Recharge Anxiety

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It’s not so much the range that’s the primary electric car gimp – it’s the time it takes to recharge.

Which is a minimum of 30-45 minutes, assuming you have access to what is hilariously styled a “fast” charger. These are 240 volt rigs (twice the voltage of standard household outlets) that can reduce the time it takes to recharge an electric car from several hours to under a hour.

But that isn’t very “fast” compared with the less-than-five-minutes it takes to refuel a non-electric car.

Especially given the non-electric car can be refueled to full in those five minutes at any gas station – while the not-so-fast-charging electric car can only recoup a partial charge – about 80 percent of its full-charge capacity – at a “fast” charger. This additional limitation is necessary for both fire-safety reasons (to avoid excessive heat build-up) and in order to preserve the useful life of the battery.

Electric car batteries – like the 12 volt starter battery in a non-electric car and any other battery yet devised – gradually lose their capacity to accept – and retain – a charge over time.

Hitting them with too much charge – too fast – causes that to happen faster.

But unlike a 12 volt starter battery – which costs about $100  to replace – an electric car battery costs thousands of dollars to replace. Which is why it’s very important in terms of electric car economics to make the battery last as long as possible.

Hence the partial – and not really very “fast” -recharge.

Which also amounts to a 20 percent reduction in whatever the electric car’s range on a fully recharged battery would have been. Which is another way of saying you’ll have to recharge sooner after you “fast” charge.

Or, wait longer – to get back to full charge – by plugging in to a standard 120 volt household outlet.

If you can find one.

One of the cognitively dissonant things about electric cars – which because of their range/recharge issues are fundamentally city cars – is that finding a place to plug in is more of challenge in cities. Because most people who live in cities live in apartments or condos and don’t have garages with electric outlets to plug into.

Do you run an extension cord from your fifth floor apartment to the street below?

Ask the Starbucks people to let you run an extension cord into their joint and mooch off their power?

“Fast” chargers are harder to find than household outlets – because they are specialized and expensive outlets – and the potential for expansion is limited in number by the available real estate. Each “fast-charging” electric car takes up a car-sized parking space while it charges. Imagine circling the block looking for an open “fast” charging spot.

Either way, it’s a pretty long wait.

What if you haven’t got the time?

What if you need to keep driving – because something unplanned for came up? Like an emergency? Or you just want to get where you’re going before tomorrow gets here?

Now you’ve got another problem.

You’ll need another car – probably not electric. Or someone else, to give you ride.

Some electric cars have more range than others – but they all take comparatively forever to recover what range they have. This is a problem of battery chemistry – see above – and will remain a problem unless battery chemistry changes.

There is no sign of this happening.

It’s a problem analogous to making ice cream. The ingredients have to be mixed together – and then cooled. There’s no such thing as instant ice cream.

Or even five minute ice cream.

A poorly tuned  ’67 Chevy with a slipping transmission that only gets 10 miles-per-gallon is still a much more practical car than an electric car because however much gas it uses, that gas can be replaced quickly.

Even if the 10-miles-per-gallon Chevy only had five gallons of gas in its tank (about a fourth of actual capacity) and so could only travel 50 miles in between fill-ups, those fill-ups would still only take five minutes. Less, actually – because it doesn’t take five minutes to pump five gallons of gas. You can can pump 15-20 gallons in that time. Most non-electric cars carry at least that much gas.

Which would mean at least 150-200 miles before our clunker needed more gas.

And the  clunker can be refueled to full – not 80 percent of full – almost anywhere, almost anytime.

A gas-thirsty car does make you stop for gas more frequently – but only briefly.

This lets you get where you want to be – or need to be – before tomorrow gets here.

The unplanned for is not a problem.

Even assuming a preposterous 50 miles of range (10 MPG, with just five gallons of fuel in the tank) our hypothetical Chevy could recover 450 miles of driving range in the time it takes an EV to recover 80 percent of its range just once.

And no electric car currently available can travel anywhere close to 450 miles on a fully charged battery.

Most require a plug-in before they’ve gone even half that far – and as a practical matter, it’s actually less than that . . . because of the time it takes to recharge.

Because of the potential inconvenience – or worse – that running low in an EV represents.

You can risk running on fumes in a non-electric car because even if you run out of fumes, you can be back on the road in the time it takes to pour a couple of gallons into the tank. But in an electric car running on “fumes” – a battery nearly depleted – you face a best-case scenario of a 30-45 minute wait.

If you can find that “fast” charger.

If you can’t, then it’s overnight.

Bad news if you need to be somewhere before then.

. . .

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  1. One thing to consider also is the old adage not to put all your eggs in one basket. Think of this: right now your car/mobility and your home are on two separate credit sources. A gas station and the wire from the street to your box at home. One you can pay with cash and even barter, the other is through state run monopolies and ‘delivery charges’ on a 1, 2, 3 year plan for your electricity rate. The other is daily market price. The state has a lot of control on the price and tax of gas but it can be bought and redistributed more freely by small providers and even resold on the black market. Electricity from the grid, not so much, the State has even MORE control there. Now think down the road when we’ve all been herded into EV’s charging at home or work (as ludicrous as it sounds) and the State issues rolling blackouts or low usage days like they do in heatwaves in Texas and Kookifornia. Woops, can’t charge your vehicle, can’t go anywhere. Delivery fees increased or doubled to pay for new collective infrastructure. Laws could be put out for ICE’s being illegal in some areas which obviously makes this a moot point but laws will come around too to control EVs. Even if the early adopters are happy and subsidized now we know of the nature of the State that things will soon change. With smart meters and smart boxes on houses THEY will know you are charging at home and you own an EV. There are already penetration viruses that can hack into your smart lights and circuits of buildings and houses. EVs are mostly software and the majority of people don’t understand their cars and even fewer understand software, and a tiny fraction of those will ever understand the workings of the proprietary software in TSLA/EVs. If there were an opensource ECM or Car Software that would be a different story but there isn’t yet. And one with no NSA back door and you BETTER believe they are in your EV or will be soon.

    You can’t remote detonate an old V8 or a dirty carb or tell its brakes to lock up and prevent its usage due to owed taxes or dissent. Something to consider for the freedom factor in all of this, how much control do you want to cede to someone else?

    • EXACTLY, Brassiere_Bender!

      Heh, I just essentially said the same thing- but not as thoroughly or eloquently- in another thread.

      They are already implementing/trsting many of the things you mentioned.

      With the smart meters, they can tell just by the “usage profile” when someone is charging an EV.

      In the small town where my sister lives, the city-owned utility already has a rationing system in place, in which it offers essentially what are guesses as to what day of the month will be the peak demand day for that month- on which, if you use electricity during the peak demand hours, you are charged at such a high rate, that just the usage for that one day can be several times the cost of an entire month’s bill! This results in people having to curtail electric use several days per month- ’cause you never know which day will actually end up being the ‘peak day’- so you avoid things like A/C on any day that is guestimated as possibly being a peak day- AND, the bills are so high….for example:

      Last month, my bill with A/C cranking, for my 1000sq. ft. trailer (Which is all electric, includsing hot water and stove) was $64. Meanwhile, my sister’s bill, for her c. 500 sq ft. 1 bedroom apartment, was over $200 !!!!!! Our electricity comes from the very same place- the TVA- only my utility is a rural co-op…hers is the city-owned, politician-run utility….. Hmmm…how fast THEY got with the program! This is a perfect picture of what is to come.

      Small town + gov’t owned utility = easy implementation- so they’re the first to get it and test it and work out the details.

      • I’d actually argue that it is far easier to make electricity at home than to manufacture your own gasoline. Between wood gas generators, makeshift wind turbines, and photovoltaics it is possible to make power, just very slowly.

        Ethanol could be made quite easily too, but gasoline is quite difficult to refine without a chemical plant.

  2. Which is why I chose a Volt. If that power train came in an Equinox, Traverse, Colorado, or some form of Buick that could actually tow something, I’d have one vehicle. But bought my Volt used, its paid for, so I use it as a commuter car and save my tow-capable vehicle for the open-road, though the Volt has and would do most of that job too. Now they plan to stop making them and the only drivetrain I need won’t even end up in another model let alone the ideal configuration for me.

    Wallet closed.

  3. Recharge time is a non-issue for anyone with half a brain. Do you drive to the gas station to charge your cell phone? Simply plug it in every night and wake up with a full “tank” in the morning.

    “But what if XYZ event happens and I need to take a 700 mile road trip at 2AM?” Then I’d just take my truck, because that is clearly outside the scope of what an EV is for. An EV is best used as a cheap to run daily driver that keeps miles off one’s truck and weekend car.

    • Hi WF,

      You make my point for me. You keep an IC car to crutch the EV’s deficits. I keep an IC car – and avoid the deficits.

      I don’t depend on my cell phone for transportation. It’s also usable while it’s charging. I am not forced to stand there like someone with . . . half a brain… waiting for it to recharge. As one is forced to do with an EV.

      An EV as a “cheap” daily driver?

      My teeth ache already.

      • These latte-drinking, “selfie”-taking, (anti-)social media addicted lib-turds prefer “CON-venience” over simple convenience because the latter would require a whole brain. Unfortunately, the majority of society have already sold half of their brains to Silly-Con Valley in exchange for a life free of responsibilities.

        Just like little kids, time means absolutely nothing. As long as they have their “toys” to play with, they’re happy.

      • No shit I’m gonna keep an ICE car to do what the EV can’t do. It’s called having different tools for different jobs. Clover

        And yes, EVs are roughly 1/3 the cost per mile to drive when compared to a similar sized ICE vehicle. Cheaper to operate, not to buy new. Which is why I buy used because who the hell buys new cars?

        • So let’s see….you’d have to keep an ICE car to do what the EB can’t- thus having the expense of purchasing, maintaining, registering, insuring [etc.] another vehilce….. Meanwhile, the ICE car can do it ALL…so what is the point of having the EV, which costs substantially more thgan the ICE; depreciates much faster; and is not as durable?

          Any fuel savings would be eaten up by the additonal costs mentiuoned above, plus the cost of the EV, many times over. So there IS no point to the EV.

          Used? Are you forgetting that the EV’s batteries will need replacing, to the tune of much more than the cost of just buying a used functional ICE vehicle; AND that the EV is hideously expensive to repaqir once out of warranty?

          So you’re going to spend THOUSANDS- nay, TENS of THOUSANDS to “save” a few hundred dollars a year in gas…. (They don’t even try to sell EVs on the basis of economy, because there is none; therefore the emphasis is on “performance”, and virtue-signaling)

          Ladies and gentlemen, can I hear “a quarter of a brain”?

          • Many families already own multiple vehicles. If I’m already going to have a car and a truck. Why not an EV car for the daily driving and a gas/diesel truck for hauling and road trips?

            EV battery degradation is only an issue on shitty battery packs without active thermal management. That is why cell phone and laptop batteries go to shit in 2 years. They are run from 0 to 100% and exposed to lots of heat.

            Even if you wanted to replace the battery pack, the cost of doing so is comparable to the cost of replacing a transmission. But here’s the kicker, a car with 80% of it’s range years down the line is still a good grocery getter for people with short drives. You don’t even NEED to replace the battery because the car still works.

            • You just convinced me. Tomorrow, I’m going to buy two new Tesla’s. One to shit on and the other to cover it up with. Then I’ll have all bases covered. Whereas I could just get in the pickup and go and if encountering bad conditions, use 4WD and if I find myself needing to haul something I didn’t plan on, I have the vehicle for it and when I come across some dolt who’s pulled off the road to turn around and doesn’t realize it’s blowsand, I can just wave and drive around. WTF, they have cellphones now. I have just about quit pulling idiots out of bad situations. Why did you think you could turn around here? No answer. Good enough, maybe I’ll consider pulling your stupid ass out. I don’t guess you have a chain? Stupid question I know. Well, I do, and I’ll rent it and my pickup for $100/5 minutes. That means you have to do exactly as I say or those minutes will keep piling up.

