Sans Garage

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There are many obvious problems with electric cars as mass-market cars, most of which have been discussed. But there’s one that’s regularly overlooked:

The lack of mass-garaging.

Having a garage, of course, is not a necessity. But without one, owning – charging – an EV becomes more . . . problematic.

Without a garage – and the electrical outlets most garages have – where do you plug the electric car in overnight to recharge? An extension cord can, of course, be run from an outlet inside the house sans garage to the car parked outside – assuming you have a long enough cord.

But this is also problematic – as well as a tripping hazard.

It takes a long time – several hours, at the least – to charge an electric car on standard 120v household current, the type of current that can be safely conduited through a normal extension cord. To charge more quickly, using a dryer-type 240v connection, you will need a dedicated circuit and heavier-gauge 30-50 amp cord made specifically for the purpose that is long enough to reach from the outlet to the car.

These get expensive if you need one more than a few yards long.

People who have generators will already know all about this.

It becomes even more problematic if the car is parked curbside outside of an apartment complex – as well as even more of a tripping hazard.

Will people run extension cords – and heavy-gauge generator-style cords – from their third or fourth floor apartments to their electric cars parked outside and below? Visualize an apartment complex with 50 units and 50 cords running 50 yards from outside to in. Will they go through open windows? What about the apartments not directly facing the street?

Will they run them around the block?

Will they be reeled in each morning – or left to dangle?

There is also the problem that many apartments haven’t got the electrical service to deal with this prospective load.

Leaving aside the tripping problem.

This is interesting because EVs are most suited to the lifestyle of apartment/condo-dwellers, in terms of their transportation needs – which are shorter-range than people who live in the ‘burbs and farther out, who tend to live in homes with garages and who have a place to plug in without needing to run an extension cord 50 yards down to the street.

But they also need to be able to go farther than most EVs can on a charge without having to worry about recharging. Hence – ironically – those with garages are probably less likely to want an EV than urban-living people.

Which is another problem, insofar as mass-marketing EVs. 

Supposedly, the solution for the urban/sans-garage problem will be public (i.e., government) charging hook-ups at each curbside parking spot. Like parking meters. The problem there is they don’t exist and cannot just be magic-wanded into existence.

It is very odd to put the cart before the horse; i.e., to mandate that electric cars be mass-produced before there is a mass-charging infrastructure to support them.

Including the mass-generating capacity needed to power all of those EVs, each of which has a 400-plus volt battery pack.

Another problem.

There is also the problem of transmitting all of that electricity continuously to that many individual electric teats, all at once.

Charging multiple 400-800 volt a piece EVs at the same time is not like fueling multiple non-electric cars, which draw liquid gasoline stored in tanks under the pumps.

Electricity for charging cannot be stored in this manner. It must be transferred from source to use as it is generated, which places an enormous load on the cabling from the source. This is why you see those heavy cables running on poles beside the road. Plus the transformers to scale it up/down to manageable/safe levels.

It is why similar cabling will need to be installed to service millions of electric cars, assuming the object is to keep them mobile rather than parked.

There is also the problem of the weather.

What happens when it snows?

It is  . . . problematic to run a cable from inside an apartment down to the street in a blizzard. And even more of a tripping hazard, since these cables will be hidden by the snow. The curbside charging hook-ups – assuming the other technical and economic problems are resolved – will get buried and frozen over, too.

And there’s a related problem.

It is similar to the problem non-electric cars have in places like Minnesota in the winter. In such places, it is necessary to plug those cars in, too –  to heaters – so they’ll start in the morning after sitting outside all night. The heaters keep the oil in the engine from congealing – so that the weakened-by-the-cold 12v starter battery will be able to start the engine in the morning.

Italics for a reason.

Cold does to batteries what a naked picture of Hillary Clinton does to straight men.

There is wiltage.

They can lose a third to half or more of their nominal cold cranking power.

Most electric cars have built-in heaters, to maintain the temperature of the battery so that it will not “brick” – and so that it can be recharged.

If it is below freezing, it is difficult to recharge an EV’s battery.

Thus, the battery must be kept above freezing. In a garage that isn’t, this isn’t an issue. But outside, where it is . . . it is. Keeping the outside-parked EV’s battery warm takes power – electricity – of which there is only so much available in the battery, reducing how much of it is left in the battery the longer it sits outside – curbside – in the cold.

