A “Breakthrough”

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When Charles Kettering designed the electric starter motor more than a century ago, it was a breakthrough. From that moment forward, anyone could start a car – not just the mostly men who had the strength (and bravery) to manually hand-crank the engine to life. Radial tires, disc brakes, electronic fuel injection – all of them breakthroughs in design that resulted in cars that were functionally superior to those that came before.

EVs, on the other hand . . .

The latest “breakthrough” comes in the form of the Lucid Air – which is an electric car, not an anti-depressant med. It can recover 208 miles of range in just 20 minutes!

To appreciate just how magnificent a “breakthrough” this is, consider that a 1980 Chevrolet Chevette – which averaged 30 miles-per-gallon – could recover 210 miles of range in about three minutes. That’s how long it takes, give or take, to pump the seven gallons of fuel needed to travel that distance into the Chevy’s tank. Spend another minute or two at the pump – so as to fill the car’s 12 gallon tank – and the range goes up to 360 miles.

Meanwhile, the Lucid waits.

It also costs.

Base price $139,650. The ’80 Chevette listed for $4,917 – equivalent to just over $12,000 in today’s debauched currency. One could have bought a dozen brand-new 1980 Chevettes for the price of one 2023 Lucid Air. Or just buy eleven – which would leave enough money (vs. the cost to buy the one Lucid) to buy gas for one of the Chevettes you bought for the next 3-5 years.

You’d have spare Chevettes for the next 20-plus years, too.

Of course, the Lucid is no Chevette – and that’s just the point. The Lucid is functionally inferior to the Chevette, as a car. As efficient transportation. As a way to get from A to B inexpensively and with minimal hassle (and cost).

The Lucid doesn’t go nearly as far – and it takes much longer to get there. It inconveniences its owner. And it costs him a fortune. The only thing it does better than the Chevette is accelerate more quickly. A codpiece bragging point that’s as functionally useless – being illegal to use – as spending a lot of money to own a tank you can’t legally use to blow stuff up with.

It is a metric of the insanity of our times that “breakthroughs” are measured in terms of more cost and less functionality than that which preceded. EVs – and “battery technology” – are being foisted on us like a return to AM/FM dial radios with two speakers. Maybe soon they’ll come with 8-track tape decks.

The car press dutifully eggs-on the insanity, just as the rest of the press did during the “pandemic.” You may recall The cases! The cases! – and then the rest. But never the facts. Never in context. And here we are, again.

It is reported – as if it were a “breakthrough” – that there are EVs that can suck up about half or less the range of any current-year non-electric economy car in about four times as long as it takes to pump a full tank of fuel into an economy car, which can then take you at least twice as far.

And it is a “breakthrough” – relative to other EVs, which take even longer to recover even less range.

But it is not a breakthrough relative to what we have been fortunate enough to have become so used to that many of us have come to take it for granted. It is currently in the process of being taken away. Yet because it is not being reported, it is taken by many as if it isn’t happening.

Think of it as a new take on Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell.

Instead, they tell you a great deal about how stupendous a “breakthrough” it is that you can now buy EVs that only make you wait nearly half an hour rather than 45 minutes to an hour (or longer). And they do not tell you that this “breakthrough” is only available at the torturously misnamed “fast” chargers that make you wait someplace that isn’t at home. Meaning, you won’t be there will you wait. Unless you have time to wait overnight.

Otherwise, you’ll be waiting at a Sheetz or Wal-Mart or similar.

And they never tell you that the range you see is often much less than the range you actually get – meaning more (and sooner) waiting.

Isn’t it great?

But wait! Another “breakthrough”! You don’t necessarily have to spend six figures on a Lucid Air to enjoy the boon of waiting only 20 minutes at a Sheetz or Wal-Mart to accomplish what a 1980 Chevette could do in less than five. You could “save money” – vs. the Lucid – by purchasing a Kia EV6 “long range” for only $43,920. It can draw back 191 miles of displayed range in about the same time that it takes the Lucid to recover 208 – and it only costs about three times as much as a 1980 Chevette!

Ah, progress!

Kettering is probably spinning even faster in his grave than the self-starter he invented all those years ago.

. . .

