Let's Talk About Cars... And Tesla

Alright guys, a little while ago I had an epiphany. I do not like cars… like at all. Here’s how I came to this conclusion. Climate change is a problem - a big one. For the record, I don’t believe in climate science; in my opinion, that’s just a liberal arts pseudo science invented by New Yorkers. No rather, just look at physics. I am a huge physics nerd, btw, as I’ve been fascinated by astronomy and astrophysics since the age of like 4 or 5. And cars create a lot of greenhouse gasses - mostly in the form of highly toxic carbon monoxide. When I look at the amount of gas guzzlers around me, I loose hope for humanity. How can we ever replace them all by 2050? And mainstream car manufacturers still produce tons of new gas guzzlers every year! Speaking of guzzling gas, I also hate paying for it - that shit’s expensive - especially for a broke college student like me. So I’ve pointed out that I hate paying for gas. I also hate spending money on vehicle maintenance. I spent about $1000 on repairing my car last year - and that’s not including labor because I repaired it myself. Now let’s look at the alternative: Electric vehicles. Those all suck. All the regular car manufacturers copy the worst of Tesla, if they even make a fully electric car, while still completely missing the mark on what Tesla gets right. Take for example, Ford’s Electric mustang. Who da fuq are they targeting this car to? Anyway, with Tesla, this video sums up pretty much all my problems: https://youtu.be/vcu2YUCa0lA.

Plus, like Ryan points out, having a glorified iPad instead of a real dashboard is stupidly asinine. Teslas are becoming nothing more than a IoT smart car at this point. They lack freedom, ownership, privacy, and user control on so many levels. Heck, currently I drive a 2007 jeep Compass. I am fairly sure it ain’t phoning home to Daimler Chrysler and telling them everywhere I drive so that they can send it to my insurance company. Speaking of which, car insurance companies are evil; they’re not as evil as “broadband” companies mind you, but they are evil nevertheless. They know that many Americans need a car. And because all humans suck at driving - including myself - states need to mandate that drivers obtain a minimal insurance. When I got my first car at 17 years old, I looked at owning a car as the necessary and “responsible” thing to do. Now I just see cars for what they actually are. I’ve never had to use my insurance, and yet because of state laws, I still have to pay Allstate about $800/year - and Allstate has a bad reputation for illegally using extraneous data about you to hike prices: Why You May Be Paying Too Much for Car Insurance - Consumer Reports. This is the same shit that Hotels do to charge as much as possible for a room. Some people will inherently have a higher rate because of their shopping habits and/or credit score. Shopping habits have nothing to do with how safe of a driver you are. (Oh and also Allstate’s drive safe and save is a scam just so they can collect more data on you).

And Insurance isn’t something that you can ditch just by buying an EV. Plus even EVs are still pretty bad for the environment. They’re better than internal combustion engine vehicles by a long shot. But manufacturing them is still highly polluting. There’s a lot of material - especially metals and rare earth metals - that have to be refined by often energy intensive processes… then it has to be assembled. Plus at EOL, EVs don’t fair well there either. Granted they fair a little better than ICE vehicles still.

So in conclusion (TL;DR), I hate cars because they are expensive to own and wholly very detrimental to the environment. Plus new cars that are less detrimental to the environment still have a fairly expensive cost of ownership, very privacy invasive, and abusive to their customers - using mostly software to facilitate this abuse. Also, it’s rather inefficient to use a 2 ton hunk of metal and plastic to carry one 200-lb sack of meat. Plus being in a car is scary because at any given moment you could slam into another 2 ton hunk of metal at a very high velocity - or it could slam into you; and you have no control over that. Why did we humans do this to ourselves.

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I’m gonna touch on the environment part

See here’s the issue that’s a very one sided study because the date is by nature on sided.

What’s the global net emissions impact of mass transit. Sure its operation emissions is lower per capita but have we considered the power needing to be generated. How does it get generated. The economic impact of a train system can be good but only salt lake city and Portland have implemented a useful track system. When its not useful aka diverted for simple reasons of economic development its wasted in it operation to the point where people turn to cars again.

Long distance travel via car is somewhat the only way in lots of locations.

We can try all we want to make these conclusions and they will he partially true at best. The issue? There’s no scientific study long term of a carless global society. We don’t know what that would look like or if it would have an impact so consider this as the bias for this post.

That said owning a Tesla doesn’t quite make the most sense just yet. However electrification is progressing at a meteoric speed which is quite an optimistic outlook.

