The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
The Case for Tesla
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

In The Truth About Cars, Jack Baruth wrote last October:

“There are only two American cars with any sales volume whatsoever in Europe — those cars being the Ford Mustang and the Tesla Model S. … Tesla is a legitimate presence, doing about 15,000 sales per year in Britain and the Continent combined. In fact, the Model S outsold the Mercedes-Benz S-Class across Western Europe in 2015.

“If Tesla didn’t exist, if the Great Accounting for which every TSLA skeptic devoutly wishes were to occur and the firm were to be wiped into receivership, then every one of those sales would go to the German luxury automakers. But they aren’t. They’re going to an American car built by an American company on American soil. I realize many TTAC readers consider themselves to be Citizens Of The Flat World, arrogantly dismissive of any pretense to national or local interest while at the same time blissfully ignorant of the nationalist and local protections that have enabled their own little economic niches to avoid competition with overseas providers (lawyers, doctors, and Wall Street types, I’m looking at you), but for the rest of us, Tesla’s American heritage genuinely matters.

“You might say that General Motors and Ford are going to build better, more reliable, and more thoroughly developed electric cars than Tesla can, and you’re probably right. But the world doesn’t want an electric Cadillac or Lincoln for the same reasons it doesn’t want gasoline-powered Cadillacs or Lincolns. The world sees Tesla as an aspirational, upscale brand with unstoppable momentum, and it wants to purchase Tesla products.

“Without Tesla, the electric future is almost certainly going to be a sort of Poland-in-1939, divided equally between the Chinese generics on the low end and the German name brands on the high. The proles will commute in a Changjiang/Dongfeng/whatever and the top ten percent will have a Benz or Bimmer. Nobody else is going to have enough momentum to beat the fact that the Chinese own the means of production and the Germans own the valuable brands. It’s sad but true. GM and Ford could easily go the way of Curtis-Mathes, Magnavox, and all those other invincible-looking electronics brands of the Sixties and Seventies.

“It’s obvious, therefore, that we need Tesla. This is a brand-conscious era and Tesla is the only desirable American electric car brand. Period, point blank.”

 
Hide 233 CommentsLeave a Comment
233 Comments to "The Case for Tesla"
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Not terribly convinced by electric cars, yet, and Tesla in particular. Actually the Germans are worried as they have ignored electric and focused on diesel. I am sure Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands, that is before we look at shareholder registers.

    Looks like a case of patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, smoke and mirrors man Musk bring the scoundrel in this case.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    The Tesla brand could potentially outlive Musk's company.
    , @Jack D

    Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands,
     
    Nope, not anymore. Ford sold off its Euro brands (Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover) in order to raise cash to weather the last recession (they were the only 1 of the big 3 not to go bankrupt).

    GM just sold off Opel and Vauxhall to PSA (Peugeot) because it was bleeding money.

    Chrysler sold off its European brands (Simca/Rootes) decades ago. Now it is the opposite - FIAT owns them.

    The real action is in the Chinese market - Europe is a backwater. The Euro market is 17% of worldwide sales vs. 28% in 2005.
    , @Dmitry

    Not terribly convinced by electric cars, yet, and Tesla in particular. Actually the Germans are worried as they have ignored electric and focused on diesel. I am sure Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands, that is before we look at shareholder registers.

    Looks like a case of patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, smoke and mirrors man Musk bring the scoundrel in this case.
     

    Tesla's cars have highlighted various intrinsic advantages of EVs, even with current battery technology (low maintenance, simple drive-train, no need for multiple ratio transmission, instant torque). This is aside from the lack of exhaust emissions.

    It will also in the next ten years become very obvious that EVs will allow higher performance specifications at the top end - as there is suddenly upside space in performance, depending on advances in battery technology. While ICE technology is at a 'mature technology' stage, and there are diminishing returns in investment as the technology has already gone through so much refinement.

    -

    But with current driving ranges, slow charging times, lack of charging infrastructure and especially for cold weather condition - the 'sweetspot' is currently with hybrid vehicles. The Chevrolet Volt
    has the highest specifications in this area - although only available in US market.

    , @Pat Boyle
    Steve Zaloga tells us that a World War II tank rested on three properties: Armor. Armament and Automotive. There was a scandal in the press after Normandy that American tanks were inferior to those of the Nazis. We had not upgraded the Sherman and it was no match in a face-to-face tank duel with a German Tiger or Panther.

    The Tiger had a bigger gun (88 mm.) and thicker armor. Yet somehow we won the war. How was that possible?

    One reason was that the Sherman had a Ford engine (and others) while the Tigers and Panthers had to make do with Mercedes and Porsche engines. Maybach engines in the big German tanks were much less reliable, and their transmission were very fragile.

    American arms were powered by Ford, Studebaker and Packard engines. These parts were strong and reliable whereas the German engines and transmission were fragile and unreliable. In those days American made machinery that was quality and Germans made tanks that largely self destructed.

    Patton in the movie says something to the effect that no other tank force in the world could just reverse itself and drive a hundred miles to recue Americans caught in the 'Battle of the Bulge". He was right because he had Shermans. The over heavy and unreliable German tanks had to be moved on trains or transport vehicles while the American Shermans drove just fine on regular roads.

    American armor was made in American factories so it was the best in the world. German armor was distinctly inferior.

    What happened?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. @LondonBob
    Not terribly convinced by electric cars, yet, and Tesla in particular. Actually the Germans are worried as they have ignored electric and focused on diesel. I am sure Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands, that is before we look at shareholder registers.

    Looks like a case of patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, smoke and mirrors man Musk bring the scoundrel in this case.

    The Tesla brand could potentially outlive Musk’s company.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Escher
    Too bad the man (Tesla) himself has nowhere near the fame that he deserves.
    , @bb.
    the Tesla brand is older than Elons mum.

    TESLA (originally named after Nikola Tesla, later explained as abbreviation from "TEchnika SLAboproudá", which means "low-current technics") was a large, state-owned electrotechnical conglomerate in the former Czechoslovakia. The company was established as Elektra on 18 January 1921 and renamed TESLA on 7 March 1946.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_(Czechoslovak_company)

    Tesla Americana is actually aiming at same brand agreement with the remnants, if they don't have one yet. Never forget...

    http://goncharov-jet.com/line-tes/images/trademark/russia/6.jpg
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  4. OT but iSteve-relevant: Thousands of black Americans moving to Africa and finding happiness, ‘blaxit’

    From Al Jazeera:

    From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

    It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African-Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They … say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

    “I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here. You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either.”
    - Muhammida el-Muhajir

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/african-americans-moving-africa-180116092736345.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    I would suggest he read Wole Soyinka's memoir, "The Man Died".
    , @bomag

    You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either.”
     
    LOL!

    The only figures I saw in the article were the 3 - 5 thousand living in Ghana. Meanwhile, the US has been giving out 1.1 million green cards A YEAR.

    , @AndrewR
    Bye, Shaniqua
    , @Tim
    I know that there's this new thing about blacks going to Africa, but I don't believe it.
    , @27 year old
    Can we find, and FUND a few "based black guys" who would be willing to live in Ghana and make a well-produced YouTube channel promoting expat life as a black American in Ghana?
    , @Corn
    “You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either.”

    “I’m not gonna die from soul food and heart attacks like my grandpappies! Dysentery already done me in!”
    , @Anon
    I hope this gets rid of the most militant blacks. We don't need then shrieking away in the US. Africa is where they belong.
    , @MBlanc46
    Best of luck to them. May they encourage their friends and neighbors to follow their example.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. Get rid of CAFE regulations and let Cadillac be Cadillac. In the 1930s they made V-12 and V-16 motors for their top of the line cars. The 1957 Cadillac El Dorado was the most expensive production car in the world! Dictators rode in big black Cadillacs not Mercedes. You either have a luxury brand or you don’t and GM ruined the Cadillac brand with idiotic models like the Cimarron.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon7
    I agree with all of your comments, especially the ones about Cadillac, which was my grandparent’s favorite American brand until they ruined it in the 1980’s.

    However, the V12 is not enough to take down a Tesla (not sure about V16...). Check out this video of a Tesla Model S P100D vs. the Lamborghini Aventador V12.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=_C9icmQ8xgo

    BTW, the Tesla is a bargain at $145,000 compared with the Lambo $399,000 base price:
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. @Brabantian
    OT but iSteve-relevant: Thousands of black Americans moving to Africa and finding happiness, 'blaxit'

    From Al Jazeera:


    From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

    It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African-Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They ... say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

    "I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here. You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either."
    - Muhammida el-Muhajir

     

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/african-americans-moving-africa-180116092736345.html

    I would suggest he read Wole Soyinka’s memoir, “The Man Died”.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. Fossil fuel-powered car engine emissions cause pollution, right? How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don’t pollute?

    After all, however energy is produced, it takes the same quantity of energy, from fossil fuels or electricity, to propel a vehicle of a given weight across a given distance. Is this not so? Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source that provides the electric energy to propel them a given distance? Are electric cars essentially nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas-powered by those overwhelmingly preponderant sources of electricity generation?

    Are alternative (i.e., non-fossil fuel) energy sources sufficient to power an entire world of none but electric vehicles? Perhaps the central questions is: will alternative energy ever be generated in quantity sufficient to power an entire world of electric vehicles?

    I’m just fission for answers here!

    Read More
    • Replies: @bomag

    Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source...
     
    Thermal efficiency is going to ballpark the same; central plants keep pollutant concentrations away from population centers; central plants can burn cheaper, less refined fuels.
    , @JSM
    Thorium for the win!
    , @MrAnswer
    Gasoline cars transmit 20% of the energy in gasoline to forward motion, electric cars transmit 60%. So though the ultimate source of energy is oil, electric is more efficient. Gasoline cars throw away lots energy as heat.
    , @27 year old

    How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don’t pollute?
     
    Yes, but they create plausible deniability for the end user to disconnect themselves from the pollution. In their own minds, rationalization hamster sort of thing.

    I suggested to my wife that we raise meat animals. She balked, she could not bring herself to kill (read: know that her husband was going to kill) the cute little things. I reminded her that the meat we buy from the store was raised in factory farms, and that by buying this meat she was condemning cute animals to unimaginable hell. "Yeah... But IM not the one doing it to them. It's not happening right in MY house."

    This is how most people's brains work. Tesla removes them one degree of separation from the icky fossil fuels. Therefore they can feel good about it. It's retarded but whaddya gonna do.

    There is a lesson in this, our side has to deal with this human tendency. Most of the people currently in this thing are very logical, the women especially - abnormally logical women. So we kind of forget about this.

    We need to make sure people can feel good about themselves for doing/supporting the things that must be done.
    , @Jack D
    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources. If the price of oil ever goes back up again (which it inevitably will) then renewables will be even more competitive and in any event are being driven by government mandates to reduce greenhouse gases.

    How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? Because most of the energy in a gallon of fuel in an auto engine gets wasted as heat - only a small % is converted to motion. If your burn the same # of BTU's of fuel in an electrical generating station, the efficiency is much higher (even after power line losses) and you can use the waste heat for co-generation (central steam), etc.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can't handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.
    , @John Mansfield
    Pollutants such as NOX, SO2 and particulates can be eliminated from a fixed power plant in ways that are not possible with an automobile. The fires of 100,000 homes and businesses are all in one place where the combustion process can be monitored and controlled to minimize production of NOX. A well-tuned car can do that too, but a power plant can do it better. Then the exhaust stream passes through banks of equipment to convert gaseous SO2 to liquid SO3. The SO3 is captured along with the ash by passing the exhaust through electrostatic precipitators (banks of ten-foot tall plates arranged with as dozens of foot-wide channels and charged to 60kV with grounded wires between the plates) or bag houses (giant vacuum cleaner bags). At the top of the stack is an opacity monitor, and if the exhaust going out is too opaque, there is trouble with the EPA. Power plant exhaust can be as clean as you want to pay to make it, using means that are unavailable on a 2-ton moving car.
    , @Logan
    I've been trying to get a straight answer on this for lo these many years.

    What I'd like to see is a straightforward comparison of the two processes, not the two vehicles.

    To do so I think you'd need to compare energy required for a vehicle to travel 100 miles.

    Most electricity in the US is generated by burning natgas, so you'd have to figure the energy consumption needed to drill for and get the gas to the power plant. Then energy efficiency of the production process, then power lost in transmission, in battery charging and in battery discharging. There is energy lost at each step.

    For the IC car, you've got the energy cost of producing and refining the gas, then transporting it to the gas station. Then the efficiency of the IC process itself.

    You could then wind up with a direct comparison. It takes X joules to move a 2000 pound electric car 100 miles at 60 mph, while it takes Y joules to do the same with an equivalent IC vehicle.
    , @ThreeCranes
    This was the exact issue over which I got into a more-heat-than-light discussion a few months ago with some guy here with a Chinese name. He couldn't see all the hidden expenses involved in electricity production (what Logan lays out in his reply to you).

    And while your other repliers make good solid points about controlling pollution at the source vs. in diverse cars etc. my impression is that most apologists for electric--and I am one--gloss over many of the hidden costs.

    However, on the other hand, the proponents for gas do the same by ignoring the cheapness-due-to-already-existing infrastructure of gasoline refining and distribution. Were both to start from zero, I believe electric would be cheaper and cleaner but it always runs into the problem of inability to make long distance trips.
    , @Unladen Swallow
    I believe they ( electric cars ) produce less carbon dioxide in aggregate even if the electricity is coal generated at the plant, as natural gas begins taking over plants, the amount will drop even more. I think it's primarily because the power plant turbines have much higher efficiencies than a gasoline powered engines do in particular. Oil generating plants are apparently quite rare in North America ( US and Canada ) than in other countries, most electricity generated is by coal, natural gas, and nuclear.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. This issue is not the cars, it’s the profitability, market cap and the possibly limited market for EVs. And maybe there is not enough Cobalt to feed the gigfactory. Tesla is also the US auto maker with no legecy pension liabilities.

    New electric cars 2018: Nissan’s new Leaf joins the line-up

    Luxury end of the market will feature models from the industry’s top names

    http://www.theweek.co.uk/electric-cars/90598/new-electric-cars-for-2018-porsche-jaguar-and-more

    Of interest,. From India Tata Motors will introduce an electric Jaguar.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Louis Renault

    Tesla is also the US auto maker with no legecy pension liabilities.
     
    Ford stopped offering new hires pensions back in '04. GM's pension liabilities changed in the course of the bankruptcy filing.
    , @reiner Tor

    And maybe there is not enough Cobalt to feed the gigfactory.
     
    I think some batteries need less cobalt, some even no cobalt at all. It’s just a question of technology.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. The only part of an electric vehicle that really matters is the battery – all the rest is generic ironmongery.

    Thus, continuous improvement of battery technology is key in the electric car wars.

    On that note, Toyota of Japan have divulged ‘teasers’ of some pretty big breakthroughs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    True, true, true and Truer.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. I’m not trying to be a contrarian.

    European cars do not impress me at all. Particularly the German ones.

    It always baffles me when someone buys a Mercedes when they could easily have brought one of the high end Japanese equivalents.

    I guess it is all in the mind of the buyer, or more probably what the buyer imagines is in the mind of someone watching him tool about in a Mercedes.

    But part of me screams: “This is an inferior design. It weighs too much. If anything the Japanese car is of better manufacture and reliablility. Maintenance will be cheaper and parts less dear for the Japanese model. The performance, the bells and whistles, are the same or better.”

    Mark my words, if the Japanese, Koreans, and I guess Chinese in a couple of years, had unrestricted access to the European market… well I wouldn’t be too optimistic about the long term prospects of any Euro car maker.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alfa158
    Sample of size of one here, but I’ve owned Japanese and German cars, including the luxury models. The German ones don’t weigh any more, reliability and quality is the same, and the parts and service don’t cost any more than Japanese cars. The world market and spread of technology has pretty much leveled the playing playing field, so which brand you purchase is a matter of personal preference for the minor differences. The materials, mechanical designs and manufacturing standards are becoming increasingly standardized everywhere from Seoul to Texas tonStuttgart. The manufacturers will tweak their design slightly for a particular market segment and taste, so it comes down to whether you prefer the slightly sportier feel of a German car or the horizontal elevator, world’s most perfect Buick, feel of a Lexus.
    Major components are made in every part of the world and used in all brands, which has also,blurred the differences. One of the Infinity SUVs is in fact a Mercedes, model made by Mercedes, but with Infinity styling and badges.
    , @stillCARealist
    Yeah, it's like this guy doesn't know about Japanese cars and their total dominance in the reliability category.
    , @Jack D
    Of course part of what you are paying for is brand image, which to me is a dubious proposition but some people LOVE brand name merchandise. If you pull up to the country club in a Mercedes, people will be more impressed than if you pull up in a Genesis G80 even if objectively they are similar. If you took the same two cars and switched around the logos, people would still be more impressed with the one with the Mercedes badge. There are many industries (designer clothing, perfume, watches, etc.) where the premium for the famous brand name is much much higher so autos are not the worst offenders in this regard.

    2nd, modern German luxury cars are designed to be sold on 3 year leases. If you get a new BMW every 3 years you will never notice the fact that their durability sucks. For the 1st 3 years they really are wonderful cars and the handling (though not as good as it used to be) is still class leading. If you want to buy a Mercedes and drive it for 250,000 miles like some old 300D taxi, those days are gone - they don't want you as a customer. What good is a customer who only comes back every 12 years? Planned obsolescence, baby!

    , @Unzerker
    My European country doesn't produce it's own cars, so I seriously doubt we have any import restrictions.

    I just checked and Japanese and Koreans have a market share of around 22%. Ford is almost 6%, but European Fords are designed in Germany and built in Europe, so it's essentially a European car.

    I don't thing this will change much in the future. Europeans make good cars that Europeans like.
    I've always been very happy with the French cars I've had. My dad still swears by his Volvos.
    , @CJ

    It always baffles me when someone buys a Mercedes when they could easily have brought one of the high end Japanese equivalents.
     
    My wife and I have been driving Toyotas for 25 years and I couldn't agree with you more. People who buy cars for status-driven personal identification motives can't be reasoned with, but IMO there are still a lot of people who don't understand what a deal the better Japanese cars are. As somebody who started driving in the 1970s keeping beater cars on the road, I still haven't gotten over the astonishing reliability and durability of Corollas, Camrys, Echoes, etc.
    , @Anonymous
    The driving experience of the top German marques is worlds apart from Japanese brands. However 1) the ownership proposition isn't nearly as good and 2) driving isn't fun anymore anyway.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. @Brabantian
    OT but iSteve-relevant: Thousands of black Americans moving to Africa and finding happiness, 'blaxit'

    From Al Jazeera:


    From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

    It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African-Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They ... say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

    "I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here. You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either."
    - Muhammida el-Muhajir

     

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/african-americans-moving-africa-180116092736345.html

    You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either.”

    LOL!

    The only figures I saw in the article were the 3 – 5 thousand living in Ghana. Meanwhile, the US has been giving out 1.1 million green cards A YEAR.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. @Auntie Analogue
    Fossil fuel-powered car engine emissions cause pollution, right? How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don't pollute?

    After all, however energy is produced, it takes the same quantity of energy, from fossil fuels or electricity, to propel a vehicle of a given weight across a given distance. Is this not so? Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source that provides the electric energy to propel them a given distance? Are electric cars essentially nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas-powered by those overwhelmingly preponderant sources of electricity generation?

    Are alternative (i.e., non-fossil fuel) energy sources sufficient to power an entire world of none but electric vehicles? Perhaps the central questions is: will alternative energy ever be generated in quantity sufficient to power an entire world of electric vehicles?

    I'm just fission for answers here!

    Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source…

    Thermal efficiency is going to ballpark the same; central plants keep pollutant concentrations away from population centers; central plants can burn cheaper, less refined fuels.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor, NickG
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It's just mind-blowing how so few people can extrapolate from events like this one to what's coming for us all. Our once-civilized nations are going to be third-world free-for-alls, if they're not already.

    Meanwhile, visible at your link:


    A senior Al-Qaeda leader has called on Muslims 'everywhere' to rise up and kill Jews and Americans in response to US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5301183/Senior-Qaeda-leader-calls-killing-Jews-Americans-Jerusalem.html
     

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. @George
    This issue is not the cars, it's the profitability, market cap and the possibly limited market for EVs. And maybe there is not enough Cobalt to feed the gigfactory. Tesla is also the US auto maker with no legecy pension liabilities.

    New electric cars 2018: Nissan’s new Leaf joins the line-up

    Luxury end of the market will feature models from the industry’s top names

    http://www.theweek.co.uk/electric-cars/90598/new-electric-cars-for-2018-porsche-jaguar-and-more

    Of interest,. From India Tata Motors will introduce an electric Jaguar.

    Tesla is also the US auto maker with no legecy pension liabilities.

    Ford stopped offering new hires pensions back in ’04. GM’s pension liabilities changed in the course of the bankruptcy filing.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @Dave Pinsen
    The Tesla brand could potentially outlive Musk's company.

    Too bad the man (Tesla) himself has nowhere near the fame that he deserves.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. @Dave Pinsen
    The Tesla brand could potentially outlive Musk's company.

    the Tesla brand is older than Elons mum.

    TESLA (originally named after Nikola Tesla, later explained as abbreviation from “TEchnika SLAboproudá”, which means “low-current technics”) was a large, state-owned electrotechnical conglomerate in the former Czechoslovakia. The company was established as Elektra on 18 January 1921 and renamed TESLA on 7 March 1946.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_(Czechoslovak_company)

    Tesla Americana is actually aiming at same brand agreement with the remnants, if they don’t have one yet. Never forget…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. “… the electric future is almost certainly going to be a sort of Poland-in-1939 …”

    Sheesh, from geopolitical tragedy to wickedly arresting metaphor in 79 years.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  18. @Brabantian
    OT but iSteve-relevant: Thousands of black Americans moving to Africa and finding happiness, 'blaxit'

    From Al Jazeera:


    From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

    It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African-Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They ... say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

    "I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here. You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either."
    - Muhammida el-Muhajir

     

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/african-americans-moving-africa-180116092736345.html

    Bye, Shaniqua

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. Then let’s build American nuclear power plants to power all those Teslas, you dummies!

    Seriously, any discussion of electric anything replacing fossil anything in the future absolutely requires recognition of the long-hidden fact that nuclear power is a good thing — a good thing that Americans are good at.

    PS: The Truth About Cars is the best place to read anything free of industry propaganda about cars, and Jack Baruth is a quality automotive writer. He even had the balls to go against Porsche AG, builder of vehicles he has loved.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    "PS: The Truth About Cars is the best place to read anything free of industry propaganda about cars, and Jack Baruth is a quality automotive writer. He even had the balls to go against Porsche AG, builder of vehicles he has loved."

    This is just a musing thing.

    But I'm not a car guy. I get no charm or a sense of romance from one. To me they are a tool, like a shovel, a frying pan, - or toilet paper. Their sole purpose is to get me from point A to B as cheaply, reliably, and safely as possible.

    It's fine if someone else gets ... dunno a charge out of owning one? I think my attitude towards them is slightly atypical of my generation (I remember disco), but it is definitely there amongst others of my cohort.

    And it seems to me it is becoming omnipresent in succeeding generations.
    , @DCThrowback
    Eric Peters gets linked over at Lew Rockwell, I like him as well.

    His thoughts on Musk and the Tesla racket offer a different perspective than Steve's.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. Ford sells over 1 million cars each year in Europe…they sold 15,300 Mustang alone in Europe last year….Ford sells about 300,000 Fiesta units every year in Europe…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  21. When a Tesla (or similar) features prominently and throughout in a plausible big-budget Hollywood road movie I’ll be convinced. Until then it’s organic lentil burger huarache wearing virtue signalling.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  22. Slightly OT, but can anyone explain to me why Breitbart has so much hatred for Musk and Tesla? Every story there is about how he’s a conman. Every time Tesla has a setback or problem, Breitbart is there to crow about it. It’s rather…unseemly. Anyone tell me why the hatred?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It has a lot to do with with the fact that while being unable to deliver benchmarks that the company has set, such as production quotas and price reductions, but instead at every deadline, they announce a new product instead.

    Its feel extremely hucksterish.
    , @Travis
    all conservatives should despise Tesla. they depend on government subsidies. If the generous subsidies end , TESLA sales will collapse. They owe their existence to the Global warming Hoax and government assistance.

    in 2015 Tesla sold a total of 2,738 cars in Denmark. In 2016 the number dropped by 94% to just 176 units when the government reduced the subsidies for electric cars...TESLA and the green lobby will fight hard to keep the government incentives high in America , otherwise TESLA goes bankrupt.

    In addition to the dependence on subsidies , TESLA depends on the leftist media which promotes the global warning hoax..Once the hoax is fully brought to light, why would anyone buy an electric car ? It is not economically viable and actually produces more pollution than a typical internal combustion vehicle.
    , @Bill
    Musk is definitely a con man. Why Breitbart hates him, I have no idea.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. I traded a Mercedes for a Hyundai … much better value, and much cheaper upkeep for a Tucson versus an E-Class.

    What I will enjoy is watching a Falcon-Heavy put a Tesla into Space. Musk is an evil genius.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    I would rather have a pogo stick than a Hyundai. Worst cars ever. Not even comfortable to sit in.

    I would rather have a stick and pretend it was a pogo stick than a Hyundai.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. @Buzz Mohawk
    Then let's build American nuclear power plants to power all those Teslas, you dummies!

    Seriously, any discussion of electric anything replacing fossil anything in the future absolutely requires recognition of the long-hidden fact that nuclear power is a good thing -- a good thing that Americans are good at.

    PS: The Truth About Cars is the best place to read anything free of industry propaganda about cars, and Jack Baruth is a quality automotive writer. He even had the balls to go against Porsche AG, builder of vehicles he has loved.

    “PS: The Truth About Cars is the best place to read anything free of industry propaganda about cars, and Jack Baruth is a quality automotive writer. He even had the balls to go against Porsche AG, builder of vehicles he has loved.”

    This is just a musing thing.

    But I’m not a car guy. I get no charm or a sense of romance from one. To me they are a tool, like a shovel, a frying pan, – or toilet paper. Their sole purpose is to get me from point A to B as cheaply, reliably, and safely as possible.

    It’s fine if someone else gets … dunno a charge out of owning one? I think my attitude towards them is slightly atypical of my generation (I remember disco), but it is definitely there amongst others of my cohort.

    And it seems to me it is becoming omnipresent in succeeding generations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    I agree with you. Car obsession apparently is a characteristic of the sort of guy who is a 'tools' guy and who has a big interest in machinery. They don't mean anything to me.
    , @Anonymous

    I’m not a car guy. I get no charm or a sense of romance from one. To me they are a tool, like a shovel, a frying pan, – or toilet paper. Their sole purpose is to get me from point A to B as cheaply, reliably, and safely as possible.
     
    This is precisely why you think Japanese cars are better than German cars.
    , @MBlanc46
    I remember rockability and when going for a drive was a family Sunday-afternoon activity. There may still be places where that is the case, but for most of us, congestion and fuel-efficiency legislation killed the romance of motoring.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. @Brabantian
    OT but iSteve-relevant: Thousands of black Americans moving to Africa and finding happiness, 'blaxit'

    From Al Jazeera:


    From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

    It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African-Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They ... say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

    "I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here. You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either."
    - Muhammida el-Muhajir

     

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/african-americans-moving-africa-180116092736345.html

    I know that there’s this new thing about blacks going to Africa, but I don’t believe it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I know that there’s this new thing about blacks going to Africa, but I don’t believe it.
     
    You don't believe it because you have a functioning brain.

    Blacks will never, EVER go back to Africa. But it makes such a good story.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. @Auntie Analogue
    Fossil fuel-powered car engine emissions cause pollution, right? How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don't pollute?

    After all, however energy is produced, it takes the same quantity of energy, from fossil fuels or electricity, to propel a vehicle of a given weight across a given distance. Is this not so? Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source that provides the electric energy to propel them a given distance? Are electric cars essentially nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas-powered by those overwhelmingly preponderant sources of electricity generation?

    Are alternative (i.e., non-fossil fuel) energy sources sufficient to power an entire world of none but electric vehicles? Perhaps the central questions is: will alternative energy ever be generated in quantity sufficient to power an entire world of electric vehicles?

    I'm just fission for answers here!

    Thorium for the win!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. @Auntie Analogue
    Fossil fuel-powered car engine emissions cause pollution, right? How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don't pollute?

    After all, however energy is produced, it takes the same quantity of energy, from fossil fuels or electricity, to propel a vehicle of a given weight across a given distance. Is this not so? Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source that provides the electric energy to propel them a given distance? Are electric cars essentially nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas-powered by those overwhelmingly preponderant sources of electricity generation?

    Are alternative (i.e., non-fossil fuel) energy sources sufficient to power an entire world of none but electric vehicles? Perhaps the central questions is: will alternative energy ever be generated in quantity sufficient to power an entire world of electric vehicles?

    I'm just fission for answers here!

    Gasoline cars transmit 20% of the energy in gasoline to forward motion, electric cars transmit 60%. So though the ultimate source of energy is oil, electric is more efficient. Gasoline cars throw away lots energy as heat.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    OK, but the generators at the power plant also throw away lots of heat energy, plus there is a loss of efficiency for every mile of high tension wire, for every transformer, and in and out of battery storage.
    , @Travis
    The car batteries used in a Tesla generate as much CO2 as driving a gasoline-powered car for 7 years. And that’s before they even come off the production line. production of a 100 kWh battery—Tesla's biggest—produces 17.5 tons of carbon dioxide...Electric cars need to be light, which means they include a lot of aluminum...lightweight vehicles are more energy-intensive to build than heavier cars because lighter metals are harder to forge than stainless steel. In addition more rare metals are used throughout the Tesla, mostly in the magnets that are in everything from the headlights to the on-board electronics...

    a sedan car getting 24 MPG will produce 6 tons of CO2 per year if driven 15,000 miler per year.....thus even before the Tesla hits the road it has already produced more CO2 than the typical internal combustion Sedan which has 45,000 miles on it. If one is concerned with CO2 and the environment it would be better to buy a small car which gets 30 MPG than an electric car. I expect people will soon realize the foolishness of buying electric cars.They are very destructive to the planet Earth and will not be affordable when the subsidies end.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Gasoline cars throw away lots energy as heat.
     
    And I was damn glad they do, hypercommuting as I was the last four weekends when it was double digits below zero Fahrenheit. It went into the cabin, where it was highly appreciated.

    At least I wasn't waiting outside for the 5:30 am bus with two dozen very bundled-up Africans (and the odd Southeast Asian or Central American), as in my old neighborhood.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. @Auntie Analogue
    Fossil fuel-powered car engine emissions cause pollution, right? How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don't pollute?

    After all, however energy is produced, it takes the same quantity of energy, from fossil fuels or electricity, to propel a vehicle of a given weight across a given distance. Is this not so? Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source that provides the electric energy to propel them a given distance? Are electric cars essentially nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas-powered by those overwhelmingly preponderant sources of electricity generation?

    Are alternative (i.e., non-fossil fuel) energy sources sufficient to power an entire world of none but electric vehicles? Perhaps the central questions is: will alternative energy ever be generated in quantity sufficient to power an entire world of electric vehicles?

    I'm just fission for answers here!

    How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don’t pollute?

    Yes, but they create plausible deniability for the end user to disconnect themselves from the pollution. In their own minds, rationalization hamster sort of thing.

    I suggested to my wife that we raise meat animals. She balked, she could not bring herself to kill (read: know that her husband was going to kill) the cute little things. I reminded her that the meat we buy from the store was raised in factory farms, and that by buying this meat she was condemning cute animals to unimaginable hell. “Yeah… But IM not the one doing it to them. It’s not happening right in MY house.”

    This is how most people’s brains work. Tesla removes them one degree of separation from the icky fossil fuels. Therefore they can feel good about it. It’s retarded but whaddya gonna do.

    There is a lesson in this, our side has to deal with this human tendency. Most of the people currently in this thing are very logical, the women especially – abnormally logical women. So we kind of forget about this.

    We need to make sure people can feel good about themselves for doing/supporting the things that must be done.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Orekes
    Not every place on earth is running their grid on coal and high-tar Extra Thicc fuel oil (my current location generates most power through hydro and nuclear).

    More importantly: You don´t *have* to run your grid on fossil fuels for eternity. It´s a choice for an industrialized country.
    , @reiner Tor
    Maybe you live in the countryside. In cities (even smaller ones) there's a lot of air pollution from cars, which is very bad for people living and/or working there. So by removing pollution, you are actually doing good.

    Besides, electric engines are way more efficient. This is why hybrids use less fuel even while being heavier and ultimately using electricity generated by their gasoline engines.

    A final advantage is noise. If you ever lived close to a major road, you'd believe me that this is also important to reduce it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  29. @Brabantian
    OT but iSteve-relevant: Thousands of black Americans moving to Africa and finding happiness, 'blaxit'

    From Al Jazeera:


    From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

    It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African-Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They ... say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

    "I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here. You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either."
    - Muhammida el-Muhajir

     

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/african-americans-moving-africa-180116092736345.html

    Can we find, and FUND a few “based black guys” who would be willing to live in Ghana and make a well-produced YouTube channel promoting expat life as a black American in Ghana?

    Read More
    • Agree: Vinteuil
    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
    We should even have compulsury conscription of whites to spend a year living there as technicians at power plants so they have electricity to make it even more desirable.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  30. The “case for Tesla” is that they have created the quickest, most responsive car on the road. The reason that every luxury sports car company is building their own version is that their executives drove a 2014 or 2015 Model S and said “Holy s*** we need to make one of these!!” And they’ll introduce their cars in the next couple of years, because that’s how far behind they are.

    I own a Model S and there’s no other car production car, regardless of engine capacity, that can compete at legal speeds (0-80). I couldn’t care less about electric cars per se and I have little patience for global warming hysteria. Given the electricity production in my state, my Tesla is part coal-powered and part nuke.

    Oh, and did I mention that on my last 800 mile road trip, the car drove itself for about 700 of those miles?

    Tesla is the most Made in America of any of the car companies, much more so than Ford, GM or whatever remains of the others. Stop hating and take a test drive.

    Read More
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    What happens when you're driving a Tesla and it's either sub-zero outside or 110 degrees? What kind of mileage drop do you get with the heaters on full? Heating with electricity tends to use a lot.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. @Brabantian
    OT but iSteve-relevant: Thousands of black Americans moving to Africa and finding happiness, 'blaxit'

    From Al Jazeera:


    From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

    It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African-Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They ... say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

    "I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here. You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either."
    - Muhammida el-Muhajir

     

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/african-americans-moving-africa-180116092736345.html

    “You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either.”

    “I’m not gonna die from soul food and heart attacks like my grandpappies! Dysentery already done me in!”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    They … say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.
    “….You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either.”

