Long Range E.V.s

As I have a minor interst in electric vehicles, I generally try to keep an eye on them, especially concerning their range. As near as I can tell, none have a range of more than 500 or so miles between changes. Most are limited to 300 to 350.

Now, to my surprise, I hear Representative Debbie Stabenow bought a new E. V. and drove it from Michigan to D. C. , waving as she passed the gas stations.

Now, considering that is about 700 or so miles, that really surprised me. I didn’t know any E. V. has anywhere near that range.

Then, maybe, and I do mean maybe, she was being followed by a pickup carrying a heavy duty generator. On the other hand, she could have driven straight through, though if I did it, I’d be so stiff I’d need help getting out of the car.

Oh, there I go assuming things again. The car might have very comfortable seats in it. Still, that is a very long time to sit behind the wheel at one time me.

I simply have no idea why she didn’t take a plane, which would take far less time. Better yet, it would be more green to take the bus. That way she could do some paperwork on the way.

Regardless, I’m glad she can afford the E. V. Conveniently, she will not pay the road tax charges, which the rest of us pay when we fill up at the pump.

The FOCs Do Not Understand Oil

It’s so simple, a ten-year-old understands it, but the dems just can’t get their arms around it. When the price of oil goes up, the price of everything goes up. The reason is as simple as ABC. Oil, in some way or form is used to make everything.

The farmer uses it to plow the field and for the harvest. Oil is used in fertilizer as well as pest control. It is used to process the crop and in getting it to market. Even there, it is used by the markets for refrigeration.

Even if they go to all electric cars, the oil will be needed in the foreseeable future to make the electricity. And, by the way, it will also be needed to make the cars from the mining to welding and fabrics for the upholstery. The glass for the windows comes from factories that need the power from oil. By the way, glass is also used by the megaton in houses, buildings and aquariums – both large and small. Those six-inch thick panes of glass don’t just happen, you know. It takes a lot of power to make them.

We have come a long way with plastics. They are replacing wood, steel and glass. However, plastic is made from oil byproducts. Oil is also used in making some insulation, which helps us keep our food cold. Without the plastics, we would have to use the more expensive copper and steel for plumbing. Some of those plastic pipes are pretty big.

I suppose I could write 5 thousand word essay on just what all oil is used for. By the way, oil is used transporting oil: train, truck and even pipelines. The hitch is that it has a multiplying effect. When the price of food goes up, it causes everything else to go up. We all must buy food, though some of us should consume a little less.

When the price of glass goes up, it drives the price of cars, buildings and aquariums. When the price of steel and aluminum goes up, do I need to explain to you how that drives the cost of everything up.

So. So what? The price of oil goes up a few dollars. Just watch what happens over the following months. It is called inflation. Then everyone starts looking around, trying to understand how inflation rears its ugly head. Is it really any surprise that the cost of everything should go up 10% — or maybe a tad more. It doesn’t happen over night, but it does happen. It should not surprise anyone but it does, or at least it appears to.

The question is, are those FOCs really that dumb or are they they just pretending to be. After all, as I said, a ten-year-old can figure it out. Maybe inflation is just what they want. After all, those who benefit the most from inflation are the elite. Those who suffer the most are us Walmart shoppers.

For those interested, we could go back to using wood to stay warm as we did in the days of old. That would have two problems: deforestation and smog. Burning wood is nowhere near as clean as burning natural gas. Hence, we can easily say that some fossil fuel has helped in cleaning the air. Can you imagine all of us having to warm our house with wood… or coal.

Bottom line, we need to pump more oil. We need to do more fracking. We need to build more pipelines. That drives the price of everything down. It also has a pretty good side effect, it helps to keep the air clean.

As a side note… if you want to save a few billion particulates of carbon dioxide, do away with drive throughs. I have no idea how much gas is burned while waiting at drive throughs but I would guess it is very significant. Yet, I have not heard one dummycrat complain about them. Maybe they consider their convenience far too important. It is far too inconvenient for them to leave their Cadillac Escalade. Maybe they don’t want to get out in the heat or cold. On the other hand maybe they are just too lazy.

I don’t know. Maybe one or two of the elites will tell me. (to be sure, I make an exception for those who are disabled.)

Formula-E Racing Cars

I guess, possibly, someone read my post about racing of electric cars.  They call the cars Formula-E (as apposed to Formula-1, etc).  It is somewhat limited though.  They only have a range of a little over a hundred miles.  There is no allowance for recharging the batteries during the race.  Clearly, it would take too long.  I have no idea how many will watch it, but I still wonder about the lack of noise.  I mean, that’s sort of why some people go to the races.

Nonetheless, it appears that the electric cars are making into the world of auto racing.

On another front, I checked with my car insurance agent to see if there are any special consideration for electric cars.  Apparently, there aren’t any, but the agent wasn’t really sure.  Of the hundreds of customers he has, none have electric cars.  Maybe that says something about them.

