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EVs aren’t the enemy of car culture

Mechanical things have soul. Electronic things don’t. My Civic may not sound like Mozart, but it IS Salieri to the Boxster’s Mozart. Shifting gears adds a grace and finesse to driving that transmission-less EVs simply won’t have.

I’ve driven a Tesla Model S. It IS a tour de force. But it lacks soul. (And I made myself slightly carsick driving the thing–something that’s never happened to me before.)

Maybe EVs aren’t the enemy. But I hope to drive ICE for the rest of my life. (And I suspect I have close to 30 years left.)

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Personally, I’m looking forward to the proliferation of autonomous cars. Just think, when there is a long line of traffic and you need a place to cut in, just pull in front of the autonomous one - it will certainly stop, won’t try to cut you off, won’t flip you off or flash high beams. It will just quietly and calmly get out of your way. I suppose as a passenger in one I’d try and see if it could be outfitted with a Ferrari-like manettino switch to control the degree of aggressiveness of my 'pod; instead of “normal, sport, track, or ice” it could be marked, “normal, church, hurry, or full jackass (aka Blue BMW setting)”.

There is one renewable energy source that no one seems to be looking at: steam. Turn recycled paper, scrap trees, lawn waste, etc. into charcoal and use it to power the boilers of steam cars. On another note, there was an idea floating around Europe a few decades ago where the engine of a city bus would be replaced with a very heavy flywheel, connected to a clutch and transmission. Once a week the bus would spend the night in a garage, having the flywheel “recharged” by being spun up to operating speed. And when it comes to electric cars, something no one ever seems to think about is what happens when two of these things crash into each other at highway speed, and the occupants get covered with battery acid or burning lithium?

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Another big force backing AVs will be the employers of America. If one employee is driving to work while another is adding two (unpaid) hours to every day by working on a laptop or phone while the car drives itself, which one do you think will get promoted? Speaking for myself, one company I worked for (ironically, an auto insurance company) gave us all Bluetooth phones so we could make appointments and return phone calls while driving.

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In my younger days I turned a lot of wrenches and could be found on the side of the road hoping my car would win and retrive me the mechanic before the police showed up. I got older, more wrenches spun, cars got built, some died, some almost killed my friends but all ran on gasoline. Then I got to college where I found the Electric car club, we had an S-10 Pickup that we hybreded and used to win the American Tour De Sol…Twice. Those Tour De Sol people had all the passion of the kids I hung out years earlier on the sides of the road and in shopping plazas and probably more knowledge, yeah some of those Tour people had PhD’s in Engineering and still rigged their cars like they were in high school. After a day of running they could drink as well. One thing I learned form all my years of playing with cars is this, the cars don’t make the culture, the culture makes the cars and if you believe it is the other way around then why do you want a car your way, the car available should be good enough. I’m glad the EV people are getting their moment, maybe people will see that they are just like the IC people, just powered differently.

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Occasionally, both the US and Canada governments issue culls for wild horses.

Of course, a wild horse is different than a car, so perhaps that analogy doesn’t pan too well.

Kyle

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Not on the interstate, but in certain parts of the country, the Amish would beg to differ with you about whether or not horse and buggies can share the road.

The clunker rebates had a short term effect in the actual supply of used cars, hence used car prices went up, and never quite came back down again. Manufacturers scaled up their factories, to pick up the slack to sell newer, more fuel efficient (and usually smaller) cars in their place. For a while, in the Midwest, if you were looking for a 3 row used car to haul your family around, good luck with that, you would end up paying top dollar, even for a used pos.
Fast forward to more recent times and dieselgate. Took a lot of VWs off of the roads. However, because of the scandal, VW hasn’t been doing too well in America as their own brand, but, perhaps better under their other brands like Audi or Porsche.
Until reading the recent article about demo derbies, never understood the appeal.

Now, I think about the tremendous waste all of those cash-for-clunkers and VW Dieselgate cars could have been participants in that kind of thing…

Kyle

I blame the big corps and oil company’s for suppressing tech that lowered the eco footprint of the combustion engine long ago I have nothing against new tech and electric cars good on them, all forms of transport have there down side but I say don’t make the argument about saving the planet mother nature will rid us of her burden soon enough in the here now enjoy what you have regardless of what drives it. each to there own and remember everything you choose determines the future so choose wisely

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I know about the Amish. Almost got forced off MN 200 some years back driving to my mother’s funeral in a snowstorm. Came over a hill and there was an Amish buggy. As I passed, it drifted to the left and nearly put me into a ditch.
But it’s just not something to take all that seriously as a major transportation mode pretty much anywhere.
As for what happened to the price of used cars, while consumers may have complained, no manufacturer or used car dealer ever did.
I merely regret the requirement that the cars be crushed. Lost a lot of useful parts that way.
It’s worth noting that VW’s attempt to work around the air pollution requirements was not something done by government. It was private sector all the way. Credit where credit is due.
What could have been but wasn’t isn’t anything to take seriously when considering what is going to happen.