    The Police Constable who allegedly shot and killed a final year Ghana Secondary Technical School (GSTS) during the Yuletide was refused bail

    So you might not have electricity, and you might get killed by the police, but you won’t get killed by the white police.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  33. @MrAnswer
    Gasoline cars transmit 20% of the energy in gasoline to forward motion, electric cars transmit 60%. So though the ultimate source of energy is oil, electric is more efficient. Gasoline cars throw away lots energy as heat.

    OK, but the generators at the power plant also throw away lots of heat energy, plus there is a loss of efficiency for every mile of high tension wire, for every transformer, and in and out of battery storage.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    It's all a game of percentages. How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? If you car is throwing away 80% of the energy as waste heat and the electrical generating system is only throwing away 50% then electric wins.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  34. @The Alarmist
    I traded a Mercedes for a Hyundai ... much better value, and much cheaper upkeep for a Tucson versus an E-Class.

    What I will enjoy is watching a Falcon-Heavy put a Tesla into Space. Musk is an evil genius.

    I would rather have a pogo stick than a Hyundai. Worst cars ever. Not even comfortable to sit in.

    I would rather have a stick and pretend it was a pogo stick than a Hyundai.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    You have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe 20 years ago. Have you ridden in a Genesis G80?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  35. @Simply Pseudonymic
    Slightly OT, but can anyone explain to me why Breitbart has so much hatred for Musk and Tesla? Every story there is about how he's a conman. Every time Tesla has a setback or problem, Breitbart is there to crow about it. It's rather...unseemly. Anyone tell me why the hatred?

    It has a lot to do with with the fact that while being unable to deliver benchmarks that the company has set, such as production quotas and price reductions, but instead at every deadline, they announce a new product instead.

    Its feel extremely hucksterish.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    I have a relative that owns a Tesla and loves it. That is his theory too though, that Musk cannot fail because he's too good at distracting everyone. Anytime something bad happens, "Look, we're building a rocket to mars!", "How about an electric garbage truck?", "Oh hey, let's build an underwater city in the marianas trench!" and the stock goes back because investors give him money.
    , @Anonymous
    So they're the Microsoft of Automobiledom, only they actually innovate?
    Could be worse, I guess.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  36. @Sunbeam
    I'm not trying to be a contrarian.

    European cars do not impress me at all. Particularly the German ones.

    It always baffles me when someone buys a Mercedes when they could easily have brought one of the high end Japanese equivalents.

    I guess it is all in the mind of the buyer, or more probably what the buyer imagines is in the mind of someone watching him tool about in a Mercedes.

    But part of me screams: "This is an inferior design. It weighs too much. If anything the Japanese car is of better manufacture and reliablility. Maintenance will be cheaper and parts less dear for the Japanese model. The performance, the bells and whistles, are the same or better."

    Mark my words, if the Japanese, Koreans, and I guess Chinese in a couple of years, had unrestricted access to the European market... well I wouldn't be too optimistic about the long term prospects of any Euro car maker.

    Sample of size of one here, but I’ve owned Japanese and German cars, including the luxury models. The German ones don’t weigh any more, reliability and quality is the same, and the parts and service don’t cost any more than Japanese cars. The world market and spread of technology has pretty much leveled the playing playing field, so which brand you purchase is a matter of personal preference for the minor differences. The materials, mechanical designs and manufacturing standards are becoming increasingly standardized everywhere from Seoul to Texas tonStuttgart. The manufacturers will tweak their design slightly for a particular market segment and taste, so it comes down to whether you prefer the slightly sportier feel of a German car or the horizontal elevator, world’s most perfect Buick, feel of a Lexus.
    Major components are made in every part of the world and used in all brands, which has also,blurred the differences. One of the Infinity SUVs is in fact a Mercedes, model made by Mercedes, but with Infinity styling and badges.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Here, I couldn't imagine having a German car serviced without it costing a pretty penny here. If you're buying a new car? I guess. But the premium for that is crazy.
    , @Jack D
    How long did you keep your cars? For the 1st 3 years or so, there won't be a big difference between say an Audi and a Lexus.

    But after that the lines diverge. Older German cars will kill you on repairs. The floozywhatsis breaks and the dealer wants $3,000 to fix it. Then a few months later the whatchamacallit fails and that's $2,000 . On and on. The sporty ride is achieved with incredibly complicated suspensions with all sorts of links and ball joints, etc. all of which eventually wear out.

    OTOH, an older Lexus just keeps going even with minimal maintenance. They just don't break.
    , @Stealth
    Meanwhile, American vehicles are still pieces of shit - only with better drive trains than in the past.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. @MrAnswer
    Gasoline cars transmit 20% of the energy in gasoline to forward motion, electric cars transmit 60%. So though the ultimate source of energy is oil, electric is more efficient. Gasoline cars throw away lots energy as heat.

    The car batteries used in a Tesla generate as much CO2 as driving a gasoline-powered car for 7 years. And that’s before they even come off the production line. production of a 100 kWh battery—Tesla’s biggest—produces 17.5 tons of carbon dioxide…Electric cars need to be light, which means they include a lot of aluminum…lightweight vehicles are more energy-intensive to build than heavier cars because lighter metals are harder to forge than stainless steel. In addition more rare metals are used throughout the Tesla, mostly in the magnets that are in everything from the headlights to the on-board electronics…

    a sedan car getting 24 MPG will produce 6 tons of CO2 per year if driven 15,000 miler per year…..thus even before the Tesla hits the road it has already produced more CO2 than the typical internal combustion Sedan which has 45,000 miles on it. If one is concerned with CO2 and the environment it would be better to buy a small car which gets 30 MPG than an electric car. I expect people will soon realize the foolishness of buying electric cars.They are very destructive to the planet Earth and will not be affordable when the subsidies end.

    Read More
    • Replies: @oddsbodkins
    Buying a Tesla was never about saving the earth. Buying a Tesla is about enjoying and showing off an expensive toy.
    , @Lex
    Who cares about CO2? I don't. We should be focusing of pollutants that are hazardous to health.
    , @ThreeCranes
    Good comment. That's what I'm talking about. The deep, hidden costs and not the superficial comparison of energy costs per mile for the end user.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. @Anonymous
    It has a lot to do with with the fact that while being unable to deliver benchmarks that the company has set, such as production quotas and price reductions, but instead at every deadline, they announce a new product instead.

    Its feel extremely hucksterish.

    I have a relative that owns a Tesla and loves it. That is his theory too though, that Musk cannot fail because he’s too good at distracting everyone. Anytime something bad happens, “Look, we’re building a rocket to mars!”, “How about an electric garbage truck?”, “Oh hey, let’s build an underwater city in the marianas trench!” and the stock goes back because investors give him money.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  39. @LondonBob
    Not terribly convinced by electric cars, yet, and Tesla in particular. Actually the Germans are worried as they have ignored electric and focused on diesel. I am sure Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands, that is before we look at shareholder registers.

    Looks like a case of patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, smoke and mirrors man Musk bring the scoundrel in this case.

    Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands,

    Nope, not anymore. Ford sold off its Euro brands (Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover) in order to raise cash to weather the last recession (they were the only 1 of the big 3 not to go bankrupt).

    GM just sold off Opel and Vauxhall to PSA (Peugeot) because it was bleeding money.

    Chrysler sold off its European brands (Simca/Rootes) decades ago. Now it is the opposite – FIAT owns them.

    The real action is in the Chinese market – Europe is a backwater. The Euro market is 17% of worldwide sales vs. 28% in 2005.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    So much for the EU 'strengthening Europe' in the face of US/Chinese economic domination.
    , @reiner Tor

    Ford sold off its Euro brands (Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover)
     
    Both Volvo and Jaguar are doing better now with their respective Chinese and Indian owners. US automakers just can't get it right what it takes to build a luxury car.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  40. @Simply Pseudonymic
    Slightly OT, but can anyone explain to me why Breitbart has so much hatred for Musk and Tesla? Every story there is about how he's a conman. Every time Tesla has a setback or problem, Breitbart is there to crow about it. It's rather...unseemly. Anyone tell me why the hatred?

    all conservatives should despise Tesla. they depend on government subsidies. If the generous subsidies end , TESLA sales will collapse. They owe their existence to the Global warming Hoax and government assistance.

    in 2015 Tesla sold a total of 2,738 cars in Denmark. In 2016 the number dropped by 94% to just 176 units when the government reduced the subsidies for electric cars…TESLA and the green lobby will fight hard to keep the government incentives high in America , otherwise TESLA goes bankrupt.

    In addition to the dependence on subsidies , TESLA depends on the leftist media which promotes the global warning hoax..Once the hoax is fully brought to light, why would anyone buy an electric car ? It is not economically viable and actually produces more pollution than a typical internal combustion vehicle.

    Read More
    • Agree: International Jew
    • Replies: @Orekes
    The incentives for Teslas in the US are expiring this year, so we will see how your prediction stands up.

    It´s not as if the rest of the auto industry is running a Randian setup - sweetheart deals and bailouts abound. Tesla is at least bringing something new to the table.

    Hell even if they fail, they will have accellerated electric car adoption enormously. Electric is the future, as the only major downside is range and everything else is upside. And the range issue is going away gradually with the steady improvement of battery tech.
    , @Anon
    The real problem is that even though global warming is nonsense, the gradual reduction in the world's oil supply is not. It's not that oil is going to run out completely, but we may end up with too little of it to keep Western Civilization running properly in the next 100 years. I'd like to have electric cars just for that reason alone. Electricity can be generated by coal burning or natural gas burning. Many utilities are switching from coal to natural gas because huge new reserves have been discovered. I'd also like a car that creates fewer emissions just to decrease air pollution around cities, which could always be cleaner.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Travis, NY State subsidized Musk's River Bend solar panel plant to the tune of $750 million. In return he was to provide 500 jobs in Buffalo and a total of 1500 state wide. The subsidy actually covered the total cost of construction and machinery. Google a photo of the plant and note there is not one solar panel in use at the plant.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  41. @unit472
    Get rid of CAFE regulations and let Cadillac be Cadillac. In the 1930s they made V-12 and V-16 motors for their top of the line cars. The 1957 Cadillac El Dorado was the most expensive production car in the world! Dictators rode in big black Cadillacs not Mercedes. You either have a luxury brand or you don't and GM ruined the Cadillac brand with idiotic models like the Cimarron.

    I agree with all of your comments, especially the ones about Cadillac, which was my grandparent’s favorite American brand until they ruined it in the 1980’s.

    However, the V12 is not enough to take down a Tesla (not sure about V16…). Check out this video of a Tesla Model S P100D vs. the Lamborghini Aventador V12.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=_C9icmQ8xgo

    BTW, the Tesla is a bargain at $145,000 compared with the Lambo $399,000 base price:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
    The Tesla is also a sedan with 4 doors that seats 5, whereas the Lambo is pure 2 seater which makes the comparison even more impressive in that quarter mile test.
    , @Intelligent Dasein
    Obviously an electric motor can deliver acceleration and torque conversion that is superior to an internal combustion engine, for very simple physics reasons. You can dump a ton of raw current onto a coil using the same circuitry that you would use for ordinary driving, but you cannot burn a quart of gasoline at once in your ICE without blowing it up. The need to make an ICE that can operate efficiently across a range of RPMs limits the power that can be delivered at the low end.

    Electric motors are great for consuming huge amounts of joules quickly. I remember how the lights in my old house used to dim whenever I would push the start button on the washing machine. The torque required to initially crank around a basin filled with 30 or 40 lbs. of clothes and water just drained the amps out of the old wiring. And all that oomph can be delivered without the need for a mechanical drive shaft. That's the beauty of electric.

    But, as you might expect, it all comes at a price. Electric motors are less efficient at high RPMs than a suitably designed ICE, and this is especially so as the charge in the battery begins to dwindle. Using a weak current to push around an already freewheeling rotor is what creates that "pushing on a string" feel that all battery operated devices evince as they lose charge. On the other hand, the very last dram of gasoline in your tank is going to burn with just as much intensity and compression as the first dram of a full tank. Everything is a trade-off in engineering.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  42. Right now the Tesla brand is valuable precisely because it DOESN’T have a track record. It is the empty vessel into which people can pour their high tech dreams. The actual cars – not so hot. The build quality on the Model 3 sucks and the blank dashboard with only a center screen is stupid and forces you to take your eyes off the road.

    GM for example, by contrast does have a 100+ year record of building cars, but the problem is that the record sucks. People remember the dud Chevette that their dad bought and they vow never to buy a GM product again. If Tesla could take the Chevy Bolt and stick a Tesla logo on it , they could put another $10K on the sticker.

    The “Buy American” thing is just a canard. Musk himself is an immigrant (S. Africa). I’m sure that once Tesla’s scale is big enough it will open factories in other countries (China) like every other auto manufacturer. In the end, an automaker is just a bunch of factories and Tesla, right now, has exactly 1 factory. In California, which is maybe not really the best location for a factory.

    I don’t understand the contrast with the Germans in the article. The Germans are relatively nowhere with electric cars. The Mercedes brand means nothing to consumers when it comes to electric cars. People don’t want sedans anymore period. Everyone wants SUVs. The Germans make them too, but at US factories.

    An electric car is partly a car and partly an electronic device. Who is good at building high quality cars – the Japanese (and the Koreans are catching up fast). Who is good at building electronics? The Japanese and the Koreans (in Chinese factories). Yet the article doesn’t mention them at all. Weird.

    So the author of the article was WAAAY off base. Not at all an astute analysis. I look at thetruthaboutcars now and then. They are nice guys but not the sharpest knives in the drawer. The feature I like best is their series on cars found in the junkyard. Some of them bring back memories.

    Read More
    • Replies: @International Jew

    blank dashboard with only a center screen is stupid and forces you to take your eyes off the road.
     
    You mean, every last control is an image on a screen? Like your iPhone? Even the windshield wipers and the turn signals??
    , @John Mansfield
    "People don’t want sedans anymore period. Everyone wants SUVs."

    Seeing all the SUVs, I think back to my grandpa, born 1915. When he would get in our car, he would say, "It used to be that you would step up to climb on board a car. Now you bend down to get inside a car." We've gone back to sitting up.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  43. @Sunbeam
    I'm not trying to be a contrarian.

    European cars do not impress me at all. Particularly the German ones.

    It always baffles me when someone buys a Mercedes when they could easily have brought one of the high end Japanese equivalents.

    I guess it is all in the mind of the buyer, or more probably what the buyer imagines is in the mind of someone watching him tool about in a Mercedes.

    But part of me screams: "This is an inferior design. It weighs too much. If anything the Japanese car is of better manufacture and reliablility. Maintenance will be cheaper and parts less dear for the Japanese model. The performance, the bells and whistles, are the same or better."

    Mark my words, if the Japanese, Koreans, and I guess Chinese in a couple of years, had unrestricted access to the European market... well I wouldn't be too optimistic about the long term prospects of any Euro car maker.

    Yeah, it’s like this guy doesn’t know about Japanese cars and their total dominance in the reliability category.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. @Auntie Analogue
    Fossil fuel-powered car engine emissions cause pollution, right? How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don't pollute?

    After all, however energy is produced, it takes the same quantity of energy, from fossil fuels or electricity, to propel a vehicle of a given weight across a given distance. Is this not so? Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source that provides the electric energy to propel them a given distance? Are electric cars essentially nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas-powered by those overwhelmingly preponderant sources of electricity generation?

    Are alternative (i.e., non-fossil fuel) energy sources sufficient to power an entire world of none but electric vehicles? Perhaps the central questions is: will alternative energy ever be generated in quantity sufficient to power an entire world of electric vehicles?

    I'm just fission for answers here!

    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources. If the price of oil ever goes back up again (which it inevitably will) then renewables will be even more competitive and in any event are being driven by government mandates to reduce greenhouse gases.

    How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? Because most of the energy in a gallon of fuel in an auto engine gets wasted as heat – only a small % is converted to motion. If your burn the same # of BTU’s of fuel in an electrical generating station, the efficiency is much higher (even after power line losses) and you can use the waste heat for co-generation (central steam), etc.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can’t handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Plus, you have the regenerative braking which saves a considerable fraction of energy.
    , @Anonymous
    Apparently, HTGR reactors, such as the Chinese are now investing in a big way, cannot possibly 'meltdown'.
    , @Corn
    What about molten salts, thorium reactors etc? I’d hate to give up on nuclear just yet.
    , @Lars Porsena
    The share of US energy that is 'renewable' according to wikipedia is >12%, of which 50% is biofuel and another 25% is hydroelectric dams.

    According to EIA.gov, the efficiency of a gas turbine power facility (2007-2016) was ballpark around 25% efficient with 75% heat waste. Gas and natural gas internal combustion and nuclear steam around 33%.

    https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=107&t=3
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_the_United_States
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_States

    This is harder to figure but based on my rough napkin calculations, to power the US with solar panels would require roughly the entire state of Texas to be covered in nothing but solar panels.

    http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2013/08/calculating-solar-energys-land-use-footprint.html
    , @E. Rekshun
    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources.

    https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=electricity_in_the_united_states

    US electricity production, 2016:

    Natural Gas = 34%
    Coal = 30%
    Nuclear = 20%
    Renewable = 15%
    Petroleum = 1%
    , @Travis
    You ignore the energy input in building the batteries and the higher energy inputs to forge the aluminum and rare earth magnets used in electric vehicles...The Carbon footprint of electric vehicles in near identical to gasoline power vehicles...Electric Car advocates always ignore the production inputs and environmental costs of mining the required rare-earth elements and cost to mine the nickel and lithium to produce the batteries...Then they lie about our "renewable energy"...building windmills and solar panels also produces massive amount of CO2 and pollution...
    , @JSM
    but humans are too stupid to handle it.

    Low level radiation is *good* for you.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170913104428.htm
    , @Anonymous

    If even the Japanese can’t handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.
     
    High speed trains are highly visible.

    Nuclear power facilities, by contrast, are usually run by an unhealthy symbiosis of government agencies and monopoly utilities, each with monopoly unions. As a result, such facilities typically lack basic transparency.

    Result: unreviewed, uncritiqued construction plans, construction execution according to political "dibs" rules with ample kick-backs, slipshod operation by cosseted employees who would be unemployable outside a quasi-government monopoly organization.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  45. @Alfa158
    Sample of size of one here, but I’ve owned Japanese and German cars, including the luxury models. The German ones don’t weigh any more, reliability and quality is the same, and the parts and service don’t cost any more than Japanese cars. The world market and spread of technology has pretty much leveled the playing playing field, so which brand you purchase is a matter of personal preference for the minor differences. The materials, mechanical designs and manufacturing standards are becoming increasingly standardized everywhere from Seoul to Texas tonStuttgart. The manufacturers will tweak their design slightly for a particular market segment and taste, so it comes down to whether you prefer the slightly sportier feel of a German car or the horizontal elevator, world’s most perfect Buick, feel of a Lexus.
    Major components are made in every part of the world and used in all brands, which has also,blurred the differences. One of the Infinity SUVs is in fact a Mercedes, model made by Mercedes, but with Infinity styling and badges.

    Here, I couldn’t imagine having a German car serviced without it costing a pretty penny here. If you’re buying a new car? I guess. But the premium for that is crazy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    I'm not a "car guy"; I just want to turn the key and have it start. I just bought a new VW Passat with all the trimmings for $4,200 less than the local Toyota dealers were willing to go for a Camry.

    The girlfriend loves her BMWs and hasn't had many problems, but you don't really have any when you get a new one every 4 years like she does.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  46. @Alfa158
    Sample of size of one here, but I’ve owned Japanese and German cars, including the luxury models. The German ones don’t weigh any more, reliability and quality is the same, and the parts and service don’t cost any more than Japanese cars. The world market and spread of technology has pretty much leveled the playing playing field, so which brand you purchase is a matter of personal preference for the minor differences. The materials, mechanical designs and manufacturing standards are becoming increasingly standardized everywhere from Seoul to Texas tonStuttgart. The manufacturers will tweak their design slightly for a particular market segment and taste, so it comes down to whether you prefer the slightly sportier feel of a German car or the horizontal elevator, world’s most perfect Buick, feel of a Lexus.
    Major components are made in every part of the world and used in all brands, which has also,blurred the differences. One of the Infinity SUVs is in fact a Mercedes, model made by Mercedes, but with Infinity styling and badges.

    How long did you keep your cars? For the 1st 3 years or so, there won’t be a big difference between say an Audi and a Lexus.

    But after that the lines diverge. Older German cars will kill you on repairs. The floozywhatsis breaks and the dealer wants $3,000 to fix it. Then a few months later the whatchamacallit fails and that’s $2,000 . On and on. The sporty ride is achieved with incredibly complicated suspensions with all sorts of links and ball joints, etc. all of which eventually wear out.

    OTOH, an older Lexus just keeps going even with minimal maintenance. They just don’t break.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    I have owned BMWs and Benzes for the past twenty years. I have replaced some floozywhatsises myself and have paid to have others replaced. I have also paid to have things like the parts you mentioned on the sublime BMW suspensions replaced when they wore out. (The ones I loved were actually not "incredibly complicated." They were just designed and built to do what BMW wanted its customers to enjoy. Their ideal customer has some enthusiasm and can appreciate a car with a 50/50 weight balance, which BMW takes great pains to achieve even in its sedans.)

    And I am not talking about the rotten bastard Mercedes floozywhatsis adaptive suspensions. Those are terribly complex, German wet dreams that just guild the lily on an old man's car. Benz is a heavy, old man's car compared to BMW -- though Bimmers have gotten heavier and more complex. It's all sales and marketing, of course.

    Have you ever owned a BMW 5 series with a stick shift? I did for ten years, and I drove the hell out of it all over America because it handled as close to a sports car as a sedan can while still having a rear seat that folded down to allow me to slide seven-foot Christmas trees in there.

    Some people see cars as appliances, and others see them the way sentimental cowboys see their horses. I can't argue with that, because I've wasted plenty of money loving cars with characters I liked.

    As for electric cars being "electronic," that is silly. They are massive piles of batteries connected to electric motors. They are electric, not electronic in the sense of complexity. Therein lies their weakness: they are heavy, and they get their energy from power plants. That is why nuclear power is the necessary partner to electric cars.

    Even people who think Apollo astronauts were "Spam in the can" and who get their expertise on that subject from "The Right Stuff," can be correct re cars in the long run though: The most balanced and perfected automobiles will eventually be nothing more than channels for capital to be funneled to Asia -- unless we find a way to stop that. One won't care, of course, if he just moves on and relocates to New Zealand, which doesn't have a car industry.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    So true. My father's utterly splendid and gloriously fun to drive 1958 Mercedes Coupe finally bit the dust when he was told that the parts he needed would have to be individually tooled.
    A cousin a few years older than me has two Lexuses (Lexi?) - one new, the other, which he drives more often, an original. He drove me around in it eighteen months ago and it sounded and felt like a new car.
    He also collects classic Bentleys, but I wasn't favoured with a drive in one of those.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  47. @Travis
    The car batteries used in a Tesla generate as much CO2 as driving a gasoline-powered car for 7 years. And that’s before they even come off the production line. production of a 100 kWh battery—Tesla's biggest—produces 17.5 tons of carbon dioxide...Electric cars need to be light, which means they include a lot of aluminum...lightweight vehicles are more energy-intensive to build than heavier cars because lighter metals are harder to forge than stainless steel. In addition more rare metals are used throughout the Tesla, mostly in the magnets that are in everything from the headlights to the on-board electronics...

    a sedan car getting 24 MPG will produce 6 tons of CO2 per year if driven 15,000 miler per year.....thus even before the Tesla hits the road it has already produced more CO2 than the typical internal combustion Sedan which has 45,000 miles on it. If one is concerned with CO2 and the environment it would be better to buy a small car which gets 30 MPG than an electric car. I expect people will soon realize the foolishness of buying electric cars.They are very destructive to the planet Earth and will not be affordable when the subsidies end.

    Buying a Tesla was never about saving the earth. Buying a Tesla is about enjoying and showing off an expensive toy.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  48. @Jack D
    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources. If the price of oil ever goes back up again (which it inevitably will) then renewables will be even more competitive and in any event are being driven by government mandates to reduce greenhouse gases.

    How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? Because most of the energy in a gallon of fuel in an auto engine gets wasted as heat - only a small % is converted to motion. If your burn the same # of BTU's of fuel in an electrical generating station, the efficiency is much higher (even after power line losses) and you can use the waste heat for co-generation (central steam), etc.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can't handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    Plus, you have the regenerative braking which saves a considerable fraction of energy.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  49. @Jack D
    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources. If the price of oil ever goes back up again (which it inevitably will) then renewables will be even more competitive and in any event are being driven by government mandates to reduce greenhouse gases.

    How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? Because most of the energy in a gallon of fuel in an auto engine gets wasted as heat - only a small % is converted to motion. If your burn the same # of BTU's of fuel in an electrical generating station, the efficiency is much higher (even after power line losses) and you can use the waste heat for co-generation (central steam), etc.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can't handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    Apparently, HTGR reactors, such as the Chinese are now investing in a big way, cannot possibly ‘meltdown’.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  50. @Jack D

    Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands,
     
    Nope, not anymore. Ford sold off its Euro brands (Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover) in order to raise cash to weather the last recession (they were the only 1 of the big 3 not to go bankrupt).

    GM just sold off Opel and Vauxhall to PSA (Peugeot) because it was bleeding money.

    Chrysler sold off its European brands (Simca/Rootes) decades ago. Now it is the opposite - FIAT owns them.

    The real action is in the Chinese market - Europe is a backwater. The Euro market is 17% of worldwide sales vs. 28% in 2005.

    So much for the EU ‘strengthening Europe’ in the face of US/Chinese economic domination.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  51. @Lars Porsena
    I would rather have a pogo stick than a Hyundai. Worst cars ever. Not even comfortable to sit in.

    I would rather have a stick and pretend it was a pogo stick than a Hyundai.

    You have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe 20 years ago. Have you ridden in a Genesis G80?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    No, never a Genesis I haven't even heard of them before. But I've had the 'pleasure' of riding in Tiburons and Sante Fe's and let me tell you, pogo sticks have more leg room, less likely to give you cabin fever on a long trip. And I think maybe more horse power.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  52. As someone who started reading Car and Driver at the age of 10, I’d consider myself a car guy. I’ve been loyal to BMW since I owned my first 328is coupe in 1997.

    Living in the Bay Area, you can’t swing a dead cat around here without hitting a Tesla. Here’s my list of things that would keep me from considering a Tesla:

    1. I like to drive. I don’t want my car driving itself. Having to babysit the steering wheel, wondering if the system will continue working, is IMHO, worse than simply steering myself. I don’t want to ride in a self-driving transportation pod. I want feel like I’m piloting something.

    2. I don’t want to control the functions of my car with a giant iPad. The Model 3 is particularly egregious in this regard, and you can’t angle the screen toward the driver.

    3. I don’t want the functionality of my car dependent on Tesla software updates. Tesla just released a SW update for the Model 3 that enables FM radio operation. Really?

    4. Recharge time is too long. I can add 450 miles of range to my X5 in 3 minutes. EVs won’t be able to accomplish that feat in our lifetimes.

    5. You can’t convince me that having to tether your car to a charger every day or two is more convenient than getting gas every two weeks. Fuel stops are convenient anyway as I used the time to empty trash from my car, clean my windows, etc.

    6. Tesla interiors are not up to the standards of German ICE cars of similar price.

    7. Range drops by half in cold weather. And if you live where it’s cold, the waste heat of an ICE comes in quite handy.

    8. People say EVs are cheaper to maintain. A Model S’s annual recommended service cost is $600–not exactly cheap.

    9. EVs depreciate very quickly. That’s because they have a $20,000 battery pack that’s likely to need replacement in 10 to 15 years.

    I’m sure the instant rush of EV torque is addicting, but until some of the above limitations are overcome, I’m sticking with the good old fashioned ICE car.

    Read More
    • Agree: Escher
    • Replies: @Highlander
    You are absolutely correct and the hallucinatory fantasies about Tesla's getting 100 mpg once you factor in the power generation and transmission losses are just that.
    , @Danand
    Spud Boy, you bring up many valid points that I'd like to comment on. Like you I am in Teslaville (I live within camera drone range of the Tesla factory) where they are near ubiquitous, along with your Nissan Leafs, Chevy Bolts & Volts (less popular now, maybe lost their rung on the virtue signaling/status ladder?), Fiat 500's, ... Surprisingly, at least to me given that there are only 3 places to fuel them in the Bay Area, a good number of the hydrogen powered twins, the Honda Clarity & Toyota Mirai, are running around too?

    I have mild fascination with Tesla, enhanced by that proximity to factory, saturation of the local streets with their cars, and wonderment at enterprises valuation. My phone is littered with pics I've taken of Tesla's on their "test track", loaded 18 wheel car haulers parked all over town with Model 3's, their new massive storage lot full of inventory (I thought every one was presold?) ...

    But on with the comments on your points:

    "1. I like to drive. I don’t want my car driving itself. Having to babysit the steering wheel, wondering if the system will continue working, is IMHO, worse than simply steering myself. I don’t want to ride in a self-driving transportation pod. I want feel like I’m piloting something."

    Self direction (navigating your own vehicle) is ending. It will start with "downtown" areas, where only self guiding cars will be allowed for safety/congestion reasons. It will then of course spread to envelope at least all metropolitan regions, if not everywhere. Many advantages will ensue; fewer accidents, no stoplights/waiting (cars will interlace thru intersections), no police chases, tickets, driving under the influence, racing, honking, aggressive maneuvering, getting lost, ... The elderly & disabled will have some mobility restored. And it with save an untold number of hours "wasted" driving/steering vehicles: time that could be better spent working, sleeping, getting high, ...

    The authorities (government & commerce) will gain the ability to better direct our lives, sending us all exactly where "we" want/need to go! They already know where we all are (pinging cell phones).

     

    "4. Recharge time is too long. I can add 450 miles of range to my X5 in 3 minutes. EVs won’t be able to accomplish that feat in our lifetimes."

    That's true, but 15 minutes is doable, and that's really not that long. With a little forethought, it's a non-issue.

    "5. You can’t convince me that having to tether your car to a charger every day or two is more convenient than getting gas every two weeks. Fuel stops are convenient anyway as I used the time to empty trash from my car, clean my windows, etc."

    It's really convenient to be able to fuel/charge your car @ home or work. Once you get used to it, you begin to get that annoyed feeling @ the thought of having to pull into a gas station when that yellow dash light comes on. A bonus is one less "opportunity" to interact with ever increasing swarms of "homeless".

     "7. Range drops by half in cold weather. And if you live where it’s cold, the waste heat of an ICE comes in quite handy."

    That's true, hot engines can make for an invitingly warm interior. But it's (very) nice to be able to sit in your EV running the "climate control" without the engine idling while waiting for you child to get out of class, for instance. You can also use your phone to direct preheat/cool of your car prior to use. EV's have it all over ICE for temp comfort.

    "9. EVs depreciate very quickly. That’s because they have a $20,000 battery pack that’s likely to need replacement in 10 to 15 years."

    That's true, but in reality most cars are worth ~20%, or less, of their original cost 10 years out (point battery would need replacement). 20% might as well be 0.


    I say all of the above myself being an ICE car driver, collector, enthusiast, car show participant, self maintainer, restorer & all around in every way - ICE lover. But the future is not ICE, and certainly not self directed driving, at least not for the masses/transportation. Electric propulsion is here to stay, "engines" for ground based vehicles are going to be a part of the this worlds history.

    As to Tesla's future:

    "Tesla met promises in first 10-year Master Plan; Musk to stay 10 more years!"

    Tesla the car company will most certainly end. If you can't make money selling the premium cars (which is where car companies make their profits) you can't make money. More Model 3's just mean larger losses. Tesla's future, and I'm guessing it will be a bright one, will be as the USA's/worlds primary defense contractor. Tesla has a leg up in production race of the defensive, & offensive, "AI brained" killer robots/drones/plagues soon to come. The cars are now (original I think he really was a "car" guy) just part of Musk's production learning curve in preparation for saving/destroying the world. I don't believe he's evil, or that he even wants it, it's just his destiny.
    , @Johnny Rico
    Excellent points. You are spot on. Totally agree.

    I just took a look at a Model 3 in the showroom at Prudential Mall in Boston. Not impressed. My brother, who lives outside San Francisco, just purchased a Nissan Leaf.

    For me, the only point to having a plug-in electric vehicle is that it makes economic sense. I'm not going to spend $100,000 to save the environment. I'm not going to spend $1 to save the environment.

    Five years ago or so, there was a long article in the New Yorker about Tesla. Knowledgeable people believed that electric cars didn't make sense until gasoline was $7-8/gallon.

    If a typical ICE vehicle travels 12,000 miles per year @ 30 mph, that is 400 gallons of gasoline @ $2.50/gallon that is $1000 a year in fuel costs.

    Therefore, if the length of time the vehicle is owned is 7 years, the cost of the electric car cannot be more than $7000 more than what you can buy 4 wheels and an ICE for.

    The less miles you drive, the cheaper the electric car has to be.

    Because the electric car is LESS convenient, as you correctly point out.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  53. @Lars Porsena
    OK, but the generators at the power plant also throw away lots of heat energy, plus there is a loss of efficiency for every mile of high tension wire, for every transformer, and in and out of battery storage.

    It’s all a game of percentages. How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? If you car is throwing away 80% of the energy as waste heat and the electrical generating system is only throwing away 50% then electric wins.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  54. @Anon7
    I agree with all of your comments, especially the ones about Cadillac, which was my grandparent’s favorite American brand until they ruined it in the 1980’s.

    However, the V12 is not enough to take down a Tesla (not sure about V16...). Check out this video of a Tesla Model S P100D vs. the Lamborghini Aventador V12.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=_C9icmQ8xgo

    BTW, the Tesla is a bargain at $145,000 compared with the Lambo $399,000 base price:

    The Tesla is also a sedan with 4 doors that seats 5, whereas the Lambo is pure 2 seater which makes the comparison even more impressive in that quarter mile test.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  55. If and when the new generation of EV batteries come on line – hyped to surpass gasoline in terms of range and charging time – then it can be confidently expected that the IC engine, in vehicles at least, will go the way of the film camera.

    Read More
    • Replies: @EdwardM
    Sorry, a dumb question. Why don't electric car makers have a system where you just pop the battery out and replace it with a recharged one at the equivalent of a gas station? (Like propane cylinders for barbeques.)