In a non-EV, heat – and being able to see outside the windshield as by engaging the electric defroster – is a freebie once the engine is running. It does not reduce the car’s radius of action to crank it up as hot as you like, to run the defroster full-tilt.

And the same for AC, in summer.

In an EV, using the heater (and defroster) costs range; the colder it is, the worse it is – assuming you want to be warm and able to see. Or – in summer – to stay cool. These are not small problems, including the tripping problem – which some Johnny Cochran type will probably make a great deal of money milking as a “constructive hazard” when someone breaks a leg because of it.

But EV hope springs eternal. Like that of the double-Diapered and already vaccinated. Keep on wearing that Rag, if it makes you feel better.

And don’t forget your cord.

. . .

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  1. The EV zelots are in for a huge eye opening. Right now it can be branded as a war on ICE cars, but many of the same the same policies are detrimental to EVs as well. In Seattle, developers are incentivesed to not install parking spaces. If instead they were incentivesed to install greater parking spaces, it would solve many current problems. You could even give resident EV owners places to charge their vehicles. Clearly this is not the goal.

  2. “Cold does to batteries what a naked picture of Hillary Clinton does to straight men. There is wiltage.”
    I shot coffee outta my nose on that one, Eric.

  3. What the “New Urbanist’s” want is to coral everyone into public transit, and do away with the privately owned automobile. Also jam everyone into high density housing like rats. This is Neo Marxist-Leninist, but they deny it at all costs. It is central planning with a green smiley face.

  4. Authorities are damn well fully aware of the practical issues with an EV society. As Eric has pointed out numerous times, it’s clear the intent is to deprive the masses (but never our overlords) of personal mobility, although to what end god only knows. I sure don’t, but I’m not liking what I’m seeing.

    • Hi Frank,

      I just found it – in the moderation queue – and approved it. Mea culpa; the system has a pretty aggressive “spam” filter – due to the tsunami of spam that would otherwise pollute the comments. I do my best to keep after this and make sure the legitimate ones get through. Thanks for bearing with!

      • Hi Eric,

        You obviously are an early riser. It’s not yet noon here.

        Absolutely no comlaints to you from me. You have a lot on your plate. I spent some time on the post, and wanted to make sure there were no typos.

        Thank you for your opinions and attitudes. This covidiot horseshit is really starting to bug me. I’m 68, was healthy until about 2 monhts ago when I had a vertebral crush at L4. Now, walking the streets, very slowly, I fear getting shoved by a covidiot on the street. Yesterday, in the bank, a 30ish male 10 feet away from me, yelled at me because I had the face diaper lowered to my chin. Most places here, will not allow entry without it. I usually ignore them or just smile, but they have plain clothes cops searching. Less people are driving now, so they have to get income from other sources.

        What a world.

        Here’s a good one.

        Tell me please; would you prefer I not post things like this? I don’t want to cause you or anyone else any problems.

        • Thanks, Frank, for the kind words! And – I’m appalled and saddened by your “Diaper Report.” I know I couldn’t take living that way. If that kind of dementia-backed tyranny ever becomes impossible to avoid in my area, I’ll stand my ground and let it cost what it may. I’m not a brave man. But I am a sick-and-tired-of-it man.

        • Great info from Dr. Mercola. Thankful for those who “triumph over fear.”

          However, I have a problem with the Great Barrington Declaration – it still calls for some people to be “quarantined.” For any disease, this is problematic, but for a “disease” that has an overall mortality rate of 0.2% for the general population, this is madness. Not to mention that it is allowing for the civil liberties of those who are deemed “infected” (which would have had to come from a non-test, the PCR, or from anecdotal evidence). In other words, under the GBD, a person can be held in house arrest based on false information and tainted witness.

          I am in favor of individuals deciding for themselves the level of risk they take in their lives, especially in the case of illness, and much more so when the measures taken to mitigate the alleged illness have been proven cause infinitely more harm.

  5. Hello from beautiful downtown Zaz in north central spaganland. This might seem to be off topic, but it couldn’t be more on topic if we collectively tried.

