friendly press to test drive its cars. You may have noticed this from the resultant coverage – which never mentions the fact that “fast” charging entails partial charging – or that conditions (heat and cold, use of accessories) greatly affect the range. 

Nor other less-than-convenient truths.

It’s an interesting inversion. 

Like the political Left – which once at least pretended to care about the working man – the “consumer” car press – which once at least pretended to care about “consumers” (an incredibly insulting term) stands revealed for what it is: 

The captive poodle of a rent-seeking con of stupefying proportions. 

My having said so, of course, means I will never get a Tesla to test drive. 

. . .

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

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50 COMMENTS

  1. WTF?

    Obeying the law is difficult when everything is illegal.

    Americans are no better than beasts and slaves now that the US is a police state. Tyranny turns people into animals.

    The government tells Americans what to wear, what to eat, what to buy, what to do, and what to think.

    Law is not justice.

    The government destroy lives. What if a genius researching cancer cures was arrested for withdrawing less than $10,000 from his own bank account and then couldn’t get a job because he has an arrest record?

    Americans who love the Gestapo today seem like rape victims who defend their rapists.

    Do Americans feel like traitors when they support tyranny?

    Do Americans think tyranny only affects other people? Do Americans believe that freedom only benefits others?

    What country is this?

  2. Funny thing about those required Economic Prevention Agency statements regarding fuel mileage: They put both best-case (highway) AND worst-case (city) driving estimates. Which does beg a question: Why is it that one part of government has granted the EPA the right to require these fuel statements on cars?

    But more important: Those that depend upon the friendly press will never take a chance being fairly evaluated by those they perceive as unfriendly at the start. Emperors are more interested in controlling the news from the beginning, instead of taking a chance of getting an unfriendly question from an “unbiased” journalist.

    It almost forces the journalist to go underground, and find a different way to do a fair evaluation. And an auto test-drive is not something you can get by just asking an executive within the organization.

    I just wonder: Did any press member favorable to the previous Cuban government get to ask Fidel Castro what his plans for Cuba were after the revolution?

    That’s the attitude the Tesla-ites have about you being allowed a free test of their cars.

  3. So I guess the thing to do is get a little trailer, put a gasoline generator on it along with a big gas tank, and run the generator and hook it to the charging plug on the car to charge the battery during cross country trips? That way you fulfilled the imperative to drive using electricity as the motivator. 😉

  4. Last year I found myself at the cape for a SpaceX launch. In the VIP lot there were about two dozen of so Tesla Model S’s all white all lined up like soldiers – obvious company cars.
    As I was leaving one of the Tesla drivers saw my Porsche Cayenne Diesel parked at the end.
    He looked it up and down, smirked at me, “Hey Porsche guy, wanna race?”

    I said “Sure, I’ll race you to Miami.”

    For some reason, he didn’t think that was funny.

  5. Bring up all these truths about a Tesla on other forums and see what happens. It’s like criticizing Israel.
    Musk has his faithful much like Israel has its trolls and useful idiots, so when any facts are brought up there’s always some ready for the attack and shaming.
    Political correctness will include Tesla. The Tesla SJWs then resort to false facts much like CNN or Fox and ignore or attack the uncomfortable truths. It’s as much political as technological. To his supporters, Musk is likened to the second coming of the Christ, out to save the planet from a horrible fate and those who have the nerve to find anything wrong with Tesla are guilty of bad speak.
    Yesterday I happened upon a video where engineers at GM took a Model S apart and critiqued it. They had praise for its performance while finding massive problems with its construction of far too many parts to build the chassis. Furthermore they stated the chassis was too stiff.
    It appears the people at Tesla have no clue about automotive engineering.

