Fandango’s Provocative Question #213

We don’t own an electric car and don’t plan to get one.

Do you currently own an electric vehicle? If not, are you considering purchasing an EV for you next vehicle? What are your reasons for either considering or not considering buying an EV?

The first reason I am not getting an electric car is I don’t think they are a solution. There is no way America’s electric grid — which is an ecological problem in its own right — will support millions of electric cars. On top of that, we despoil a variety of poor third world countries to keep digging up the nickel they use for these huge batteries. We aren’t saving anything but our own money and for many people that’s a worthy goal. But, not all of us think saving money is the most important thing. Nice to not have to pay for gasoline, but also nice to actually find a long-term solution to a life-and-death problem.

On top of that, the electrical system in this house can’t charge an electric car. The cost of installing such a system is far more than we can afford — and there is no place locally to charge such a car. Most of the people who have one charge them at work.

News flash: Retired people don’t go to work. We can’t recharge there. There isn’t any “there.”

We need solutions, not fixits for “people who already have money and want to save more money” solutions. Which is what electric cars are. The tax rebates they used to offer are only good for people who pay taxes. If you are poor, you aren’t paying much (if any) tax, so what good is a rebate?

We need to find a fuel that doesn’t pollute. There are many possibilities including alcohol which can be made from any vegetable, including garbage. Car manufacturers don’t want that. Switching cars to running on alcohol would be an inexpensive fix because most cars can already run on alcohol. They wouldn’t be able to charge a couple of years’ salary for a new car that in any case is will only add to the pollution.

We aren’t going to solve our climate problems.

We aren’t trying to solve them. We like to pretend we are, but it’s nonsense. Climate will keep getting worse until life on earth because intolerable for all but the very, very rich — and eventually, it won’t even be tolerable for them.

I’ve given up hoping for a “fix.” There isn’t going to be one. You don’t find that for which you aren’t looking — and we are NOT looking.

Categories: #ClimateChange, #Commuting, Anecdote, Provocative Questions

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22 replies

  1. Sadly, I agree with you, Marilyn, and won’t purchase an electric car for the same reasons. Our electricity supply in South Africa is in such a mess, electric cars are a total joke.


  2. I don’t expect to buy an EV. First, my 6-year old Camry will likely outlast my ability to drive it. When I had to replace my previous car, it cost approximately $20K — most EV’s currently cost double that amount. Yikes! Too, I would have to revamp the power in my home to charge an EV, or pay to charge it at a “gas station.” And the power to do that would have to come from an electric plant which is currently overworked, and which runs on fossil fuels to generate the power. EV’s need maintenance, including the replacement of very expensive batteries, and they are prone to nasty fires in accidents.


    • I think you’ve summed it up pretty well. The price on these cars is so far out of what we can afford, our 7 year old Jeep Renegade is in good shape and we drive very little these days anyway. I’m pretty sure it will keep on going as long as we need a vehicle.

      Electric cars are NOT a solution. All they are is a way for people who have the means to save money on gasoline — and to feel good about themselves as if what they are doing is helping “the planet” — which it isn’t doing but it sounds good.

      For the rest of us, the price is obscene and worse, I don’t LIKE the new cars. They are all electronic and difficult to repair. Most of the new ones force you to go to the dealer for repairs where everything costs at least double what it costs anywhere else. They also ALL LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME.

      Unless you drive a LOT, you aren’t saving enough in gasoline costs to cover the price of a single month’s car payment.


  3. Good points here, thanks!


    • It’s a bandaid to make people feel like they are “doing something” for Earth. But in fact all they are doing is saving themselves some money for gasoline. Unless you drive a LOT and frequently, the amount you save will never balance out the cost of the car anyway while meanwhile, we strip mine poorer countries for the nickel. Our entire approach to saving the planet is to do things that make us feel like we’re doing something positive when we aren’t doing anything for anyone but ourselves. Which is why I don’t think we are ever going to fix anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You echo our thoughts entirely, Marilyn, and we couldn’t agree more. Electric cars are definitely not the solution, and I won’t be getting one either, not least because I couldn’t afford one anyway. If they want us all to use them they should be making them much cheaper and providing the charging solutions that are lacking in so many places. But if they’re not the solution anyway what’s the point? Funnily enough, Stuart said just the other day that we need a new kind of fuel that doesn’t pollute, or drain resources. There was something I heard once about an engine that can run on water, but the drag on that development is all about money. Madness.


    • The bottom-line irony is that current internal combustion cars CAN run on alcohol and you can make alcohol from anything. I know of at least one news crew who got lost in the middle of nowhere and kept pouring booze into the engine until they finally found a gas station. If there was a sincere effort to actually FIX the problem, making all existing cars able to run on alcohol would be easy — but then all those oil moguls wouldn’t be able to move from billionaire to trillionaire.

      We aren’t LOOKING for a solution. We are looking to make ourselves feel better. Anyway, there’s no way on earth we could afford one of those cars.

      Finally, although this has nothing to do with saving this or any other planet, these cars are all boxy and boring. At least older cars were interesting and sometimes unique. These new ones have no flash or dash and repairing them is a nightmare.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yup, totally agree with all that. Most of the so-called solutions are just lip-service. I hadn’t known about the alcohol as fuel thing though. Very interesting! I’m sure I’ve got a spare bottle of wine somewhere… 🙂


  5. A comprehensive response Marilyn


    • I get so frustrated with our solutions that aren’t solutions and require that you already have more money than we will ever have to implement. AND even IF implemented, aren’t going to fix anything that needs fixing. You can’t fix stuff when you have left finding the solutions to the very people who are making huge amounts of money from the existing problems. All they want to do is more of the same.

      Those cars are not going to fix anything, but they will make some people feel they have solved a problem. I suppose making yourself feel better is a goal. Not one that will help anyone else, but better than nothing, if you can afford it. The amount we drive is so minimal, an entire YEAR of filling our car wouldn’t equal a single car payment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very true my friend. EVs are so expensive here that only the cost factor is prohibitive. Besides we have very few charging stations and as you said, it’s not going to solve the problem in the long run


  6. I still love my electric car!


    • And you’re welcome to love it. Given the way we aren’t fixing any of the real problems, you might as well enjoy what you can. We drive so little that a year of putting gas into our car wouldn’t equal one car payment — and I’m pretty sure in a couple of years, our generators (they are ALL nuclear around here — we have a huge number of nuclear generators) will get old and we will be trying to figure out not only how to charge those cars, but what to do with the old rods as we have to tear down these generators, many of which are thirty or forty years old and should have been replaced at least a decade ago.

      This is a complicated problem with many levels to it. Leaving a planetary solution to huge corporations whose only goal is making money? Does that sound sensible?

      Also, those boxy little cars are so unattractive — AND you can’t get them serviced anywhere but a dealer. All’s well — till something breaks down. And you know something WILL break down, assuming you are actually using the car.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The only EV vehicle I would consider was one that is rechargeable by “Solar Power.” That tech is still in it’s infancy, and travel would have to be limited to daylight or at least careful planning so you would be near your destination close to night fall. Otherwise there’s no point!


    • That technology will hopefully come of age soon. I know a lot of people are counting on it — and that would be at least a better solution. Right now, plugging millions of cars into our grid is just going to make our problems worse. And the prices! Ye GODS the prices!


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