              I had this happen one day, told the gun of a two wheel drive Ext. Cab F 250 diesel, an even more useless vehicle than a 2 WD Chevy diesel. Don’t leave the road with either. I said “Don’t turn your front tires, leave them(and I reached in and turned the steering wheel where they were straight)straight. I got back in and spun 4 tires and not much happened. He had the dam front tires turned full lock. I repeated, don’t turn your tires as I straightened them, got back in and repeated same. I am pissed at this point. I go back again and said DO NOT turn your front tires to which his wife nearly screamed at him. Did you not hear the man? Don’t turn the damned tires. I got back in and pulled them out, front tires straight. I just unhooked the chain, threw it in the bed and drove away. I figured if they were stupid enough to try that again they could sit there in the dark all night. This was well before wide-spread cellphone use. BTW, this is another reason to use one ton pickups and Toyo tires. I generally don’t need to worry about getting stuck. I don’t get into situations like that.

            • “Why not an EV car for the daily driving and a gas/diesel truck for hauling and road trips?”


              Insurance on TWO vehicles.
              Buying TWO vehicles.
              Maintaining TWO vehicles.
              Parking for TWO vehicles, one that needs a power outlet.
              RANGE ANXIETY!

              • And that’s it in a nutshell Anon.

                There are different needs for everyone. I’ve had people point out I don’t NEED a diesel pickup. True enough, I can do what I always did before and bring that gas engine to an early demise with it stuck to the floor in bad heat with heavy loads. Besides, I like not having to do anything but change oil, clean the air filter and be on my way for 10,000 miles again with Amsoil synthetic. I don’t consider greasing much of a cost but you have to do it regardless of gas or diesel on any worthwhile vehicle.

                I recall when Ford made 4WD gas pickups with no grease zerks. Wow, that was easy, and people who used them got the pleasure of replacing every damned steering part in a year.

                Like eric said, a cellphone still works fine hooked to a charger. I carry a device that will keep it charged for days and have an extra battery that I can literally change in 30 seconds.

            • What about RENTING the extra vehicle when you need it? Doesn’t it make sense to buy a vehicle that’ll meet, say 90%-95% of your daily needs and rent in the rare event that your daily vehicle doesn’t? I had two vehicles, and it was a PITA; that’s why I went back to one…

                • Just bought a 98 3/4T 4WD ext. cab Chebby with a 6.5 Turbo Diesel and 343,000 miles. It runs, no a/c, and it will hurt you if you don’t watch it. Something bad the matter in the front steering.

                  But the body’s fairly straight and it’s gonna be a donor to my 93 of same fame but rolled.

                  I won’t be working on either soon. It’s supposed to be 105 today. I wish I could abracadabra that body onto the 93.

                  It came with a PMD relocation kit and new PMD. I can sell that to somebody since the 93 is mechanical and not prone to fuck up.

                  We used to have several pickups and did they ever come in handy. Once mandatory insurance was passed in Texas the costs of keeping them became very costly. It was nice to have one hooked up to the cattle trailer I used nearly every day, one for hauling other trailers and big loads, and another for 4WD and doing small stuff but since my Nissan 4WD got 16 mpg and my Turbo Diesel got 18 that didn’t work out as I expected. The El Camino would pull a big trailer too since it was a Trailer Option and haul a good load but it was the lead sled with 400 hp and T/A WS6 parts in front that was the “fun to drive” and reliable vehicle.

                • We have liability insurance on the four that we drive, and somehow in Montana at least it doesn’t make much difference once you get up to 2 or 3. When we try to delete one that supposedly costs $100 then the bill only goes down maybe $35, so that is the true marginal cost since they just raise the price of the remaining insured vehicles.

                  Someday I would like to get down to just two “perfect” vehicles, maybe a ranch pickup and some sort of nice 4×4 that you could drive summer or winter or across the country.

                  Anything NOT 4×4 is just a seasonal vehicle around here, maybe July through November if you’re lucky. Last year we managed to drive the car well up into December, but then it rained so much this spring and early summer that we’ve only been reliably driving it for about the past month (middle July – middle August).

                  • Still, I know what you mean. I thought about buying this really clean 93 2WD Chevy pickup and then considered the road to town. Nope, that won’t work. We culled everything that wasn’t 4WD decades ago. With the exception of the El Camino with big tires and P trac, that was about the only thing that would get through the sand, mud and gouges(and I tried to not take it through the gouges because of tube headers).

                    I had a brand new engine in the Elco and we lived 1.5 miles off into the pasture. There were some bad washes and you had to ease and pick your way over them.

                    My parents called one day from a nearby town and said their car had quit(not surprising since they did no maintenance except pay the bill when one wouldn’t go). I went and picked them up and sine the wife and I had pickups to take to work, I let them take the Elco.

                    I told my daddy getting through those bad places was just a matter of velocity, meaning, pick and choose and go slow.

                    I guess he thought I meant to fly through them, underside be damned. I got it back and it was pouring oil from around the pan that was smashed. It was a 7 quart Moroso pan that kept from being low by being wide. Both sides were smashed. I had to pull the engine(plus the rebuild with bronze walled valve guides wasn’t a take, they leak but I was warned by the engine builder they had bad luck with them.

                    I got to do a head job and wrangle that oil pan back square during 20 degree weather. I was in the garage(4 car) that must have been at least 19 with my little heater on. I’d work on it till I lost feeling in my fingers.

                    It’s not much fun to assemble an engine in that temperature and probably all he torque specs were affected by it. Use RTV where the pan gasket pieces meet(SBC), put the heater as close to it as possible and hope it set correctly. Couldn’t believe it when it ran as good as ever and with no leaks. If he’d ever asked again, I’d have sent him with the Nissan with skid plates and a manual. That would have pissed my mother off since she couldn’t drive one. Ah well, that’s the way it goes.

                    I guess my dad thought it was common for me to drive something pouring oil…..with a new engine since I know his carport must have been awash in oil. It was plenty low when I got it back too. Live and learn.

          • Hey Nunz,

            Yeah, it’s frustrating that the most sensible EV died. It’s failure seems due to numerous factors.

            First, when new, the price was absurd and eliminated any possible economic justification. Also, the value that I’ve described many times pales in comparison to the increased cost.

            Second, few, even those at GM, seemed to understand why it’s unique hybrid drive-train created a car that was, in most circumstances, better, cheaper to operate and more practical than a Pious style hybrid. Despite all the hype, a Pious is just a crappy, inferior version of a ’93 Civic with the V-tec engine. It’s only “advantage” is relatively good mileage compared to other modern cars. But, it is not possible to drive a Pious without using gas. Thus, it offers nothing beyond any other car, ICE or otherwise, with similar fuel economy. The Volt, if used for normal daily driving, can be driven without using gas at all.

            Third, the absurd emphasis placed on range and hyper performance promoted by the Muskrat and his sycophantic fanboys. A practical EV needs to be reasonably priced, have enough range for most daily driving needs, be rechargeable overnight with standard equipment and be marketed to suburban folks who have easy access to a garage or carport. The Volt had most of it.


            • Jeremy, some friends had a Pious and the woman drove it a mile to the school where she worked. A mile to work and I’d walk…..or ride a bike. Speaking of which, I need to get a bike with floatation tires for riding on sand. Until them I’ll use the company pickup.

        • Hi WF,

          It’s called having a defective tool.

          One that is incapable of doing what the not-defective (and much less expensive) tool can do.

          It is absurd to tout “1/3 lower cost” per mile (to drive) as a way to save money when the EV itself costs much more to buy.

          Please explain how you save money by buying and driving an EV vs. an IC car.

          A $5,000 used Corolla or similar is superior in every functional and economic way to any used or new EV. It costs much less, lasts longer, goes much farther and takes a fraction of the time to refuel.


          Yet EV fanatics refuse to concede these obvious, inarguable facts. Which is precisely why they are fanatics.

          And, Clovers.

          If you would simply say: Look, I like EVs; they are worth it to me to spend the extra coin.

          I’d amen and second this – your right to spend extra to indulge your likes. Hey, it’s your money. I don’t denounce people who buy muscle cars or jacked-up 4x4s.

          But please – spare us the cant.

          And the delusions.

          • Are you kidding? The Ford Escort I got for $280, with two bent rims, an exhaust leak at the manifold, so much body rust I hesitate to even jack it up anymore, and at least one completely ruined shock is functionally superior to most EVs.

            • Obviously buying a shitbox is the cheapest way to drive. I did that for years and its worked out well for me. But, let’s try to be intellectually honest here and compare cars from the same decade.

              Average price of gas today $2.71 per gallon. $2.71/30mpg = $0.09 per mile

              Chevy volt in EV mode for example: (14kWh * $0.12)/50 miles of range = $0.03 per mile

              That is 1/3 of the OPERATING cost. The break even period depends on the difference in purchase price and how many miles you drive per year. The operating cost IS cheaper.

              • The kwh rate of electricity is not the complete operating cost for an EV. The difference in purchase price between an IC and an EV has to factor into operating costs. Also, the replacement cost of batteries.

                • Both ICE cars and EVs will need tires, wiper blades, suspension components, etc. I’m purely talking about the cost of fuel over miles driven.

                  The operating cost does not depend on the purchase price. That would be the break even period.

                  The battery replacement issue depends largely on the vehicle being discussed. Vehicles like the egolf, and leaf will have significant degradation. A properly managed pack with liquid cooling and buffers on both ends of capacity (Bolt, Volt, Tesla packs) will go 100,000+ miles while still retaining 80% of it’s original capacity. The car isn’t useless at 80% capacity either, it would still function with a shorter range.

                • The cost will also go up as the states impose taxes and fees on electric cars to make up for the lack of gasoline taxes. Right now they’re getting a free ride in that regard but it is not going to last.

              • So 10,000 miles a year, $900 for fuel. Or $300 electric by your numbers.

                $600 saved for how much hassle and extra expense?

                Penny smart and pound foolish as Ma used to say.

                • Once again, the break even period depends on the difference in price and miles driven per year. If you drive 20,000 miles per year then you save $1200 and so on…

                  The difference between a used gen 2 Volt and a say a used Malibu of the same generation is 3k to 7k depending on features and trim levels.

                  If you saved 600 bucks per year you would have to drive the car for 5 years to save 3 grand (not bad) or 12 years to save 7 grand (not really worth it). You have to decide for yourself what payback period you deem reasonable.

                  • Except you don’t save $600. As you have said, you still need a normal car as the EV is not suitable for all tasks.

                    So, insurance + price of EV, to save $600/10,000 miles, and you still need a an ICE anyway?

                    • I already have a spare vehicle whether or not my daily driver is an ICE or an EV.

                      This would be different for someone who only wants 1 vehicle.

                    • Hi WF,

                      Addendum: I don’t loathe electric cars, per se. I think EVs as they exist are silly. Because they try to be what they can’t be – practical/economical cars. They are fundamentally high-dollar specialty cars, like Porsches – that just happen to be electric.

                      Nothing wrong – morally – with buying one, if you want one, because it appeals to you. But there’s justifying it on economic grounds.

                      That’s the nut of our disagreement.

                      PS: A five year-old Corolla with say 80,000 miles on it is a great little car, a roomier car than the Volt – with easily another 100,000 miles of reliable (and comfortable) life left. It is certainly not “slumming it.”

                      And you can buy one for about $8,000.

                      Drive it for say eight years, your cost to own is about $1,000 annually.

                      And at the end of eight years, the Corolla will probably still be worth $2,500 or so – reducing its actual cost to about $800 annually.

                      Meanwhile, the used EV will be worthless after eight-ten years because of the battery degradation/replacement cost.

                      No EV can match IC math.

                      Now add to that the hassle of owning a car that forces you to be always-conscious of the range remaining – and where/when/how much time you must book to recharge the thing. A vehicle that is greatly affected by driving style and conditions – far more so than an IC car.

                      Remember the robot from Lost in Space?

                      It does not compute!

                    • That’s wonderful, W[T]FJ- So, for people who can afford multiple vehicles. and who live in places where there is room to park multiple vehicles; and can charge them at home (Which leaves out most residents of large cities, like NYC- the places which are most suitable to EVs) they can spend their money on a second or third vehicle which will cost them more; depreciate more; and not be as functional…to save a few hundred bucks a year on gas.

                      Wow, isn’t technology wonderful[yawn].

                    • EV’s, ha, the non-car guy’s car.

                      I used to eat up every word in Sports Car Graphic, even the ads in the back section.

                      When the Porsche 911 debuted I was smitten. No girl could turn me on like that.

                      They were cheap too, only twice as much as the family car. Made perfect sense to me.

                      I’d tell my dad how good a deal they were and nothing handled like they did(for the price and well beyond).

                      If it had been silent, I would have blown it off right away.