Electric What?

A week or so ago, I heard that Elon Musk would do business with the Defense Department by helping to build things for national defense.  At first, though grateful, I didn’t think much of it.  To be sure, he is already building rockets, but those have no direct military purpose.

Then the thought occurred to me that he might build electric powered tanks, you know, the things that run around with big guns on them.  If such a vehicle could be built that would have a range of three or four hundred miles, it would have many advantages.

First they would be quiet.  A track version would make hardly any noise, only the track itself.  If a wheel version were built, it would make no noise at all.  Talk about sneaking up on someone.

Second, it would neither need an intake for the motor nor an exhaust.  It would mean it could operate almost anywhere, even submersed under shallow water.  Naturally, there would have to be an air supply for the crew, but that would hardly be a problem.  It also means that the tank would be, to some degree, NBC proof (nuclear, biological and chemical).

Reliability would be a big factor, as long as the batteries were reliable.  Electric motors can be built that last just almost last forever.  Diesel and jet engines can be very expensive to maintain.  Worse, repairing them can take a long time.  The electric motors are inexpensive, small and easily replaced.  If repair is desired, that is usually simple too.

I am not totally sold on the idea, but, if anyone builds them, we should.  Maybe it is worth a little research.  Maybe for the rest of the military vehicles too.  I understand those Teslas can really move out.  Can you imagine an army that can move along at over a hundred miles an hour, without making much noise.

I would hate to think that we don’t make them and the bad guys do.  I would hate to put our soldiers in such a position.

Off to the Races

With all the advances made with electric cars, a thought occurred to me, a race with all electric cars.  One of the reasons for car races is to prove the cars.  Races put stress on vehicles and expose weaknesses.  Many improvements have come from the auto racetrack.

Maybe the ultimate improvement is to prepare society for the conversion to electric autos.  The races would put the cars to the test allowing us to see any weaknesses.  Conceivably, it would encourage improvements that will make them competitive with gas powered vehicles.

Already, from what I understand, the electric cars accelerate very fast.  However the race cars would be altered for speed, safety and range.  The rear seats and air-conditioner would be removed to reduce the weight.  I’m sure the engineers can think of many things I have no knowledge.  On the other hand, maybe the racecars could be designed and built from scratch.  Certainly, classes would have to be established: size, weight, etc.

I’m sure a venue could be found.  There are many tracks all over the county that remain inactive most of the year.  I’m sure that the bleachers could be filled with fans.  It would help the track as well as those who want to race the cars.

Wait a minute.  Maybe it wouldn’t work.  Just how many fans are going to want to see a race that is virtually silent?  Electric motors hardly make any noise, certainly the big noises that the current race cars make.  I suppose they could pipe a bunch of sound effects into the bleachers.  The cars would pretend to make noise and the fans would pretend to cheer.

Then again, they could have some of the internal combustion engines nearby.  Whenever the electric cars go by, they could rev the engines for the delight of all the observers.  They could even put their hands over their ears just as they would if the noise came from the electric cars.

Sounds like a plan to me.

An Electric Riding Mower?

More years ago than I care to admit, I bought a used 5 hp Sears riding mower.  Given the size of my yard, it did just fine.  Unfortunately, it only lasted three seasons.  (It was in pretty bad shape when I bought it.)  Even so, I only paid $100 for it and it saved me a lot of walking.

I wouldn’t mind having something similar today, but I can’t find a riding mower that is smaller than 8 HP.  Moreover, they like to make the things far more complex than they need to be.  For instance, the little thing I bought had hard rubber wheels and I didn’t need to concern myself with flats.  All the rider mowers today have pneumatic tires that might require repair or replacement.

There is one thing the little Sears mower lacked that I would have preferred, an electric starter.  Sometimes I had to pull on that rope 4 or five times to start it.  Back then, it wasn’t a problem.  Now, I am 70.  Pulling on starter chords can cause real back pains, especially if I have to pull on it multiple times.

For this reason, I now use an electric mower.  For quite a while, I used one with a power chord.  It was a nuisance.  I spent more time managing the chord than I did mowing.

So, I bought a battery powered mower the other day.  It cuts well and it is very quiet.  There is no power chord, and I’m sure the tree huggers would just love it.  I just hope the battery last more than one or two seasons.

Then, a few days ago, the thought occurred to me.  For years they have been pushing electric cars to cut down on pollution.  If it’s good for cars, why not rider mowers?

I don’t need a big one.  It would have two parts.  The mowing part could be very similar to the mower I have.  The second part would be the tractor like part.  Each part would have its own battery.  It would allow me to get around should the mower battery run low.

Other than the batteries, they would likely last just about forever.  The batteries would likely have to be replaced every 3 to 5 years.  There would not be a reason to make special trips to get gas, not to mention the hazards of storing it.  Also, of course, there would be no need for any belts.  The mower and both rear wheels would be powered by separate motors.

