Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Are You Clamoring for an Electric Car?

 

(With my apologies to Gary McVey, prepare for one of my incendiary posts.)

Is a Tesla or a Chevy Bolt, or a Nissan Leaf on your Christmas list this year? Can you hardly wait to ditch that gas-guzzler in the driveway and replace it with a vehicle that you can “fill up” from an installation in your garage, at a lot less than a tank of Regular?

Well, if that’s what you see in your future, so do most of the world’s car manufacturers. There probably isn’t a car manufacturer who isn’t working on designing and building an electric car, either purpose-designed or just replacing the internal-combustion engine in a model they already build with a big battery. General Motors has already announced their coming “All-electric future.” The European Union is mandating more and more strict emissions rules for vehicles sold there, and their carmakers like BMW, Renault, Daimler, Fiat, and Volvo are all touting their electric vehicles.

But you might wish to wait a moment before you go all-in on electric, especially if you live in the United States outside of a central large city. First, let’s check out the price of that electric car versus its gas-powered brother. The Nissan Leaf retails for about $30,000. Its near twin, the Nissan Versa, costs about $19,000. An electric Chevy Bolt will set you back about $36,000. Its similar brother, the Cruze, is about $17,000. See a pattern developing here? In the past, you could rely on a nice Federal tax credit for your electric car, to help mitigate that huge price differential, but not anymore. Most carmakers have sold enough cars that they don’t earn any tax credit now. So, it looks like GM’s All-Electric Future will be a lot more expensive than its Internal Combustion Present.

That nice home charger in the garage will set you back another $700 or so. However, unlike the five-minute fill-up of your gas-powered ride, it will take you up to 3-4 hours to recharge that electric car. And the “range” of an electric car is a lot smaller than the range of miles you can get from a tank of gas. So, you’ll probably want to forget those long road-trips in your new electric car. And if you get caught in an unexpected traffic jam, that electric car’s range might just shrink. If you get caught with your battery down in the middle of a busy street or freeway, it might be pretty embarrassing to have AAA send a truck to hoist it up and carry it to the nearest charging station. And there’s no guarantee that there will even be a nearby charging station! They are still pretty few around the country today.

Also, what about that wildfire in your area, when the police or highway patrol comes to your house and tells you to evacuate? What? Your electric car is out of charge? It won’t get you very far when you need to evacuate? Too bad, it becomes a hunk of junk when the fire reaches your house, and you really can’t carry much on your back. Then, what about that power failure in the next thunderstorm? Your car needs a charge? Impossible with no power! That’s especially worrying when you are a rural resident, where you are already far from most services.

Now, I’ll bet that new electric car might not seem like such a good investment. And electric cars are so new, there’s really not much of a market for used ones. And big Li-ion batteries don’t last forever, and eventually need to be replaced, at a cost far above that of an internal-combustion engine. So your electric car might not be worth very much when its battery wears out, and you might be out one-third the price of the car for a new one. Oh, and batteries don’t perform very well in the cold, so if you live in a northern state like Minnesota, your car will need to be kept indoors so its battery doesn’t freeze or get drained by the cold weather. And beware of the company parking lot while you’re at work — your car might not run when you come out to go home at the end of the day.

My own viewpoint is that I will never, ever, buy or drive an electric car. I appreciate being able to get in my gas-powered car, and go wherever I want, whenever I want, with no “range anxiety.” I like long car trips, without the worry of how long I have left before my car dies. Gas stations are everywhere, and if you keep a full or close to full tank, you can even drive around during a power outage. And when you are forced to evacuate, you can fill up the trunk with your goods and just drive away. I’m betting that most Americans aren’t clamoring for an electric car, and that GM’s future might not be so prosperous if it expects most Americans to want one.

An electric car will not be in my future.

Published in Economics
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There are 202 comments.

  1. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Currently, as long as you stay on the Interstate highway system, you can kind of make it from place to place without worrying about not having charging stations available (though you have to know the difference between a Tesla charging station and Leaf/other non-Tesla one). But anyone wanting to take their EV off the beaten path better be prepared with their own (gas-powered) portable generator in the vehicle, because it’s going to be a while before charging stations start blanketing the areas off the main travel paths (which mirrors how cell phone companies have put out their towers — Interstates are focused on, but in a lot of places if you get more than about 10 miles off the main highway, the phone’s going to show zero bars).

