Creating Problems When There’s a Solution

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If something works but its use is discouraged it is safe to assume something else is wanted.

Hybrid cars fall into this category. They work. They address every issue brought forth by the people pushing for the full electrification of transportation – in a way that works, without imposing what does not work. Yet they are being discouraged – even forbidden – while that which does not work (the full electric car) is being pushed, hard.

Why?

Because something else is wanted.

If the issue is “emissions,” whether of the kind that contribute to air quality problems or which are asserted to contribute to “climate change,” then hybrids work. They have small gas engines, it is true. But they are small  – which is just the point. They burn much less gas because they are small and because they are often not burning any gas at all – as when the small gas engine is not running, which is a third to half or more of the time – and so producing substantially less gas, including of carbon dioxide. Less gas – overall – then the typical full-electric car, which (to get people’s minds off that which does not work) emphasizes speed, which burns a lot of electricity – which requires more generating as well as storage capacity, which results in the outpouring of more gas, just not directly – as if that makes a difference to the “climate.”

If the concern is gas rather than politics.

An efficient hybrid like the Toyota Prius – which does not emphasize Ludicrous Speed – consumes less energy overall than a “plaid” Tesla electric car, which does emphasize its Ludicrous Speed – and which, for that reason, is not efficient. Nothing that uses excessive energy to deliver extravagant performance is efficient, by definition.

If the issue is range – and it is a huge issue with electric cars, especially as a function of the next/related issue (recharge times) then hybrids work. They have more range than most non-electric cars – typically 500-600 miles – giving them an advantage over both non-electric and electric cars, as opposed to electric cars being a disadvantage relative to both, as few can travel farther than 250 miles on a full charge.

Most cannot travel even that far – and will travel even less far when driven in winter, when it is cold – and the heat is used, which uses electricity. Or in summer, when it is hot – and the AC is used, which also uses electricity. Most people are unaware of these deficits because most electric cars have been sold in states where it is warm, consistently. Not-too-cold and not-too-hot, year-round – like California – where the range is not greatly affected by electrically powered accessories like AC and heat that aren’t used much because they’re not needed, much.

Ask someone who  lives in Minnesota how much it costs to run electric baseboard heaters or heat pumps in January. Or someone who lives in Phoenix, about the AC in summer.

If the issue is having to wait for a charge, hybrids work – because you don’t have to. Because they can charge themselves. Or can be charged at a plug, when one is convenient – and you have the time to wait. They eliminate the issue of having to organize your life not only around when to charge but where – EV “fast” chargers being not nearly as common as gas stations and likely to remain that way for a very long time because of the issue of transmitting the high-voltage electricity that EV “fast” charging stations will need, in  order to “fast” charge electric cars. Extensive digging and wiring will be needed to physically get the volts from the generating source – usually far away – to the charging station. It cannot be done over existing power lines. It cannot be done over the ether. It cannot by done by tanker truck, either.

No matter how ardently electrification is desired – or mandated – it is a physical problem that cannot be remedied quickly or easily, let alone inexpensively.

Hybrids eliminate this issue by eliminating the need to be tethered by wires to sources of power. By carrying a few gallons of gasoline with them, they carry around a fungible source of power that can be converted into electricity, easily and inexpensively – as well as quickly.

The General Motors Volt hybrid was probably the best example of what works. It could be driven for weeks or even months without burning any gas – and so emitting no gasses, at all – but without forcing its owner to wait or reducing his mobility. This hybrid could travel 50 miles on electricity, which could be re-instilled at home or work, if convenient – and if not, while its owner continued to drive, using a small gas engine as an onboard generator.

VW had been working on a diesel-hybrid that was expected to be capable of going 150 miles or more without needing to turn its engine on.

It is absurd to complain that the burning of any gas (or diesel) at all is a problem – unless that is not the problem. It is only a problem if the real problem is how to eliminate every solution to problems that are over-stated, for purposes that have little, if anything to do with those stated problems.

