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Old 08-14-2022, 09:21 PM
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Default Electric cars

Can we talk about electric cars? Mrs. Reason's car is all electric, and my eldest has a plug-in-hybrid which she mostly uses in electric mode. We don't have a great solution for charging them, so they charge slowly from an outdoor plug. (It's actually been hard to get an electrician to come in to install a 30 or 50 Amp charger due to their local popularity and other demands on electrician's business.)

But I also wanted to start by talking about this:

https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4844

Skeptoid's Brian Dunning is normally pretty decent about making coherent and logical science based arguments, but has a spotty record about making social and economic ones.

Here's part of the argument for "You're screwed if the battery dies."
Quote:
Sure, just as an ICE car is screwed if it runs out of gas. But who is ass enough to drive someplace where they don't have the range and where there aren't any gas stations? Whether you're an ass isn't determined by what kind of car you have, so EV owners are no stupider than ICE owners. So running out of power in the middle of nowhere simply doesn't happen, and isn't a part of the EV experience. This is a false and made-up objection.
This is basically saying, "People don't run out of gas, and if they do they're idiots." This works fine if you're middle class and can afford to get refilled whenever your energy gets low.

People do run out of gas, something he obliquely admits. If you run out of gas, you can call someone you know (or a tow service), and they can bring a gas tank, give you a few gallons of gas, and then you can get to the next gas station. How does this work with an electric car? As electric cars become more prevalent, I'm sure there will be a solution, but it probably won't be as convenient or as cheap as for a gas car.

Quote:
I spent a couple days on a long highway where charge stations were 150 miles apart, and I got to one and the whole town had its power knocked out by the storm. [...]

When the power came back on, I was on my way after 15 minutes, while the vast majority of those ICE cars hadn't even moved up in line yet.
That's because there were 2 electric cars and hundreds of gas cars. When there are hundreds of electric cars, you will wait even longer in line than the gas cars. This is just bragging that you are an early adopter.

For the most part, the rest of the arguments are sound, but unless you're a homeowner who can charge your car at home and have a credit card to pay for a charging station when you're not, electric cars come with additional worries that we don't (yet) have the social infrastructure to deal with in a lot of places.

Still, Mrs. Reasons is mostly pleased, and with my daughter's relatively low car usage, she has refilled the gas tank on her car once in the past year, and we have an electrician coming this week.
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2022, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Electric cars

A friend of mine has a Tesla and he has only had a couple issues with it, but as you mentioned he has always had home charging and credit available. The three main issues he has had (that I'm aware of) were 1) having to plan road trips very carefully, 2) getting stuck in snowpocalypse gridlock for hours in Atlanta a few years back meant a dead car that had to be towed because, as you mentioned, electricity isn't as easy to delivery as gas (although now that I think about it maybe there will eventually be mobile electric providers), and 3) we misjudged distance on a road trip once and therefore had to stop and get charged in a small town that only had trickle chargers, so we sat around in a parking lot for about an hour in the middle of the night waiting for it to charge.
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2022, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Electric cars

For now, running out of battery is a lot more to deal with than running out of gas, so Dunning's argument about how they're equivalent was disingenuous.

Mrs. Reason's car has some weird problems, and it's disturbing problems for an electric car. Some of the time, it doesn't want to charge. Sometimes, the phone won't connect, and sometimes the dashboard control won't respond to touch.
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Old 08-15-2022, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Electric cars

A small emergency generator in the boot that runs on petrol seems the obvious backup plan?
Surprised I haven't also seen more solar charging panels for cars marketed. Inconvenient and slow perhaps, not the only or even primary way you want to charge it, but if your car is sitting parked in the sun all day anyway, why not top up with free sunlight?
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Old 08-15-2022, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Electric cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by specious_reasons View Post
For now, running out of battery is a lot more to deal with than running out of gas, so Dunning's argument about how they're equivalent was disingenuous.

Mrs. Reason's car has some weird problems, and it's disturbing problems for an electric car. Some of the time, it doesn't want to charge. Sometimes, the phone won't connect, and sometimes the dashboard control won't respond to touch.
Car start denied. Cannot connect to server.
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  #6  
Old 08-15-2022, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Electric cars

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Originally Posted by Miisa View Post
A small emergency generator in the boot that runs on petrol seems the obvious backup plan?
Surprised I haven't also seen more solar charging panels for cars marketed. Inconvenient and slow perhaps, not the only or even primary way you want to charge it, but if your car is sitting parked in the sun all day anyway, why not top up with free sunlight?
Every once in a while, I search for alternatives to my 27-33 MPG commuter car with something more interesting. Unfortunately, most of them are vaporware, and only accepting "preorders" - $100-1000 holds on the car.

One that I'm sort of following is Aptera - a small 3 wheel car that can be charged via plug or built in solar panels. If this actually happens, I'm seriously considering buying one.
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Old 08-15-2022, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Electric cars

I'd feel like George Jetson driving that.
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Old 08-15-2022, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Electric cars

No that I'm looking at the Aptera again, I've put the $100 down for it. I've paid as much for bigger gambles.
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Old 08-15-2022, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Electric cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miisa View Post
Surprised I haven't also seen more solar charging panels for cars marketed. Inconvenient and slow perhaps, not the only or even primary way you want to charge it, but if your car is sitting parked in the sun all day anyway, why not top up with free sunlight?
Not valid during the 9 months of the Finnish winter.
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Old 08-16-2022, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Electric cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miisa View Post
Surprised I haven't also seen more solar charging panels for cars marketed. Inconvenient and slow perhaps, not the only or even primary way you want to charge it, but if your car is sitting parked in the sun all day anyway, why not top up with free sunlight?
Not valid during the 9 months of the Finnish winter.
If you're in Helsinki, park in open areas, and you drive less than 16km a day, you might be able to avoid charging it more than a few times a year.

:crossfingers:
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Old 08-16-2022, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: Electric cars

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No that I'm looking at the Aptera again, I've put the $100 down for it. I've paid as much for bigger gambles.
Expected delivery date: "Between 2023 and 2024".

I preordered the 250 mile, front wheel drive version, but I splurged on all the solar panels and a color body. I expect this to be for commutes and local driving, and I won't expect to use more than 10% of that range on any average day.

Yes, I'm planning for this to be my midlife crisis car.
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Old 08-16-2022, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: Electric cars

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I splurged on ... a color body.

Yes, I'm planning for this to be my midlife crisis car.
Red, then?
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Old 08-16-2022, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Electric cars

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Quote:
Originally Posted by specious_reasons View Post
I splurged on ... a color body.

Yes, I'm planning for this to be my midlife crisis car.
Red, then?
They haven't revealed the color options. I'm more partial to green, though - anything to make it look like a froggy car.

I'm OK with red, especially as a mid-life crisis color. :)

BTW, I'm giving even odds I get a car in my driveway by 2024.
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