    • Actually, Tesla is all about displaying one’s moral superiority over the hoi-polloi, the Great Unwashed, all those loutish peasants who drive those dreadful ICE cars (which, BTW, have been net air purifiers for over twenty years). And of course it never occurs to the anointed that their Teslas run on current generated somewhere (mainly in coal-fired plants). But of course the many tow-bills generated by Tesla add to the overall GDP, so it’s not a total loss. And it allows their insecure owners to bask in the glow of their moral superiority.

    • The people at TM are lacking in various aspects of engineering or Mr. Musk overrides them. It’s hard to tell. Also when you’re working fast and/or short staffed you have to take shortcuts. Either way a lot of things go undone over at TM. The most recent is the door handles. Seems they skipped the cold weather environmental chamber tests or cold weather testing of prototypes. There’s a lot of knowledge of how to make products that ‘just work’ that’s getting lost these days.

      What you say about other places on the interwebs is true but I am seeing his image start to crack and more critical people speaking up.

  6. Imagine a massive hurricane headed towards South Florida and Key West and South Florida having to evacuate. How far do you think they would get laden down with personal belongings and stop and go traffic with electric cars? Recharging your car at a power station for 250,00 people? HAHAHAHA the mind reels!

    Electric cars are simply ways for keeping the populace under control and preventing them from moving great distances for any reason. They are prisons. With Google, cell phones, FaceBook and Ancestry.com, we have given the power people every thing we are and now subject ourselves to being limited in travel… recipes for disaster.

    • I thought the same thing; in any disaster scenario no one could get away or out of the area. Or all be stranded on the highway getting out, especially if your putz wasn’t charged up in the first place. They will be told to ‘shelter in place’ until help arrives (maybe via thousands of drone vehicles for pickup deployed throughout the area (lol riiiiight). Just like it was done on purpose during the Katrina debacle in New Orleans, help is on the way! (not). Goal is to make it intolerable to live on any coast and people will migrate inland, away from the coasts (agenda 2030- no one can live within 50-100 miles of the coastline (except themselves). Same goes for mountainous living, desert living etc. No more remote living for you, it would be nearly impossible with electric putzes. Into the crammed tenement high rise cities where the gov is your slumlord and watches, tracks & controls your every move. Don’t kid yourself, thousands will love their servitude because they will have little to no responsibility but be cared for like pets. Echo, alexa etc..do this for me, as they sit on their rears, texting. Wall-E was prophetic methinks. lol.

  7. EVs are fundamentally city cars and their best-case range predicated on low-speed/light-load driving.

    Of course, and for the painfully obvious reason that “they” want us all imprisoned in cities where we’re easier to control. It’s so maddeningly obvious, in fact, that the idea that the majority can’t or won’t see it is enough to make you that they are forced to suffer EV travel as their only option.

    • Hi Liberranter,

      I wish it were more obvious – but the mass of people are (apparently) fools who believe that EVs are a kind of miracle technology that will do everything internal combustion does, but more “cleanly” … they have bought the proverbial cat in the bag, without bothering to check whether it’s actually a rabbit.

  8. The fix for EVs is the same as for the cordless tool – a standardized swapable battery pack. No, really, say put the battery pack under the car, the car docks similarly to how they do automated carwashes, a robot arm pulls the battery and plants it on a conveyor on one side and then grabs a charged battery from the conveyor on the other side. The discharged battery goes on the conveyor into the building where it gets put on a charger. The car drives away. You’ve just beat the range issues on an EV. Your infrastructure costs are going to be horrendous, but you have just beat the range problem.

    • Hi Lowell,

      Swapping batteries is more involved than that. Consider propane tanks for outdoor grills. It is necessary to inspect the empty being exchanged to make sure it hasn’t been damaged or is otherwise useless. The same would need to be done with EV batteries – only the inspection would be much more involved because of the greater complexity of EV battery packs.

      Physically removing/reinstalling battery packs entails wear and tear on connections as well as exposure of critical parts to elements. Think about moisture, dirt, etc. There would be repair/warranty issues which don’t even exist now. Also environmental ones.

