The Alternatives We’re Denied

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If electric cars are the ducks guts – the better alternative – then why is the government doing everything it can – shy of actual bayonets in the back – to deny us the freedom to choose?

Obviously, the worry is we might choose something else – if the government were to allow  us to do so.

Can’t have that.

Which ought to raise questions – not about electric cars – but about this business of denying people the freedom to choose the alternative that works best for them. As opposed to the one forced upon them by government.

Interestingly, the reasons electric cars are being forced onto the market is because people aren’t free to choose economically sensible and practical electric cars – because none such exist.

And the reason they don’t exist is  . . . because the government is forcing electric cars onto the market.

It requires a bit of explaining.

If a free market existed, there might well be a market for electric cars – just not the electric cars that are being pushed onto the market, like Teslas and their emulators from the other car companies.

Those cars are mandated cars; their electric propulsion systems are almost incidental. What defines them is their trying to “compete” – in air quotes to emphasize the absurdity of anything mandated into existence and maintained in existence by subsidies – with the non-electric cars they cannot directly compete with.

But which they’re – irony! – forced to try to do, precisely because they’ve been mandated and subsidized as the replacement for non-electric cars.

Thus, they must try to be capable of doing the same things as non-electric cars – which they can’t – because of the limitations of electric cars. Which are magnified when they try to compete directly with non-electric cars.

On the highway, for instance.

Electric cars cannot go as far, as fast, as non-electric cars – and they take much too long to get going again when they try to.

But because they are being mandated, their manufacturers are forced to try to make them capable of doing what they cannot. Which has made them monstrously heavy – and preposterously expensive.

It takes 1,000-plus pounds of batteries to give an electric car the capability to go farther than 150 miles on the highway and those batteries are extremely heavy as well as extremely expensive. It is why the least expensive electric cars cost twice as much as the least expensive non-electric cars  . . . and they still can’t compete with those cars directly.

A new Nissan Versa that stickers for $14,980 can go almost 400 miles on the highway and can be ready for another almost 400 miles in less than five minutes. A new Nissan Leaf electric car stickers for $31,670 and can go 150 miles, but not on the highway. And when it stops, you will wait several times longer than five minutes and possibly overnight, if a 480 volt direct current “fast” charger isn’t handy.

Which they aren’t because almost no home chargers can supply 480 volts of direct charge to anything.

This is true of all electric cars vs. all non-electric cars.

They cannot compete as all-around cars with non-electric cars. City and highway. Go anywhere, anytime – without worrying about how soon you’ll be forced to stop.

And wait.

The state of battery/recharging technology makes it not only impossible but counterproductive to make the attempt. See that part above about weight and cost.

But EVs might compete very effectively if they were free to offer indirect competition.

Electric cars could be a better alternative – if they weren’t designed to try to emulate the long-range/high-speed capabilities of non-electric cars. Forget about that – until it is possible for them to do that. In the meanwhile, focus on what electric cars do well – or could, if their designers weren’t being forced to try to make them do things they’re not suited for.

Like travel several hundred miles at 75 MPH and be able to travel another several hundred miles, in minutes.

Instead, focus on traveling about 100 miles – at speeds around 50 MPH or less. Such an electric car wouldn’t be a highway-capable car. But it would be an affordable electric car as well as a practical one  . . . for people who do not need a car that can travel hundreds of miles on the highway at 75 MPH.

It would be an excellent alternative car for people who want to spend less on a car than the $14,980 it costs to buy a non-electric new car like the Nissan Versa.

Which would be feasible, from both a technical and economic point-of-view, if Nissan didn’t have to design and build it to try to be directly competitive with the Versa.

Such a car would not need 1,000-plus pounds of batteries and so wouldn’t weigh 3,501 pounds (vs. 2,599 lbs. for the Versa) and so wouldn’t have to cost more than twice as much as the Versa  . . .

As the electric Leaf does.

It would also not need a whole new from-the-ground-up infrastructure of 480 volt direct current “fast” charging stations, which doesn’t exist – and which we’re all going to be forced to pay for, in order to bring it into existence.