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68 COMMENTS

  1. For many decades, we drove from SE Michigan to New Jersey — 600 miles — to visit relatives, and vice versa.

    They would drive to Michigan with an ICE car full of food and just two 10 minute stops for gasoline and bathroom use. They would always have a full tank when they arrived. An EV could not duplicate that trip.

    We would drive to New Jersey in an ICE car with two 45 minute stops for breakfast and lunch, both including a gasoline fill-up at a nearby service station, so we also arrived with a full tank of gasoline.

    If we could afford a $50k EV that had a 300-mile range, duplicating our trip would require that these two restaurants on the way had available EV fast chargers that we could use while eating lunch and breakfast. And no 20 or 30 minute wait to use a charger. I doubt if many restaurants could afford to add lots of fast chargers. So an EV would not work for us, except to reduce or eliminate our long car trips.

    Will the fast EV chargers on the road, assuming they are working and there is no 20 to 30 minute wait to use one, give people the option to eat a meal, use the bathroom and/or buy drinks and snacks? Right now it seems like there are far from enough fast chargers, and nothing useful to do when you get to one.

  2. Back in April, the House and Senate passed a bill to overturn the EPA’s “emissions” rules for heavy-duty trucks. EPA claimed these rules are 80% more stringent than current standards.

    Today “Biden” vetoed that bill.

    Two words, “Joe”: economic sabotage. You are systematically destroying both private vehicles and freight transport trucks. You make me sick.

    • Hi Jim,

      Meanwhile, Biden is ferried around in an armored V8 SUV that probably uses twice as much gas as my Trans-Am, to get to his helicopter, jet, etc. that burn more gas in one trip than most of us burn in a year.

      • And how much heating fuel and electricity (and water) does Dementia Joe use while residing in the White House? Never mind the cost of diapers and baby wipes (ugh). I gander, it is probably far more than the rest of us will ever use in a life time, as well. Never mind the smell…..

  3. And the “electric car” *could* have been a breakthrough, like diesel-electric railroad engines. Their only real shortcoming is the battery. Even *that* could have been good, if the old “supercapacitors” they promised us in the 80/90 had been real.

    Electric cars can have smaller, lighter, simpler (less failure prone) drive trains. A purpose built diesel engine driving a generator at a constant speed keeping a *large* capacitor (or *small* battery) feeding the electic motors, would make for much simpler, more modular maintenance. Would likely get *far* greater mileage due to the smaller diesel always running at peak performance (or idling).

    Of course that wouldn’t fit the CO2 narrative.

    • Supercapacitors are real. They can be used with batteries to give a quick burst of power for acceleration, such as passing a car on a two-lane road. Their power output is high, but doesn’t last long.

      Supercapacitors have a much higher power density than batteries, which means that they can deliver and absorb energy from the load much faster than batteries. But they cannot be used as the power source of EVs since they have low energy density as compared with the batteries.

      A hybrid energy storage system, including both a battery and supercapacitor, has been used in vehicles. The supercapacitor can be used to supply temporary high-power demand.

      • I remember them being propose as battery *replacement*. The claim was greater *energy* density once. That “promise” did not “pan out”.

    • I did the same back in 1985…. A Texas County Sheriff car passed me, no lights, no siren. When I caught up he was doing 100 plus in a 55 mph zone. Got his license and vehicle number. Called the office, was told we don’t need citizens monitoring our officers. That was the end of any respect for ‘law enforcement’ I had left.

  4. They keep expecting these things to follow the standard deflationary model for electronics. What they’re missing is that EVs aren’t electronic, they’re electric. Difference being and electronic device uses transistors, resistors and capacitors to control and signal using electricity, while and electric device converts electricity to perform work. Work is pretty much fixed in Newtonian physics. Watts in vs Watts out. That’s it. You can get a little incremental improvment with stronger magnetic fields (from rare earth magnets), silver or other high priced metal coils, and ceramic ball bearings, but that doesn’t drive down costs. So it really comes down to volume. And there ain’t enough demand with the lousy product they’re making today, so there’s a valley of death that has to be bridged, in this case by government.

    I’ve said it before, but it’s really a shame the federal DOT won’t allow the free market to supply an electric car that makes sense. There are several warm climate communities that high quality golf car infrastructure, and this sort of thing could be expanded to other cities if a weatherized version were easily had. Sure, it wouldn’t come with ludicrous speed and level 2 autonomy, but who cares about that anyway? If it doesn’t take up much room in the garage and charges easily on a 120 V outlet (and doesn’t require registration, insurance and all that other TCO stuff), there’d be a market. Or at least the tradeoffs would be more palatable.