Electric cars have much in common with “masks” and “vaccines.” They are all solutions to exaggerated problems, pushed on people who might otherwise choose solutions that a solve the putative problem. 

But then there would be no problem. And that is precisely why the problem cannot be solved.

. . .

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Most of the folks that I know who own and drive Prius hybrids love them. They do nothing for me as I prefer sports cars. I also love my 94 Accord go cart. I did just recently purchase a 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 e-hybrid, which is a plug in hybrid. In 2 months of driving I am still on my first tank of gas. It is a magnificent 4 seat performance car. A cruiser, or a bruiser your choice. If it turns out to be my last car that’s fine with me.

    • Morning, Karalan!

      It could be the prionization; if it isn’t, it’s the inculcated behind-the-wheel incapacity achieved via hectoring about saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety – especially the equating of any sharp, decisive action with its opposite. This glacial movement, the paralytic acceleration, the hyper-cautious endless lane change/merge, the inability to pass… arrgghhh!

      • Indeed, if not for occasional quite “sharp and decisive action” while driving a motor vehicle, I would not be writing this comment.

        • Ditto. Many of them, in fact. I’ve also witnessed horrific accidents caused by precisely the kind of behavior Eric describes.
          gov.com seeks to defenestrate competence in favor of incompetence. It appears capable citizens are a threat to politicians and bureaucrats.

  2. Complete combustion yields carbon dioxide, water, and heat. All oxygen and one carbon with four hydrogen will be all carbon dioxide, water, and heat.

    There is nitrogen in the atmosphere, 78 percent in content, oxygen is 16 percent, there are impurities, you won’t have complete combustion, the formula will change, there will be some carbon monoxide molecules with incomplete combustion.

    Don’t leave your car running all night long in your garage with the doors and windows closed.

    Chimneys keep you from losing consciousness and dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. Dangerous deadly odorless carbon monoxide gas is a force to be reckoned with.

    Eczema is a symptom of mild carbon monoxide poisoning, foggy brain headaches too. Be extra cautious during the winter months.

    Electric heat is somewhat costly, but is a very safe way to heat your home.

    Those electric motors in electric vehicles are emitting ozone, that can be bad, really bad.

    Ban EVs!

  3. Eric,

    Exactly! I think people like us would solve the “climate change” problem For the sake of argument, let’s just say it’s a problem and something that is very important to remedy. Why is the solution ONLY about central control and taxation and restriction? Why are other solutions always attacked?

    See, I believe a much more potent solution to both emissions concerns, AND our eroding freedom, is decentralization, as you’ve said just recently (and I’m sure many times). That means decentralization of food production and energy generation as well. And what happened to diversity as strength?! Is it always about race, or can it be diversity of ideas and solutions?

    Now, on the technical side, I wonder how far hybrid technology could be pushed. Could a highly effficient diesel engine or turbine be used, as well as, maybe, ultracapacitors or the like, so that dead batteries won’t become an issue?

    Also, what happened to this hybrid?
    https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2011/09/18/400-mpg-or-conspiracy-theory/

    Looks like it became a solar electric car?
    https://www.aptera.us/

    • “Why is the solution ONLY about central control and taxation and restriction?”
      Clearly because it serves a certain set of interests, which of course are not yours. Citizens never seem to clue into the fact that gov.com, no matter the high-faluting language under which it is initiated and perpetrated, is little better than a sophisticated mafia.

      • I would say NOT as sophisticated. If you are paying a Mafia protection racket, they won’t put you out of business if you miss a payment, and they likely WILL protect you. Somebody robs your store, and they show up at the hospital with one or more broken legs.
        Government, on the other hand, won’t hesitate to put you out of business, and currently in San Francisco you are permitted to steal up to $900 and change before ANY action is taken.

      • Because it works, if you measure working as efficiency. It is much more efficient to get everyone pointed in the same direction. That’s why armies are structured the way they are, it is the most efficient way to kill other people en masse. Henry Ford wanted a central factory that took raw materials in one end and spit out finished goods. He achieved it with the River Rouge plant, still an amazing structure. But you better like your model T painted black, ’cause that’s the only color you’re gonna get.