For the same reason people adopted “smart phones”. The average person can’t be bothered using their brain to critically think about, well, anything really. (It’s hard to come up with synonyms for “superficial”, “lazy” and “stupid” which don’t sound quite so negative, but they describe the problem in a nutshell.)

Unfortunately, mass production targets mass consumption, so producers of phones, appliances, cars, pretty-much everything, produce products that appeal to superficial, lazy and stupid people. That’s how they make their billions.

Thus capitalism gives us economies where cunning and greedy people get filthy rich by exploiting superficial, lazy and stupid people. The mindless masses are happy because they amass shiny coloured trinkets, and the greedy corporate parasites are happy because they live decadent lives on yachts. Win-win!

The only people who are unhappy are those that think too much to be sheeple, and aren’t greedy enough to be corporate parasites. Capitalist economies systematically and structurally marginalise that segment of the population. They are left to their own devices.

The only way to escape the surveillance capitalism enabled by smart phones is not to use one. Similarly, the only way to escape the negative effects of smart cars is not to drive one. If you want the benefits of vehicular mobility without the drawbacks of “smart” electric cars, then you can stick with ICE as long as possible, learn to disable GPS etc. from electric cars, ride a motorbike, or try make public transport work for you. Unfortunately I don’t think any of those are permanent solutions. Might get you a reprieve for a decade or two, maybe longer if you live in the country, but in the end opting out simply won’t be an option.

Boy are you going to be happy when robot taxis start making the rounds… Imagine having 10x the Uber availability for 1/100th of the price, also the car fleet will shrink to 1/5th of the size. Atleast if the industry forecasts are anywhere near accurate. :slight_smile:

Still a few years off for that reality though, tech is pretty much there, lawmakers aren’t.

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I hope it doesen’t sound like I’m attacking you, but I don’t get what’s the point of this post.

It’s just all we know about physics, maths and modeling applied to climate. Tomayto, tomahto so why not believeing in it?

Yes, but what we should REALLY be after are illegal industries in China that have such an impact on greenhouse gasses that when they had to close them for a while due to covid scientists observed a significant reduction of the onzone hole we have in the atmosphere.
And we should go after all the power plants that produce electicity burning coal and oil.
On top of this reducing our footprint reducing the temperature in our houses/apartments to 20 or 21°C during winter and having them a bit higher during summer 25/26°C is also important.
In all of these changes cars account for a much smaller carbon footprint than we realize.

Yes, they’re all trying to shaft us with cars that can be entirely controlled remotely like RC cars. I agree on this.

You don’t fasten your seatbelt because you know you’re gonna get into an accident that day. You do it because that’s the safe thing to do. And having insurance is like that, but they’re ripping you off in the process no doubt.

If you’re not passionate about cars that’s understandable. Everyone spends their money however they want.

You could be drying your hair and get shocked to death. You could be walking on the street, tumble on a sharp edge of the sidewalk and slice your head open to death. Something might get stuck in your throat and kill you. And so on and so forth. There are risks everywhere so it’s not like you can say cars are more dangerous than other things we have to deal with on a daily basis.
Yes, it’s not efficient but public transport can be very inefficient time wise and not everyone can, for various reasons, move with those, a bike or a motorbike. Maybe more could choose to do so, but I don’t fault people for using their cars.
Maybe if more people stopped using rust buckets with V8s in them to go grocery shopping things would be better.


Compare an electric car to something like a bike, and you get a good baseline of where I am coming from. Teslas are waaay more environmentally detrimental.

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The “climate scientists” I’ve noticed on the internet are not scientists.

Greenhouse gas emissions from energy production accounts for like around half of, if not slightly more than, global greenhouse emissions. Pointing the finger on any one company or country doesn’t solve the problem. At this point you just get the scenario you get in the movies where we’re all pointing guns to each others heads and everyone’s afraid to make a single move for fear of getting offed by someone else.

Ideally this would be how insurance would work. But you know when you get denied a short-term disability claim because your disabling injury happened at work - you become pretty cynical about having any insurance; plus I don’t even like having a car and I established this already. OFC I would hate having to pay insurance for it. Or maybe you can listen to Louis Rossmann’s experience with insurance; or tales from around the internet about insurance companies screwing over claimants unnecessarily. So in an ideal world your argument would totally hold up under pressure; but in a world where insurance companies are making themselves irrelevant, your argument crumbles like a jenga tower.

