The EV Irony . . .

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Why do people buy electric cars?

It isn’t to save money (ridiculous) or save the planet (fatuous) though some EV buyers believe – in the religious sense – that they are doing one or the other or both.

No. People buy EVs because they are quick and flashy.

We’d find out how quickly they wouldn’t buy them if they weren’t.

Elon Musk’s insight was that very few people want to drive an ugly, slow electric car – and won’t, irrespective of how much money it would save them (and the planet, too). On the other hand, people will spend a lot money on a car that’s quick and stylish.

Musk made one that was both – and electric – using a high-performance Lotus sports car as the basis for his first model. All of a sudden people wanted to buy an electric car. The electric part being the “beard” part.

The subsidies and mandates have helped, of course. But – fundamentally what has made the whole EV push feasible, as a practical matter, is that the EVs being made today are only incidentally electric vehicles. They are primarily high-performance/luxury vehicles that happen to be electric.

Speed really is a question of money. How fast do you want to go? And how much are you willing to pay?

Not just in dollars, either.

The EV owner’s paradox – if he’s thought about it – is that the main attribute he bought the thing for (its quickness, so he could brag about that to other people while preening about how green he is) is the one attribute the law says he’d better not use.

And physics says he’d better not use much, if he’d prefer not to wait, a lot.

“Speeding” is, first of all, illegal.

So why is it being encouraged?

And why is it – at the same time – being discouraged?

All new EVs (and most new cars) have speed limit assist technology embedded in their works. It flashes a dashboard warning light that looks like a miniature speed limit sign that flashes red whenever you go faster than whatever the speed limit is. Which the system knows – just as it knows how fast you are going in relation to it. In Europe, they have the fully enabled version that automatically prevents you from going faster than whatever the speed limit says you may.

The throttle pushes back; the brakes push down – without you pushing on them.

It’s not just exceeding the speed limit that’s illegal, either. Also rapid acceleration, which can be characterized by a cop (and the courts) as “reckless” driving. Most commercially driven trucks already monitor – and report – vehicle speed in relation to legally allowable speeds and also such parameters as braking and acceleration, both of which are characterized as “aggressive” (and actionable, by the company) if other-than-done slowly.

This tech is already embedded in all new battery powered devices – that is, electric cars. Which you could also accurately call remote-control cars, because they can be. So also most new cars, generally.

All of them being connected cars.

The point is that they can monitor and control your driving – and (as regards the latter) already do, to some extent. There is Brake Assist, which applies the brakes when the car thinks necessary, if you have not. Lane Keep Assist, which jerks the steering wheel back toward your travel lane if you did not signal before beginning a turn or follow the painted lines exactly – wherever they lead. All of this could become more than just “assistance” whenever the people who can already remotely control your car decide to do just that.

So what’s the point of buying an EV that touts how quickly it can get to 60 (and beyond) when you can’t do that. Maybe the car could. But it won’t let you. Or it will tell on you.

Then there’s physics.

EVs go very quickly, briefly. Partially because they are very heavy  – which they are chiefly because they are carrying around a huge battery and that’s necessary in order to store enough power for the car to be capable of going half as far as an otherwise similar non-electric car, especially on the highway. Well, all that weight (more than 4,000 pounds for a compact-sized car that – absent a huge battery – would weigh 1,000 lbs. less than that) uses up a lot of power. Especially when you use it to get all that weight going, quickly.

Watch the charge remaining gauge dwindle as you see how quickly it gets to 60.

It’s like owning a gas-hog V8 SUV – except you can use the V8 in the SUV for all it’s worth because the gas it needs is easy to get and fast to get. Back on the road in less than five minutes. Stomp the gas as much (and as hard) as you like. Yes. you’ll have to stop sooner. But you’ll be back on your way much sooner, too.

But the point of this article is the irony – as regards EVs. Quick cars that you had better avoid driving quickly that are designed with systems in mind that will make it impossible to go quickly or punish you immediately, if you do.