Such a car could be plugged into ordinary 115 volt household outlets in between short hops and would rarely run out of range – or make its owner wait – for precisely that reason.

It is uncommon for people who make short hops to ever need to drive farther than 50 miles, one way – well within the range of affordable and practical electric car technology.

The problems with electric cars only manifest when they are expected to drive beyond the capabilities of battery technology and compete on equal terms with cars that don’t rely on electricity for locomotion.

But because electric cars are being forced onto the market – so as to end eliminate alternatives to them – we end up with electric cars that can’t compete on economic or practical grounds with non-electric cars – and we’re denied the alternative of electric cars that would be more affordable and practical than non-electric cars, if designed so as to take advantage of the things they can do better while not expecting them to also do the things they can’t.

.  .  .

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  1. would add that a serviceable, economically sane electric vehicle would also be using more common and easily recycled and replaced batteries with less environmental hazards. If it does not have to pretend to be an ICE car, then it can use a cheaper common battery bank. Perhaps even Lead-acid AGM style cells or NiMH cells. Let it be heavy, simply not dangerous in terms of fire or the environment.

  2. Eric,

    The solution is so simple for nanny gov that i’m shocked the pedo in cheif’s transportation person hasn’t decreed it already. All nanny gov has to do is give some of that fake money to one of their “research” institutions to settle some science that says all drivers are distracted after 150 miles of constant driving and they need… you guesses it, at least 45 minutes of rest before being allowed to continue on their way. The research methods will be highly questionable and no peer review will be allowed but the PTB will declare the research gosple, their buddies in social media will block and suspend anyone who questions the narrative, govt dictators will declare an emergency and begin mandating minimum 45 minutes of rest for every 150 miles driven. New cars will need new technology to stop the car after the 150 miles is met. and Presto! Everyone is “equal” again. Except of course agw’s and anyone on “official” govt business will be exempt.

      • I’m way past that now. What did Stallone say in demolition man? Send a maniac to catch a maniac…. i think we are getting close to that point now where its almost no remorse. I’ve never wished harm on anyone but now i am absolutely jaded and actually laugh out loud when i hear of some big name who took the jab and suffered severe side effects. I don’t like that i have become this way but i like less what this country is becoming and what i am leaving behind for my kids.

  3. Electric trucks for mining makes sense in underground mines.

    World’s Largest EV

    How come none of those giant electric trucks don’t auto-immolate?

    A 290 ton giant electric truck won’t be on I-5 for a long haul to Crescent City.

    • They don’t auto-immolate because as the article states:

      “The conceptual work is done, but Williams Advanced Engineering, also based in the U.K., will bring the truck to life with a proprietary high voltage battery system for the truck, which is currently under development.”

      And, I can only postulate that “under development” means still doesn’t exist at this point in time. Oh, maybe they have some concepts and mock-ups. But, is it safe to assume the battery needed to power the beast will probably exceed the size of the truck needed to haul it around. Not including the payload the truck delivers.

      “…the Anglo American truck will be a hybrid that uses both a lithium-ion battery and a hydrogen fuel cell module.”

      Oh, I get it alright. They’re planning on using hydrogen to recharge the battery on-the-go. But, how much carbon will be emitted to produce that hydrogen fuel?

      “Hydrogen fuel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, is a clear fuel that produces only water as a byproduct when consumed in a fuel cell. It’s typically produced from natural gas, nuclear power, or renewable wind and solar power. Supplementing the vehicle’s battery with hydrogen fuel cells will allow the truck to run for longer periods of time without recharging.”

      And, the carbon footprint keeps getting larger and larger.

      • Hi Vin,

        Yup; and there’s another aspect to this. If – assuming the Vaporware ever becomes actually viable hardware – the “emissions” of water vapor will then become an issue. Water vapor being another “greenhouse gas.” Because it isn’t the “gasses.”

        It’s the excuses.

      • eric, I read this past week that GM and Ford intend to quit making electric vehicles. After the comparison I saw of and e Mustang and a Tesla, it was obvious the Stang wasn’t up to par. The guy driving it behind the Tesla barely made it to a charging station 150 miles from the start. He was very worried he wouldn’t make it in the Stang and then couldn’t find a charger that worked till he’d tried 3 of them. The guy in the Tesla just pulled up to the charger for it(different type), opened the door and stuck the plug in.