    I visit a website regularly. And sent the following comment, obviously NOT via facecrap.

    Hi (anonymous), I get notices almost daily about new postings from your site. I look at them, and frankly, no pun intended, 95% of the posts of these supposedly professionals seem childish, or sent by people who don`t know how to search for qualified colleagues on internet or xxx or xxx, or xxx or wherever. As of this morning I NOW understand. Why are the posts so infantile? Because a post i uploaded to you site last week questioning the covidiot pandemic and suggesting nutritional options got ¨fact checked¨ by the facebook getapo. Naughty, naughty me.

    The info I posted was the link offered by Amy last week on Erics site. And also this one

    I be a naughty naught boy.

    What thinks everyone? How many gestapo moles visit Eric’s and other sites, looking to ¨fact check¨ ¨non approved¨ info? So they can identify the dissidents. And squash ém?

    As I commented earlier, I have a doctors signed exemption stating that I am not required to wear a face diaper when outside in the street. Yesterday I spent 11€ to send the second and third objection to being harassed in the street by local cops for not wearing the face diaper. Even though when accosted I present the cops the written and signed exemption, the cops didn’t include it in their report to the local ¨health¨authorities. It’ll probably cost me 900€ about $1,100. And ¨they¨will automatically enter my bank account and steal the money, without my authorization, because ¨they¨be DUH MAN. Curously, commens about almost anything else other than the covidscam. are OK according to the

    Spaganland be beautiful and the only violence here comes from the gubmint on their citizens. And this garbage goes on continuously. As George Carlin said, nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care.


    Vitamins A,B,C,D Zinc and selenium are good immune enhancers.

    Stay healthy everyone.

  6. Anyone think many would pull the plug from another car and use it?

    In this “me first, fuck you” society, I think that would also be a big problem.

  7. Amazing how the impracticality of these things never stands in the way of our overlords. When I lived in one of those urban apartments it was rare to find a parking spot near my building, would sometimes end up a block or two away. Not to mention both sides of the street were lined with cars and I’m sure many others were also parked away from their building. Be fun to see the spider web of cords that would make, especially those that had to cross the street 😆

  8. You would need a space of 8 feet by 15 feet for each car charging station. 120 square feet times 62 stations, you will have to have 7440 square feet of space plus a lane for each row, 14880 square feet of space, a roof, drop down power cords, might as well have an inventory of spare batteries on hand.

    You would have to have a building 100 x 150 for 62 charging stations, you need a covered area to keep the elements away, hail on 62 Teslas would be a serious loss. Might as well make two while you are at it.

    A thousand buildings for housing charging stations will be 15,000,000 square feet for 62,000 electric vehicles.

    Looks like you are eating up resources to have EV nirvana. Look on the bright side, a new home for 62 thousand homeless exercising squatter’s rights. lol

    You’re not gonna fix stupid.

  9. Good morning Eric!
    Had a good laugh with my second cup of coffee reading this article. Enjoyed the part about Hillary and wiltage, and Jim H’s comment about ‘’. Too bad we don’t have people like you and your commenters in charge of the government.
    Was running some errands Tuesday and ‘One Piece at a Time’ by Johnny Cash came on—cute song. I laughed and thought of you of all people. I only listen to the old stuff–rock or country.
    Am in the process of cleaning and purging, that second cup has kicked in, lol—so don’t come to my house or I’ll throw you away—too much junk.

  10. Dang. Others beat me to the crackheads stealing the cords and kids unplugging them.

    You best believe in my misspent yute I’d have been unplugging every one I saw. Hell, I’m a geezer now and I’d probably do it for spite.

    I’m not sure how thrilled I’d be to stand in slush to unplug or plug in a high power electric cord. Then, there’s the lowest common denominator principle. Think public toilet. Just as there’s always someone pissing on the toilet seat, there’ll be those that drop the cord into the puddle and leave. By the time you need it, it’s all corroded and doesn’t work.

    It’s a tough concept, but gasoline cars and the infrastructure to support them didn’t happen by fiat, it was an evolution. And right now, we’re at an early stage for electric. They’ll blow it by forcing it on us.

    I myself was on ebay last night looking for an old van with internals simple as a butter churn. I can fix the rest.

