A Not Ludicrous EV

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Electric cars can make sense – when they’re not made nonsensical by trying to directly compete with non-electric cars, which current technology doesn’t permit but which the various mandates and subsidies attempt to force-fit.

The Citroen Ami is an electric car that doesn’t try to compete directly with IC cars and so eliminates all of the electric car’s functional and economic deficits – while at the same time offering several functional and economic advantages vs. a non-electric car.

That makes it a sensible electric car.

This was once upon a time supposed to be the point of the thing before virtue signaling “concern” about the “climate”came to be the EV’s primary selling point. Which became the EV’s primary selling point precisely crony capitalist rent-seekers like Elon Musk, et al had to sell something other than higher costs and functional deficits.

The Ami – which you can’t buy here for saaaaaaaaaaaaaafety (it doesn’t meet federal crash test requirements and other folderol) but goes on sale later this month in France and soon in other European countries – hasn’t got a range problem because it isn’t made to go very far – or very fast.

About 30 miles per hour, tops – and about 40 miles.

It is designed for for the short-range/low-speed driving that electric cars are better at than IC cars and only costs $6,600 because it doesn’t try to do what insensible electric cars are terrible at (long distance driving) as well as very expensive at because it takes 1,000-plus pounds of batteries that cost more than the whole Ami to keep an insensible EV like a Tesla3 moving at highway speeds for more than 100 miles or so.

In France, you can lease this sensible little EV for $22 per month – about the cost of a Hulu or Netflix subscription.

Less than the cost of a tank of gas.

Anyone can afford one – even high school-age kids – unlike a Tesla, et al – which few can afford precisely because they try to do the things electric cars shouldn’t even be trying to do until the endlessly promised just-around-the-corner “breakthrough” in battery design is actually delivered.

And wouldn’t pretend they can deliver – but can’t, until either the laws of physics and change or there a new type of battery/power source is developed that isn’t constrained by the laws of physics and chemistry in the way that lithium-ion EV batteries are and probably forever will be – necessitating a shuck-and-jive routine that would make The Kingfish cringe. As well as a disgusting regime of wealth-transferring subsidization from the working man to the affluent virtue-signaling man. 

Absent all the government mandates, quotas and subsidies, insensible EVs would not exist at all, except as concept cars. They would not become production cars – in a free market – until the endlessly-promised-but-yet-to-be-delivered “breakthrough” in battery design makes it technically possible to drive an an electric car farther than a non-electric car – so as to make up for the electric car’s longer recharging time.

And cost the same to own rather than more.

EV ownership costs – as distinct from the cost to drive one on for-the-moment “cheap” (because tax-free or just “free”) electricity – would have to be equivalent to the cost of owning a non-electric economy car over the same span of time a current IC economy car usually lasts before it begins to need expensive repairs – so about 15 years or so.

Otherwise, it remains an exercise in round-pegging a square hole.

Not surprisingly, the Ami doesn’t need to be “helped” by subsidies because it’s  an economically sensible alternative to any other car  – electric or IC –  for short-distance commuting and urban run-abouting. It’s more sensible than a motorcycle, even – since the Ami is in fact a car and so enclosed and so you stay dry when it rains and warm when it’s cold and you also have space for your things.

Plus a passenger.

It also recharges in three hours – not the usual six-to-twelve – using standard household current rather than a “fast” charging rig that costs a fourth of what the Ami itself does.

The catch, of course, is that it does not boast Ludicrous Speed nor does it try to do what an electric car shouldn’t attempt given the current state of battery tech – long-range/high-speed driving.

Which is precisely why the Ami is sensible, inexpensive and practical.

It does not need 1,000 pounds of battery pack – as a Tesla3 does – and so it does not cost ludicrous money.   

Nor does it waste ludicrous amounts of energy – or consume ludicrous quantities of natural resources such as lithium, cobalt and graphite. A Tesla 3 or Nissan Leaf uses up several times as much of these materials as one Ami requires – and they use up several times as much energy, emitting several times as much C02. They are the energy hogs of our era – but it’s somehow ok because politics trumps sense.

Of course, the Ami doesn’t travel very far. But then neither does the Tesla. Or any electric car currently available. None of them can go more than a couple hundred miles, best case, before they stop going altogether. Most go less than 200 miles – which is about half as far as a typical not-electric car – unless you pay even more – for the optional higher-capacity battery.