  4. There is an electric vehicle that works fine for what it is. An electric golf cart. They work fine for private senior communities and gold courses. It would be fine for residential streets, bike trails and low speed, low traffic roads if uncle would allow. But they won’t because most don’t have roll cages, air bags, mirrors, crumple zones or for that matter seat belts. Yeah, they should never come close to a busy road or a high speed one, but with todays amount of morons, there would be plenty that would try.

    • That kind of thinking is what makes regulators salivate. Yes, people (teenage boys, mostly) do stupid things. Sometimes they get hurt doing it. But is it up to another group of people to anticipate their stupidity? Should everyone have to suffer because a few cannot do the calculation necessary to avoid disaster? And what of the people who do know better? Without “wise” regulators would they just let some damn fool do whatever they want?

    • Rich,

      Funny reading this i was thinking about electric golf carts. But even in that case a gas powered golf cart is superior to the electric cart in almost everything. You’ll notice that most course that have lots of hills use almost exclusively gas powered carts for that reason. Same reason for cycling the carts. The gas powered carts can be fueled in seconds and ready for an afternoon round after spending the morning traveling all over the course, while the electric cart needs several hours of recharge time to keep going. In 30+years of golfing I’ve had electric carts run out of juice less than half way through a round several times, never had that happen with a gas powered cart.

  5. “All you need, is a little plutonium!” -M. McFly

    Or, perhaps, thorium, if you were privy to some of the noise a few years back regarding thorium-powered cars.

    Perhaps thorium reactors may one day be a reality for remote/decentralized power sources, though not with the current political power structure.

    • Seems to me that: (a) we have been terrorized for the past year, ongoing, and (b) that if there are really other trrrists (h/t Eric) that want to do us harm, I would think they would take advantage of the sheep in lockdown rather than when they are set free.

      Such obvious bs to try to keep the sheep in line.

  6. I just saw a YewToob video from a fellow taking a new E-‘Stang on a road trip. His charging exploits are quite maddening, and illuminating at the same time. Imagine a rogue app denying you fast charge, that’s kind of my takeaway from his charging experience. Also, he mentioned some E-car charging scheme wherein one pays $0.31/KWh for charge at those high-speed charging stations. If one does the math, that’s 9.3 cents/mile for an average EV which gets 30 KWh/100 miles (from the FedGov’s own EV mileage data). If you instead were to drive that same stretch in a gasser, with a typical/low side of 30 Miles/Gallon of RUG at say $2.80/gallon (yeah, Texas prices not Carolina, I know), you get (wait for it)…9.3 cents/mile for a gasser! So, you pay a premium up front to buy it, and to install a charger at home, and to buy in to some charging scheme for the road, and you have to wait at least 30 minutes to recharge, all for the same cost per mile as a gasser! Such a deal!

    • It was in the article that had the video I think that said GM and Ford would be getting out of the electric market. They have both reached their 200,000 mark and now there’s that extra $7500 they will have to charge. Good deal.

  7. Eric,

    Last night I dreamt that you posted a contest for the writing of a song called “It Smells Like Nitromethane”. Somehow, I was at the Peters estate, and you listened to what someone had sent.

    It was some kind of ska/reggae version, and you weren’t pleased with this. I told you I’d get on it.

    I might just do that anyway, regardless if there is a contest. Perhaps you’ll link to the result if I complete the opus. Expect industrial/metal instead.

    ALSO, You highlight the most pressing issues regarding electric cars here. The G Whiz (mentioned by Nasir, I believe) is a perfect example of what MIGHT be successful, mainly in cities, if people had a CHOICE.

  8. The key word, Eric, is…FORCE.

    EVs would have a natural niche market, and I see no problem with engineering, manufacturing, and marketing them in a FREE market, and good luck with that. It’s when tax incentives are proffered that one should get the hint that these vehicles cannot make it on their own. That still not having gotten the American motoring public to “see the light”, the PTB have lost all patience and are doing their utmost to force these unwieldly vehicles upon us, and likely legislate our gas-guzzling rides off the roads. When hot rods are outlawed, I’ll be an outlaw.