Why not date your sister, too?

The hilarity – in terms of the schadenfreude – will arrive when EV owners discover they’re tethered; that they have no choice but to go slow, like all the other schlubs. That the $50,000-plus they spent on their EV might as well have been spent on a Chevette.

And while the latter might not have gotten you there very quickly, it least it (usually) got you there.

. . .

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  1. Suppose that a reincarnated Nikola Tesla, living among us today, develops a new miracle capacitor, MirCap. Weighing 500 lbs, it stores energy equivalent to a 15-gallon gasoline tank. MirCap requires no auxiliary heating or cooling to maintain capacity. And, MirCap can be charged from fully depleted to 100% in ten minutes, without exploding it or degrading its life.

    Result? An EeeVee powered by MirCap is then competitive in range and performance with an ICE vehicle, though not obviously superior to it.

    But this facile comparison ignores externalities. If everyone is to drive MirCap EeeVees, our existing petroleum refining and fuel distribution infrastructure must be retired, and replaced with a vast augmentation of electrical generation and distribution.

    However, mere competitiveness of EeeVees and ICEs does not provide any benefit to pay for an infrastructure upgrade. That upgrade remains a deadweight cost, subtracting from overall living standards even if everyone just luvvvvvvvs their MirCap EeeVee.

    EeeVees, I maintain, cannot overcome the dismal math of investment returns, except via incremental adoption coupled with game-changing technological advances.

    • You know what would happen, Jim. Just as what happened back in the 70’s when someone came out with an invention that gave vehicles 50-60 miles per gallon. In that case, the guy was bought out handsomely by the oil companies, and the technology was buried. Cannot have competition, you see. Today, Tesla would either be bought out, or just plain suicided. You know, Clinton style via two shots to the head. Or, with the way things are, he would just be flat-out killed, with a warning given to anyone that dares try to do something useful.

    • Hey that’s a innovative idea! Innovation….completely suppressed with mandates to force battery vehicles! PS Was Tesla (the man) working with that concept?

  2. I have another theory that may explain the sudden mass adoption of EVs, and it goes beyond the technology, “ludicrous” speed, “eco-friendliness”, or even the looks. No, I’m talking about the fact that the vehicle itself doesn’t emit ANYTHING, not even SOUND (except for the motor hum, tire noise, and that stupid slight beep required by the DOT). Yeah, no shit, right? Well just hear me out. Who do you think are most likely to complain about vehicle noise, fumes, and/or maintenance? That’s right, WOMEN! And since the majority of society has now been successfully FEMINIZED, people have apparently become more sensitive to even the SLIGHTEST bit of combustion noise and fumes (which are now practically nonexistent, but I digress). And then there’s the responsibility aspect of maintenance, including refueling (unless you’re in Joisey). Don’t want to risk getting that smelly gasoline/diesel all over yourself, right? Therefore, EVs are perfect for queers who don’t want to “break a nail”!

    • FYI, the very first EVs sold in the 1900s were marketed to women. No difficult and dangerous cranking, loud noises, frightened horses or people, or bad smells! Just get in, push a button, and go!

  3. Just got an email from Ford. Subject: “Don’t dream it. Drive it. Order your Mustang Mach-E today.”

    “Meet the Mustang Mach-E®. Fully electric, with five seats and a range that gets you beyond the horizon, this SUV represents our commitment to an electrified future.”

    Gets you beyond the horizon? This is where they’ve set the bar now?

    • Beyond the horizon, at the end of yonder rainbow, is a gleaming pot of gold!

      And a fast charger with power too cheap to meter … 🙂

      Oh, the buzzin’ of the bees in the cigarette trees
      The soda water fountain
      Where the lemonade springs and the bluebird sings
      In that big rock candy mountain

      — Harry McClintock, Big Rock Candy Mountain

    • I got one of those stupid emails from Ford Performance too. Ford is desperate to sell those ugly things that only have an iPad in the dashboard. They need to “pull the plug” on producing the Mach-e, so to speak.