      Where will all the battery packs be stored? A single EV battery pack is about the size of a bathtub about six inches tall. A “station” would need to stock hundreds of these, if not thousands…

      The whole thing is batty… unless the true purpose is to get people out of their cars.

      • Thanks for bringing this very point up, Eric, because I remember Tesla touted how they were going to build quick-change stations where a Tesla owner would pull in and the place would swap out their depleted battery for a fresh one in something like 10 minutes. Of course the cost was going to be nuts, but if you’re driving a Tesla, you’re not thinking soundly with money as it is. But I digress…
        This all sounds marvelous until you factor in A) Wear and tear and B) The state of the battery itself.
        A) Connectors plugging and unplugging every 200 miles (in their dreams, but…), bolts loosened and tightened every 200 miles, since the battery is pulled, what about the state of your settings, etc… Cross-threading, misaligned connectors, misaligned battery, and so on. Your car, which Tesla’s aren’t known for exquisite build quality, will fall apart a lot quicker.
        B) The battery. What if they don’t like the state of your current one? Your current one got cracked by a rock and you didn’t see it; will they still swap it at no extra cost? What about the battery you get; what state is it in? How can these things be checked so quickly?
        EV’s are great for golf carts, city scooters for deliveries in-city, hell even lawn tractors would probably better in electric because of the torque and, for a lot of people, their yards aren’t so massive as to need a recharge mid-mow, etc… Cars? Been tried for well over 100 years and there’s a reason petrol is king in these vehicles.

        • The battery pack change out can be engineered to be physically doable in a simple manner. It’s just parts cost and infrastructure. However the battery pack swap is fundamentally not feasible because of the nature of chemical batteries.

          In any swap system there are going to be aged battery packs, packs that are damaged or hacked into, and ones that are just about to die. When these things cost well into four figures that only encourages people with faulty packs to make them so they get accepted into the swap system and drive away (hopefully) with a good pack. The system then ends up be one where anyone who plays could land on a Whammy and end up with a big battery replacement bill or like the person before him trying to off load it into the swap system.

          Eventually the swap system becomes one entirely of junk battery packs and anyone with a bit of a clue won’t use it.

          It doesn’t matter how much diagnosis they put in. The system will have to be automated and thus hackable and subject to being fooled. But even the deliberate hacks could be prevented who wants to trade their new pack or one they have treated well for one that meets ‘minimum standards’?

          • Hi Brent,

            I wonder about the effect of regular (daily/weekly) removal/replacement of battery packs – about wear and tear on the physical connection between the battery and the car. Over time, the connection will likely degrade – and then you have the potential issue of environmental exposure of these parts to moisture, dust, grime and do on.

            And – again, for the new people – why?

            Why is this expensive/complicated regime even being seriously discussed given the clear superiority of what we have?

            • The connector problem can be solved it just costs money. The nature of chemical batteries however is what it is.

              The regime is pursued because our betters want it to be.

  9. “Plus, winter. And summer. Both of which tax the EV’s batteries, because they entail use of accessories that consume a lot of (wait for it!) electricity.

    Not only that, but most batteries (if not all) don’t play nice in extreme temperatures. Too cold, and the battery can’t hold a charge. Too hot, and it can overheat; which can potentially lead to an unplanned “barbecue”. 😉

  10. Even in a theoretical best-case scenario in which the EV would perform as well and have the same range as as an IC car, the EV concept is still fraudulent.

    I’m no physicist, but I understand that energy can neither be create nor destroyed, only transferred. So the EV would need to get the same amount of energy to drive the same number of miles at the same speed as an IC car. It would merely resupply that energy off the grid rather than at a Mobil station.

    If we were to exchange every IC car out there for an EV, there’s simply no way we could ever have a grid big enough to create and distribute all the energy needed. The pie-in-the-sky types tell us that we can get it all for free through solar and wind power, but that’s completely bogus. The only way you could supply all that energy is to build another thousand nuclear power plants or build ten times the number of fossil-fuel power plants that we’ve already got. Maybe not even then. Somebody who’s a whole lot smarter than me should try to calculate the number of joules used by American drivers every year and then try to engineer a grid to supply that number. I’d be willing to bet that they couldn’t even get close.

