Sun. May 28th, 2023
Courtesy Marshall Steam Museum

By Ken Carman
 …you shouldn’t be! Maybe you could mellow out if you meditate? I even have a chant for you…
 ”Ohm! Ohm! Ohm!”
 Meditating using an… electrifying… chant.
Inspection There are ‘problems’ with electric cars? OH, &%$!! Let’s go back to horses, horse poop on our streets, screw the cars!
 Yes: sarcasm.
 You like it?
 I’ve got more.
 As we all know gasoline powered cars hit the ground; literally running: no smoke, no problems, 100mpg. Except everything in that last sentence is WRONG. Maybe we could go to “clean coal” powered cars? Have some tiny tyke feed the burner as we go down the road like the “good” old days of child labor?” Think that might happen? Nah, that would be a… coal… day in hell.
 On social media there’s an incredible effort to discourage buying, considering, electric cars, because as we all know they’re horrible.
 Except they’re not.
 Of course, as of now, I would never buy one as my long distance form of transportation. Like diesel transportation, in the bitter cold up north adjustments would have to be made. I remember in the Adirondacks sometimes we would have a heated oil stick. Radiator warming plugs.
 I do wonder why they didn’t focus on battery exchange stations: which would create a great new business model. Instead they are using big banks and extending the range. It used to be under one hundred miles. Now I see ranges ticking up to 300 and more.
 They ARE working on different kinds of batteries: yes, lithium has issues. As does refining and drilling for oil. They are working on extending rage WAY beyond that 300; ands if how far they’ve gotten so far is any indication, it’s an exciting time. A lot like the early days of gas powered cars, only far better. I find it odd that people who rage when “free enterprise” gets regulated, gets limited, suddenly turn on the tip of a pin.
 Chrysler, Ford, GM, Nissan; and almost all car companies, are making major investments in EV. Are all these engineers, designers, investors stupid, ignorant dolts, while the armchair critics are unrecognized, brilliant, soothsayers? I have my doubts. Frankly I think their crystal balls are more than a little cracked, as are their abilities to predict the future. Just like JM Studebaker, who I will get to in a moment.
 EVERY form of energy has its issues. Every..,., single…
one. NO ONE I know of is demanding we abandon our gas powered cars immediately. But electric has been getting better and better. Tesla has a lithium battery recycle station, and lithium is used for a lot more than just cars. Lithium is used for computer batteries. For fancy phones. So throw them away. How about powering them with coal?
 Of course it is. Just like so much outdated hate tossed at electric cars. Or solar for that matter. (As a supplement it’s perfectly fine. I know. We have it for our off the grid home.)
 Hey, if you really want to go with traditional, how about a crank like those crank powered flashlights? For a car you’d have to hire some guy to hang to the front and hope he doesn’t slip and you run him over. And for starting it could break your arm.
 They have been working on alternatives to lithium that are less problematic. When I wrote the first version of my book, Autocide… I looked into edge battery tech that may be with us soon. That included bio and algae batteries. Both absolutely recyclable.
 Yup, I’m sure there will be issues with those too. Just like there were issues with gas cars. Here’s what John M. Studebaker: one of the Studebaker brothers, said about gas powered cars…

“Gasoline-powered cars are clumsy, dangerous, noisy brutes that stink to high heaven and break down at the worst possible moment.”

 They were actually worse than that. Example: gas was a variable concoction: different formulas. Not great formulas.
 Shortly after the turn of the previous century we abandoned electric because tech hadn’t caught up to a nation starting to travel great distances. Now we have a chance for it to happen and there seem to be a lot of people trying to shove a shive into the wheel of progress.
 Puking on advancements is nothing new. If we’d listened to them: minus computers to increase gas mileage and the life of cars, we’d still be saying things like…

 ”100,000 miles? That’s a great car!”
 ”Sorry about the lead poisoning.”
 ”15 mpg? Not that bad.”
 ”Your father’s body is a piece of meat now, but on the bright side; with no crumple zones, you can still drive the car!”

 On a personal note: my middle name is Walter. Uncle Walter was one of the cases they used to force carmakers to use collapsible steering columns. The kind that would have avoided having a column shoved into his body.
 For those of you claiming this is socialismcommunismfascism… (Blah, blah, blah.) … GOOD NEWS! This is capitalism. I thought this was all about “FREEDOM?” “AMERICA!” “MAKE IT GREAT!” It should be about innovation: a long list of improvements in the personal transportation industry. It still is. BTW, there have been many incentives over the years to purchase gas cars, as well as electric.
 Say, skeptics, if they’re so horrible how about this: let those who buy buy. FREE ENTERPRISE!!! They’ll find out how “bad” they are.
 Or not.

Nissan Leaf. Courtesy Nissan Singapore


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for almost 50 years, first published in fall of 1972. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
©Copyright 2022
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all rights reserved

By Ken Carman

Entertainer, provider of educational services, columnist, homebrewer, collie lover, writer of songs, poetry and prose... humorist, mediocre motorcyclist, very bad carpenter, horrid handyman and quirky eccentric deluxe.

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