    But instead we get the “moonshots.” I’m not saying there’s no place for basic battery research, but why subsidize the one-for-one replacement that might never happen? If CO2 is such horrible stuff any incremental decrease is of value.

    https://golfcarts.org/peachtree-city-ga-golf-cart-paradise/

    • Energy in less loss equals energy out. Really pretty simple for a simpleton like me. Call me stupid, but in, loss, out. That is the formula for everything.

    • “it’s really a shame the federal DOT won’t allow the free market to supply an electric car that makes sense.”

      The only “electric car” that makes sense is a hybrid. Unfortunately, government bureaucrats have no sense.

      • Indeed Eric. If anyone tried to warn about such sinister plans from these psychopaths even a few years ago, they’d have been labeled CONSPIRACY THEORISTS.

    • This is the Jay Leno pro-electric argument. By forcing electric cars his antiques will become like horses, a quaint form of travel from a better forgotten time. Sounds great but then who’s going to have time to lallygag around crusing in their antique Geo Metro when they have to get to the train station in time for the next trip on the rolling homeless encampment and drug den?

      • Jay Leno is naive. That was my reaction when he said that in a video I saw. He doesn’t understand the powers that be in the USA won’t be as generous as the Castro brothers in the long run. At best they’ll patient enough to see what the natural attrition rate is, but odds are people will begin rebuilding everything, even bland vehicles like the Camry and Taurus. Even a vestige of a free market will figure out how to refurbish cars affordably. That will force power’s hand.

    • > The globalist technocrats are calling for vastly reducing private ownership of automobiles.

      Not just automobiles…they’re aiming at reducing private ownership of *everything*. According to them, you’ll own nothing and be happy. 😛

  5. According to wikipedia, the fuel economy car Mitsubishi Mirage is made in Thailand, it sells in Thailand for ฿474,000 (Baht), which converted to USD is $13,678.30, but of course you can NOT buy it here for that price.

    China and India produce a plethora of inexpensive cars, which they could easily sell less than 10 grand here, but none of those models are offered here. Can you imagine a $6,000 car right now that gets 50 mpg? Yeah, that is possible but that kind of car is kept out of our market on purpose.

    Price fixing is a game – you can see this directly with fuel prices or car prices – each nation has it’s own market exploiting the wealth level of that nation. Take a look at gasoline prices around the world:

    https://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/global_gasprices/

    Just a short pond jump south of Houston, Texas (major oil shipping port) is Caracus, Venezuela which currently sells gasoline for $0.12 (12cents) per US gallon. Poor nations have lower gas prices – for the biggest commodity on the planet – which ought to be universally the exact same price. Right? But it is not.

    Of course such talk is “conspiracy theories” by nutballs, but as I like to say, yep I am a conspiracy theorist who is usually right 100% of the time. LOLROFL Note how anyone living on a island, like Japan, Guam, Hawaii, or Britain are screwed for gasoline price. The island is small, can’t drive very far, so you pay out the nose.

    Amerika is “wealthy nation” because the Fed has inflated home values – creating artificial wealth – which can be borrowed at low rates. Thus in Amerika, only expensive cars with shitty fuel economy are sold – to shear the sheeple. That is a conspiracy theory alright, and supported by objective facts.

    To fight energy exploitation, I drive an old Geo Metro, which I paid $500, and fixed, that gets 55 mpg. Once a week I fill it up (7 gallons) after driving around 400 miles. I have no interest in making Rex Tillerson (iconic Exxon CEO – Trump Secretary of State) more wealthy, so he can buy a bigger mega yacht, or bribe more politicians.

    IMO it is all a game to them, like Eric says, the CEO’s of the car and oil companies are so ultra wealthy, they live in their own little world, don’t give a shit about us peons, fly jets, not cars, and are part of an exclusive Amerikan rich man’s club (read modern robber barrons). Like George Carlin says, it is a big club and we aren’t in it.

    What we look like to them are figures on their balance sheet. At GM, an army of accountants, lawyers, sales agents, statiticians, marketing personalities have us and our wealth level figured out – and even if they go bankrupt they own the politicians and get bailed out.

