By on July 27, 2021

buffaloboy/Shutterstock.com

I call it the father-in-law test, and it goes like this: If my father-in-law is talking about it, it’s mainstream. It’s a pretty basic test for any given pop culture or technological idea out there, I know, but it works pretty well. My FIL is in his seventies, so he’s definitely a “Boomer”. He’s a bit of an intellectual, too, having served as the dean of a prestigious Catholic school here in Chicago for many years. He is also absolutely, completely, and intentionally not into cars … and, just the other day, he asked me what it would take to put in a DC fast charger in his home.

Keep in mind, this man does not own an EV. He’s not even planning on buying an EV. He’s looking at putting an EV charger in for the potential resale value it would add to the home. (!)

That settles it, then. Electric cars aren’t a niche. They’re just “cars” now. And, I have to admit, it does seem like the conversations I have about cars with “civilians” these days revolve in some way around electric cars. There’s plenty of reasons for that, I suppose – EVs are in the news, the new Ford F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E are genuine contenders aimed at the heart of America’s love affair with pickup trucks and muscle cars, and I’m probably like a lot of enthusiasts in the sense that the non-car people in my circle will usually ask me about a car they’re considering buying every few years.

All of that makes sense. What doesn’t make sense, though, are the baffling questions people seem to ask about EVs. Bizarre questions, really, that they’d never ask of the internal combustion cars that have always just sort of “been there” as long as they’ve been paying attention. I mean, what if we asked some of the same questions about gasoline-powered cars that people ask about EVs? Would that kind of pointless thought experiment be even remotely entertaining or thought-provoking?

Let’s find out!

Q:          How far can I drive before I have to “fill up” again?

A:           In most cases, you’ll be able to go about 250-300 miles before you’ll need to “fill up” again, and that only takes a few minutes, unless there’s a long line at the pump. There are a few cars out there with larger tanks or more efficient motors that can go further, but after five or six hours at highway speeds, most drivers will want to take a break.

Q:          How will I be able to find these “fill up” stations?

A:           There are plenty of apps out there that will lead you to the nearest filling station, but the reality is that you’ll probably end up going to the same station the majority of the time. You probably already know where you can get fuel in your neighborhood, though, so what you’re really asking is where you’ll be able to buy fuel on the road. In addition to the apps, you’ll be able to see 100’ tall signs for filling stations from quite a ways off, and will probably only start paying attention to those when you’re down to about 25 percent of your driving range.

Q:          Are gasoline cars really clean?

A:           Compared to horses? Absolutely! Horse-drawn carriages used to leave literal tons of horseshit right in the middle of the street, which – in addition to the stink – spread mess and disease to almost anyone in a given neighborhood. Heavily populated urban areas were the most impacted by the pollution caused by the horses’ “emissions”, and the ability to remove this sort of miasma from urban centers will make a tremendous positive impact on the most vulnerable urban populations.

Q:          How long do gasoline cars last?

A:           That’s a tough one to answer. If you do your maintenance, keep it clean, and replace parts when they need replacing, you can drive the same gasoline car for years. Take the late Irv Gordon, for example, who put three million miles on his Volvo P1800 over the course of five decades – and, sure, there’s a bit of a Ship of Theseus thing going on here, but you should have no problem getting 100,000 miles out of your gasoline car with “just the basics”, and most people don’t even want to keep their new cars that long!

Q:          What about recycling? Can you recycle a gasoline car?

A:           Yes! Gas-powered cars are already made from a number of recycled materials and have used sustainable plant-based fibers since the days of Henry Ford, and there are a number of businesses called “salvage yards” where old cars can get parked and picked over for their good, used parts to keep more cars on the road, longer, reducing the need for raw material mining in the future. Eventually, the big parts of those “salvage yard” cars can get melted down as scrap, and get an entirely new lease on life that way, as well.

Q:          What about the gasoline engine? What happens if it fails?