                      There were Mercedes and Ferrari’s and countless other cars out there that made wonderful sounds. Even the cars Arkus Duntov built specifically or even got into production and a very limited basis, had that bad-ass sound, raspy exhaust with ball behind it. High speed engines.

                      Had someone said to me “You can get an EV for the same price and they’re silent”. I’d have looked at them like they were speaking Martian. WTF would you want a high-performance car with no sound?

                      Ever see anyone build up an old muscle car and when it’s running, it sounds like a new Honda, no sound? I think not and there’s a good reason for that. It’s an aural delight and nobody who likes performance would give up a good exhaust note.

                      Even big rigs with too many mufflers and too small exhaust leave most O/O’s uninterested.
                      Maybe they don’t want that sound to be intrusive in the cab but they like the way two 8″ open pipes sound on a 600 hp Cat. You won’t get that same throaty sound and when you turn on the Jack at full intensity, you KNOW something is happening.

                      EV’s, yuck, all the appeal of the gold cart. Build one with a pickup style and you might get some rich hunters to buy a few. Probably not though since range in really cold weather would suck.

                      Have you heard the story of the hot rod race when the Leafs and Volts were settin the pace, this story’s not true I’m here to say cause I was driving that Model A.
                      It had a Lincoln motor that was really souped up……

                    • EV’s: Cars for effeminate girlymen of the Harry Potter generation.

                      If that queer wizard of buttfuckery has a car, you can be sure it’s an EV, or whatever Ed Begley Jr. is currently sacheting around in.

                      The only noise permitted is the “:Weeeeeeee” exclaimed by the owners as they glide to the bank to cash the rebate checks mulcted from the pockets of other taxpayers, and consumers who have to pay more for real cars thanks to the wizardry of the magical carbon-credit scam hexed upon us by Uncle.

                  • So, what DOES insurance cost for an EV? I’m sure there’s a great difference in types but insurance rates are determined by parts replacement costs.

                    I had a friend my age with a hybrid Camry(his wife’s car). It got 42 mpg nearly everywhere it went. It would have been a break-even deal if it had gotten 100 mpg cause the insurance was ludicrously expensive. But she was virtue signally away. I think they should put a glow in the dark “Hybrid” sticker on them so everyone knows “they are saving the earth”.

          • And for the record I’m not even a lefty environmentalist. I have my own word for those people. I call them ecofags. I wrench on cars all the time and design machines for a living. I give 0 fucks about global warming or CO2. I simply look at EVs as machines.

            I used to hate electric cars too until I learned about how they worked. Now I appreciate them as good machines for a specific range of applications. I don’t expect them to replace 100% of vehicles on the road and I don’t want internal combustion engines banned.

            I cringe so hard at people who hate EVs because “liberals like it so it must be bad.” That philosophy holds true for many things, but this isn’t one of them.

            • WF I could care less if liberals like EVs. just dont point a government gun at my head to help them buy them. And for a make believe climate hoax i think thats the main problem we all have with them

              • The argument that “A $5,000 Corolla is cheaper” is arguing in bad faith. By that logic no other car makes sense. Hell why even have a car? Just ride a bike? Or walk? Or just die because that costs absolutely nothing?! If you want to compare a 2017 EV to a Corolla compare it to a 2017 Corolla.

                And the “defective tool” argument is equally as autistic. Is a sports car a “defective tool” because it can’t tow a trailer and you would need to buy a bigger vehicle to haul with? Is a multimeter a “defective tool” because it breaks when I use it to pound nails? Is a 9mm handgun a “defective tool” because it doesn’t shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles?

                I’m not the one claiming that EVs will replace every single vehicle. If you have a problem with those people then go ahead and argue away. Just because I see some valid use cases for EVs doesn’t mean I want to ban gas cars. There is a reasonable middle ground here.

                • Hi WF,

                  Ok, let’s posit a brand-new $13k Nissan Versa. Less than half the cost of the least expensive new EV, the Nissan Leaf. You will never “save money” buying the Leaf vs. the Versa – which will last 15-20 years without needing major repair while the Leaf will almost certainly require a very expensive battery pack long before it ever gets to 15 years old.

                  And you will also have to worry about the Leaf’s limited range/long recharge time.

                  EVs have their good attributes; I’ve never denied them. Instant torque, quickness, quite running. But there is no economic or practical case to be made for them.

                  They are toys people spend extra on because they aren’t concerned about the EV’s poor economics.

                  • New EVs, like all new vehicles, don’t make financial sense. That is where USED EVs come into play. They depreciate much faster than their ICE counterparts, making the price difference much smaller over time. You will pay more upfront, but the break even point DOES EXIST. I personally consider a payoff period of 3 to 5 years to be worth it because I keep my cars for a long time.

                    • A 2014 Corolla is about 8k.
                      A 2014 Volt is about 8 to 10k.

                      Thats a 2k difference.
                      $2.71/30mpg =$0.09 per mile
                      (16.5kWh *$0.12)/38miles =$0.05 per mile

                      With a $2000 difference and $0.04 per mile savings the break even point would be 50,000 miles. And the 1st gen Volt will last that long because the battery pack has excellent thermal management and programmed buffers that keep the actual battery percentage between 20% and 80%. The math still works out here and honestly you couldn’t go wrong picking either one of those cars.

                    • Okay, here’s the deal: if an EV works for you, then great. All the power to ya. Just keep in mind that they are not for everyone, especially (and ironically) for us city-dwellers; mainly due to lack of secure, overnight parking/charging areas (i.e. household garages).

                      Oh, and I assume that you’re also aware of the inherent danger of EV’s? You know, when the LI-ion battery packs are compromised? Yeah, they like to do a little something known as “thermal runaway” (AKA barbecuing your ass into oblivion).

                  • Hi Eric, Eight, Nunz, WF, etc…,

                    I’m going to plug for WF here as I don’t think it’s accurate to portray him as a Clover making deluded arguments insisting on the superiority of EV’s. He hasn’t called for EV subsidies, banning ICE’s or evoked the modern CAGW religion. He has never made a blanket case for the superiority of an EV, nor has he insisted they are sensible for all drivers, in all circumstances.

                    He has argued that EV’s make sense in particular circumstances for particular people. He is right, and I’m considering purchasing a used EV for precisely those reasons. I own a 2002 Dakota that I love (best vehicle I’ve ever had) and hope to keep until I die. It has 185,000 miles and is in good shape, but I don’t want to use it as a daily driver anymore.

                    Thus, I want an inexpensive and practical 2nd car to use as a daily driver. WF has got me thinking about a used EV because it may be my best option. The huge stumbling block for me is the cost of a new EV. I can’t afford one, and even if I could, would never buy one for all the reasons Eric describes. However, an inexpensive, low range and overnight chargeable EV would meet my needs for a daily driver better than any ICE.

                    First, I have a covered carport with electricity. So, charging is a non issue. Second, I never drive more than 30 miles at a time unless I am traveling. So, range above say 60 miles is of no value to me. Third, I don’t like having to plan for gas fill-ups or going to the station.

                    For me, a simple EV, as I described, would entirely eliminate range anxiety, require almost no effort to “fill up” and, if cheap enough, be a better, more economical and more practical car, for me, than an ICE.

                    This is not a Clover argument.


                    • Let us know when you find that inexpensive used electric car, that still has a working battery. Otherwise, I totally agree.

                    • Hi dpa,

                      Something like this looks attractive.


                      Less than 40,000 miles, for $9,000.00. Battery should still have a lot of life left in it. Also, to address your and Jason’s point about battery life, the Volt appears to limit the usable power to less that 2/3 of total capacity. This, coupled with a good thermal management system, may result in a very long lasting battery.

                      A decent used Volt is starting to look really attractive to me. No gas needed for all of my normal driving (not truck related) and capable of a trip to Albuquerque the few times I do that.


                    • Hi Jeremy,

                      I agree with all your points; but would still go with a used IC economy car such as Corolla or Civic, either of which can be bought for in good shape for much less than a used EV and both of which will never need a new battery pack and will probably provide reliable transportation for much longer than the EV – and be capable of spur of the moment driving, driving much farther than you’d expected to – and so on – and without any appreciable wait to get rolling again.

                    • Hey Jeremy, et al,

                      Amazingly, it seems that Chevy somehow managed to pull it’s dysfunctional head out of it’s diverse rear-end for a brief moment…as they really seem to have done something right with the Volt that no one else (Not even E-loon) is doing.

                      So naturally…they had to stop making that car….

                      Really makes one wonder why the Volt has such low resale value- as it does seem to be the most practical of the EV’s (Although certainly not at the prices they sold for new).

                      It’s ironic: The one EV that actually may offer some practicality….is treated as the red-headed step-child. (Maybe GM should installed larger virtue signals to attract the typical eco-fairies… 🙂 )

                    • I’d like to see how many EV drivers go to a service station. Quite a few I’d bet since they need the obligatory 44 and some munchies plus they can wash their windows and not have to carry a squeegee and cleaner. Just sayin, more than gas sold at them.

                  • Hey Eric,

                    The issues you raise are why the Volt is the only EV I’m considering. Sure, I could get a similar ICE for less money or a nicer ICE for the same money. But, the absolute upper limit I would even consider is $10,000, so that defines a certain range of “niceness”, and I don’t much care about “niceness”.

                    So, for me, how much “niceness” am I willing to sacrifice for almost never having to go to a gas station or being concerned about real range anxiety? Quite a lot. Also, as you have previously explained, the Volt is a sensible EV because one can make unplanned trips that exceed the EV range without worry.


  4. EVs seem to be stirring up as much controversy as the phony Piltdown Man did in in anthropology. I hope it will just pass to the side until a better energy storage system is developed. All the cons of the present system just make this too impractical for widespread universal use, and the attempts to radically alter society to “force” EVs to fit in is just psychotic at best.

  5. Good subject today. Interesting comments, most on topic.

    I think EVs are like space travel today. Not quite ready. Space travel is extremely expensive and very dangerous. Anything long term is likely fatal until tech improves. With EVs, not so radically bad, but still not yet ready. Range is too short, batteries can ignite, power is not free and can be erratic, charging is much too slow. Why bother?

    Yes electric motors can be great things, but until the tech improves (and science advances) this will be a gimmick that must be subsidized to please the Green religionists. Who of course really want to return to primitive life conditions. Well, they want you to live primitively. Not them, private Gulfstream jets, etc.

  6. So electric car batteries are even less useful in the UK where the standard household electricity comes at 240volts?

    *shakes head*

  7. I guess that the end dumps, with and without pups, belly dumps, belly trains, and water trucks and tankers that I drove while working for construction and concrete companies weren’t really construction jobs. Maybe they were mining jobs since I frequently hauled product away from gravel and bentonite mines. I watered a lot of road base and laid down a lot of asphalt, but maybe you don’t consider building roads to be true construction.
    I never had any registration or licensing paperwork for the trucks that I moved in driveaway because the truck was the cargo moved. Apparently you haven’t worked in driveaway or you’d know that.
    I’ve been paid by direct deposit for as long as you have, and I’ve never failed to get a settlement statement from an employer. It is hard to get a check stub when there is no check to detach it from.

    • Oh, Christ, let’s cut right to the chase. This whole electric car farce is all about control. “Why, we just can’t have the peasants, er, the people, just running around just doing whatever they want, when they want, using up fossil fuels. Why, they could hurt themselves, or far worse, hurt their clear betters, us!

      Those on the Left have always considered themselves the elites, who should be entitled to direct the peasants (us) lest they hurt themselves, or far worse, even hurt us, their rightful supervisors! That, in a mighty small nutshell, is modern liberalism at work.

      • Name just one thing that the government is involved in for the sake of anything but control.
        If you really think there is any practical difference between the left and the right, you probably haven’t stopped to wonder why they both have guaranteed ballot access and government-sponsored primaries.
        Never read Tweedledee and Tweedledum huh?

    • You made it seem as if driveaway was what you’d always done. I had never driven a belly dump till 5 years ago simply because I’d always been a flatbed, heavy hauler or grain hauler for the most part. My first job was hot mix and I was nervous as a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. Turns out I didn’t need to be except my truck didn’t have a working a/c. Now you can’t haul hot mix, at least for a govt. job without a working a/c. That’s fine with me since I had rather work for companies and not govt. and the only times I’ve hauled hot mix was for private jobs.