Also, it would negate the need for a starter, which adds quite an expense to the gas powered mowers.  If I want to go, I press a lever or pedal.  There would be no need to engage or disengage the cutting blade.  It would be a matter of toggling a switch.  (The mechanism for engaging the blade is not complex, but likely adds fifty dollars to the cost of the riding mower,)

I’m sure such a mower would not replace the big 12 hp mowers.  Some people have big yards.  Me.  If I got a 12 hp mower for my little lot, it would be like using a sledge hammer for a thumb tack.  Besides, if I was able to use the little electric riding mower, I could claim that I am doing my part for the environment.

Now if I can just figure out a way to put an air-conditioner on it.

About Electric Cars

I published a post on electric cars a few years ago.  Since then, they have made a few improvements.  I saw on TV where a man was going to make a car where the batteries could be recharged in five minutes.  I would be satisfied with thirty minutes.  On long distance trips, it would allow me to eat while my car was being charged.

I really do like the concept of electric cars.  I saw a Tesla the other day.  It was very impressive.  It never made a noise and it had an impressive appearance.  Still, I wonder how the driver stayed warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Here in the Memphis it does get above the century mark in the summer and well below freezing in the winter.  The thing is, gasoline motors generate heat.  In the winter, we take advantage of that.  For cooling, the A/C compressor is driven by the engine.  Would someone like to tell me how the Tesla does it.  I can’t imagine such an expensive car existing without heat and air.

Regardless, there are still some problems, ignoring the creature features.  If, suddenly, everyone was to go out and get an electric car, our electric grid would likely be taxed beyond its limits.

Speaking of tax, we who drive gas cars pay a road tax.  It varies from state to state, but it helps to pay for our roads.  Those that drive Tesla autos get to use the highways for free.  I don’t know.  It might also apply to the battery powered trucks.  Eventually, the governments at all levels aren’t going to like that.  When and if electric vehicles become numerous enough, they will figure out a way to collect taxes on the vehicles.  There are a number of ways to do it and I would suspect there are a few that are already considering it.

So.  Whatever you are paying to run your car now, you might want to figure that you will likely pay a little bit more.  Let’s figure out what a fair amount would be.  Nowadays, I use about one gallon of gas for every 28 miles, more-or-less.  I guess, for that gallon, I pay about 25 cents.  (I remember paying 25 cents a gallon, gas and taxes.  Things sure have improved.)

At any rate, that means that those driving a Tesla should pay a little less than a penny a mile.  Maybe that would mean a meter placed in each car by law.  Maybe the driver would pay in advance as the rest of us do.  On the other hand, he might pay as with any other utility.  Once a month, the odometer is read and the driver pays based on his mileage.

It could also be done electrically over the internet.  The car would send a signal to the billing authority and a credit card would be billed.  I’m sure people smarter than I am have considered it.

I have no idea how it will be done, but those of you driving electric cars might as well get used to it.  You will start paying road taxes too.

Then, there’s those pesky batteries.  They just don’t last forever.  Occasionally, they will have to be replaced.  I have no earthly idea how much that will cost, but when I look at the cost of replacing my laptop battery, I get the feeling that they don’t just give the things away.

Maybe, sometime in the next few decades, we will all drive electric cars.  I hope so.  As I said, I do like electric cars.  I just don’t know if I would like paying for them.  Besides, I really like my A/C and heater.

GAS TAX??!!

I heard someone else suggest increasing the gas tax, this time federal… 25 cents a gallon.  Easy assumption.  The man does not have to eek out a living and drive fifty miles each way for work.  He certainly doesn’t have to drive a hundred miles to and from work each day as some do.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe he drives an electric car.  At present people driving electric cars don’t pay gas tax.  (I suspect that will be changed soon, though I don’t know how.)

On the other hand, he might use a subway, train or bus to go to work.  He’d not pay a penny for gas tax, leastwise not directly.

Regardless of his method of transportation, he likely doesn’t have to give up groceries to pay the taxes.  He likely doesn’t hurt to pay the bills as most of us do.

There is a solution for building and repairing highways.  Stop squandering the money they have.  Obama was authorized a trillion dollars for “shovel ready projects.”  I believe he should have to repay it.

I still don’t know where that money went.  Maybe it’s time for the government to pinch their pennies for a while.  Maybe it’s time they stop squandering it.  Then maybe they will be more careful with it.  (I don’t hold out much hope for that.)

If you agree with me, send this to someone else.  Send this to your representatives.  Yell it from the housetops.  I’m not sure, they might increase it anyway.  It is what the government does.  It is what they do.  They tax and they spend.  What else would they do.  What else can they do.  Oh, yes.  Make laws.  They do have a tendency to mess that up too.