Getting Shorted

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I’ve been test driving new cars each week since the mid-1990s and until this year, every car that was delivered to me was dropped-off ready to be test-driven.

Then they began delivering EVs.

They are less ready to be test driven. More precisely, I can only test drive them so far – which isn’t very far – because when they’re dropped off, they’re already partially discharged. The reason why is simple. There is no place to charge near where I live, which is not in or near a city.

Well, no place to charge that doesn’t take all day (or night) and the delivery service doesn’t have the time for that. So they put as much charge in as they have time for – at the nearest “fast” charger – which is located about half an hour from where I live. And then they drive the EV the half hour to my place, by which time it is partially discharged again.

This is worse than it sounds – for more than one reason.

The first is that most currently available EVs – and all of the ones priced under $40,000 – do not come standard with much range to begin with. For example, the 2023 VW ID.4 ($38,995 to start) I am test diving this week comes standard with a 62 kilowatt-hour battery and advertises 255 miles of fully charged range. When it arrived at my house the other day, it only had 200 miles of indicated range remaining, equivalent to about half a tank of gas in most non-electric cars, most of which will go about 350-400 miles on a full tank (and which always arrive with a full tank when they are dropped off for me to test drive, because there’s a gas station just down the road from my place).

That’s worse than it sounds because – with an EV – the indicated range is often significantly optimistic and that is significant because you can’t just stop and get more charge if you run low sooner than you thought you were going to, as we’re all used to doing with non-electric cars.

Well, you can stop. You’ll have to stop. The problem is you won’t be able to go for some time. At the very least, you’ll be stopped for 15-30 minutes to put a partial charge back into the battery – assuming you make it to a “fast” charger.

If you didn’t plan for that, it can ruin your plans.

Avoiding this scenario (and being on time, when you need to be wherever you’re going) requires factoring in a charge cushion – say 20 percent of whatever the indicated range is at the beginning of your trip. Enough to make up for what you might lose along the way because of driving conditions – such as uphill climbs, which drain these devices fast. Or just conditions. Cold weather reduces battery efficiency and use of accessories such as the heater (and defroster) saps power. EVs do best – in terms of delivering on the range they promise – when the roads they are used on are flat, speed is kept low and temperatures are temperate. If not, then it is very likely your mileage will vary.

And not favorably.

But, again, it is a compounding problem because of the fact that unanticipated stops – and long waits – are a more probable problem.

And there is a related problem.

Running the battery to “empty” – is bad for it for the same reason it’s bad to run the 12V starter battery in a conventional car down to dead – as by deliberately leaving the lights on overnight – and then “fast” (rather than trickle) charging it  back to life and doing that over and over as a regular procedure. Repeated heavy discharge (and “fast”) recharging increases the probability of shorter battery life as well as the risk of a fire. These are facts confessed to by the sellers of EVs themselves.

If you don’t believe me, read the EV’s owner’s manuals.

So you’ll want to keep the battery partially charged at all times – for its sake and yours. But that means 200 miles of indicated range remaining in an EV is about 20 percent less than that – the 40 miles of so of range remaining you probably will want to never go below so as to assure you will not be forced to stop when you didn’t plan for it – and don’t have the time for it.

Which leaves an EV such as the ID.4 they dropped off the other day with about 160 miles of usable range – assuming it actually goes that far, which it may not depending on the weather and driving conditions as well as how one drives.

Even if it does go that far 160 miles isn’t very far – if you don’t live in an urban area or close to one.

For me, 160 miles of range is enough to drive from my place in the country the half hour it takes to get to the city – and back home again – maybe twice, if I’m careful to drive slowly (which kind of renders the explosive quickness touted by EVs a use-it-and-lose-it proposition).

I could, of course, stop for a “fast” charge while I am in the city – but that would add 15-30 minutes of waiting to my daily drive. There is always plugging in once home, but that takes overnight, best-case (7-11 hours, depending on the EV) and what if I need to use the car to drive somewhere for something unplanned, including an emergency?