      No, never have been in driveaway. I liked hotshot oil field loads too much to do anything else when I could. The wife had a stroke 14 months ago putting an end to my long haul days. I now work for the county. The pay sucks but I’m close by(I live 1.5 miles from the county shop/yard) in case she falls and can’t get up. At least I get to use other talents now that sort of mix things up like heavy dirt equipment, graders, dozers, loaders, etc. I do use a belly dump quite a bit and some end dump work.

      • I very clearly said 4 years of driveaway in a 30 year (so far) career.
        I’d just take the wife with me and keep on longhauling.
        Having participated in the liquidation of Arrow Trucking, I’ll probably never subject myself to the danger of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere (as many of their 200 drivers were) without enough resources to get myself and all my property home.
        How is working for the county not like working for the government instead of companies?
        I’ve driven everything from a sub-CDL dump to a belly trains hauling bentonite and aggregate (most recently). I’ve been considering going to work hauling bentonite again if I can find someone willing to hire me part-time, which is 40 hours in that. Most of the local bentonite haulers want 6 16-hour days a week, and one company won’t rehire me because I refused to make out a bogus logsheet when they’d make me work over 12 hours in a watertruck. On the other hand, I’m having no trouble living on $998 in Social Security, that may change when Medicare starts taking $135 a month…
        Life is much easier when one can go anywhere one wants anytime one wants without worrying about anyone else’s schedule, as I’ve done for 3 years.
        I’ve been hearing about a shortage of broadcast engineers, of which I was one for a decade before trucking, so maybe I’ll get to work at one of the shortwave stations I’ve been listening to for decades.

  8. I know it’s sounding like a broken record, but it’s worth saying again, I think.

    High summer and blackouts and brownouts are common around the country, especially during heat waves.

    The rickety US electric grid is running at over peak capacity.

    Now what the hell does everybody think will happen if you started plugging millions of EVs into the grid every day on top of that?

    • It would be made up for by the fuel not burned by the trucks not needed to haul the fuel not delivered.
      It is impossible for the electric grid to run over peak capacity for longer than it would take for the wires to melt. Ohm’s Law again, the old I squared R thing.
      Blackouts are caused by transmission failures. Brownouts are caused by the demand exceeding the supply.

      • “It would be made up for by the fuel not burned by the trucks not needed to haul the fuel not delivered.”

        Seriously? In addition to finding the comparison ridiculous (the amount of energy expended in trucking fuel, which is mostly transported by pipeline anyway, is infinitesimal compared to the new demand created by 100 millions EVs) how would decreasing diesel fuel use increase electric grid capacity?

        “It is impossible for the electric grid to run over peak capacity for longer than it would take for the wires to melt. Ohm’s Law again, the old I squared R thing.”

        Uhh, yah…that was point. Pretty sure it was exactly that, which caused the Canyon fire in CA last year.

        “Blackouts are caused by transmission failures. Brownouts are caused by the demand exceeding the supply.”

        Also, pretty much my point.

        Overloaded transmission systems trip offline or fail. Brownouts drag down grid voltage due to excessive demand.

        Now, add 30 percent more load to that grid and tell me what will happen.

          • Brownouts are the ANALog version of the data dump, which are sometimes precipitated of a thumb drive inserted into the output.

        • Tell us about just one gas station you know about that has a pipeline into it, aside from a CNC. Even propane comes in by truck.

          • Vonu, there are many along I 20 with pipelines into them. One out here is not even a truckstop per se’ but a convenience store that sells a lot of fuel. It’s located about 7 miles east of Big Spring. But there are truck stops and no telling how many convenience stores that are on a Chevron Pipeline.

            I suspect there are even more on I 10 and I 35 and I 45.

      • vonus re truck fuel no it wouldnt. theres also transmission line loss that is never accounted for in these discussions. you think electricity is delivered 100% efficiently? theres a few squirrels who would disagree. Regardless of the cause a full scale blackout will likely leave you completely immobile. blackouts during hurricanes and storms can last for days. you really want to try to run from a hurricane in an electric car? gee that sounds like fun. What a crock of crap for the idiots who buy these things.

        • M3, when a hurricane hit Florida, Eloi allowed “his” cars to access more battery than normal. If you left Mimami and headed north, you’d have another 8 or 10 miles before sticking out your thumb.

          • The last couple of hurricanes to hit Florida resulted in gridlock on the freeways, and people crowded around gas stations waiting for the tanker trucks to show up. Electricity isn’t any better when the electricity goes out a good 10 hours before the hurricane even arrives.

        • High voltage electric transmission efficiency is in the high 80% range.
          Electric motors convert electrical energy into kinetic energy at a higher efficiency than any internal combustion engine that has ever been built.
          The most efficient radio transmitters, having no moving parts aside from fans and coolant pumps, barely get above 30%, with the most modern solid state units getting around 38%.
          The ignorance of those who don’t see the common sense of utility burial are the only ones that would include natural disasters in electrical transmission efficiency.

          • I guess Ugly’s handbook is ignorant. It doesn’t show burial utility to be more efficient.

            I buried my electrical service to the house and barn simply to avoid having it taken down by tall equipment or some eventual tree. It’s been buried with no problems for 34 years. That doesn’t mean it won’t suffer some major catastrophe, like me digging too deep with a Ditch Witch, the very reason I put another electrical service and the water line above it. The water line did save my ass but I only got to repair the other electrical service.

            I used direct burial wire in conduit. Gophers are bad hereabouts and I’ve had to replace many direct burial lines because of them. Got the conduit free so it was a no-brainer….and that’s a very good thing for me.

  9. More proof that EV’s are mainly Sunday-Go-To-Meeting vehicles to be driven a few days a week. One solution to extend the driving distance is to pack 3 or 4 burly dudes into your EV, pay them the standard $15/hour to travel with you and when your EV runs dead, they get out and push you to your destination while you steer. The time allowances for recharging and/or towing a dead EV verses pushing it might equal out. Although, you might be able to mount a few mini wind turbines on the back and this could help with the charge-as-you-go idea. I am able to park in an underground garage at my girlfriend’s condo, but it would be extremely difficult to charge an EV in that area. If several owners were able to tap into an electric source that was part of the condo’s electric system, that might cause the electric bill to go up and thus your condo fees along with it. I just can’t find any practical and rational reason to ever own one of these monstrosities soon destined for a spot at Greenfield Village (Michigan) in the antique auto museum. Only then will they find their rightful place in automobile history.

  10. Creation and distribution of electrical power via coal, gas, nuclear sourced produces problems and pollution of their own. Hydropower slightly less but the grid is the same. If one is unfortunate enough to run out the first house you come to probably has some gas to get you going.
    Even though they have electric unless the car is pushed there and charged for hours you are stranded.

    • just, hydropower has a lot of problems. It produces, via the lake, large amounts of CO2, if you think that is a problem. But it has another problem in that it creates large amounts of methane. And probably if you had a ranch you got pennies on the dollar for because some entity used eminent domain to create a lake over your ranch…..well…….”we ain’t comin out” and they don’t give a shit. BTW, I’ve fished on lots of new lakes. The best places are old homesteads, esp. with wells you can find on sonar.

      • The algae in the lakes would reduce the CO2 to oxygen waste.
        What part of a hydroelectric plant would emit methane?
        Most of the damage done by any dam is fish kill, which is disposed by by fish eating.
        I’ve heard of ground-penetrating radar but never ground-penetrating sonar. Are you talking about wellheads at the bottom of tanks, as they call them down yonder?

        • The rotting vegetation and animals produce methane. Fish kill is caused by lack of oxygen cause by too much of other gases, CO2 and methane and often, the warming causes a algae bloom that reduces the oxygen even further and some of the algaes are poisonous in a chemical way.

          When you are over a water well, even though it may be 30 feet underwater, you can still “paint” the well with sonar, be it a depth finder or graph(or both for me). Oil wellheads are sealed and hooked to a pipeline long before the lake is filled. You can often tell where the line of a well is by looking at the land around and seeing the evidence of a buried pipeline. One of these probably saved my life in a big storm when the timber was too thick to tell where you were. But it was good fishin. Tanks are just shallow(for the most part)earthen holes made for holding rain water for livestock and if they are sufficient, hold fish. With the storms we have, you won’t even have to stock them if you wait a few years.

      • Yeah, 8- All anyone has to do is look up the history of the Tennessee Valley Authority, to see how they destroyed entire towns to make hydro….. and many stories of people who lost their houses, farms and communities. Disgusting! Just like those towns that disappeared in Russia in the 50’s when nukular stuff went awry.

        • Where has any hydroelectric power plan ever been ended because of relocatees living in the future flood plain, regardless of where, in the world, it happened to be? It certainly didn’t stop the Three Gorges Dam, the largest in the world.

  11. Eric you are spot on again. Even using the poor mileage ethanol gas that has no storage life compared to 100% gasoline. Electric is no comparison in maintenance cost, range, operational costs, production costs, or usefulness/practicality. Even diesels required to use blue cat pee are by far a better, cheaper, more practical
    transportation tool.

    • That is assuming that the “blue cat pee” wasn’t put in the fuel tanks, as it frequently was following its introduction. No animal product is used to make DEF and it wasn’t blue in the beginning.

  12. Electric only powered vehicles are a joke. Great article and video, Eric! I will never understand why some folks think that this is the future of transportation. Unless these electric cars can perform the same as a gas or diesel burning car, they are useless. They might be of some use in an urban environment perhaps, but us rural America folks laugh at this nonsense. Don’t even get me started on the amount of wasted resources and energy required to build these stupid things. And then you have to throw in the “global warming” hoax. Even NASA has had to admit that we need CO2 badly on our planet. Humans discovering fossil fuels and burning them is helping toward greening our planet, and as a result, seeing drought conditions disappearing to record lows now.

    • Lance, it’s 104 right now where I live. I’d have to go “start” an electric and let it cool down like I would an IC vehicle but it would have little effect on the range of the IC and a lot of effect on the EV.

  13. This article seems to me to be inadvertently spotlighting one of the fundamental flaws in this whole electric vehicle debate which is trying to use new technology while retaining old structures.

    Gas powered vehicles require gas stations, but just about everywhere we go, there’s already electricity flowing and ready to be tapped. The solution to the problem isn’t to retain those old structures, but to simply augment what we already have by allowing the electric cars to be recharged wherever we park our cars.

    When they can get these electric vehicles to be plugged into our existing household outlets, and charged, a lot of people would probably jump on the bandwagon.

    • Why would they? Enjoy hassles and spending a lot of money you don’t get everyone else to pay for? Price a new electrical service. It’s already figured into the structure you build and it won’t be sized for a greater load than that specific structure requires…..unless you’re like my father who had an all electric house designed with extra for future expansion…..and it’s a damned good thing too.
      I suppose I inherited from him the idea of making it larger than it has to be.

      I don’t even think about EV’s since it’s nonsensical on its face.

      • And yet, here you are posting your own thoughts on EV. People are already buying golf carts and plugging them into outlets in their garage. Some are even doing this in homes that were built over a century ago. Who would have thought that possible? Evidently, you wouldn’t. There’s nothing standing in the way of these engineers simply looking at that as their model rather than these idiotic recharging stations. Someone has to be looking at ways to generate passive income from refueling these things. They probably want to franchise recharging stations as well.

        • The two of you post remarkably similar posts about things that neither of you claim justify the effort.
          Passive income doesn’t come from expending any more effort than waiting.

        • And now you’re a mind-reader. I’ve been using golf carts for decades but they are not by any means a highway vehicle and will get you a ticket in Tx. in a heartbeat using one on the street.

          There’s a lot of difference in electrical needs for a car and a golf cart. The people who use golf carts aren’t doing so to “save the planet” nor are they virtue signalling and neither do I get taxed so they can buy their carts.

          • Still talking about EV. Golf carts are ubiquitous all over the country. In parts of Florida, they’re practically the only thing you see on the road. Nobody is using them to virtue signal either. The EV crowd needs to simply make their vehicles as easy to plug into a household wall socket as a golf cart. That would go a long way to making them more acceptable.

            • Hi Schnarkle,

              Electric golf cars make perfect sense – and electric cars modeled on the golf car idea would, too. Inexpensive, light, relatively low-speed/short range vehicles. The problem with EVs is that they are trying to be the same – do the same things – as IC cars – just powered by electricity. This includes even trucks (Rivian). That forces them to be much heavier, much more powerful… which makes them much more expensive, first of all. And then concentrates attention on the inherent EV deficits of shorter range and much longer recharge time.