A:           That’s a great question – an internal combustion engine isn’t like the battery in a cell phone, laptop, or even a car. You can’t just replace it or recondition it by replacing the damaged cells. The good news is that, in most cases, a properly trained mechanic will be able to pull an engine that’s failed due to a faulty head gasket, over-heating, or excessive wear and tear it down into its hundreds (if not thousands) of component parts, then clean those parts and reassemble the engine, replacing a few parts here and there, if necessary. In extreme cases, the main part of the engine (the “block”) may have to be sent out to a specialized machine shop to get its “cylinders” honed or sleeved before the engine can be reassembled. In some cases, that can cost tens of thousands of dollars – but it hardly ever happens, so don’t worry about it. Or, if you just can’t shake that concern, maybe buy the extended warranty.

Q:          I read that gasoline cars can catch on fire in an accident. Is that true?

A:           Boy, howdy! Gasoline is an extremely flammable liquid, but even so, it’s not as flammable as you’ve probably been led to believe by movies and TV shows. Those fiery explosions with the hero walking slowly away from the burning wreckage are dressed up with oxygenated chemicals that add to the drama of a show at the expense of realism. In real life, a bullet hitting your car’s gas tank would probably just go right through it, causing a potentially dangerous leak but not, in itself, a fire – and that’s a very extreme example of something that might happen. In real life, even the most forceful traffic accidents lead to a raging inferno in a small percentage of cases, with only 560 people dying in gasoline vehicle fires in 2018 (the most recent data I could find). That’s just 560 out of the nearly 12 million reported vehicle accidents specifically because the engineers who design these things understand the risks involved, and design the vehicles to be safe in an impact by protecting the bits that might catch fire. It’s not a perfect science, and tragedies do happen, but the reason they’re on the news is that their rarity makes them newsworthy. These guys know what they’re doing, is what I’m saying.

Q:          What if I want to get somewhere in a hurry? Aren’t gasoline cars slow?

A:           Slower than what? Sure, there are a few gasoline cars out there with yawn-inducing performance, but most of them are more than capable of getting up highway speeds without drama, and even the slowest gasoline cars can be fun if you play to their strengths, revving them to high RPMs and keeping your foot on the floor. Just keep in mind, that’s going to cut down on your driving range.

Q:          Can I fill up my gasoline car at home?

A:           No. I mean, you can – but you absolutely should not under any circumstances try to install a commercial-grade gas pump into your home so you can “fill up quickly” or because it will “add to the resale value”.

An ethanol still, on the other hand, has all kinds of practical uses

[Image: buffaloboy/Shutterstock.com]

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69 Comments on “What If People Talked About Gas Cars the Way They Discuss EVs?...”


  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    You don’t put DC fast chargers in a home. Way to expensive and the entire point of home charging is that you do it overnight where it doesn’t matter if it takes several hours to charge. Only the biggest fleets that hot seat vehicles will instal privad DC fast charging but they will still do the bulk of their charging with Level 2

    As far as whether it will add resale value to a home at this point not really. Even with the high adoption rate in the PNW appraisers do not add value because there is a charger or the wiring for a charger, even though in the City of Seattle you must install the wiring in new construction.

    Of course that will change over time, but I expect that is still several years away and we will eventually see a deduction if a home doesn’t have it.

    That said people do pay attention to what it will take to install a charger in the homes they are buying, so having the panel in the garage, so that it is a quick and easy run of wire is something that EV owners and intenders do look for.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      People way overstate the complexity of installing an EV charger at home.

      It’s no different than the wiring for an electric range, hot water tank, or a dryer. The charger itself is a commodity.

      Moving a charger, though…

      I installed my own charger in 2012 for the Leaf. In 2018 I had to relocate it for the Ioniq, since the Hyundai fills in the LR quarter but the Leaf filled in the nose. Fortunately, to accomplish this I just coiled up the supply wire and moved the charger down the same wall. This becomes a trickier consideration if I get an Ioniq 5 (for example), which fills in the RR quarter.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “People way overstate the complexity of installing an EV charger at home.”

