VW, Victory Gin and the Chestnut Tree Cafe

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In the final pages of Orwell’s 1984, we find Winston Smith – the novel’s main character – drinking Victory Gin at the Chestnut Tree Cafe. He’s been released by the Party after years of torture for Thought Crime but rather than hate the Party for what it did to him, Winston has come to love Big Brother.

VW, too.

After $30 billion and counting in fines and buybacks for “cheating” on government emissions certification tests, the manufacturer of people’s cars sees that two plus two equals five… and committed to building nothing but high-dollar/short range/long-recharge-time electric cars, commencing with the ID3, a Golf-sized five-door hatchback electric car just unveiled in Germany ahead of the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Next will come the IDCruzz – an electric crossover SUV with a 110 MPH top speed (just slightly faster than a ’74 Super Beetle) and a range of 202 miles (less than the range of a ’74 Super Beetle).

For three or four times what a ’74 Super Beetle cost.

The People’s Car becomes the Politically Correct Car. And the Elitist Car – since most people won’t be able to afford one.

VW is trying to put a Happy Face on it all.

CEO Herbert Diess says the ID3 is “the world’s first carbon neutral car,” meaning it doesn’t generate any carbon dioxide at the tailpipe, because it hasn’t got one. True enough. This is what makes it a politically correct car  – because in the lunatic world of “climate change,” it’s only tailpipe “emissions” of C02 that are cause for “concern.” Those “emitted” at the smokestack are don’t-worry-about-that (well, for now).

The ID3 and its electrically-propelled PC VWs also atones for those awful “cheating” diesels that emitted “up to 40 times” the allowable fraction of a fraction of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) under certain operating conditions. This was portrayed as almost a war crime, notwithstanding the absence of a single actual victim harmed by the “up to 40 times” higher NOx emissions and notwithstanding that a home gas range “emits” more NOx than several “cheating” VWs.

A top-drawer investigative report by DW, a German team exposed all of this – but never mind.

No, never look. It’s been memory holed by You Tube.

Electric cars are The Future – even if they take us backward.

Consider this ID3 – which will come standard with a 45 kilowatt-hour battery pack and a best-case range of 205 miles, which is about half the actual range of the current, non-electric Golf. The ID3 will, according to Diess, offer more range – as much as 341 miles – almost as much as the non-electric Golf. But for much more money.

Decent range used to come free – or at least, standard.

Paying etra for range is like being charged extra for the cup the soda comes in.

Imagine the ululations if Toyota sold a 200 mile Corolla – and demanded a couple thousand extra for one that could make it to 300.

VW didn’t say anything specific about pricing during Monday’s reveal but it’s likely the ID3 will sticker for about as much as VW’s only currently available electric car, the eGolf – which stickers for about $10k more than the same car without the battery and with three times the range, standard.

So much for fahrvergnugen.

VW’s new slogan – “happiness is a renewable resource” – will take some time to get used to.

Literally.

Like all electric cars, the ID3 is not just limited in range; it also imposes limits on your time. While a non-electric car can be refueled to full in just a few minutes, almost anywhere, it takes an EV at least 30-45 minutes of plugging in to a “fast” charger  – how’s that for Orwellian? – to recover 80 percent of its already much-shorter-to-begin-with range. (The partial charge thing is a safety precaution – to limit the chance the battery will overheat and the car burn down to a cinder.)

And that 30-45 minute “fast” charge only happens if you can find that “fast” charger before you run out of juice. If not, you’ll be waiting hours to recharge.

One more thing.

The optional (pay extra) 341 mile range ID3 would only have about 272 miles of range after 80 percent “fast” charging; the base version with 205 miles to start with would be gimped down to 164.

If you don’t drive too fast.

If you don’t use the AC (or heat) too much.

It’s important to place an asterisk by the touted range of all EVs – because the range of all EVs is greatly affected by extremes of temperature and use of accessories such as the AC and heat, all of them powered by the same batteries that power the car.

Use them more, you go less far.

During a cold snap last winter, many EV owners discovered the range of their cars had fallen by 40-50 percent. EVs may not be gas hogs – but they are energy (and time) hogs.

They’re something else, too:

Disposable cars.

EVs don’t last as long as non-electric cars because of the shorter lifespan of their batteries, which are the most expensive part of the EV.

Just like the 12 volt starter battery in your current car, an EV battery pack loses its capacity to accept and retain  a charge over time. But an EV’s battery pack costs thousands – not $100 or so. Replacing the EV’s battery pack is very much the same thing, in economic terms, as replacing the engine in an IC car  with the difference being that most IC engines will run for at least 12-15 years before anything goes seriously wrong with them while EV battery packs have a useful service life of about eight years.