              It’s akin to designing an off-road Corvette that can still post the fast track time and get 40 MPG – while costing the same as a Camry.

              • They’ve had electric trains out for quite a while no? I don’t know how they work. My suspicion is they’re hybrids. Someone just came up with the idea to hybridize a small plane. That seems to be where people are able to make it work right now.

                • Hi Schnarkle,

                  Sure – but trains run a fixed course, on tracks with wires (for pure electric) parallel to them. Doesn’t work for millions of individual cars running random/different routes, at different speeds, stopping here or there (or not) and so on.

                  There are diesel-electric trains – with the diesel engines making the juice to power electric motors. It works for trains because the locomotive is huge and has the space to accommodate all of the equipment and also benefits from the immense torque/traction.

                  But it makes no economic or even functional sense to do this with cars. The cost of two drivetrains is much to high to be worth any savings in fuel – at current gas prices.

                  Also, diesel has been targeted for termination in passenger vehicles, so that’s out regardless.

                • I’m not referring to trains hooked to wires, but those locomotives built by General Electric that you can see running on tracks across the country. I don’t know how they do it, they probably have some sort of diesel generator charging them or something.

                  • Hi Scharkle,

                    Yes, diesel-electric locomotives… practical in that application. Impractical in automotive applications.

                    The whole thing is madness.

                    • eric, I just became aware of another mass shooting in Dayton Ohio this time.

                      I noticed both these guys are under 21. The anti-gun crowd maintains keeping those below 21 will “address” shootings yet one of these guys was 19 and the other 20. I guess they didn’t get the memo they can’t buy a gun.

                    • Vonu, “Then why does the Prius hybrid continue to sell well?”

                      Why do $1000+ iPhones sell so well?

                      Why do Rolexes sell so well?

                      Why do $400 hood-rat headphones sell so well?

                      Same answer.

                    • As always, the rounds-to-kill ratio is unbelievable.

                      Gun control measures are coming, according to our so-called savior-in-chief.

                  • OK, let’s look at what it takes to electrify a long-haul railroad. It turns out, we have a 100-year-old example to data-mine.


                    The Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul, and Pacific RR electrified their Rocky Mountain division ~1915, and their Coast division ~1920. It took a complete set of 100 KV lines from existing Western hydro plants, some hundreds of miles long, to feed the 22 substations, to convert to 3KV DC for the caternary. All this, for roughly 8 trains a day each way between Harlowton, MT and Avery, ID, and Othello WA and Tacoma WA. Yes, there was a gap in the electrification, it was not considered economic to replace steam with juice in that gap. This, in the 1920’s mind you. The 2019 equivalent of billions in trackside and overland infrastructure to support 8 trains a day each way…now, extrapolate to EV’s and 2019…how much recharging infrastructure will thousands now, millions later on, of private EV’s require?

                    As for your “generator locos running on tracks across the country now” (paraphrasing), they are all diesel ICE’s driving a generator/alternator (newer ones), feeding power to motors in real-time. The “hybrid” loco thing is not reality yet in the USA…


                    “A concept model was designed and built here in Erie, and tested in California in 2007. But despite the early attention — including a guest appearance by a prototype at a 2008 shareholders’ meeting in Erie — the prototype never became a reality.”

                    It seems the reality of railroading met the “good idea” of hybrid battery locos, and reality won.

                    • The same thing has happened in automobiles, but hybrids require no government subsidies to sell to happy buyers.

                  • It is bester to avoid talking about those things about one knows little to nothing about than to expose a memorable level of ignorant to a world that will assume it thereafter.

            • Hey Shnark!

              The difference is, golf carts don’t weigh 3500 lbs, nor do they go 70MPH, or have A/C and heat and other power-consuming devices; and they don’t have ranges of a few hunnert miles.

              Golf carts typically max out at 12MPH :o- (Club Car makes a super-duper one that’ll do nearly 20 !!!)- and they have a range of c. 25 miles (when new) and still require an overnight charge.

              Now your diesel-electric locomotives are similar to hybrid cars, like the Chebby Bolt. The motor generates the ‘lectricity to runm the ‘lectric motors. They’d likely be even more efficient if they just ran directly on the diesel, without converting to electricity….but the deal is: trains are extremely heavy, and they need the instant mondo torque that ‘lectric motors can provide….otherwise they’d have to have some massive transmissions, and still not get that mondo torque.

              (Have I been shadow-banned by Turdpress or something? I’m not getting updates lately…)

              • Electric traction motors can do things that no internal combustion engine can do in addition to doing it more efficiently by eliminating transmissions and universal joints.

              • Nunz, the electric motors are brakes too. And that diesel/electric hybrid eliminates thousands of part that would require fairly regular replacement.

                People don’t think about it but locomotives commonly top out at around 110 mph. A friend who worked for the RR was in on a “catch’ on a loaded car that hadn’t had the brakes set properly.

                It took off and gained speed for 50 miles or so, shutting down the entire line. They went a-chasing it and it had come into some steep hills that eventually stopped it. Problem being then, it was picking up speed just like it had been when going the other way. When the locomotive threw it into reverse and fled from it and finally caught it, they were doing 100 mph. Just another day on the RR.

                I wouldn’t mind having one of those 2 stroke diesels sitting around for emergency power….if I were rich. They’re quite thirsty and hard enough to start they’re left sitting on sidings running for weeks at a time. They dread the fuel truck not being aware of the state of one and having it run out of fuel.

                • Electric motors are better brakes than engine brakes and also recharge the vehicle’s batteries with every use.
                  The vast majority of little used backup generators are fuelled with propane to avoid the problems with keeping stored diesel viable.
                  I haven’t seen a single 2-stroke diesel in any use in my 30 year trucking career. Why would one be sitting on a siding?

                  • I’ve run plenty of 2 stroke diesel in trucks in my 50 years and owned a couple.

                    That has nothing to do with locomotives though. They want the best bang for the buck and don’t have any agency taking them to task for “emissions”.

                    They use V12 two stroke diesels to power their generator.

                    They sit on sidings when they aren’t needed for any time and sometimes they aren’t close to somewhere they are needed.

          • Only if they aren’t street legal as they are here, like the the ATVs are both here and in Arizona. Snowmobiles don’t require licenses to be used instead of wheeled vehicles anytime the wheeled vehicles can’t get down the road. Snowcats are even licensed here.

        • Golf cars are an effective way to travel very short distances for very short periods, such as in a resort or retirement community. As such, they don’t require the sort of electrical connections needed to recharge a depleted highway-certified electric vehicle in a reasonable time period (less than 8 hours). In many cases installing a home charging solution requires a 200 amp electrical service feed, which is common in many neighborhoods built since the 1970s, but not so common in homes built prior to electric heat and air conditioning. And charging while running that electric heat might put your house panel over nameplate capacity.

          I’m friends with a facilities manager at work. The marketing people wanted electric pool vehicles, so he was tasked with installing fast chargers (with the idea of offering them for customer use as well). The requirements were a minimum of 400 A service per charger. It required a fairly detailed analysis and design and several sub panel upgrades to make it work.

          Yes, there’s electricity pretty much everywhere, but not as much as you might think and certainly not enough to charge millions of electric cars.

          • Even though Texas has a glut of electricity, it still doesn’t mean even a tenth of a big city could charge their EV’s at night. There is an infrastructure problem only a great deal of time and money would fix.

            They can make all the EV’s they want and sell them even but not for long, not after everyone finds they don’t have the available electricity to charge them.

            Imagine a business with 200 employees and half are driving EV’s which somebody talked a manager into coughing up the dough to install. Next thing you know they have an electric bill through the roof so they spend more money metering the chargers.

            Why not encourage Pilot or Flying J to put in a convenience store near to the business with lots of pumps? Well, they’ve probably already considered the location and have the fuel there or won’t. You can’t give away electricity any more than you can give away fuel or food.

            • Those fast chargers aren’t free for public use. They are equipped with a credit card slot. The company pool vehicles have a pass card.

              Almost none of the charging stations, Tesla chargers included, are free. Tesla includes a certain amount of charging for (IIRC) the first year, but after that you have to pay by the KW.

            • Most windfarms are constrained by transmission limitations, even in Texas where their self-contained generators frequently put out more power than the wind-driven one dones, on average. There are a lot of subsidized millionaires in that state with backyards full of synchronized aircraft warning beacons.

    • I live within 5 miles of three gas stations. The closest one is within walking distance. It is a trivial matter to fill the tank while underway, unless I’m trying to save a few pennies/gallon.

      • It wasn’t so trivial when I was a service station manager during the OPEC embargo days. The line would start to form as soon as I filled my own vehicle at 7am and wouldn’t disappear until both of my pumps (only had regular and premium) started sucking air. Then I’d move into the bays with the wrench turners and start making money. Gasoline was never anything but a loss-leader in those days, even during the embargo. We got just as much fuel during the embargo as before. The tanker would come at night instead of in the afternoon and he never had to stick empty tanks, just drop and run. Gasbuddy is the biggest improvement in resource optimization that retail gas has seen in decades.

        • During those days I hauled oilfield offshore equipment. At the port S of N.O., you could see tankers for 20 miles waiting to unload.

          The fact is, a refinery can’t be changed much as far as production goes.
          There was an old joke in the Permian basin back then and it originated because everyone out there was involved in the patch and knew what was going on. Every damned thing that was empty and would hold fuel was filled, mostly at night if it was in sight of the population but round the clock in the leases where unused tanks existed. The joke went something like this. Joe(who hauled fuel for some refinery)said not to leave your bathroom window open or you’d come back to a tub full of fuel. It really wasn’t far off the mark and the oil companies were quite literally drowning in profit. Back then OPEC supplied 3-5% of our oil, more in the NE than Texas. We ramped up and made up the difference but it made no difference in price, the oil companies just got richer. And the very reason I was working for them was (1)it was better money and (2)you never had to look for fuel. If it was related to the patch, the fuel was there waiting for you. A couple years ago I worked with a guy who’d been a oil hauler and fuel hauler back then. We reveled in telling tales of what we saw go on back in those days. If you told your average person….and they believed you, it would only make them mad… it should have. But at least they didn’t have to react like I was the cause of it or liked it one bit. I didn’t get a break on the price of diesel or gasoline. In fact, living in Odessa at the time, I was subject to some of the highest fuel prices in Texas. The old adage still holds true “The closer to the wellhead, the higher the price”.

          You can leave from where I live(160 miles east of Midland)and by the time you get to Colorado City the price of fuel is significantly higher than here and by the time you get to Big Spring, it’s generally $1/gal more for diesel and nearly that much more for gasoline.

          There’s a large refinery(Pride)outside of Abilene but almost all of it goes to Dyess AFB in the form of jet fuel. They haul some gasoline but not nearly like other refineries. Guess what the name of one of the richest families in the world is.

          • Which is why it would make more sense, IMO, to put smaller refineries into large oil fields and ship only higher value finished petroleum products instead of crude to larger refineries. Beyond the fact that most of those refineries could and would be located where no hurricane would appear, those supplying mostly specific products to a very limited customer base would reduce the strategic threat of loss of supply due to the lost of a single large refinery versus many smaller ones.
            Of course, those running the refineries wouldn’t be able to gouge their customers after a return to operation. Tank farms would become less necessary if JIT applied to petroleum like it does to hard goods manufacturing.

  14. Hey Eric, I have never had a ’67 Chevy, but with the ’71 Chevy that I used to drive, it didn’t take long or much money to tune it up, and then I had much better gas mileage. I would much rather have that car than anything electric.

    • I had a 67 Malibu Sport, a 71 Malibu, a 66 Impala and a 69 Impala. They were great cars and I wish I had them all back. The 69 had a TH350/350 combo and was a damn nice car. The 67 and 71 were basically race cars I ran on the street, 430+ HP 327’s both. The 66 would have been a better car without the powerglide. But all these machines except for the 69 had 327’s and the reasonable ones got good fuel mileage. Since I couldn’t drive the 67 in 4th gear unless I was doing 70 mph(on the verge of cam lope), it mostly never got any better than 14mpg. That was the car I didn’t get ticketed out on the highways. Everybody told me you could outrun everything but Motorola but I put lie to that one day when a roadblock was set up several minutes too late behind me. I was fueling up and drinking a Dr. Pep when the guy they caught rolled into the same town I was in. He was a bit miffed but probably started that way since when we decided to race he was immediately on notice he wasn’t up to it.