(This latter inconvenient truth about insensible EVs is almost never mentioned when EVs are discussed – even by the car mags. It’s as though they don’t want you to know something.  At least, until it’s too late.)

Which, of course, makes them silly – and environmentally toxic – as well as well as ludicrously expensive. Which is why it is necessary to pay people (using other people’s money) to buy insensible electric cars. Few would otherwise, in part because few could afford to do so otherwise.

Unlike the Ami – which anyone who can afford a ten-year-old used IC economy car could easily afford.

Were it not for all the government diddling of the market for EVs, there would almost certainly be more EVs like the Ami – which millions of people who live in urban/suburban areas would probably be very willing to pay for – using their own money. In part because they’d have more money in their pocket, having spent half the amount they’d otherwise have to spend on a small IC economy car and a fraction of the price of a ludicrous electric car like the Tesla.

The hair in the soup, of course, is that the virtue signalers who buy Teslas and so on aren’t  actually interested in economy or efficiency. They want exclusivity, flash and speed. All of which is fine, as such.

But spare us, please, the virtue signaling.

If the virtue-signalers really were “concerned” about the “climate” they would not be driving around in Teslas and Bolts and such. They’d be clamoring for and even demanding cars like the Ami – which use a fraction of the resources and consume a fraction of the energy and “emit” a fraction of the emissions. 

That they don’t tells you much about the why.

. . .

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30 COMMENTS

  1. Eric,

    The Ami is what is known as a LSEV, or low speed EV. There are numerous LSEVs in China that are similar to the Ami. They have similar capabilities. They’re similarly priced. Like the Ami, they’re not available here because they don’t meet the Saaaaaaaaaaffftey requirements.

    The reason it charges faster is that Europe uses 220 V, while we use 110 over here. If you charged it on 110, it would take 6-8 hours. One can get a 220 V charger installed in one’s home.

    • hmmmm, wonder if the Ami could do a distribution network in the US like Roxor does?
      Granted, it’s an urban vehicle only, but in most states Roxor can be driven on roads less than 45mph.
      I can think of many instances where a person living 2-10 miles from their little town could use this.

  2. I’m sorry to be the barer of bad news. Not sure this belongs here, but whatever. I met my new neighbor this past weekend and he appears to be an semi-educated-hillbilly, beard and all (I have a beard too, haha).
    And yes, we have hillbillies in the most densely populated state, I think I might be one too!
    The mass media is winning the EV debate. He said “I’m gonna get me an EV……………..”. I couldn’t believe it. We debated it for a while. He’s convinced even with my facts. He commutes.

  3. My daily work commute is an urban 20 mile stop-and-go round trip with posted speed limits of 35 to 45 mph. I’ve been commuting for years on a 250cc motor scooter, which is more motor than I need for my commute. After considering all of the possibilities and having spent untold tens of thousands of dollars on transportation in the last 40 years, I’m sick of the cost and the government requirements. So I’m selling my motorcycles and finally switching to a motor-assist bicycle, either gas or electric (I haven’t decided which yet). Just like cars, gas assist bicycles are generally much more inexpensive than their electric-drive counterparts. So no more government involvement or expense for me – yeah! And for those rare times when I have to go out of town somewhere I’ll hang on to my 13-year-old Toyota Yaris which still works just fine.

  4. Now this is an EV that I would consider purchasing if I had the money (and space lol). See, this is what’s known as an IC alternative and not a wannabe IC killer. You know, a vehicle one would use to tool around town, commute to work, do grocery shopping, or any other short drive without burning an ounce of fuel (well, the fuel in your tank, that is. Of course, you’ll more than likely burn some at the generating plant, but I digress).

  5. well… almost there… 70km is still too short a range… less than two days of myself driving to work (36km round trip). Once they have a $6000 dollar car that can give me a weeks worth of work… then we’ll talk, because when I return at night, I really don’t want to be home bound because the damn thing can’t go another 10 km. But… it’s nice enough… we’ll see

    • Hi John,

      Everyone’s situation varies, of course – but I can see the value of this car to people who don’t need to drive more than say 20 miles in one day and don’t need a long-haul/highway car but want a reliable, brand-new car. I think it’d be great if they had to option to buy one!

    • Not intended for your use case, but, if we could have nice things here in the land of the formerly free, there would be a models with more range available. This thing, as is would get me back and forth to work all week – it makes sense for my needs, thus the auto lobbyists will never allow anything like this to exist.