By that time, the EV itself will have lost half its original value – and only a fool would spend half its or more of its remaining value on a new battery to keep it going another eight years, maybe.

Diess told the press assembled for the ID3’s debut that VW will guarantee the car’s battery pack for eight years or 100,000 miles. This is a necessary guarantee, because without a functioning battery pack, an EV is several thousand pounds of paperweight. But even with the replacement guarantee, the EV’s useful life will almost certainly be shorter than than the life of an IC car.

One wonders how this affects the “carbon neutral” math.

If it’s necessary to build two EVs to provide the useful service life of one IC car, the “carbon footprint” of two EVs is probably Sasquatchian in contrast.

But VW will be politically clean – and that seems to be all that really matters these days.

. . .

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24 COMMENTS

  1. It would be funny to see what would happen to plans for EVs if the subsidies were cut and the cost differential grew by a few grand more. Picking up a VW Golf Sportwagen with manual tomorrow. Hopefully it’ll be, like my current ride–1997 GMC Sierra K1500 with 3rd pedal antitheft device–a good driver’s car as well. Electric? With 20 below and liking to go 400-600 miles in a day when necessary? No way.

    Regarding NOX emissions, I should also note that this is true about cookstoves. NOX emissions occur when there is excess oxygen and a lot of heat/pressure. Pretty much any combustion that does not have emissions control or use a typical gasoline engine cycle.

  2. Eric, off topic but pertinent. My car pool buddy’s auto-brake system nearly killed us this morning. What would have been a simple maneuver for a human turned into near catastrophe. We were about to merge two lanes to the right in a 5 lane area to get to our exit. Doing about 50-60mph. He merges close behind a truck in the first lane without braking to merge straight to the next lane. The truck taps its brakes and his auto brake system senses imminent danger and throws the goddang emergency brake down and squeals our tires. My friend wasn’t expecting it and was still in full change lane mode and the car shook and rolled a bit like pulling the hand brake with your wheels cocked right. We were only 1/5th behind the truck that braked and the lane further right was completely empty so it wasn’t worth the hassle for a human. The brakes smelled like they were cooking after the incident ended. A normal and common situation for a human easily defeats a pair of robot eyes from 2016. Case dismissed!

  3. I used to hear the talking heads blather about how to “end America’s love affair with the automobile”
    Well, they finally figured out how to do it. Kudos to them and shame on us for allowing them to do it.

  4. Fighting sentiment with facts is always difficult, ask any husband. But in the world of today it is especially difficult since we can no longer say “NO” to women. This panty wasted response by VW is nothing more than the corporate version of Blue Pill men interacting with the distaff. On top of that, remember that the oligarchs that are running us in the ditch can alter their objectives and not blink an eye. It all hinges on money and power. Currently electronic solutions to work are in vogue, but they will fail. At that point, like global warming, the agenda will shift.
    This EV bull shit is about control, nothing more. That is why guns are so bad and the pussification must continue. Our rulers know what is coming and they are setting the table for our destruction.
    We must resume saying “NO” to women !
    2005 Passat TDI
    1988 Citroën 2CV6

  5. Maybe there’s a more sinister motivation than the blather about cleaner, renewable, more politically correct energy. Let your mind roam about a decade into the future. By then, there Will Be be a majority of electro-cars on the road. We know they are being forced on car buyers. We also know that the swamp creatures will enact laws very hostile to the continued use of already existing internal combustion cars. We also know that every official re-charging station in the whole country will be registered and accessible in one federal database.

    So how do the swamp creatures instantly and effortlessly deprive the motoring public of their personal mobility??? Just one mouse click, and all those re-charging stations stop recharging.

    You say they would never want to do such a thing…? Well then, you’ve got nothing to worry about. 🙂

    • Exactly, Mike…

      This is also why I harp on automated vs. autonomous cars. The cars we have now are autonomous. They are under our control. The automated cars of The Future will be – already are – under their control. Electric cars will seal this deal.

      I never thought I’d live to see Red Barchetta become reality… but it almost is.

  6. I was driving the other day after turning off the radio and doing some thinking. Several things occured to me: 1. There really aren’t fossil fuels, there are NATURAL fuels. All are formed of natural ingredients and processes (some do pass through the living organism stage) 2. I’ve been driving SOLAR POWERED cars all my life- the sun is used by organisms to live and grow and by chemical processes to form various combinations of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. 3.The stored chemical energy eventually turns under heat and pressure to crude oil, coal, etc which are refined into my batteries (stored energy in a device) in the form of nice clean gasoline and diesel oil.
    Now if I can get some bumper stickers, T shirts, and hats made…

    • So, I’m going to play devil’s advocate here.