      Of course just considering that now is not even something you’d imagine, getting caught at a roadblock and getting a ticket and sent on your way. You’d be lucky to live through it now.

  15. I suppose one can install, if the space were available,a small generator with enough umph to charge the batteries…..just a thought.
    I know…why bother when we have IC engines

    • Charging an EV is impractical using 110 would take 15-20 hours to charge you vehicle. Home 220 v charging systems will charge your vehicle in 6-8 hours or so which works fine for overnight charging.

      • Hi Nocte,

        I cannot fathom anyone describing a 6-8 hour wait as “practical.” Or for that matter, a half-hour wait. The fact that such things are discussed – with a straight face, given we already have cars that cab refuel in less than 5 minutes – is a measure of the lunacy of our times.

        The EV defender will say: But it charges while you’re sleeping! Yes, but what if something comes up before you wake up that depends on being able to go for a drive right now? Like rushing a hurt kid to the hospital? Or a friend calls and needs you for something urgent – not 6-8 hours from now?

        EVs require recondite planning and so eliminate what had been the beautiful spontaneity of driving….

        • ….or you get home from a long stressful day, it’s raining, the wind is up some, it’s cold and you forget all about going back outside with the extension lead to plug the car into the grid for recharging…

          ….or there is a power cut during the night while you sleep…

          ….or some neighbour’s brat thinks it’s great sport to pull the plug out…

          ….or some thieving ratbag crawls by and plugs your lead into his car for several hours while you innocently sleep- he’s gone by the time you get up in the morning so when you get to your car you discover you don’t have enough charge for the day’s activities…

          ….or Elon or the finance company or the Police or the insurance company or the electric company or the city or the bank or the franchised dealer or some erroneous artifact in one of the above’s all-seeing all-knowing all-powerful software gets downloaded during the night, while you innocently sleep, immobilising what you thought was YOUR car (or worse, locking you out of it completely)…

          ….or some malicious turd hacks the software in the car to immobilise it or lock you out of it…

          ….or an electrical fault occurs (you have that lead outside there in the rain remember, imagine if there is a tear in the insulation or a small animal has a chew on it etc.)

          ….or a child starts playing with the lead or one of the kids glides or rides onto it with roller skates or a bike, or some such toy….gets tangled….cuts the insulation…

          ….or the wife comes home in her car and glides right over the cable, tangling it in the underbody of her vehicle (and a secondary effect would have to be no nooky wooky that night either- disaster!)…

          • You’re driving home in the freezing rain so you’re range is dropping like a rock and you see the rain isn’t going to slow down by the time you’re home so you are already dreading getting there and before you can deal with plugging it in, something has come up and it takes hours to straighten it out while you have lost all thought of charging the car.

            At least for me it’s just a matter of grabbing the extension cord and plugging in so it won’t be cold in the morning and you have instant heater after cranking it up.

            And sometimes things suck really bad when you’re extremely tired. I brought a “new to me” truck home one night and noticed it had a block heater. I get an extension cord and play it out over the frozen ground and plug it in and nothing happens. Then I get down and look at the receptacle and see there are no wires coming from it. I just go back into the pumphouse and unplug the cord and swear outloud. It was an International so what did I expect? Just what I got.

          • Sounds like ownership of an EV should be predicated on ownership of house with a garage and a backup generator.
            Internationals with block heaters are no difference from any other big truck with one. The best solution for all of them, regardless of brand, is a well-maintained APU.

            • “Internationals with block heaters are no difference from any other big truck with one.” I guess I’m wrong again. I don’t even like new Internationals much less old, used ones that not much still works on it.

              When I was an O/O you couldn’t find anything wrong with my rig except for a brief time, like a light not working or a flat tire or a suddenly blown brake biscuit and I carried spare parts for just about everything that can go out quickly.

              • Having moved dozens of tractors during a 4 year career in driveaway, many of them from Walmart DCs to truck auctions, none of the truck manufacturers make a clearly superior product to any other. Walmart buys fleets of the major truck brands and nobody knows more about any of those brands than someone who is given the charge to maintain hundreds of the same model of truck while changing the nameplate with whichever one gave the best price for the specified vehicle. Walmart’s equipment is seldom off of one of its DCs for more than three days at a time. The sleepers on those trucks are used less than half of the nights. Their truck shops run 24/7 and it is usually the failing of the parts suppliers when a driver has to take an unassigned truck out on a run. Former Walmart tractors have $100 reserves at all of the auctions and are always the first auctioned off, because the buyers know what they are getting for a 5 to 7 year old truck which has received much better than average maintenance. The most likely thing to not work on a former Walmart tractor is the APU, largely because they are only used when the sleepers are, rarely.

                • In the last 51 years I’ve owned and driven hundreds of trucks. I worked on my own and not uncommonly worked on trucks I was driving. That’s part of trucking.

                  While Walmart does own trucks, they own less and less and use O/O more all the time.

                  And fleet trucks, no matter how much maintenance they’ve had, have been driven by “steering wheel holders” and not necessarily truckers.

                  But it’s the type of trucks they use I have no use for. Not only are PACCAR trucks superior, they hold their value and last better.

                  The last thing I need is a tall, double bunk tractor in west Texas doing flatbed work and heavy hauling. I’m sure pulling a box or reefer those type of trucks save fuel but they’re a PITA to drive in Texas sidewinds and don’t save a damned penny in fuel for flatbedding nor heavy hauling although few are suited for heavy hauling.

                  Nothing like climbing into a used truck and see the former driver’s seat is on the passenger side and vice versa. You know that fucker’s been worn out for a while.

                  Something I could never figure out is why the leader seller of trucks, Freightliner, couldn’t make a decent tractor with 3 simple, easy steps into the cab such as a 379 or 389 Pete or a W900L KW has. And when you do need to work on one, there’s nothing like having the entire engine at arms reach. Then again, I know of no other truck that doesn’t use 12V sources and inline fuses for several things instead of a large wire going to a load center.

                  • I bet you don’t have a copy of the bill of lading for every one of those hundreds of trucks like the one I have for each of the dozens I moved as cargo.

                    • I recently threw away a stack of bill of ladings for a couple years. Why in hell would I want them after I no longer worked for the company?

                      I’ve hauled countless loads I never had a bill of lading for since it was from one company to the other and they both kept records.

                      You’ve obviously never worked construction, a whole nother thing from driving a stack of tractors. I never saw the use in keeping stacks of log books either. I guess I should have. They’d keep you warm on a cold day thrown into the stove. In fact, for many years, it was my copy I turned in to get paid. I haven’t had pay stubs in 10 years since it’s all direct deposit.

        • If you read my comment you will see that I said charging overnight…you know, while you are sleeping…not using the car. And I’m not an EV advocate. IMO they are not ready for mass acceptance..okay as a vehicle for around town, but too many limitations otherwise.

          • It takes the same amount of kilowatt hours to charge any battery regardless of what the supply voltage is. If the voltage is lower, the current is higher, simple Ohm’s Law. The magic of transformers.
            There are far more personal vehicles used intracity than intercity or interstate. Most of the intercity trips are commuting like most of the intracity.

          • This seems to be the case with most who advocate EV in the first place. I’ve noticed that they seldom drive anywhere. Which again, seems to indicate a golf cart would be much more feasible.

          • Hi Nocte,

            Sure.. but what happens when the power goes out and you still need to get to work the next day? Or you just want to go somewhere on the spur of the moment?

            My point is that EVs are inherently mobility reducers that dramatically curtail the freedom and spontaneity of driving.

            • Hi. I don’t disagree with you. However, why do you assume the battery is fully discharged when someone gets home? If an EV is capable of 150 miles and a persons round trip commute is 50 miles, there would be plenty of juice left. Something that is capable of 250 miles could run for a few days without needing a charge. And just like an ICE vehicle, if you were running on vapors you would do something about it before you got home, which would mean a fair bit of time spent at a charging station to get at least a partial charge.

              • I’d bet my short hairs that the same technology of their batteries and cellphones results in the same phenomena of losing battery power even when turned off, esp. in a car. You know their clock is using power….among other things, like the computer and it’s wifi. How can Eloi “allow” “his” cars to use more battery percentage if they’re off?

    • Hi Chip,

      I’ve felt mentally paralyzed for several days now; it wears on me to even entertain this idiocy. That people seem to be okay with having to plan their day/lives around recharging when they never had to think about such a thing before. And pay a premium of 30-40 percent on top of that.

      It flattens me.

      I feel like an aviation writer presented with a DC3 as the latest/greatest thing; The Future….

      • DC3s might be making a comeback if Boeing can’t get the 737 MAXs back in the air pretty soon.
        With all the evil that is done by federal regulatory agencies, it is truly profound how badly an airplane maker can screw everything up when it is allowed to certify its own planes. We are truly lucky that more than two of Boeing’s latest and greatest didn’t crash themselves.

        • Some DC3s are being re-engined with gas turbines (turbo-prop) for more performance. This is really useful for short-field take-offs and fast climb out. The downside is the extra fuel consumption means adding tankage and also that the pilot has to plan flight operations much more critically in respect of time aloft, range etc.

          BTW it isn’t just the 737 MAX which has problems but all of the 737 NG fleet as well. They feature a revised tail empennage with insufficient elevator authority to control the aircraft in the event of a trim runaway in pitch. Ideally they ought to be grounded until a solution is engineered. Trouble is there are around 3,000 of them in service. Can’t say these are truly safe to fly.

          Boeing has been really, really lucky not to have had several losses of NGs. FAA has been really, really lucky on that count as well. But both are now in a heap of trouble. There is no coming back really. Boeing has just handed market to Airbus (and its partnership with Bombardier to build the Bombardier C-series in Canada) but more importantly to Irkut MC21 (Russia), the CRAIC partnership (Russia, China) already building CR929, the COMAC C919 (China) all but ready to go, the Sukhoi Superjet (RUSSIA) series presently undergoing revision and improvement, and then there is the Embraer E-Jet (Brasil). The Embraer JV with Boeing (set for completion this year) just has to be up in the air (!) so to speak. Watch out, it may be Embraer departs. Aside from these there are also others sniffing a huge opportunity unfolding in front of them. Think Mitsubishi, Honda, Antonov and so on.

          Internationally the FAA’s reputation just got wrecked. The reputational damage is immense. It is likely that several jurisdictions will not accept FAA certification as has been the case in the past. They’ll demand their own civil aviation administrations certify. That wipes out a major competitive advantage for Boeing. Meanwhile the airlines, their pilots and most importantly, their passengers have had their trust in Boeing product severely shaken. There are already many who state they will not fly on 737 or on 787 for that matter (huge issues around this aircraft have been bubbling away in the background for some time now). Perhaps peak-Boeing just passed and the future is going to be very, very different in the commercial aviation market. It may well be a safe bet to predict the Russians and the Chinese are going to dominate it.

          • Airbus is neither Russian nor Chinese. It can do everything that Boeing can’t or won’t. The FAA should have been the first proper application of competent AI, immediately following the air traffic controllers strike. It makes no sense to have air traffic controllers reading things off of screens over radios to pilots when the same information can just come up on the pilot’s screen, seconds to minutes before the controllers can voice it, more than enough time to prevent mishaps.
            When seconds count, the police (and the FAA) are only minutes away.

            • I know air traffic controllers and pilots. Pilots have plenty to keep up with without keeping their focus on a radar screen and the radar they have isn’t anywhere near as sophisticated as ATC. It wouldn’t be very profitable to haul one of those huge radar units and the tons of electronics and monitors. I don’t even know if the military still uses those radar planes. Probably not with their hundreds of “eyes in the sky”.

              • Airplanes operating under ground control don’t need radar if the ground transportation radar is efficient and competent, something no FAA-specified radar has ever been.
                I know a retired airline pilot. He told me that mst of their time is spent making sure that the controllers aren’t successful in their ignorant attempts to crash planes which could fly themselves just fine if moronic humans didn’t continuously sabotage them.

          • I don’t know what all may be wrong with their planes but engineers and software developers are mad as hell because Boeing was hiring software writers from all over the world for as little as $9/hr. I guess you get what you pay for plus the fact the entire project was rushed.