  4. I shut off what bit of “saaaafety” stuff my ’22 Camry had, and have not had any issues with it since then. Not sure on the speed thing. I have gone well over the posted speed limit on long stretches, and there is no speed limiter in it. But, if that is the “wave of the future”, this will be my last brand new vehicle, and will try and keep this (and my old, ’07) going.

  5. The pack ice covering the Arctic Ocean is still there, not melted to water yet. Much to Al Gore’s chagrin, the ice at the North Pole refuses to melt to water. Hudson’s Bay is ice covered too.

    Elon can design a new model of electric vehicle.

    I’d say the Oral Roberts’ Miracle model. The Miracle would be able to heal any kind of thermal runaway reaction, just have to believe self-immolation will not happen, God will always intervene, divinely of course.

    Plenty of preaching by Oral on YouTube these days. Roberts had honed a healing craft for believers. Go see and witness some of Oral Roberts’ divine gifts, it’s at YouTube.

    The Miracle model EV would be an answered prayer, would save the industry.

    The EV industry needs all of the prayers it can get.

    Three inches of rain means it is time to plant, potatoes first. Too wet to plow, too windy to pick rock. Might have to plant a few rows by hand and dig with a shovel. Done it lots.

  6. Early adoption is (was) the new “Keeping up with the Joneses.” Electrics were new and novel in 2015, and it gave everyone something to talk about at cocktail parties. The buyers were willing to overlook the glaring faults because it was new and cool. Think about an Apple ][ in 1977, compared to any mainframe of the time. No one thought much of microcomputers outside of a few hardcore believers. Turns out they were right. I think I lot of people are looking at electric cars the same way they looked at early microcomputers, espeically before VisiCalc and Electric Pencil made them useful.

    Where is the electric car’s VisiCalc?

    • ‘Where is the electric car’s VisiCalc?’ — ReadyKilowatt

      From John Dennis Brown’s 101 Years on Wall Street (1991):

      “In November 1900, the nation’s first auto show debuted in New York; it offered a full menu of power: 19 gasoline cars, 7 steamers, 6 electrics and a pair of hybrids.”

      After almost a century in eclipse, a prototype electric car reappeared as the AC Propulsion Tzero in 2004. In the Roadster, introduced in 2008, Tesla converted the Tzero’s lead-acid AGM batteries to lithium ion, which ‘increased the range, reduced weight, and boosted 0–60 mph performance,’ according to Wikipedia.

      Every review of the Tesla Roadster cited fast acceleration as its defining characteristic: “serious, instantaneous muscle;” “the acceleration punch is wholly alien,” “whoosh around unsuspecting Camry drivers, while the startled victims eat your electric dust,” etc.

      But in contrast to reviewers’ ‘lightning fast’ buzz, “the official U.S. window sticker of the 2009 Tesla Roadster showed an EPA-rated energy consumption of 32 kWh/100 mi in city and 33 kWh/100 mi on the highway, equivalent to 105 mpg city and 102 mpg highway.

      There’s your Visicalc: the Roadster’s EPA window sticker, claiming ludicrous mpg by ignoring thermal power plant efficiency (which would cut those numbers by two-thirds) was parlayed by Eeeeeelon into an epic government subsidy and promotion scheme for EeeVees.

      Fifteen years on the EPA, still suborned, misled and militant, remains locked into their mindless ‘ludicrous mpg’ eco-scam, a transparent Big Lie from day one.

  7. I’ve mentioned this story before, but a few years ago I found myself at the Cape to watch a SpaceX launch that my daughter had an experiment riding to the ISS. The VIP lot has probably 25-30 identical white Tesla model S’s in one row and maybe a dozen model X’s in the otjher row near where I parked my Porsche Cayenne Diesel. On the way out some buzz cut dude was opening his Tesla about as I got to my car. He looked it up and down, “Nice Porsche.” he said smugly”Want to race it”?