  6. Yuck!. But maybe good for living in the city where everything is close and you don’t have a need to move people or supplies. When they make it mandatory for all liberals and socialists to tow the party line and buy these things, maybe I will consider it. When I see Gretta and Gore riding around in one, then we’ll know this is for real.

  7. this whole save the planet puke is communism and those 2 young guys in sanders employ said they want stalin style death camps and WE ARE HERE TO SAVE THE PLANET. we fought WWII to save the communists and they control a lot in the USA
    It amazes me that the car companies cant pool their money to buy off the pedophiles that are in congress to crush the EV movement the same way isral and other big compamies buy off the paidophiles in govt. it seems the car companies are in of the EV scam and I cannot figure out why

  8. Good Job Eric, Glad to see someone finally point this out.

    I’ve Been saying for decades that electrics only make sense as city cars. I envisioned a car like this for my wife as our second car. We have lived in a couple towns and small cities where it would have been perfect for her to run her errands with, run to the beach with, whatever. It might actually get you around town quicker depending on where you live.

    We moved a little too far out into the country for it to work now, but for quite a few years this would have been great.

    Oh and if this isn’t safe then tell me how sharing roads with the Amish folks is? It’s getting to be damn tricky driving around here sometimes. Ever try to pass a four wide set of plow horses? Or come up on a buggy who’s got a wild horse that wants to just jump into your lane? (Mostly I like them, they make good neighbors but it’s slowing me down, you know what I mean?) But seriously, if it’s safe enough for the Amish to drive around with horses and buggies, no crash protection, lousy brakes, etc. then this thing is, LIKE WAY SAAAAFFFEEER!!

  9. Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. Plato. Until we learn this lesson and get the “dumber” out of politics we will continue to live in a world of total foolishness

  10. EVs are all about virtue signaling.

    “I’m better than you because I care about the environment, while you, loutish swine that your are, don’t.”

    That’s the whole EV appeal in a nutshell.

  11. “In France, you can lease this sensible little EV for $22 per month – about the cost of a Hulu or Netflix subscription.”

    Perfect for where I live — The Villages Florida.

    We use our electric golf cart everyday, not just to golf, but to run errands, shop, socialize, etc.

  12. Up here (the hills of Western MA) there are bubble bikes: three-wheel recumbent type pedal bikes with electric enhancement. There’s an upright peak seat, covered by a plastic shell and windshield, with a mini hatch for groceries and small objects. A steering wheel connects to the front wheel. No heating system or defroster, not a bike to travel in a storm but it has a wiper blade for when it rains. Not an off road vehicle or wise to use on icy roads. Other than those limitations, it’s a decent way to get around for short trips. Don’t know the cost. I think it’s around $600 plus the battery recharger.

  13. “In some ways, the Ami is reminiscent of Citroën’s iconic 2CV. Like the earlier Ford Model T, the 2CV, produced from the late 1940s through the ’80s, was an example of innovation in pursuit of accessibility. It was a cheap car designed to be driven over rough — or nonexistent — roads in European country sides and to be repaired quickly and easily when needed.” CNN Business

    Was out in my 1988 2CV6 yesterday for a great Sunday drive. Bought it precisely because of its simplicity and the statement it makes about our alien, “financialized” society.
    Leave it to the French to break the mold, and leave it to our Money Mongers to exercise the power of government to deny us any options to their stranglehold. If available, I would buy a Citroën diesel TODAY ! No soap…our talmudic masters do not allow such options, and we are too weak to destroy them.
    If you still believe we are in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, you must be brain dead, or skull F**cked. This is why the Bloomturd, Snortus, and the rest of that Kabbalah want our guns.
    2005 VW TDI
    1988 Citroën 2CV6

  14. The American equivalent of the Ami is called a “golf cart” and is quite popular as a runabout in the retirement enclaves in Arizona. The homes in those developments even include a designated garage space for the thing. Of course, I recall a video of some jerk driving his inside a Walmart instead of transferring to one of their battery powered shopping carts…

    • You can even reduce parking area for a commercial project in some communities by providing golf cart spaces.