All of these problems make EVs impractical for me and probably most other people who don’t live in or near an urban area. And that is going to be a big problem for this push to force everyone to drive an EV.

Unless, of course, the idea is to push us into urban areas – and most of us out of cars, period.

. . .

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  1. I saw a Mclaren today. What a beautiful sound when the guy started the engine.
    then my wife said there’s a Mustang, no it’s an electric monstrosity I informed her.
    This was in Troon Scotland btw.

  2. I am traveling from LA to Tucson to job hunt. I prefer to drive and there are almost no direct flights. The range of a Tesla has to be more than double to be practical. I spent an hour in traffic due to construction in a 100 foot zone in the desert. Imagine needing the A/C on. Imagine then stopping for a wreck in the middle of the desert. An 8 hour drive will now require a hotel stay.

    I also drove to Vegas the week before. On the way out there was charging station for Teslas only. In the desert. I recommend watching Jay Dyer’s videos on Huxley/technocracies. All of this nonsense was proposed and predicted, our imprisonment.

    • Hey Greg,

      “Imagine needing the A/C on.” haha, in Tucson?! I’m sure you are using the A/C if you’re traveling there right now. From now until at least October, I reckon. No doubt for some people, being in that area with no A/C would be life-threatening.

      Good luck on your job hunt!

      • Imagine it being Winter way up here in the Great White North. It is -40 below, and gosh, you would like to not freeze to death in the cabin, and would like the heat on. Also, you do not live 15 minutes from anywhere. Yeah, those stupid EV’s are going to be worthless way up here. I know when I fill up the gas tank in my car, I have nearly 400 miles of drive time. I admit, I have not pushed my Camry, to see just how far I can go on a near-empty tank. I can be sure I could go far beyond was some stupid EV could. AND, I could stay warm, too. What a concept.

  3. The number of automobiles on the road with one person, the driver, starts to look like over-consumption of a resource. Something has to be done, just too many profligates burning fuels with reckless abandon. Becomes absurd and obscene.

    100,000,000 vehicles with 15 gallons of fuel in each one totals 1.5 billion gallons being wasted by 100,000,000 clueless people who can’t figure how to stop the madness they themselves create.

    Any member of the WEF will give you much more analysis to prove you must stop driving around like a chicken with your head cut off.

    Then it will finally dawn on you, the deplorables need to get the picture.

    Al Gore would claim burning hydrocarbons at 100,000,000 barrels per day is like 600,000 Hiroshimas blasting away all at once. Old Al would get red in the face, start screaming and hollering, totally out of control. Klaus is inconsolable, just cries all of the time, can’t take the misery of knowing 8 billion people go just where they will. Just too much to handle.

    Agony, agony, agony, agony… agony… agony.

    No more ecstasy, none.

    Go home and stay there, we, the decision-makers, will let you know when you can emerge from your urban cocoon.

    “… dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” – Hey, Blinken

    All men are not created equal.

    The WEF members know that. We know that too, the goal is to strip all of the alleged power that the WEF thinks it has, merely think they are in control. In other words, annihilate them.

    A post-modern industrial base is what exists now. It’s all there. It takes hydrocarbons to do most of the work. At this point, 100,000,000 barrels of oil is what you need to make it all go.

    Every economy is all knowledge-based, no matter the level of development.

    You can’t drive a railroad spike with a tack hammer.

  4. Seems to me the shape of EVs is wrong. By maintaining the illusion of an engine in front of the driver they’re wasting a whole lot of space that could hold more batteries, shrink the wheelbase a bit or open up the interior space. The old hippie VW van or Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion layout makes a lot more sense. The things are already a hard sell to the ICE buying public, so why not embrace the change?

  5. One wonders when/if the people funding all this (taxpayers) will ever stop parasites from demanding where we live, how we live, and what we can and cannot own whether it be EV’s guns, lightbulbs, toilets or you name it. Where’s the line?