  11. Damn, others beat me to the punch about crackheads stealing the cords and kids unplugging the car.

    That said, I’m not so sure I’d be thrilled about standing in icy slush as I unplugged a high voltage line, no matter how insulated it is.

    Then there is the issue of lowest common denominator. Think public toilet. Just as there’s always someone pissing all over the seat, there’ll be those that just drop the cords in the puddle and leave.

  12. The longer and deeper the examination of the cost/benefit ratio for EVs the worse it looks. Including the environmental impact examination.

  13. Eric,

    I follow a couple of Tesla owners and groups on Twitter. The Tesla owners in CA run in to this, because many of them live in apartments or condos, especially in Commiefornia, where housing prices are outrageous. What Tesla is doing is constructing HUGE Supercharger lots; we’re talking 40 stalls or more! Santa Monica just approved construction of a new Supercharger site that will have 62 stalls. This is to cater to Tesla owners who don’t have a garage or a house, as there are many such people in and around the LA area. Owners can go hit the Supercharger as needed.

    Is it optimal? Would I do it? No, but that’s how Tesla owners are dealing with what you’re talking about. In any case, these Tesla owners make it work for them. If they have no problem hitting the local Supercharger 1-2 times a week, who am I to argue with them?

    The EV owners who would have a bigger problem would be those who don’t own Teslas, as no other EV maker has anything like Tesla’s Supercharger network. Tesla didn’t build the Superchargers to offer an exclusive, attractive perk; they did it simply because it NEEDED to be done! No one, either private or gov’t, was stepping up to build a charging network, so Tesla built their own. Tesla’s Supercharger network is a huge selling point for the brand. If I were in the market for an EV, I’d be inclined to buy a Tesla for just that reason.

    • This is one of the most irritating things about EVs, namely the constant usurpation of valuable commercial real estate. All over the “nice” parts of town in cities across America, huge sections of front-and-center retail parking spaces have been co-opted by Tesla charging stations. Just so the well-heeled can have a place to plug in their expensive toys.

      It’s not surprising then that his Boring Company wants to gobble up even more valuable sidewalk spaces in cities nationwide so he can boondoggle his underground bullet train idea through (at taxpayer expense, no doubt).

        • Hi Mark,

          Yes – but with whose money?

          Tesla is a rent-seeking, government-mandated-subsidy-dependent entity.

          Hitler had a really nice Mercedes, too.

          • IIRC, I think Tesla is no longer eligible for the tax credit, since they’ve produced more than the maximum number of vehicles allowed. As for their carbon credits, I don’t know.

            • The carbon credit scam that permits them to commit armed robbery against other companies is the only thing that keeps Tesla afloat. They make no money on the cars themselves.

        • Yes. But many Tesla charging facilities are leased, sometimes rent-free.

          A proposed Tesla charging station in a Santa Maria, CA parking garage has a 5-year contract with two renewable 5-year terms. This being the high tide of EV fever, local officials have stars in their eyes:

          ‘Tesla has agreed to pay Santa Maria $20,000 each year with a 3% increase to rent the space in the garage after five years.

          “It’s not common that people pay rent [for charging stations],” Brett Fulgoni said, adding that the charger could result in increased business sales and more tax revenues. “The hope is that when Teslas are charging, the drivers will patronize local merchants.”

          Ehhh, yeah sure, Brett. After all, them swells got nuthin’ else to do. Might as well hang out at the barber shop and shoot the breeze as the creaky old ceiling fans rumble and whir.

    • Hi Mark,

      Sure, but (a) it’s another example of the regression – i.e., the convenience of being able to park wherever and refuel wherever, quickly and easily replaced by the inconvenience (however rationalized) of having to park at a central hub, then wait, and plan your driver around both – and (b) of shystery corporate rent-seeking. Who is paying for these central charging networks? Taxpayers! Also, all the other car companies who’ve been forced to hand Elon money for “carbon credits.”

      The whole business is a gigantic fraud.

  14. Electric cars have gone the same as so many things – once the gov gets involved they fuck it up. I really thought (and still think in some ways) there can be a genuine electric car market. Indeed I also thought about getting one when I first came to London 15 years ago when they sold something called a G Wiz. A small, cheap, light electric car thats meant for slow short runs (about the size of a smart car). The biggest advantage being that its small, light it doesnt take much power and can be charged in a reasonable time from normal sockets and still have a decent range of a days use in the city (without having to deal with the annoyance of public transport after late nights out).