      I completely forget the code but say maybe you can make 40% of your parking GC. That’s a half size space … pick up a couple thousand square feet. Add a store, catchment basin, landscaping, some more interesting tweak like say allows for a permeable Fire lane allows for splitting the building mass allows for a pleasant inner court allows for 10% higher rent…

  15. Hey Eric – well timed article it seems – was just thinking about this the other day – an electric car thats useful would be one thats basically a small city run around. Wouldn’t need such huge, heavy and expensive batteries. So it can be cheap and cheerful ideally. So instead of forcibly replacing my gas car, it will complement the gas car, say for when the Mrs does the groceries, school run for kids, station run for me. Like what the original Mini was meant to be in Britain. And then there will always be a real car for the longer runs, or pulling or carrying stuff. If it was really about reducing emissions – this is the model the powers that be would push for. Furthermore, charging these things won’t require the extremely high wattage chargers the current electric cars do (and the impossible infrastructure required behind it). And I think its possible using todays technology (not that just around the corner breakthrough in batteries I’ve been reading about since I was a nerdy kid in the 90s).

    But of course as you say, I dont think its about reducing emissions – its about reducing mobility…. hence I doubt this model will get far… And i suspect in the end most of us will all be driving around in these golf carts that just go 50 miles as our only car…. real cars (battery or internal combustion) will only be reserved for our dear leaderS!!

    • May not be long before there are damn few new real cars available. The car market was imploding due to the public’s debt load BEFORE this virus hit.

    • They will pry my steering wheel of my real car from my cold dead fingers. No one is going to make me drive anything other than what I want to drive.

  16. Looks like it could be a nifty golf cart. How many seats? It could hold at least two bags. Would be great if it could convey a threesome.

  17. This is a vehicle that should have been introduced in the US first. But thanks to the regulatory hurdles in place it couldn’t happen. Because someone in the DOT would point out that “some idiot” will try to take it out on the highway. And unfortunately they’re right. Those idiots are a result of decades of micro-managing by the central planners. It must be safe, because Uncle would never allow such a dangerous thing! So go ahead and dive head first into the shallow end. There’s no sign so it must be OK.

    Facebook and Youtube employ thousands of people who are there to review every post. They do this because they’re worried about regulation, but ultimately the effect is the same. Keep stupid people from doing stupid things. But there are far more stupid people than there are regulators. Ever see a fire alarm pull station? Of course, they’re pretty much everywhere. Remember that time in high school when that idiot pulled the alarm on a dare? Why doesn’t that happen every day, everywhere? Because we’re not idiots. Oh, we were when we were young, but we learned (and had a lot of “regulation” to train us on the dangers of being an idiot). Not everyone learned the lessons, and unfortunately we’re seeing the results of extended youth, especially in elections, “rights” and pop psychology.

    But it serves the regulators, keeping them necessary and therefore valuable. Too bad Trump doesn’t realize that there’s no such thing as a good regulator, only preferable ones.

    • Speaking of stupid,,, we won’t have to worry whether to buy electric or gas as in a couple of weeks most of us will be quarantined by this virus they’re hyping to the absolute limit. And since it will probably sort of kinda be seasonal we’ll be in quarantine for eva! They’re talking about shutting down bike week here. That’s blasphemy!!

    • RK,

      Thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the platforms like FB, YT, et al are not responsible for what other 3rd parties put on their platforms. They have these “fact checkers” there to censor anything not hewing to the Whoreporate Media, PC line. Since these platforms were gov’t sponsored (via CIA front venture capital firm InQTel), it makes sense that they’d try to control speech that doesn’t hew the MIC/PC line. But yeah, the “fact checkers” aren’t there to prevent legal problems, since Section 230 protects the Big Tech platforms from legal problems. No, Big Tech is an arm of the gov’t, and they’re advancing the gov’t agenda.

    • Me, too!

      But, if I were young again – and had to live in the city – the appeal of a car one could lease for $22/month would appeal to me. I suspect it would also appeal to older people who only need to drive a few miles to the store – and not on the highway. But as JWK says, some idiots would do so – and thus, we must all be treated as presumptive idiots.

      • Eric, the fact that such an EV would have a large market here, is one of the reasons we aren’t going to be “allowed” by our Fearless Leaders to purchase one. Its neither SAFEEEEEEEEEE enough nor does it fit the current Narrative. But just wait, Mr Fusion™ is just around the corner, then we will all have EV’s that can circle the globe, many times over ^^

        • Hi Anon,

          Indeed. The saaaaaaaaafety thing is another angle. It’s also why we’re not allowed to buy/drive any of the several sub-$10k (and highway-capable) IC cars one can buy brand-new in other parts of the world.

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