    • Indeed, Douglas –

      It’s striking obvious to us; I wish it were more obvious to others. But it’s of a piece with the obvious absurdity of expecting healthy people to play-pretend they “might” be sick – and that the wearing of rags wards off sickness!

      • I’m still reluctant to get the “Holy Jab”, and all the attempts to CAJOLE the American public are the strongest reason for my reluctance. I’ve had other vaccinations before, including, when I was a HS junior, the one in ’76 (same year as your T/A, right?) for the dreaded Swine Flu (which, IIRC, was the same as what bedeviled this country immediately after WWI, and was nicknamed the “Spanish Flu” b/c they were neutrals and no one gave a crap about them; I also recall that nearly as many, if not more, young men died of it than in combat “Over There”…), and then didn’t experience any adverse effects, especially not the dreaded Guillian-Barre syndrome which killed MORE than the Swine Flu itself! Eric, there’s been so much obstrufucation and outright LYING that I don’t know who to trust anymore!

        Although any product must be promoted, i.e. SOLD, ultimately the consumer is not fooled. If EVs, hybrids, and hell, a vehicle powered by a windup rubber band were superior to gasoline or diesel-powered cars, then the public would demand them. Period. And if there’s cachet in virtue-signaling with a Tesla, I suppose her in Northern CA there’s enough wealthy liberals to keep a dealership going. But this is precisely what goes wrong. It plays on a principle that my Dad (87 years old and still going strong) told me during breaks a few years ago when I’d come up to my sister’s house and we’d watch the Fresno State Bulldogs. Part of the same reason why so many movies and TV shows get made and promoted…and FLOP. The writers of same tend to be an insular group, all cocooned there in “Hollyweed” or “New Yawk”, of a particular ethnic/religious persuasion to boot, and their rather limited, snobbish view of things tends to color their actions. To make it short (too late), they’re often very much out of touch with the viewing public, and their failures of legend show it. Much the same with bureaucrats and legislators. How many, even from Michigan and the other “Rust Belt” states, have ever WORKED in the automotive industry? This would be a reason why to favor a businessman for the White House, rather than a career politician, especially a six-term Senator noted mainly for lackluster presidential campaigns and very little to actually show for almost a half century in the Congress. Even OM, warts and all, understood what running a large enterprise is all about! Hence also why I favor governors rather than members of Congress; at least those that had a significant career, especially if they’re “self-made” (no pun intended) from humble origins! So we’ve had Jesse Ventura for MN and Arnold Schwarzenegger for CA, and now Matthew McConaughey wants to try to run TX. Good luck to him; at least he’s ACCOMPLISHED something, selling his acting talents on the free market in a tough business.

    • The most disgusting aspect is that very rarely are any regulations imposed for the specific purpose they claim to be for. Most often they are the result of what the Psychopaths In Charge think they can get away with while demonstrating their absolute power over you.

  9. ‘It’s impossible to reproduce the BTU storage in a gallon of ‘natural, renewable’ oil/gas’ — Chris

    Never say never … maybe someday, laws of physics permitting. UFOs do it with ease, somehow.

    But for now — as you say — 15 gallons of gas weighs 91 lbs (three-fourths as dense as water). But batteries to store the same energy content weigh over ten times as much.

    That’s a punishing weight handicap, which will not be overcome by mere incremental improvements.

    If ol’ Nikola Tesla were still around (the man, not the EV makers who purloined his good name), what would he advise? Probably something along the lines of ‘You punters need a total rethink.’

    • He would get to work on a way to wirelessly transmit power to moving vehicles…he was working on wireless power transmission in Colorado in the 1890’s. Either that or he’d slap some sense into the E-car crowd, since it was Edison, his biggest rival, who pushed alkaline battery technology for transport use in the early 1900’s.

      It’s either lug around massive chemical batteries, or get massive amounds of energy to the vehicle over wires (trolleybuses and electric trains), or wirelessly, if you want to have a hidden emission vehicle. Of course, the emissions are still there, just out of sight of the Teslarati.