    New firearm laws enroute in Texas by Repubs after the shootings. Have to be 21 to buy a rifle. I remember my first rifle. Came from Sears Robuck in the mail. Little to no shootings back then.
    In Tennessee the Repub parasite in charge wants a Red Flag Law. None of these ‘laws’ have anything to do with the shootings and would not have stopped either.

    As for EV’s. The new 15 min cities will take care of them… no individual transportation needed. No individual anything will be allowed. You’ll live in a 500sq ft rathole, eat ze bugs and be happy. Everything ‘they’ think you will need will be close by. No ICV’s as they will regulate them out of existence.

    • Ahhh, the first rifle. A Remington 552 Speedmaster was it for me at the tender age of six. Still have it today and she shoots just fine after 47 years.

    • Thanks for the reminder on Marvel Mystery Oil. It was in the garage at home in 1960.

      My dad had it all back then, a wonder the garage didn’t burn to the ground. Had a 5 gallon metal bucket with carb cleaner and a dip pan with holes in it. He replaced an engine part on a lemon engine in a 1972 Ford he bought new, fixed the engine and traded it off right away.

      I did go buy a gallon of Marvel Mystery Oil after reading your comment on another thread. 24 USD for a gallon is a bargain. Gotta have one then. I pour 5 ounces of MMO for every 20 gallons of gas.

      Plenty of testimonials endorsing Marvel Mystery Oil.

      • I was introduced to MMO in 1973, the local NAPA owner saw my ‘69 Alfa “that one has mechanical fuel injection?” “Yes”. “Recommend you put Marvel in the gas to help that mechanical pump”

        I use it in the 2018 Harley especially for the last fill before winter storage.

        Great stuff.

        • keeping your fuel system clean….

          try adding 3 ounces of acetone and 1 ounce of 2 cycle engine oil for every 10 gallons of gas

          try adding 3 ounces of acetone and 3 ounce of 2 cycle engine oil for every 10 gallons of diesel

          the 2 cycle oil in the diesel protects the injector pump from low sulphur diesel, which has less lubrication then the old diesel.

          another 2 ounces of fuel injector or carburetor cleaner can be added also

          the added acetone also is supposed to improve fuel economy and power by 2% to 3%

          in a gas engine not a diesel….using 50% acetone increases octane to 114…but is expensive…

          also don’t use gas with ethanol

          the added acetone also is supposed to improve fuel economy and power by 2% to 3%

          it is supposed to work on the molecular level… to reduce the surface tension on the tiny drops of gas injected into the engine, in doing this the small drops break up into finer drops….this helps give more complete combustion…so better economy and more power. more complete combustion means less unburnt fuel washing down cylinder walls…so less wear….

    • Not trying to be mean or sarcastic and after reading your many posts I am surprised you considered Elon even a little libertarian to begin with. He depends entirely on parasites in and treasonous junkets like the WEF to fund his space, space based internet projects and his EV hobby. He is an expert at mulcting OPM especially taxpayers.

      • Beat me to it, Ken! This (E)loon who sustains his fortune almost entirely via federal and state subsidies, government contracts, and mandates which bring him/subsidize customers and penalize other bus9nesses while rewarding him at their expense is about as libertarian as Karl Marx.

        Just as with politicians, ignore the words and look at their actions….

        • Agree but to be fair, he did open up Twitter quite a bit to free speech. Although he did not reinstate Alex Jones which he should’ve done day one.

          • Yeah, JAck- Kinda odd, but then, to be expected. Pretty much shows he’s not a proponent of free speech…just a little more tolerant than his predecessor- like Trump is a little less collectivist/authoritarian than Bidet.

      • Hi ken,

        I have watched his interviews over the years, currently, the interview with Tucker and last week’s with Bill Maher and Musk seems like a likable guy. He has a sense of humor, addresses current issues, doesn’t seem to attached to the whole “woke” agenda, etc. Yes, he is a liberal, but I look at him the same way I look at someone like Maher (who is also quite liberal). They trend toward the Democratic aisle, but have no problem calling out the insane antics of the left. Their views on drugs, cancel culture, certain regulations, etc. do co-relate to some libertarian ideas.