    If you have enough $$$ for a second vehicle, live in an urban area and have no plans to ever take it on an extended road trip, then I suppose you can buy one to feel good about yourself. But the power to charge the batteries and the heavy metal mining to make the batteries has to come from somewhere, and odds are a lot of the virtue signalers aren’t going to care about those things if the power generation station and the strip mine are hundreds or thousands of miles away from their view.

    • #1
    • December 13, 2019, at 9:39 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  2. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Eh, live it up with my compliments, RushBabe. I bought my car used, with no tax repbates or special deals. I haven’t seen anything that changes my mind that it was the smart buy for me, and I don’t expect to change yours about whatever you’re driving. Why should I? We’re Ricochet pals.

    Electrics are good for some things, gas cars are good for others, and there’s some overlap. If a reader’s electricity is entirely coal fired (mine isn’t), if you tow a heavy trailer (I don’t), if you drive 200 miles through mountains in cold weather regularly (I don’t), avoid electrics. On the other hand, I see people here all the time driving huge offroaders that will never be used off road, or in the mountains, or anywhere but a two mile drive between a gated estate and the supermarket. That’s dumb, financially, but hey, perfectly constitutional.

    Live and let live, I say. Go to it, gang.

    • #2
    • December 13, 2019, at 9:49 PM PST
    • 26 likes
  3. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    I have considered an electric car as a third vehicle. We have an SUV and a little sports car already, and this would be fine to drive around town in. Save some bucks. Pollute the environment from a distance instead of direct. 

    I’m not under any illusion that it would be good for the environment. It would just be a way to (maybe) save some money. Pretty sure we won’t bite – it feels wrong to participate in this kind of nonsense. Mostly I mention it to point out that this is rarely anyone’s sole vehicle so even if the effects on the environment were positive (doubtful) the usage of many of the vehicles is pretty low.

    • #3
    • December 13, 2019, at 9:50 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Eh, live it up with my compliments, RushBabe. I bought my car used, with no tax repbates or special deals. I haven’t seen anything that changes my mind that it was the smart buy for me, and I don’t expect to change yours about whatever you’re driving. Why should I? We’re Ricochet pals.

    Electrics are good for some things, gas cars are good for others, and there’s some overlap. If a reader’s electricity is entirely coal fired (mine isn’t), if you tow a heavy trailer (I don’t), if you drive 200 miles through mountains in cold weather regularly (I don’t), avoid electrics. On the other hand, I see people here all the time driving huge offroaders that will never be used off road, or in the mountains, or anywhere but a two mile drive between a gated estate and the supermarket. That’s dumb, financially, but hey, perfectly constitutional.

    Live and let live, I say. Go to it, gang.

    Here in the oil patch of West Texas, we’ve got our Tesla and Leaf/Bolt charging stations right next to each other on I-20, with the Tesla in the parking lot of the local Flying J and the Leaf/Bolt in the parking lot of the neighboring Sonic Drive-In (which I find sort of amusing, since I don’t see a really big Venn diagram overlap between new EV owners and Sonic fast food customers). Have yet to see an actual local EV here because of all the roads not near interstates, but there are 1-2 apparently in Midland, and in terms of choice of vehicle, I think they’re probably better than driving a Mini-Cooper or a Smart Car out here amidst all the super-heavy oilfield trucks with drivers who’ve just gotten their CDL licenses (those fuel-efficient car drivers are either the bravest or the most foolhardy people on the planet — I’d rather deal with the oilfield trucks in a slightly bigger EV than a Smart Car).

    • #4
    • December 13, 2019, at 10:13 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. James Lileks Contributor

    When an electric car is cheaper, faster, more responsive, can be refilled in three minutes, sure; give me a call.

    • #5
    • December 13, 2019, at 10:58 PM PST
    • 22 likes
  6. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    I wouldn’t mind a hybrid. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are gasoline cars with ultra-efficient powertrains. The battery is just part of the powertrain.

    Bonus points if you switch your gas hybrid to methanol, which we can make pretty easily from coal. It’s used in race cars!

    You can do some of these conversions using waste heat from power plants.

    But an electric car? That’s too limited. Batteries are never going to beat carbon fuels, or even hydrogen, in terms of power density.

    • #6
    • December 13, 2019, at 11:03 PM PST
    • 19 likes
  7. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There are certainly drawbacks and you’ve listed most of them. But most, if not all of those problems will be solved quite soon.