  10. I think they’re trying to force everyone into this (and the Needle, and the Diaper, and everything else) because they are afraid that if people do something else, they will begin to realize that TPTB are full of shit. And once that happens, TPTB won’t. And they could not possibly imagine a worse outcome than that.

    I, on the other hand, could not possibly imagine a worse outcome than if everyone goes along with this malarkey. And I know that I am not the only one, either.

    Therein lies the rub.

    • I think that’s why you’re seeing a very quick push to open back up. Pedo Joe, Inslee, Whitmer all doing 180s over the last week. They say it’s because enough people took the jab.

  11. ‘Instead, focus on traveling about 100 miles – at speeds around 50 MPH or less.’ — EP

    That’s about what the single-seat, three-wheeled ElectraMeccanica is designed for, at a sub-$20,000 price (which still isn’t competitive with a Nissan Versa).

    Why just three wheels, a physical constraint that severely limits seating and cargo space? Ask fanatical, deranged old Uncle Sam:

    ‘Automakers often have an easier time designing 3-wheelers because of the lack of regulatory restrictions. While the Solo is marketed as a single commuter car, it’s technically registered as a motorcycle. This means that it has a few perks over traditional cars, like the ability to use carpool lanes.’

    A hilarious video about the vintage 3-wheeled Reliant Robin (in the link above) shows just how badly wrong things can go, when a rectangular body meant for 4 wheels has but one wheel in front. Owners were advised to proceed in a straight line, and not attempt the foolhardy stunt of making turns. (!)

    ElectraMeccanica illustrates the ‘death or oogaboogah’ lose-lose dilemma imposed on auto manufacturers, who can escape regulation with a heavily-compromised 3-wheel platform, or face the full Monty of airbags, crash testing, etc that cripples 4-wheeled vehicles with weight and expense.

    Good thing Big Gov don’t design people yet, though it’s becoming ever more aggressive about programming them for blind ‘compliance.’

  12. But you know as well as I do, the intent is not to fill the road with EVs, its to empty the roads. Period. To put us all on permanent lockdown.

  13. Maybe they will try to force EVs on urban people, but I visit rural areas in the west and I see no practical way EVs are going to work. Just in my normal day in the rural west, I do 200-400 miles. And many others do as well. No way when we’re living on the road many days, we’re going to have to wait another 1-2+ hours to our day when it’s a very long day already cause of the travel. Even my tesla neighbor in an urban area won’t risk going 150-250, unless she can ‘plan’ a lunch/dinner, but that’s adding a big inconvenience and why she will not be getting another one.
    It’s impossible to reproduce the BTU storage in a gallon of ‘natural, renewable’ oil/gas, and why it has been the single biggest contributor to our modern advance. IMO, the only potential replacement is mini-nukes described in many sci-fi novels. If society were controlled by everything/everyone practical, we would have, or be working towards decentralized power supply via. mini-nukes for every county and/or town.

    • RE: “rural areas in the west and I see no practical way EVs are going to work.”

      No doubt. Batteries have a hard enough time being able to simply start a car in the Winter, I can’t even imagine a battery powered car or truck in the Winter. Electric forklifts are silly enough as it is.

      I’ve briefly read about the lifespans of electric cars, I suspect it’s cut in half or more if it were in Winter and, horror, parked outside overnight all the time. Yeesh, insert almost any scene from the film, ‘Idiocracy’ here X.
      We’d have such a disabled and non-functioning world with battery powered cars, it wouldn’t even be funny.
      But, of course, that’s the goal of the Power Elite, eh?

    • The very idea of an EV is ridiculous for those of us in the west and mountains, particularly if we live in high elevation, rural and remote parts.

      But the point isn’t to replace our vehicles it’s to make living in such places variously inconvenient to impossible. Herd us into urban pools. Land is being removed from practical use in big chunks – motorized and mechanized use made illegal, roads being closed and reclaimed. Next step is to boot off grazing by sheep and cattle.

      Then the oligarchs will have their private playgrounds that We The People pay for as “public” lands.


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