    • Indeed, Jack –

      Similarly, the incandescent light bulbs you used to be able to buy for a buck or so (for two) now cost several times that much. The excuse is “efficiency” – and it’s costing us everything.

      • And as near as I can tell the new light bulbs just plain suck. They don’t last as long as advertised; the burned out bulbs are bad for the environment; and did I mention they suck?

        • Mike – “bad for the environment” is a scam, war is really bad for the environment and all those preaching to us about saving the planet are currently supporting and planning more wars.

          ——————–
          https://ussanews.com/2023/06/13/mike-stone-the-environmental-movement-is-a-psyop/
          Mike Stone – The Environmental Movement is a PsyOp

          “The blowing up of the Kakhovka dam,

          the blowing up of the Russian pipeline,

          or the Ohio train wreck and chemical spill,

          taken on its own would qualify as the

          worst environmental disaster in decades.

          Yet we’ve had all three of them occur back-to-back
          in a matter of months, and neither Brainwashed Greta Thunberg
          nor any other voice in the environmental movement
          has said a word. That right there tells
          you that the entire environmental movement
          is nothing but a fraud and a hoax.”

          —————-

          How is blowing Nature to kingdom come good for the environment. They want to terminate natural gas yet at the same time they are blowing the shit out of Nature.

          The USA is now shipping DU weapons to the Ukraine shithole. Permanent radiation for thousands of years, and massive DU birth defects. DU is banned, it is illegal to use.

          • Hi Jack,
            Depleted uranium will be the least of their worries; just saw an article that one of those “think tank” shills for the MIC is recommending that the USSA/NATO give Zelensky some tactical nukes. What a great idea……NOT.

        • I agree, Mike –

          It’s especially noticeable in the basement (little natural light). A couple of 100 watt incandescent bulbs lights the whole area up with clear, bright light. The LED replacements make it seem as though you’re on a dimmer…

          • Hey, Eric,
            You need to check out the LEDs more closely. There are many more (and better) choices than you will find at Home Depot, or your local hardware store. I would suggest either a dedicated lighting store, or an online merchant. Prices have also come down considerably, while more product choices are available The early ones were too expensive, IMO, and had limited options (IOW, they basically sucked). There are better choices nowadays.

            First, check the output of your favorite 100 watt incandescent in lumens, as well as its color temperature. The rated lifetime will likely be ~1000 hours, due to the infamous “light bulb conspiracy,” which is/was an actual conspiracy by bulb manufacturers.

            Next, scout around for an LED with at least the rated output of the 100 watt incandescent, and the color temperature you prefer, and shop aggressively for price. Based on my recent experience, I believe you should be able to find an LED replacement for the 100 watt incandescent which a) is economical to purchase, b) throws more light than the incandescent, at a pleasant color temperature, c) uses ~10% the power, which means it runs much cooler*, and d) has an expected** lifetime of ~10X the incandescent bulb.

            *If you are looking for a heat lamp, an LED is not what you are
            looking for.
            ** Of course, as with any industrial product, the time to failure will exhibit a (probably Gaussian) distribution of values, and it is possible you *could* get stuck with an early failure. But, you could also get a unit which significantly exceeds the expected lifetime.
            https://www.centennialbulb.org
            Tip: buy good quality, name brand merchandise, not cheap Chinese junk, which might even be DOA, as was a fuel tank selector valve for my F150 (ended up buying genuine FoMoCo, for $$).

        • The best bulbs were quickly gotten rid of: the compact fluorescent. They lasted forever. The LEDs last about 3-6 months. The CFL’s last years.

          The incandescents were okay. They used a little more juice than they should, but people should have a choice.

        • The only reason I ever use an LED bulb is so I can get more light out of a 60 watt rated fixture. Otherwise, I use one of the incandescents which I have a large supply of, collected many years ago when the outlawing of incandescents was announced.

    • Case in point, the Toyota Aygo is NOT sold in the USA. (It is made with 2 small engines, a 1.0 liter gas, 1.4 diesel, non-hybrids) It gets superior fuel economy. It is sold all across the world but not in Amerika.

      —————–

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Aygo

      “The name “Aygo” comes from “i-go”, symbolising freedom and mobility.[4]”

      Curb weigh (1,962 lb)

      TOYOTA Aygo X Pure Manual 2022 58.9 mpg (combined)

      Fuel consumption (economy) – diesel 69.18 US mpg

      ——————

      And why the hell not? In Amerika, Toyota has extensive dealerships:

      quote: “There are 1,270 Toyota dealerships in the United States as of April 03, 2023.”