        Says the actual engineer.

        “It’s no different than the wiring for an electric range, hot water tank, or a dryer.”

        All things I’ve never done.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          So you hire an electrician.

          In fact, I think car companies should probably branch out into the “charger install” business. Why not?

          • 0 avatar

            I mean, the “Why not?” is because that’s not their business. The utility companies, on the other hand, are set to directly benefit from putting an electric fuel “pump” in someone’s garage.

          • 0 avatar
            probert

            I think some have, but electric companies surely have, and in many states will subsidize the cost and install of a smart charger. The smart charger will only charge when demand and rates drop. So unlike another commenter – the electric companies have skin in the game and I’d call yours to see what’s on offer.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Jo:

            I’m sure someone once said “we’re in the car building business, not the car financing business” too.

            If you want to sell merchandise with a built in won’t-buy objection, I’d say eliminating the objection is a smart move.

        • 0 avatar
          Lynchenstein

          I paid an electrician to install it for me. He was done in two hours. Plus the charger came free with the car (Kia Soul EV).

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          If you have a dryer – unplug it, plug in your charger and charge.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yes if you’ve got a panel in the garage and are lucky enough in its placement it can be a 1 hr job. However that is not always the case. I’ve got a detached garage at my primary home and it just has the minimum 1 20a circuit run to it. So I’m looking at underground work, including under a walk way and a sub panel in the garage, so not so simple or quick. It was built in the 90’s so it isn’t like it is a really old home just a choice by the original owner.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      or plug it into a dryer outlet. Many states offer incentives to pay for smart chargers and their install, but quick and dirty – just plug it into a nema plug and run an extension cord if you need to. I don’t commute so level 1 from any old outlet has served my purposes so far.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “In most cases, you’ll be able to go about 250-300 miles before you’ll need to “fill up” again”

    250 to 300 miles? Does everyone in your social circle drive a tuned out AMG or Roush Mustang?

    EPA city/hwy ranges:
    Corolla 2.0 CVT: 409/528
    Accord 1.5T: 429/518
    F150 2.7T 4WD: 437/552
    Subaru Outback 2.5: 481/610

    • 0 avatar
      theflyersfan

      I saw that too…

      Most new cars that get halfway decent highway mileage will do at least 450 miles on a tank before making you start the gas station hunt. Combine that with packing snacks or lunch and having a cast iron bladder, and you won’t be stopping every 250 miles like an EV.

      And if I read one more “well you can stop, have a meal, stretch, use the bathroom…” post, I’ll scream. At 75 mph, that’s stopping every 3 hours. On a 10 hour trip, that’s too much wasted time. And if I’m eating every 3 hours on a road trip, well, that’s not going to happen.

      On my last road trip, made it from Louisville to outside of Harrisburg, PA on a tank of gas, a 20oz Mountain Dew, and some sandwiches. Can’t do that in an EV.

      • 0 avatar
        ollicat

        Dang right theflyersfan. People who try to keep telling us how relaxing is is to sit around for a minimum of 45 minutes up to 2 hours have never held a real job in their lives. Some of us get moving to get things done and can’t just sit around at Starbucks all morning and afternoon.

        And yes, even my 13 gallon GTI can get 320 – 350 miles to the tank. And I fill up in less than 5 minutes. I have a like that involves more than sitting around drinking coffee while my car recharges.

        • 0 avatar

          Fair enough in re: the underestimated driving range– but why a minimum of 45 minutes? You can get more than 200 miles of driving range in about 20 minutes in a number of modern EVs. Just seems like a similar error, if we’re pointing out errors in satirical thought experiments.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            That’s if all the chargers aren’t in use when you arrive! The wait time for a free gas pump is probably going to be less!

        • 0 avatar
          theflyersfan

          Gotta ask ollicat…how hard are you driving that GTI??? Filling my GLI w/ DSG up to the filler neck and starting a long trip, I made it about 500 miles, including WV and PA mountains before the low gas light turned on. If I clobber it around town on a regular basis, the mileage isn’t that good. But on the highway, off of boost, I’m amazed how good it is.