        But as usual, the focus is the upside of centralization, while ignoring Bastiat’s unseen. Duesenbergs were beautiful, custom coachwork on a common frame. Sure, not everyone could own one, and ultimately the company failed, but imagine if there was no Henry Ford. Would automobiles continue to be a rich man’s toy? Would we have had hundreds of automakers, spread throughout the country? Would they all have different features and ideas for what an automobile should do? And if they all continued to produce cars on their own, what would cars look like today? I can guess that they’d still be more expensive than a Korean econobox, but maybe not. Maybe there’d be a line of ultra budget cars that were available for a few hundred dollars, midrange and expenive lines, much like the big three tried to do up until the late 1970s when the accountants took over and started forcing drive trains and even whole automobiles to be identical. We’re in a bit of a golden age again with no one manufacturer having any large share of the market, but only at the cost of massive subsidy by governments the world over. Because cars are jobs and tech and a measure of success.

        We’re at the point where the human race has to make a decision. Are we going to continue to centralize or disperse? We have been able to distribute knowledge and fragment information in a way that’s never ever been before. We’re on the cusp of a manufacturing revolution in 3d printing and carbon fiber construction that can possibly exceed the gains from the industrial revolution and standard machine tooling. Will politicians continue to demand a CCP-style central command and control form of government or will they finally figure out that we all stopped paying attention to them years ago?

  4. I don’t understand the skip over hybrids, right to currently unsustainable EV’s either.

    I’m sure it has a lot to do with $, and judging from the number of ugly Priuses on the road, people want to buy them.

    • Hi Dan,

      It’s easy to understand – once you understand that the goal of the EV agenda is to greatly curtail personal mobility. As far as the Prius: Yes, I agree – they are ugly. But they’re very well designed, practical runabouts. They average 50-plus MPG and they don’t cost much more than an otherwise equivalent economy car – unlike an electric car!

      • True about the agenda Eric,
        Buddy of mine has a Chevy Volt, went for a ride in it last year and was really impressed. Would be the perfect car for me since I rarely drive more than 100 miles round trip, and when we do it’s into the Adirondack mountains where an EV is totally impractical. Would love to pick up a used one but they’re hard to find, probably by design.

    • I love my Prius, even though it looks goofy! It scoots around like a charm, is super easy to maintain, and pretty simple for DIY projects which help me learn more how cars work. It’s super comfy, smooth ride, and has a butt ton of cargo space.

      The newer versions esp. are fugly, but all cars except Mercedes are butt ugly to my eyes, and even going back further, only maybe a Jaguar XJ6/12 or a Mustang/Dodge Charger is appealing besides the above mentioned Mercedes.

      You nailed it Eric, it’s the same how “Vaccines are our ONLY TOOL”…lol yeah right, bullshit they are. EVs are our ONLY TOOL to prevent the planet from EXPLODING!!

      They’re so fucking full of shit.

      • Anon,

        With you and Eric 100%! I own a plug in hybrid and I love it. We could solve this “problem” rapidly by switching most vehicles to hybrid and phev. A few vehicles like semis should stay pure diseal/gas but most could logically by hybridised. The idea that city busses and long haul semis should be pure electric is silly.

        • The problem being, there is no problem to solve. Climate has been changing since there was such a thing. Often radically, rapidly, or both. The very notion that people can “control” such a powerful, dynamic, and chaotic engine is pure hubris. Especially since there are things we know absolutely nothing about that are likely to heavily influence it. Well, there is a problem to solve, but hybrids won’t solve it. We are respectfully “requested” to cease and desist driving ANYTHING.

    • I don’t personally care for hybrids. I prefer naturally-aspirated engines with a manual transmission. But, I would prefer a Prius, or a Volt (which they cancelled, go figure) over any all-electric offering.

  5. It used to be that I would never buy an all-electric because my paranoid ass feared ‘they’ would hack it, take over the controls and crash me off of a bridge… I still won’t rule that option out.

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