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Yep like steppin in a puddle how deep is it,i got no firm opinion one way or the other to me its embrace the future and the techno that is coming if you are young enough for it to be in your time,stay the course or try something new if it suits you if your in the twenty year or less countdown like myself I like my fossil fuel burner and will continue that course no need to change not commuting any longer dirt nap around the corner.Too each his own.RobR

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EVs and the zealots demanding EVs are absolutely a threat to car culture and with it American culture. Certain EU governments are already planning outlawing ICE cars, and with it a portion of the populations freedom. The German car companies are spending billions to design and build EVs because again, the government has told them to because their current products will be banned. Once the EU starts banning ICE cars there will be pressure to take away our freedom of choice and force us to convert to EV’s.
ICE cars have engines and mechanical engineering that amazes and entertains me. The engine coming to life but needing the human intervention to select gears and engage transmissions to make the car move. EV’s are wire, electronics, software and a BIG box of chemicals called a battery. Gear heads with mechanical but not computer software skills need not apply.
If the world goes all EV, EVs will become commodities, like laptops and like all existing electronic devices be made “off shore”. If you eliminate or fail to continue to invest in ICE cars the domestic car industry will disappear, along with the jobs. Currently there is a global marketing campaign to create a market of EV’s. Formula E, etc. The greens are organized, well funded and relentless. If you think they aren’t coming for your ICE car and the freedom to go where ever you want when ever you want, you are kidding yourself, and are damn wrong.

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Glorified golf carts may replace passenger cars for short trips but they will never replace pickups due to the range .
My 3/4 ton 4wd crew cab gets 13 mpg normal and when towing a trailer with a bobcat or mini ex it gets 8 mpg
They will never in my lifetime make a pickup capable of towing a bobcat 150
Miles , unloading it and driving back .
We’ve made several trips from Atlanta to Newark nonstop inna gas guzzling 4wd expedition , 16 hours stopping only for gas and grabbing snacks while the tank is refilled

My wife has a commute that’s 10 miles each way , but takes 40-70 minutes. Which any electric car could do , but at least once a month she drives 400-500 miles one way to visit family , there is. I electric car that will do that , plus her current vehicle is a 20 yr old turbo diesel five speed beetle , that cost us $5000, eight years ago.
We will not be paying $100k for a Tesla so we can save $6 a week on fuel.

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Well, after 40 years of buying, fixing and selling cars, Id call myself a diehard car enthusiast. Which is why I just bought my first EV, a Fiat 500e. Not because Im a tree hugger, not because I believe all the sky is falling propaganda about climate change, not because of any other considerations other than the fact that it’s a really fun little gokart and driving it is an absolute joy. Well, that and the fact that I can use my solar panels to power it for free. Well that and the fact that it will never drip oil on my driveway, it’ll never stop heating because its low on coolant, I’ll never had to check the oil in the engine or the diff, I’ll never worry about adding alcohol to the tank when it hits -30c outside, just unplug it and go. I love cars, but Im quite giggly about one that has next to NO maintenance issues. At my age the less I have to crawl under a beast the better.

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"Elon and Ferdinand Piech will have to pry the Hurst shifter from my cold, dead fingers"

Of all the posturing and drivel I’m seeing here, this is the best comment yet!

I would argue that it is only people in rich countries, and who have disposable income who are at all able to (or even interested in) reducing their carbon footprint. So a very small fraction of the people and their vehicles on the road - effectively negligible.

As someone who is driving a 15 year old car daily, I also wonder how long you have to keep and drive your electric vehicle in order to “break even” carbon-wise vs. continuing to use your previous internal combustion vehicle.

Personally, I think nuclear power (specifically molten salt thorium reactors) is the way to go. Imagine how much cleaner your EV could be without a coal plant attached to it. Power available 24/7. Abundant fuel, and all waste is captured and contained (unlike fossil fuel power plants that dump waste into the air). Plus no need to bulldoze thousands of acres, like for the wind & solar farms.

By “some places” still using dirty power, I think you mean most of the developing world: China, India, Africa. The only countries “going green” are rich ones. The rest are too busy trying to keep food on the table - and that requires a lot of fossil fuel.

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Kyle … I was referring to the change from horses to cars as primary transportation, compared to Changing from gasoline to electric cars. Cars won-out over horses because they were more practical. It seems that government mandates and subsidies for electric cars are the main reason for their success, along with demonizing gasoline cars and creating clunker laws (the 21st century version of shooting horses). … Gary

Agree completely Mike-B,exactly what I was trying to say.Our power is pretty ‘green’ and will be getting ‘greener’ whether its good for us or not,as the gov has ordained.

Power will be a lot different when we die out,that I have no doubt.AND you and I will have no say about it,so I wont even speculate on what it winds up being.

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Agree,They do have a place and I also love my solar panels(and yes Virginia,solar panels work and they work well).I just dont like it being mandated.If you can use it I think its super.Someday I may even use one,never know.The loss of autonomy and the gov intrusion on my movement and tracking,thats a deal killer for me at this point,and I probably wont be around by the time a choice will have to be made.

Enjoy your little car,so glad its working for you.:sun_with_face:

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As long as "Woke " Social Justice Warriors are intent on virtue signaling we will have to deal with EV’ s , which are neither practical nor very Thrilling . Yes Instant torque , but soulful no . There is no EV ever that will replace that sound of your Engine when you just did a bunch of mechanical work on it with your own hands and it fires up are runs like new . The whole thing reminds me of when I lived in LA …everyone talked about car-pooling , but the only people whom I ever saw doing were guys who looked like blue collar types . I saw lots of well to do single driver cars then once in a while a beat up car with 4 guys in it .

EV’s are great for Eastern inner city people but out west here where there is actual open space between towns they are not very practical fro any kind of extended trip .

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