    Obviously it would require a critical mass of such vehicles to make this infrastructure worthwhile, but it would seem to be a simple solution to the problem of short range.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  56. If you set aside for the moment the batteries electric drive is clearly a vastly superior technology. 1.) incredible low end torque 2.) quieter 3.) vastly more reliable, as there are fewer moving parts and essentially no reciprocating ones 4.) less scheduled maintenance, for example oil changes are unnecessary, brake wear is markedly reduced due to regenerative braking. 5.) pollution is much easier to control and one central power station than on thousands of separate automobiles. No need for smog checks, etc.

    Musk is a marketing genius in that he flipped the script on electric cars, which were always (incorrectly) thought of as underpowered, and played up the strengths of electric drivetrain. Also, previous electrics were automotive virtue signalers and nobody likes a virtue signaler. The performance aspects of the Tesla mean that even if you bought it for environmental reasons you have plausible deniability.

    The batteries are still expensive enough that electrics remain a niche, but they’re getting close.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  57. @Sunbeam
    I'm not trying to be a contrarian.

    European cars do not impress me at all. Particularly the German ones.

    It always baffles me when someone buys a Mercedes when they could easily have brought one of the high end Japanese equivalents.

    I guess it is all in the mind of the buyer, or more probably what the buyer imagines is in the mind of someone watching him tool about in a Mercedes.

    But part of me screams: "This is an inferior design. It weighs too much. If anything the Japanese car is of better manufacture and reliablility. Maintenance will be cheaper and parts less dear for the Japanese model. The performance, the bells and whistles, are the same or better."

    Mark my words, if the Japanese, Koreans, and I guess Chinese in a couple of years, had unrestricted access to the European market... well I wouldn't be too optimistic about the long term prospects of any Euro car maker.

    Of course part of what you are paying for is brand image, which to me is a dubious proposition but some people LOVE brand name merchandise. If you pull up to the country club in a Mercedes, people will be more impressed than if you pull up in a Genesis G80 even if objectively they are similar. If you took the same two cars and switched around the logos, people would still be more impressed with the one with the Mercedes badge. There are many industries (designer clothing, perfume, watches, etc.) where the premium for the famous brand name is much much higher so autos are not the worst offenders in this regard.

    2nd, modern German luxury cars are designed to be sold on 3 year leases. If you get a new BMW every 3 years you will never notice the fact that their durability sucks. For the 1st 3 years they really are wonderful cars and the handling (though not as good as it used to be) is still class leading. If you want to buy a Mercedes and drive it for 250,000 miles like some old 300D taxi, those days are gone – they don’t want you as a customer. What good is a customer who only comes back every 12 years? Planned obsolescence, baby!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    "If you want to buy a Mercedes and drive it for 250,000 miles like some old 300D taxi, those days are gone"

    Doesn't have to be a Mercedes, but that's exactly what I want.

    Ah, who am I kidding? I'm wanting 450,000 not 250,000. I expect to do some maintenance but it doesnt' bother me to drive the same car for a decade.
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    Teslas are definitely status symbols in the UK, the sort of people who have the money but wouldn't be seen dead in a Rolls/Bentley (too old-money) or Ferrari (too new-money and no room for kids) are buying.

    It's at once uber-ethical and uber-flash, cos those big saloons are well over £90k here. What other car says simultaneously "I care about the planet" and "look at at my money!" ?

    If you just want to get from A to B and not spend a fortune in the garage, you still can't beat something Made In Japan (not all 'Japanese' cars are, by any means) - God willing you'll get ten or fifteen years from it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  58. @Jack D
    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources. If the price of oil ever goes back up again (which it inevitably will) then renewables will be even more competitive and in any event are being driven by government mandates to reduce greenhouse gases.

    How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? Because most of the energy in a gallon of fuel in an auto engine gets wasted as heat - only a small % is converted to motion. If your burn the same # of BTU's of fuel in an electrical generating station, the efficiency is much higher (even after power line losses) and you can use the waste heat for co-generation (central steam), etc.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can't handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    What about molten salts, thorium reactors etc? I’d hate to give up on nuclear just yet.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    You are absolutely right re thorium reactors. They haven't even been given half the development support they deserve, and already the science says they are a great solution.

    Don't listen to the now-old propaganda about nuclear -- nor to those who still are brainwashed. Nuclear's bad rap came from places and groups that had an interest in keeping Americans addicted to oil.

    Fracking suffers from a similar attack, because it reduces our need to buy oil from asses we don't need to kiss in places we really don't need to give a crap about.

    As for nuclear reactors or any invention being too dangerous for humans to be trusted with, that's silly. The knowledge is not going away. It is up to us to grow up and deal with it.

    Should we get rid of automobiles altogether, due to the fact that there are so many lousy drivers who have killed many thousands more people than the worst Western nuclear plant fuckup ever would?

    This reminds me of people who want to just ignore the Second Amendment because they think guns are too dangerous for ordinary citizens. Grow up and grow a pair, people!

    Repeat: Nuclear is not going away. The genie is out of the bottle and must be dealt with. You can go ahead and say this is what God intended if that helps, because we have no choice. As for the celebrated failures, they are few and they are all overblown except for Chernobyl. Do I have to explain why Chernobyl was a magnitude worse than the small handful of others?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  59. Tesla=DeLorean 2.0. And it can’t even time travel

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  60. @Jack D
    Right now the Tesla brand is valuable precisely because it DOESN'T have a track record. It is the empty vessel into which people can pour their high tech dreams. The actual cars - not so hot. The build quality on the Model 3 sucks and the blank dashboard with only a center screen is stupid and forces you to take your eyes off the road.

    GM for example, by contrast does have a 100+ year record of building cars, but the problem is that the record sucks. People remember the dud Chevette that their dad bought and they vow never to buy a GM product again. If Tesla could take the Chevy Bolt and stick a Tesla logo on it , they could put another $10K on the sticker.

    The "Buy American" thing is just a canard. Musk himself is an immigrant (S. Africa). I'm sure that once Tesla's scale is big enough it will open factories in other countries (China) like every other auto manufacturer. In the end, an automaker is just a bunch of factories and Tesla, right now, has exactly 1 factory. In California, which is maybe not really the best location for a factory.

    I don't understand the contrast with the Germans in the article. The Germans are relatively nowhere with electric cars. The Mercedes brand means nothing to consumers when it comes to electric cars. People don't want sedans anymore period. Everyone wants SUVs. The Germans make them too, but at US factories.

    An electric car is partly a car and partly an electronic device. Who is good at building high quality cars - the Japanese (and the Koreans are catching up fast). Who is good at building electronics? The Japanese and the Koreans (in Chinese factories). Yet the article doesn't mention them at all. Weird.

    So the author of the article was WAAAY off base. Not at all an astute analysis. I look at thetruthaboutcars now and then. They are nice guys but not the sharpest knives in the drawer. The feature I like best is their series on cars found in the junkyard. Some of them bring back memories.

    blank dashboard with only a center screen is stupid and forces you to take your eyes off the road.

    You mean, every last control is an image on a screen? Like your iPhone? Even the windshield wipers and the turn signals??

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    There is still a stalk for the turn signals and you can turn the wipers on and off from the stalk, but if you want to change the speed of the wipers you have to go thru the touch screen menus. HVAC, entertainment , cruise control, anything that would normally go thru switches - 100% thru the touch screen.

    Instruments and indicators - speedometer (don't need a tach or oil pressure) - on the screen only.

    https://rm-content.s3-accelerate.amazonaws.com/59953d7796f99f75e71dab79/855548/upload-a50f7620-ae9a-11e7-8f72-214a396d7351.jpg

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  61. @Travis
    The car batteries used in a Tesla generate as much CO2 as driving a gasoline-powered car for 7 years. And that’s before they even come off the production line. production of a 100 kWh battery—Tesla's biggest—produces 17.5 tons of carbon dioxide...Electric cars need to be light, which means they include a lot of aluminum...lightweight vehicles are more energy-intensive to build than heavier cars because lighter metals are harder to forge than stainless steel. In addition more rare metals are used throughout the Tesla, mostly in the magnets that are in everything from the headlights to the on-board electronics...

    a sedan car getting 24 MPG will produce 6 tons of CO2 per year if driven 15,000 miler per year.....thus even before the Tesla hits the road it has already produced more CO2 than the typical internal combustion Sedan which has 45,000 miles on it. If one is concerned with CO2 and the environment it would be better to buy a small car which gets 30 MPG than an electric car. I expect people will soon realize the foolishness of buying electric cars.They are very destructive to the planet Earth and will not be affordable when the subsidies end.

    Who cares about CO2? I don’t. We should be focusing of pollutants that are hazardous to health.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  62. @Jack D
    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources. If the price of oil ever goes back up again (which it inevitably will) then renewables will be even more competitive and in any event are being driven by government mandates to reduce greenhouse gases.

    How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? Because most of the energy in a gallon of fuel in an auto engine gets wasted as heat - only a small % is converted to motion. If your burn the same # of BTU's of fuel in an electrical generating station, the efficiency is much higher (even after power line losses) and you can use the waste heat for co-generation (central steam), etc.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can't handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    The share of US energy that is ‘renewable’ according to wikipedia is >12%, of which 50% is biofuel and another 25% is hydroelectric dams.

    According to EIA.gov, the efficiency of a gas turbine power facility (2007-2016) was ballpark around 25% efficient with 75% heat waste. Gas and natural gas internal combustion and nuclear steam around 33%.

    https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=107&t=3

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

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

    This is harder to figure but based on my rough napkin calculations, to power the US with solar panels would require roughly the entire state of Texas to be covered in nothing but solar panels.

    http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2013/08/calculating-solar-energys-land-use-footprint.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    I have > when I meant <, as in less than 12%.
    , @Jack D
    The "waste" heat from gas turbines doesn't necessarily get wasted. For example, MIT draws most of its electric power from a gas turbine cogen plant and they use the waste heat from the turbines to heat/cool the whole campus.

    1st of all solar is not the only way to create renewable power and 2nd, instead of covering all of Texas, what if you put solar panels on every rooftop, along highway shoulders and medians, above parking lots, etc. - space that is already wasted? Wouldn't all of those spaces collectively add up to a lot of area?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  63. @Jack D
    You have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe 20 years ago. Have you ridden in a Genesis G80?

    No, never a Genesis I haven’t even heard of them before. But I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of riding in Tiburons and Sante Fe’s and let me tell you, pogo sticks have more leg room, less likely to give you cabin fever on a long trip. And I think maybe more horse power.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  64. @George
    This issue is not the cars, it's the profitability, market cap and the possibly limited market for EVs. And maybe there is not enough Cobalt to feed the gigfactory. Tesla is also the US auto maker with no legecy pension liabilities.

    New electric cars 2018: Nissan’s new Leaf joins the line-up

    Luxury end of the market will feature models from the industry’s top names

    http://www.theweek.co.uk/electric-cars/90598/new-electric-cars-for-2018-porsche-jaguar-and-more

    Of interest,. From India Tata Motors will introduce an electric Jaguar.

    And maybe there is not enough Cobalt to feed the gigfactory.

    I think some batteries need less cobalt, some even no cobalt at all. It’s just a question of technology.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  65. @Jack D
    Of course part of what you are paying for is brand image, which to me is a dubious proposition but some people LOVE brand name merchandise. If you pull up to the country club in a Mercedes, people will be more impressed than if you pull up in a Genesis G80 even if objectively they are similar. If you took the same two cars and switched around the logos, people would still be more impressed with the one with the Mercedes badge. There are many industries (designer clothing, perfume, watches, etc.) where the premium for the famous brand name is much much higher so autos are not the worst offenders in this regard.

    2nd, modern German luxury cars are designed to be sold on 3 year leases. If you get a new BMW every 3 years you will never notice the fact that their durability sucks. For the 1st 3 years they really are wonderful cars and the handling (though not as good as it used to be) is still class leading. If you want to buy a Mercedes and drive it for 250,000 miles like some old 300D taxi, those days are gone - they don't want you as a customer. What good is a customer who only comes back every 12 years? Planned obsolescence, baby!

    “If you want to buy a Mercedes and drive it for 250,000 miles like some old 300D taxi, those days are gone”

    Doesn’t have to be a Mercedes, but that’s exactly what I want.

    Ah, who am I kidding? I’m wanting 450,000 not 250,000. I expect to do some maintenance but it doesnt’ bother me to drive the same car for a decade.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Logan
    I have a 2005 Pontiac Vibe, which is essentially a Toyota Matrix. Recently passed 235,000 miles. So far, besides replacing wearable items, my repair costs have been replacement of the alternator twice and the starter once.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  66. @Sunbeam
    I'm not trying to be a contrarian.

    European cars do not impress me at all. Particularly the German ones.

    It always baffles me when someone buys a Mercedes when they could easily have brought one of the high end Japanese equivalents.

    I guess it is all in the mind of the buyer, or more probably what the buyer imagines is in the mind of someone watching him tool about in a Mercedes.

    But part of me screams: "This is an inferior design. It weighs too much. If anything the Japanese car is of better manufacture and reliablility. Maintenance will be cheaper and parts less dear for the Japanese model. The performance, the bells and whistles, are the same or better."

    Mark my words, if the Japanese, Koreans, and I guess Chinese in a couple of years, had unrestricted access to the European market... well I wouldn't be too optimistic about the long term prospects of any Euro car maker.

    My European country doesn’t produce it’s own cars, so I seriously doubt we have any import restrictions.

    I just checked and Japanese and Koreans have a market share of around 22%. Ford is almost 6%, but European Fords are designed in Germany and built in Europe, so it’s essentially a European car.

    I don’t thing this will change much in the future. Europeans make good cars that Europeans like.
    I’ve always been very happy with the French cars I’ve had. My dad still swears by his Volvos.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  67. @International Jew

    blank dashboard with only a center screen is stupid and forces you to take your eyes off the road.
     
    You mean, every last control is an image on a screen? Like your iPhone? Even the windshield wipers and the turn signals??

    There is still a stalk for the turn signals and you can turn the wipers on and off from the stalk, but if you want to change the speed of the wipers you have to go thru the touch screen menus. HVAC, entertainment , cruise control, anything that would normally go thru switches – 100% thru the touch screen.

    Instruments and indicators – speedometer (don’t need a tach or oil pressure) – on the screen only.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Wow. This is the least robust technology in the planet; for something like an automobile it is down right unacceptable. The slightest glitch and the while damn thing is useless. A major reason I keep repairing my vehicle from 1984. I want nothing to do with this crap.

    Compare military technology. You see a lot more robust – mechanical, analogue, reparable, and fail-safe, redundant – systems in military vehicles and systems for obvious reasons. The monstrosity you present is a thousand nightmares waiting to happen.

    This crap also goes to the scam of Applification of everything; no way to diagnose and repair it yourself. If it breaks, pay through the nose for the Man to fix it or replace it, either way at preposterous costs. And you none the wise anyhow because it is all a black box unless you are an electronics engineer....

    Garbage.

    , @International Jew
    Thanks. Wow, that's nuts.
    , @J.Ross
    Finally, a car for passengers who hate drivers.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  68. @Jack D
    How long did you keep your cars? For the 1st 3 years or so, there won't be a big difference between say an Audi and a Lexus.

    But after that the lines diverge. Older German cars will kill you on repairs. The floozywhatsis breaks and the dealer wants $3,000 to fix it. Then a few months later the whatchamacallit fails and that's $2,000 . On and on. The sporty ride is achieved with incredibly complicated suspensions with all sorts of links and ball joints, etc. all of which eventually wear out.

    OTOH, an older Lexus just keeps going even with minimal maintenance. They just don't break.

    I have owned BMWs and Benzes for the past twenty years. I have replaced some floozywhatsises myself and have paid to have others replaced. I have also paid to have things like the parts you mentioned on the sublime BMW suspensions replaced when they wore out. (The ones I loved were actually not “incredibly complicated.” They were just designed and built to do what BMW wanted its customers to enjoy. Their ideal customer has some enthusiasm and can appreciate a car with a 50/50 weight balance, which BMW takes great pains to achieve even in its sedans.)

    And I am not talking about the rotten bastard Mercedes floozywhatsis adaptive suspensions. Those are terribly complex, German wet dreams that just guild the lily on an old man’s car. Benz is a heavy, old man’s car compared to BMW — though Bimmers have gotten heavier and more complex. It’s all sales and marketing, of course.

    Have you ever owned a BMW 5 series with a stick shift? I did for ten years, and I drove the hell out of it all over America because it handled as close to a sports car as a sedan can while still having a rear seat that folded down to allow me to slide seven-foot Christmas trees in there.

    Some people see cars as appliances, and others see them the way sentimental cowboys see their horses. I can’t argue with that, because I’ve wasted plenty of money loving cars with characters I liked.

    As for electric cars being “electronic,” that is silly. They are massive piles of batteries connected to electric motors. They are electric, not electronic in the sense of complexity. Therein lies their weakness: they are heavy, and they get their energy from power plants. That is why nuclear power is the necessary partner to electric cars.

    Even people who think Apollo astronauts were “Spam in the can” and who get their expertise on that subject from “The Right Stuff,” can be correct re cars in the long run though: The most balanced and perfected automobiles will eventually be nothing more than channels for capital to be funneled to Asia — unless we find a way to stop that. One won’t care, of course, if he just moves on and relocates to New Zealand, which doesn’t have a car industry.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    As it happens, I did own a 5 series with the great big straight 6 engine and I loved that car. But the new BMWs with their little 2 liter turbo 4's are nothing like that. It's so sad and ridiculous to me that they actually pipe in a recording of the sound of a real engine over the speakers so you don't hear the pathetic whine of the 4. I swear to you that they do that - I couldn't believe that was true, but it is.

    My last (and I mean last) German car was an Audi and what killed it was a Rube Goldbergish system for varying the valve timing the fatal link of which was a chain tensioner made of plastic that rubbed directly on a steel bike chain. And not just any plastic - I've seen better quality plastic in Happy Meal toys. And once this went the valves hit the pistons and it was end of engine. Nor was this a freak - it's a well known flaw but since the part doesn't usually fail until the warranty is over (which itself is miraculous - looking at the design I'm surprised it lasted a week - modern motor oils are great), VW/Audi doesn't care.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    I drove a 1981 BMW sedan and it was the best road-hugging car I have ever driven. I still remember it with awe.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  69. @Lars Porsena
    The share of US energy that is 'renewable' according to wikipedia is >12%, of which 50% is biofuel and another 25% is hydroelectric dams.

    According to EIA.gov, the efficiency of a gas turbine power facility (2007-2016) was ballpark around 25% efficient with 75% heat waste. Gas and natural gas internal combustion and nuclear steam around 33%.

    https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=107&t=3
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_the_United_States
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_States

    This is harder to figure but based on my rough napkin calculations, to power the US with solar panels would require roughly the entire state of Texas to be covered in nothing but solar panels.

    http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2013/08/calculating-solar-energys-land-use-footprint.html

    I have > when I meant <, as in less than 12%.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  70. @Travis
    all conservatives should despise Tesla. they depend on government subsidies. If the generous subsidies end , TESLA sales will collapse. They owe their existence to the Global warming Hoax and government assistance.

    in 2015 Tesla sold a total of 2,738 cars in Denmark. In 2016 the number dropped by 94% to just 176 units when the government reduced the subsidies for electric cars...TESLA and the green lobby will fight hard to keep the government incentives high in America , otherwise TESLA goes bankrupt.

    In addition to the dependence on subsidies , TESLA depends on the leftist media which promotes the global warning hoax..Once the hoax is fully brought to light, why would anyone buy an electric car ? It is not economically viable and actually produces more pollution than a typical internal combustion vehicle.

    The incentives for Teslas in the US are expiring this year, so we will see how your prediction stands up.

    It´s not as if the rest of the auto industry is running a Randian setup – sweetheart deals and bailouts abound. Tesla is at least bringing something new to the table.

    Hell even if they fail, they will have accellerated electric car adoption enormously. Electric is the future, as the only major downside is range and everything else is upside. And the range issue is going away gradually with the steady improvement of battery tech.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Travis
    A threat to wipe out all incentives for electric vehicles was dropped by congressional conferees in the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul signed in December by President Trump.

    "The tax credit for plug-in electric drive vehicles remains intact," said Genevieve Cullen, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association in Washington, D.C. GM issued a statement saying it was pleased the EV credit stayed in the bill....General Motors CEO Mary Barra repeated her support for the provision because "repealing that credit will have an impact because it changes the equation that determines whether people want an electric vehicle."

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  71. @27 year old

    How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don’t pollute?
     
    Yes, but they create plausible deniability for the end user to disconnect themselves from the pollution. In their own minds, rationalization hamster sort of thing.

    I suggested to my wife that we raise meat animals. She balked, she could not bring herself to kill (read: know that her husband was going to kill) the cute little things. I reminded her that the meat we buy from the store was raised in factory farms, and that by buying this meat she was condemning cute animals to unimaginable hell. "Yeah... But IM not the one doing it to them. It's not happening right in MY house."

    This is how most people's brains work. Tesla removes them one degree of separation from the icky fossil fuels. Therefore they can feel good about it. It's retarded but whaddya gonna do.

    There is a lesson in this, our side has to deal with this human tendency. Most of the people currently in this thing are very logical, the women especially - abnormally logical women. So we kind of forget about this.

    We need to make sure people can feel good about themselves for doing/supporting the things that must be done.

    Not every place on earth is running their grid on coal and high-tar Extra Thicc fuel oil (my current location generates most power through hydro and nuclear).

    More importantly: You don´t *have* to run your grid on fossil fuels for eternity. It´s a choice for an industrialized country.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  72. @Lars Porsena
    The share of US energy that is 'renewable' according to wikipedia is >12%, of which 50% is biofuel and another 25% is hydroelectric dams.

    According to EIA.gov, the efficiency of a gas turbine power facility (2007-2016) was ballpark around 25% efficient with 75% heat waste. Gas and natural gas internal combustion and nuclear steam around 33%.

    https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=107&t=3
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_the_United_States
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_States

    This is harder to figure but based on my rough napkin calculations, to power the US with solar panels would require roughly the entire state of Texas to be covered in nothing but solar panels.

    http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2013/08/calculating-solar-energys-land-use-footprint.html

    The “waste” heat from gas turbines doesn’t necessarily get wasted. For example, MIT draws most of its electric power from a gas turbine cogen plant and they use the waste heat from the turbines to heat/cool the whole campus.

    1st of all solar is not the only way to create renewable power and 2nd, instead of covering all of Texas, what if you put solar panels on every rooftop, along highway shoulders and medians, above parking lots, etc. – space that is already wasted? Wouldn’t all of those spaces collectively add up to a lot of area?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    If you live anywhere north of Chicago, you will not get much solar energy anyway. Problems with snow on roofs can maybe be addressed, problems with lack of sunlight cannot. Covering the whole of Texas with solar panels will only work (if it works) based on Texas sunshine. I don't think solar will ever be a big deal in national energy strategy beyond yuppie PR and some niche off-the-grid type situations. I have actually seen the inner workings of some residential solar installations (in Chicago!) and I can tell you very plainly that they only work out and happen because of government tax subsidies, and even then the owners are unlikely to see ROI actually achieved in the life of the equipment. I hear similar things from Europe, it's basically wasting government money. Even on paper the math usually doesn't quite work out and the maths like to assume we all live in south Florida.

    Solar and wind are basically crap. Wind is the oldest form of power generation there is and if it worked very well humanity would have stuck with it. F=M*V and M and V for air are very low. Solar too, even if you assumed impossible 100% efficiency (probably more like 15-25%), is limited by solar output and has humongous land use requirement for collection. And of course they are both intermittent and unreliable which is an absolutely huge problem for anything other than 3% supplemental supply, and even that is problematic. They are really the crappiest option of all power generation, and the exact polar opposite (in terms of energy density) of nuclear power, with fuels in the middle. And durability sucks. Check out how much a whole roof of panels costs you and then plan on replacing them probably quicker then they pay for themselves with electricity savings, seriously (don't say I didn't warn you). Lots of the wind turbines break astoundingly often too, most any of the turbine fields you can find, most of the turbines are not even working at any given moment, huge failure issues. When they do work, they work like giant migratory bird blenders, the environmental impact is not nil, I honestly think for people who aren't obsessed with CO2 the wind turbines and solar fields are worse than the gas turbines for environmental impact.

    As for MIT that's nifty for them but believe me, they don't scavenge anywhere near the full 75% of heat wasted I would take a wild ass guess maybe 10-20% of the 75%, and that's only them. Most of the waste around the country is indeed wasted not sent to MIT, and 100% could never be achieved anyway so it will continue to be no matter what we do. 20%-30% is a realistic number, just like in cars.

    An internal combustion engine is an internal combustion engine, the tech is the same, the efficiency of the engines in cars is comparable to the efficiency of giant ass stationary power plant engines. The power plants may wiggle some additional efficiency out of their scale or out of being stationary and non-portable, but they will lose it right back shoving it down the power wires across the country, transforming the voltage, and especially trying to store it for later use in batteries.

    Searching for lithium ion battery efficiency I found this article from 2010 saying MIT set a record for lithium ion battery efficiency with a 77% efficient battery, which is amazing. It still means 23% of all the energy generated by the 33% efficient natural gas IC plant and pushed down the wire is wasted when charging the battery.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/419299/record-efficiency-for-lithium-air-batteries/
    , @Joe Schmoe

    what if you put solar panels on every rooftop, along highway shoulders and medians, above parking lots, etc. – space that is already wasted? Wouldn’t all of those spaces collectively add up to a lot of area?

     

    No.
    , @Joe Schmoe

    what if you put solar panels on every rooftop, along highway shoulders and medians, above parking lots, etc. – space that is already wasted? Wouldn’t all of those spaces collectively add up to a lot of area?

     

    No.
    , @ThreeCranes
    Solar panels--and I speak from experience here, having two on my boat--are not maintenance free. The surface has to be clean and shadow free. This means that workers would have to periodically climb up on the roofs and desmudge them of their city grime. Another added cost that has to be factored in.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  73. @Auntie Analogue
    Fossil fuel-powered car engine emissions cause pollution, right? How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don't pollute?

    After all, however energy is produced, it takes the same quantity of energy, from fossil fuels or electricity, to propel a vehicle of a given weight across a given distance. Is this not so? Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source that provides the electric energy to propel them a given distance? Are electric cars essentially nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas-powered by those overwhelmingly preponderant sources of electricity generation?

    Are alternative (i.e., non-fossil fuel) energy sources sufficient to power an entire world of none but electric vehicles? Perhaps the central questions is: will alternative energy ever be generated in quantity sufficient to power an entire world of electric vehicles?

    I'm just fission for answers here!

    Pollutants such as NOX, SO2 and particulates can be eliminated from a fixed power plant in ways that are not possible with an automobile. The fires of 100,000 homes and businesses are all in one place where the combustion process can be monitored and controlled to minimize production of NOX. A well-tuned car can do that too, but a power plant can do it better. Then the exhaust stream passes through banks of equipment to convert gaseous SO2 to liquid SO3. The SO3 is captured along with the ash by passing the exhaust through electrostatic precipitators (banks of ten-foot tall plates arranged with as dozens of foot-wide channels and charged to 60kV with grounded wires between the plates) or bag houses (giant vacuum cleaner bags). At the top of the stack is an opacity monitor, and if the exhaust going out is too opaque, there is trouble with the EPA. Power plant exhaust can be as clean as you want to pay to make it, using means that are unavailable on a 2-ton moving car.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    SO2 is smog, so I'm not saying that inside a city you can't have problems with NO2 and SO2 accumulation.

    However, in terms of grand impact to the environment, SO2 + H2O = H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), H2SO4 + CaCO3 (limestone) = CaSO4 (gypsum) + H2O + CO2. It's a natural cycle. SOx and NOx are released from sulfate and nitrate salts and sulfuric and nitric acid and find their way back to them through the water cycle.

    Same thing with NO2 + H2O = HNO3 (nitric acid).

    It's only an issue in cities. You could just as well put the power plants somewhere rural and not worry about it.

    I'm not really disagreeing with you, I just want to mention, because you will hear people talk about SO2 and NO2 like they are some kind of unnatural pollutants but the only issue is concentration, they are both naturally occurring and can be sequestered in the ground.

    The power plants do not do anything special to minimize the production of NOx and SOx that would all be in the fuel end. They just scrub the NOx out of the exhaust gasses and put it somewhere else.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  74. @Buzz Mohawk
    I have owned BMWs and Benzes for the past twenty years. I have replaced some floozywhatsises myself and have paid to have others replaced. I have also paid to have things like the parts you mentioned on the sublime BMW suspensions replaced when they wore out. (The ones I loved were actually not "incredibly complicated." They were just designed and built to do what BMW wanted its customers to enjoy. Their ideal customer has some enthusiasm and can appreciate a car with a 50/50 weight balance, which BMW takes great pains to achieve even in its sedans.)

    And I am not talking about the rotten bastard Mercedes floozywhatsis adaptive suspensions. Those are terribly complex, German wet dreams that just guild the lily on an old man's car. Benz is a heavy, old man's car compared to BMW -- though Bimmers have gotten heavier and more complex. It's all sales and marketing, of course.

    Have you ever owned a BMW 5 series with a stick shift? I did for ten years, and I drove the hell out of it all over America because it handled as close to a sports car as a sedan can while still having a rear seat that folded down to allow me to slide seven-foot Christmas trees in there.

    Some people see cars as appliances, and others see them the way sentimental cowboys see their horses. I can't argue with that, because I've wasted plenty of money loving cars with characters I liked.

    As for electric cars being "electronic," that is silly. They are massive piles of batteries connected to electric motors. They are electric, not electronic in the sense of complexity. Therein lies their weakness: they are heavy, and they get their energy from power plants. That is why nuclear power is the necessary partner to electric cars.

    Even people who think Apollo astronauts were "Spam in the can" and who get their expertise on that subject from "The Right Stuff," can be correct re cars in the long run though: The most balanced and perfected automobiles will eventually be nothing more than channels for capital to be funneled to Asia -- unless we find a way to stop that. One won't care, of course, if he just moves on and relocates to New Zealand, which doesn't have a car industry.

    As it happens, I did own a 5 series with the great big straight 6 engine and I loved that car. But the new BMWs with their little 2 liter turbo 4′s are nothing like that. It’s so sad and ridiculous to me that they actually pipe in a recording of the sound of a real engine over the speakers so you don’t hear the pathetic whine of the 4. I swear to you that they do that – I couldn’t believe that was true, but it is.

    My last (and I mean last) German car was an Audi and what killed it was a Rube Goldbergish system for varying the valve timing the fatal link of which was a chain tensioner made of plastic that rubbed directly on a steel bike chain. And not just any plastic – I’ve seen better quality plastic in Happy Meal toys. And once this went the valves hit the pistons and it was end of engine. Nor was this a freak – it’s a well known flaw but since the part doesn’t usually fail until the warranty is over (which itself is miraculous – looking at the design I’m surprised it lasted a week – modern motor oils are great), VW/Audi doesn’t care.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Sounds like you know what you're talking about.

    Audi has always had a bad reputation for things like that, despite their glorious racing history. I knew enough owners long ago to be warned off that brand.

    This phenomenon is all around, and it makes one wonder about the corporate asses making decisions: They know damn well what their customers will encounter.

    Last week I paid a GE repairman over $400 to replace two parts that failed on a five-year-old oven, a rather nice oven for which I paid nearly $2000 -- and hey, that's just an appliance, an appliance full of stuff GE makes in Asia.

    Asian quality?

    Three or four years ago, I paid a similar amount to replace a circuit board on one of the world's most acclaimed flat screen TV models, a Samsung LCD/LED floozywhatsis I had bought barely two years earlier for nearly $4000.

    Asian quality?

    Happy Motoring!
    , @Johann Ricke

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can’t handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.
     
    That's a bit unfair. A reactor-killing tsunami was not something anyone could have predicted. Now that it's happened, current and future reactors will be tsunami-proofed to the extent possible.
    , @ThreeCranes
    All hail the straight six!

    Wiki says this;

    "The straight-six layout is the simplest engine layout that possesses both primary and secondary mechanical engine balance, resulting in much less vibration than engines with fewer cylinders."

    which is why big rigs use straight six diesels with cylinders the size of pancakes. Course they don't mount the engine transversely with FWD.

    "Because it is a fully balanced configuration, the straight-six can be scaled up to very large sizes for heavy truck, industrial and marine use, such as the 16 L (980 cu in) Volvo diesel engine and the 15 L Cummins ISX used in heavy vehicles.[5] The largest are used to power ships, and use fuel oil. The straight-six can also be viewed as a scalable modular component of larger motors which stack several straight-sixes together, e.g. flat- or V-12s, W-18s, etc."

    "An inline six engine is in practically perfect primary and secondary mechanical balance, without the use of a balance shaft. The engine is in primary couple balance because the front and rear trio of cylinders are mirror images, and the pistons move in pairs (but of course, 360° out of phase and on different strokes of the 4-stroke cycle). That is, piston #1 mirrors #6, #2 mirrors #5, and #3 mirrors #4, largely eliminating the polar rocking motion that would otherwise result.

    Secondary imbalance is largely avoided because the crankshaft has six crank throws arranged in three planes offset at 120°. The result is that the bulk of the secondary forces that are caused by the pistons' deviation from purely sinusoidal motion sum to zero. Specifically, the second-order (twice crank speed) and fourth-order inertial free forces (see engine balance article) sum to zero, but the sixth-order and up are non-zero. This is typically a tiny contribution in most applications, but may be significant with very large displacements, despite the usual and advantageous use of long connecting rods reducing the secondary (second-order and up) oscillation in the piston motion in those applications.

    An inline four cylinder, or even a V6 engine with a crank-speed balance shaft, will experience significant secondary dynamic imbalance, resulting in engine vibration. As a general rule, the forces arising from any dynamic imbalance increase as the square of the engine speed — for example, if the speed doubles, vibration will increase by a factor of four. In contrast, inline six engines have no primary or (significant) secondary imbalances, and with carefully designed crankshaft vibration dampers to absorb torsional vibration, will run more smoothly at the same crankshaft speed (rpm). This characteristic has made the straight-six popular in some European sports-luxury cars, where smooth high-speed performance is very desirable. As engine reciprocating forces increase with the cube of piston bore, the straight-six is a preferred configuration for large truck engines."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  75. I’m not that invested in Tesla per se, but the OP makes a similar point to what I’ve been trying to get at about the Republican Party over the course of a few threads.

    Organizational capital is a real thing, in fact it might be one of the very most important things there is. Unfortunately, there’s too many of us who try to pretend that it doesn’t exist. In particular, the idea that we can destroy or disparage the immense organizational capital associated with the Republican Party, and what’s going to be left behind in its wake will somehow be better for us, that’s just so criminally stupid it almost brings me to tears.

    Read More
    • Replies: @David Davenport
    In particular, the idea that we can destroy or disparage the immense organizational capital associated with the Republican Party, and what’s going to be left behind in its wake will somehow be better for us, that’s just so criminally stupid it almost brings me to tears.