    Im a huge Elon Musk fan and if I had extra money I’d put it in Tesla in a heartbeat. I couldn’t are less about saving the planet ( can’t wait for it to end, lol) but EV’s are far superior in every way to legacy ICE vehicles. The prices are coming down, ranges are going up, charging is becoming more rapid and stations more plentiful.
    In 15 years there will be nothing but EV’s on the road. Even at today’s prices, electric cars are cheaper if you price through 5 years including fuel and maintenance. Tesla’s last a half-million miles including battery life. They project one million for both in the next few years. Fully automated driving is closer than we think (Tesla especially) and will revolutionize the entire economy.

    Prepare for a big shake-up. Once you ignore the enviro-sanctimony associated with EV’s, you can see more clearly they are superior and will be the future. This is why every car-maker is jumping in. They will be left in the dust if they don’t. Their problem is that Tesla has such a huge lead on them many will ultimately fail.

    • #7
    • December 13, 2019, at 11:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    When an electric car is cheaper, faster, more responsive, can be refilled in three minutes, sure; give me a call.

    They’re already faster and more responsive. The prices are dropping, because a motor with essentially one moving part is cheaper to make than an engine with hundreds of moving parts. By 2022-24, the car industry (not the windmill and solar industry) expects they’ll be as cheap or cheaper than gasoline cars to build.

    Batteries haven’t had any magic jumps in range (sorry, fellow EV owners) since Tesla had the somewhat overrated simple idea of using laptop-type lithium ones, but they’re half the price they were ten years ago and last almost twice as long as they did as recently as 2005. 

    Now, it could be that the USA’s Silicon Valley is all wrong about electric technology, that the makers of the world’s most coveted cars, the Germans, and the world’s most profitable car companies, the Japanese, are making this all up at the behest of the LIVS and SJWs who don’t like SUVs or the GOP, or it could just mean they know their business. We’ll see. 

    Refilled in 3 minutes? You got me there. A hundred years ago, electric taxis in New York solved that with a battery replacement system that was something like a giant PEZ dispenser, shoving one battery into the chassis of the car while the used one slid into a carrier on the other side of the car. It worked, but it was a PITA. 

    Then again, I “gas up” at home while I’m asleep. 

     

    • #8
    • December 13, 2019, at 11:33 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I wouldn’t mind a hybrid. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are gasoline cars with ultra-efficient powertrains. The battery is just part of the powertrain.

    Bonus points if you switch your gas hybrid to methanol, which we can make pretty easily from coal. It’s used in race cars!

    You can do some of these conversions using waste heat from power plants.

    But an electric car? That’s too limited. Batteries are never going to beat carbon fuels, or even hydrogen, in terms of power density.

    Good points, Omega, but they aren’t the complete picture. The greatest power density in gasoline is high test aviation gas. Kerosene is far, far lower. But have you taken any four engine propeller airliners cross country lately? No, they’ve all switched to jets on anything but the smallest, most local general aviation. Because energy density is only part of the issue. Jets are also more expensive than prop planes, but jet engines don’t waste as much energy in reciprocation and heat loss, and they’re much more reliable in professional use.

    Even the final generation of prop airlines–turboprops–use kerosene, not gas, to drive jet-like turbines. It has less power density, but it doesn’t matter.

    • #9
    • December 13, 2019, at 11:42 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I wouldn’t mind a hybrid. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are gasoline cars with ultra-efficient powertrains. The battery is just part of the powertrain.

    Bonus points if you switch your gas hybrid to methanol, which we can make pretty easily from coal. It’s used in race cars!

    You can do some of these conversions using waste heat from power plants.

    But an electric car? That’s too limited. Batteries are never going to beat carbon fuels, or even hydrogen, in terms of power density.

    Add to that the losses associated with charging a battery and the inefficiencies of discharging one and you’ll find that you need more energy for the purely electric car than its fossil fuel powered one. And that power needs to be generated and supported by the power grid. If tomorrow every car in California was electric, there would be brownouts due to the additional load. And wildfires.

    McVey, you’re gonna get everybody killed in the dark!

    (Gee … extrapolating gloom and doom is kind of fun. No wonder the proglodytes do it so much.)

    • #10
    • December 13, 2019, at 11:54 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  11. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I wouldn’t mind a hybrid. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are gasoline cars with ultra-efficient powertrains. The battery is just part of the powertrain.

    Bonus points if you switch your gas hybrid to methanol, which we can make pretty easily from coal. It’s used in race cars!