      I don’t think anyone will dispute that oil is concentrated solar power, but where people will disagree with this statement is that we’re releasing in a few generations of humans energy which has been sequestered over many millions of years, and that the rapid change is the problem, not the nature of the fuel.

      Now, that being said, I don’t personally believe we should take any actions based on that. Once electrics can become competitive with gasoline, and better, I welcome them, so long as they can win on their own merits. Sort of how natural gas power is now so cheap due to fracking that it’s displacing coal, oil, and even nuclear electric power generation.

      • energy which has been sequestered over many millions of years,

        Really now…. millions? The earth ain’t that old. Bogus “carbon dating” processes have been manipulated to support the “millions of years” theories.

        Funny thing, but not that long ago some geologist sent some layered sedimant samples off to be dated, as to how long ago those layers of obviously volcanit material had been discharged in the eruption that released them and made them available to do their layering thing. Answer came back in the millions of years. The “guy” who sent them in for analisys asked them to check their calibration because he had reason to believe they were “way off”. Ran them again….. same results. THEN he disclosed that the volcanic material he had submitted had been taken from the KNOWN layers of ash and rock emitted on 18 May 1980 when Mt,St. Helens erupted the first time in the modern age. The “scientists” running the test lab were furious…
        Funny thing, the exact same phenomena observed and “analised” in places like the Grand Canyon, and adjudged to have been laid down over millions of years, are observed in the known NEW material that belched out of the northwest side of the Mountain in 1980….. precisely the same layering phenomena are observed, and we KNOW all that happened in SW Washington over the space of hours, or at most a few days. Same thing in the Grand Canyon happened over “millions” of years?

        Hah!!

        So-called “fossil fuels” are being produced now, at rates far faster than any “scientists” had ever dreamed possible. What IS happening to all that new plant material as those green cells gorge themselves on air-borne carbon dioxide, produce various forms of carbohydrate, grow… and eventually die or get burned in a fire or cut to build houses, make paper, plastics, and all manner of other stuff…..burn that tree or paper made from it, today, the carbon dioxide the tree “ate” to make the lignin fibre is again released into the air, perhaps made into ash and in to the soil, etc.

        How many times have the rare earth mindrals in those big bad batteries in the lektric cars been resued? And where are THEY coming from? ANd how much more of those rare earth ELEMENTS is being made toay and by what process?
        THey all holllered about “the end of energy” just a couple decades back… “peak oil” I think they called it. Speaking of petroleum and coal based products…. “the end is near” waved the signs in the hands of the neanderthal-like hominoinds dressed in their burlap rags, long beards and crazed looks in their eyes…. now we have many times in known reserves as yet untapped than ALL known pools of oil and coal back when the end of the line predictioins were being made.

        And the electric vehicle is the cure for all these ills? Nope As correctly described above, it is all about ultimate control. But, they might make me stop driving my antique “fossil fuel” propelled cars, but they’ll have a REAL hard time keeping me off that bicycle of mine. Cell phone guzinta a copper wrap-round box…… NO foot print, NO tracing, unless someone ELSE gets on HIS and tries to keep up with me as I ride off into the sunset….. or maybe take the “tail” on a gruelling twenty mile loop, three times running, just to see what he’s (not)’ made of….. go home and have a nice long nap, sucker. Is your paltry paycheck REALLY worth all this?

    • Far from being “fossil fuel”, hydrocarbons are not only plentiful but are being renewed by yet-unknown processes deep within the earth.
      The term “fossil fuel” was coined in the 1950s when little was known about the processes by which oil is produced. Oil is “abiotic” in nature, as even depleted oil wells are “filling back up” from deep below the earth’s surface.
      Oil interests are drilling wells at 5,000 feet, 10,000 feet, and 15,000 feet and deeper, and coming up with oil deposits way below the layers where “fossils” were known to exist.
      As Russia gained much expertise in deep-well drilling and coming up with oil deposits far deeper than that of the level of “fossils”, abiotic oil at extreme depths was actually a Russian ‘state secret” for a long time.
      Not only that, but there are planetary bodies in which hydrocarbons are naturally occurring (without fossils).
      “Peak oil” and “fossil fuels” are discredited concepts that environmentalists and others are latching on to, in order to display their hatred of oil being a renewable resource as well as to push prices up.
      Follow the money.