          As crazy as it might sound, I think the only way EVs are really going to catch on for the long haul trips is some kind of battery exchange. A place where you pull over, like a station, and exchange your batteries for a full pack. That would mean that the way we are doing it now will have to change, but unless there is a major advancement in quick charging and capacity, the ICE is going to be in our future for some time.

          If I’m working out in the field and need to be a client site ASAP, or on a long trip, waiting an hour or two isn’t an option. Time can mean money. Most of my days, it’s a commute and an EV would work. But there are days where an EV just couldn’t handle my needs.

          • 0 avatar
            PJmacgee

            It’s been said by others here, but worth saying again – what is going to change the game, and it’s already happening with the newest generation of EVs (including an upcoming Hyundai) and DCFC (DC fast chargers), is legit super-fast charging. All this “45mins to 2hrs” business is already on the way out. At 350kw rate (these chargers ALREADY EXIST along interstates), 80% charge time is 5-10mins.

            “the only way EVs are really going to catch on for the long haul trips is some kind of battery exchange”

            Ancient history: 10-15yrs ago I remember hearing about a battery swap scheme (in Israel I think?), that obviously went nowhere fast. One reason is logistics of removing/installing 700-1000lb battery packs…but also just like you don’t know what the previous owner did to that rental car on the auction block, you don’t want a battery of unknown provenance. Constant fast charging, or constant deep-cycling (both unnecessary in regular usage) potentially degrade battery performance quicker.

            BTW Jo, clever idea for an article, thanks!

          • 0 avatar
            SoCalMikester

            filling it to the filler neck is not good for the car, and will eventually lead to problems with your evap system. its meant to handle vapors, not liquid.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        Screw the EPA ratings, Iron Butt travel claims, etc. Let’s go straight to reality: What can your body do?

        I’m 71 years old and have a bladder that’s used to stopping every 200 miles. So that’s my expected range from a vehicle. As most of my long, personal trips are done via motorcycle, this works out pretty good. My Triumph’s effective range before reserve is 180 miles. The Harley does 200 (odometer claims I’m good for 250, but with no manual reserve switch, no thanks). My Bolt does 235 or so.

        They all fit my needs just fine.

      • 0 avatar
        Lynchenstein

        For my road trips – once a year – I rent a minivan. The rest of the year I don’t need more than 250km in a day and the EV works nicely for around town and day trips here and there.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        And if I read one more “well you can stop, have a meal, stretch, use the bathroom…” post, I’ll scream. At 75 mph, that’s stopping every 3 hours. On a 10 hour trip, that’s too much wasted time. And if I’m eating every 3 hours on a road trip, well, that’s not going to happen.

        On my last road trip, made it from Louisville to outside of Harrisburg, PA on a tank of gas, a 20oz Mountain Dew, and some sandwiches. Can’t do that in an EV.

        – – –

        This. ALL of this.

        EV drivers would do much better to acknowledge that “yes, I made the trade offs required to own an EV. I can’t do what you do; on the other hand, I can do other things you can’t. That’s my choice.” Instead, they defend to the death that their way is normal, or better than your way, because your way is by definition deficient.

        • 0 avatar
          Nedmundo

          I agree. I want an EV as my next car, and I think it would work but I recognize the tradeoffs. Because I would be able to charge at home and I don’t do much long driving, I wouldn’t spend much time, in the aggregate, at pubic charging stations. Basically, all my “fill-up” time would be shifted into long trips, on which it would increase relative to ICE. I’ve decided I can accept that, even though it could be a hassle a few times a year.

        • 0 avatar
          theflyersfan

          @jalop1991 – totally agree with what you say. I think for a second car for most families, an EV can make sense IF there is a regular place to charge up each night, if weather conditions like extreme heat or cold won’t impact your travel due to changes in battery life, and if your daily routine is fairly steady. And there is a gas powered car for trips and those days where there’s going to be a lot of errands run, side trips, etc, and a charger might not be at hand or you don’t have time to charge.

