I’ve been driving my 100% electric car for two years now. Basic stats:
Mechanical problems: zero
Oil changes: zero
Trips to gasoline stations: zero
Times stuck / out of charge: zero
Times I needed to recharge away from home: two (details below)
Times per year where I resort to driving a gasoline car: about 8. (Going out of town, carrying more than 3 passengers, or transporting a wheelchair)
This year I’ll report on how the EV experience changes my world view. If you read my other diaries, you know I’ll start evangelizing at some point. You’ve been warned.
Alt-med causes real bad things to happen to real people.
Alt-med believers like to say that their treatments do no harm. Tell that to the fans of Atletico Madrid, who lost their quest for the championship because of what is euphemistically called a
Compared to more serious cases, the harm is small (a team lost a game - - so what?), but the public exposure is gigantic -- so maybe there's a teachable moment.
controversial: adj silly; false; fraudulent. The correct word to use when you don't want to be the target of diatribes by enraged alt-met True Believers.
Background info and story, in the land beyond the orange pasta.
I’ve been driving a 100% electric car for a year now and thought I’d share impressions and results. This might help you decide whether an EV is right for you.
I’ve driven my Mitsubishi iMiEV 7000 miles. I haven’t had any mechanical or operational problems, or complaints about comfort or basic operations (seat belts, wipers, seat comfort, etc). I’ve never run out of charge, as the car keeps me well informed about remaining charge/range and I’m aware of where and how far I plan to drive in a day. The worst logistical problem I had was concern that a valet parking attendant wouldn’t know how to start my car.
I measured the plug-in wattage during recharging. Given the range (see below) and the costs of gasoline versus electricity, the fuel cost-per-mile is roughly the same as a gasoline car delivering 110 mpg.
I’ve noticed a slow but steady increase in the number of other EVs, mostly Leafs and Teslas, driving about town. (There are a few Volts around here. I’ve only noticed one Ford EV, but they’re less recognizable than the other EV models so I could’ve overlooked them). If this increase continues, it means EVs are morphing from “early adopter toys” to “mainstream consumer goods”. In keeping with that, the prices are dropping as with any new tech gizmo.
I think the EV is, right now, today, an excellent solution for some drivers. For others, it might remain unviable for a long time. Arguments about whether it is a perfect replacement for the gasoline car miss the point. A better question is, whether it’s a perfect replacement for your gasoline car.
60 years ago there was so much optimism. The elected prime minister was full of idealistic plans for his country, building the national economy, enriching the country by controlling its own resources, and promoting democracy. But 60 years ago he was ousted by a military coup backed by a shadowy foreign conspiracy. He spent the rest of his life either in jail or house arrest.
The damage to the country was immediate, gigantic, and long-lasting. The new regime brought terror and political murder. When it was finally brought down, an even worse regime added religious oppression to the mix of terror and murder.
After 60 years, the remembrance of that sudden fall, and the loss it signaled, is still painful.
Many of you know I’m a huge electric vehicle (EV) fan. But I’m almost to the point where I automatically skip any article about EVs. Why? Because the EV boosters love to write about stuff – new models that don’t exist, brilliant breakthroughs that aren’t repeatable or scalable -- that isn’t true.
Today “Brainwrap” informs us that a car that doesn’t exist, if purchased in a state where it won’t be offered, would be really cheap to a millionaire buyer.
Yeah. Chevy will release a 2014 Spark Electric. Probably. Unless they change their mind. But in any case only in CA and OR. Not in, you know, West Virginia, where a hypothetical tax credit would be useful only if you pay a LOT of state tax. Like, if you’re a West Virginia billionaire.
The original content could have been worthy of a quiet news update.
Chevy plans trial release of low-priced 2014 Spark EV
You see? Now the headline has some connection with the facts of the matter, and interested readers (knowing there is no product to buy today) could dig in for additional details (how low is the price? 27k. How does this compare with EVs you can buy today? $1k under Leaf, etc. How big is the trial release? CA/OR. etc).
In news that somehow seems to have escaped everyone’s notice, you can buy a cost-effective 100% electric commuter / about-town car. Right now. At your local dealer. Not next year. Not “after the next breakthrough”. Not “almost, but with flaws”. Now.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV (pronounce “meeve”) really, truly works.
It cruises comfortably at 75mph.
It can travel 65 highway miles (my measurement - - the EPA rates it at 62) on a charge.
It can travel 75 city miles (my measurement - - the manufacturer claims 90) on a charge.
It seats four comfortably with a decent little cargo area in the back. Or, flip the back seat down for a surprisingly generous capacity.
And it makes financial sense.
Yes, MSRP starts at $30k. Don’t be fooled. . .
Instead of ignoring the right wing email that crawled into my in-box, I will try sending a rebuttal to the whole damn list of them.
My response email would be as follows . . . what do you think?
I was hesitant to answer this mass email because of its stupid and offensive content.
Warning: offensive graphic and vocabulary below the fold
However, sometimes silence is a bad idea. I offer rebuttals on two points.
.. continued ..
My sister-in-law is poor, non-college-educated, and rural; not a good mix for knowing how to navigate legal landscape and protect herself against deadly threats.
A couple weeks ago, her husband slammed their 7-year-old daughter against a wall in rage. When the mother moved to protect her, he attacked her with a rock. In her words, “he tried to kill us both”. I don’t know how she escaped. She and her daughter spent the next few weeks at a shelter.
They've arrested 38 people at Occupy Austin. There's a rally at 4pm to protest this action.
Here's a link for Occupy Austin.
Here are contacts for phoning to state your objections to the police action.
According to the Rude Pundit, the AHIP report contains this gem:
Premiums in the large group market for family coverage will increase from average of about $13,900 in 2010 to approximately $23,500 in 2019 in the absence of reform and $26,200 if these reforms become law
Excuse me? This is their argument against reform? In the absence of reform, premiums will go up ten thousand dollars? Did they not just give the reform movement a free gift of all the ammunition it needs?
As we drove home from vacation, through Dallas, somewhat bored from many highway miles, it was the will of She that we should turn on the car radio. Maybe we can hear Limbaugh, She said. I'm sort of curious to hear what kind of horror his show is (She's not enough of a net junkie to have YouTubed any of his more egregious outbursts).
Sure enough, we found him on the dial; and sure enough, it only took about 90 seconds for him to come up with enough bizarreness to raise Her eyebrows about a foot in the air.
And then came the ad.
An ad for - - and I so totally don't understand what they're doing there - - GoToMeeting.
My brief email to GoToMeeting: ....
Here's my report from the front lines. I spent the afternoon trying to get signatures on an OFA (Organizing For America) petition.
The text of the petition (in its entirety)
I Support Health Insurance Reform
That's it. No small print. Five words: sign it or not.
After a couple hours' signature hunting, I see patterns. Most of the respondents can be classified into half a dozen groups. The groups offer trouble signs / opportunities. In order from least urgent to most,