    I looked his car up and down, “Sure”, I told him, “I’ll race you to Miami”.

    I will say that these Tesla guys have no sense of humor whatsoever.

  8. While it was kind of obvious, I did predict that acceleration rate would be regulated similar to speed limits. I mean, it’s already there in traffic “law” — called “exhibition of speed” in Communist California. I know because I was fined for that while driving a fucken Datsun wagon that was stock! The cop just didn’t like the looks of what I was doing. And that was WAY back when I was in high school (class of ’83).

    If they’re not already doing it, they’re going to govern acceleration rate. It’ll be a regulation to add to the pile and probably not even spoken about. Just quietly implemented. All the sudden people will discover that their EVs don’t have that quickness anymore.

    Damn, huh? Punked again by the establishment just like the experimental gene therapy.

    Charlie Brown never learns. He’s gonna kick that football one of these days.

    Another thing is about how you said “On the other hand, people will spend a lot money on a car that’s quick and stylish.”

    That is why the German cars had such a draw in my opinion. That’s what I *used* to love about Audi. But the eurofagginess caught up to them and then came 4-cylinders everywhere.

    The killed the thrill with their own hands. At least for the lower to midrange buyers. Unless you’ve got 6 figures to blow on a car, those days are gone.

    A Volvo V90 wagon pushes that poor little 4-banger to (what?) 290 hp? How long is that shit gonna last under real use? Now, at least in Europe, Volvo prefers that you sign up for a vehicle as a service. It’s there already — I posted a link to the article a while back on this forum.

    No true (Scotsman, er…) car enthusiast ever wanted an emasculated luxury car. They settled for it. Mostly out of brand loyalty IMO. But the manufacturers and their eurofag mind virus just won’t stop.

    But Germans were never known for their vehicle electronics — not like the Japanese! Once everything is a toaster on wheels, why not a Toyota? The car manufacturer suicide pact is now past the point of no return.

    Those consequences, they’re coming.

  9. I think a good analogy of EVs vs ICE vehicles is the fable of the tortoise and the hare, with the EV being the hare. Of course, we all know that the hare can run ridiculously fast, but in the fable, the hare loses the race because it stops to take a nap. In that version, the hare took a nap because it was over-confident and surely thought it could beat the pokey tortoise. But in the EV vs ICE version, the hare MUST take a nap, as it is obliged to recharge. The hare has no stamina. And the ICE tortoise just continues along, at a slower speed, and ends up the winner.

    While I’d have no hope of beating a Tesla in my Honda CRV in a drag race, I am 100% confident I could beat one (or any EV) on a long trip. Say, from Baltimore to Florence, SC.

    In a nutshell, the EV wins the sprint, while the ICE wins the marathon. Personally, I’ll stick with my marathon-running tortoise.

  10. I heard a rumor that Elon has made a new break thru on batteries from silicon not lithium?? Anyone to debunk this for me?

    Also, Tucker may eventually regret working for this guy on Twitter. The day Tucker says something Elon doesn’t like he’ll be out on his hear listening to the bricks. Tucker should go to AM radio like Rush did. Rush had 650 channel sources of revenue and every time one of them tried to cancel Rush, there would be bidding to get his show on another local AM channel. That’s how Rush stayed relevant and rich.

  11. The other day I got a scolding from Toyota for “harsh cornering.” My Aunt Wilma would not have had any trouble taking that slight dogleg at the same speed in the snow.

  12. How does “speed limit assist” work? Does it look up your location in a speed-limit database or does a forward-facing camera actually read the signs?

    • My older cars with built-in GPS, also with no “speed limit assist” or ability to read signs, already “know” the speed limit. In fact, on long drives, I like to leave it in navigation mode so that I can see the speed limit on the GPS display — that way I know how much I can speed. You only pass a posted sign once in a while but, when the GPS “knows”, it shows it to you forever.