        The hiring of a leftist, former NBC/Comcast, WEF guided executive shows his actions do not match his words. One can’t say they are against cancel culture and for free speech and then hire the first person that comes along that completely contradicts these views. That just tells me money (e.g. advertising) is more important than principle.

        We will see if Carlson has any principles left or if he, too, is in it for the paycheck.

        • Hi RG,

          In re “in it for the paycheck”:

          I read Tucker was paid something like $10 million by Fox. Who the Hell needs more than that? Isn’t that enough to cover anything one will need – and want – in this life and leave a fortune to one’s kids or some other deserving heir?

          I will never understand people who sell out for more money when they already have so much money. Not that selling out is ever laudable, but I can understand a guy who has no or very little money being tempted by a big, life-changing payday. But a guy like Tucker? Who’s already set for life?


          • Hi Eric,

            It is all about what one wants from life. Some people are content with the Johnboat, others want the Heesen Yacht. I am not against greed. Greed is good if it makes one work harder, smarter, and more proficient while still maintaining one’s moral fabric. Greed is bad when one is willing to trade those principles and their soul for something they do not believe in (or even categorically against) because the physical asset or fake admiration is their balm for existence.

            Carlson is going to have a problem if he is willing to sign on the bottom line with Musk and newly announced Twitter CEO – the WEF sponsored, vaccine approving, mask loving, DIE advocate, Linda Yaccarino.

            If Tucker wants to make a billion dollars a year, more power to him, but I hope he does it as his own man, forging his own views, and not because some communist, left leaning, government controlled media outlet dictates what he can and cannot say.

    • If you think you are disappointed now, just wait until the Orange Man bulls his way back into the nomination and wants to run with Tulsi Gabbard at the top of the Republican ticket in 2024.

      • I like Tulsi. If she runs as Veep it will be with RFK, Jr. Trump will pick Kari Lake.

        Tulsi is gutsy and calls things as she sees them. Do her and I agree on most topics? Nope. I do admire her though for remaining steadfast and principled. The Democrat Party threw her to the wolves and she stood her ground. I don’t have to see eye to eye with someone, but integrity is important. I am always disenchanted for those that have none, even if they (and I) agree on most topics.

        • Couldn’t agree more, RG. Right now, I’m leaning toward RFK Jr, and Tulsi as a running mate would probably seal the deal. Do I agree with many of their policy positions? Not a chance. But I do believe that both are honest and honorable people of integrity who tell the truth and care about our country and its citizens. Right now, I’ll take that over the corrupt lying assholes (Trump and Desantis included) who say what they think I believe.

    • He’s an opportunist and a snake oil salesman. Very intelligent. And an excessively demanding boss. I see very little evidence that he is anything more than that.

      I was once asked by Tesla to apply to work there. I turned them down, for many many reasons. Sure it would have been a lot of money & would look great on my resume, but I have no regrets about that one.

      • Hi Publius,

        Today’s move does make Elon a snail oil salesman, no doubt. It is just discouraging. Most of us hope peoples eyes open up and I was hoping with the purchasing of Twitter and his advocacy for free speech that Musk may have seen the “light.” Nope. Another one bites the dust. Back to the drawing board.

        • Indeed, RG –

          I was willing to give Elon the benefit of the doubt; I had hoped he was (like most people) well-intended but mistaken in some of the things he is doing. But Twitter is just another tool of them – and best be done with it, as I wrote about the other day.

          • Hi Eric,

            Yep, I made a big boo-boo giving Elon my misplaced confidence. I agree with you. I was hoping he was well intentioned, but just blind. Nope, the elite hang together whether it is Soros, McConnell, Trump, Musk, Diamond, Gates, etc. To paraphrase, George Carlin, it’s a big club and we ain’t in it.

