Electric Cars are Gayer than Fossy’s Gay Ute

I make no secret of the fact I hate electric cars, and hybrids. Sanctimonious green taliban type full of smug drive them….they are like minis..taking up way more space on the road than they deserve. The only thing worse on the road are cyclists.

Robert Tracinski thinks they are abomination…and I agree with him.

Electric cars never really made any sense. They are cloaked in the sanctimony of the green movement, because they don’t use nasty fossil fuels like gasoline. Instead, they use electricity, which is sent out through power lines from big power plants, which generate this electricity—how? Oh yes, by burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas. This is known as the “long tailpipe,” which goes from the car charging up in your garage all the way back to the smokestack of a coal-fired power plant. And don’t forget, electric cars also have giant batteries made from nasty toxic metals like lithium and cobalt, the manufacture of which frontloads carbon dioxide emissions.

So the electric car was always more an exercise in green paternalism—it is the future, as selected for us by our betters—than a serious attempt to solve any real or imagined problem.

What makes even less sense is the stupidly ridiculous time ti takes to charge the stupid things. What are you supposed to do while it charges…sit there and smugly tell other smug pricks around you just how smug and cool you all are.

Then there was the fuss over the failed Tesla test drive and the social media disaster that befell Tesla:

The folks at Tesla, flunking Public Relations 101, decided that they would respond to this bad review by drawing a lot of attention to it. Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed the review was a fraud based on data taken from the car’s internal logs. Tesla had an unhappy experience with a segment on the British automobile program “Top Gear” that they claimed was misleading. (I am shocked, shocked to discover that Jeremy Clarkson could play fast and loose with the facts.) Ever since, Tesla switches on a monitor whenever they loan one of their cars out to the press. So they claim the Times reviewer purposely drove the car in a way that ran down the battery and then deliberately lied about the results.

Musk’s rebuttal is less than convincing. He brays that the reviewer was lying when he said that he had to drive at 45 miles per hour—and points to logs showing Broder driving at about 50 miles per hour. Similarly, he declares that Broder turned up the heater to 74 degrees at the very point he supposedly had to turn it off—but the graph he uses to verify this shows that Broder did turn the heater way down a few minutes later. In other words, Musk is seizing on technicalities, while the data he presents more or less verifies Broder’s account.

I’m all for never trusting the ink-stained wretches of the press. But if you read through Musk’s argument, the real heart of it is that Broder took too many detours between charging stations and didn’t wait long enough at the stations for his battery to take on a full charge. In other words: the car is OK, it’s just that you drove it wrong. Excuse me? Is Tesla really marketing a product which relies on the consumer to coddle it to get it to perform just right?

More smug.

[S]ince when is driving a car supposed to be so complicated? The whole point of technology is to use the machine’s energy and yes, to burn up natural resources, in order to save human effort. The machines are supposed to work for us; we don’t work for them. This is especially true of the automobile, which is all about freedom, independence, going out on the open road and deciding on the spur of the moment where you want to go—not about filing a flight plan and having technicians talk you through your trip.

I understand that the first round of a new technology doesn’t always work well and early adopters may have to make tradeoffs and accept limitations. But the Tesla is supposed to be the electric car withouttradeoffs. This is supposed to be a mass-market car, the first wave of electric vehicles that can be manufactured and sold in truly industrial-scale quantities. It’s not supposed to be for hobbyists who don’t mind tinkering around with an experimental vehicle for the sake of technology curiosity.

But the folks at Tesla have gotten swept up in the quasi-religious hype of environmentalism. They’re not just manufacturing a curiosity for hobbyists. They’re saving the planet, one preening and sanctimonious upper-middle-class driver at a time.

Smug, smug, smug…I agree with Tracinski, the electric car is an abomination.


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  • Butts_McButts

    Is ‘currently’ an abomination. The Tesla and Fisker are interesting enough, but they’re using the same shitty battery tech as the Nissan Leaf. The technology will improve over time. Writing them off now for good is as retarded as claiming they’re somehow better for the environment.

  • barry

    Its amazing how many people can be fooled by the story of the electric car. As the blog states – where does the enrgy come from? – answer – oil and coal and a little bit of renewables – but thats not all – its relatively inefficient. There are losses during the process of making electrcity from oil and then sending it along wires to a car. Crazy.

    Theonly alternate to oil/coal is hydrogen.
    Nuclear energy is used to make hydrohgen from water – then they use an energy cell to convert that into energy. Yes – difficult technology – but its already working in the US and Europe.

    And no crappy batteries.

    • tbird

      Central production of electricity is much much more efficient that the internal combustion engine, even accounting for losses in transmission.

      There is less CO2 (and more importantly less pollution) using electric cars – even if the only source of electricity is coal.

      • You still have to wait FOREVER to charge the fucking things… convenient? Not ever

        • tbird

          Plug them in overnight.

        • Mr_Blobby

          Open your eyes and smell the coffee, They are coming like it or not.
          Rather than just regurgitate negative press releases have you done any research yourself on the subject, thought not,
          You sound like the big oil companies who would like to bury the technology or Governments who want to protect there carbon based TAX system at all costs.

  • Chris Fleming

    There cars are not cheep either. the Nissan Leaf and GM Volt sell here for $60,000

    • Mr_Blobby

      Having had a quick look at it, I suspect that the cars are deliberately overpriced.

      This may be to appease Big Oil or Governments who would like to bury the technology or more likely they have built in the cost of servicing that they don’t get from electric cars. No more Oil, filters, Oil changes etc.

      When you look at the price of a petrol v Hybrid v Electric it does not add up. Take out the Petrol engine, alternator, starter motor, radiator, header tank, associated accessories and drive belts, Gearboxes and diffs as electric motors can direct drive the wheels. Then replace them with a less complicated electric motor and some batteries it does not add up.

      Or is it just coincidence that the cost of a petrol car plus a lifetime of petrol just about equals the cost of an electric car.

      • Butts_McButts

        The battery pack is a big part of it, but it’s also the overheads like chargers (most of which until recently were proprietary and not built to an industry standard), the software, the dealer support required to service them, etc. None of this really exists year. The NZ price is the raw, unsubsidised price of EVs – most other places subsidise the hell out of them. If electric cars are ever going to be be big here, then they’ll have to compete on an even footing. They can’t yet, but but give it a decade and they might have a fighting chance.

  • tbird

    Okay, I’ve changed by name (was tristan), and will stop forgetting my password to Disqus! I promise.

    You haven’t really explained why you hate them. Do you enjoy buying oil from Muslims? You enjoy filling up your tank for $150?

    They’re awesome technology, and they’re obviously what people will be using.

    Broader lied in the review, because he wanted to have a funny Top Gear ending with a picture of the car on a flatbed. He said he was cruising at 45 mph, when he wasn’t (it wasn’t 50mph either, that’s another lie.)

    He works for the NYT, a lefty rag, not known for journalistic integrity. He usually writes for oil companies, and thought he’d curry favour by attacking an American car company.

  • J.M

    Cam is generally always wrong on transportation issues, and here he is wrong again. With current technology I won’t bother with electric cars for now, but as others have pointed out, it is far too soon to write off the electric car.