When Everything is Quick

  • June 3, 2023

Electric cars tout quickness – because what else can they tout?

They certainly cannot tout the things new cars used to tout, such as being more practical and affordable or economical than the cars that people already have (so as to persuade them to buy new cars).

So what will happen when the one thing electric cars offer more of than other cars – that being performance, in terms of how quickly they accelerate – becomes as common as power windows?

What will “sell” electric cars then?

It is likely to be a harder sell.

Performance sells performance cars, of course – because that is what the people shopping for performance cars are interested in buying. A Mustang GT that wasn’t any quicker getting to 60 than a Prius would probably not sell very well, no matter how quick it looked. And just the same, in reverse. A Prius that got to 60 as quickly as a Mustang GT – but only delivered 18 MPG would probably also not sell very well, either – no matter how much it looked like a Prius.

Electric cars are in a similarly precarious position.

Some look like luxury cars – but what is “luxurious” about having to stop and wait all the time? Isn’t that something people with money use their means to avoid? As by buying first-class airplane tickets that buy them out of the lines those in economy class must endure?

And the proximity to the people in economy class?

It is not very “luxurious” to be obliged to spend a lot of time at a Sheets waiting for your electric “luxury” car to lap up a little range, so you can get away from there.

How about electric cars that look like trucks? In italics to reflect the fact that, when it comes to electric vehicles, they’re all fundamentally the same under the skin. Batteries and motors. But people who buy trucks aren’t buying them because they look like them. Well, they certainly like the way they look, of course. But – as in our example above about the luxury car – the primary reason most people buy a truck is because they need it to be able to do the things a car cannot do.

This includes being able to carry – and pull – a heavy load.

Electric trucks can do both – just not for long (or far). When loaded up, their range plummets to . . . what’s the word? Ludicrous shortness, typically less than 150 miles before it is on the verge of running out of range. This is a big problem for people who need to get to work – and back – without it taking all day. Yet the makers of electric trucks tout how quick they are. Which they are – just the same as electric cars. In italics to emphasize the problem, as regards a truck that is quick but not practical.

How about economical?

This is something no electric car – or truck – is and isn’t likely to ever be, unless the cost of electricity becomes economical, which is unlikely to happen when demand for it is increasing while the supply of it is not. It already costs about the same to charge up an electric vehicle as it does to gas up a non-electric equivalent (not factoring in the cost of the time spent waiting for the electric vehicle to charge up). It is extremely likely it will cost more to charge up an electric vehicle once there are a lot of them plugged in. You have probably already noticed the uptick in the cost of your monthly utility bill, even if you do not own an electric vehicle. It is going up because others do – and are plugging in – raising the cost of the electricity those pushing electric vehicles seem determined to make everyone dependent upon for everything.

Whatever happened to alternative sources of energy? Or was just that a convenient shibboleth, no longer useful?

Then there is the cost of batteries, which is fundamentally why electric vehicles aren’t economical to buy, either. It is as absurd to characterize a $40,000 vehicle (the entry level price point of a lower-end EV) as “economical” as it is to think you’ll lose weight by ordering a super-sized diet Coke to go with your Big Mac and fries. And that is why the sellers of $40,000 electric vehicles do not tout how not-economical they are.

Instead, they tout how quick they are.

So that you will not notice how expensive – and impractical – they are.

But when everything is quick, it will no longer dazzle. It will become as expected as power windows – which were once a luxury feature. Even in economy cars and trucks, which all come standard with power windows now. But the latter still offer economy – and capability that can be used.

Electric cars – and trucks – don’t.

What they do offer is the ability to get to 60 very quickly. Something that everything will offer, when everything is electric.

It’s a shame about everything else that cars and trucks use to offer.

. . .

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