          • I’ve never been entirely convinced that eLoon isn’t a replicant.
            (kidding, sort of)
            Lack of facial expression is the first clue.
            Leaves me wondering if Muskrat 2.0 will have a wider range of facial expressions and “emotional responses.” Somehow I doubt it.
            But is he Data, or is he Lore?
            And does he bootstrap his own programming?
            My vote is Lore.
            And someone else is pulling his strings…

    • Looks like Elon is part of the aristocracy….

      they take a course at the WEF in switzerland on how to be dictators…

      The slaves should start their own narrative…..which would be…..
      don’t listen to or co operate with the slave owners, the new aristocracy…the globalists
      penalize any slave that co operates with the slave owners or spreads their narrative….

      the slave owner’s narrative is divide and conquer …..
      all the ideoligies were created by the control group to get the slaves fighting each other….. democracy, communism, facism, liberal, conservative, capitalism, left vs right, black vs white vs bipoc…fake racism, woke, LGBQT, all pushed 24/7/365 by the globalist owned msm…if the slaves co operated with each other they could boot out the globalists…

  6. Saw a Mustang Mach E yesterday. It’s really ugly and it’s really expensive. And, there ain’t nowhere to charge it around here. Hope they had sufficient juice to get home.

    • Hi Mike,

      I saw one recently at a local coffee house. I couldn’t figure out what the hell it was and then I saw the Mustang emblem. Oh my gosh, they are horrendous! What an embarrassment to John Najjar and Philip Clark. These men must be rolling over in their graves. It looks like a small SUV with its sloped back and Ford Taurus feel. Why they had to tag it with the Mustang name rather than creating a new one just destroys the iconicist (yes, a new word that I just made up) of what the Mustang was…a true American sports car.

      • Lee Iacocca is doing cartwheels in his crypt.

        I don’t think the Mach-E would have received the Mustang emblem if Iacocca were still alive. My father, a Ford lifer, once told me that a phone call from Iacocca is the reason the Probe did not get the Mustang emblem in the late 80s.

        The emblem is bad enough, but my neighbor’s Mach-E has the “GT” as well. Holy Bruce Jenner!

    • Mike and RG,

      Yep, the Mach-(er)-e is an electric crossover onto which a Mustang emblem has been forcefully affixed. I don’t know why they didn’t even try to make it look like a Mustang in the least.

  7. Two weeks ago, I was up in NE Arizona (Show Low-AZ). I didn’t see one EV on the road. There isn’t too much in-between towns up that way and you don’t want to be stuck 30 miles from anything with a dead EV on your hands.
    In addition, an EV is about as popular an idea as popping open a can of Bud-Light is at the local tavern.

    • People in Show Low still remember when the whole town was evacuated as the monster Rodeo-Chediski fire bore down in June 2002.

      The last thing you need with a wall of flame filling the sky is a frickin’ EeeVee that’s low on charge.

  8. Nothing prevents a US state from applying a special sales tax to EeeVees, which exactly equals the amount of any fedgov tax credit which applies.

    Then EeeVee buyers would pay the actual cost of their vehicle — same as ICE vehicle buyers do. Equal protection of the law, as it were.

    As further lawsuit-proofing, call it a grid-enhancement tax and use it to mitigate EeeVee impacts on the electrical infrastructure.

    No doubt auto dealers would screech at the lost sales, and they do exert political clout. But they are doomed anyway, if they drink the poisoned Jonestown EeeVee Kool-Aid promoted by the “Biden” cult of climate-change socialism.

    • Hi Jim,
      I’ve read rumors of that type of EV tax around here – Taxachusetts, of course – and it will probably happen when they get enough suckers into EeeVeees. We already pay a property tax on cars, supposedly based on book value but it never goes away no matter how old your clunker is.

  9. The globalist technocrats pushing EVs have made it clear they DON’T want the masses owning a traditional automobile, nor do they want us owning a traditional home in a rural area. It’s all part of their sinister “Great Reset” agenda. They claim that we’ll “Own nothing and be happy”. However, what they’re REALLY pushing is THEM owning everything, and people who aren’t THEM as slaves.

  10. Battery operated machines are little more than toys.

    Lawn equipment is a close example. If I want to mow a lawn, I want to mow until finished, not for 15 min until the battery is done, then start again in several hours.