    You didn't vote for Trump, did you, Mitt?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  76. @27 year old

    How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don’t pollute?
     
    Yes, but they create plausible deniability for the end user to disconnect themselves from the pollution. In their own minds, rationalization hamster sort of thing.

    I suggested to my wife that we raise meat animals. She balked, she could not bring herself to kill (read: know that her husband was going to kill) the cute little things. I reminded her that the meat we buy from the store was raised in factory farms, and that by buying this meat she was condemning cute animals to unimaginable hell. "Yeah... But IM not the one doing it to them. It's not happening right in MY house."

    This is how most people's brains work. Tesla removes them one degree of separation from the icky fossil fuels. Therefore they can feel good about it. It's retarded but whaddya gonna do.

    There is a lesson in this, our side has to deal with this human tendency. Most of the people currently in this thing are very logical, the women especially - abnormally logical women. So we kind of forget about this.

    We need to make sure people can feel good about themselves for doing/supporting the things that must be done.

    Maybe you live in the countryside. In cities (even smaller ones) there’s a lot of air pollution from cars, which is very bad for people living and/or working there. So by removing pollution, you are actually doing good.

    Besides, electric engines are way more efficient. This is why hybrids use less fuel even while being heavier and ultimately using electricity generated by their gasoline engines.

    A final advantage is noise. If you ever lived close to a major road, you’d believe me that this is also important to reduce it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  77. @Anon7
    I agree with all of your comments, especially the ones about Cadillac, which was my grandparent’s favorite American brand until they ruined it in the 1980’s.

    However, the V12 is not enough to take down a Tesla (not sure about V16...). Check out this video of a Tesla Model S P100D vs. the Lamborghini Aventador V12.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=_C9icmQ8xgo

    BTW, the Tesla is a bargain at $145,000 compared with the Lambo $399,000 base price:

    Obviously an electric motor can deliver acceleration and torque conversion that is superior to an internal combustion engine, for very simple physics reasons. You can dump a ton of raw current onto a coil using the same circuitry that you would use for ordinary driving, but you cannot burn a quart of gasoline at once in your ICE without blowing it up. The need to make an ICE that can operate efficiently across a range of RPMs limits the power that can be delivered at the low end.

    Electric motors are great for consuming huge amounts of joules quickly. I remember how the lights in my old house used to dim whenever I would push the start button on the washing machine. The torque required to initially crank around a basin filled with 30 or 40 lbs. of clothes and water just drained the amps out of the old wiring. And all that oomph can be delivered without the need for a mechanical drive shaft. That’s the beauty of electric.

    But, as you might expect, it all comes at a price. Electric motors are less efficient at high RPMs than a suitably designed ICE, and this is especially so as the charge in the battery begins to dwindle. Using a weak current to push around an already freewheeling rotor is what creates that “pushing on a string” feel that all battery operated devices evince as they lose charge. On the other hand, the very last dram of gasoline in your tank is going to burn with just as much intensity and compression as the first dram of a full tank. Everything is a trade-off in engineering.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon7
    Pretty much true, that’s why in one of my other comments I said that Tesla’s Model S is what you want 0-80 mph. If you want to compete on a track, 0-200, you’ll want that gas engine and especially those gears.

    Tesla’s battery, though, pushes out the same power at 10% charged as at 90%. The problem when you try to accelerate a Model S already going 130 mph is that it only has one gear, and it’s going about as fast as it can, as you said.

    , @ThreeCranes
    An electric motor delivers maximum torque at full stall.

    Which is why electric vehicles are so quick off the line and also why motors are used in diesel/electric locomotive engines. It takes a lot of umph to get a line of boxcars moving from a standing start. Which is why the linkage between boxcars is loose. The engine only has to overcome the inertia of one boxcar at a time as the line takes up the slack, which is what gives that characteristic sound "cachunk, cachunk, cachunk" and so on down the line.

    If all the cars were connected rigidly, the engine could not budge them.

    An internal engine, of course, delivers zero torque at full stall.

    Which is why they require complex transmissions and that the driver give the engine some gas and gets the revs up as he lets out the clutch.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  78. @Jack D
    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources. If the price of oil ever goes back up again (which it inevitably will) then renewables will be even more competitive and in any event are being driven by government mandates to reduce greenhouse gases.

    How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? Because most of the energy in a gallon of fuel in an auto engine gets wasted as heat - only a small % is converted to motion. If your burn the same # of BTU's of fuel in an electrical generating station, the efficiency is much higher (even after power line losses) and you can use the waste heat for co-generation (central steam), etc.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can't handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources.

    https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=electricity_in_the_united_states

    US electricity production, 2016:

    Natural Gas = 34%
    Coal = 30%
    Nuclear = 20%
    Renewable = 15%
    Petroleum = 1%

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  79. @Sunbeam
    I'm not trying to be a contrarian.

    European cars do not impress me at all. Particularly the German ones.

    It always baffles me when someone buys a Mercedes when they could easily have brought one of the high end Japanese equivalents.

    I guess it is all in the mind of the buyer, or more probably what the buyer imagines is in the mind of someone watching him tool about in a Mercedes.

    But part of me screams: "This is an inferior design. It weighs too much. If anything the Japanese car is of better manufacture and reliablility. Maintenance will be cheaper and parts less dear for the Japanese model. The performance, the bells and whistles, are the same or better."

    Mark my words, if the Japanese, Koreans, and I guess Chinese in a couple of years, had unrestricted access to the European market... well I wouldn't be too optimistic about the long term prospects of any Euro car maker.

    It always baffles me when someone buys a Mercedes when they could easily have brought one of the high end Japanese equivalents.

    My wife and I have been driving Toyotas for 25 years and I couldn’t agree with you more. People who buy cars for status-driven personal identification motives can’t be reasoned with, but IMO there are still a lot of people who don’t understand what a deal the better Japanese cars are. As somebody who started driving in the 1970s keeping beater cars on the road, I still haven’t gotten over the astonishing reliability and durability of Corollas, Camrys, Echoes, etc.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  80. Motor Trend’s 2018 Car of the Year: Alfa Romeo Guilia, $40k to $84K.

    Kia Stinger, Honda Accord, and Tesla Model 3 were all close finalists. No American Big-3 were even considered.

    http://www.motortrend.com/news/alfa-romeo-giulia-2018-car-of-the-year/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  81. @Jack D

    Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands,
     
    Nope, not anymore. Ford sold off its Euro brands (Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover) in order to raise cash to weather the last recession (they were the only 1 of the big 3 not to go bankrupt).

    GM just sold off Opel and Vauxhall to PSA (Peugeot) because it was bleeding money.

    Chrysler sold off its European brands (Simca/Rootes) decades ago. Now it is the opposite - FIAT owns them.

    The real action is in the Chinese market - Europe is a backwater. The Euro market is 17% of worldwide sales vs. 28% in 2005.

    Ford sold off its Euro brands (Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover)

    Both Volvo and Jaguar are doing better now with their respective Chinese and Indian owners. US automakers just can’t get it right what it takes to build a luxury car.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  82. @Jack D
    Right now the Tesla brand is valuable precisely because it DOESN'T have a track record. It is the empty vessel into which people can pour their high tech dreams. The actual cars - not so hot. The build quality on the Model 3 sucks and the blank dashboard with only a center screen is stupid and forces you to take your eyes off the road.

    GM for example, by contrast does have a 100+ year record of building cars, but the problem is that the record sucks. People remember the dud Chevette that their dad bought and they vow never to buy a GM product again. If Tesla could take the Chevy Bolt and stick a Tesla logo on it , they could put another $10K on the sticker.

    The "Buy American" thing is just a canard. Musk himself is an immigrant (S. Africa). I'm sure that once Tesla's scale is big enough it will open factories in other countries (China) like every other auto manufacturer. In the end, an automaker is just a bunch of factories and Tesla, right now, has exactly 1 factory. In California, which is maybe not really the best location for a factory.

    I don't understand the contrast with the Germans in the article. The Germans are relatively nowhere with electric cars. The Mercedes brand means nothing to consumers when it comes to electric cars. People don't want sedans anymore period. Everyone wants SUVs. The Germans make them too, but at US factories.

    An electric car is partly a car and partly an electronic device. Who is good at building high quality cars - the Japanese (and the Koreans are catching up fast). Who is good at building electronics? The Japanese and the Koreans (in Chinese factories). Yet the article doesn't mention them at all. Weird.

    So the author of the article was WAAAY off base. Not at all an astute analysis. I look at thetruthaboutcars now and then. They are nice guys but not the sharpest knives in the drawer. The feature I like best is their series on cars found in the junkyard. Some of them bring back memories.

    “People don’t want sedans anymore period. Everyone wants SUVs.”

    Seeing all the SUVs, I think back to my grandpa, born 1915. When he would get in our car, he would say, “It used to be that you would step up to climb on board a car. Now you bend down to get inside a car.” We’ve gone back to sitting up.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  83. @Orekes
    The incentives for Teslas in the US are expiring this year, so we will see how your prediction stands up.

    It´s not as if the rest of the auto industry is running a Randian setup - sweetheart deals and bailouts abound. Tesla is at least bringing something new to the table.

    Hell even if they fail, they will have accellerated electric car adoption enormously. Electric is the future, as the only major downside is range and everything else is upside. And the range issue is going away gradually with the steady improvement of battery tech.

    A threat to wipe out all incentives for electric vehicles was dropped by congressional conferees in the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul signed in December by President Trump.

    “The tax credit for plug-in electric drive vehicles remains intact,” said Genevieve Cullen, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association in Washington, D.C. GM issued a statement saying it was pleased the EV credit stayed in the bill….General Motors CEO Mary Barra repeated her support for the provision because “repealing that credit will have an impact because it changes the equation that determines whether people want an electric vehicle.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  84. @Brabantian
    OT but iSteve-relevant: Thousands of black Americans moving to Africa and finding happiness, 'blaxit'

    From Al Jazeera:


    From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

    It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African-Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They ... say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

    "I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here. You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either."
    - Muhammida el-Muhajir

     

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/african-americans-moving-africa-180116092736345.html

    I hope this gets rid of the most militant blacks. We don’t need then shrieking away in the US. Africa is where they belong.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  85. @Intelligent Dasein
    Obviously an electric motor can deliver acceleration and torque conversion that is superior to an internal combustion engine, for very simple physics reasons. You can dump a ton of raw current onto a coil using the same circuitry that you would use for ordinary driving, but you cannot burn a quart of gasoline at once in your ICE without blowing it up. The need to make an ICE that can operate efficiently across a range of RPMs limits the power that can be delivered at the low end.

    Electric motors are great for consuming huge amounts of joules quickly. I remember how the lights in my old house used to dim whenever I would push the start button on the washing machine. The torque required to initially crank around a basin filled with 30 or 40 lbs. of clothes and water just drained the amps out of the old wiring. And all that oomph can be delivered without the need for a mechanical drive shaft. That's the beauty of electric.

    But, as you might expect, it all comes at a price. Electric motors are less efficient at high RPMs than a suitably designed ICE, and this is especially so as the charge in the battery begins to dwindle. Using a weak current to push around an already freewheeling rotor is what creates that "pushing on a string" feel that all battery operated devices evince as they lose charge. On the other hand, the very last dram of gasoline in your tank is going to burn with just as much intensity and compression as the first dram of a full tank. Everything is a trade-off in engineering.

    Pretty much true, that’s why in one of my other comments I said that Tesla’s Model S is what you want 0-80 mph. If you want to compete on a track, 0-200, you’ll want that gas engine and especially those gears.

    Tesla’s battery, though, pushes out the same power at 10% charged as at 90%. The problem when you try to accelerate a Model S already going 130 mph is that it only has one gear, and it’s going about as fast as it can, as you said.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  86. @Sunbeam
    "PS: The Truth About Cars is the best place to read anything free of industry propaganda about cars, and Jack Baruth is a quality automotive writer. He even had the balls to go against Porsche AG, builder of vehicles he has loved."

    This is just a musing thing.

    But I'm not a car guy. I get no charm or a sense of romance from one. To me they are a tool, like a shovel, a frying pan, - or toilet paper. Their sole purpose is to get me from point A to B as cheaply, reliably, and safely as possible.

    It's fine if someone else gets ... dunno a charge out of owning one? I think my attitude towards them is slightly atypical of my generation (I remember disco), but it is definitely there amongst others of my cohort.

    And it seems to me it is becoming omnipresent in succeeding generations.

    I agree with you. Car obsession apparently is a characteristic of the sort of guy who is a ‘tools’ guy and who has a big interest in machinery. They don’t mean anything to me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    I had and have no interest in what is under the hood (bonnet over here), but I have always been fascinated by, even in love with, the aesthetics of cars.
    I had a friend as a teenager who liked the former. One day he told me that he had found a place which would be a treasure trove for us both, so I accompanied him out to a busy if nondescript street somewhere in, I think, San Jose.
    We arrived to find a burly man of around 40 with his head deep inside the workings of a magnificent Packard from around 1935. He looked up, saw our youthful wide eyes, and said "Hi kids, take all the time you want" as a sweep of his arm indicated a huge covered garage behind him. We walked in, gaped, and didn't leave for at least two hours. it was the first of a good half-dozen visits.
    In that garage were some fifty classics from the golden age of American cars: Auburns, Lincolns, Cadillacs (V12s and at least two V16s) , more than one Cord, Packards (always my favourite) and three Duesenbergs. There was even a 1916 Locomobile.
    He told us that he had picked them all up for $50 here and $100 there in the days (0nly just ending back then in 1962 or so) when nobody cared about them. He planned to spend the next ten years restoring them all.
    I never found out what happened to him or them. It would be great if somebody here could enlighten us. God they were beautiful.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  87. @Jack D
    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources. If the price of oil ever goes back up again (which it inevitably will) then renewables will be even more competitive and in any event are being driven by government mandates to reduce greenhouse gases.

    How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? Because most of the energy in a gallon of fuel in an auto engine gets wasted as heat - only a small % is converted to motion. If your burn the same # of BTU's of fuel in an electrical generating station, the efficiency is much higher (even after power line losses) and you can use the waste heat for co-generation (central steam), etc.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can't handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    You ignore the energy input in building the batteries and the higher energy inputs to forge the aluminum and rare earth magnets used in electric vehicles…The Carbon footprint of electric vehicles in near identical to gasoline power vehicles…Electric Car advocates always ignore the production inputs and environmental costs of mining the required rare-earth elements and cost to mine the nickel and lithium to produce the batteries…Then they lie about our “renewable energy”…building windmills and solar panels also produces massive amount of CO2 and pollution…

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Pollution in cities is definitely lower with electric vehicles, though. I care more about the air in cities where I or my family members live and work than about carbon footprint.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  88. @Jack D
    Of course part of what you are paying for is brand image, which to me is a dubious proposition but some people LOVE brand name merchandise. If you pull up to the country club in a Mercedes, people will be more impressed than if you pull up in a Genesis G80 even if objectively they are similar. If you took the same two cars and switched around the logos, people would still be more impressed with the one with the Mercedes badge. There are many industries (designer clothing, perfume, watches, etc.) where the premium for the famous brand name is much much higher so autos are not the worst offenders in this regard.

    2nd, modern German luxury cars are designed to be sold on 3 year leases. If you get a new BMW every 3 years you will never notice the fact that their durability sucks. For the 1st 3 years they really are wonderful cars and the handling (though not as good as it used to be) is still class leading. If you want to buy a Mercedes and drive it for 250,000 miles like some old 300D taxi, those days are gone - they don't want you as a customer. What good is a customer who only comes back every 12 years? Planned obsolescence, baby!

    Teslas are definitely status symbols in the UK, the sort of people who have the money but wouldn’t be seen dead in a Rolls/Bentley (too old-money) or Ferrari (too new-money and no room for kids) are buying.

    It’s at once uber-ethical and uber-flash, cos those big saloons are well over £90k here. What other car says simultaneously “I care about the planet” and “look at at my money!” ?

    If you just want to get from A to B and not spend a fortune in the garage, you still can’t beat something Made In Japan (not all ‘Japanese’ cars are, by any means) – God willing you’ll get ten or fifteen years from it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  89. @Jack D
    The "waste" heat from gas turbines doesn't necessarily get wasted. For example, MIT draws most of its electric power from a gas turbine cogen plant and they use the waste heat from the turbines to heat/cool the whole campus.

    1st of all solar is not the only way to create renewable power and 2nd, instead of covering all of Texas, what if you put solar panels on every rooftop, along highway shoulders and medians, above parking lots, etc. - space that is already wasted? Wouldn't all of those spaces collectively add up to a lot of area?

    If you live anywhere north of Chicago, you will not get much solar energy anyway. Problems with snow on roofs can maybe be addressed, problems with lack of sunlight cannot. Covering the whole of Texas with solar panels will only work (if it works) based on Texas sunshine. I don’t think solar will ever be a big deal in national energy strategy beyond yuppie PR and some niche off-the-grid type situations. I have actually seen the inner workings of some residential solar installations (in Chicago!) and I can tell you very plainly that they only work out and happen because of government tax subsidies, and even then the owners are unlikely to see ROI actually achieved in the life of the equipment. I hear similar things from Europe, it’s basically wasting government money. Even on paper the math usually doesn’t quite work out and the maths like to assume we all live in south Florida.

    Solar and wind are basically crap. Wind is the oldest form of power generation there is and if it worked very well humanity would have stuck with it. F=M*V and M and V for air are very low. Solar too, even if you assumed impossible 100% efficiency (probably more like 15-25%), is limited by solar output and has humongous land use requirement for collection. And of course they are both intermittent and unreliable which is an absolutely huge problem for anything other than 3% supplemental supply, and even that is problematic. They are really the crappiest option of all power generation, and the exact polar opposite (in terms of energy density) of nuclear power, with fuels in the middle. And durability sucks. Check out how much a whole roof of panels costs you and then plan on replacing them probably quicker then they pay for themselves with electricity savings, seriously (don’t say I didn’t warn you). Lots of the wind turbines break astoundingly often too, most any of the turbine fields you can find, most of the turbines are not even working at any given moment, huge failure issues. When they do work, they work like giant migratory bird blenders, the environmental impact is not nil, I honestly think for people who aren’t obsessed with CO2 the wind turbines and solar fields are worse than the gas turbines for environmental impact.

    As for MIT that’s nifty for them but believe me, they don’t scavenge anywhere near the full 75% of heat wasted I would take a wild ass guess maybe 10-20% of the 75%, and that’s only them. Most of the waste around the country is indeed wasted not sent to MIT, and 100% could never be achieved anyway so it will continue to be no matter what we do. 20%-30% is a realistic number, just like in cars.

    An internal combustion engine is an internal combustion engine, the tech is the same, the efficiency of the engines in cars is comparable to the efficiency of giant ass stationary power plant engines. The power plants may wiggle some additional efficiency out of their scale or out of being stationary and non-portable, but they will lose it right back shoving it down the power wires across the country, transforming the voltage, and especially trying to store it for later use in batteries.

    Searching for lithium ion battery efficiency I found this article from 2010 saying MIT set a record for lithium ion battery efficiency with a 77% efficient battery, which is amazing. It still means 23% of all the energy generated by the 33% efficient natural gas IC plant and pushed down the wire is wasted when charging the battery.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/419299/record-efficiency-for-lithium-air-batteries/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  90. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Travis
    all conservatives should despise Tesla. they depend on government subsidies. If the generous subsidies end , TESLA sales will collapse. They owe their existence to the Global warming Hoax and government assistance.

    in 2015 Tesla sold a total of 2,738 cars in Denmark. In 2016 the number dropped by 94% to just 176 units when the government reduced the subsidies for electric cars...TESLA and the green lobby will fight hard to keep the government incentives high in America , otherwise TESLA goes bankrupt.

    In addition to the dependence on subsidies , TESLA depends on the leftist media which promotes the global warning hoax..Once the hoax is fully brought to light, why would anyone buy an electric car ? It is not economically viable and actually produces more pollution than a typical internal combustion vehicle.

    The real problem is that even though global warming is nonsense, the gradual reduction in the world’s oil supply is not. It’s not that oil is going to run out completely, but we may end up with too little of it to keep Western Civilization running properly in the next 100 years. I’d like to have electric cars just for that reason alone. Electricity can be generated by coal burning or natural gas burning. Many utilities are switching from coal to natural gas because huge new reserves have been discovered. I’d also like a car that creates fewer emissions just to decrease air pollution around cities, which could always be cleaner.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Cars will run on natural gas as easily as power plants will and we already have the piping in place.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  91. The greatest free car advertising of all time came in news from Afghanistan in 2002. Day after day people saw images of dozens of fighters piled into Toyota trucks riding over horrendous terrain where the supply chain was almost nonexistent. That and the Chad-Libya Toyota War showed what you want for reliability. You can’t beat that kind of field testing.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  92. Tesla make great cars but I think their stock is over valued and I have no idea if they will be around in 5 or 10 years, but I’m 100% sure EVs are the future

    Some one in the comments above asked why do (((breitbart))) hate Musk so much, IMO its because EVs will be help end the petro dollar, I just checked (((Breitbart))) a few minutes ago and the have another anti Musk/SpaceX article

    I understand some people don’t like Tesla or EVs in general but how anyone could dislike what SpaceX are doing is beyond my ken

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  93. @Jack D
    As it happens, I did own a 5 series with the great big straight 6 engine and I loved that car. But the new BMWs with their little 2 liter turbo 4's are nothing like that. It's so sad and ridiculous to me that they actually pipe in a recording of the sound of a real engine over the speakers so you don't hear the pathetic whine of the 4. I swear to you that they do that - I couldn't believe that was true, but it is.

    My last (and I mean last) German car was an Audi and what killed it was a Rube Goldbergish system for varying the valve timing the fatal link of which was a chain tensioner made of plastic that rubbed directly on a steel bike chain. And not just any plastic - I've seen better quality plastic in Happy Meal toys. And once this went the valves hit the pistons and it was end of engine. Nor was this a freak - it's a well known flaw but since the part doesn't usually fail until the warranty is over (which itself is miraculous - looking at the design I'm surprised it lasted a week - modern motor oils are great), VW/Audi doesn't care.

    Sounds like you know what you’re talking about.

    Audi has always had a bad reputation for things like that, despite their glorious racing history. I knew enough owners long ago to be warned off that brand.

    This phenomenon is all around, and it makes one wonder about the corporate asses making decisions: They know damn well what their customers will encounter.

    Last week I paid a GE repairman over $400 to replace two parts that failed on a five-year-old oven, a rather nice oven for which I paid nearly $2000 — and hey, that’s just an appliance, an appliance full of stuff GE makes in Asia.

    Asian quality?

    Three or four years ago, I paid a similar amount to replace a circuit board on one of the world’s most acclaimed flat screen TV models, a Samsung LCD/LED floozywhatsis I had bought barely two years earlier for nearly $4000.

    Asian quality?

    Happy Motoring!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Highlander
    Audis are heavy and solidly built but they drive like trucks. I'd rather run a Subaru.
    , @stillCARealist
    GE sucks! Don't buy GE appliances! I've had nothing but trouble with these beasts in my kitchen and I always grab an opportunity to tell others to buy something, anything else.
    , @Ivy
    Audi 100LS in the 1970s was a lemon that turned off many potential buyers. On the flip side, the Audi (and Porsche) Le Mans hybrid racers are fun to watch with all that torque on tap, especially on a live feed. Tune in again this June to watch Les 24 Heures!

    As a former GE employee, it pains me to say that I'd never buy another one of their appliances, even if they hadn't sold out.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  94. I have read electric cars have no resale value, not sure the buyers have noticed yet.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  95. @John Mansfield
    Pollutants such as NOX, SO2 and particulates can be eliminated from a fixed power plant in ways that are not possible with an automobile. The fires of 100,000 homes and businesses are all in one place where the combustion process can be monitored and controlled to minimize production of NOX. A well-tuned car can do that too, but a power plant can do it better. Then the exhaust stream passes through banks of equipment to convert gaseous SO2 to liquid SO3. The SO3 is captured along with the ash by passing the exhaust through electrostatic precipitators (banks of ten-foot tall plates arranged with as dozens of foot-wide channels and charged to 60kV with grounded wires between the plates) or bag houses (giant vacuum cleaner bags). At the top of the stack is an opacity monitor, and if the exhaust going out is too opaque, there is trouble with the EPA. Power plant exhaust can be as clean as you want to pay to make it, using means that are unavailable on a 2-ton moving car.

    SO2 is smog, so I’m not saying that inside a city you can’t have problems with NO2 and SO2 accumulation.

    However, in terms of grand impact to the environment, SO2 + H2O = H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), H2SO4 + CaCO3 (limestone) = CaSO4 (gypsum) + H2O + CO2. It’s a natural cycle. SOx and NOx are released from sulfate and nitrate salts and sulfuric and nitric acid and find their way back to them through the water cycle.

    Same thing with NO2 + H2O = HNO3 (nitric acid).

    It’s only an issue in cities. You could just as well put the power plants somewhere rural and not worry about it.

    I’m not really disagreeing with you, I just want to mention, because you will hear people talk about SO2 and NO2 like they are some kind of unnatural pollutants but the only issue is concentration, they are both naturally occurring and can be sequestered in the ground.

    The power plants do not do anything special to minimize the production of NOx and SOx that would all be in the fuel end. They just scrub the NOx out of the exhaust gasses and put it somewhere else.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NTN
    SO2 + 1/2O2 -> SO3 + H2O -> Sulphuric Acid, otherwise it's just sulphurous acid (still acidic but Sulphuric's wimpy little brother).

    You can't just put powerplants somewhere rural, the acid rain will destroy anywhere that has trees. See Trail, BC and Sudbury, ON before the 70s.

    I will agree that there's plenty of scrubbing tech out there to be used and that it's easier to centralize that tech, but there's a cost in terms of energy and reliability.

    I worked at a plant that made approx. 1500 tons of a day of sulphuric and it was a nightmare to stay below our 400 ppm limits.

    De-NOx systems are also reasonably common but again there's a lot to maintaining these systems, they have a capital cost and if you 'over-centralize' then you deal with transmission losses.

    Nothing is a cheap or easy as it's proponent's would have you believe.

    I think the embodied energy of a Tesla is so much higher than a Honda Accord that the 'energy savings' over the lifetime are quite unlikely.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  96. @Spud Boy
    As someone who started reading Car and Driver at the age of 10, I'd consider myself a car guy. I've been loyal to BMW since I owned my first 328is coupe in 1997.

    Living in the Bay Area, you can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting a Tesla. Here's my list of things that would keep me from considering a Tesla:

    1. I like to drive. I don't want my car driving itself. Having to babysit the steering wheel, wondering if the system will continue working, is IMHO, worse than simply steering myself. I don't want to ride in a self-driving transportation pod. I want feel like I'm piloting something.

    2. I don't want to control the functions of my car with a giant iPad. The Model 3 is particularly egregious in this regard, and you can't angle the screen toward the driver.

    3. I don't want the functionality of my car dependent on Tesla software updates. Tesla just released a SW update for the Model 3 that enables FM radio operation. Really?

    4. Recharge time is too long. I can add 450 miles of range to my X5 in 3 minutes. EVs won't be able to accomplish that feat in our lifetimes.

    5. You can't convince me that having to tether your car to a charger every day or two is more convenient than getting gas every two weeks. Fuel stops are convenient anyway as I used the time to empty trash from my car, clean my windows, etc.

    6. Tesla interiors are not up to the standards of German ICE cars of similar price.

    7. Range drops by half in cold weather. And if you live where it's cold, the waste heat of an ICE comes in quite handy.

    8. People say EVs are cheaper to maintain. A Model S's annual recommended service cost is $600--not exactly cheap.

    9. EVs depreciate very quickly. That's because they have a $20,000 battery pack that's likely to need replacement in 10 to 15 years.

    I'm sure the instant rush of EV torque is addicting, but until some of the above limitations are overcome, I'm sticking with the good old fashioned ICE car.

    You are absolutely correct and the hallucinatory fantasies about Tesla’s getting 100 mpg once you factor in the power generation and transmission losses are just that.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  97. @Buzz Mohawk
    Sounds like you know what you're talking about.

    Audi has always had a bad reputation for things like that, despite their glorious racing history. I knew enough owners long ago to be warned off that brand.

    This phenomenon is all around, and it makes one wonder about the corporate asses making decisions: They know damn well what their customers will encounter.

    Last week I paid a GE repairman over $400 to replace two parts that failed on a five-year-old oven, a rather nice oven for which I paid nearly $2000 -- and hey, that's just an appliance, an appliance full of stuff GE makes in Asia.

    Asian quality?

    Three or four years ago, I paid a similar amount to replace a circuit board on one of the world's most acclaimed flat screen TV models, a Samsung LCD/LED floozywhatsis I had bought barely two years earlier for nearly $4000.

    Asian quality?

    Happy Motoring!

    Audis are heavy and solidly built but they drive like trucks. I’d rather run a Subaru.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  98. @Jack D
    There is still a stalk for the turn signals and you can turn the wipers on and off from the stalk, but if you want to change the speed of the wipers you have to go thru the touch screen menus. HVAC, entertainment , cruise control, anything that would normally go thru switches - 100% thru the touch screen.

    Instruments and indicators - speedometer (don't need a tach or oil pressure) - on the screen only.

    https://rm-content.s3-accelerate.amazonaws.com/59953d7796f99f75e71dab79/855548/upload-a50f7620-ae9a-11e7-8f72-214a396d7351.jpg

    Wow. This is the least robust technology in the planet; for something like an automobile it is down right unacceptable. The slightest glitch and the while damn thing is useless. A major reason I keep repairing my vehicle from 1984. I want nothing to do with this crap.

    Compare military technology. You see a lot more robust – mechanical, analogue, reparable, and fail-safe, redundant – systems in military vehicles and systems for obvious reasons. The monstrosity you present is a thousand nightmares waiting to happen.

    This crap also goes to the scam of Applification of everything; no way to diagnose and repair it yourself. If it breaks, pay through the nose for the Man to fix it or replace it, either way at preposterous costs. And you none the wise anyhow because it is all a black box unless you are an electronics engineer….

    Garbage.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  99. @Auntie Analogue
    Fossil fuel-powered car engine emissions cause pollution, right? How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don't pollute?

    After all, however energy is produced, it takes the same quantity of energy, from fossil fuels or electricity, to propel a vehicle of a given weight across a given distance. Is this not so? Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source that provides the electric energy to propel them a given distance? Are electric cars essentially nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas-powered by those overwhelmingly preponderant sources of electricity generation?

    Are alternative (i.e., non-fossil fuel) energy sources sufficient to power an entire world of none but electric vehicles? Perhaps the central questions is: will alternative energy ever be generated in quantity sufficient to power an entire world of electric vehicles?

    I'm just fission for answers here!

    I’ve been trying to get a straight answer on this for lo these many years.

    What I’d like to see is a straightforward comparison of the two processes, not the two vehicles.

    To do so I think you’d need to compare energy required for a vehicle to travel 100 miles.

    Most electricity in the US is generated by burning natgas, so you’d have to figure the energy consumption needed to drill for and get the gas to the power plant. Then energy efficiency of the production process, then power lost in transmission, in battery charging and in battery discharging. There is energy lost at each step.

    For the IC car, you’ve got the energy cost of producing and refining the gas, then transporting it to the gas station. Then the efficiency of the IC process itself.

    You could then wind up with a direct comparison. It takes X joules to move a 2000 pound electric car 100 miles at 60 mph, while it takes Y joules to do the same with an equivalent IC vehicle.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  100. @Corn
    What about molten salts, thorium reactors etc? I’d hate to give up on nuclear just yet.

    You are absolutely right re thorium reactors. They haven’t even been given half the development support they deserve, and already the science says they are a great solution.

    Don’t listen to the now-old propaganda about nuclear — nor to those who still are brainwashed. Nuclear’s bad rap came from places and groups that had an interest in keeping Americans addicted to oil.

    Fracking suffers from a similar attack, because it reduces our need to buy oil from asses we don’t need to kiss in places we really don’t need to give a crap about.

    As for nuclear reactors or any invention being too dangerous for humans to be trusted with, that’s silly. The knowledge is not going away. It is up to us to grow up and deal with it.

    Should we get rid of automobiles altogether, due to the fact that there are so many lousy drivers who have killed many thousands more people than the worst Western nuclear plant fuckup ever would?

    This reminds me of people who want to just ignore the Second Amendment because they think guns are too dangerous for ordinary citizens. Grow up and grow a pair, people!

    Repeat: Nuclear is not going away. The genie is out of the bottle and must be dealt with. You can go ahead and say this is what God intended if that helps, because we have no choice. As for the celebrated failures, they are few and they are all overblown except for Chernobyl. Do I have to explain why Chernobyl was a magnitude worse than the small handful of others?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  101. It’s funny to hear from the Tesla fanboys. Tesla the company (not the car) gets absolutely murdered on stock chat boards. Musk is notorious for failing to deliver much of anything that he promises, the Model 3 being the latest example. Today, the stock is popping because of a new incentive comp package he just signed. I doubt the pop will last very long.

    Oh, and who cares what Europeans buy? Their cars tend to be overpriced garbage.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  102. @Buzz Mohawk
    Sounds like you know what you're talking about.

    Audi has always had a bad reputation for things like that, despite their glorious racing history. I knew enough owners long ago to be warned off that brand.

    This phenomenon is all around, and it makes one wonder about the corporate asses making decisions: They know damn well what their customers will encounter.

    Last week I paid a GE repairman over $400 to replace two parts that failed on a five-year-old oven, a rather nice oven for which I paid nearly $2000 -- and hey, that's just an appliance, an appliance full of stuff GE makes in Asia.

    Asian quality?

    Three or four years ago, I paid a similar amount to replace a circuit board on one of the world's most acclaimed flat screen TV models, a Samsung LCD/LED floozywhatsis I had bought barely two years earlier for nearly $4000.

    Asian quality?

    Happy Motoring!

    GE sucks! Don’t buy GE appliances! I’ve had nothing but trouble with these beasts in my kitchen and I always grab an opportunity to tell others to buy something, anything else.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    GE sucks! Don’t buy GE appliances!
     
    I had three reasons:

    1) I wanted to buy products that made money for an American company. (This was before GE sold its appliance division to a Chinese company in 2016.)

    2) I knew a lot of GE executives here. They were my customers and neighbors. (This was before they moved their corporate headquarters last year to escape outrageous taxation.)

    3) My parents filled their home with GE appliances. Those lasted thirty years. (I know because I inherited a house full of them.)

    I guess I am learning that, like most things in America now, GE isn't what it used to be.