    You can do some of these conversions using waste heat from power plants.

    But an electric car? That’s too limited. Batteries are never going to beat carbon fuels, or even hydrogen, in terms of power density.

    Add to that the losses associated with charging a battery and the inefficiencies of discharging one and you’ll find that you need more energy for the purely electric car than its fossil fuel powered one. And that power needs to be generated and supported by the power grid. If tomorrow every car in California was electric, there would be brownouts due to the additional load. And wildfires.

    McVey, you’re gonna get everybody killed in the dark!

    (Gee … extrapolating gloom and doom is kind of fun. No wonder the proglodytes do it so much.)

    The power grid is loafing between 9pm and 6am. Of course every car isn’t going to be electric tomorrow. (And if every gas car in California was replaced tomorrow by its 1957 equivalent, we’d all asphyxiate).

    Great stuff happens in the dark. 

    • #11
    • December 14, 2019, at 12:03 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ll be the first to admit that one strike against electric cars are the airheaded, pseudo-visionary claims that technically illiterate leftists make for them. I could do a post called “Years of outright lying about speed and range”. But then I could do the same for the boastful claims of factory-built housing in 1949, nuclear generating plants in 1954, or personal computers in 1979. Each one of us has to determine for ourselves where the line is crossed between enthusiasts and BS artists. 

    • #12
    • December 14, 2019, at 12:25 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    I’ll be the first to admit that one strike against electric cars are the airheaded, pseudo-visionary claims that technically illiterate leftists make for them. I could do a post called “Years of outright lying about speed and range”. But then I could do the same for the boastful claims of factory-built housing in 1949, nuclear generating plants in 1954, or personal computers in 1979. Each one of us has to determine for ourselves where the line is crossed between enthusiasts and BS artists.

    I think EVs will have their place as a ‘commuter car’, where the normal driving distance isn’t outside of the range of where you can recharge while the vehicle’s parked, so you’re not stuck in a situation where you’re wasting 20-30 minutes of time at the charging station when you’re trying to go somewhere.

    My fear is more that — Blue city and Blue state governments being what they are — that you will see those governments start mandating EVs on their residents, even when the EV is not suited for what the vehicle is needed for (aside from long-distance travel, I’m waiting to see if the Tesla pickup has any functionality at all as a real work truck). When that happens, my guess is a lot of people are going to view their new government-mandated EV in roughly the same way people view those government-mandated low-flush toilets, as a solution that causes more problems than it solves.

     

    • #13
    • December 14, 2019, at 12:35 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hybrids are a good solution. More complicated, though. More complicated faults. More complicated repairs. Fewer people adept at diagnosing and repairing the faults. More people bringing their cars in to the dealer for service.

    Gee, you think that the manufacturers have thought of any of that?

    • #14
    • December 14, 2019, at 12:39 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  15. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Hybrids are a good solution. More complicated, though. More complicated faults. More complicated repairs. Fewer people adept at diagnosing and repairing the faults. More people bringing their cars in to the dealer for service.

    Gee, you think that the manufacturers have thought of any of that?

    GM did. A “weak” hybrid, like the Prius, is basically a gas car with an electric assist. A “strong” hybrid is an electric car with a gasoline reserve that generates power. They did a good job with the Chevy Volt, but bizarrely didn’t promote it as a superior hybrid but as an “Extended Range Electric Vehicle”, confusing nearly everybody and hurting their sales. My wife’s Volt’s gas tank was filled in May. So far, she’s used two gallons of it. We need to use that gasoline before it goes bad. At this rate it might take ten years. (The Volt does have a setting to force it to run off the gas engine only.)

    • #15
    • December 14, 2019, at 12:48 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  16. Arahant Member

    Wake me when we have a fusion-powered car.

    • #16
    • December 14, 2019, at 2:19 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Wake me when we have a fusion-powered car.

    TV’s 1966 Batmobile was supposedly fission-powered, though many of us recognized it as a customized idea car of the mid-Fifties, the Lincoln Futura. 

    • #17
    • December 14, 2019, at 2:22 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. E. Kent Golding Member

    China and the EU are taxing and regulating electric cars into existence. China is the single most lucrative auto market in the world. Regulations in general may possibly make cars better, but they certainly make them more expensive. Not everyone can afford the cars that our governments restrict the automakers to providing.