    I can’t believe how many people in positions of power are going along with this obvious hoax… it’s like a f__ing cult.

    Or, maybe the object of the game is to turn us into a version of China in the early 1970s, when the Party rode around in limousines while a billion members of the proletariat ride bicycles and were identically dressed in Mao suits…

  11. Eric,
    I’m quite a wood worker as you mention. I have a dewalt 18v drill and saw which is great for hand held cuts not doable on a table saw. You need them both fully charged for long weekend projects else you are on a 1.5 hour lunch break or longer. I keep one in the saw/drill and the other on the charger. Well these two 18v packs were new in 2014 and now are both dead as a doornail in late 2018 and wont take a charge at all. 4 years. My truck battery made it 5 years, late 2013 to late 2018. Xterra battery went 6 years. I see a pattern, and nature doesn’t lie.

    • Eric and Brazos_bend on woodworking battery powered tools….

      I have been using battery powered WW tools for almost thirty years. The battery technology has improved immensely, but the quality of construction has diminished a lot. My first one, a US made Dewalt drill driver with NiMH batteries suffered amazing abuse and kept working well until I could no longer get batteries….charge time was slow but it was a beast. My latest gear, Chinese made Milwaukee, has lithium-ion batteries that charge quickly and hold a charge for a long time, but the tools themselves will probably fail within five years. It’s a trade-off somewhat as I’m less involved in construction projects but any who….
      With respect to EVs and the mandated ubiquity, it’s all part of the pattern of more control, authoritarian government and globalist agendas promoted by virtually every politician everywhere in the world….such agenda will not be satisfied until every individual is viewed as an interchangable cog in a dystopian future along the lines of Brazil (the movie, not the country) Crank up the popcorn popper, tis going to be a wild ride and pretty quickly

      • I dislike Li-Ion batteries for cordless tools. At least anything short of full professional stuff where the cost to the manufacturer of the packs is expensive to start and by the time it gets to the point of sale it’s way too much.

        We have Makita and Milwaukee at work and the batteries fail often. So far the tools hold up. I am still running Dewalt XRP 18V Ni-Cad. Yes they are heavy but it took a very long time for the first set of batteries to die on me to where I couldn’t use them. Probably about 10 years or more. If I wanted to rebuild them I can buy new cells for them. Did that for my 20+ year old craftsman drill. However I can still buy new dewalt battery packs on sale online for about what the rebuild kits cost. Which I did plus I got another tool with two more. Also I found parts can be bought for these tools on ebay.

        I’ll stick with my ancient stuff for now.

  12. And the few times Tesla gets a bad review, you get sued. Just ask Jeremy Clarkson. He only got 55 miles out of a Tesla Roadster when they claimed it could do 200. Also the brakes were no good.

    • Sure, but to be fair, a race track isn’t exactly normal driving. Musk was/is a petulant fool, but I wouldn’t complain about the reduced range since it doesn’t mirror anyone’s normal commute.

  13. Ars Technica had a post last year about a cross country road trip in a Tesla. The author did talk about recharging the car, the range anxiety, and waiting. But he still did his best to paint a positive picture of having to wait for the charge. He really tried to sell the idea that the leisurely pace of having to stop to recharge so often made it a more enjoyable trip –enjoy the journey and take a look around. Some of the commenters suggested that in the future you’d just take a plane anyway.

    Compare the constant worry about the battery charge and stopping every 2 hours or less to my epic road trips in the A3 TDI. If I didn’t stop for nature brakes I could easily drive 8 hours nonstop. 2 days from my house to my family’s home in Pennsylvania, and that was only because I didn’t want to sleep in the car.

    • If I wanted a leisurely cross country trip, I would use a horse drawn wagon.