    One can sometimes find in everyday life microcosms or little holographic windows into what is happening to the macro world. In this case GE appliances are images of America itself.

    , @Anonymous
    My old GE Profile Refrigerator (bought in 2006) was by far the worst major appliance I've ever owned. Even the extended warranty didn't protect me from its malevolence, since the tech could never fix it right and that meant for several months I had to buy another fridge for actual use.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  103. @Sunbeam
    "If you want to buy a Mercedes and drive it for 250,000 miles like some old 300D taxi, those days are gone"

    Doesn't have to be a Mercedes, but that's exactly what I want.

    Ah, who am I kidding? I'm wanting 450,000 not 250,000. I expect to do some maintenance but it doesnt' bother me to drive the same car for a decade.

    I have a 2005 Pontiac Vibe, which is essentially a Toyota Matrix. Recently passed 235,000 miles. So far, besides replacing wearable items, my repair costs have been replacement of the alternator twice and the starter once.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  104. @MrAnswer
    Gasoline cars transmit 20% of the energy in gasoline to forward motion, electric cars transmit 60%. So though the ultimate source of energy is oil, electric is more efficient. Gasoline cars throw away lots energy as heat.

    Gasoline cars throw away lots energy as heat.

    And I was damn glad they do, hypercommuting as I was the last four weekends when it was double digits below zero Fahrenheit. It went into the cabin, where it was highly appreciated.

    At least I wasn’t waiting outside for the 5:30 am bus with two dozen very bundled-up Africans (and the odd Southeast Asian or Central American), as in my old neighborhood.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The single best thing about winter is that some of us are more genetically suited to it than others.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  105. @Spud Boy
    As someone who started reading Car and Driver at the age of 10, I'd consider myself a car guy. I've been loyal to BMW since I owned my first 328is coupe in 1997.

    Living in the Bay Area, you can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting a Tesla. Here's my list of things that would keep me from considering a Tesla:

    1. I like to drive. I don't want my car driving itself. Having to babysit the steering wheel, wondering if the system will continue working, is IMHO, worse than simply steering myself. I don't want to ride in a self-driving transportation pod. I want feel like I'm piloting something.

    2. I don't want to control the functions of my car with a giant iPad. The Model 3 is particularly egregious in this regard, and you can't angle the screen toward the driver.

    3. I don't want the functionality of my car dependent on Tesla software updates. Tesla just released a SW update for the Model 3 that enables FM radio operation. Really?

    4. Recharge time is too long. I can add 450 miles of range to my X5 in 3 minutes. EVs won't be able to accomplish that feat in our lifetimes.

    5. You can't convince me that having to tether your car to a charger every day or two is more convenient than getting gas every two weeks. Fuel stops are convenient anyway as I used the time to empty trash from my car, clean my windows, etc.

    6. Tesla interiors are not up to the standards of German ICE cars of similar price.

    7. Range drops by half in cold weather. And if you live where it's cold, the waste heat of an ICE comes in quite handy.

    8. People say EVs are cheaper to maintain. A Model S's annual recommended service cost is $600--not exactly cheap.

    9. EVs depreciate very quickly. That's because they have a $20,000 battery pack that's likely to need replacement in 10 to 15 years.

    I'm sure the instant rush of EV torque is addicting, but until some of the above limitations are overcome, I'm sticking with the good old fashioned ICE car.

    Spud Boy, you bring up many valid points that I’d like to comment on. Like you I am in Teslaville (I live within camera drone range of the Tesla factory) where they are near ubiquitous, along with your Nissan Leafs, Chevy Bolts & Volts (less popular now, maybe lost their rung on the virtue signaling/status ladder?), Fiat 500′s, … Surprisingly, at least to me given that there are only 3 places to fuel them in the Bay Area, a good number of the hydrogen powered twins, the Honda Clarity & Toyota Mirai, are running around too?

    I have mild fascination with Tesla, enhanced by that proximity to factory, saturation of the local streets with their cars, and wonderment at enterprises valuation. My phone is littered with pics I’ve taken of Tesla’s on their “test track”, loaded 18 wheel car haulers parked all over town with Model 3′s, their new massive storage lot full of inventory (I thought every one was presold?) …

    But on with the comments on your points:

    “1. I like to drive. I don’t want my car driving itself. Having to babysit the steering wheel, wondering if the system will continue working, is IMHO, worse than simply steering myself. I don’t want to ride in a self-driving transportation pod. I want feel like I’m piloting something.”

    Self direction (navigating your own vehicle) is ending. It will start with “downtown” areas, where only self guiding cars will be allowed for safety/congestion reasons. It will then of course spread to envelope at least all metropolitan regions, if not everywhere. Many advantages will ensue; fewer accidents, no stoplights/waiting (cars will interlace thru intersections), no police chases, tickets, driving under the influence, racing, honking, aggressive maneuvering, getting lost, … The elderly & disabled will have some mobility restored. And it with save an untold number of hours “wasted” driving/steering vehicles: time that could be better spent working, sleeping, getting high, …

    The authorities (government & commerce) will gain the ability to better direct our lives, sending us all exactly where “we” want/need to go! They already know where we all are (pinging cell phones).

     

    “4. Recharge time is too long. I can add 450 miles of range to my X5 in 3 minutes. EVs won’t be able to accomplish that feat in our lifetimes.”

    That’s true, but 15 minutes is doable, and that’s really not that long. With a little forethought, it’s a non-issue.

    “5. You can’t convince me that having to tether your car to a charger every day or two is more convenient than getting gas every two weeks. Fuel stops are convenient anyway as I used the time to empty trash from my car, clean my windows, etc.”

    It’s really convenient to be able to fuel/charge your car @ home or work. Once you get used to it, you begin to get that annoyed feeling @ the thought of having to pull into a gas station when that yellow dash light comes on. A bonus is one less “opportunity” to interact with ever increasing swarms of “homeless”.

     ”7. Range drops by half in cold weather. And if you live where it’s cold, the waste heat of an ICE comes in quite handy.”

    That’s true, hot engines can make for an invitingly warm interior. But it’s (very) nice to be able to sit in your EV running the “climate control” without the engine idling while waiting for you child to get out of class, for instance. You can also use your phone to direct preheat/cool of your car prior to use. EV’s have it all over ICE for temp comfort.

    “9. EVs depreciate very quickly. That’s because they have a $20,000 battery pack that’s likely to need replacement in 10 to 15 years.”

    That’s true, but in reality most cars are worth ~20%, or less, of their original cost 10 years out (point battery would need replacement). 20% might as well be 0.

    I say all of the above myself being an ICE car driver, collector, enthusiast, car show participant, self maintainer, restorer & all around in every way – ICE lover. But the future is not ICE, and certainly not self directed driving, at least not for the masses/transportation. Electric propulsion is here to stay, “engines” for ground based vehicles are going to be a part of the this worlds history.

    As to Tesla’s future:

    “Tesla met promises in first 10-year Master Plan; Musk to stay 10 more years!”

    Tesla the car company will most certainly end. If you can’t make money selling the premium cars (which is where car companies make their profits) you can’t make money. More Model 3′s just mean larger losses. Tesla’s future, and I’m guessing it will be a bright one, will be as the USA’s/worlds primary defense contractor. Tesla has a leg up in production race of the defensive, & offensive, “AI brained” killer robots/drones/plagues soon to come. The cars are now (original I think he really was a “car” guy) just part of Musk’s production learning curve in preparation for saving/destroying the world. I don’t believe he’s evil, or that he even wants it, it’s just his destiny.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    A persuasive and comprehensive post. Thanks for contributing.
    , @Johnny Rico
    Hahahaaaaaa! Post of the day. Outstanding work. Thank you.

    Some of that might happen, but not soon. I get it. The future is over-rated, it's not what it used to be.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  106. @Buzz Mohawk
    Then let's build American nuclear power plants to power all those Teslas, you dummies!

    Seriously, any discussion of electric anything replacing fossil anything in the future absolutely requires recognition of the long-hidden fact that nuclear power is a good thing -- a good thing that Americans are good at.

    PS: The Truth About Cars is the best place to read anything free of industry propaganda about cars, and Jack Baruth is a quality automotive writer. He even had the balls to go against Porsche AG, builder of vehicles he has loved.

    Eric Peters gets linked over at Lew Rockwell, I like him as well.

    His thoughts on Musk and the Tesla racket offer a different perspective than Steve’s.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  107. @Travis
    all conservatives should despise Tesla. they depend on government subsidies. If the generous subsidies end , TESLA sales will collapse. They owe their existence to the Global warming Hoax and government assistance.

    in 2015 Tesla sold a total of 2,738 cars in Denmark. In 2016 the number dropped by 94% to just 176 units when the government reduced the subsidies for electric cars...TESLA and the green lobby will fight hard to keep the government incentives high in America , otherwise TESLA goes bankrupt.

    In addition to the dependence on subsidies , TESLA depends on the leftist media which promotes the global warning hoax..Once the hoax is fully brought to light, why would anyone buy an electric car ? It is not economically viable and actually produces more pollution than a typical internal combustion vehicle.

    Travis, NY State subsidized Musk’s River Bend solar panel plant to the tune of $750 million. In return he was to provide 500 jobs in Buffalo and a total of 1500 state wide. The subsidy actually covered the total cost of construction and machinery. Google a photo of the plant and note there is not one solar panel in use at the plant.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  108. @Anon7
    The “case for Tesla” is that they have created the quickest, most responsive car on the road. The reason that every luxury sports car company is building their own version is that their executives drove a 2014 or 2015 Model S and said “Holy s*** we need to make one of these!!” And they’ll introduce their cars in the next couple of years, because that’s how far behind they are.

    I own a Model S and there’s no other car production car, regardless of engine capacity, that can compete at legal speeds (0-80). I couldn’t care less about electric cars per se and I have little patience for global warming hysteria. Given the electricity production in my state, my Tesla is part coal-powered and part nuke.

    Oh, and did I mention that on my last 800 mile road trip, the car drove itself for about 700 of those miles?

    Tesla is the most Made in America of any of the car companies, much more so than Ford, GM or whatever remains of the others. Stop hating and take a test drive.

    What happens when you’re driving a Tesla and it’s either sub-zero outside or 110 degrees? What kind of mileage drop do you get with the heaters on full? Heating with electricity tends to use a lot.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon7
    That's true. We just went through a spell of +5F in the day and -10F at night, and the battery usage goes way up. There are two basic scenarios. If you're at home, and you start out with a cold battery, and just drive a couple dozen miles to work, your car sits in the cold all day, then you go back, the mileage you can get from the battery drops by probably 50%. Not only are you expending energy to heat the car, you need to expend energy to heat the car's battery pack to get optimal use from it.

    On the other hand, if you're taking a trip, once the car battery warms up, and if you don't go crazy trying to heat the car to 80 degrees, the battery usage (and subsequent mileage) will take about a 15-20% hit. Still, it's no problem with Tesla's amazing Supercharger network for long trips.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  109. @stillCARealist
    GE sucks! Don't buy GE appliances! I've had nothing but trouble with these beasts in my kitchen and I always grab an opportunity to tell others to buy something, anything else.

    GE sucks! Don’t buy GE appliances!

    I had three reasons:

    1) I wanted to buy products that made money for an American company. (This was before GE sold its appliance division to a Chinese company in 2016.)

    2) I knew a lot of GE executives here. They were my customers and neighbors. (This was before they moved their corporate headquarters last year to escape outrageous taxation.)

    3) My parents filled their home with GE appliances. Those lasted thirty years. (I know because I inherited a house full of them.)

    I guess I am learning that, like most things in America now, GE isn’t what it used to be.

    One can sometimes find in everyday life microcosms or little holographic windows into what is happening to the macro world. In this case GE appliances are images of America itself.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    I have an LG fridge (made in Korea). It has something called a "linear compressor" which you can't get in any American fridge. The idea is that when you spin a motor to spin a crank to push a piston up and down (compressors are sort of like gas engines run backward) you end up with a lot of friction losses. If you apply can apply the electromagnetic field directly to the piston it's much more efficient, cooler and quieter (I can barely hear my fridge running). The problem is what happens when you get to the end of the travel and have to reverse course. If the piston hits bottom or top it would sound like a jackhammer but using position sensors and other electronics you can get it to stop and go the other way before that happens.

    It was an American invention and the American inventors approached all the big American manufacturers and they all said they were not interested. Fridge compressors are decades old well proven designs made in places like Brazil and Mexico and the big mfrs. can buy them for $39 each by the millions (the big effort is in features - different arrangements of the doors, stainless steel finishes, water dispensers, etc. that you can market to women). They are not very efficient but they work and are pretty reliable. Why would we want this, the American mfrs said (the same thing that they said when Bosch showed the American car makers fuel injection)?

    GE had actually tried an innovative rotary (non-piston) compressor design around 1980 - they had a high failure rate leading to a $450 million (1980 $) recall cost. The root cause - there were 2 little parts inside the compressor that should have been made of hardened steel and machined. But in typical short sighted US corporate bean counter fashion, they replaced those 2 parts with parts made of powdered metal because they could save a nickel or something on each one. Powdered metal allows you to make metal parts cheaply because it is done in a way similar to the injection molding of plastic - you can spit finished parts right out of a mold. If you ever see a metal gear or something inside a mixer or drill (or even in some car parts now) and the metal looks kind of dull and grainy, that's powdered metal. It sucks. But after that GE never wanted to hear about new compressor designs again.

    So the inventors took it to the Koreans and they saw the benefits immediately and bought a license. THe whole story is like a parable of why American corporations like GE mostly suck nowadays. The bean counters and marketing whizzes are in charge and engineers are people that they beat up on to get the costs down.

    , @Anonymous
    GE is an enormous and almost random collection of businesses at this point that have little to do with each other and make money because they can minimize taxes playing off each others' losses. GE makes the second best locomotives, the second best jet engines, etc, etc, and breaking GE up into several parts would be a win for everyone else besides GE.

    GE refrigerators and electric ranges were excellent, GE washers and dryers okay, in "the old days". By the 90s that was pretty much history. Almost all GE consumer products are crap now, except electrical stuff like house wiring, circuit breakers, et al.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  110. @Jack D
    The "waste" heat from gas turbines doesn't necessarily get wasted. For example, MIT draws most of its electric power from a gas turbine cogen plant and they use the waste heat from the turbines to heat/cool the whole campus.

    1st of all solar is not the only way to create renewable power and 2nd, instead of covering all of Texas, what if you put solar panels on every rooftop, along highway shoulders and medians, above parking lots, etc. - space that is already wasted? Wouldn't all of those spaces collectively add up to a lot of area?

    what if you put solar panels on every rooftop, along highway shoulders and medians, above parking lots, etc. – space that is already wasted? Wouldn’t all of those spaces collectively add up to a lot of area?

    No.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  111. @Jack D
    The "waste" heat from gas turbines doesn't necessarily get wasted. For example, MIT draws most of its electric power from a gas turbine cogen plant and they use the waste heat from the turbines to heat/cool the whole campus.

    1st of all solar is not the only way to create renewable power and 2nd, instead of covering all of Texas, what if you put solar panels on every rooftop, along highway shoulders and medians, above parking lots, etc. - space that is already wasted? Wouldn't all of those spaces collectively add up to a lot of area?

    what if you put solar panels on every rooftop, along highway shoulders and medians, above parking lots, etc. – space that is already wasted? Wouldn’t all of those spaces collectively add up to a lot of area?

    No.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  112. Taxpayer subsidies are a great business plan
    until they aren’t.
    No soft landing for that unpredictable moment.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  113. @Jack D
    As it happens, I did own a 5 series with the great big straight 6 engine and I loved that car. But the new BMWs with their little 2 liter turbo 4's are nothing like that. It's so sad and ridiculous to me that they actually pipe in a recording of the sound of a real engine over the speakers so you don't hear the pathetic whine of the 4. I swear to you that they do that - I couldn't believe that was true, but it is.

    My last (and I mean last) German car was an Audi and what killed it was a Rube Goldbergish system for varying the valve timing the fatal link of which was a chain tensioner made of plastic that rubbed directly on a steel bike chain. And not just any plastic - I've seen better quality plastic in Happy Meal toys. And once this went the valves hit the pistons and it was end of engine. Nor was this a freak - it's a well known flaw but since the part doesn't usually fail until the warranty is over (which itself is miraculous - looking at the design I'm surprised it lasted a week - modern motor oils are great), VW/Audi doesn't care.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can’t handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    That’s a bit unfair. A reactor-killing tsunami was not something anyone could have predicted. Now that it’s happened, current and future reactors will be tsunami-proofed to the extent possible.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Yes, who could have predicted that a reactor built on the shore of an island in the Ring of Fire would ever get hit by a tsunami?

    2nd this is called "closing the barn door after the horse is gone". Sure, future reactors will be tsunami proof, but what other "no one could have predicted" risk is still out there? It's the "unknown unknowns" that really get you.

    Lastly, the problem with nuclear is that the price of getting it wrong is really really high. It's going to cost them countless billions to clean up the reactor sites and large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries. There is no other power gen technology that carries that level of risk.

    Maybe there are better reactor designs possible but the irony of current nuclear plant designs is that they depend on electricity to operate the cooling pumps & valves, etc. and anything that interrupts the active cooling system can lead to meltdown. Eventually one way or another there is going to be some combination of events that it going to interrupt the power or the cooling and then you are in big trouble, especially if your backup system fails at the same time, which sometimes happens. A really safe design would passively fail in a safe way instead of overheating and exploding (not a nuclear explosion but a steam explosion but still very bad).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  114. @ Buffalo Joe

    I don’t think the River Bend plant is up and running yet, SpaceX and the Gigafactory run on Solar, I’m sure they plan on running the PV plant on Solar too, give it time

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  115. My Honda Viagra is pretty reliable though it does take half an hour to warm up.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    Viagra goes off patent protection this year. Prices should drop from $25 to $3 per pill. Almost as low as my generic mail-order 100 mg "Viagra" from India. On the other hand, my doctor just wrote me a prescription for real "low dose" 20 mg Viagra, running at $2 per pill from my local CVS pharmacy.
    , @ThreeCranes
    LOL
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  116. Isn’t Baruth the same imbecile who was on NPR rotely reciting other peoples’ ten year old talking points about autonomous vehicles in a bored and contemptuous tone of voice, as though no complications or other opinions had emerged? “Get with the program, you peasants.” Why does anyone pay attention to this guy? Let me guess, he was a major success in the auto industry during the long hell period where it could not do a single thing right.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack Baruth
    Must be a different imbecile.

    I've never been on NPR.

    You're probably thinking of Vermont State Senator Philip Baruth, who is no relation to me and whose name, I suspect, was originally Baruch as opposed to the name of the town in the former East Germany from whence me and mine hail. Senator Baruth is a Democrat who is firmly in favor of every liberal policy from gun confiscation to pansexual polyqueer ponykin lifestyles; I am none of that.

    Hope that clears things up.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  117. I make about ten grand a yr. I’d give my nutsack for a good but cheap no frills car that cost say 2-3k and lasts 100k miles.

    Instead, the cheapest decent hatchback is 22k USED. God himself knows what a truck cost nowadays even though modern pickups are more like fucking sports cars than utilitarian workhorses….

    But then again American car companies don’t like competition and they want you to buy their over priced shit you don’t want or need…

    Let’s not talk about loan companies requiring full coverage insurance at 400$/month lol or the cost of a car note

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  118. @Simply Pseudonymic
    Slightly OT, but can anyone explain to me why Breitbart has so much hatred for Musk and Tesla? Every story there is about how he's a conman. Every time Tesla has a setback or problem, Breitbart is there to crow about it. It's rather...unseemly. Anyone tell me why the hatred?

    Musk is definitely a con man. Why Breitbart hates him, I have no idea.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
    I have serious reservations about Musk operations as viable businesses, but as con men go, I will take Musk. At least he did not get rich hustling mortgage backed securities. Yes, PayPal was a little shady, but he has an actual factory in Hawthorne, California that looks pretty cool and employees people that design and build things that impress me.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  119. @Johann Ricke

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can’t handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.
     
    That's a bit unfair. A reactor-killing tsunami was not something anyone could have predicted. Now that it's happened, current and future reactors will be tsunami-proofed to the extent possible.

    Yes, who could have predicted that a reactor built on the shore of an island in the Ring of Fire would ever get hit by a tsunami?

    2nd this is called “closing the barn door after the horse is gone”. Sure, future reactors will be tsunami proof, but what other “no one could have predicted” risk is still out there? It’s the “unknown unknowns” that really get you.

    Lastly, the problem with nuclear is that the price of getting it wrong is really really high. It’s going to cost them countless billions to clean up the reactor sites and large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries. There is no other power gen technology that carries that level of risk.

    Maybe there are better reactor designs possible but the irony of current nuclear plant designs is that they depend on electricity to operate the cooling pumps & valves, etc. and anything that interrupts the active cooling system can lead to meltdown. Eventually one way or another there is going to be some combination of events that it going to interrupt the power or the cooling and then you are in big trouble, especially if your backup system fails at the same time, which sometimes happens. A really safe design would passively fail in a safe way instead of overheating and exploding (not a nuclear explosion but a steam explosion but still very bad).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries.
     
    That will come as a surprise to the current inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both of which were gradually repopulated pretty much after the debris was cleared away.
    , @reiner Tor

    large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries
     
    Chernobyl is already habitable. So is Hiroshima. They might have to be evacuated for a few years or at worst a few decades.
    , @JSM
    A really safe design would passively fail in a safe way instead of overheating and exploding (not a nuclear explosion but a steam explosion but still very bad).

    That's what makes Liquid Fluoride-salt-cooled Thorium Reactors so grand.
    The stuff in the reactor vessel is *already* melted. An ice plug at the bottom of the reactor vessel keeps it all in. That ice plug is maintained by the electricity that the power plant makes. If something goes wrong and power is lost, the ice plug melts, the stuff in the reactor vessel flows to a containment vessel below and spreads out, taking the core out of critical mass and it sits there and passively cools off. CanNOT melt down. Walk-away safe.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6gcs02P4qo

    , @bb.
    comparing safety of nuclear vs everything else is like cars vs. planes, where nuclear is like the planes >https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#1e202c35709b

    Energy Source Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr)

    Coal – global average 100,000 (41% global electricity)
    Coal – China 170,000 (75% China’s electricity)
    Coal – U.S. 10,000 (32% U.S. electricity)
    Oil 36,000 (33% of energy, 8% of electricity)
    Natural Gas 4,000 (22% global electricity)
    Biofuel/Biomass 24,000 (21% global energy)
    Solar (rooftop) 440 (< 1% global electricity)
    Wind 150 (2% global electricity)
    Hydro – global average 1,400 (16% global electricity)
    Hydro – U.S. 5 (6% U.S. electricity)
    Nuclear – global average 90 (11% global electricity w/Chern&Fukush)
    Nuclear – U.S. 0.1 (19% U.S. electricity)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  120. Several comments here have rather blithely asserted that electric and/or self-driving cars are the future. I have to ask: Have you really thought about how much that’s going to cost?

    The first problem I see is that, unless you plan on installing some significant solar electric generating capacity in every home and business in America, electric cars (non-hybrid) are going to become nonfunctional the next time there is a prolonged power outage; which, given the country’s aging and dilapidated infrastructure, there is sure to be. The blackout might even come about as a result of the electric cars themselves. What happens when everybody on the Gulf Coast plugs in their Teslas at the same time trying to get out of the path of an approaching hurricane?

    But disaster scenarios aside, I don’t see how even normal life is going to withstand the strain. First, we have to assume that we’ll still want to run everything we currently run with electricity. That means that electrical vehicle fleet will be a marginal additional burden upon our electric grid and generating capacity, which will require both the complete refitting of the entire grid and the construction of several hundred new power plants. In 2016, energy consumption in the US for transportation alone amounted to about 30,000 petajoules. Next, we have to consider the replacement of the existing vehicle fleet (some 250 million autos, give or take) with the new electric models. At the current price for the least expensive Tesla model, this alone would cost almost 9 trillion dollars and that’s just the book value. Finance charges and other frictional costs would add several trillions more to that figure.

    On top of that, there is the cost of installing the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of charging stations throughout the country.

    But that’s not all. In order to universalize the self-driving technology (even if the programming was good enough for implementation, which it isn’t and never will be), America’s millions of miles of roadways will have to be refitted with sensors and transponders, graded, repaved, and painted. Since the roads, too, are in a state of disrepair not less dire than the electric grid, this will necessitate yet another massive round of infrastructure spending.

    Now where talking about something like $25-30 trillion when it’s all added up. And all this is supposed to be taking place in a world where there is no global economic growth, in a country that is already $20 trillion in debt, is facing massive funding shortfalls in entitlements and pensions, which is on the cusp of a demographic inversion and must also pay for the retirement and senescence of the Baby Boomers, where 100 million people are already not working and the cost of labor is arbitraged to the Third World minimum?

    Sorry, ain’t gonna happen.

    The economic, social, and geopolitical disruptions associated with going to all electric cars are monumental. There are incalculable sunk costs invested in our existing petroleum based infrastructure and that infrastructure is “good enough” for now. We will continue grinding along with what we have while maintenance gets more and more shoddy and ad hoc as the marginal buyer drops out of the petroleum economy. We are at peak energy consumption right now. The electric future is a pipe dream.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Next, we have to consider the replacement of the existing vehicle fleet (some 250 million autos, give or take) with the new electric models. At the current price for the least expensive Tesla model, this alone would cost almost 9 trillion dollars and that’s just the book value. Finance charges and other frictional costs would add several trillions more to that figure.
     
    They will have to be replaced over the next couple of decades anyway.
    , @Dmitry

    Next, we have to consider the replacement of the existing vehicle fleet (some 250 million autos, give or take) with the new electric models. At the current price for the least expensive Tesla model, this alone would cost almost 9 trillion dollars and that’s just the book value. Finance charges and other frictional costs would add several trillions more to that figure.

    On top of that, there is the cost of installing the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of charging stations throughout the country.
     

    Electric motors are far more efficient at converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, than internal combustion engines are at converting the chemical energy in the hydrocarbon, into thermal energy, into mechanical energy .

    Of course, this is not whole chain - as the electrical energy itself has to be produced (and transported and stored). But natural gas, coal, fuel oil, and even petroleum electricity generation is not only a much more efficient energy conversion process (than the ICE), but there are far more various sources (I won't write a list of different kinds of power stations) of energy available - while the sources of petroleum are limited, and in many places require long transportation to even get to the market.

    The end result is expressed simply by the market - in lower costs per kilometer traveled in an electric vehicle than an internal combustion powered one.

    At the current price for the least expensive Tesla model, this alone would cost almost 9 trillion dollars and that’s just the book value
     

    The sales price for the two type of vehicles will eventually reach parity in the medium-term. In the long term, there is potential for EVs to eventually have lower sales prices than ICE vehicles - due to inherent greater simplicity in the design, and therefore in the manufacturing process.
    , @MBlanc46
    To hear you tell it, the future is a pipe dream, sans qualification. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  121. @Jack D
    How long did you keep your cars? For the 1st 3 years or so, there won't be a big difference between say an Audi and a Lexus.

    But after that the lines diverge. Older German cars will kill you on repairs. The floozywhatsis breaks and the dealer wants $3,000 to fix it. Then a few months later the whatchamacallit fails and that's $2,000 . On and on. The sporty ride is achieved with incredibly complicated suspensions with all sorts of links and ball joints, etc. all of which eventually wear out.

    OTOH, an older Lexus just keeps going even with minimal maintenance. They just don't break.

    So true. My father’s utterly splendid and gloriously fun to drive 1958 Mercedes Coupe finally bit the dust when he was told that the parts he needed would have to be individually tooled.
    A cousin a few years older than me has two Lexuses (Lexi?) – one new, the other, which he drives more often, an original. He drove me around in it eighteen months ago and it sounded and felt like a new car.
    He also collects classic Bentleys, but I wasn’t favoured with a drive in one of those.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    The irony is that Mercedes actually supports its older vehicles pretty well, albeit at a high price. A lot of American manufacturers now just call certain parts NLA (no longer available) after a few years (years and not decades). I'm talking about brands that still exist, like Ford and Chrysler and cars from this century, not parts for your '29 Hupmobile. If the part breaks and you need a new one you have to get it out of a wreck or hope that someone in the aftermarket makes it and if not you are SOL.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  122. @Buzz Mohawk
    I have owned BMWs and Benzes for the past twenty years. I have replaced some floozywhatsises myself and have paid to have others replaced. I have also paid to have things like the parts you mentioned on the sublime BMW suspensions replaced when they wore out. (The ones I loved were actually not "incredibly complicated." They were just designed and built to do what BMW wanted its customers to enjoy. Their ideal customer has some enthusiasm and can appreciate a car with a 50/50 weight balance, which BMW takes great pains to achieve even in its sedans.)

    And I am not talking about the rotten bastard Mercedes floozywhatsis adaptive suspensions. Those are terribly complex, German wet dreams that just guild the lily on an old man's car. Benz is a heavy, old man's car compared to BMW -- though Bimmers have gotten heavier and more complex. It's all sales and marketing, of course.

    Have you ever owned a BMW 5 series with a stick shift? I did for ten years, and I drove the hell out of it all over America because it handled as close to a sports car as a sedan can while still having a rear seat that folded down to allow me to slide seven-foot Christmas trees in there.

    Some people see cars as appliances, and others see them the way sentimental cowboys see their horses. I can't argue with that, because I've wasted plenty of money loving cars with characters I liked.

    As for electric cars being "electronic," that is silly. They are massive piles of batteries connected to electric motors. They are electric, not electronic in the sense of complexity. Therein lies their weakness: they are heavy, and they get their energy from power plants. That is why nuclear power is the necessary partner to electric cars.

    Even people who think Apollo astronauts were "Spam in the can" and who get their expertise on that subject from "The Right Stuff," can be correct re cars in the long run though: The most balanced and perfected automobiles will eventually be nothing more than channels for capital to be funneled to Asia -- unless we find a way to stop that. One won't care, of course, if he just moves on and relocates to New Zealand, which doesn't have a car industry.

    I drove a 1981 BMW sedan and it was the best road-hugging car I have ever driven. I still remember it with awe.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  123. @Jack D
    Yes, who could have predicted that a reactor built on the shore of an island in the Ring of Fire would ever get hit by a tsunami?

    2nd this is called "closing the barn door after the horse is gone". Sure, future reactors will be tsunami proof, but what other "no one could have predicted" risk is still out there? It's the "unknown unknowns" that really get you.

    Lastly, the problem with nuclear is that the price of getting it wrong is really really high. It's going to cost them countless billions to clean up the reactor sites and large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries. There is no other power gen technology that carries that level of risk.

    Maybe there are better reactor designs possible but the irony of current nuclear plant designs is that they depend on electricity to operate the cooling pumps & valves, etc. and anything that interrupts the active cooling system can lead to meltdown. Eventually one way or another there is going to be some combination of events that it going to interrupt the power or the cooling and then you are in big trouble, especially if your backup system fails at the same time, which sometimes happens. A really safe design would passively fail in a safe way instead of overheating and exploding (not a nuclear explosion but a steam explosion but still very bad).

    large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries.

    That will come as a surprise to the current inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both of which were gradually repopulated pretty much after the debris was cleared away.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  124. @Anon
    I agree with you. Car obsession apparently is a characteristic of the sort of guy who is a 'tools' guy and who has a big interest in machinery. They don't mean anything to me.

    I had and have no interest in what is under the hood (bonnet over here), but I have always been fascinated by, even in love with, the aesthetics of cars.
    I had a friend as a teenager who liked the former. One day he told me that he had found a place which would be a treasure trove for us both, so I accompanied him out to a busy if nondescript street somewhere in, I think, San Jose.
    We arrived to find a burly man of around 40 with his head deep inside the workings of a magnificent Packard from around 1935. He looked up, saw our youthful wide eyes, and said “Hi kids, take all the time you want” as a sweep of his arm indicated a huge covered garage behind him. We walked in, gaped, and didn’t leave for at least two hours. it was the first of a good half-dozen visits.
    In that garage were some fifty classics from the golden age of American cars: Auburns, Lincolns, Cadillacs (V12s and at least two V16s) , more than one Cord, Packards (always my favourite) and three Duesenbergs. There was even a 1916 Locomobile.
    He told us that he had picked them all up for $50 here and $100 there in the days (0nly just ending back then in 1962 or so) when nobody cared about them. He planned to spend the next ten years restoring them all.
    I never found out what happened to him or them. It would be great if somebody here could enlighten us. God they were beautiful.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    In that garage were some fifty classics from the golden age of American cars: Auburns, Lincolns, Cadillacs (V12s and at least two V16s) , more than one Cord, Packards (always my favourite) and three Duesenbergs. There was even a 1916 Locomobile.
    He told us that he had picked them all up for $50 here and $100 there in the days (0nly just ending back then in 1962 or so) when nobody cared about them.

    I can remember even up until the early '80s seeing the occasional unrestored '55 and '57 Chevy driving around town as regular transportation, and this was in New England, many more in the south. And you could still, literally, make an old "barn find" and buy it cheap from some old widow. You can't touch those cars now and you'll only see 'em at a car show.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  125. @Lars Porsena
    SO2 is smog, so I'm not saying that inside a city you can't have problems with NO2 and SO2 accumulation.

    However, in terms of grand impact to the environment, SO2 + H2O = H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), H2SO4 + CaCO3 (limestone) = CaSO4 (gypsum) + H2O + CO2. It's a natural cycle. SOx and NOx are released from sulfate and nitrate salts and sulfuric and nitric acid and find their way back to them through the water cycle.

    Same thing with NO2 + H2O = HNO3 (nitric acid).

    It's only an issue in cities. You could just as well put the power plants somewhere rural and not worry about it.

    I'm not really disagreeing with you, I just want to mention, because you will hear people talk about SO2 and NO2 like they are some kind of unnatural pollutants but the only issue is concentration, they are both naturally occurring and can be sequestered in the ground.

    The power plants do not do anything special to minimize the production of NOx and SOx that would all be in the fuel end. They just scrub the NOx out of the exhaust gasses and put it somewhere else.

    SO2 + 1/2O2 -> SO3 + H2O -> Sulphuric Acid, otherwise it’s just sulphurous acid (still acidic but Sulphuric’s wimpy little brother).

    You can’t just put powerplants somewhere rural, the acid rain will destroy anywhere that has trees. See Trail, BC and Sudbury, ON before the 70s.

    I will agree that there’s plenty of scrubbing tech out there to be used and that it’s easier to centralize that tech, but there’s a cost in terms of energy and reliability.

    I worked at a plant that made approx. 1500 tons of a day of sulphuric and it was a nightmare to stay below our 400 ppm limits.