    • #18
    • December 14, 2019, at 3:08 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  19. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    When an electric car is cheaper, faster, more responsive, can be refilled in three minutes, sure; give me a call.

    James how cold does it get where you live?

     

     

     

    • #19
    • December 14, 2019, at 3:41 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. RPD Member
    RPD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I don’t mind EVs but I hate government mandates forcing them on us. Other than Tesla they don’t sell well without subsidies and with Zero Emission laws such California has passes I suspect most automakers would skip them. They’re compliance vehicles.

    On a recent roadtrip I noticed that service plazas on the Ohio toll road have EV chargers (with credit card sliders) in the back lots. That seems no worse than the gas and diesel pumps that are there as well. On the other hand Indiana has no chargers, but the do have front and center parking for EV/Hybrid which strikes me as pretty silly.

    Governments putting their thumb on the scales in favor of one technology over another just seems wrong.

    • #20
    • December 14, 2019, at 3:41 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  21. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Electric drive motors are superior to the ICE plus transmission model of conventional vehicles. Simpler, many fewer moving parts, lighter, etc the problem is the power source for the motor

     

    what I don’t get is why manufacturers don’t get on to the model of the railroad locomotive. An ICE that runs a generator to provide power for the drive motor. Combined with sufficient battery storage, this solves all the problems of pure electric cars. It ends range limitations because you can fuel up your generator just like you do a standard ICE. You still get the environmental/emission benefits of electric cars. The ICE generator can be much smaller and more efficient than one that’s used to drive the wheels of the vehicle directly. 

    this model is distinct from hybrid vehicles that combine the worst of both worlds (ICE powered drive wheels, plus inadequate battery storage and all the complexity and cost that comes from having to support both systems.)

    • #21
    • December 14, 2019, at 3:45 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  22. Slow on the uptake Thatcher

    When I go to the city, perhaps every ten days, coming and going I observe the line-up of charging stations on the town square. Six years now. Not one single time have I ever seen one of them being used. Wonder if they really work.

    Of course, some government agency put them in so who cares about what they cost. Probably cheap anyhow.

    • #22
    • December 14, 2019, at 4:49 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  23. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Once you separate out the political aspects and government chicanery from the economics and practical matters, EV’s win hands down.

    Certainly there are temporary limitations and valid reasons for many to poo-poo EV’s ( call me when they…) but these people will be eating their words 10 years, or even 5 years from now. Go ahead, sell Tesla stock short. How’s Amazon going to make money selling books? Call me when they make a profit ( oops, too late..)

    I remember being told that computers were a fad that would go the way of the CB radio.

    Here’s why EV’s are the future:

    No gas tank

    No oil needs

    No coolant system 

    No transmission!

    No exhaust system 

    – think about how often one of these things causes breakdowns 

    Fewer maintenance costs, repair costs, more reliable, longer life of the car. 

    This alone is a fleet owners dream!

    Quieter, smoother ride.

    Faster ( by far) acceleration.

    More power and torque.

    One third the cost to operate!

    As in anything that is scalable and new technology, prices will come down and performance will go up. If you look at the disparity between Tesla and other EV manufacturers, it becomes obvious there are continuous improvements to battery life, range, and charging times. And this is a brand new field! 

    But it doesn’t stop there. Tesla ( and to a lesser extent others) is pioneering self-driven autos. We have a hard time comprehending this but it’s actually happening. Once charging stations are plentiful, charging times get down to 20 minutes ( who doesn’t stop for 20 minutes every 300 miles? If you have a woman in the car that goes triple) and people discover the luxury of partial autonomy ( which currently exists) and full autonomy there will be no contest.

    In just a few years, Tesla is promising to double lifetime mileage of car and battery from 500,000 miles to one million. One million miles!

    This will be the single-most disruptive economic force since… maybe the automobile itself.

    This is why every car manufacturer is desperate to get into EV’s. Not because of the upside, moreso because they know they won’t be able to compete and would go out of business in as little as one measly decade if they stick with ICE autos.

     

    • #23
    • December 14, 2019, at 5:19 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Arahant Member

    Franco (View Comment):
    And this is a brand new field! 

    No, it is as old as the automobile.

    • #24
    • December 14, 2019, at 5:27 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    And this is a brand new field!

    No, it is as old as the automobile.

    True, but there’s been no real competition and we have a plethora of enhancing technologies ( computers of course ).