      There’s free grass almost everywhere on the shoulders of the road, to “recharge the batteries.”

    • Hi RK,

      Yup!

      I like a leisurely drive, when I am in the mood … and have time for it. The problem with EVs is that you have no choice. The car forces you to take your time. It boggle me that the while country, almost, appears to be buying into this delusion.

      • Like I said, for longer trips you’ll just take a plane. The problem with that is we’ve taken the greatest innovation of the 20th century (debatable I know) and somehow turned it into a horrible experience. I’m not just talking about jamming obese Americans into ever tighter seating. I’m talking of the entire experience. Somehow we put up with the horrible (government run) airports, the overly restrictive (government run) airspace, and the horrible (government run) security theater, and even thank Uncle for the “privilege” of allowing us to fly in his airspace.

        Except for overseas flights, the actual time spent in the air is pretty minimal. There’s the time needed to get to the nearest airport that does’t gouge the airlines for landing fees, decide how many miles away from the airport you want to park (pro tip: the best parking deals at Denver International are in Kansas), deal with the shuttle to get to the terminal. Then once you get there you have to be there early enough to get through TSA, or were they really moving the line that day so no backups? Can’t tell, and the various “premium” velvet rope systems work either, so if you show up late you’re pretty much rolling the dice. Then there’s the second shuttle/train ride to the gates, where you can sit in the most uncomfortable seat ever designed by man, or if you’re a 25 YO woman, just sit on the ground with your bankie and pillow. Meanwhile you have terrible data coverage, you’re constantly assaulted with advertising and various dystopian announcements, food and other smells that can be described as “curious” at best, and dirtiest public restrooms on Earth.

        Once aboard the plane you have to attempt to get to your seat. This is made far worse because of all the Cheap F***ers who refuse to check a bag -although $25 for a checked bag on a $79 ticket does seem a bit excessive, after you realize the ticket price is just so that it shows at the top of the search result, it isn’t as hard to swallow, but try explaining that to CF, who somehow managed to shove 2 weeks worth of clothing in a 2X2X4 box that will never fit in the overhead bin designed for briefcases or maybe a diaper bag.

        And lord help you if you have a connecting flight. Or any weather event anywhere. The system is so brittle that any minor issue will cause a general cascade failure across the country. That it works at all is a daily miracle. It didn’t have to be this way, but because flight became possible during the golden age of progressive government it was set up for regulation and faux efficiency, with massive restrictions on innovation.

        So yea, flying is a wonderful alternative to recharging every 150 miles…

        • Now you’ve done it. I was in Denver international recently for business and was detained by the Chekka for 20 minutes in a private room because something on me set off a false positive for a bomb or something. I remained stone faced, silent and stoic the whole time. The turd who gave me the intimate pat down was probably 5 years younger than me (31) and told me in a condescending hut hut hut tone, “dont worry sir, you will be on your way soon”. I had a magazine clip of smart ass comments at the ready to respond to chekka talk like that but since I was on the company’s dime I didn’t want to tarnish my record. Those retards in the TSA precheck have to be dumbest people on earth. Pay extra money to stand in line and be groped faster. The pre check line at denver was 40 long where the proletarian line was 100+. As for bagging and boarding, I am one of those that stuffs everything in a backpack and just crams it under my seat to avoid baggage fees. I intentionally wait till final boarding even if I’m on the back of the plane so I don’t sit in a nasty plane any longer than necessary. Whip out my turn of the century books on anarchism, liberty, or european fascism and ignore the dumb announcements or dolts watching in flight tv. I want 4 wheels instead of 2 wings

        • Yes: I live in VA, so if I’m going anywhere ranging from Boston, to NC, to Cleveland, I’ll drive. It’s a push as far as total time goes: Leave for the airport 2hrs early, wait an hour for the flight, one+ hour flight time (e.g. 600miles), one hour to get your bags, half hour to get the rental car, and half hour to drive to your final destination = 6+ hours. That’s about 500 miles at freeway speeds.