      Toyota is considered #1 in quality and longevity by any mechanic. It sells many models, most of them huge in size. So why in the hell does Toyota not sell any 3 cylinder ultra fuel efficient cars in Amerika? They already make this car, they already sell it everywhere, but not here. Why oh why? I would like to have one, because I know a Toyota engine is far better engine in quality than a Geo engine.

      The fact is, the most fuel efficient cars are being intentionally kept out of Amerika, one of the biggest car markets.

      • why not? because it would put our car manuf. out of biz in a nano-second.
        Our corrupt Mega corps in bed with Gov will kill/hurt us all in the long run.

      • Hi Jack. “So why in the hell does Toyota not sell any 3 cylinder ultra fuel efficient cars in Amerika? They already make this car, they already sell it everywhere, but not here. Why oh why?”

        Does it meet all of the saaaaafety requirements that the rotten US government has imposed?

    • Demand is considered inelastic if demand for a good or service remains unchanged even when the price changes

      inelastic demand

      Even though the price of gas in Venezuela is at 12 cents per gallon, people are willing to pay five dollars per gallon in California. Petrol in Canada is 6.93 Canadian dollars for a gallon, 1.83 per litre in Quebec.

      The demand doesn’t change, regardless of the price.

      When you need gas, you pay the price at the pump.

      Your demand remains the same and is indeed inelastic.

      • Hi drum:
        This is a common misunderstanding of elasticity. From a more reliable source for real economics, mises.org:
        “An elastic response is said to occur when a percentage change in price results in a larger percentage change in quantity demanded, while an inelastic response occurs when a percentage change in price results in a smaller percentage change in quantity demanded.”
        So if demand for a given good goes down by 2 when the price increases by 1, it is elastic. If it goes down by .5 it is inelastic. Elasticity is simply a measure of how sensitive demand is to changes in price.
        Yes, gasoline still sells when the price goes up to $5 a gallon. I’m guessing it would still sell at $10 a gallon. But would consumers demand as much as they do when the price is $2? Nope.

  6. “The ’80 Chevette listed for $4,917 – equivalent to just over $12,000 in today’s debauched currency.”

    Interesting point. The issue is not simply that the currency is debauched, though. The issue is that you CAN’T buy a $12,000 car AT ALL in today’s market.

    IF people COULD buy brand-new Chevettes — or equivalent — for $12,000 — GM would make so much money that Mary Barra could afford enough plastic surgery to look hot again. But it’s just about impossible to find a sub-$30k car today, let alone a sub-$20k car.

    So not only is the currency worth 60% less today, you also have to buy a car that costs 2-3 times more — it’s the equivalent of the Chevette costing $10-15k back in 1980.

    • Indeed, X –

      The Chevette was of course a very basic car. But that’s just the point! It was made at a time when most people lived within their means – as opposed to on debt. Rich people bought Cadillacs. Regular people bought Chevys. And Chevys didn’t cost more than Cadillacs do now back then, either.

      • Back in high school we toured the Chevette assembly plant in Cleveland, Ohio. Our family had one. Later in the 1980s Chevy switched to the Chevy Sprint that turned into a Geo Metro then a Chevy Metro, then their small cars became the Daewoo Aveo then the Chevy Spark.

        The “Spark” name makes me laugh, because the 2dr. Ford Pinto has an exploding gas tank problem … spark then BOOM! Who names their car Spark?

        I have not seen a Chevette on the road for a very long time, but I do see many Geo Metros and an occasional Sprint. The true test of a car is how long it lives on the road, and I haven’t seen an AMC product forever. Remember the Pacer or a Gremlin?