      It doesn’t always know! And that includes roads that have been there for quite a while.

      However, that doesn’t mean that is how they’re doing it nowadays. Like Eric is (and has been talking about), a lot of this “driver *limitation* technology” is predicated on “connected” (i.e., internet access) cars.

      So, here’s an idea for sane people: don’t buy cars that *require* an internet connection. That should be way up there in the questions to the dealer. “Do I have to have an internet connection to operate this car? I don’t want one!” (etc)

      It’s one thing if you’re interested in that as an option but it’s quite another to require it.

      • Speed limits are included in basemaps on most nav systems. They use it to calculate ETA. My U-Connect system no longer can be updated, so the speed limit on I70 is still 75 in Utah.

      • > It doesn’t always know! And that includes roads that have been there for quite a while.

        It can get confused by nearby roads, such as frontage roads with a lower speed limit than the freeway. I saw it happen with a rental earlier this year in Texas, where frontage roads along freeways are common. It’d show the 35- to 45-mph limit of the frontage road while I was on the freeway. It might eventually figure out you’re really on the freeway…or it might not. Thankfully, it doesn’t try to enforce the limit; that could be downright dangerous if it did. (35 when everyone else is zipping along at 70 or more? I got nervous doing 50 on the freeway when I had a flat recently, even with the blinkers on. I got off and stayed off until I had the tire replaced.)

    • Roland: I believe the speed limits are pre-programmed in the computer, most likely in same fashion as the navigation feature of your cell phone. When I use navigation there is usually a small speed limit sign on the screen.

    • Thanks, all. The reason I wondered whether it might be reading the signs is that so often, the number on the instrument-panel speed limit sign changes at the exact instant that I pass the actual sign. Creepy.

  13. “Why do people buy electric cars?”
    Not a great many are. I don’t know the latest market share they claim, but its somewhere around 10% I think. Add to that a great many who have bought one that say they will not buy another, around 80%. Probably about the same market share that includes morons with money. in other words, we don’t want them. The state says “sucks to be you”. Well it does, with these Psychopaths In Charge. Which is all government is, a psychopaths club. Sane people want no part of it. Not interested in killing their neighbors for disobeying, or as appears the latest intent, killing them because they aren’t insane.

    • I live in East Yorkshire, and for the past couple of months, I’ve really started ‘noticing’ that the Teslas are quite abundant. And, some of the models are really quite large vehicles.

    • “Add to that a great many who have bought one that say they will not buy another, around 80%.”

      80% is a lie, not even close to the results of a recent Canadian survey. There is NO WAY Canadian EV owners could be so much different than US EV owners, especially because Canada’s colder weather is a problem for EV range.

      A Canadian (Cubanada) survey:

      The survey also found satisfaction rates among EV drivers in Canada are extremely high. An overwhelming majority (97%) say they will purchase another EV when it comes time to replace their existing one.
      Mar 22, 2023

      • From the survey: “Significantly, EV owners say they spend 30% of their time charging outside the home.”

        Huh? They are spending a third of their time waiting at the side of a parking lot for their cars to charge and they’re still satisfied?

        The source of the survey, PlugShare Research, sounds like an EV fan club: “We want the insights we uncover to light the road ahead for those who are creating tomorrow’s electric vehicles and services.”

      • Richard,

        Retention rates aren’t the point.The affluent virtue signalers who like EVs also like Leftism. The point – as regards this discussion – is that EVs are being pushed by the elites – that is to say, the powerful and rich – for people like themselves, to get people like us out of cars, period.

