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"Built Dam Strong!"

28 January 2012

I dislike electric vehicles immensely.

Batteries, as they are now, are, in my not so humble opinion, sucktastic. Their energy density has been increasing lately due to new formulas for the bits and pieces of them, but, since most people don't know or care about where the batteries come from in their devices, they don't understand just how absolutely disgusting the manufacturing process is for the batteries really is. Look it up sometime, especially if you are considering a moronic hybrid car.

That being said, I find much of the technology used to or being developed to bring greater energy density and storage ease highly fascinating. Take for example, this link I found accidently:

MIT "neeeks" (nerd geeks^3) (and yes, that's my own, nearly trademarked word, just so you don't forget!) figure out a completely new design for batteries that actually doesn't really suck.

A conveniently "re-chargeable" (more like re-fillable) battery makes much more sense than all the asinine attempts at having a practical, useful, and even a less environmentally deleterious vehicle.

Why do I dislike electric vehicles? Let's list some reasons (but in no particular order)!

1.  Electric vehicles are a buzzword. Some of the first vehicles that can be considered automobiles were made in the early 1800's. Yeah . . . Wrap your skull around THAT one for a while. These were usually no more than electric powered carriages retrofitted with crude batteries (as the chemistry was not well understood at the time) and electric motors. That being said, they were relatively easy to make and maintain, didn't cost too much, and were actually useful in the idiom of the day. So, for car manufacturers today to be vaunting their idiotic engineering nightmares as revolutionary is offensive and stupid. The "buzz" associated with electric cars are "zero-emissions" (which is complete BS), "the future of cars" (I seriously hope not), "Environmentally friendly" (which is complete BS if you look at how the battery packs are made from the mining process to the refining process, and all the shipping in between), and "Finally ready for the mainstream" (another bogus claim).

All this buzz has been brought about by the MICs (morons in charge) of the world who seem to think that changing the energy usage patterns is going to save the world. Government mandates of fleet fuel economy standards, idiotic emissions standards (air is cleaner passing through the engine than entering it . . . ), and basic misunderstandings of the machinations behind current changes in the global climate (which is NOT supposed to be static, people . . . ) and an overall dislike of the human race (we are a pox upon the planet) are forcing stupid and illogical changes in industries across the planet.

2. Electric vehicles are not capable of keeping up with modern consumer demands, even basic ones. Electric vehicles are touted as perfect for commuters who drive less than about 70 miles a day. That is possible. However, the current crop of crap "commuting" electric vehicles is  so unappealing, you have to be a nearly complete idiot to buy one. Chevy can't even make one reliable. The Leaf is . . . ugh. You can tell that these things were designed by engineers who have no )(#(*$# clue what are car should and used to represent for the American public. (I am not going to speak for any other country's driving populace, since I've only driven mostly in the US.)  I can't really blame engineers entirely, as they are given targets to hit, and those targets are based on mostly two things: mandates from government and perceived consumer desire. Governments seem hellbent on gutting cars and consumers want their idiotic lives integrated into their vehicles with iPod docking, (#$(*#$ apps, talking car interfaces (I personally HATE talking to things and getting answers . . . ), 18 speaker surround sound mega-uber hi-fi (a joke in a car, especially a rattle trap tin can with no sound deadening that is still 300-800 pounds heavier than it should really be), etc. All the extra crap that people "need" in a car is really making the issue of cars becoming throw-away appliances like cell phones, TVs, laptops and other electronics is something I find completely the antithesis of buying a car you love to drive and then keeping it. Forever. Or until an idiot in an SUV nearly kills you because they were messing with their in-dash navigation unit, talking on a hands-free call, while also applying make up or reaching for coffee . . . Anyway . . . Cars are now throw-away items which means that they are worse for the environment than a normal car since you have to deal with a few hundred pounds of battery waste when you try to dispose of the car. Brilliant.

3. Electric vehicles are NOT emissions free. The power to charge their inefficient battery packs has to come from somewhere. Granted, modern power generation plants ARE orders of magnitude more efficient than the chemical to mechanical energy conversion that occurs in modern ICEs, but . . . the electricity still has to get generated. Pushing off the problem to another system, which would also increase demand above the capacity of said system (think about what would happen if the entire US switched to electric vehicles), is NOT sound policy.

4. They are )(#$)(*#$ UGLY! (The Tesla aside, and honestly, the Volt is at least not terribly offensive.) Come ON, people! Even most hybrids are just gross to look at. Trust me, I understand the need for efficient shapes, but . . . ew. Seriously. Just . . . ew.

5. Throwing billions of dollars at developing underwhelming and poorly performing vehicles is killing innovations on systems that are actually sustainable, cleaner, and "greener" all around. What would I prefer to see being developed? Increased electrolysis efficiency to produce hydrogen. Hydrogen storage  solutions that are lightweight and robust. Consumer cars made LIGHTER with LESS materials and less "appliance" mentality. Vehicles that don't suck. No more SUVs for one person driving to and from anywhere. (If you use something like that for work, or have a big family . . . OK. But I actually like and prefer minivans. Yes, I know I am weird.) TRUELY alternative powered cars that aren't dependent on antiquated delivery systems. (In this regard, I totally respect those who make their own diesel and alcohols for fuels.) Easing registration policy to allow for people to make their own darn cars that just don't fit into the "normalcy" models of what a car is. People riding a bike or walking. Car-share programs so people don't have to buy a car, they can rent one for picking up stuff. MORE )(#$()*$# RAIL CAPACITY, especially high speed lines. (The US has pretty much killed all rail innovations and instead of actually putting money towards infrastructure, we get idiotic and self defeating "social programs" that rarely do what they intend to do.) Alternative transportation networks. Etc. heh

Meh. Anyway, before I digress into way too many other topics, I will sum up:

 -Electric Cars today suck. I think they will almost always suck.
-Hybrid cars are completely unappealing to drive.
-The emphasis on electric cars is killing real innovation.
-The MICs who make laws don't have basic understandings of systems, and therefore shouldn't allowed to wipe their own poopy behinds let alone set national energy and environmental policy.