      • There are geological sources of hydrocarbons, this is absolutely true, Saturn’s moon Titan being a prime example, however, it’s pretty easy to determine whether oil is biological in origin via radiocarbon dating, the presence of fossilized dinoflagellates, and other signs, such as larger fossils. Fact of the matter is that most of the oil and gas which we use for energy is biological in origin. Much of middle east oil comes from forests and bogs from the carboniferous period, which ended about 300 million years ago. During this period, there was far more carbon dioxide in the air, and so, plant biomass was far greater. It’s why so much oil and coal comes from this period, because so much was sequestered. Today, during oil exploration, one of the common ways to find it is by being aware that it is indeed biological origin, and looking for evidence of those life forms in exploratory wells as breadcrumbs to lead to it.

        Today, this process isn’t working in the same way, because the carboniferous period happened before organisms evolved the ability to break down cellulose. Plants which died back then were not broken down by bacteria and fungi, and so, they collapsed, layer on top of layer, eventually forming coal and oil. Today, when plants die, they are decomposed over a century or so into carbon dioxide and water.

        So, when we say “fossil fuel”, we generally mean fuel derived from these plants which died and were sequestered before nature knew how to break them down. This fuel is not renewable, for the reason that I mentioned. I know this, because I spent years building systems which help find oil, so I know more about this stuff than the average internet commentator.

        • find means not knowing the origin !
          But to be honest and logical( not AI) it was a huge biological massa of plant and animals remains , being kept under the ground because the geological convulsions in the last 600 millions years .
          But also by the Geological institute of Sweden in the years when de Club of Rome( Elite’s prophets, misleading and lying as today for sure !) told us the in the beginning of ’80 -ies we will witness the use the last drop of oil,the Sweden geologists have proven that oil and gas are for sure ‘abiotic”but only contaminated with bio products.
          The extremist politician neo- apocalyptic cultists are obliging us by force( the best force of enslavement are the Banks) to pay and endure atrocities for their criminal lunacy !

        • because the carboniferous period happened before organisms evolved the ability to break down cellulose. Plants which died back then were not broken down by bacteria and fungi, and so, they collapsed, layer on top of layer, eventually forming coal and oil.

          I suppose your proposition is on possible explanation.

          There IS another…

          how about catastrophic entombment of the biomass you describe, and being covered so quickly the microorganisms you suggest “had to be invented by nature which had not yet happened” were indeed present and widely distributed… but, because of the rapid deposition and covering, were unable to access the deeper layers, only the top tiny fraction, and then only until THAT layer was covered by inorganic material.. rock, silt, etc. Thus the biomass could have been collected, compacted, and broken down not by microorganisms but by heat and pressure in the absense of oxygen, thus preventing surface zone decomposition as we see in places like forest floors, our own backyards, etc.

    • Ernie,

      “I’ve been driving SOLAR POWERED cars all my life- the sun is used by”

      Back in my windmill chasing days, people thought I was nuts when I told them they could buy windmills from BP Solar.

      Alas, wind energy is solar energy.

    • Ernie, use this one to wind up lost leftie tree huggers all the time…. its one of those things that the media soundbite scientist on TV doesn’t tell them…. hence they dont know how to deal with it. They know its true…. but it cant be right!! their head almost explodes, end they end up getting pissed off at you anyways!!

    • wonderful , that’s it “Solar energy car driving “Perfect ! .
      But the politicians are not humans, they can not understand your normal and correct logic .

      • politicians are not humans, they can not understand your normal and correct logic

        few products of the bummit skewlz can…… most politicians fall into this catergory.

  7. What is there to say? Going on three generations of dumbed down, 24 and 7 indoctrination by media and skools, with the priority of gendered bathrooms, safe spaces and globull warming. Poor Winston is a freedom inspired individual compared to most Americans. Every morning I watch Americans cart their young to the free government indoctrination centers aka skools, then afterwards to free government day care while mummy works her Walmart gig and popsy (if there at all) work laying down (WPA) sidewalks or mowing lawns. No individual thought exists, just making it to the next day and doing what the Man says. No upward mobility,

    Governments have neutered America and the West in general. Any internal drive to better ones self has been extracted. They go to college now, not to better themselves, not to start businesses, not for independent study, but to get a yob or a better yob which hasn’t worked out so well. And now they want that free as well.

    If government says ICE cars bad then manufactures make EV’s and Lemmings buy them. If social media says Eric bad then Eric is disappeared to the nutter zone where the lemmings will rarely hear from him and won’t like it when they do because he does not further the government narrative. Each day the government noose tightens. Each day Americans become more soviet.

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