  14. This reminds me of the difference between Airbus and Boeing.
    Airbus is a European consortium that manufactures aircraft while Boeing is an American company that manufactures aircraft.
    Both companies produce good aircraft that utilize computerized controls, fly-by-wire systems which both reduce weight and enhance controllability.
    Now for the differences…
    Airbus aircraft computer controls will not let the pilot exceed certain parameters, even if the pilot determines that exceeding parameters is deemed to be necessary to assure that the safety of the aircraft and its passengers. Unusual attitudes and other extreme measures may be necessary in extremely unusual situations. Airbus just will not allow the pilot to exceed certain parameters which has resulted in tragic results. Limits to parameters cannot be “switched off”.
    Boeing aircraft computer controls, on the other hand, allow pilots to do whatever is necessary, even exceeding parameters beyond normal operation.
    The pilot is always in command on Boeing aircraft and may exceed parameters when deemed necessary.
    Not so for Airbus…
    It would seem that Boeing trusts the pilot in command to make decisions which exceed normal operating parameters while Airbus does not.
    This is a major difference between European and American attitudes when it comes to controlling the citizenry.

    • ‘It would seem that Boeing trusts the pilot in command to make decisions which exceed normal operating parameters while Airbus does not.’ — anarchyst

      How quickly we forget the notorious MCAS automated stabilizer override on Boeing’s 737 MAX, which killed 346 people in two crashes.

      ‘In the middle of Boeing 737 cockpits are two toggle switches that can shut off power to the systems that control the angle of the plane’s horizontal tail. Those switches are critical in the event a malfunction causes movements that the pilots don’t want.

      ‘But as Boeing was transitioning from its 737 NG model to the 737 MAX, the company altered the labeling and the purpose of those two switches. The functionality of the switches became more restrictive on the MAX than on previous models, closing out an option that could conceivably have helped the pilots in the Ethiopian Airlines flight regain control.’

      • Yes, you make a good point about the 737 MAX. thanks for the reminder…
        The whole 737 MAX program was a fiasco.
        Boeing did not want to pay for the certification of a new airframe type so they attempted get past the FAA and the massive expense by certifying the “changes” rather than the whole airframe. Boeing was attempting to “get off on the cheap”. It most certainly “bit them in the @ss”.
        They relied in changes to computer programs to alter the control parameters and to make it possible for pilots to fly the plane. The engines were changed as well as other systems, affecting weight and balance, etc.
        Boeing’s changes to MCAS were disastrous…all to save a few bucks.
        Getting off on the cheap did Boeing no good.
        It cost Boeing more to prevent certification of a whole new airframe because of the troubles with the computer program changes.
        Thanks again for the reminder…

        • “Boeing’s changes to MCAS were disastrous…all to save a few bucks.”

          Hi anarchyst,
          It was MCAS itself, not changes made to it, that caused the problems. MCAS never would have existed if not for the hoops Boeing had to jump through to get the MAX certified as a variant of the 737. Boeing subsequently screwed up a lot, but the root problem was the government.
          From what I’ve read, pilots love the MAX. The only complaint I’ve heard is that it takes a lot longer to start the engines than it did with the NG.
          MCAS was a solution in search of a problem. Test pilots noticed no significant difference in how the plane behaved when approaching stall – which is a place airline pilots never go anyway. That kind of abuse is reserved for test flights and air shows. It’s my understanding that the need for MCAS was ascertained by examining data collected on test flights, not by listening to pilot impressions.

      • That brings up yet another example of the “merger of corporate and state” aka fascism. Boeing, in true free market conditions, would have gotten beat to absolute hell — numerous times!

        But, as the guy that taught me options trading advised me, “don’t bet against Boeing, they’re guaranteed by the government. they’ll never go down.” And by “go down” he meant as in “to die” (obviously he knows about share price fluctuations). He told me that several years ago on the heels of some other (i.e., not 737 MAX) fiasco.

        Time has proven him 100% correct.

      • Hi Jim,
        It is my understanding that nose-down runaway trim is impossible to recover from if it is not arrested early. The reason being that as it pitches down more and more, the aircraft accelerates rapidly until it reaches a point where aerodynamic forces on the horizontal stabilizer make it physically impossible for the pilots to turn the manual trim cranks. (Nose-up runaway is far easier to fix since the aircraft slows as it approaches stall, making manual trimming relatively effortless.)
        Is the power trim via the 737 yoke switches still able to adjust the trim in a severe nose-down scenario? Or would the aerodynamic forces be so great as to damage the control surfaces, jack screws, etc.?