          But on this end, everyone in my neighborhood parks on a side street. There are no chargers nearby except one at a local business about 1/2 mile away. Running an extension cord out of my front door or window to charge isn’t practical. At a moment’s notice, I could be asked to head to the Indy office or other offices elsewhere in Kentucky. If I can’t charge up quickly, I can’t go. And without the option to charge up at home, I would be at the mercy of two charge stations at work and one 1/2 mile away from home.

          I get that EVs have a place in the market. I love how they feel – the instant on power is so much fun and so different. But to make a blanket statement that we all need to go to EVs by this date and that everyone needs to incorporate an EV lifestyle without the necessary infrastructure in place is WAY too premature and can come across as tone deaf. When I get a home with a garage, then I might consider one that can get me at least 300 miles a charge, and rent a gas vehicle for my road trips. But as of right now, in 2021, there are a lot of people in similar situations that I am in who have no place to charge a vehicle on a regular basis and would have to rely on risky public chargers and that is a very unattractive option.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good point, but these are EPA estimates. YM will DEFINITELY vary, particularly for anything with a turbo. Kick the boost in, and your mileage will suffer, guaranteed.

      EPA rates my car, which is a performance model, at 28 mpg overall…as if anyone who bought it would drive like the EPA testers do. Mine comes in at around 25 if I mix in highway and city, but if it’s all stop-and-go, it’s more like 22-23 mpg. I’m generally good for about 350 miles a tank if I fill it to the fuel filler neck (which I do – I’m weird that way).

      But if I was filling the car up every night at home, it wouldn’t matter – even a EV with “poor” range of 150-200 miles would be perfectly fine for daily use.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        My car also has a range of about 350 miles but most people aren’t driving performance model vehicles like we do.

        Jo used the phrase “in most cases” for a 250-300 mile ICE range and I don’t think that is an accurate conclusion.

        • 0 avatar
          Chocolatedeath

          You are correct it is not. My Kia K900 is not a performance car but it aint efficient either. However weekly I get 19-20 mpg on a tank and when I travel I can get as much as 26.3. All this with a nearly 20 gal tank. So for the most part I can get 400 miles on a tank.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Point being…if you “fill up” every night at home, then range anxiety is a non-issue, unless you’re driving 200 miles a day.

          The real issue with “EV range anxiety” isn’t “range anxiety” at all – it’s the lack of at-home charging facilities for a large chunk of drivers. I certainly have no way of charging at home, which means that I’m not an EV buyer.

          But if you own a single-family residence – and that describes a HUGE share of new-car buyers – if you install a charger at your house, it’s not an issue. And with electric trucks becoming a thing, I suspect EV market penetration is about to increase. That will drive prices down, and make EVs more appealing to a larger swath of buyers.

          As that happens, more charging facilities will become available…just as when more people began buying smartphones, higher-speed wireless Internet became available.

          My only question is how long this will take.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “if you “fill up” every night at home, then range anxiety is a non-issue”

            Possibly but comparing ICE range to BEV range is a different article. The question he was answering was “How far can I drive before I have to “fill up” again?” in relation to ICE vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            Chocolatedeath

            I wont disagree with you but I will just say this. For me EVs right dont make sense. It has mostly to do with the fact my relationship with things that need to be charged is not a good one. I have electric hedge trimmers, chainsaws, drills and the whole lot and I never remember to charge them. The most damming of them alls is the fact that I have had access to a cell phone since the late mid to late 90s and even to this day I have not trained myself to charge it over night. It constantly dies or I have to charge it in my car on the way to work. I fear the same will come of an EV for me.
            Honestly I dont think I am alone.

