Not just Americans, I think they suck too

Electric cars suck, and American’s hate them and don’t want them, so says Joel Johnson:

Electric cars are terrible. They just are. They’re a solution for a problem we don’t have. Or rather, they’re a solution for a problem we aren’t about to change: our sprawling, big-ass cities filled with things we can’t afford to buy yet must haul around. (Like kids.)

Modern electric cars make about as much sense as rooftop airports. They’re fairy tickets to a more-or-less inevitable future that hasn’t actually arrived. For most of the American market, the only advantage electric cars offer over gasoline-powered vehicles is the permission to daydream about a time when their decision to drive in the first place doesn’t hurt the environment.

Even auto executives agree with me (as much as it pains me to say so): two-thirds of a couple hundred auto executives think electrics and hybrids combinedwon’t make a dent in the market until 2025.

Not just American’s think they suck, I do too.

You can abstract almost every discussion of energy down to raw power. And you should. There is a finite amount of condensed sunlight on this planet and a finite amount of raw materials. In 2010 the United States still made 83% of our energy from fossil fuels—much of which we burnt to generate the electricity that was sloppily sent down a creaking, inefficient power grid to fill up the batteries of our electric cars. Batteries which we made by expending more energy to pull lithium, copper, and aluminum out of the ground.

It’s not that I think electric cars are doomed forever. It’s inevitable that in another couple of decades, their range will increase as battery capacity improves. Maybe by then battery capacity will approach the astoundingly high energy density of gasoline. There’s simply too much money being poured into battery research to stop innovation. (Even if it will just as likely come from companies focusing on making a better iPad battery: car battery companies are approaching market saturation in the current economy.) Plus, if China’s any example, solar should be as cheap as coal in another five or ten years. At that point, the hazy sky’s the limit.

But today, right now, in the middle of a terrible recession and a miasmatic material hangover from decades of unchecked consumption, I can’t look someone in the eye who’s about to buy their first car and say, “Look, buy this electric vehicle. It’s not very fun. It’s not what you want. You can’t really haul anything. It’s very likely not any better for the environment. But it is very, very quiet. Especially for the hours and hours it takes to charge.”

Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.