    There’s a big difference between tinkering in backyards by enterprising souls to huge auto companies. Auto manufacturers had zero incentive to pursue EV’s as their infrastructure was married to existing technology. Meanwhile a host of other technological improvements all converge to facilitate competitive EV’s.

    This is proving-out to be a real problem for all but Tesla, which is a company with no ties to legacy engines.

    Battery capacity and life has doubled in the last ten years ( maybe five but I’m being conservative) Now that everyone is racing to improve it, I can’t believe progress will somehow stall. It’s already close enough to compete that even incremental improvements will surpass the rationale to buy a new ICE vehicle.

    • #25
    • December 14, 2019, at 5:45 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Paul Erickson Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    Currently, as long as you stay on the Interstate highway system, you can kind of make it from place to place without worrying about not having charging stations available

    True. It will be interesting to see what the market does, though. When more and more people go electric, we can expect to see more and more charging stations. Will we see a corresponding drop in the availability of gasoline filling stations? I expect this will balance itself out, as long as the market is free to do its thing.

    Full disclosure: not an electric vehicle owner, but my daughter drives a Leaf and my son drives a Volt.

    • #26
    • December 14, 2019, at 5:50 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    Currently, as long as you stay on the Interstate highway system, you can kind of make it from place to place without worrying about not having charging stations available

    True. It will be interesting to see what the market does, though. When more and more people go electric, we can expect to see more and more charging stations. Will we see a corresponding drop in the availability of gasoline filling stations? I expect this will balance itself out, as long as the market is free to do its thing.

    Full disclosure: not an electric vehicle owner, but my daughter drives a Leaf and my son drives a Volt.

    I would suspect the more nanny-statish areas will start to mandate just how many EV charging ports and how many gas pumps outlets can have, with the idea of clamping down on the pumps to the point of negating any advantage ICE vehicle drivers have in refueling and getting back on the road — i.e., it might only take you five minutes to fill up your tank versus 20-25 minutes to fully recharge your battery. But the Blue state areas are going to limit the gas pumps so much, you’re going to have to wait a hour in line behind other ICE drivers to get to the pump.

    That’s the type of forced coercion that people just using their EVs in urban areas for commuting might rationalize as simply necessary to Save the Planet, but the unintended consequence is probably going to be to slow down productivity for those who will need the added scalable power available that gas/diesel powered engines can provide, but can’t get to their work sites quickly because they’re stuck in some artificially-created gas line reminiscent of the 1970s.

    • #27
    • December 14, 2019, at 6:17 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. The Reticulator Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I wouldn’t mind a hybrid. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are gasoline cars with ultra-efficient powertrains. The battery is just part of the powertrain.

    My employer had a Ford Focus hybrid that I used to drive on infrequent trips to our main campus. I liked it, especially for driving in crowded city traffic. If I lived in a place like that I would seriously consider getting a hybrid, though would first take a hard look at maintenance issues. I’d like one even for life out in the country, but it wouldn’t have the same advantages for me out here. So my future is not likely to include one.

    An all-electric car? Not now and not where I live, but I wouldn’t say never. As a bicyclist I’m not sure if I look forward to a world of super-quiet electric cars sneaking up on me from behind, but maybe I could adjust.

    It’s good to have choices.

    • #28
    • December 14, 2019, at 6:32 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. The Reticulator Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    My fear is more that — Blue city and Blue state governments being what they are — that you will see those governments start mandating EVs on their residents, even when the EV is not suited for what the vehicle is needed for (aside from long-distance travel, I’m waiting to see if the Tesla pickup has any functionality at all as a real work truck). When that happens, my guess is a lot of people are going to view their new government-mandated EV in roughly the same way people view those government-mandated low-flush toilets, as a solution that causes more problems than it solves.

    The progressive left is scared to death of people making their own choices in a free market. Who knows where it could lead. So if it looks like EVs are becoming good choices, they’ll want to mandate them before people learn how good they are and make those choices on their own. And worst of all, learn how the free market can benefit them.

    • #29
    • December 14, 2019, at 6:38 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  30. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    An all-electric car? Not now and not where I live, but I wouldn’t say never. As a bicyclist I’m not sure if I look forward to a world of super-quiet electric cars sneaking up on me from behind, but maybe I could adjust.

    I believe there’s a plan to add artificial sounds to electric cars for the benefit of pedestrians. Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) had been lobbying for the warbling sound the Jetsons flying cars made.

    .

    • #30
    • December 14, 2019, at 6:39 AM PST
    • 4 likes