    • 0 avatar

      I mean, kinda. Yeah.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The only ones that will matter are cost and recharge time.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    You forgot the most important point of discussion:

    Question: isn’t it true that gasoline cars are the harbinger of a nefarious political plot to sap and impurify all our precious bodily fluids?

    Answer: No, silly, they’re just cars. Take your meds.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s not enough Dr. Strangelove in the comments, usually. Thank you for this. :)

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      as long as its other peoples’ children dying for oil, light hearted banter is the order of the day.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        US political and financial power is built on the Petrodollar. They wouldn’t even blink sacrificing a million lives to keep it, including everyone on this site – its just the way “it is”. If the political, financial and military leadership cared about these lives, they would be exploring Bretton Woods II as an alternative.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “as long as its other peoples’ children dying for oil, light hearted banter is the order of the day.”

        don’t you mean, “as long as its other peoples’ children dying for chemicals and the mining of resources to make batteries, light hearted banter is the order of the day.”??

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    My wife gets range anxiety any time the gas gauge drops below one quarter tank. That’s 100 miles and the two 24-hour gas stations closest to home are only 12 and 14 miles away. She could safely wait until the low fuel warning light comes on.

    The big difference between gas stations and BEV recharging stations is that the former are ubiquitous while the latter are still spaced out. You can start a thousand mile trip on fumes and be sure to stumble across an open gas station before you run dry. The same trip in a BEV takes actual planning for recharging stops. You can’t afford to wait until you’re down to the last few percent in the battery before thinking about finding a charger. This is especially true in western fly over country where chargers are located only along major highways.

  • avatar

    Honestly I have yet to have a conversation with a non car person interested in buying an electric car yet. Every one still seems to want conventional pickups and CUV’s. A few people have asked about the RAV4 hybrid and the F 150 hybrid but that’s about it. Close as I can come is a coworker who is on the edge of car guy who put a reservation down on a hummer. I’m actually a bit surprised by this. I think my states super high electric rates may have something to do with this, as when I mentioned it a few times I hear “my electric bill is already over 300 a month I don;t want to add to it. “

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Over $300 a month for electricity? Is he operating a factory, or perhaps running an indoor farm?

      • 0 avatar

        Welcome to CT. My summer average for my 1150 sqft house is just under 300 a month. Power with delivery and fees varies from 22-25 cents a KWH, for residential.

      • 0 avatar
        Chocolatedeath

        I live in FL. My monthly bill is around 350-450 depending on the time of year.

      • 0 avatar
        VWGolfGuy

        California $450-$500

        • 0 avatar
          SoCalMikester

          california: under $50 each for natural gas, power, water, cellphone and internet.

          $450 must be with central air and a pool filter running nonstop

          • 0 avatar
            chuckrs

            The problem with comparing energy costs is not only do we have different size houses and electric rates, we probably have different temperatures for comfort. Cooling or heating degree days depend on that. My 1750 sqft under air is kept at 77-78F so my MIL doesn’t put on a sweater – in SW Florida. Dehumidifying the air is maybe more important than cooling. In an all electric house, summers cost me $150-170/mo and winters average about $70/mo. We can go 3-4 winter months without AC or auxiliary heat so the difference is almost completely AC.

            @mopar – you poor beggar. I lived in RI, home to a bunch of windmills off Block Island. Salt water and electricity, an expensive marriage made in heaven – not. I remember the energy costs for a much larger house with cathedral ceilings. Boy, do I remember.

      • 0 avatar

        My exact thought.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      gas costs money last I looked – i’ll check again :-) Solar is an alternative and is available for very little down and has a nice ROI. Also a storage battery can help. But even without this stuff, you can get a smart charger – and many states will subsidize these – that will charge when demand and rates are lowest.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    This is a nice perspective…EVs aren’t perfect but they are not the boogie man some fear…

    Car culture can persist parallel to the EV economy…and in fact it may eventually have a boosting effect on legacy ICE vehicle prices.