    De-NOx systems are also reasonably common but again there’s a lot to maintaining these systems, they have a capital cost and if you ‘over-centralize’ then you deal with transmission losses.

    Nothing is a cheap or easy as it’s proponent’s would have you believe.

    I think the embodied energy of a Tesla is so much higher than a Honda Accord that the ‘energy savings’ over the lifetime are quite unlikely.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  126. @Buzz Mohawk

    GE sucks! Don’t buy GE appliances!
     
    I had three reasons:

    1) I wanted to buy products that made money for an American company. (This was before GE sold its appliance division to a Chinese company in 2016.)

    2) I knew a lot of GE executives here. They were my customers and neighbors. (This was before they moved their corporate headquarters last year to escape outrageous taxation.)

    3) My parents filled their home with GE appliances. Those lasted thirty years. (I know because I inherited a house full of them.)

    I guess I am learning that, like most things in America now, GE isn't what it used to be.

    One can sometimes find in everyday life microcosms or little holographic windows into what is happening to the macro world. In this case GE appliances are images of America itself.

    I have an LG fridge (made in Korea). It has something called a “linear compressor” which you can’t get in any American fridge. The idea is that when you spin a motor to spin a crank to push a piston up and down (compressors are sort of like gas engines run backward) you end up with a lot of friction losses. If you apply can apply the electromagnetic field directly to the piston it’s much more efficient, cooler and quieter (I can barely hear my fridge running). The problem is what happens when you get to the end of the travel and have to reverse course. If the piston hits bottom or top it would sound like a jackhammer but using position sensors and other electronics you can get it to stop and go the other way before that happens.

    It was an American invention and the American inventors approached all the big American manufacturers and they all said they were not interested. Fridge compressors are decades old well proven designs made in places like Brazil and Mexico and the big mfrs. can buy them for $39 each by the millions (the big effort is in features – different arrangements of the doors, stainless steel finishes, water dispensers, etc. that you can market to women). They are not very efficient but they work and are pretty reliable. Why would we want this, the American mfrs said (the same thing that they said when Bosch showed the American car makers fuel injection)?

    GE had actually tried an innovative rotary (non-piston) compressor design around 1980 – they had a high failure rate leading to a $450 million (1980 $) recall cost. The root cause – there were 2 little parts inside the compressor that should have been made of hardened steel and machined. But in typical short sighted US corporate bean counter fashion, they replaced those 2 parts with parts made of powdered metal because they could save a nickel or something on each one. Powdered metal allows you to make metal parts cheaply because it is done in a way similar to the injection molding of plastic – you can spit finished parts right out of a mold. If you ever see a metal gear or something inside a mixer or drill (or even in some car parts now) and the metal looks kind of dull and grainy, that’s powdered metal. It sucks. But after that GE never wanted to hear about new compressor designs again.

    So the inventors took it to the Koreans and they saw the benefits immediately and bought a license. THe whole story is like a parable of why American corporations like GE mostly suck nowadays. The bean counters and marketing whizzes are in charge and engineers are people that they beat up on to get the costs down.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    A good proportion of the old GE Monitor Top fridges still run, the last monitor or globe top was made well before WWII. Ditto the old Grunows and the old gas absorption Servels.

    Those were machines built by engineers under the presumption that the design goal was that it was to last as long as possible, and that the company would charge a good price for a machine that gave good service.

    Capitalism gives people what they really want , instead of what they say they want or what others think is good for them. Appliance buyers do not really want simple, durable, well made machines, they want what is pretty and cheap.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  127. @Old Palo Altan
    So true. My father's utterly splendid and gloriously fun to drive 1958 Mercedes Coupe finally bit the dust when he was told that the parts he needed would have to be individually tooled.
    A cousin a few years older than me has two Lexuses (Lexi?) - one new, the other, which he drives more often, an original. He drove me around in it eighteen months ago and it sounded and felt like a new car.
    He also collects classic Bentleys, but I wasn't favoured with a drive in one of those.

    The irony is that Mercedes actually supports its older vehicles pretty well, albeit at a high price. A lot of American manufacturers now just call certain parts NLA (no longer available) after a few years (years and not decades). I’m talking about brands that still exist, like Ford and Chrysler and cars from this century, not parts for your ’29 Hupmobile. If the part breaks and you need a new one you have to get it out of a wreck or hope that someone in the aftermarket makes it and if not you are SOL.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The cheapest and best long term drivers are cars with drivetrains and suspensions with wide aftermarket support. Body and trim parts may be hard to find, but the mechanicals are cheap and plentiful.

    The only old cars with 100 percent body, trim and interior support are cars people restore in some quantity: Mustangs, muscle cars, Corvettes, VW Bugs and Buses. Some pickup trucks.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  128. Every last person here is missing the iSteve point. The point is that Tesla is part of MAGA.

    There is a big market among virtue-signaling Europeans, and given how they tax the daylight out of motor fuel, there may even be a cost advantage to driving a Tesla, especially if you put a lot of miles on one like those Netherlands cab drivers. Maybe not a virtue signal, but it sure appears to be a big status symbol in China to drive a big, fat Model X.

    If someone wants to weigh in on the Tesla car being overpriced and the company being under-earning, the stock being overpriced and the concept of an electric car being over touted, go over to Seeking Alpha and register with a login name and comment away. What iSteve is trying to tell us that there is a serious, serious demand for those luxury golf carts beyond our shores, and selling to that market is part of Making America Great Again. Go get ‘em, Mr. Musk!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  129. Up until recently, I thought hydrogen fuel cell technology or hydrogen combustion engines were going to make significant increases toward motor vehicle transport, but I don’t seem to hear much about these technologies.

    Solar: Two years ago, I bought a Chinese-made 20 watt solar-powered attic fan off Amazon for $110. It was quite powerful, ran continually even on cloudy days, and pulled a lot of hot air out of my attic. But either the motor or the panel failed after only two years. I haven’t yet climbed up in the roof to figure out what has malfunctioned.

    Oddly, my 2001 Ford Taurus SES daily commuter has been a cream puff. I bought it from National Car rental in ’02 for $11,000 with 20K miles on the odometer and two years left on the bumper-to-bumper warranty. It’s now at 125K miles. Within the past three years, I’ve had to replace the fuel pump ($900) and starter ($400). Over the years, I’ve gone through two sets of front rotors, one 4-wheel brake job, ten tires, and four batteries. Two years ago, the AC stopped blowing cold and I pumped a can of freon in it and it’s remained ice cold. It gives a smooth ride and the 3.0L V-6 is powerful enough to easily pull my 16-foot boat. The later model Taurus’ look pretty beefy and sharp.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  130. @Travis
    You ignore the energy input in building the batteries and the higher energy inputs to forge the aluminum and rare earth magnets used in electric vehicles...The Carbon footprint of electric vehicles in near identical to gasoline power vehicles...Electric Car advocates always ignore the production inputs and environmental costs of mining the required rare-earth elements and cost to mine the nickel and lithium to produce the batteries...Then they lie about our "renewable energy"...building windmills and solar panels also produces massive amount of CO2 and pollution...

    Pollution in cities is definitely lower with electric vehicles, though. I care more about the air in cities where I or my family members live and work than about carbon footprint.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  131. @BRF
    My Honda Viagra is pretty reliable though it does take half an hour to warm up.

    Viagra goes off patent protection this year. Prices should drop from $25 to $3 per pill. Almost as low as my generic mail-order 100 mg “Viagra” from India. On the other hand, my doctor just wrote me a prescription for real “low dose” 20 mg Viagra, running at $2 per pill from my local CVS pharmacy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    So that's what Weinsteingate is about: preparing for the price drop of Viagra.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  132. @Old Palo Altan
    I had and have no interest in what is under the hood (bonnet over here), but I have always been fascinated by, even in love with, the aesthetics of cars.
    I had a friend as a teenager who liked the former. One day he told me that he had found a place which would be a treasure trove for us both, so I accompanied him out to a busy if nondescript street somewhere in, I think, San Jose.
    We arrived to find a burly man of around 40 with his head deep inside the workings of a magnificent Packard from around 1935. He looked up, saw our youthful wide eyes, and said "Hi kids, take all the time you want" as a sweep of his arm indicated a huge covered garage behind him. We walked in, gaped, and didn't leave for at least two hours. it was the first of a good half-dozen visits.
    In that garage were some fifty classics from the golden age of American cars: Auburns, Lincolns, Cadillacs (V12s and at least two V16s) , more than one Cord, Packards (always my favourite) and three Duesenbergs. There was even a 1916 Locomobile.
    He told us that he had picked them all up for $50 here and $100 there in the days (0nly just ending back then in 1962 or so) when nobody cared about them. He planned to spend the next ten years restoring them all.
    I never found out what happened to him or them. It would be great if somebody here could enlighten us. God they were beautiful.

    In that garage were some fifty classics from the golden age of American cars: Auburns, Lincolns, Cadillacs (V12s and at least two V16s) , more than one Cord, Packards (always my favourite) and three Duesenbergs. There was even a 1916 Locomobile.
    He told us that he had picked them all up for $50 here and $100 there in the days (0nly just ending back then in 1962 or so) when nobody cared about them.

    I can remember even up until the early ’80s seeing the occasional unrestored ’55 and ’57 Chevy driving around town as regular transportation, and this was in New England, many more in the south. And you could still, literally, make an old “barn find” and buy it cheap from some old widow. You can’t touch those cars now and you’ll only see ‘em at a car show.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  133. General Motors is doing very well in China, and they are planning large investments in EVs.

    (Tesla will also move into China in the next couple of years, as China’s government is mandating EV production quotas).

    There is a well written GM fanboy article on General Motors vs Tesla from this week here:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-will-suffer-same-fate-as-ford-2018-1?

    -

    As for Tesla being more ‘aspirational as a brand’ – because of two reasons.

    1. They started as a luxury car brand – with luxury prices. Their prices are still higher than for equivalent performance (ICE) cars from BMW.

    2. They only produce EVs in the car sector. (And their other activities – solar roofs, etc – are on the same theme).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  134. @E. Rekshun
    Viagra goes off patent protection this year. Prices should drop from $25 to $3 per pill. Almost as low as my generic mail-order 100 mg "Viagra" from India. On the other hand, my doctor just wrote me a prescription for real "low dose" 20 mg Viagra, running at $2 per pill from my local CVS pharmacy.

    So that’s what Weinsteingate is about: preparing for the price drop of Viagra.

    Read More
    • LOL: E. Rekshun
    • Replies: @Cortes
    And the following Dead Cat bounce?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  135. @LondonBob
    Not terribly convinced by electric cars, yet, and Tesla in particular. Actually the Germans are worried as they have ignored electric and focused on diesel. I am sure Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands, that is before we look at shareholder registers.

    Looks like a case of patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, smoke and mirrors man Musk bring the scoundrel in this case.

    Not terribly convinced by electric cars, yet, and Tesla in particular. Actually the Germans are worried as they have ignored electric and focused on diesel. I am sure Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands, that is before we look at shareholder registers.

    Looks like a case of patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, smoke and mirrors man Musk bring the scoundrel in this case.

    Tesla’s cars have highlighted various intrinsic advantages of EVs, even with current battery technology (low maintenance, simple drive-train, no need for multiple ratio transmission, instant torque). This is aside from the lack of exhaust emissions.

    It will also in the next ten years become very obvious that EVs will allow higher performance specifications at the top end – as there is suddenly upside space in performance, depending on advances in battery technology. While ICE technology is at a ‘mature technology’ stage, and there are diminishing returns in investment as the technology has already gone through so much refinement.

    -

    But with current driving ranges, slow charging times, lack of charging infrastructure and especially for cold weather condition – the ‘sweetspot’ is currently with hybrid vehicles. The Chevrolet Volt
    has the highest specifications in this area – although only available in US market.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  136. @Jack D
    Yes, who could have predicted that a reactor built on the shore of an island in the Ring of Fire would ever get hit by a tsunami?

    2nd this is called "closing the barn door after the horse is gone". Sure, future reactors will be tsunami proof, but what other "no one could have predicted" risk is still out there? It's the "unknown unknowns" that really get you.

    Lastly, the problem with nuclear is that the price of getting it wrong is really really high. It's going to cost them countless billions to clean up the reactor sites and large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries. There is no other power gen technology that carries that level of risk.

    Maybe there are better reactor designs possible but the irony of current nuclear plant designs is that they depend on electricity to operate the cooling pumps & valves, etc. and anything that interrupts the active cooling system can lead to meltdown. Eventually one way or another there is going to be some combination of events that it going to interrupt the power or the cooling and then you are in big trouble, especially if your backup system fails at the same time, which sometimes happens. A really safe design would passively fail in a safe way instead of overheating and exploding (not a nuclear explosion but a steam explosion but still very bad).

    large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries

    Chernobyl is already habitable. So is Hiroshima. They might have to be evacuated for a few years or at worst a few decades.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D

    authorities do not expect the area to be inhabitable for between 180 and 320 years.
     
    (not clear what area they are describing)

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/area-around-chernobyl-remains-uninhabitable-25-years-later/article4266317/

    Some (probably exaggerated) say 3,000 years:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/world/article73405857.html

    This also assumes that nothing is done to clean up hot spots.

    The Chernobyl exclusion zone is 1,000 square miles but I'm sure the outer areas will drop to a safe level much sooner, may even be safe now. A certain # of older peasants in the zone refused to evacuate and nothing much bad seems to have happened to them.

    But just being excluded from 1,000 square miles for 30 years is bad enough let alone centuries.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  137. @Intelligent Dasein
    Several comments here have rather blithely asserted that electric and/or self-driving cars are the future. I have to ask: Have you really thought about how much that's going to cost?

    The first problem I see is that, unless you plan on installing some significant solar electric generating capacity in every home and business in America, electric cars (non-hybrid) are going to become nonfunctional the next time there is a prolonged power outage; which, given the country's aging and dilapidated infrastructure, there is sure to be. The blackout might even come about as a result of the electric cars themselves. What happens when everybody on the Gulf Coast plugs in their Teslas at the same time trying to get out of the path of an approaching hurricane?

    But disaster scenarios aside, I don't see how even normal life is going to withstand the strain. First, we have to assume that we'll still want to run everything we currently run with electricity. That means that electrical vehicle fleet will be a marginal additional burden upon our electric grid and generating capacity, which will require both the complete refitting of the entire grid and the construction of several hundred new power plants. In 2016, energy consumption in the US for transportation alone amounted to about 30,000 petajoules. Next, we have to consider the replacement of the existing vehicle fleet (some 250 million autos, give or take) with the new electric models. At the current price for the least expensive Tesla model, this alone would cost almost 9 trillion dollars and that's just the book value. Finance charges and other frictional costs would add several trillions more to that figure.

    On top of that, there is the cost of installing the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of charging stations throughout the country.

    But that's not all. In order to universalize the self-driving technology (even if the programming was good enough for implementation, which it isn't and never will be), America's millions of miles of roadways will have to be refitted with sensors and transponders, graded, repaved, and painted. Since the roads, too, are in a state of disrepair not less dire than the electric grid, this will necessitate yet another massive round of infrastructure spending.

    Now where talking about something like $25-30 trillion when it's all added up. And all this is supposed to be taking place in a world where there is no global economic growth, in a country that is already $20 trillion in debt, is facing massive funding shortfalls in entitlements and pensions, which is on the cusp of a demographic inversion and must also pay for the retirement and senescence of the Baby Boomers, where 100 million people are already not working and the cost of labor is arbitraged to the Third World minimum?

    Sorry, ain't gonna happen.

    The economic, social, and geopolitical disruptions associated with going to all electric cars are monumental. There are incalculable sunk costs invested in our existing petroleum based infrastructure and that infrastructure is "good enough" for now. We will continue grinding along with what we have while maintenance gets more and more shoddy and ad hoc as the marginal buyer drops out of the petroleum economy. We are at peak energy consumption right now. The electric future is a pipe dream.

    Next, we have to consider the replacement of the existing vehicle fleet (some 250 million autos, give or take) with the new electric models. At the current price for the least expensive Tesla model, this alone would cost almost 9 trillion dollars and that’s just the book value. Finance charges and other frictional costs would add several trillions more to that figure.

    They will have to be replaced over the next couple of decades anyway.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  138. @Anonymous
    If and when the new generation of EV batteries come on line - hyped to surpass gasoline in terms of range and charging time - then it can be confidently expected that the IC engine, in vehicles at least, will go the way of the film camera.

    Sorry, a dumb question. Why don’t electric car makers have a system where you just pop the battery out and replace it with a recharged one at the equivalent of a gas station? (Like propane cylinders for barbeques.)

    Obviously it would require a critical mass of such vehicles to make this infrastructure worthwhile, but it would seem to be a simple solution to the problem of short range.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    The battery weighs 1,200 lbs and delivers over 1,000 amps depending on the model. Swapping them out and remounting a new one would require considerable effort and a bevy of safety checks, as accidents could be fatal. You could do it if you had trained personnel (battery-monkeys?) working at the charging stations, but it isn't something everybody should do themselves.
    , @Jack D
    This has been thought of. There are issues of ownership - the batteries are very expensive and have a defined life so you don't want to end up with someone else's battery that is near its end of life. Personally I don't do gas grill tank swaps because many of the tanks are really beaten up. OTOH when my propane tanks are about to go out of date, I swap them for newer (this is totally allowed by the tank swap vendors - they have facilities to recertify the tanks).

    Tesla had a swap program and they dropped it. The solution to the ownership issue was I think that you were supposed to only "borrow" the swapped battery on your way to your destination and on the return trip you would get yours back again.


    https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-shuts-down-battery-swap-program-for-superchargers/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  139. There is a HUGE drawback to Teslas. If a vehicle suffers any but the most extremely trivial body damage the company will invalidate its warranty, forcing the vehicle to be junked even though it is perfectly drivable, perfectly safe, and easy (and cheap) to repair.

    Here’s one that had to be junked and is now at a salvage auction. I’m not sure if I can even see any damage.

    https://erepairables.com/salvage-cars-auction/suvs/tesla/model+x/2016-tesla-model+x-23912566

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  140. @Intelligent Dasein
    Several comments here have rather blithely asserted that electric and/or self-driving cars are the future. I have to ask: Have you really thought about how much that's going to cost?

    The first problem I see is that, unless you plan on installing some significant solar electric generating capacity in every home and business in America, electric cars (non-hybrid) are going to become nonfunctional the next time there is a prolonged power outage; which, given the country's aging and dilapidated infrastructure, there is sure to be. The blackout might even come about as a result of the electric cars themselves. What happens when everybody on the Gulf Coast plugs in their Teslas at the same time trying to get out of the path of an approaching hurricane?

    But disaster scenarios aside, I don't see how even normal life is going to withstand the strain. First, we have to assume that we'll still want to run everything we currently run with electricity. That means that electrical vehicle fleet will be a marginal additional burden upon our electric grid and generating capacity, which will require both the complete refitting of the entire grid and the construction of several hundred new power plants. In 2016, energy consumption in the US for transportation alone amounted to about 30,000 petajoules. Next, we have to consider the replacement of the existing vehicle fleet (some 250 million autos, give or take) with the new electric models. At the current price for the least expensive Tesla model, this alone would cost almost 9 trillion dollars and that's just the book value. Finance charges and other frictional costs would add several trillions more to that figure.

    On top of that, there is the cost of installing the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of charging stations throughout the country.

    But that's not all. In order to universalize the self-driving technology (even if the programming was good enough for implementation, which it isn't and never will be), America's millions of miles of roadways will have to be refitted with sensors and transponders, graded, repaved, and painted. Since the roads, too, are in a state of disrepair not less dire than the electric grid, this will necessitate yet another massive round of infrastructure spending.

    Now where talking about something like $25-30 trillion when it's all added up. And all this is supposed to be taking place in a world where there is no global economic growth, in a country that is already $20 trillion in debt, is facing massive funding shortfalls in entitlements and pensions, which is on the cusp of a demographic inversion and must also pay for the retirement and senescence of the Baby Boomers, where 100 million people are already not working and the cost of labor is arbitraged to the Third World minimum?

    Sorry, ain't gonna happen.

    The economic, social, and geopolitical disruptions associated with going to all electric cars are monumental. There are incalculable sunk costs invested in our existing petroleum based infrastructure and that infrastructure is "good enough" for now. We will continue grinding along with what we have while maintenance gets more and more shoddy and ad hoc as the marginal buyer drops out of the petroleum economy. We are at peak energy consumption right now. The electric future is a pipe dream.

    Next, we have to consider the replacement of the existing vehicle fleet (some 250 million autos, give or take) with the new electric models. At the current price for the least expensive Tesla model, this alone would cost almost 9 trillion dollars and that’s just the book value. Finance charges and other frictional costs would add several trillions more to that figure.

    On top of that, there is the cost of installing the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of charging stations throughout the country.

    Electric motors are far more efficient at converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, than internal combustion engines are at converting the chemical energy in the hydrocarbon, into thermal energy, into mechanical energy .

    Of course, this is not whole chain – as the electrical energy itself has to be produced (and transported and stored). But natural gas, coal, fuel oil, and even petroleum electricity generation is not only a much more efficient energy conversion process (than the ICE), but there are far more various sources (I won’t write a list of different kinds of power stations) of energy available – while the sources of petroleum are limited, and in many places require long transportation to even get to the market.

    The end result is expressed simply by the market – in lower costs per kilometer traveled in an electric vehicle than an internal combustion powered one.

    At the current price for the least expensive Tesla model, this alone would cost almost 9 trillion dollars and that’s just the book value

    The sales price for the two type of vehicles will eventually reach parity in the medium-term. In the long term, there is potential for EVs to eventually have lower sales prices than ICE vehicles – due to inherent greater simplicity in the design, and therefore in the manufacturing process.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  141. @reiner Tor

    large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries
     
    Chernobyl is already habitable. So is Hiroshima. They might have to be evacuated for a few years or at worst a few decades.

    authorities do not expect the area to be inhabitable for between 180 and 320 years.

    (not clear what area they are describing)

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/area-around-chernobyl-remains-uninhabitable-25-years-later/article4266317/

    Some (probably exaggerated) say 3,000 years:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/world/article73405857.html

    This also assumes that nothing is done to clean up hot spots.

    The Chernobyl exclusion zone is 1,000 square miles but I’m sure the outer areas will drop to a safe level much sooner, may even be safe now. A certain # of older peasants in the zone refused to evacuate and nothing much bad seems to have happened to them.

    But just being excluded from 1,000 square miles for 30 years is bad enough let alone centuries.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  142. @EdwardM
    Sorry, a dumb question. Why don't electric car makers have a system where you just pop the battery out and replace it with a recharged one at the equivalent of a gas station? (Like propane cylinders for barbeques.)

    Obviously it would require a critical mass of such vehicles to make this infrastructure worthwhile, but it would seem to be a simple solution to the problem of short range.

    The battery weighs 1,200 lbs and delivers over 1,000 amps depending on the model. Swapping them out and remounting a new one would require considerable effort and a bevy of safety checks, as accidents could be fatal. You could do it if you had trained personnel (battery-monkeys?) working at the charging stations, but it isn’t something everybody should do themselves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    You could do it if you had trained personnel (battery-monkeys?) working at the charging stations

    Of course Tesla drivers are the type that would want to save $5 on this service, so to keep the service cost down, the battery-monkey job would certainly need to be done by more H-1B visa immigrants, that being the ones that aren't qualified to be code-monkeys.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  143. @EdwardM
    Sorry, a dumb question. Why don't electric car makers have a system where you just pop the battery out and replace it with a recharged one at the equivalent of a gas station? (Like propane cylinders for barbeques.)

    Obviously it would require a critical mass of such vehicles to make this infrastructure worthwhile, but it would seem to be a simple solution to the problem of short range.

    This has been thought of. There are issues of ownership – the batteries are very expensive and have a defined life so you don’t want to end up with someone else’s battery that is near its end of life. Personally I don’t do gas grill tank swaps because many of the tanks are really beaten up. OTOH when my propane tanks are about to go out of date, I swap them for newer (this is totally allowed by the tank swap vendors – they have facilities to recertify the tanks).

    Tesla had a swap program and they dropped it. The solution to the ownership issue was I think that you were supposed to only “borrow” the swapped battery on your way to your destination and on the return trip you would get yours back again.

    https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-shuts-down-battery-swap-program-for-superchargers/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  144. Don’t care about Europeans buying stupid virtue signalling cars like the Tesla(that only exists because of taxpayer funding BTW). Germany committed energy suicide by turning off it’s nukes and now is a ward of Russia and the U.S. for it’s energy supplies. Idiots.

    Europe is on the way out with it’s suicidal importing of Muslims and Blacks. They’re DOA economically in a decade or so.

    Even here the Tesla is only for the rich and wannabe rich who can afford a 3rd car to show off to your friends. Of course their real cars are Mercedes and Lexus SUV’s and coups.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Most Tesla owners out here drive them a lot. You might as well because they are going to depreciate the same if you do or don't.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  145. @27 year old
    Can we find, and FUND a few "based black guys" who would be willing to live in Ghana and make a well-produced YouTube channel promoting expat life as a black American in Ghana?

    We should even have compulsury conscription of whites to spend a year living there as technicians at power plants so they have electricity to make it even more desirable.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  146. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    I have an LG fridge (made in Korea). It has something called a "linear compressor" which you can't get in any American fridge. The idea is that when you spin a motor to spin a crank to push a piston up and down (compressors are sort of like gas engines run backward) you end up with a lot of friction losses. If you apply can apply the electromagnetic field directly to the piston it's much more efficient, cooler and quieter (I can barely hear my fridge running). The problem is what happens when you get to the end of the travel and have to reverse course. If the piston hits bottom or top it would sound like a jackhammer but using position sensors and other electronics you can get it to stop and go the other way before that happens.

    It was an American invention and the American inventors approached all the big American manufacturers and they all said they were not interested. Fridge compressors are decades old well proven designs made in places like Brazil and Mexico and the big mfrs. can buy them for $39 each by the millions (the big effort is in features - different arrangements of the doors, stainless steel finishes, water dispensers, etc. that you can market to women). They are not very efficient but they work and are pretty reliable. Why would we want this, the American mfrs said (the same thing that they said when Bosch showed the American car makers fuel injection)?

    GE had actually tried an innovative rotary (non-piston) compressor design around 1980 - they had a high failure rate leading to a $450 million (1980 $) recall cost. The root cause - there were 2 little parts inside the compressor that should have been made of hardened steel and machined. But in typical short sighted US corporate bean counter fashion, they replaced those 2 parts with parts made of powdered metal because they could save a nickel or something on each one. Powdered metal allows you to make metal parts cheaply because it is done in a way similar to the injection molding of plastic - you can spit finished parts right out of a mold. If you ever see a metal gear or something inside a mixer or drill (or even in some car parts now) and the metal looks kind of dull and grainy, that's powdered metal. It sucks. But after that GE never wanted to hear about new compressor designs again.

    So the inventors took it to the Koreans and they saw the benefits immediately and bought a license. THe whole story is like a parable of why American corporations like GE mostly suck nowadays. The bean counters and marketing whizzes are in charge and engineers are people that they beat up on to get the costs down.

    A good proportion of the old GE Monitor Top fridges still run, the last monitor or globe top was made well before WWII. Ditto the old Grunows and the old gas absorption Servels.

    Those were machines built by engineers under the presumption that the design goal was that it was to last as long as possible, and that the company would charge a good price for a machine that gave good service.

    Capitalism gives people what they really want , instead of what they say they want or what others think is good for them. Appliance buyers do not really want simple, durable, well made machines, they want what is pretty and cheap.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Capitalism gives people what they really want , instead of what they say they want or what others think is good for them. Appliance buyers do not really want simple, durable, well made machines, they want what is pretty and cheap.
     
    The most expensive appliance brands (e.g. Sub-Zero, Viking, etc) actually have the worst repair records.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  147. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    The irony is that Mercedes actually supports its older vehicles pretty well, albeit at a high price. A lot of American manufacturers now just call certain parts NLA (no longer available) after a few years (years and not decades). I'm talking about brands that still exist, like Ford and Chrysler and cars from this century, not parts for your '29 Hupmobile. If the part breaks and you need a new one you have to get it out of a wreck or hope that someone in the aftermarket makes it and if not you are SOL.

    The cheapest and best long term drivers are cars with drivetrains and suspensions with wide aftermarket support. Body and trim parts may be hard to find, but the mechanicals are cheap and plentiful.

    The only old cars with 100 percent body, trim and interior support are cars people restore in some quantity: Mustangs, muscle cars, Corvettes, VW Bugs and Buses. Some pickup trucks.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  148. @Rod1963
    Don't care about Europeans buying stupid virtue signalling cars like the Tesla(that only exists because of taxpayer funding BTW). Germany committed energy suicide by turning off it's nukes and now is a ward of Russia and the U.S. for it's energy supplies. Idiots.

    Europe is on the way out with it's suicidal importing of Muslims and Blacks. They're DOA economically in a decade or so.

    Even here the Tesla is only for the rich and wannabe rich who can afford a 3rd car to show off to your friends. Of course their real cars are Mercedes and Lexus SUV's and coups.

    Most Tesla owners out here drive them a lot. You might as well because they are going to depreciate the same if you do or don’t.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  149. @Jack D
    There is still a stalk for the turn signals and you can turn the wipers on and off from the stalk, but if you want to change the speed of the wipers you have to go thru the touch screen menus. HVAC, entertainment , cruise control, anything that would normally go thru switches - 100% thru the touch screen.

    Instruments and indicators - speedometer (don't need a tach or oil pressure) - on the screen only.

    https://rm-content.s3-accelerate.amazonaws.com/59953d7796f99f75e71dab79/855548/upload-a50f7620-ae9a-11e7-8f72-214a396d7351.jpg

    Thanks. Wow, that’s nuts.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  150. @Steve Sailer
    So that's what Weinsteingate is about: preparing for the price drop of Viagra.

    And the following Dead Cat bounce?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  151. @YetAnotherAnon
    What happens when you're driving a Tesla and it's either sub-zero outside or 110 degrees? What kind of mileage drop do you get with the heaters on full? Heating with electricity tends to use a lot.

    That’s true. We just went through a spell of +5F in the day and -10F at night, and the battery usage goes way up. There are two basic scenarios. If you’re at home, and you start out with a cold battery, and just drive a couple dozen miles to work, your car sits in the cold all day, then you go back, the mileage you can get from the battery drops by probably 50%. Not only are you expending energy to heat the car, you need to expend energy to heat the car’s battery pack to get optimal use from it.

    On the other hand, if you’re taking a trip, once the car battery warms up, and if you don’t go crazy trying to heat the car to 80 degrees, the battery usage (and subsequent mileage) will take about a 15-20% hit. Still, it’s no problem with Tesla’s amazing Supercharger network for long trips.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  152. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    GE sucks! Don’t buy GE appliances!
     
    I had three reasons:

    1) I wanted to buy products that made money for an American company. (This was before GE sold its appliance division to a Chinese company in 2016.)

    2) I knew a lot of GE executives here. They were my customers and neighbors. (This was before they moved their corporate headquarters last year to escape outrageous taxation.)

    3) My parents filled their home with GE appliances. Those lasted thirty years. (I know because I inherited a house full of them.)

    I guess I am learning that, like most things in America now, GE isn't what it used to be.

    One can sometimes find in everyday life microcosms or little holographic windows into what is happening to the macro world. In this case GE appliances are images of America itself.

    GE is an enormous and almost random collection of businesses at this point that have little to do with each other and make money because they can minimize taxes playing off each others’ losses. GE makes the second best locomotives, the second best jet engines, etc, etc, and breaking GE up into several parts would be a win for everyone else besides GE.

    GE refrigerators and electric ranges were excellent, GE washers and dryers okay, in “the old days”. By the 90s that was pretty much history. Almost all GE consumer products are crap now, except electrical stuff like house wiring, circuit breakers, et al.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  153. @Jack D
    There is still a stalk for the turn signals and you can turn the wipers on and off from the stalk, but if you want to change the speed of the wipers you have to go thru the touch screen menus. HVAC, entertainment , cruise control, anything that would normally go thru switches - 100% thru the touch screen.

    Instruments and indicators - speedometer (don't need a tach or oil pressure) - on the screen only.

    https://rm-content.s3-accelerate.amazonaws.com/59953d7796f99f75e71dab79/855548/upload-a50f7620-ae9a-11e7-8f72-214a396d7351.jpg

    Finally, a car for passengers who hate drivers.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  154. The most American vehicle, especially from a cultural standpoint, is the fullsize pickup. No one else in the world buys them, except Canadians. Fuel economy is quite good, and they have tremendous utility.
    Unless you live in a sardine can city, where parking is a problem.

    A new Tesla is cheaper than many new models of fullsize crew cab picksups, but the Tesla and all electrics are just to limiting, not just limited by the range but being a car their utility as hauling and towing vehicles is extremely limited. I can’t imagine giving up my truck for a Tesla or any car.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    In Australia the 'ute'-think a El Camino or Ranchero with a shorter bed-is still very popular. They can't bring them in here because chicken tax.
    , @Anonymous

    The most American vehicle, especially from a cultural standpoint, is the fullsize pickup. No one else in the world buys them, except Canadians. Fuel economy is quite good, and they have tremendous utility.
     
    God only knows what you consider "quite good" fuel economy. The mfr's advertise decent highway ratings, but 1) they're highway ratings and 2) they're always the anemic 6-cyl versions that no one buys.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  155. @Alfa158
    Sample of size of one here, but I’ve owned Japanese and German cars, including the luxury models. The German ones don’t weigh any more, reliability and quality is the same, and the parts and service don’t cost any more than Japanese cars. The world market and spread of technology has pretty much leveled the playing playing field, so which brand you purchase is a matter of personal preference for the minor differences. The materials, mechanical designs and manufacturing standards are becoming increasingly standardized everywhere from Seoul to Texas tonStuttgart. The manufacturers will tweak their design slightly for a particular market segment and taste, so it comes down to whether you prefer the slightly sportier feel of a German car or the horizontal elevator, world’s most perfect Buick, feel of a Lexus.
    Major components are made in every part of the world and used in all brands, which has also,blurred the differences. One of the Infinity SUVs is in fact a Mercedes, model made by Mercedes, but with Infinity styling and badges.

    Meanwhile, American vehicles are still pieces of shit – only with better drive trains than in the past.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  156. @Jack D
    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources. If the price of oil ever goes back up again (which it inevitably will) then renewables will be even more competitive and in any event are being driven by government mandates to reduce greenhouse gases.

    How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? Because most of the energy in a gallon of fuel in an auto engine gets wasted as heat - only a small % is converted to motion. If your burn the same # of BTU's of fuel in an electrical generating station, the efficiency is much higher (even after power line losses) and you can use the waste heat for co-generation (central steam), etc.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can't handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    but humans are too stupid to handle it.

