Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Chris asks: I know you don’t like electric cars but why harp so much on their range? Most people don’t need to drive more than 150 miles in one day, so it’s more a psychological thing than a real problem.
My reply: I find myself repeating myself!
I don’t dislike electric cars. In fact, I think electric cars could be a neat addition to the transportation matrix. What I loathe is the forcing-down-our-throats. The mandates and subsidies – which in addition to being outrages are also distorting the design ethic for electric cars away from affordability and practicality toward sexy/fast/tech-laden luxury-sport cars that happen to be electric.
Imagine an electric car that cost $12k or so and was perfectly serviceable for urban-in city use. It wouldn’t be a road trip car and it wouldn’t be suitable for highway use. But it would cost less than an IC car and thus be more economical – as well as practical for people who only need a “city” car.
But such cars aren’t available because of the mandates and subsidies.
On the rest: Many people do need to drive at least 100 miles a day. Consider that it is considered average for a person to put 12,000-15,000 miles on a car annually. Work that out on a daily-drive basis.
The electric car’s limited range is a functional gimp in and of itself but it’s the preposterous recharge time that is the true gimp. The 150 mile range would be ok if you could get back on the road in 5 or minutes or less. But 30-45 minutes or more is simply . . . preposterous. It is the same thing as waiting half an hour to get a cheeseburger at a fast food drive-thru.
Keep in mind, too, that your 30-45 minute “fast” charge depends on the “fast” charger being unoccupied when you need it. If another electric car is plugged in, you get to wait until he is done “fast” charging. Add another 30-45 minutes to your 30-45 minutes. Now you’re waiting an hour or more to do what an IC car driver can get done in less than 5 minutes, even if someone else is ahead of him at the pump.
It’s a clown show. Put on by people who are counting on their ability to hawk regress as “progress.”
Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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