            • Why would any company hire outside programmers from all over the world to fix proprietary software they would never let the FAA see?
              The 737 MAX is suffering from software that no respectable FAA certification analyst would have signed off on, because the FAA has been letting Boeing self-certify their own planes.
              Now they are having trouble getting their remedial software to work in the simulators they use to do that. All the knowledgeable aerospace analysts are waffling about when the grounded 737s will fly again. Some are saying they never will unless they are headed to the boneyard.
              We should have known that Boeing was headed for trouble after they certified the 787 Dreamliner and had landing emergencies with burning batteries.
              With the prices on ocean cruises headed down, I can’t imagine needing to put up with TSA ever again for international leisure travel. I won’t be surprised to see people buying timeshare cabins on cruise ships soon.
              The Great Correction looks like it will be more fun to watch every day.

  16. > Do you run an extension cord from your fifth floor apartment to the street below?

    There was a Model 3 owner in an apartment complex I used to live in, and I asked him how he charged up. He had one of the apartments that came with a garage (which is excellent and I highly recommend getting one), but of course the community managers wouldn’t let him alter the building’s electrical system to add a 240V charger. So he ran a cord through the door into the utility closet and plugged into the clothes dryer socket.

    • Hi Chip,

      And this is why my teeth ache…

      How much of a fool – and a tool – do you have to be to buy a car that requires you to perform such Soviet-esque gymnastics? And then pay thousands of dollars more the privilege?

      It’s deranged.

      I’m now driving a new Jetta six-speed; no thought given to how far I can go, because I can refuel it in minutes, at my convenience, almost anywhere. No having to plan my day around how much charge it has left – and how long I have to wait.

      Shoot me, please… I can’t take it much longer. Seriously. I’m tired.

      • In this light, it’s truly amazing that Chevy no longer makes the Volt. Electric charges for short trips, and gasoline to handle longer ones.

      • Eric,
        Some people will do anything to enhance their prestige.
        Witness some of those who just have to one-up those who won’t suck up to them.

  17. Talking about the danger of running on fumes got me thinking about the added problem of running out. With IC you walk to the nearest gas station and buy a gallon can and fill it up and you’re back on the road. With electric you need to walk to the gas station and buy a gallon of gas and then to the hardware store to buy a generator, or you can pay to have it towed to a charging station.

      • Oh, some brilliant EV fanboi type will develop a “portable EV recharge station” sometime soon…a pickup with a 240VAC/40A genset in the back! Then all his fellow EV fanbois will ride him like a Missouri mule for “increasing his carbon footprint, why can’t you be carbon-neutral!”. Then he’ll have to find a Mr Fusion, and the No-Nukes will ride him next.


  18. Perhaps older owners charging their electric cars over many hours derive fond memories of hours they spent in the gas lines of the 1970s. Energy independence spoiled all that nostalgia and the lefties’ hopes of returning to those thrilling days of yesteryear.

    But despair not! Just buy a Tesla and–mirabile dictu–you’re living in the past. All we need is odd/even charging days to complete the retro experience.

  19. I am wondering about something also. How does one go about hooking up an electric car that is exposed to the elements during a rainstorm? Isn’t here a potential shock problem as the prongs are exposed to rain? What is going to happen when battery cars meet long lines evacuating from cities in the event of a hurricane, fire, or approaching flood? Will the battery pack still function if the car is underwater, or worse, present a shock hazard to anyone approaching the car? Or will the chargers be taken out by authorities in the event of an unusual weather pattern?

    • They have an elaborately designed power plug that takes this sort of problem into account. And for the most part an EV home charger needs to be installed by a certified electrician, at least if you have a mortgage lien and insurance on your home. 240V 50A chargers aren’t really a DIY job anyway, especially if you’re home isn’t fed with a 200A service. And that’s assuming you’re actually getting 240V from the utility. If you’re not close to a transformer or at the end of a line you’re probably closer to 210V.

      That said, most of these vehicles also have a 110V charging adapter that lets the driver use a drag cord to plug into any standard outlet. That’s got to be pretty much hit or miss and I’m sure there’s a lot of dodgy setups that people will use. A proper GFCI outlet will resolve most safety issues, but if you trip the breaker and don’t realize it you’ll be stuck. And the quality of temporary extension cords is pretty sketchy. You think your average EV buyer is going to get the 25 foot 12/3 cord or the 100 ft 18/3 one for half the price? Will they be concerned when the outlet turns black from the heat or will they think that’s “pretty cool?”

      • Seems like the last time I read the hot to hot voltage it was 249. Out here in the boonies it’s recognized that low voltage is a killer for whatever is using it. The electric companies normally have 500 V on a 3 phase 480V system.

        As far as ext. cords go, I hope they’re buying the 8/3 for 50 amps. That would be the same size normally used for electric stoves although as a do it yourselfer, I always oversize wire. I hate to touch a hot wire. It makes me know an appliance is being abused and heat is one of those silly little things that tend to start fires. 14 gauge wire in a house makes me cringe. And yes, I did install a 200 amp disconnect below the meter and a 200 amp load center in the house and in the barn. I really don’t have enough size in my supply since the day I had a ditcher, underground conduit and 1/0 instead of the 2/0 I wanted. I’d have used 500MCM if I’d had it. It’s like horsepower, you can never have too much.

        • Rural electric power is generally better than city or old suburban power. East coast suburban power was installed in the 1930s-1950s, and wasn’t designed for electric heat, so small fuse panels, small service drops, and small feeder lines were installed. It got better in the 1960s and 70s because of resistive heat and air conditioning. Rural areas were usually going passed a farm or shop, and were sized accordingly. Not to mention many were installed by co-ops with different business models and payback schedules, so they could afford to build out for higher capacity later.

          • Where I live nothing is very old. Every few years we get a storm bad enough to take down power lines for a couple hundred miles. We’re just mostly glad to be alive and have the buildings standing. If it’s raining we don’t need power except for when it’s hot and raining.

            I now have an excellently sized generator. It’s several years old and has never been run but sat under the dripline of the house. I need to pull the plugs and fill the cylinders with diesel for a couple weeks before trying to turn it over. My friend gave it to me since he decided he’d never use it. I don’t know why either. He had the cords specifically for hooking it to the house and all that baby ever needed was gasoline and a trickle charger on the battery. Of course it needs a new battery now since it’s never been used.

      • You’ll never find a 50,000 watt broadcast transmitter or a 25,000 watt FM transmitter sitting on the end of a 240 volt line. 440 three phase is the standard for such. The new 500,000 watt shortwave transmitter at WBCQ is fed by a 4160 volt line, and its installation wound up providing an upgrade to the grid for those living in Monticello, Maine.

  20. You are correct Eric. The electric has zero advantage over the IC,,, emissions, costs or whatever. The emissions are produced at the power plants. Many more power plants will be required to feed the hundreds of thousands EV’s requiring recharge. The grid was not designed for millions of EV’s. They’re already experiencing problems in Europe but of course you don’t hear about it or anything that goes against the agenda. Building more Nuclear power plants means storing more used fuel means more risk to the planet. Fukushima is still leaking,,, the cores are still burning and the power company is still dumping the excess ‘coolant’ into the Pacific whether we read about it or not.

    Yes, corpgov can/probably will add fees etc to make the EV look more competitive but doesn’t matter… Bottom line the EV cannot compete so the opposing side has to cheat to make it appear so.

    A few years back I needed to be on Minneapolis/St Paul fast or lose $25,000. Living in Pensacola Florida not one airline could get me there by 9AM. I left Pensacola at 6PM and arrived in Minneapolis at 8 AM the following morning. Took five refills. Driving a Nissan Sentra. An EV could not have done this anyway, anyhow, anywhere. I don’t care how much cheating corpgov does.

    This mass hypnosis of the supposed Carbon problem is pure fantasy. The leaders show this by flying their carbon polluting jets to their self important conventions when all they need to do is Skype. It is amazing the number of GW idiots I run into that seem intelligent but fall for this religious fanaticism. The carbon content is presently at one of the lowest points in Earth’s history. Too much lower and they’ll kill off the trees and plants which provide these GW morons with the oxygen needed to hype the BS…… hmmm,,, maybe not a bad idea……..

  21. Eric,

    Actually, you CAN get a full charge at a fast EV charger, but it’ll take you twice as long as it will to get an 80% charge. To put it another way, you’ll need as much time to get the final 20% of charge as you will for the first 80%. Take a Tesla supercharger, for example. There, you can get an 80% charge in about 30-40 minutes, IIRC. If you double that time, then you’ll leave with the full 100%. However, since there are literally thousands of superchargers in the US now; since they’re sufficiently close together; an 80% charge will almost always be enough to continue your trip with more than enough range to reach the next supercharger.

    Why is the EV charging cycle this way? The charging curve is logarithmic, not linear; this is key. Early on in the charging cycle, the curve is steep; it’s almost straight up. As the battery charge increases, the curve begins to flatten out; that is to say the line’s slope becomes a lot shallower, and it’s almost flat at the every end of the charging cycle. This is due to battery chemistry. As the charge gets closer to maximum, the rate of charge decreases so as to not damage the battery.

    I could easily live with that if I had a Tesla. On road trips, I normally stop every 3-4 hours to stretch my legs, get something to drink, and go to the bathroom. Depending on the fuel gauge and my stomach, I may refuel and get something to eat while I’m at it. By the time I’ve done all that, I’d have had enough time to recharge a Tesla if I had one. As neat as Teslas are though, they’re way beyond my budget.

    IIRC, supercharging should only be done on road trips, not on a regular basis. The normal thing to do is charge the EV at home. If you have a 220 VAC charger, then you’ll definitely be ready to go in the morning, since it halves the time needed to recharge on 120 VAC.

    For city dwellers who don’t have off street parking, I’ve seen and heard stories where cities might install charging stations along the street, so EVs could charge while parked. I don’t know how cost effective that would be, as different EVs have different charging systems. A charging system will have to be standardized before cities could do that.

    Anyway, in closing, it’s quite possible to get a full charge at a fast charger. Because of how batteries charge, it’ll take double the time it would take to get an 80% charge. In most instances, 80% will be enough to get you where you’re going, so most folks aren’t going to wait double the time to get 100% when they don’t need it.

  22. The recharge issue could be solved by standardizing battery packs so that they can be swapped readily. Of course, it is going to be a logistical nightmare. These things are heavy and access might be difficult in some car models. Don’t know. Thinking out loud.

    • Tesla experimented with battery pack swaps. They did demos, and they could swap a pack out in half the time it takes to refuel a car from the gas pump. However, they ran into problems, not the least of which is where to keep the charged packs vs. the depleted ones? Then there’s the issue of battery condition. If you swap out a newer pack with good batteries vs. a fully charged one in fair condition, how is that accounted for? How would billing be done. So yeah, Tesla experimented with battery pack swaps, but they never rolled it out at their charging stations.

    • The problem comes from the use of multiple battery packs located anywhere on the car space can be found for them. None of the production EV have easily swappable single packs.

  23. Eric, you are of course correct about the relative (un)affordability of EV vs. IC cars, but it’s a weak peg to hang your hat on with Uncle in charge of everything. All Uncle has to do is slap a 70% sales tax on IC vehicles, raise the gasoline tax by $5/gallon, and impose a $1,500 annual Federal registration fee on all gas-burners. The “affordability” advantage then swings firmly in favor of EVs. Of course, the auto industry will be largely destroyed, but that’s a small price to pay to save the world. A few years ago I never would have believed that such stupidity could possibly happen, but then I opened my eyes and looked around the world.

    • Steve – that is exactly what they are doing in Europe. Taxes and charges are so high on ICE cars, along with our fuel prices which are about 70-80% tax, and electric cars seem somewhat sensible. Infact for most people living in and around London, who drive around the city (and probably more cities soon) many Plug in hybrids DO make economic sense…. (using the word economics very loosely here because its anything but based on the actual economics of the matter). This however is solely based on the exemptions they get from every tax and charge others have to pay!

      Unfortunately what Eric says, whatever happens here eventually reaches the US !

      • Very, very sad coming from the people who invented the E-Type Jag (and the lovely twincam Jag six that powered it), the MGB, the (real!) Mini, the MG TC…I suspect if you took an average Englishman from the 1950’s and plopped him into London nowadays, he’d be aghast at what has been lost.

    • Or they could do what China does: give you a free plate for an EV vs. charging over $14K for an ICEV’s plate. That little stunt right there makes the ICEV as expensive as an EV, if not more so. So yeah, you can BUY an ICEV in China, but you’ll pay $14K EXTRA for the privilege! The beautiful thing about that (from a certain point of view, anyway) is that ICEVs aren’t banned; they’re merely made prohibitively expensive vs. an EV. For example, if you buy a Nissan Versa that stickers for around $16K fully loaded, another $14K on top of that brings it to $30K; that’s the same cost as the Nissan Leaf.