    Low level radiation is *good* for you.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170913104428.htm

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  157. @Jack D
    Yes, who could have predicted that a reactor built on the shore of an island in the Ring of Fire would ever get hit by a tsunami?

    2nd this is called "closing the barn door after the horse is gone". Sure, future reactors will be tsunami proof, but what other "no one could have predicted" risk is still out there? It's the "unknown unknowns" that really get you.

    Lastly, the problem with nuclear is that the price of getting it wrong is really really high. It's going to cost them countless billions to clean up the reactor sites and large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries. There is no other power gen technology that carries that level of risk.

    Maybe there are better reactor designs possible but the irony of current nuclear plant designs is that they depend on electricity to operate the cooling pumps & valves, etc. and anything that interrupts the active cooling system can lead to meltdown. Eventually one way or another there is going to be some combination of events that it going to interrupt the power or the cooling and then you are in big trouble, especially if your backup system fails at the same time, which sometimes happens. A really safe design would passively fail in a safe way instead of overheating and exploding (not a nuclear explosion but a steam explosion but still very bad).

    A really safe design would passively fail in a safe way instead of overheating and exploding (not a nuclear explosion but a steam explosion but still very bad).

    That’s what makes Liquid Fluoride-salt-cooled Thorium Reactors so grand.
    The stuff in the reactor vessel is *already* melted. An ice plug at the bottom of the reactor vessel keeps it all in. That ice plug is maintained by the electricity that the power plant makes. If something goes wrong and power is lost, the ice plug melts, the stuff in the reactor vessel flows to a containment vessel below and spreads out, taking the core out of critical mass and it sits there and passively cools off. CanNOT melt down. Walk-away safe.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  158. @Buzz Mohawk
    Sounds like you know what you're talking about.

    Audi has always had a bad reputation for things like that, despite their glorious racing history. I knew enough owners long ago to be warned off that brand.

    This phenomenon is all around, and it makes one wonder about the corporate asses making decisions: They know damn well what their customers will encounter.

    Last week I paid a GE repairman over $400 to replace two parts that failed on a five-year-old oven, a rather nice oven for which I paid nearly $2000 -- and hey, that's just an appliance, an appliance full of stuff GE makes in Asia.

    Asian quality?

    Three or four years ago, I paid a similar amount to replace a circuit board on one of the world's most acclaimed flat screen TV models, a Samsung LCD/LED floozywhatsis I had bought barely two years earlier for nearly $4000.

    Asian quality?

    Happy Motoring!

    Audi 100LS in the 1970s was a lemon that turned off many potential buyers. On the flip side, the Audi (and Porsche) Le Mans hybrid racers are fun to watch with all that torque on tap, especially on a live feed. Tune in again this June to watch Les 24 Heures!

    As a former GE employee, it pains me to say that I’d never buy another one of their appliances, even if they hadn’t sold out.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Germans in general do mechanicals better than they do electricals.

    Most Mercedes engines diesel and gas, the BMW inline fours and sixes of the 70s until they got really complicated variable cam timing, and Porsche and VW engines were usually quite good. So were most of the manual transmissions, the automatics not so much.

    By the mid-90s cars had to be electronic enough they started having real trouble with most Euro brands and still do. Historically the Brits were the worst followed by Italian and French electricals.

    American electricals, especially Delco, and then Japanese were always superior in the old days. Now it's Japanese all the way.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  159. @Bill
    Musk is definitely a con man. Why Breitbart hates him, I have no idea.

    I have serious reservations about Musk operations as viable businesses, but as con men go, I will take Musk. At least he did not get rich hustling mortgage backed securities. Yes, PayPal was a little shady, but he has an actual factory in Hawthorne, California that looks pretty cool and employees people that design and build things that impress me.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  160. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Ivy
    Audi 100LS in the 1970s was a lemon that turned off many potential buyers. On the flip side, the Audi (and Porsche) Le Mans hybrid racers are fun to watch with all that torque on tap, especially on a live feed. Tune in again this June to watch Les 24 Heures!

    As a former GE employee, it pains me to say that I'd never buy another one of their appliances, even if they hadn't sold out.

    Germans in general do mechanicals better than they do electricals.

    Most Mercedes engines diesel and gas, the BMW inline fours and sixes of the 70s until they got really complicated variable cam timing, and Porsche and VW engines were usually quite good. So were most of the manual transmissions, the automatics not so much.

    By the mid-90s cars had to be electronic enough they started having real trouble with most Euro brands and still do. Historically the Brits were the worst followed by Italian and French electricals.

    American electricals, especially Delco, and then Japanese were always superior in the old days. Now it’s Japanese all the way.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    American electricals, especially Delco, and then Japanese were always superior in the old days. Now it’s Japanese all the way.

    A few months ago the ABS/VSA module went out in my '08 Honda Ridgeline at 50K miles. The dealer wants $900 for a new module +$300 to put it in. i can get a used one easy enough off ebay for $100 and the dealer will put it in for $300, but of course no warranty. My brakes work fine, except no ABS or VSA (Variable Stability Assist) and my dashboard is lit up like a Christmas tree. Probably not a very safe condition in the event of a high speed braking situation.

    Apparently, many auto salvage lots around the country pull many electronic and other in-demand parts off their stock and post the parts for sale w/ complete specs and details on ebay.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  161. @greysquirrell
    The most American vehicle, especially from a cultural standpoint, is the fullsize pickup. No one else in the world buys them, except Canadians. Fuel economy is quite good, and they have tremendous utility.
    Unless you live in a sardine can city, where parking is a problem.

    A new Tesla is cheaper than many new models of fullsize crew cab picksups, but the Tesla and all electrics are just to limiting, not just limited by the range but being a car their utility as hauling and towing vehicles is extremely limited. I can't imagine giving up my truck for a Tesla or any car.

    In Australia the ‘ute’-think a El Camino or Ranchero with a shorter bed-is still very popular. They can’t bring them in here because chicken tax.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    They can’t bring them in here because chicken tax.
     
    Thought that must be some sort of obscure humor, then I looked it up.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  162. @J.Ross
    Isn't Baruth the same imbecile who was on NPR rotely reciting other peoples' ten year old talking points about autonomous vehicles in a bored and contemptuous tone of voice, as though no complications or other opinions had emerged? "Get with the program, you peasants." Why does anyone pay attention to this guy? Let me guess, he was a major success in the auto industry during the long hell period where it could not do a single thing right.

    Must be a different imbecile.

    I’ve never been on NPR.

    You’re probably thinking of Vermont State Senator Philip Baruth, who is no relation to me and whose name, I suspect, was originally Baruch as opposed to the name of the town in the former East Germany from whence me and mine hail. Senator Baruth is a Democrat who is firmly in favor of every liberal policy from gun confiscation to pansexual polyqueer ponykin lifestyles; I am none of that.

    Hope that clears things up.

    Read More
    • Replies: @J.Ross
    I am terribly sorry about the namecalling but delighted to be corrected.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  163. @Boethiuss
    I'm not that invested in Tesla per se, but the OP makes a similar point to what I've been trying to get at about the Republican Party over the course of a few threads.

    Organizational capital is a real thing, in fact it might be one of the very most important things there is. Unfortunately, there's too many of us who try to pretend that it doesn't exist. In particular, the idea that we can destroy or disparage the immense organizational capital associated with the Republican Party, and what's going to be left behind in its wake will somehow be better for us, that's just so criminally stupid it almost brings me to tears.

    In particular, the idea that we can destroy or disparage the immense organizational capital associated with the Republican Party, and what’s going to be left behind in its wake will somehow be better for us, that’s just so criminally stupid it almost brings me to tears.

    You didn’t vote for Trump, did you, Mitt?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boethiuss

    You didn’t vote for Trump, did you, Mitt?
     
    Actually I did. Who did you vote for, Urkel?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  164. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @YetAnotherAnon
    OT

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5298859/Huge-brawl-Kurds-Turks-Hannover-airport.html

    It’s just mind-blowing how so few people can extrapolate from events like this one to what’s coming for us all. Our once-civilized nations are going to be third-world free-for-alls, if they’re not already.

    Meanwhile, visible at your link:

    A senior Al-Qaeda leader has called on Muslims ‘everywhere’ to rise up and kill Jews and Americans in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5301183/Senior-Qaeda-leader-calls-killing-Jews-Americans-Jerusalem.html

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  165. @Sunbeam
    I'm not trying to be a contrarian.

    European cars do not impress me at all. Particularly the German ones.

    It always baffles me when someone buys a Mercedes when they could easily have brought one of the high end Japanese equivalents.

    I guess it is all in the mind of the buyer, or more probably what the buyer imagines is in the mind of someone watching him tool about in a Mercedes.

    But part of me screams: "This is an inferior design. It weighs too much. If anything the Japanese car is of better manufacture and reliablility. Maintenance will be cheaper and parts less dear for the Japanese model. The performance, the bells and whistles, are the same or better."

    Mark my words, if the Japanese, Koreans, and I guess Chinese in a couple of years, had unrestricted access to the European market... well I wouldn't be too optimistic about the long term prospects of any Euro car maker.

    The driving experience of the top German marques is worlds apart from Japanese brands. However 1) the ownership proposition isn’t nearly as good and 2) driving isn’t fun anymore anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i3mXBJNb0s
    , @Jack D
    Worlds apart? Not anymore. The gap closed long ago. A Lexus GS is like a BMW 5 series that never breaks.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  166. @Anonymous
    It has a lot to do with with the fact that while being unable to deliver benchmarks that the company has set, such as production quotas and price reductions, but instead at every deadline, they announce a new product instead.

    Its feel extremely hucksterish.

    So they’re the Microsoft of Automobiledom, only they actually innovate?
    Could be worse, I guess.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  167. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Sunbeam
    "PS: The Truth About Cars is the best place to read anything free of industry propaganda about cars, and Jack Baruth is a quality automotive writer. He even had the balls to go against Porsche AG, builder of vehicles he has loved."

    This is just a musing thing.

    But I'm not a car guy. I get no charm or a sense of romance from one. To me they are a tool, like a shovel, a frying pan, - or toilet paper. Their sole purpose is to get me from point A to B as cheaply, reliably, and safely as possible.

    It's fine if someone else gets ... dunno a charge out of owning one? I think my attitude towards them is slightly atypical of my generation (I remember disco), but it is definitely there amongst others of my cohort.

    And it seems to me it is becoming omnipresent in succeeding generations.

    I’m not a car guy. I get no charm or a sense of romance from one. To me they are a tool, like a shovel, a frying pan, – or toilet paper. Their sole purpose is to get me from point A to B as cheaply, reliably, and safely as possible.

    This is precisely why you think Japanese cars are better than German cars.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  168. @Tim
    I know that there's this new thing about blacks going to Africa, but I don't believe it.

    I know that there’s this new thing about blacks going to Africa, but I don’t believe it.

    You don’t believe it because you have a functioning brain.

    Blacks will never, EVER go back to Africa. But it makes such a good story.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  169. @Reg Cæsar

    Gasoline cars throw away lots energy as heat.
     
    And I was damn glad they do, hypercommuting as I was the last four weekends when it was double digits below zero Fahrenheit. It went into the cabin, where it was highly appreciated.

    At least I wasn't waiting outside for the 5:30 am bus with two dozen very bundled-up Africans (and the odd Southeast Asian or Central American), as in my old neighborhood.

    The single best thing about winter is that some of us are more genetically suited to it than others.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  170. @Danand
    Spud Boy, you bring up many valid points that I'd like to comment on. Like you I am in Teslaville (I live within camera drone range of the Tesla factory) where they are near ubiquitous, along with your Nissan Leafs, Chevy Bolts & Volts (less popular now, maybe lost their rung on the virtue signaling/status ladder?), Fiat 500's, ... Surprisingly, at least to me given that there are only 3 places to fuel them in the Bay Area, a good number of the hydrogen powered twins, the Honda Clarity & Toyota Mirai, are running around too?

    I have mild fascination with Tesla, enhanced by that proximity to factory, saturation of the local streets with their cars, and wonderment at enterprises valuation. My phone is littered with pics I've taken of Tesla's on their "test track", loaded 18 wheel car haulers parked all over town with Model 3's, their new massive storage lot full of inventory (I thought every one was presold?) ...

    But on with the comments on your points:

    "1. I like to drive. I don’t want my car driving itself. Having to babysit the steering wheel, wondering if the system will continue working, is IMHO, worse than simply steering myself. I don’t want to ride in a self-driving transportation pod. I want feel like I’m piloting something."

    Self direction (navigating your own vehicle) is ending. It will start with "downtown" areas, where only self guiding cars will be allowed for safety/congestion reasons. It will then of course spread to envelope at least all metropolitan regions, if not everywhere. Many advantages will ensue; fewer accidents, no stoplights/waiting (cars will interlace thru intersections), no police chases, tickets, driving under the influence, racing, honking, aggressive maneuvering, getting lost, ... The elderly & disabled will have some mobility restored. And it with save an untold number of hours "wasted" driving/steering vehicles: time that could be better spent working, sleeping, getting high, ...

    The authorities (government & commerce) will gain the ability to better direct our lives, sending us all exactly where "we" want/need to go! They already know where we all are (pinging cell phones).

     

    "4. Recharge time is too long. I can add 450 miles of range to my X5 in 3 minutes. EVs won’t be able to accomplish that feat in our lifetimes."

    That's true, but 15 minutes is doable, and that's really not that long. With a little forethought, it's a non-issue.

    "5. You can’t convince me that having to tether your car to a charger every day or two is more convenient than getting gas every two weeks. Fuel stops are convenient anyway as I used the time to empty trash from my car, clean my windows, etc."

    It's really convenient to be able to fuel/charge your car @ home or work. Once you get used to it, you begin to get that annoyed feeling @ the thought of having to pull into a gas station when that yellow dash light comes on. A bonus is one less "opportunity" to interact with ever increasing swarms of "homeless".

     "7. Range drops by half in cold weather. And if you live where it’s cold, the waste heat of an ICE comes in quite handy."

    That's true, hot engines can make for an invitingly warm interior. But it's (very) nice to be able to sit in your EV running the "climate control" without the engine idling while waiting for you child to get out of class, for instance. You can also use your phone to direct preheat/cool of your car prior to use. EV's have it all over ICE for temp comfort.

    "9. EVs depreciate very quickly. That’s because they have a $20,000 battery pack that’s likely to need replacement in 10 to 15 years."

    That's true, but in reality most cars are worth ~20%, or less, of their original cost 10 years out (point battery would need replacement). 20% might as well be 0.


    I say all of the above myself being an ICE car driver, collector, enthusiast, car show participant, self maintainer, restorer & all around in every way - ICE lover. But the future is not ICE, and certainly not self directed driving, at least not for the masses/transportation. Electric propulsion is here to stay, "engines" for ground based vehicles are going to be a part of the this worlds history.

    As to Tesla's future:

    "Tesla met promises in first 10-year Master Plan; Musk to stay 10 more years!"

    Tesla the car company will most certainly end. If you can't make money selling the premium cars (which is where car companies make their profits) you can't make money. More Model 3's just mean larger losses. Tesla's future, and I'm guessing it will be a bright one, will be as the USA's/worlds primary defense contractor. Tesla has a leg up in production race of the defensive, & offensive, "AI brained" killer robots/drones/plagues soon to come. The cars are now (original I think he really was a "car" guy) just part of Musk's production learning curve in preparation for saving/destroying the world. I don't believe he's evil, or that he even wants it, it's just his destiny.

    A persuasive and comprehensive post. Thanks for contributing.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  171. @Jack Baruth
    Must be a different imbecile.

    I've never been on NPR.

    You're probably thinking of Vermont State Senator Philip Baruth, who is no relation to me and whose name, I suspect, was originally Baruch as opposed to the name of the town in the former East Germany from whence me and mine hail. Senator Baruth is a Democrat who is firmly in favor of every liberal policy from gun confiscation to pansexual polyqueer ponykin lifestyles; I am none of that.

    Hope that clears things up.

    I am terribly sorry about the namecalling but delighted to be corrected.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  172. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I’m not a fan of Tesla. Regardless of where it’s incorporated or has its factories – it just signed a big deal to open factories in China anyway – it’s not an American company in spirit. The aesthetics of the cars aren’t American. You look at a Tesla and there’s absolutely nothing about it that says American car. I think the first Tesla designs were copies of Lotus, and the new ones are just vague Europeanish sedans. And no real American is going to name his cars “Tesla.” Which makes sense since its founder didn’t grow up in the US, but immigrated later in life and seems to have assimilated into the contemporary tech culture which is more cosmopolitan and pretty divorced from traditional American and American automotive culture. American cars have names like Pontiac, Plymouth, Studebaker, Nash, Packard, American Motors. An American boy who loves cars and grows up to start an electric car company would name his company Edison Motors.

    I’m not a fan of BMW, Mercedes, or the luxury Japanese brands. They all have this oleaginous, slimy appearance to their designs, especially Mercedes (think the oversized logo, weird proportions, etc). I like American cars (which are vastly underrated these days), the Japanese economy brands, and non-German European cars.

    It’s also not true that all of America’s hopes rest on a not very American car company taking some market share in Europe away from a luxury market saturated with German cars, which wouldn’t mean jack shit anyway. Classic American brands still do have value – see Buick’s popularity in China for example. American brands can maintain and recover their value by becoming aspirational brands domestically through protectionist policies. Once they’re aspirational brands at home again, then the rest of the world will follow and emulate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D

    becoming aspirational brands domestically through protectionist policies
     
    Right, just like having an established church makes that religion super popular.

    In places that have had protectionist policies, the local brands are the exact opposite of aspirational - the minute you lift the lid on protectionism, no one ever wants to have anything to do with them again. And certainly no one overseas who doesn't have to wants to buy them, unless you offer them as bottom of the barrel bargains. And rightly so, because protectionism means that the local product falls way behind the world standard. No manufacturer anywhere wants to spend money on improving the product unless the market forces them to do it, so once you take away competition the product stagnates. See Indian Ambassador, Russian Lada, Yugoslav Yugo, E. German Trabant, etc.

    , @Danand
    "Classic American brands still do have value – see Buick’s popularity in China for example."

    That is indeed true. Cadillac sells more new cars in China than it does here in the USA.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  173. @Anonymous
    The driving experience of the top German marques is worlds apart from Japanese brands. However 1) the ownership proposition isn't nearly as good and 2) driving isn't fun anymore anyway.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  174. @stillCARealist
    GE sucks! Don't buy GE appliances! I've had nothing but trouble with these beasts in my kitchen and I always grab an opportunity to tell others to buy something, anything else.

    My old GE Profile Refrigerator (bought in 2006) was by far the worst major appliance I’ve ever owned. Even the extended warranty didn’t protect me from its malevolence, since the tech could never fix it right and that meant for several months I had to buy another fridge for actual use.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  175. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Here’s a picture of Musk before he got his hair transplant:

    https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-e6f1a6fc6c31d3cfdc0d7b9357e119d8-c

    Is there any chance in hell that Tesla would still be in business today if the guy on the left were trying to sell you Teslas?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  176. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    A good proportion of the old GE Monitor Top fridges still run, the last monitor or globe top was made well before WWII. Ditto the old Grunows and the old gas absorption Servels.

    Those were machines built by engineers under the presumption that the design goal was that it was to last as long as possible, and that the company would charge a good price for a machine that gave good service.

    Capitalism gives people what they really want , instead of what they say they want or what others think is good for them. Appliance buyers do not really want simple, durable, well made machines, they want what is pretty and cheap.

    Capitalism gives people what they really want , instead of what they say they want or what others think is good for them. Appliance buyers do not really want simple, durable, well made machines, they want what is pretty and cheap.

    The most expensive appliance brands (e.g. Sub-Zero, Viking, etc) actually have the worst repair records.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  177. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @greysquirrell
    The most American vehicle, especially from a cultural standpoint, is the fullsize pickup. No one else in the world buys them, except Canadians. Fuel economy is quite good, and they have tremendous utility.
    Unless you live in a sardine can city, where parking is a problem.

    A new Tesla is cheaper than many new models of fullsize crew cab picksups, but the Tesla and all electrics are just to limiting, not just limited by the range but being a car their utility as hauling and towing vehicles is extremely limited. I can't imagine giving up my truck for a Tesla or any car.

    The most American vehicle, especially from a cultural standpoint, is the fullsize pickup. No one else in the world buys them, except Canadians. Fuel economy is quite good, and they have tremendous utility.

    God only knows what you consider “quite good” fuel economy. The mfr’s advertise decent highway ratings, but 1) they’re highway ratings and 2) they’re always the anemic 6-cyl versions that no one buys.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  178. @Anonymous
    In Australia the 'ute'-think a El Camino or Ranchero with a shorter bed-is still very popular. They can't bring them in here because chicken tax.

    They can’t bring them in here because chicken tax.

    Thought that must be some sort of obscure humor, then I looked it up.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  179. @Anon
    The real problem is that even though global warming is nonsense, the gradual reduction in the world's oil supply is not. It's not that oil is going to run out completely, but we may end up with too little of it to keep Western Civilization running properly in the next 100 years. I'd like to have electric cars just for that reason alone. Electricity can be generated by coal burning or natural gas burning. Many utilities are switching from coal to natural gas because huge new reserves have been discovered. I'd also like a car that creates fewer emissions just to decrease air pollution around cities, which could always be cleaner.

    Cars will run on natural gas as easily as power plants will and we already have the piping in place.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  180. @Jack D
    Yes, who could have predicted that a reactor built on the shore of an island in the Ring of Fire would ever get hit by a tsunami?

    2nd this is called "closing the barn door after the horse is gone". Sure, future reactors will be tsunami proof, but what other "no one could have predicted" risk is still out there? It's the "unknown unknowns" that really get you.

    Lastly, the problem with nuclear is that the price of getting it wrong is really really high. It's going to cost them countless billions to clean up the reactor sites and large tracts of land are going to be uninhabitable maybe for centuries. There is no other power gen technology that carries that level of risk.

    Maybe there are better reactor designs possible but the irony of current nuclear plant designs is that they depend on electricity to operate the cooling pumps & valves, etc. and anything that interrupts the active cooling system can lead to meltdown. Eventually one way or another there is going to be some combination of events that it going to interrupt the power or the cooling and then you are in big trouble, especially if your backup system fails at the same time, which sometimes happens. A really safe design would passively fail in a safe way instead of overheating and exploding (not a nuclear explosion but a steam explosion but still very bad).

    comparing safety of nuclear vs everything else is like cars vs. planes, where nuclear is like the planes >https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#1e202c35709b

    Energy Source Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr)

    Coal – global average 100,000 (41% global electricity)
    Coal – China 170,000 (75% China’s electricity)
    Coal – U.S. 10,000 (32% U.S. electricity)
    Oil 36,000 (33% of energy, 8% of electricity)
    Natural Gas 4,000 (22% global electricity)
    Biofuel/Biomass 24,000 (21% global energy)
    Solar (rooftop) 440 (< 1% global electricity)
    Wind 150 (2% global electricity)
    Hydro – global average 1,400 (16% global electricity)
    Hydro – U.S. 5 (6% U.S. electricity)
    Nuclear – global average 90 (11% global electricity w/Chern&Fukush)
    Nuclear – U.S. 0.1 (19% U.S. electricity)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  181. @David Davenport
    In particular, the idea that we can destroy or disparage the immense organizational capital associated with the Republican Party, and what’s going to be left behind in its wake will somehow be better for us, that’s just so criminally stupid it almost brings me to tears.

    You didn't vote for Trump, did you, Mitt?

    You didn’t vote for Trump, did you, Mitt?

    Actually I did. Who did you vote for, Urkel?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  182. @Intelligent Dasein
    The battery weighs 1,200 lbs and delivers over 1,000 amps depending on the model. Swapping them out and remounting a new one would require considerable effort and a bevy of safety checks, as accidents could be fatal. You could do it if you had trained personnel (battery-monkeys?) working at the charging stations, but it isn't something everybody should do themselves.

    You could do it if you had trained personnel (battery-monkeys?) working at the charging stations

    Of course Tesla drivers are the type that would want to save $5 on this service, so to keep the service cost down, the battery-monkey job would certainly need to be done by more H-1B visa immigrants, that being the ones that aren’t qualified to be code-monkeys.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  183. @Anonymous
    Germans in general do mechanicals better than they do electricals.

    Most Mercedes engines diesel and gas, the BMW inline fours and sixes of the 70s until they got really complicated variable cam timing, and Porsche and VW engines were usually quite good. So were most of the manual transmissions, the automatics not so much.

    By the mid-90s cars had to be electronic enough they started having real trouble with most Euro brands and still do. Historically the Brits were the worst followed by Italian and French electricals.

    American electricals, especially Delco, and then Japanese were always superior in the old days. Now it's Japanese all the way.

    American electricals, especially Delco, and then Japanese were always superior in the old days. Now it’s Japanese all the way.

    A few months ago the ABS/VSA module went out in my ’08 Honda Ridgeline at 50K miles. The dealer wants $900 for a new module +$300 to put it in. i can get a used one easy enough off ebay for $100 and the dealer will put it in for $300, but of course no warranty. My brakes work fine, except no ABS or VSA (Variable Stability Assist) and my dashboard is lit up like a Christmas tree. Probably not a very safe condition in the event of a high speed braking situation.

    Apparently, many auto salvage lots around the country pull many electronic and other in-demand parts off their stock and post the parts for sale w/ complete specs and details on ebay.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    A similar thing happened to my Audi and there was a guy on ebay who offered a rebuilding service. You would remove the electronic portion only (not the hydraulic section - they easily came apart on Audis even though Audi will only sell you both together) of the ABS module (the car runs the same with a broken ABS as with no ABS) and send it to him and he would fix it and send it back. Since you were not opening the hydraulic system you didn't have to worry about bleeding the brakes, etc.

    The problem with using one off a wreck is that all electronics of a certain model have the same failure mode. The thing was built with some weak component or design flaw and if one fails at 50K miles/10 years then they ALL fail in the same way at around 50K miles/10 years (+/-) and the one you get off of ebay is going to also be 10 years old, so it too is on borrowed time.

    The guy doing the rebuilds claimed that he knew what the flaw was (I don't remember what it was - typically something like leaking electrolytic capacitors, bad solder joints, etc.) and could fix it in a way that it would not reoccur and indeed it never broke again for the remaining time I had the Audi (at least several years more).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  184. Commenters here are mostly socialists.
    Very little recognition of the obscene subsidies
    to those government-connected EV snake oil
    salesmen.
    What is the number? $10,000 per unit? Higher?
    How broke is our government already?
    Why featherbed Mr. Musk and his ilk?

    Isn’t the grafting of business and government
    into each other the definition of Fascism?

    But you people are just asleep, unaware.

    There is also the matter of energy density, batteries,
    gasoline, etc.
    Just keep ignoring these issues. What could go
    wrong?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Commenters here are mostly socialists.
     
    Ohh, ya got us pegged all right!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  185. @Anonymous
    The driving experience of the top German marques is worlds apart from Japanese brands. However 1) the ownership proposition isn't nearly as good and 2) driving isn't fun anymore anyway.

    Worlds apart? Not anymore. The gap closed long ago. A Lexus GS is like a BMW 5 series that never breaks.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  186. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    A considerable area of the continental USA is, basically, useless arid sun baked desert.

    Come to think of it, paving over a substantial portion of this wasteland for solar power generation is technically difficult, but not impossible.
    The Manhattan project, with its constructed timescale, and the enormous technical difficulty of isotope separation, was probably more logistically difficult.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  187. @Auntie Analogue
    Fossil fuel-powered car engine emissions cause pollution, right? How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don't pollute?

    After all, however energy is produced, it takes the same quantity of energy, from fossil fuels or electricity, to propel a vehicle of a given weight across a given distance. Is this not so? Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source that provides the electric energy to propel them a given distance? Are electric cars essentially nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas-powered by those overwhelmingly preponderant sources of electricity generation?

    Are alternative (i.e., non-fossil fuel) energy sources sufficient to power an entire world of none but electric vehicles? Perhaps the central questions is: will alternative energy ever be generated in quantity sufficient to power an entire world of electric vehicles?

    I'm just fission for answers here!

    This was the exact issue over which I got into a more-heat-than-light discussion a few months ago with some guy here with a Chinese name. He couldn’t see all the hidden expenses involved in electricity production (what Logan lays out in his reply to you).

    And while your other repliers make good solid points about controlling pollution at the source vs. in diverse cars etc. my impression is that most apologists for electric–and I am one–gloss over many of the hidden costs.

    However, on the other hand, the proponents for gas do the same by ignoring the cheapness-due-to-already-existing infrastructure of gasoline refining and distribution. Were both to start from zero, I believe electric would be cheaper and cleaner but it always runs into the problem of inability to make long distance trips.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  188. @Anonymous
    The only part of an electric vehicle that really matters is the battery - all the rest is generic ironmongery.

    Thus, continuous improvement of battery technology is key in the electric car wars.

    On that note, Toyota of Japan have divulged 'teasers' of some pretty big breakthroughs.

    True, true, true and Truer.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  189. @Travis
    The car batteries used in a Tesla generate as much CO2 as driving a gasoline-powered car for 7 years. And that’s before they even come off the production line. production of a 100 kWh battery—Tesla's biggest—produces 17.5 tons of carbon dioxide...Electric cars need to be light, which means they include a lot of aluminum...lightweight vehicles are more energy-intensive to build than heavier cars because lighter metals are harder to forge than stainless steel. In addition more rare metals are used throughout the Tesla, mostly in the magnets that are in everything from the headlights to the on-board electronics...

    a sedan car getting 24 MPG will produce 6 tons of CO2 per year if driven 15,000 miler per year.....thus even before the Tesla hits the road it has already produced more CO2 than the typical internal combustion Sedan which has 45,000 miles on it. If one is concerned with CO2 and the environment it would be better to buy a small car which gets 30 MPG than an electric car. I expect people will soon realize the foolishness of buying electric cars.They are very destructive to the planet Earth and will not be affordable when the subsidies end.

    Good comment. That’s what I’m talking about. The deep, hidden costs and not the superficial comparison of energy costs per mile for the end user.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  190. @Anonymous
    I'm not a fan of Tesla. Regardless of where it's incorporated or has its factories - it just signed a big deal to open factories in China anyway - it's not an American company in spirit. The aesthetics of the cars aren't American. You look at a Tesla and there's absolutely nothing about it that says American car. I think the first Tesla designs were copies of Lotus, and the new ones are just vague Europeanish sedans. And no real American is going to name his cars "Tesla." Which makes sense since its founder didn't grow up in the US, but immigrated later in life and seems to have assimilated into the contemporary tech culture which is more cosmopolitan and pretty divorced from traditional American and American automotive culture. American cars have names like Pontiac, Plymouth, Studebaker, Nash, Packard, American Motors. An American boy who loves cars and grows up to start an electric car company would name his company Edison Motors.

    I'm not a fan of BMW, Mercedes, or the luxury Japanese brands. They all have this oleaginous, slimy appearance to their designs, especially Mercedes (think the oversized logo, weird proportions, etc). I like American cars (which are vastly underrated these days), the Japanese economy brands, and non-German European cars.

    It's also not true that all of America's hopes rest on a not very American car company taking some market share in Europe away from a luxury market saturated with German cars, which wouldn't mean jack shit anyway. Classic American brands still do have value - see Buick's popularity in China for example. American brands can maintain and recover their value by becoming aspirational brands domestically through protectionist policies. Once they're aspirational brands at home again, then the rest of the world will follow and emulate.

    becoming aspirational brands domestically through protectionist policies

    Right, just like having an established church makes that religion super popular.

    In places that have had protectionist policies, the local brands are the exact opposite of aspirational – the minute you lift the lid on protectionism, no one ever wants to have anything to do with them again. And certainly no one overseas who doesn’t have to wants to buy them, unless you offer them as bottom of the barrel bargains. And rightly so, because protectionism means that the local product falls way behind the world standard. No manufacturer anywhere wants to spend money on improving the product unless the market forces them to do it, so once you take away competition the product stagnates. See Indian Ambassador, Russian Lada, Yugoslav Yugo, E. German Trabant, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Having an established church helps a religion a lot. Why is the ME Muslim? Why was England Anglican? Why is Russia Orthodox?
    , @Anonymous
    Your analogy is not a good one since established religions generally enjoy significant market share and prestige.

    Protectionism does not mean that the product falls behind the world standard if it also involves competing for export markets. Moreover, the US domestic market is large and defines much of the world standard.

    Note that your car examples are from Eastern Bloc countries and from the years of India's heavy socialist policies. They weren't subjected to market discipline. Protectionism does not mean not using markets.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  191. @Jack D

    becoming aspirational brands domestically through protectionist policies
     
    Right, just like having an established church makes that religion super popular.

    In places that have had protectionist policies, the local brands are the exact opposite of aspirational - the minute you lift the lid on protectionism, no one ever wants to have anything to do with them again. And certainly no one overseas who doesn't have to wants to buy them, unless you offer them as bottom of the barrel bargains. And rightly so, because protectionism means that the local product falls way behind the world standard. No manufacturer anywhere wants to spend money on improving the product unless the market forces them to do it, so once you take away competition the product stagnates. See Indian Ambassador, Russian Lada, Yugoslav Yugo, E. German Trabant, etc.

    Having an established church helps a religion a lot. Why is the ME Muslim? Why was England Anglican? Why is Russia Orthodox?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  192. One thing I would seriously like to see done to a Tesla, maybe a voided warrantee one, it would be a fun interesting experiment and I’d love to see how it turned out. I’m very curious about the math one these things and I’ve talked to a few of the owners about it. I believe the Tesla model S or whatever is supposed to be 10kVA.

    I’d love to see someone strip all the batteries out of it and stick a 10-15kVA Kohler diesel standby generator on one, and hook the generator up to the electric motors, and compare the range and gas mileage, if it ends up better or worse without the batteries by putting a generator engine in the trunk. It would still be an electric car it just wouldn’t have batteries, it’d be an electric generator hooked up to electric motors.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    They already did this - it's called a Chevy Volt.

    You can't do ANYTHING with a Tesla with a voided warranty. They send an update from the factory over the air and brick the car. This is one reason why I would never ever buy one.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  193. @Auntie Analogue
    Fossil fuel-powered car engine emissions cause pollution, right? How is it that electric cars, which use electricity generated overwhelmingly by fossil fuel plants that, you know, cause pollution, somehow don't pollute?

    After all, however energy is produced, it takes the same quantity of energy, from fossil fuels or electricity, to propel a vehicle of a given weight across a given distance. Is this not so? Are electric cars not merely downstream from the fossil fuel pollution source that provides the electric energy to propel them a given distance? Are electric cars essentially nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas-powered by those overwhelmingly preponderant sources of electricity generation?

