Reflections on the culture wars

I’ve always enjoyed Dan Neil’s car-review columns in the Wall Street Journal, this caught my eye (emphasis added):

Having lived to a biblical age, I’ve seen some crazy things. I’ve seen the Prius—whose owners were once mocked and scorned as virtue-signaling eco-weenies—become a counterargument for fossil fuel’s defenders opposing vehicle electrification. Under the hood of the Prius Prime is Toyota’s best argument for what it calls its “diverse approach to fighting carbon”: a high-efficiency (Atkinson cycle) 2.0-liter gas engine; two motor-generators; and a 13.6-kWh battery pack.

Dan Neil, WSJ 12/2/2023

And reminded me that our politicians have placed us (cyclists, pedestrians, and transportation safety advocates) into their culture wars. It’s almost time for another legislative session where I expect the bad, failed bills from last session to be promptly reintroduced, and we’ll once again here the kookiest of them cheerfully say things like “In the spirit of cutting down bicycle traffic I vote aye”, and warn of the “gigantic bike lane(s) that “they” want to put everywhere, apparently.


Back to the Prius review

Dan, as usual, nails it — pointing out pros and cons… the ~ 14kwh battery will (without using the gasoline engine) go about 40 miles on a charge. And the extra baggage of the ICE and drivetrain is somewhat debatable (cost, maintenance, and weight).

As always, the utility given the current state of tech and infra of any BEV, whether it’s a pure EV, or a plug-in hybrid, revovles mostly around the ability to charge at home (or work; i.e. somewhere where the car sits around for awhile).

Since I own a Leaf — By comparison, the original Nissan Leaf battery-EV was only 24kwh when new (later expanded to 30, and the 2nd gen expanded to 40 or optionally 62). It occurs to me that range anxiety, though real, may be a manufactured feeling fostered by ICE proponents. By fostered I mean by all means available, including surreptitiously placing disinformation into informational channels (news media, social media, etc). And that’s not the only issue being falsely promoted, I’ve noted multiple instances of “tracking anxiety” being ascribed to EVs in the (mainstream-right media). According to that storyline, EVs are being tracked,  or even remotely controlled — which may or may not be true, but has nothing whatsoever to do with how a car is powered. (“they should be allowed to turn your car off at any time…”, Epoch Times, Nov 21).

Though maybe the real problem, or rather, fear among motordom with EVs (and bikes) is that we probably don’t need to be traveling as far as we have been doing…  “Average EV Owner Drives Half as Many Miles as Other Drivers—Study”

One thought on “Reflections on the culture wars”

  1. Tesla gets a flat tire = EV is bad:

    WSJ Dec 11, 2023
    “Roerig’s Tesla model got a flat tire, but none of the stores in the area carried tires for a Tesla. She end up paying a worker at a nearby shop to drive her home… I have these conversations with people who say will all be in EVs and 15 years. I say: ‘I’m not so sure I tried to do it’ Roerig said…”

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