  • avatar
    Dartdude

    One thing people don’t realize is that in todays lawless society it best to stop and refuel and get going as fast as possible. The don’t recommend sleeping at rest stops anymore too dangerous. I would hate to wait at recharging station. I believe we will be hearing people being robbed or mugged at charging before to long. It will be a great place to hijack a car too.

    • 0 avatar

      Which is wild, because we are objectively experiencing much LESS crime than we were in the 70s and 80s, and is about half of what it was in 1991 (peak crime in the US). https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/americas-faulty-perception-crime-rates#:~:text=Today%2C%20the%20national%20crime%20rate,for%20unreported%20crimes%20as%20well.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      Crime is rising again. At this point, it’s too early to say whether it’s a long term change in direction or a brief aberration in a continuing decline. I agree that a car that refuses to run over a pedestrian, despite the driver’s intention to do so, is the answer to a carjacker’s prayer.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I’m still waiting for figures regarding what percentage of adult Americans are absolutely unable to charge a car at their dwelling.

    My wild-butt guess tells me that somewhere between 40-60% of American drivers would find it *absolutely impossible* to “just plug it in when you get home” – and that is the elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      I think it’s an exaggeration to say that plugging in when they get home is absolutely impossible for 40% to 60% of American drivers. Most of the drivers in that situation today have off street parking, typically apartment complex lots and garages. One of the necessary changes to infrastructure will be a level two charger for each and every parking spot. As BEVs become common, property owners will have no choice but to install chargers, passing the cost on to their tenants, if they wish to remain competitive in the real estate market.

      The other half of the the infrastructure upgrade will be to the power grid. Both added generation and transmission. This will be vehemently opposed by the environmental fanatics. If it’s to happen, politicians will need to tell them to be satisfied that the energy is clean and renewable. Good technology already exists. Wind and nuclear at the utility level. Tesla Solar Roof and Powerwall at the consumer level.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Jo you either need deprogrammed from your abduction to the mothership or to stop drinking the Kool-Aide.

    “Electric cars aren’t a niche. They’re just “cars” now.”

    That’s just not true. We’re the hybrids ever “just cars”? No! Did you ever meet a pretentious Prius owner who didn’t emphasize something about their Prius being different, special or better? South Park did a nice episode on this premise, and although it was satire it was based on truth. EV is niche and the overlords will just keep scratching their heads on this until their inner Stalin/Mao/Kim Jong Il comes out to play and they put the authorita[rian] in “respect my authoritah”.

    “There’s plenty of reasons for that, I suppose – EVs are in the news, the new Ford F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E are genuine contenders aimed at the heart of America’s love affair with pickup trucks and muscle cars”

    I was just at the PVGP and Ford had a *big* setup, on a stage was a Mustang Mach 1 with black banners above it saying “MACH 1”. Somewhere in the center of the overall Ford display was the Not Mustang, and when I passed by not a single human being was anywhere near it. Please stop shilling, Not Mustang is neither a pickup or a muscle car, its a thing that shouldn’t be. Jury has not gone out yet on on F-150 EV, which doesn’t start production until Spring 2022. That could be a big hit, flop, or just enough to become niche. Time will tell, if anything EV a hope of being mainstream successfully its that model.

    “Bizarre questions, really, that they’d never ask of the internal combustion cars that have always just sort of “been there” as long as they’ve been paying attention.”

    The “civilians” you’re encountering are just succumbing to the propaganda from State Media and juvenile things like Twatter and Fakebook. Sadly it means the agitprop is having an effect, although it does not surprise me. Kill your TV and your “phone”.

    “but you should have no problem getting 100,000 miles out of your gasoline car with “just the basics”, and most people don’t even want to keep their new cars that long!”

    I would posit to anyone interested in EV the fact when they switch cars up every two to three years they are creating a massive carbon footprint every time a new one is built for them. Now with conventional gasoline drivetrains, there is a much greater wear factor which could impact one’s use of their car and if one had the coin and need (i.e. I get fired if I am late from a breakdown, my kids have to be picked up by X) I could see the desire to stay more current. But the EV has significantly less wear factors and generally will no require as much replacement, so are these proles going to continue their planned obsolescence behavior when the technology doesn’t warrant it? If so, please summon Captain Planet to put a beat down on them because *they personally* are allies of ManBearPig.