  7. This is all so frustrating especially as it has never been faster to fill up at Chevron. Get out, tap your credit card, pump gas, and get back in your car. Less than 5 minutes later you are on the road again with almost 400 miles of range with a compact car. You cannot beat that. I finally got the BMW M340 what a joy it is to drive. The leasing agent was describing how great the e versions of their cars were while acknowledging we are “not ready” because the infrastructure is not sufficient yet. Regarding the range issue he said: How often do you drive 400 miles? Are you kidding me? This is what is now coming out of car salesman’s mouths. Trying to sell crap and spin less convenience as somehow maybe not better but still totally fine. I get triggered by the doublespeak nowadays. My husband retorted that we drive to visit relatives pretty often and once he fills up his pickup we can drive all the way to LA on one tank and still have enough to make it halfway home. But that is not even the main point which is there is no need whatsoever to go all electric. At least I may have a few years to enjoy a good car. Props to BMW for still allowing all the assist features to be turned off. I really do not want a heads up display flashing the speed limit in my eyeballs. The lane departure in my last car that nearly caused me to have an accident is now permanently turned off. We will see how long this lasts though because as Eric has pointed out I am connected and BMW knows when I am speeding. Maybe the car will decide for me to default all the assists on at some point. Because they, not me are in control of the vehicle’s functions when it is all said and done. It is so sad that insane, drunk on power politicians will be the reason hard working people like me will have their wonderful cars and trucks taken from them or rendered useless.

  8. There is a difference between a “breakthrough” and just shifting costs. I wonder if this codpiece by having a fast-charging time also has half the battery life?

  9. A thought crossed my mind after reading this:

    I remember in one of my science books in high school a picture of a future “gas station” in which electric cars pulled in and a robot replaced their batteries.

    Inall of this EV mishegoss, no one to my knowledge is talking about creating standardized, easily swapped batteries, or designing EVs to take swappable batteries.

    If this was so, the next step would be to build a chain of “battery stations” where folks could pull in and swap out batteries, either by a “pit crew” or by robots. You could “refuel” in 5-10 minutes that way.

    Yes, this setup has its own set of problems and obstacles, some of which are difficult if not impossible to overcome. But it seems to make sense as a way of dealing with the problem of limited range.

    The fact that there hasn’t been much discussion about such an idea in any detail speaks volumes about the feasibility of widespread adoption of EVs, not to mention the real reasons for EV mania.

    • If the cars of today had all the space of the cars of old then swappable battery packs could be a viable solution. Or if they all became the same bland shape of a phone or laptop. But the shape of the car determines the shape of the battery pack(s). Teslas cram them in everywhere, for example. The Volt used a fake transmission tunnel to stash a few extra KWh between the passengers. That’s also one of the reasons why swapping out the pack after the range drops off is so expensive. They’re all one-off builds and no one wants to keep constructing them for old models.

      There’s a startup that’s taking old car batteries and repurposing them for use in grid storage, since the application doesn’t require big spikes in draw or compact space they still work. Here’s a video about it: https://youtu.be/gKSmIqGvZR4

      • Hi RK,

        The swap thing would probably be almost impossibly complicated. Imagine the specialized equipment/processes that would be involved; the wear and tear on that equipment. Maintenance/upkeep costs. It boggles.

        • Not to mention who gets blamed when the swapped out battery fails to perform as it should… or worse has a catastrophic failure?

          • The BEV fanbois are always bringing up the standardized pack swap as the solution not realizing human nature. Someone will make faulty packs appear to be good enough for swapping and swap them into the system. By the time they are detected, even with traceability, it will be a bunch of people pointing at each other claiming no knowledge of who did it. And if a way of tracing it is created the perps will move to accounts under fake/stolen identities and stolen credit card numbers. And that’s if the swapping companies bother. Which they likely won’t. Easier to have at-risk clause in the terms of service.

        • I do not want to have MY battery that is the costliest part of MY car that I have perfectly maintained, swapped for one in a lesser condition. Bad enough when that happens with propane cylinders for the backyard BBQ.

    • I’ve seen this proposed for over the road trucks. The idea was that swappable (by forklift) pre-charged battery packs would replace the saddle tanks.

  10. I’m not a EE so the electrical stuff is over my head. So what’s so special about the $139K that it defies the laws of physics compared to the other eeeeeeveeeee batteries and charging systems?

    Btw I’m gonna have “silent lucidity” by Queensrÿche stuck in my head now.

  11. Speaking of the I-95 “breakthrough” in Philadelphia:

    BRIDGE EXPERT CAN’T RECALL LAST TIME A SPAN WAS BROUGHT DOWN BY FIRE

    “It just doesn’t happen. I can’t recall a time when it has. It’s extremely difficult to melt a bridge.”

    https://twitter.com/isource_news/status/1668486678305214464

    Dude obviously hasn’t heard of 9/11, when jet fuel burning at the temperature of the sun’s surface melted two whole buildings. /sarc

    Clownworld, comrades: it doesn’t have to make sense.