  24. I just got back from a trip from southwest of Austin, Texas to north of Columbus, Ohio. I mostly kept to the interstates but took some back roads in Texas and Ohio. I kept an eye out for electric cars. I recall seeing all of one, and that was while visiting family out past Cambridge, Ohio. Perhaps they all drive at night when the charging stations are available.

  25. Gosh, seems like we’ve heard about this short range/slow charge issue before. 😉

    Here’s a point that bears repeating……Good little eco-warriors who want to retain full time auto-mobility will be much….much…. better served by getting a hybrid.

  26. Recently, I’ve enjoyed watching YT videos of EV cultists taking their beloved machines on long trips. A common denominator is their complete, deceptive and delusional notion that it’s really the same as traveling in an ICE.

    But watch them at 2am, getting a charge with no one else around, and you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that no way is your wife going to be exposed to THAT. Were I a gang banger, those charging stations would get my attention.

    • An interesting point. People who can afford these toys are also generally the type who like to show their wealth ans status, thus they buy the latest gimmick toys. Almost certainly they will have a bling watch, necklace, rings.

      Does seem like a good place for a stickup.

  27. Here in flood/hurricane prone Houston the power going out is a common issue during the season. In the case of a hurricane where no electricity is available for a day or so these things become bricks where Gas and Diesel vehicles can have a full tank plus reserves in cans in the garage to go another two days or more. Its apparent there is a demand issue (not abundance but wait time) for chargers now with a tiny, tiny, tiny percent of people driving EV’s. When we all are forced at gunpoint to EVs we will have (bread) lines waiting 30-45 mins to charge our bricks. Fun!

    • Yep. It’s kinda hard to store spare electrons in a can in the garage!

      Imagine using that stashed liquid fuel to run a genset to power a charging station to recharge an EV’s battery…loss of energy in every conversion, I suspect you’d end up using far more fuel than just fuelling a pickup truck with the stashed fuel and running it around post-storm. Another lien against EV ownership in coastal areas.

      • If electric cars are so great, maybe the federal government should mandate their use by all of their own employees and agencies. The resulting wait times would provide a restoration of much of our lost freedom, like a long term government shutdown.

    • That would be a lot like using a ten pound sledgehammer to drive in finishing nails. Ice cream is much more than simply frozen ice cream ingredients, which is as close as one would get using -321 liquid nitrogen instead of salted ice.

  28. Article summary: If you drive an electric car, you have to expend a lot of brain power thinking about recharging.

    • Can’t wait for that new movie release….EV FIGHT CLUB….20 EV cars in line when drivers go hand to hand combat over ten plug-in stations…Movie soon available at every fill station in America…

      • JJ, it should be all hot women doing the fighting. Spray em down with water when they get too rowdy. Ok, I’d pay to see it.

  29. Since we seem to be moving to a rent-to-drive system anyway, maybe they’ll reinstate the old Pony Express model: Drive until your eSteed is worn out and then jump in another one to be on your way while the famished mount recuperates by grazing on the electric stream. Those vehicles are all interchangeable anyway, from what I can see. All they’d have to do is scan the bar code in the car and in your hand (or forehead or whatever) to match you up with the new one. Yee-haw!

    There! Problem solved!

    (Clearly, I hope the sarcasm is obvious.)

    • Y’know, my comment above has me considering this. TPTB do seem to be moving us proles to a non-ownership society, where everything is rented or leased from a small owner class. In a world in which everyone rents short or long term, imagine how easy it would be to simply cancel one’s ability to acquire a car. Just a tap of the button in central control and your smart phone or implanted chip makes one Persona non Grata (or even a non-person) and suddenly you’re a pedestrian.

      Seems like a dream come true for the controllers.

      • That’s the desired future best that I can tell. A one world company town. It’s being built and I’ve been pointing it out for years and years and most people can’t see it or don’t care. I have come to the conclusion that people want to live in nice cages and pass off as much of the effort of living on to managers. What they don’t understand is that there is no reasons for the cages to remain nice.

        It’s going as far as destroying the character of cities and making every place the same as every other place. People can be moved around at the whim of corporate need.

        • “What they don’t understand is that there is no reasons for the cages to remain nice.”

          Especially once the automation makes a very large portion of the working class redundant.

        • The first generation cage will be wonderful. But then someone will cut a few corners, maybe not quite as plush, maybe only gets cleaned once a week instead of twice. No one will really care because they didn’t notice the nicety before. And they report more profits than their competition. Then Wall Street demands more profit from everyone else in the same industry, so everyone else cuts back too. Oh maybe someone tries to market their premium over the others, but eventually they get beaten down enough to give in. Eventually we’ll get everything for “free” with a circular never-ending cycle of marketing, credit, marketing, more credit and more marketing. Just one big transfer of money from the bank to the investors and back to the bank. And Uncle dumping more cash into the system like a farmer throwing corn into the feed trough. No one actually producing anything, or owning anything, just a mad scramble to get to the trough before everyone else. And that nice comfy cage will look more and more like a prison.

          Enjoy your weekend…

      • That’s the reason the govt. won’t allow you to build underground shelters. You can build one, have one built, just don’t let them know. It’s SWAT team city for you but if it’s a good one, don’t answer the door.

        • I’ve been told that because the city of Aspen won’t allow alteration of the exteriors of many of the Victorian era homes, the elites who own them have built elaborate sub-basements underneath the historical district. Some several levels deep. Even though it is extremely difficult to get a building permit in town, every day on the way to work I see several dump trucks, concrete trucks and there are big excavators everywhere.

          Maybe they know something we don’t…

    • A much more practical alternative would be to make the batteries interchangeable. Provided the process was quick & simple, battery swap stations would eventually become as common as gas stations. Pull into the stall (like at a tire store), disconnect and remove the old battery, install and connect a fully charged battery. The whole process might take 10-15 minutes — still longer than gassing up a normal vehicle, but a lot shorter than now. The removed battery would then be recharged for a future customer. Of course, batteries could still be recharged at home.

      I find it rather bizarre that no one in the car biz seems to have considered this. It would remove both range anxiety and recharge anxiety.

      • It isn’t done because battery packs are worth several thousand dollars and they only last so long. A swapping system is too easy to cheat. Too difficult to determine the usable remaining life in a pack. It’s a perfect way to get rid of a dying pack or one that’s been messed with. It won’t be difficult to scam any test of the pack. There would have to be some minimum pack age/usage to even join the system. The only way to make it workable is for the exchange company to take all the risk. But if it takes all the risk it has to charge appropriately for it. As a result it will be expensive.

        • Nah, every battery pack that is turned in is going to be either close to dead or dead. The person is simply charged for the difference. You turn in your battery which is then identified with your credit card #. They could probably even establish its state of charge right then and there.

          • Hi Schnarkle,

            There is a difference between a discharged battery and one that cannot be recharged. There is also the possibility of a physically damaged battery. And each EV needs a specific battery. A Tesla 3 battery doesn’t fit a Leaf and a Leaf’s battery won’t fit an eGolf. Also, each EV is built (and shaped) differently. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. You’d need specific equipment as well as specific batteries…


            Each battery would have to be inspected for functional and physical condition. Then a fresh battery of the same type, for that specific car, would need to be “pulled from the shelf” and swapped in.

            Do you think this process could be done in less time than it takes to “fast” charge? I doubt it.

            This idea of just swapping out interchangeable batteries is just that… an idea. And one not based on electric car battery or EV realities.

            The only thing that beats a 5 minute (or less) refuel would be 1,000 miles of range.

            Or Mr. Fusion.

            I see no sign of either coming online anytime soon.

      • Hi Zenit,

        This sounds like a good idea- though gassing up is still a much better idea – but as Brent notes, it’s much less practical than most people realize. An EV’s battery is its most expensive single component – equivalent in cost to an IC car’s engine. Who is going to assume the risk of getting an abused battery pack in return for a good one? What safeguards would be needed to make sure people aren’t turning in an abused/worn out battery for a good one? Each battery would need to be physically and functionally inspected pre-swap. This would take time – and cost money. Who pays?

        Also, batteries aren’t universal – either in their design or their physical size. A small EV’s battery will be different from that in a large EV.

        Unless you standardize batteries – which means standardizing the cars – you can’t do this without it being an absurdly complicated process.

        Meanwhile, I can fill up my IC car in 5 minutes and go 400 miles.

          • Hi Schnarkle,

            I think the point isn’t so much why – no doubt, it’s been tried – but that no one has.

            What electric cars might be able to do is about as relevant to what they actually do as my saying I might be able to be the starting quarterback for the Eagles next year. I suppose there is a slight theoretical chance of this happening – but it’s silly to assume I will be next year’s starting quarterback and fire the guy who has that job right now (and is doing a much better job than I am currently capable of doing) because I claim I am going to be able to do a better job.

            Such used to be considered – righty – delusional thinking. Or at least – bullshitting.

            EVs ought to be evaluated on the basis of what they are actually capable of. Not what someone says they might be capable of a few years from now.

            To appreciate how crazy things are with regard to EVs, try to imagine the reaction if Toyota came out with a $30,000 Corolla powered by “X” that only ran 150 miles, needed at least half an hour to get back on the road… but promised that next year (or the year after) it would go 800 miles and only take 1 minute to get back on the road.

            • I agree completely, which is why I would say that they need to scrap what they’re working on now, and come at it from the perspective of something that is doable and not so complicated and inefficient. Golf carts are great for local driving. A few of my neighbors have them, and love them. I’m surprised at how fast they go as well. Start with what works, not some half ton battery that requires us to retool the world we live in to accommodate it.

            • eric, you gwine be da Eagle’s QB next year? That’s big bucks these days. Send money.

              Best thing they could do would be to sell them for 0% down and 10 years financing. In about 5 years nobody would even mention EV’s.

              All those gen Xers and Me’s. would be looking for jobs like never before. Not just the old lady but find a sweatshop so the kids could work off some of that debt. Boy, would that stop illegal immigration in its tracks. Might even stop some wars since there’s no way the crowd that makes the money could support Eloi and wars too. Hell, we might all be driving ourselves to those FEMA camps to get some food. I probably won’t go. I hear Soylent Green is pretty good but you know the first ones they take. “I’sa comin, I’sa comin, fer my hed is bendin low, I hear dem gennel voices callin old……white…….Jo

        • Eric see how it is pointless to put out a ton of facts on how stupid expensive EC cars are and make pollution worse then you have millions of the most toxic items on earth the dead batteries to deal with? deluded moronic idiots will keep on puking out how good EC’s are. the only solution is to separate these suicidal idiots in their own state

          • Hi SPQR,

            Indeed. And the effort has been taxing my will to continue lately. I’ve had a weeklong case of writing paralysis, my brain locked up by dealing with this idiocy. I have been feeling an animalistic urge to just … flee.

            I kinna take much more…

            • eric, I get that feeling quite a bit. I live in the boonies and the only noises are one of nature….except for the goddamn spray plane that makes me want to do some spraying myself.

              I don’t know where to flee except to another country and I don’t have the coin to move there. Besides that, I have to move a half a dozen cats to stand up.

            • I would strongly encourage you to not resist that urge. That’s your survival instinct telling you that fighting isn’t going to end well. Deep down we all know this to be the case. Run while there’s still time.

            • Hi Eric your writing is much appreciated Your blog is one of my favorites along with zerohedge and lewrockwell. Driving these days is one of the best ways to get sideways with the nazi thugs roaming our roads. Not like it used to be. Ok on a leave or GTFO situation two places to consider. If you have some kind of ‘ahem’ legal issue Vietnam would be a good place. No extradition treaty, lots of women, and cheap living. And tropical plus it borders China which also has no extradition treaty. The other place I like is Panama. Panama city is quite safe and developed Real estate isnt bad and also much lower prices than the US. plus easy access to the US. english is fairly widespread due to it being practically an American colony for so long. We had to spank noriega so they learned their lesson. they will extradite though. however citizenship or permanent residency isnt too difficult. Plus lots of lovely Colombians live there.

              • Yeah, Mark! I’ve known people who’ve moved to Panama- both of them well over a decade ago now, and both LOVE it. Very agreeable place for foreigners to start very small enterprises on a shoestring.

                I’d really be into it, if it weren’t that Panama is so cozy-cozy with the US.


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