  • avatar
    multicam

    I have nothing against EVs and have driven a few (Model S and Y), and I wish them all the best. I have no ill will against those who enjoy them. But they just wouldn’t fit my lifestyle right now and I refuse to consider owning one until I can do so without compromises compared to my current, two-ICE-vehicle situation. I do not consider being taxed into oblivion to continue owning my ICE vehicles as a compromise; that’s coercion.

    Since 2013 I have moved six times (moved being defined as the majority of my household goods packed up, put into storage for anywhere from 3-12 weeks, then unpacked in a new house). These moves have been cross-country, cross-ocean, and protracted events. Example: my recent move from Texas to California began on 06 May when my household goods were picked up, continued on 17 May when I closed on my house and moved into an Air BnB, continued on 29 May when I drove to Florida and stayed with my in-laws, and concluded from 01 to 07 July with a week-long cross-country trip from Florida to Georgia (3 days in Air BnB) and then GA to CA (camping along the way). My trajectory criss-crossing the nation since 2013 has been: FL to GA, GA to first house in HI, first house in HI to second house in HI, HI to GA, GA to TX, and TX to CA.

    During that time, I have lived in no fewer than 12 locations; probably closer to 14 if you count the times my wife and I were split up (“lived in” being defined as staying with friends/relatives, air bnb’s, or my actual house). Suffice to say, none of these places supported charging an EV and to install such a thing often would not have been possible. I only actually owned one of the 12-13 places I have lived.

    Since 2013 my wife and I have racked up approximately a quarter million miles on our vehicles, many of them on road trips. And no, the 20-minute charging stop doesn’t work for us; our typical stint is 400+ miles for over 6 hours with one quick stop in the middle, while towing a trailer. We make our stops QUICK. It’s a science.

    Right now I could not have accomplished any of this without great compromises if even one (the non-towing) of my vehicles was an EV. The only place I could actually see owning one right now is Hawaii, but I have no plans on retiring there and may only end up there for another 3 year stint.

    Again, I say none of this with any ill will towards EVs, but rather as an appeal to those who say “oh, just raise the gas tax. Make ICEs less attractive.” To people who say that I say “**** you.” Seriously, to those who can’t accept that the EV doesn’t work for people like me and want to force me into it… I have nothing but contempt for people like you. **** you. Make the sacrifices I have made to move myself and my family all over the place, move your whole life halfway across the country six times, then come back and tell me you want to tax my mode of transportation that makes visiting my family possible. **** you.

  • avatar
    PJmacgee

    Fun lighthearted concept for an article that is a useful thought exercise, to “change the perspective” as they say in corporate training.

    I would think that in the early days of automobiles, drivers at that time would have to “really plan ahead” on a long trip. I mean, they could leave anytime with their horses and pick up fuel (grass/grains?) anywhere, why bother having to worry about finding some weirdo with a bucket of gas somewhere along the way…i mean, where does gas even come from, certainly there’s no infrastructure here to make enough for EVERYONE to suddenly have a car…right??

    No, everyone can’t suddenly switch to EVs right away. But they’re here to stay for many reasons (future national energy security and ease of use/ownership, if nothing else). Logistics problems (materials, grid, chargers, etc) will be solved over the coming decades. We will look back in 50+ years and chuckle about all the clever but finicky Victorian-era mechanical wizardry to convert oil to mechanical motion. Gas cars will never go away totally but they will definitely become a novelty (like classic cars and train locomotives and whatnot), or only practical in extreme use cases (military, maybe).

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Jo is, what–maybe 14? 15? years old? And has never heard of ANYTHING like this?

    This is nothing but a re-hash of the original:

    http://users.rcn.com/alderete/humor/comp/cars-as-computers.html

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