    But here we are – the government is involved, and electric cars are being pushed as the solutions to all things for all people. Including those who live in Minnesota and do long distance drives on the motorway… and once car companies realise the government is forcing people to buy 50K electric cars – why on earth would they make a 5K electric car like the G Wiz, basically screwing up the whole industry

    • Hey Nasir!

      That G Whiz car appears to be exactly what some people would want and need. I could certainly see the utility of that in the city. It even does 50 MPH, with a 50 mile range, which would be enough for 95% of daily city commutes. It was a bit more expensive back then, but there is no reason it couldn’t be $5k now if it were more widely used.

      Even with lead-acid batteries, battery life might approach 5-years in a commute like mine, and replacement would cost ~$1400 (by my rough calculations), thus easily paying for themselves in the form of gas I don’t purchase. That ratio should even improve with more advanced batteries.

      Excellent example, man, but as you’ve stated, the goons would never let you use that on the road.

      • Yes – agreed. And it makes no sense to make it from a manufacturer perspective if you can sell (or force people to finance) a 50K car that can do 250 miles or so. Also, nobody needs a 250 mile range 95% of the time – and 50 miles will be fine. No more lugging around a ton of batteries, and no more need to mine and refine rare earth materials ruining the planet. No more need for heavy duty chargers, with excessive load on the grid to charge every time. Also being cheap can be a second or third car for most families for the city or school run, while the family car is kept for longer runs.

        But heres the thing – if you genuinely want to reduce energy consumption (and emissions in cities) in the west – small, light and cheap electrics are probably exactly what you need…. but again thanks to politicians forcing electric cars on everyone it wont happen, though if they were presented as a logical alternative I suspect many will, especially in places like California.

        Re cost – I remember when it was marketed in the UK in 2006 it was for around 6K GBP. I recon that was probably around 9K USD at the rate at the time – but this was when electric cars and the related kit was really rare, meaning expensive manufacture. I suspect that can come down greatly today.

        • Nasir,

          RE: The current grid system:

          Eric and others are right about the grids being wholly inadequate for full scale electric car adoption, barring small units like the G Wiz.

          California is burning down as it is. They just want to blame a changing climate, which may be a component, but much of it is their inability to manage their forests, as well as their overloaded electrical grid. They’re having rolling “brown-outs” in the summers to help manage the electrical load. California’s government is miserably incompetent and outright corrupt.

          And they want to put further strain on that grid! People will be seeing transmission wires suddenly glow yellow and snap, igniting neighborhood trees (that they won’t let you water) and touching off city-wide infernos.

          Now, I’m for scrapping electric grids for decentralized energy generation, anyway, but that’s another topic.

          • BaD,

            “ California’s government is miserably incompetent”

            If the goal is to tax & spend, and to grow government, you’re totally wrong.

            I think the problem is that you’re incompetent as far as being able to comprehend what government is.

            “and outright corrupt.”

            As they say in California, Que sin palabras hablan.

      • Hi BD,

        Whether electric or not, the thing that they cannot abide and will not permit is an affordable, simple car. That is a problem – for them. It is why no such car can legally be sold, notwithstanding that there is no technical reason why it could not be. It would be easy – technically – to build a modern, gas-engined transportation appliance capable of averaging 60-80 MPG with highway capability that cost under $10,000 and probably a short-range/urban-suburban electric car for about the same or less.

        But that would relieve the financial burden on people and increase their mobility – and that’s a big problem, you see.

        • Oh yes, Eric, I’m beginning to see. >:(

          Same problem for small, affordable lots with “tiny” houses which people could buy and pay off in two years. Instead, the lots are still pretty small, but they stuff them full (as legally full as possible, I’m sure) of sterile Spanish-tile-covered monstrosities, guaranteeing that each nightmarish home will sell for $300k+, keeping common people mired in debt for 30 years or more, and making someone colossal assloads on interest.

          It really IS about the financing, it appears.

          • $300k+?

            I have been trying to help a friend find a place in B.C.