    • Hi Jim,
      I recall several years ago there was an interchange in LA that was brought down by a similar accident. Everyone was amazed that it was rebuilt in a short time rather than the months that had been predicted.

  12. We had a large Jeep gathering down here in Florida, and I was thinking about the future all-electric Wrangler that the Stellantis morons have planned. I told my wife “You can’t carry Jerry Can batteries” and wondered aloud if people would spend thousands to customize one of these battery-powered terrors. Also, what happens if the battery pack gets punctured by a rock on the Moab trail?

    The fact that Eric is the only writer who points this out is a credit to him and a pox upon car “journalism,” which is populated with awful lickspittles chasing payola.

  13. ‘It is a metric of the insanity of our times that “breakthroughs” are measured in terms of more cost and less functionality than that which preceded.’ — eric

    In fact, it’s a metric of a non-market economy (NME) — a term of art actually used in US tariff laws. State-commanded production of consumer goods serves national or ideological goals. Price and quality are simply residuals — and since unimportant, are predictably bad. Ask a silver-haired ex-East German about the Trabant he had to wait five years to buy, for five years’ salary.

    Though it still exhibits pockets of economic freedom, at its pinnacle the US is a rigid command economy. Its single most important price — the interest rate on short-term borrowing — is arbitrarily set by a Gang of Twelve apparatchiks.

    Today at 2 pm, they will announce whether the Fed Funds rate stays in a 5.00-5.25% range, or ‘jumps up a notch’ to 5.25-5.50%. Since Wall Street assigns 90% probability to the former (a ‘pause’), this will be the Street’s reaction in the unlikely event the latter option is selected:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFeVfwDvTyM

    Our monetary emperors have no clothes. Yet no little kids — much less the squalid rabble of baying presstitutes — remark on this obvious fact. Strange.

    • Remember a time not so long ago when folks were complaining about zero interest rates claiming it was destroying real capital which was Peoples savings?

      • Which is exactly so. The current fiat currency Fed punishes savings and rewards debt. It’s been decades since savings account interest exceeded inflation. But you pay back debt with dollars worth less than those you borrowed. Consequently we are encouraged to live above our means. Just like FedGov. So now, a comparatively low interest rate is considered exorbitant. “How dare we be compelled to live beneath our means!!”

    • Jim H: Ask a silver-haired ex-East German about the Trabant he had to wait five years to buy, for five years’ salary.

      As slow as the Trabant was at least it runs on gas and even Eric would love it for being a big brother to his “Little Stinker”. It would also be safe to say that it’s owner repairable.

  14. This is reflective of how our society has degraded. Instead of valuing honesty, integrity and reason, we glorify cheating, duplicity and The Con. I may disagree with a man like RFJ, Jr. on issues but, he seems honest and dealing with facts not fiction. Unlike Biden who, when confronted by a woman who disagrees with him, calls a woman “a lying dog-faced pony soldier”. He doesn’t deal in reality but, engages in ad hominem attacks when confronted.

    People seem to want to trick their way to the top, not deal honestly win or lose. It reminds me of that very old line, “You can’t cheat an honest man.”

  15. Next thing you know, EVs will come with a crank handle charger that only takes 10-20 hours to charge the battery to 50%, or less. That will be called improvement, because now if your EV goes dead in the middle of nowhere, you can simply get out the crank and start charging your battery, and charging, and charging. Of course you can’t keep up the charging with a crank if it’s cold outside, but you can keep the battery warm enough not to damage it. Maybe.

    • I believe the nautical term is “grinder”

      From the Wikipedia “A grinder is a crew member on a yacht whose duties include operating manual winches (called “coffee grinders”) that raise and trim the sails and move the boom.[1] It is a physically demanding role with a significant impact on a racing yacht’s overall performance.[2]”

      https://youtu.be/B-s3nQp0dAU

      Insert your own joke below…

      • But why don’t they design the machines to be powered by human leg, rather than arm, muscles? Seems very odd, to me.

    • The prison population will be conscripted to pedal bicycles that recharge BEV batteries that are transported to and fro the prisons by diesel trucks

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