Thursday , November 23 2017
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Where’s Ralph Nader?

Summary:
Ralph Nader made his name “exposing” the design defects (as he styled them) of the Chevy Corvair. Leaving aside the fact that what he styled a “defect” was really more a difference – the Corvair was rear-engined and nose-light and so handled differently than the overwhelmingly front-engined and ass-light American cars that drivers of the time were used to, especially when tire pressure recommendations were not adhered to – the relevant thing is that he was cheered – deified – for “exposing” a supposed problem with the car. Ditto all the other “consumer advocates” who followed in his slimy wake. Well, where are they now – and why are they all silent? About electric cars, that is. Buy Silver at Discounted Prices Somehow – for some reason –

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Ralph Nader made his name “exposing” the design defects (as he styled them) of the Chevy Corvair.

Leaving aside the fact that what he styled a “defect” was really more a difference – the Corvair was rear-engined and nose-light and so handled differently than the overwhelmingly front-engined and ass-light American cars that drivers of the time were used to, especially when tire pressure recommendations were not adhered to – the relevant thing is that he was cheered – deified – for “exposing” a supposed problem with the car.

Ditto all the other “consumer advocates” who followed in his slimy wake.

Well, where are they now – and why are they all silent?

About electric cars, that is.

Buy Silver at Discounted Prices

Somehow – for some reason – EVs have earned an exemption from the ordinary rules. Almost no car journalist ever writes or talks about their design differences. Much less their very significant defects.

Doesn’t the “public” – Nader, et al’s fetish object – have a right to know?

Apparently not.

Instead, a concerted campaign to fluff up the supposed virtues of the electric car – among them that they are  – allegedly – “zero” emissions (they’re actually not, it’s just that their emissions are emitted elsewhere).

Meanwhile, the EV’s numerous design deficits (if not defects) are simply not mentioned.

Examples?

One often reads that electric cars cost less to maintain than cars with gas or diesel engines because you’ll never have to change oil and filters or belts or coolant or replace a water pump or hoses. All perfectly true.

But why no mention of the electric car’s battery pack?

Eventually – just like the battery in your laptop and every other battery ever made – it will be less able to accept and store a charge. The cycle of discharge and recharge depletes a battery over time.

Chemistry.

But the Electric Car Chorus leaves people with the impression that electric car batteries are immortal. Which is like leaving people with the impression that they will never have to replace the 12-volt starter battery in a conventional car – or change tires or brake pads. But unlike tires or brakes – or the 12V starter battery that IC-engined cars have – an electric car’s battery pack costs thousands to replace when the time comes.

And the time will come.

So people will buy a very expensive electric car – thinking that at least they’ll save some money on maintenance – and then find out they’ll be spending several thousand dollars to “maintain” (that is, to replace) the battery – long before the car itself has worn out.

Why no mention of this?

An IC engined car (gas or diesel) will usually go at least 15 years and 150,000 miles before major components begin to deteriorate such that the car becomes no longer worth fixing.

What is the service life of an electric car? How long – and how many miles – can you drive it before it – or some expensive part of it, like the battery pack – wears out or requires very costly maintenance?

Does it not factor into the economic equation? Don’t people considering an EV have the right to know? Isn’t it the job of journalists – of automotive journalists – to find out and then tell them?

Crickets.

Well, at least they’ll save on “fuel” – since the electric car consumes no gas. Well, yes. You won’t spend money on gasoline. Instead, you’ll spend it on electricity.

And not just electricity.

Another not-mentioned thing about electric cars is that to charge them in less than 8-12 hours (on standard household current) they must be plugged into a so-called “fast” charger.

Most homes do not come standard with “fast” chargers. And it is not free – or even cheap – to have one installed in your home. A 240 Volt circuit must be wired, which involves electricians. Plus the hardware for the charger itself.

You don’t have to spend the money on a “fast” charger install, of course. But without it, you had better plan ahead. If your battery runs down, the car isn’t going anywhere for hours – and so, neither are you.

It’s never mentioned.

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Eric Peters

Eric started out writing about cars for mainstream media outlets such as The Washington Times, Detroit News and Free Press, Investors Business Daily, The American Spectator, National Review, The Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal.

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