            Anywhere not frozen much of the year, Fraser Valley, Vancouver island, $300K MIGHT get you a townhouse, but not an overly nice one.

            $250k is becoming the low end apartment entry price.

            My friend wants at least 10 acres and a 1800sf place with a two car garage. Anything like that starts at well over $750k, and will probably go for over listed price with bidding wars.

            Even in the less desirable, alternately snow covered then uncomfortably hot/dry regions, the prices are not much lower.

            I have no idea how anyone can afford these places and the huge yearly tax (last sale price based).

            • Anon,

              I was lowballing a new house here in Phoenix, though I just took a look, and anything new is closer to $400k.
              What a crock.
              Most people CAN’T afford anything close to this. But that’s the point. A married, working couple MIGHT be able to afford to FINANCE such a house. Else, they buy something older, like we did, or just stay stuck in apartments, continually bleeding their earnings while they go nowhere.

  15. I wouldn’t put an EV in an attached garage anyway. The code minimum 5/8” fire-blocking drywall layer required in garages would be no match for a 1000 lb battery fire. I would only even consider doing it if my garage walls were at least 1 hr. fire rated, all doors going inside were rated similarly, all penetrations going through the walls (wires and pipes) were properly fire-stopped, and I had some sort of automated fire detection and suppression system. Don’t even get me started on the dangers of using long extension cords (which people never use properly, anyway) for such high current applications, or the risk of meth-heads stealing your special, heavy gauge charging cord or even your car’s motor windings (a jackpot for any copper thief).

    If I’m going to die, I want to do it skydiving. Not by being immolated by an EV that Daddy Joe forced me to have.

    • ‘If I’m going to die, I want to do it skydiving. Not by being immolated by an EV that Daddy Joe forced me to have.’ — Big Daddy

      Rumor is that Biden’s DOT plans to take over the charger locating site (the EV version of Weedmaps, so to speak) and name it ‘’ in honor of DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

  16. Eric,

    How dare you bring logic and reason into a virtuous leftwing idea. Think of the children! No, not the children that are used like slave labor to mine the rare earth metals used in those virtue mobile batteries, but the other children. You clearly just want mother gia to burn while you drive your ICE vehicle. (Sarc off)

  17. You forgot about the asshole teenagers who’ll unplug every car on the street in the middle of the night as a practical joke.

  18. Eric may be dosing up a little heavy on Black pills this time.

    Once the lizard people unlock the final stargate to enable the tesserac capacitor we’ll have all the wireless electric power needed for full electrification! It will make the legendary pipe dreams of Nicola Tesla look mediocre.

    The sorcery delivered by the plumed serpent shall supply all the electrical needs for fossil fuels to be totally eliminated and Gaia to be fully restored.

  19. Even if one has a garage, it had better be a detached garage (and they might not even have that for long) what with EV’s propensity for bursting into flames.
    Imagine if you live in some Fedders Special attached or nearly-so row-house or town-house or condo with a garage (Which would likely be the case with a good percentage of buyers of EVs in cities)…..your Tesla goes up in flames while charging or just sitting there, and you burn half the block down and kill a few of your neighbors……
    In saner days one could imagine the safety-cult city-council nazis banning EVs from such garages….but today, when they allow them to test driverless cars on public streets with the public as unconsenting guinea pigs, I’d say all bets are off.

  20. You can’t simply run a long cord. Every cord has resistance per unit length. The longer the cord the more the resistance the more the resistance the more heat. The more heat…. well you get the idea. The only way to mitigate this issue is to make the copper, the conductors in the cord thicker, more cross section, more strands. These cords will costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And what happens when you leave something expensive unlocked and unattended? Someone steals it. Sure you can secure the plugs but the crackhead looking for the copper value it’s SNIP SNIP. He’ll find a way not to fry himself in the process or simply take the risk.

    Then there will be the dump and poor or the dumb and cheap. Maybe the merely ignorant. They’ll run some light duty cord 200ft to their car and then what do we get? Well first the breaker pops or fuse blows ideally if it’s low current circuit but our neighborhood moron will get tired of that and bypass it is the cord from the charger to the car or just a high amp circuit? What do we get then children? FIRE.