    • Boeing did extensive lessons learned when developing the 777 fly by wire flight control system, a big one was avoiding the Airbus disaster of the computer ignoring pilot input:

      777 pilots can shut off the flight control computer with one switch, when they decide its doing anything they don’t like. Also the 777 has a basic manual backup (stabilizer and a couple wing spoilers) to keep it straight and level in case of a total electrical shut down, avoids a disaster while power is restored. Boeing is big on multiple paths for critical systems too.

      Sparkey was the mfg. engineering co lead of the 777 Flight Controls design/build team
      “back in the day”. ( or “fright” controls if it all goes bad! )
      Wonderful airplane, all that hard work of everyone involved really paid off. So well built the unit #1 had near perfect trim on the first flight, test pilots couldn’t believe it.
      That also meant it beat the drag requirements/fuel burn right out of the box. Those were the days.

      • “Boeing is big on multiple paths for critical systems too.”

        Which makes it all the more baffling that they relied on a single angle-of-attack sensor to activate MCAS in the MAX. Any idea how that made it to production?

        • I was baffled too, I retired around the MAX startup time. In the past “no single point of failure” was gospel for critical systems. People have no idea the brainpower that goes into the design of an aircraft.

          During a flight controls engineering meeting for the 777, they were discussing allowable risk, the standard was ‘10 to the minus 9th’ for calculating that risk. Their supervisor went to the white board, and from memory started writing out the calculations they needed to get to that standard for the particular hardware. I was duly impressed!

          So for the MAX I cannot fathom why that single sensor was allowed into the design.

    • Here’s an even better example: The largest drone manufacturer in the world is DJI. They are a Chinese manufacturer who took advantage of the FAA’s mishandling of small R/C aircraft regulation (and the model aircraft community’s hostility to the biggest thing to happen to the hobby in 50 years) to dominate the industry. Drones are one of the CCP’s unicorns, so DJI got major backing from the party. When the FAA started getting complaints from pilots about airspace incursions from drones, DJI quickly implemented a complicated system that prevents aircraft from taking off in controlled airspace without an “unlock” code from DJI. If a pilot flying a DJI drone attempts to cross into controlled airspace while in flight I think it will return to the launch point or land. You are no longer the pilot in command. This was later expanded to areas like prisons, stadiums, and anywhere the FAA/DOD says. This has caused problems for legitimate users, and led to a pilot turning his hand to ground chuck trying to get his drone to land in a prision parking lot (it was a demo for the police department).

      They also sell a product that will detect the telemetry and control link radio signal, plot it on a map and can issue a “return to launch” command. You are no longer the RPIC. My understanding is these are routinely deployed around stadiums and other security sensitive areas.

      The FAA’s approach has been that there’s a remote pilot in command (RPIC), a carryover from manned aviation. It is up to the pilot to make the decision to fly, the flight plan and determine if it is safe to fly. This approach works great when the industry is willing to play along, but DJI showed up in Best Buy and Target like any other product. Does anyone think for a second the kid unlocking the cabinet at Target is going to explain airspace rules to the guy buying a drone to record his “epic” ski jump?

      The flip side is that now other manufacturers are mentioning “no geofencing” in their marketing copy. They’re leaving it up to the pilot ot make the decision, as it should be. But DJI is so dominant, and all eyes are watching the drone warfare in Ukraine, so I think this will lead to more restrictions via technology down the road. Only hope is that someone with deep pockets sues after a drone falls on their head and the guy running the anti-drone device is found guilty.

      • Interesting, RK, thank you. How can a pilot be held liable for damage done by his aircraft when the manufacturer usurps control of it? And how can you be held liable for your car crashing into someone when the lienholder summons it “home” because you’ve missed your payment?