    A machine simplifies work or enhances productivity. Constantly stopping the machine for hours at a time is not productive. Buying hundreds of dollars of extra batteries, which will need replaced every few years, makes the work performed more expensive.

    Batteries are best left to low draw devices.

  11. Among the other complaints about EVs, electrical engineers working on 2026 model EVs late last year said the range is always less than expected and the percentage charged indicator works in mysterious, unpredictable ways.

    They always try to bring back their prototype EVs BEFORE they need a charge because “the nearest Level 3 480 volt fast charger is never convenient like a gas station, and you can’t buy snacks there, or use the restroom. And if there is a wait, or a broken charger, you will be aggravated.

    The bottom line is EVs will cost more than ICEs or Hybrids, while offering less value. The EV engineers are smart enough to know that’s a business plan for failure.

    EP: Why don’t they deliver an EV to you fully charged on a flatbed trailer?

  12. Eric: All of these problems make EVs impractical for me and probably most other people who don’t live in or near an urban area. And that is going to be a big problem for this push to force everyone to drive an EV.

    I know that, you know that and the readers of your column know that. But talking to the “normies” all I hear is that the batteries are getting better every year. When I mention the load on their electric panel of 30 to 50 amps per home charger and they have 2 or 3 cars? Crickets… I own a veritable fleet of vehicles (mostly collectables) but no EVs. Took out the Chevy a couple of days ago and it happily started up and ran great (parked since last fall) but just leave your tesla in the garage for a couple months unplugged and then the fun begins.

    Most people I talk to can’t grasp that the county, heck the country’s and the planet’s electrical infrastructure is not built to handle EVs. Clownworld.

    • API’s statement probably was timed to coincide with the EPA’s virtual public hearing this week on its proposed new emissions standards for light and medium duty vehicles. EPA link:

      Can’t find anything on the ‘news’ about this three-day hearing, which included hundreds of speakers (heavily salted with enviro wackos) and one lonely guy, Bryan Just, from the American Petroleum Institute. Nor has the EPA provided any videos or transcripts yet.

      An April 11, 2023 memo from EPA says the public comment period will remain open for 60 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register — whenever that is or was.

      As usual, little citizens have to do a lot of cross referencing through forests of gobbledygook to ascertain simple details such as ‘when does the freaking comment period end.’

      Meanwhile, have at ’em.

      • The public “comment period” doesn’t really matter anyway. The deciders have already decided and it ain’t what you want.

        I have posted before about a “comment” session for a highway project in my town more than a decade ago. What got built was what they “presented” even though it wasn’t popular with the audience (or really anybody in town for that matter).

        • Hi Rich,

          Last year in Oregon, the state’s “Health Authority” had a public meeting on whether to institute a PERMANENT indoor mask mandate. An overwhelming majority of respondents said “NO!”, but unelected bureaucrats at OHA implemented one anyway. Fortunately it has since been “suspended”, but I’m not sure if it has outright been REPEALED, and if it’s still on their books, they could theoretically reimpose it on business and the public at any time for some other declared “public health emergency”.

        • That happened in these part, Rich. There was a “public comment” period regarding a proposed set of round-a-bouts that were to be installed under a bridge. Come to find out, the DOT was going to install the round-a-bouts regardless of public input or comment. The entire “public comment” session was a waste of time, and nothing more than a feel-good bitch session for the public, and we had no say in the matter in the end. Fast-forward to the Winter, and they are not maintained, and people drive over the humps and around them when no one is looking. Also, the truckers cannot get around them because they are too damned narrow, so they have to make the humps/curbs low, so that the truckers can drive over them, and divert around a round-a-bout no one wanted, but we got ’cause the state gave them money, that they had to spend on something stupid. Rather than on something useful like, oh, I don’t know, fixing the frost heaves or something.

    • Where has the damn API been for the past 10 years? Why are the petro producers and ICE makers/suppliers just sitting back and letting this all happen? They too could hire powerful PR firms and lobby Congress and the California legislature.


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