    I know that in the movies they make gasoline look like it can blow any second but it is actually rather stable and you have to practically deliberately cause it to burn or do something stupid like leave it next to an open flame. The level of dumb is pretty high. With an electric cord we need people to understand wire gauges, P=VI, V=IR, etc. yeah I know, it should be taught in HS but for most it doesn’t stick.

    News from the future: And in other news, someone tried to charge their car in the parking lot using a lamp wire extension cord and 3 died in the resulting fire…. film at 11.

    • And another thing, in stealing the cord for its recycling value the crackhead is going to have no issue doing a couple grand or more in damage to the car’s charge port. You might as well leave it unlocked, the cord will be cheaper than the damage the crackhead might do in the process of even attempting to steal it. Then again even when unlocked its not like instructions are going to be read…. damage could still occur.

    • Brent,
      In my years working for the local electric company copper theft was always a problem. Mostly they would break into the service centers at night and try to cart of a reel or two that was stored outside; bit of a challenge because they were big and heavy. The really stupid ones would break into a substation and hacksaw the copper bus bars; there were always a couple geniuses who couldn’t tell the difference between ground and 13kv and they’d end up at the ER with their hands burnt off.

      • big business in chicago to steal catalytic converters esp in the “nice” neighborhoods. they know theyd get shot in the poor ones

    • Also, let me add that the extension cord will start on fire before the breaker pops. Often, an extension cord is smaller gauge than what wire the breaker is UL listed to protect. The current required to trip a 20 A breaker will easily ignite a 14 or 16 AWG extension cord (and consequently everything around it) on a 120V circuit. This problem could be eliminated by using a 240V circuit, but I guarantee that won’t happen.

  21. Gee Eric, you are such a downer pointing out all these obstacles. How dare you bring reality into the EV Utopian dream. (dream as in Carlin’s definition)


    Pointing these facts out to EV fanatical is always bizarre. Somehow, it is always my fault that these practical restrictions exist. Like I am responsible for the laws of physics and electrical engineering. These volk seem to think that if one believes really, really hard, reality will somehow adjust to their delusion.

    • ‘Like I am responsible for the laws of physics and electrical engineering.’ — anon

      Doubtless we’ll hear some version of this ‘Who me?’ defensive reaction from DOT Sec Pete Beelzebutt and his staff of bat-winged, EV-fanatic californicators, when it turns out that the hundreds of billions they blew on EV infrastructure were largely wasted.

      It’s like a scaled-up version of the pandemic experiment in online education. Turns out a lot of poorer kids not only don’t have computers, but also don’t even have an internet connection.

      Details, details … not a worry for Big Gov, when they’ve got a good concept, a good story and unlimited amounts of OPM (Other Peoples Money) to piss into the wind.

  22. Of course electric theft becomes even a bigger problem than it already is. Every outside plug will have to be locked down somehow.

    • no need to lock the outside plugs, a switch or breaker inside will do the trick. Of course given some existing set ups a lock might be cheaper, until someone busts it own a couple times.

  23. Eric your missing the great reset. You won’t own a car to have to worry about charging it. You will only be allowed to rent one for around town or call a Uber. That’s why they are not worried about the logistics of the forced move to EV.

  24. “Supposedly, the solution for the urban/sans-garage problem will be public (i.e., government) charging hook-ups at each curbside parking spot. Like parking meters. The problem there is they don’t exist and cannot just be magic-wanded into existence”

    Eric, this problem was solved decades ago!

    “ Electrosport, 1972, by EFP. Electric AMC Hornet prototypes made by the Electric Fuel Propulsion Company of Ferndale, Michigan. The company also established the “World’s First Electric Car Expressway” between Detroit and Chicago on Interstate 94 with six 50 kW charging stations located at Holiday Inn hotels near the highway.”

  25. Used to live in the Twin Cities. Yes, there are apartment complexes where this happens already. And even with these tiny cords, several times each winter some miscreant goes through stealing cords, cutting them off if necessary, and they end up as copper scrap.

    Just imagine how lucrative this becomes when the price of copper goes up because of demand for higher-capacity cords…

    • Just wait, they’ll start making shitty aluminum cords (like the wiring in a 70s home) once copper is expensive and we’ll have even more EV related fires.


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