    Are alternative (i.e., non-fossil fuel) energy sources sufficient to power an entire world of none but electric vehicles? Perhaps the central questions is: will alternative energy ever be generated in quantity sufficient to power an entire world of electric vehicles?

    I'm just fission for answers here!

    I believe they ( electric cars ) produce less carbon dioxide in aggregate even if the electricity is coal generated at the plant, as natural gas begins taking over plants, the amount will drop even more. I think it’s primarily because the power plant turbines have much higher efficiencies than a gasoline powered engines do in particular. Oil generating plants are apparently quite rare in North America ( US and Canada ) than in other countries, most electricity generated is by coal, natural gas, and nuclear.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    A lot of people say this but I think it is wishful thinking, if you see my replies to JackD above I give a link to EIA.gov which natural gas IC or nuclear-fired steam turbine plants at about 33% efficiency, in the same ballpark as car motors.

    And according to EIA, internal combustion plants have better efficiency than turbine plants.

    CO2 per fuel source: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=73&t=11

    And power plant efficiency, the explanation is here: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=107&t=3

    For reading the table after the link here: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_08_02.html

    Basically, divide 3412 by those numbers on the table at the last link to get the efficiency %.

    Ballpark they are all in the 25%-33% range although the natural gas combined cycle plants reach 45%.

    Wiki link says new gas cars with GDI fuel injection are about 35% efficient and new diesels 45%.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine_efficiency
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  194. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    becoming aspirational brands domestically through protectionist policies
     
    Right, just like having an established church makes that religion super popular.

    In places that have had protectionist policies, the local brands are the exact opposite of aspirational - the minute you lift the lid on protectionism, no one ever wants to have anything to do with them again. And certainly no one overseas who doesn't have to wants to buy them, unless you offer them as bottom of the barrel bargains. And rightly so, because protectionism means that the local product falls way behind the world standard. No manufacturer anywhere wants to spend money on improving the product unless the market forces them to do it, so once you take away competition the product stagnates. See Indian Ambassador, Russian Lada, Yugoslav Yugo, E. German Trabant, etc.

    Your analogy is not a good one since established religions generally enjoy significant market share and prestige.

    Protectionism does not mean that the product falls behind the world standard if it also involves competing for export markets. Moreover, the US domestic market is large and defines much of the world standard.

    Note that your car examples are from Eastern Bloc countries and from the years of India’s heavy socialist policies. They weren’t subjected to market discipline. Protectionism does not mean not using markets.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  195. @Jack D
    The "waste" heat from gas turbines doesn't necessarily get wasted. For example, MIT draws most of its electric power from a gas turbine cogen plant and they use the waste heat from the turbines to heat/cool the whole campus.

    1st of all solar is not the only way to create renewable power and 2nd, instead of covering all of Texas, what if you put solar panels on every rooftop, along highway shoulders and medians, above parking lots, etc. - space that is already wasted? Wouldn't all of those spaces collectively add up to a lot of area?

    Solar panels–and I speak from experience here, having two on my boat–are not maintenance free. The surface has to be clean and shadow free. This means that workers would have to periodically climb up on the roofs and desmudge them of their city grime. Another added cost that has to be factored in.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  196. @Jack D
    As it happens, I did own a 5 series with the great big straight 6 engine and I loved that car. But the new BMWs with their little 2 liter turbo 4's are nothing like that. It's so sad and ridiculous to me that they actually pipe in a recording of the sound of a real engine over the speakers so you don't hear the pathetic whine of the 4. I swear to you that they do that - I couldn't believe that was true, but it is.

    My last (and I mean last) German car was an Audi and what killed it was a Rube Goldbergish system for varying the valve timing the fatal link of which was a chain tensioner made of plastic that rubbed directly on a steel bike chain. And not just any plastic - I've seen better quality plastic in Happy Meal toys. And once this went the valves hit the pistons and it was end of engine. Nor was this a freak - it's a well known flaw but since the part doesn't usually fail until the warranty is over (which itself is miraculous - looking at the design I'm surprised it lasted a week - modern motor oils are great), VW/Audi doesn't care.

    All hail the straight six!

    Wiki says this;

    “The straight-six layout is the simplest engine layout that possesses both primary and secondary mechanical engine balance, resulting in much less vibration than engines with fewer cylinders.”

    which is why big rigs use straight six diesels with cylinders the size of pancakes. Course they don’t mount the engine transversely with FWD.

    “Because it is a fully balanced configuration, the straight-six can be scaled up to very large sizes for heavy truck, industrial and marine use, such as the 16 L (980 cu in) Volvo diesel engine and the 15 L Cummins ISX used in heavy vehicles.[5] The largest are used to power ships, and use fuel oil. The straight-six can also be viewed as a scalable modular component of larger motors which stack several straight-sixes together, e.g. flat- or V-12s, W-18s, etc.”

    “An inline six engine is in practically perfect primary and secondary mechanical balance, without the use of a balance shaft. The engine is in primary couple balance because the front and rear trio of cylinders are mirror images, and the pistons move in pairs (but of course, 360° out of phase and on different strokes of the 4-stroke cycle). That is, piston #1 mirrors #6, #2 mirrors #5, and #3 mirrors #4, largely eliminating the polar rocking motion that would otherwise result.

    Secondary imbalance is largely avoided because the crankshaft has six crank throws arranged in three planes offset at 120°. The result is that the bulk of the secondary forces that are caused by the pistons’ deviation from purely sinusoidal motion sum to zero. Specifically, the second-order (twice crank speed) and fourth-order inertial free forces (see engine balance article) sum to zero, but the sixth-order and up are non-zero. This is typically a tiny contribution in most applications, but may be significant with very large displacements, despite the usual and advantageous use of long connecting rods reducing the secondary (second-order and up) oscillation in the piston motion in those applications.

    An inline four cylinder, or even a V6 engine with a crank-speed balance shaft, will experience significant secondary dynamic imbalance, resulting in engine vibration. As a general rule, the forces arising from any dynamic imbalance increase as the square of the engine speed — for example, if the speed doubles, vibration will increase by a factor of four. In contrast, inline six engines have no primary or (significant) secondary imbalances, and with carefully designed crankshaft vibration dampers to absorb torsional vibration, will run more smoothly at the same crankshaft speed (rpm). This characteristic has made the straight-six popular in some European sports-luxury cars, where smooth high-speed performance is very desirable. As engine reciprocating forces increase with the cube of piston bore, the straight-six is a preferred configuration for large truck engines.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Chrysler made a slant six that was very durable. I rebuilt one in high school and loved the ease of access and maintenance.
    , @Bizarro World Observer
    Straight sixes are great, but they do have disadvantages. They are heavier than a V-6 of the same displacement and output, and less compact, making them a lot harder to package in a modern car. Their crankshafts are long, and so they need more mass both in the crankshaft and the crankcase, to reduce their tendency to flex.

    On the other hand, having only one bank of cylinders means less complexity, with only one set of camshafts and cam drive parts. But the packaging advantages of the V-6 mean that it will dominate the market in which front-wheel-drive cars predominate.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  197. @Intelligent Dasein
    Obviously an electric motor can deliver acceleration and torque conversion that is superior to an internal combustion engine, for very simple physics reasons. You can dump a ton of raw current onto a coil using the same circuitry that you would use for ordinary driving, but you cannot burn a quart of gasoline at once in your ICE without blowing it up. The need to make an ICE that can operate efficiently across a range of RPMs limits the power that can be delivered at the low end.

    Electric motors are great for consuming huge amounts of joules quickly. I remember how the lights in my old house used to dim whenever I would push the start button on the washing machine. The torque required to initially crank around a basin filled with 30 or 40 lbs. of clothes and water just drained the amps out of the old wiring. And all that oomph can be delivered without the need for a mechanical drive shaft. That's the beauty of electric.

    But, as you might expect, it all comes at a price. Electric motors are less efficient at high RPMs than a suitably designed ICE, and this is especially so as the charge in the battery begins to dwindle. Using a weak current to push around an already freewheeling rotor is what creates that "pushing on a string" feel that all battery operated devices evince as they lose charge. On the other hand, the very last dram of gasoline in your tank is going to burn with just as much intensity and compression as the first dram of a full tank. Everything is a trade-off in engineering.

    An electric motor delivers maximum torque at full stall.

    Which is why electric vehicles are so quick off the line and also why motors are used in diesel/electric locomotive engines. It takes a lot of umph to get a line of boxcars moving from a standing start. Which is why the linkage between boxcars is loose. The engine only has to overcome the inertia of one boxcar at a time as the line takes up the slack, which is what gives that characteristic sound “cachunk, cachunk, cachunk” and so on down the line.

    If all the cars were connected rigidly, the engine could not budge them.

    An internal engine, of course, delivers zero torque at full stall.

    Which is why they require complex transmissions and that the driver give the engine some gas and gets the revs up as he lets out the clutch.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  198. @BRF
    My Honda Viagra is pretty reliable though it does take half an hour to warm up.

    LOL

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  199. @Unladen Swallow
    I believe they ( electric cars ) produce less carbon dioxide in aggregate even if the electricity is coal generated at the plant, as natural gas begins taking over plants, the amount will drop even more. I think it's primarily because the power plant turbines have much higher efficiencies than a gasoline powered engines do in particular. Oil generating plants are apparently quite rare in North America ( US and Canada ) than in other countries, most electricity generated is by coal, natural gas, and nuclear.

    A lot of people say this but I think it is wishful thinking, if you see my replies to JackD above I give a link to EIA.gov which natural gas IC or nuclear-fired steam turbine plants at about 33% efficiency, in the same ballpark as car motors.

    And according to EIA, internal combustion plants have better efficiency than turbine plants.

    CO2 per fuel source: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=73&t=11

    And power plant efficiency, the explanation is here: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=107&t=3

    For reading the table after the link here: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_08_02.html

    Basically, divide 3412 by those numbers on the table at the last link to get the efficiency %.

    Ballpark they are all in the 25%-33% range although the natural gas combined cycle plants reach 45%.

    Wiki link says new gas cars with GDI fuel injection are about 35% efficient and new diesels 45%.

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

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  200. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Just a thought, but air/aluminum batteries – which are already a workable technology – have an energy density which surpass fossil fuels.
    The only drawback is they are ‘once through’ unrechargeable.

    However, in certain locales such as southern California, there are certain days of the year in which a surfeit of solar energy actually results in a *negative* price of commercial grid electricity, in which the power company actually *pays* the consumer to take power off its hands.
    Perhaps, to utilise this surplus a aluminum smelters could be built in these locales in order to reduce the alumina back to aluminum. In turn, perhaps, the air/aluminum batteries could be utilized in exotic applications such as aircraft or ship propulsion.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  201. @Anonymous
    I'm not a fan of Tesla. Regardless of where it's incorporated or has its factories - it just signed a big deal to open factories in China anyway - it's not an American company in spirit. The aesthetics of the cars aren't American. You look at a Tesla and there's absolutely nothing about it that says American car. I think the first Tesla designs were copies of Lotus, and the new ones are just vague Europeanish sedans. And no real American is going to name his cars "Tesla." Which makes sense since its founder didn't grow up in the US, but immigrated later in life and seems to have assimilated into the contemporary tech culture which is more cosmopolitan and pretty divorced from traditional American and American automotive culture. American cars have names like Pontiac, Plymouth, Studebaker, Nash, Packard, American Motors. An American boy who loves cars and grows up to start an electric car company would name his company Edison Motors.

    I'm not a fan of BMW, Mercedes, or the luxury Japanese brands. They all have this oleaginous, slimy appearance to their designs, especially Mercedes (think the oversized logo, weird proportions, etc). I like American cars (which are vastly underrated these days), the Japanese economy brands, and non-German European cars.

    It's also not true that all of America's hopes rest on a not very American car company taking some market share in Europe away from a luxury market saturated with German cars, which wouldn't mean jack shit anyway. Classic American brands still do have value - see Buick's popularity in China for example. American brands can maintain and recover their value by becoming aspirational brands domestically through protectionist policies. Once they're aspirational brands at home again, then the rest of the world will follow and emulate.

    “Classic American brands still do have value – see Buick’s popularity in China for example.”

    That is indeed true. Cadillac sells more new cars in China than it does here in the USA.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    The cars that they sell in China are mostly made in China. GM takes home a % of the profits (the China factories are all joint venture with locals) but the bulk of the money stays in China.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  202. @Lars Porsena
    One thing I would seriously like to see done to a Tesla, maybe a voided warrantee one, it would be a fun interesting experiment and I'd love to see how it turned out. I'm very curious about the math one these things and I've talked to a few of the owners about it. I believe the Tesla model S or whatever is supposed to be 10kVA.

    I'd love to see someone strip all the batteries out of it and stick a 10-15kVA Kohler diesel standby generator on one, and hook the generator up to the electric motors, and compare the range and gas mileage, if it ends up better or worse without the batteries by putting a generator engine in the trunk. It would still be an electric car it just wouldn't have batteries, it'd be an electric generator hooked up to electric motors.

    They already did this – it’s called a Chevy Volt.

    You can’t do ANYTHING with a Tesla with a voided warranty. They send an update from the factory over the air and brick the car. This is one reason why I would never ever buy one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    Heh, yes it's been done. I'm still curious to see how it would work with a Tesla, not a Volt, too bad they brick the things (that's horrifying, it's like they're paving the way for automobile companies to become as abusive as software companies).

    What I'm really questioning here is how much the batteries actually improve the performance of Elon's car vs. how much of it is the batteries enable NIMBY marketing because you don't have to see the fuel that powers the car, and because the default assumption of most people seems to be that the power plants are way more efficient than our cars, or a higher percentage of nuclear and renewable than they actually are.

    The environmental claims about the car are quite separate from the 'electric vs. IC' debate which argues on it's own regardless of environmental impact. Electric cars have their merits, like the instantaneous torque.

    The MIT air battery was obviously a research prototype made out of exotic materials, and an air battery (which I don't know anything about) not an ion one. I don't know what the efficiency of the actual batteries in the actual Tesla is, but my intuition is you are never going to gain efficiency by incorporating batteries between the power source and the motor, you can only lose it. And that's even without considering loss over the power grid.

    Depending on what your electricity rates are, it may turn out cheaper (and actually greener) to pour diesel into the Kohler than to pay the utility company to do it for you. It would be funny if it was found true. The question is why doesn't Musk do it, why don't they have an option that way, especially if it ends up being more efficient. Apart from financial interest maybe, what's his obsession with sticking batteries in the power train? There may be more to the marketing than just the NIMBYism, because he's turning cars into Iphones and laptops, and making them feel and work like electronic gadgets. It's electric, you just plug it in and charge it. But the bituminous coal being out of sight and out of mind must be part of it.

    My sensibility, I'd rather have a Tesla than a Volt, but I'd rather have a Tesla with a Kohler or a Generac than a Tesla with a power cord and a bunch of lithium batteries. The big question for me is the appeal, what do the batteries do for the car?
    , @Bizarro World Observer
    Much the same thing has happened in farm equipment. Repairs on John Deere products must now be enabled electronically by a JD representative, or the tractor or combine won't work.

    This has, unsurprisingly, resulted in a lot of maverick repair guys running around with hacked software that allows unauthorized repairs. The software is apparently produced in Ukraine, of all places.

    It will be interesting to see if something similar happens with Teslas -- if Tesla lasts that long.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  203. Lars your scheme with an electric generator has already been done, its called the Chevy Volt or even the BMW i3, the range would depend on the size of the fuel tank, and the idea is not even new, Ferdinand Porsche did something similar over 100 years ago

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  204. @LondonBob
    Not terribly convinced by electric cars, yet, and Tesla in particular. Actually the Germans are worried as they have ignored electric and focused on diesel. I am sure Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler own prominent European brands, that is before we look at shareholder registers.

    Looks like a case of patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, smoke and mirrors man Musk bring the scoundrel in this case.

    Steve Zaloga tells us that a World War II tank rested on three properties: Armor. Armament and Automotive. There was a scandal in the press after Normandy that American tanks were inferior to those of the Nazis. We had not upgraded the Sherman and it was no match in a face-to-face tank duel with a German Tiger or Panther.

    The Tiger had a bigger gun (88 mm.) and thicker armor. Yet somehow we won the war. How was that possible?

    One reason was that the Sherman had a Ford engine (and others) while the Tigers and Panthers had to make do with Mercedes and Porsche engines. Maybach engines in the big German tanks were much less reliable, and their transmission were very fragile.

    American arms were powered by Ford, Studebaker and Packard engines. These parts were strong and reliable whereas the German engines and transmission were fragile and unreliable. In those days American made machinery that was quality and Germans made tanks that largely self destructed.

    Patton in the movie says something to the effect that no other tank force in the world could just reverse itself and drive a hundred miles to recue Americans caught in the ‘Battle of the Bulge”. He was right because he had Shermans. The over heavy and unreliable German tanks had to be moved on trains or transport vehicles while the American Shermans drove just fine on regular roads.

    American armor was made in American factories so it was the best in the world. German armor was distinctly inferior.

    What happened?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Quantity has its own quality:

    Tanks, self-propelled artillery, vehicles production WWI Allies- 4,358,649 Axis - 670,288.

    It didn't occur to Hitler that every car factory in America was going to be a tank factory once the war started and America had a LOT of car factories. 1 Panther is better than 1 Sherman but is it better than 7?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  205. @Danand
    "Classic American brands still do have value – see Buick’s popularity in China for example."

    That is indeed true. Cadillac sells more new cars in China than it does here in the USA.

    The cars that they sell in China are mostly made in China. GM takes home a % of the profits (the China factories are all joint venture with locals) but the bulk of the money stays in China.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  206. @Pat Boyle
    Steve Zaloga tells us that a World War II tank rested on three properties: Armor. Armament and Automotive. There was a scandal in the press after Normandy that American tanks were inferior to those of the Nazis. We had not upgraded the Sherman and it was no match in a face-to-face tank duel with a German Tiger or Panther.

    The Tiger had a bigger gun (88 mm.) and thicker armor. Yet somehow we won the war. How was that possible?

    One reason was that the Sherman had a Ford engine (and others) while the Tigers and Panthers had to make do with Mercedes and Porsche engines. Maybach engines in the big German tanks were much less reliable, and their transmission were very fragile.

    American arms were powered by Ford, Studebaker and Packard engines. These parts were strong and reliable whereas the German engines and transmission were fragile and unreliable. In those days American made machinery that was quality and Germans made tanks that largely self destructed.

    Patton in the movie says something to the effect that no other tank force in the world could just reverse itself and drive a hundred miles to recue Americans caught in the 'Battle of the Bulge". He was right because he had Shermans. The over heavy and unreliable German tanks had to be moved on trains or transport vehicles while the American Shermans drove just fine on regular roads.

    American armor was made in American factories so it was the best in the world. German armor was distinctly inferior.

    What happened?

    Quantity has its own quality:

    Tanks, self-propelled artillery, vehicles production WWI Allies- 4,358,649 Axis – 670,288.

    It didn’t occur to Hitler that every car factory in America was going to be a tank factory once the war started and America had a LOT of car factories. 1 Panther is better than 1 Sherman but is it better than 7?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    German cars still seem to have some of the characteristics of German tanks in WWII, such as technological ambitiousness, expensiveness, and less emphasis on reliability and cheapness of maintenance.
    , @Johann Ricke

    1 Panther is better than 1 Sherman but is it better than 7?
     
    One to one, they were better as long as they ran. Once they stopped running, which happened a lot, because of their unreliability, they became inferior pillboxes, i.e. sitting ducks.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  207. If the company can’t turn a profit, it is wasting resources. The “we need Tesla” notion is invalid in that case. Any policy other than letting them sink or swim is a prescription for another Chrysler or GM disaster.

    I know that Musk promises profitability once the Model 3 is up and running, but observers of the car industry have called Tesla a “money incinerator.” Musk strikes me as a bit of a hustler, and his all of his ventures are dependent on help from the State. No matter what happens to them, I suspect he will do well from them.

    I guess we’ll see if Tesla has what it takes.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  208. @ThreeCranes
    All hail the straight six!

    Wiki says this;

    "The straight-six layout is the simplest engine layout that possesses both primary and secondary mechanical engine balance, resulting in much less vibration than engines with fewer cylinders."

    which is why big rigs use straight six diesels with cylinders the size of pancakes. Course they don't mount the engine transversely with FWD.

    "Because it is a fully balanced configuration, the straight-six can be scaled up to very large sizes for heavy truck, industrial and marine use, such as the 16 L (980 cu in) Volvo diesel engine and the 15 L Cummins ISX used in heavy vehicles.[5] The largest are used to power ships, and use fuel oil. The straight-six can also be viewed as a scalable modular component of larger motors which stack several straight-sixes together, e.g. flat- or V-12s, W-18s, etc."

    "An inline six engine is in practically perfect primary and secondary mechanical balance, without the use of a balance shaft. The engine is in primary couple balance because the front and rear trio of cylinders are mirror images, and the pistons move in pairs (but of course, 360° out of phase and on different strokes of the 4-stroke cycle). That is, piston #1 mirrors #6, #2 mirrors #5, and #3 mirrors #4, largely eliminating the polar rocking motion that would otherwise result.

    Secondary imbalance is largely avoided because the crankshaft has six crank throws arranged in three planes offset at 120°. The result is that the bulk of the secondary forces that are caused by the pistons' deviation from purely sinusoidal motion sum to zero. Specifically, the second-order (twice crank speed) and fourth-order inertial free forces (see engine balance article) sum to zero, but the sixth-order and up are non-zero. This is typically a tiny contribution in most applications, but may be significant with very large displacements, despite the usual and advantageous use of long connecting rods reducing the secondary (second-order and up) oscillation in the piston motion in those applications.

    An inline four cylinder, or even a V6 engine with a crank-speed balance shaft, will experience significant secondary dynamic imbalance, resulting in engine vibration. As a general rule, the forces arising from any dynamic imbalance increase as the square of the engine speed — for example, if the speed doubles, vibration will increase by a factor of four. In contrast, inline six engines have no primary or (significant) secondary imbalances, and with carefully designed crankshaft vibration dampers to absorb torsional vibration, will run more smoothly at the same crankshaft speed (rpm). This characteristic has made the straight-six popular in some European sports-luxury cars, where smooth high-speed performance is very desirable. As engine reciprocating forces increase with the cube of piston bore, the straight-six is a preferred configuration for large truck engines."

    Chrysler made a slant six that was very durable. I rebuilt one in high school and loved the ease of access and maintenance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    I owned three of them, God bless em.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  209. @Jack D
    They already did this - it's called a Chevy Volt.

    You can't do ANYTHING with a Tesla with a voided warranty. They send an update from the factory over the air and brick the car. This is one reason why I would never ever buy one.

    Heh, yes it’s been done. I’m still curious to see how it would work with a Tesla, not a Volt, too bad they brick the things (that’s horrifying, it’s like they’re paving the way for automobile companies to become as abusive as software companies).

    What I’m really questioning here is how much the batteries actually improve the performance of Elon’s car vs. how much of it is the batteries enable NIMBY marketing because you don’t have to see the fuel that powers the car, and because the default assumption of most people seems to be that the power plants are way more efficient than our cars, or a higher percentage of nuclear and renewable than they actually are.

    The environmental claims about the car are quite separate from the ‘electric vs. IC’ debate which argues on it’s own regardless of environmental impact. Electric cars have their merits, like the instantaneous torque.

    The MIT air battery was obviously a research prototype made out of exotic materials, and an air battery (which I don’t know anything about) not an ion one. I don’t know what the efficiency of the actual batteries in the actual Tesla is, but my intuition is you are never going to gain efficiency by incorporating batteries between the power source and the motor, you can only lose it. And that’s even without considering loss over the power grid.

    Depending on what your electricity rates are, it may turn out cheaper (and actually greener) to pour diesel into the Kohler than to pay the utility company to do it for you. It would be funny if it was found true. The question is why doesn’t Musk do it, why don’t they have an option that way, especially if it ends up being more efficient. Apart from financial interest maybe, what’s his obsession with sticking batteries in the power train? There may be more to the marketing than just the NIMBYism, because he’s turning cars into Iphones and laptops, and making them feel and work like electronic gadgets. It’s electric, you just plug it in and charge it. But the bituminous coal being out of sight and out of mind must be part of it.

    My sensibility, I’d rather have a Tesla than a Volt, but I’d rather have a Tesla with a Kohler or a Generac than a Tesla with a power cord and a bunch of lithium batteries. The big question for me is the appeal, what do the batteries do for the car?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  210. SpaceX is not dependent on the state, most of their launches are for the private sector, its a bit unfair to call Musk a hustler, to call him a gambler would make more sense, when he cashed out of Paypal he had something like $200Million, the smart move at the point would be to retire to the beach and golf course, investing everything in EVs and rockets was a foolish idea, Tesla might not last but SpaceX will change the world and put men on Mars and the Moon

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  211. @Ivy
    Chrysler made a slant six that was very durable. I rebuilt one in high school and loved the ease of access and maintenance.

    I owned three of them, God bless em.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  212. @Jack D
    Quantity has its own quality:

    Tanks, self-propelled artillery, vehicles production WWI Allies- 4,358,649 Axis - 670,288.

    It didn't occur to Hitler that every car factory in America was going to be a tank factory once the war started and America had a LOT of car factories. 1 Panther is better than 1 Sherman but is it better than 7?

    German cars still seem to have some of the characteristics of German tanks in WWII, such as technological ambitiousness, expensiveness, and less emphasis on reliability and cheapness of maintenance.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  213. Q.The big question for me is the appeal, what do the batteries do for the car

    A. Lower center of gravity, safer in a crash, no moving parts so less maintenance, lower running costs, better acceleration, less noise, refuel at home and leave the house every morning with a full battery, sit back and laugh as OPEC slowly go broke

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    Maybe, we'll see.

    To run the whole country on electric cars would require as some people have said, whole new electric grids and new power plants galore. It's hardly even feasible sums of money and we can hardly afford what we have. And in total fuel usage (and cost) it's going to add all the overhead of the transmission losses and battery storage, through the power utility middleman, giving the regional utility monopolies the whole other half of the consumer energy market they didn't already have, to play NIMBY and relocate the burning.

    OPEC goes broke either way because of Colorado wildcatters and other oil explorers around the world applying new technologies, peak oil theory is a failure. We have centuries of oil gluts worth of supplies domestically, and so do many other countries including both our neighbors, at lower than 1970-2010ish OPEC manipulated prices.

    The question is cost, it is hard to compare, and Tesla's marketing material seems to like hard to compare. Does it cost more or less? Can you tell me how many kWh per mi, so you could actually compare direct cost to gasoline cost (and fuel and emissions I might be able to figure from that generalized nationally) per mile? If it's measured load side off the battery it would be nice to know battery efficiency too. If you can provide numbers I will make attempts on napkins to figure them and show my work because I'm curious myself.

    If it's true it's true. Tesla's marketing material wants us to believe it's true. I believe the numbers but I don't know all the numbers. If it turns out costs go up and energy use and emissions go up that's probably not going to win out over gasoline on mass scale.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  214. BTW SpaceX just test fired their new rocket the Falcon Heavy, when it launches in a few weeks they will have the most powerful rocket in the world, not bad for a man people call a scam artist or a hustler

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    As the cargo for the test launch he is going to send a Tesla Roadster in orbit around the sun, just for the hell of it. The orbit will go out as far as Mars and it should circle the sun for a billion years.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  215. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    Electricity is increasingly being generated by renewable sources. If the price of oil ever goes back up again (which it inevitably will) then renewables will be even more competitive and in any event are being driven by government mandates to reduce greenhouse gases.

    How is it that electric cars get the equivalent of 100 mpg? Because most of the energy in a gallon of fuel in an auto engine gets wasted as heat - only a small % is converted to motion. If your burn the same # of BTU's of fuel in an electrical generating station, the efficiency is much higher (even after power line losses) and you can use the waste heat for co-generation (central steam), etc.

    Nuclear power is a great source of energy but humans are too stupid to handle it. If even the Japanese can't handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    If even the Japanese can’t handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.

    High speed trains are highly visible.

    Nuclear power facilities, by contrast, are usually run by an unhealthy symbiosis of government agencies and monopoly utilities, each with monopoly unions. As a result, such facilities typically lack basic transparency.

    Result: unreviewed, uncritiqued construction plans, construction execution according to political “dibs” rules with ample kick-backs, slipshod operation by cosseted employees who would be unemployable outside a quasi-government monopoly organization.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    I'll note that all the things you describe apply equally to trains, at least in America.

    So we maybe could have safe nuclear if we could get rid of those things, but good luck getting rid of those things.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  216. @Jack D
    Quantity has its own quality:

    Tanks, self-propelled artillery, vehicles production WWI Allies- 4,358,649 Axis - 670,288.

    It didn't occur to Hitler that every car factory in America was going to be a tank factory once the war started and America had a LOT of car factories. 1 Panther is better than 1 Sherman but is it better than 7?

    1 Panther is better than 1 Sherman but is it better than 7?

    One to one, they were better as long as they ran. Once they stopped running, which happened a lot, because of their unreliability, they became inferior pillboxes, i.e. sitting ducks.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  217. @Brabantian
    OT but iSteve-relevant: Thousands of black Americans moving to Africa and finding happiness, 'blaxit'

    From Al Jazeera:


    From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

    It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African-Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They ... say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

    "I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here. You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either."
    - Muhammida el-Muhajir

     

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/african-americans-moving-africa-180116092736345.html

    Best of luck to them. May they encourage their friends and neighbors to follow their example.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  218. @Sunbeam
    "PS: The Truth About Cars is the best place to read anything free of industry propaganda about cars, and Jack Baruth is a quality automotive writer. He even had the balls to go against Porsche AG, builder of vehicles he has loved."

    This is just a musing thing.

    But I'm not a car guy. I get no charm or a sense of romance from one. To me they are a tool, like a shovel, a frying pan, - or toilet paper. Their sole purpose is to get me from point A to B as cheaply, reliably, and safely as possible.

    It's fine if someone else gets ... dunno a charge out of owning one? I think my attitude towards them is slightly atypical of my generation (I remember disco), but it is definitely there amongst others of my cohort.

    And it seems to me it is becoming omnipresent in succeeding generations.

    I remember rockability and when going for a drive was a family Sunday-afternoon activity. There may still be places where that is the case, but for most of us, congestion and fuel-efficiency legislation killed the romance of motoring.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  219. @Intelligent Dasein
    Several comments here have rather blithely asserted that electric and/or self-driving cars are the future. I have to ask: Have you really thought about how much that's going to cost?

    The first problem I see is that, unless you plan on installing some significant solar electric generating capacity in every home and business in America, electric cars (non-hybrid) are going to become nonfunctional the next time there is a prolonged power outage; which, given the country's aging and dilapidated infrastructure, there is sure to be. The blackout might even come about as a result of the electric cars themselves. What happens when everybody on the Gulf Coast plugs in their Teslas at the same time trying to get out of the path of an approaching hurricane?

    But disaster scenarios aside, I don't see how even normal life is going to withstand the strain. First, we have to assume that we'll still want to run everything we currently run with electricity. That means that electrical vehicle fleet will be a marginal additional burden upon our electric grid and generating capacity, which will require both the complete refitting of the entire grid and the construction of several hundred new power plants. In 2016, energy consumption in the US for transportation alone amounted to about 30,000 petajoules. Next, we have to consider the replacement of the existing vehicle fleet (some 250 million autos, give or take) with the new electric models. At the current price for the least expensive Tesla model, this alone would cost almost 9 trillion dollars and that's just the book value. Finance charges and other frictional costs would add several trillions more to that figure.

    On top of that, there is the cost of installing the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of charging stations throughout the country.

    But that's not all. In order to universalize the self-driving technology (even if the programming was good enough for implementation, which it isn't and never will be), America's millions of miles of roadways will have to be refitted with sensors and transponders, graded, repaved, and painted. Since the roads, too, are in a state of disrepair not less dire than the electric grid, this will necessitate yet another massive round of infrastructure spending.

    Now where talking about something like $25-30 trillion when it's all added up. And all this is supposed to be taking place in a world where there is no global economic growth, in a country that is already $20 trillion in debt, is facing massive funding shortfalls in entitlements and pensions, which is on the cusp of a demographic inversion and must also pay for the retirement and senescence of the Baby Boomers, where 100 million people are already not working and the cost of labor is arbitraged to the Third World minimum?

    Sorry, ain't gonna happen.

    The economic, social, and geopolitical disruptions associated with going to all electric cars are monumental. There are incalculable sunk costs invested in our existing petroleum based infrastructure and that infrastructure is "good enough" for now. We will continue grinding along with what we have while maintenance gets more and more shoddy and ad hoc as the marginal buyer drops out of the petroleum economy. We are at peak energy consumption right now. The electric future is a pipe dream.

    To hear you tell it, the future is a pipe dream, sans qualification. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  220. @Anonymous

    If even the Japanese can’t handle it (for example they have run their high speed rail for 50 years with zero fatalities) then there is no hope.
     
    High speed trains are highly visible.

    Nuclear power facilities, by contrast, are usually run by an unhealthy symbiosis of government agencies and monopoly utilities, each with monopoly unions. As a result, such facilities typically lack basic transparency.

    Result: unreviewed, uncritiqued construction plans, construction execution according to political "dibs" rules with ample kick-backs, slipshod operation by cosseted employees who would be unemployable outside a quasi-government monopoly organization.

    I’ll note that all the things you describe apply equally to trains, at least in America.

    So we maybe could have safe nuclear if we could get rid of those things, but good luck getting rid of those things.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  221. @(((They))) Live
    BTW SpaceX just test fired their new rocket the Falcon Heavy, when it launches in a few weeks they will have the most powerful rocket in the world, not bad for a man people call a scam artist or a hustler

    As the cargo for the test launch he is going to send a Tesla Roadster in orbit around the sun, just for the hell of it. The orbit will go out as far as Mars and it should circle the sun for a billion years.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  222. @(((They))) Live
    Q.The big question for me is the appeal, what do the batteries do for the car



    A. Lower center of gravity, safer in a crash, no moving parts so less maintenance, lower running costs, better acceleration, less noise, refuel at home and leave the house every morning with a full battery, sit back and laugh as OPEC slowly go broke

    Maybe, we’ll see.

    To run the whole country on electric cars would require as some people have said, whole new electric grids and new power plants galore. It’s hardly even feasible sums of money and we can hardly afford what we have. And in total fuel usage (and cost) it’s going to add all the overhead of the transmission losses and battery storage, through the power utility middleman, giving the regional utility monopolies the whole other half of the consumer energy market they didn’t already have, to play NIMBY and relocate the burning.

    OPEC goes broke either way because of Colora