        • I believe that’s why we don’t yet have widespread use autonomous cars. The tech is clearly there, if you’re a major city the odds are pretty high that you’ve been on the same highway as one. My understanding is that small vehicles are becoming pretty common in China and S. Korea for delivery too.

          But they’re not 100% failsafe. In a country where insurance companies are quick to “go after” the other guy how can they possibly exist? And the stance that the driver is ultimately “in command” isn’t possible when there’s no controls or override mechanism. So when the vehicle careens into a McDonalds dining room instead of using the drive thru lane who’s going to pay for all the damage? If the states’ DOTs would establish a “driver in command” policy, similar to the FAA, and therefore would require override controls, autonomous-capable cars would be much more common. But as we’ve seen with people tricking Tesla’s autopilot system with weights on steering wheels and other crap, that’s not what the driving public wants. They want someone else to drive so they can sleep it off or play on the phone.

  15. EV makers go all in on leasing “loophole” to get the $7500 tax credit.

    From link:

    Auto research firm Edmunds reports about 37% of EVs bought in April were leased, up from 25% during the first quarter and 13% last year.

    “It kind of creates a loophole for automakers to target more affluent customers who are probably more likely to be able to afford and actually get approved to buy an EV,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of insights. “It also allows them to level the playing field against competitors who get the full tax credit when purchasing.”

    • ‘A loophole in the IRA that allows vehicles produced outside North America to qualify for the [$7,500] credits. It’s something lawmakers such as U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., intended the rules to block.’ — CNBC

      So he (Manchin) says. Don’t believe his self-serving crap.

      Manchin was the key Senate holdout vote who let the IRA pass in August 2022. He was in charge of the text. Quite possibly, he wasn’t paying attention when some finance industry lobbyist slipped a piece of paper into the chaotic pile in a 3 a.m. committee meeting.

      But that’s on Manchin, who now facetiously whines that the “Biden” regime is ‘enforcing the law they wanted, not the law we passed.’

      He’s up for re-election next year, and is justifiably scared shitless at having authored a law that will help sunset West Virginia’s coal economy, to the fury of his constituents.

      Joe Manchin: turd on the run.

    • Leasing those time bombs is going to hasten the demise of either the manufacturers or the EV fiasco. So, go ahead. Lease ’em as often as humanly possible. I double dog dare ’em!

      Unlike and ICE vehicle, not even lunatic liberals are stupid enough to buy a out-of-lease EV with that battery replacement looming. Expensive paper weights. Lawn ornaments, maybe?

      Maybe they could repurpose the used EVs as living quarters in the 15-minute cities?

  16. I always thought Eloon’s advertising of “ludicrous speed” was, well, ludicrous. Try using that ludicrous speed and you’ll end up with an AGW arresting you for “reckless driving” and be facing some serious fines at the very least.

  17. ‘Why do people buy electric cars?’ — eric

    On top of last month’s proposed harsh crackdown on ‘tailpipe emissions’ — which the American Petroleum Institute characterized this week as a back-door means of banning ICE vehicles — this week the marauding EPA unveiled a vicious attack on hydrocarbon-fueled power plants:

    This is the EPA’s sucker punch to EeeVee simps: in a decade, it will easily triple the cost of electric power, making EeeVees far more costly to operate than ICE vehicles. Thus the need to effectively ban cheaper-to-operate ICE vehicles via ’emissions’ regulations.

    On its way out the door, the plundering “Biden” regime effectively is laying the groundwork to burn down the economy, including personal transportation, while the DemonRat-dominated Senate can still block a Congressional repeal of the EPA’s sordid, malevolent power grabs.

    Make no mistake: “Biden’s” economic wreckers are enemies of humanity, out to destroy our standard of living, frog-march us into serfdom, and ultimately impoverish and starve us.

    To paraphrase the cadet’s oath: I will not engage in bolshevik Bidenism, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.


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