        • I refuse to go through the prison intake system anymore just to get on an airplane and sit between two 300 pound slobs until the pilot fails to show up at which point I could have been halfway home driving a car by then.

          • Not to mention my drivers license is no longer valid for flying unless I choose to pay extra for a new one with Real ID.

            Fokk that!

  14. I’ve always thought that a in order for E-cars to make it in the marketplace that they will need removable/replaceable batteries, at say, the ‘gas’ station. This would solve a major problem for them.
    However, to actually accomplish this, as all of these -e-cars batteries are huge and heavy, would be a daunting task.
    Not to mention the huge risk of fire, etc… in physically swapping said batteries.
    Just a thought.

    • Hi Chris,

      Yes – and they’d have to be modular/functionally/physically identical – which creates a slew of practical and other problems. EVs would have to be made even more homogenous to accommodate such a system.

      All for why, again?

      The whole thing makes my teeth ache.

    • EV batteries are huge now, but as the technology keeps improving they will get smaller. Just as we now have AA and AAA batteries where C and D were required back in the day.

      And why would swapping EV batteries be a huge fire risk? Again, we don’t risk immolation swapping out the batteries in our flashlights, radios, etc.

      @ Eric: IMHO physically identical EV batteries make sense. Not one size, but several — just like the batteries we’re accustomed to using now. Nor would that require truly homogeneous design. For example, look at all the different types & sizes of gizmos that work with AA batteries.

      I agree that EVs are pure hype now, but I suspect human ingenuity will make them practical and affordable a century from now — perhaps sooner. Look at how far computers have come in just 25-30 years.

      • Hi Zen,

        It’s fine to predict that batteries will get smaller and so on… but (and no offense is meant here) this is the hype I have been hearing for decades. It is one thing to reduce the size of a battery for a small electronic device. But a car is a several thousand pound device and that requires a bigger (and much heavier) battery

        Swapping batteries out of a car is – likewise – a thing very different than popping out a drill’s battery. It will entail a whole new infrastructure (in addition to the charging infrastructure) … and it will still take time… more time than it takes to gas up.

        Again, why?

        What is the necessity or advantage to this?

        And why can’t we just let natural organic market forces decide what form of transportation is superior? EVs are being forced down our throats…why?

  15. I’m working on the VDOT toll lane project for 395. Eventually, the reversible lanes will stretch much further into Virginia than just the outskirts of DC. As for congestion, maybe “clean air” vehicles will get a discount on tolls like they do in CA, but that still doesn’t resolve the range issue.

  16. I See Tesla is claiming a 620 mile range for the roadster. (and 1.9s 0-60 and 250mph top end).
    Anybody in the real world have any actual results on this? I can see it being quick (full torque at any speed) and even fast- totally do-able and many electric hobbyists have come up with really quick and fast vehicles. But I’m really curious how they are making a 620 mile claim. Is this on autopilot with optimized acceleration up to 25mph?

    • I’d be interested to know this, too. Considering even ultra-hip Motor Trend admits the new Model 3’s Track Mode will get it, and I quote, “maybe four or five continuous laps” (of a track), and considering Elon Musk’s penchant for unhinged black-sky thinking, I’m rather inclined to doubt he can pull this off.

      • Hi Chuck,

        The Tesla supercar is a speculative fantasy – it does not exist. Yet the media treats Elon’s claims regarding its “capabilities” with respectful seriousness.

        Aren’t we also supposed to be able to buy tickets to Mars next year?

        Serious note: The high-performance touted by Tesla is inherently at odds with the goal of range/efficiency. There is a reason why a Hellcat doesn’t go as far on a tank as a Corolla. If the goal is an efficient car, then its acceleration/top-speed capability should be a very distant design concern.

        You can go fast – or you can go far. Both together inevitably compromises one or the other and usually both.

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