This argument is shills more for cars than the car manufacturers do - and that is sad. Your argument is pretty tone deaf imo. Yes I can get hurt doing a myriad of other activities in my daily life. However the probability of me getting majorly hurt in a car accident is greater than that of me getting hurt tripping on the sidewalk - and this goes for pretty much everything else in life (Heck, even planes are safer than cars). On a sidewalk I am more likely to get up and walk away with some road rash. In a car accident you have seat belt injuries, bruises, cuts, concussions, wiplash, etc. And car accidents are more terrifying. I’ve been in only two car accidents in my life - both times I was a passenger. Neither of them were bad enough to prompt the airbag to deploy. Still I remember how I felt in the moments leading up to and after the accidents - and that feeling terrifies me.

Lol wut!? Replace company/country with mode of transport and you did exactly that. Kind of hard to take seriously when stuff like this crops up.

I think you are a little too blinded by your own argument/hatred of cars. That last part about how anything could kill you is more about not worrying about a specific thing rather than “shilling for big car” which just sound really dumb. If you worry about why cars are dangerous to drive, why are you similarly not worrying about how dangerous is it to do literally anything else.

Yeah I was willing to give this a chance but this is just silly. You clearly have no intention of having rational debate and just want to screech about cars while ignoring everything else. Like you say:

Expand your scope and be reasonable.

Have you looked at the Hyundai Kona? I drove one and found it to be excellent. Yes, it’s not cheap, but if I were going to drop 40k on an SUV, it’s my #2 choice after the 2006 4runner.

Frankly, for the person who doesn’t need to travel far and doesn’t enjoy cars, electric is a stupid easy choice in 2021, but for anyone who enjoys cars or likes to go more than 300mi in a day, you’re going to continue down the engine route.

At the end of the day, each man is the artisan of his own destiny. Forge yours.

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This is an interesting if somewhat impassioned thread. Cool.

TL;DR: Cars not go. Humans no change.

Holy hell I didn’t mean to rant.

I live about a thirty minute drive from my office if traffic is light. From my office, it’s about an hour and fourty minutes in similar conditions to get to either of my datacentres in London.

I regularly drive to see clients all over the UK.

Right now, I drive a diesel. I bought it because I wanted something bigger for my family, and because I’m doing quite a lot of mileage for work.

I think I could easily switch to an electric vehicle, and I would like to do so.

My urge to compensate is drawing me to the F-150 Lightning.

I think driving in the UK is a bit easier for EVs, because it’s quite simply smaller than the US. It’s easier to find charging stations, and most places have them now at least on the major routes, like between major cities.

You can get subsidies for getting a charging station fitted to your house, and there are schemes to allow you to charge people (like your neighbors) to use them. Indirectly.

The UK at least is undoubtedly gearing up for a future of electric vehicles.

Cars are big and heavy and can kill people. Most car drivers are relatively unskilled, and uninterested in developing their road skills. They just want to get from A - B as quickly as possible. Even skilled and conscientious drivers make mistakes.

I am not a super skilled driver or anything. I changed lane on the M25 a few weeks ago to a blaring horn. Didn’t see the little white van that was just in the wrong place for mirrors, and I didn’t quite turn my head far enough when I checked. No harm done, but that could have been tragic.

I understand your concern about cars.

But what’s the alternative?

I don’t mean suggesting public transport, I mean a real alternative. People have to be free to go where they want. To get to the parks and zoos, to go shopping in Nearby Big City. To go to work with a big pile of equipment or tools without some kind of special courier.

Not everyone lives in a city with a big connected public transport system. It’s not necessarily economical for a state or municipal government to build one.

Western society is entirely built on that freedom, and taking that away would be enough to cause some pretty serious social distress.

On the flip side, people totally use cars where it’s not necessary. I have a pretty nasty knee / back injury left over from a martial arts and motorcycle incident when i was younger. I should really walk my kid to school, it’s a probably 20-25 minute round trip. That hurts. A lot.

People drive when they could walk, or bike, or whatever. Again, that’s easier in the UK than it is in the states. I was married to a Texan for many years, and I spent time there. You can’t just walk to a corner shop or supermarket like I can here, and I understand that. That has to be factored in.

Are we going to rebuild whole cities to make them more bike friendly? Probably not.

Are we going to tear down the road infrastructure to make some new public transport? Maglev or whatever? No. Hell no.

Cars are something that are here to stay. We absolutely need to make the battery chemistries less energy intensive and hard on the planet. We need to make cars safer. I don’t think we can take them away.

Maybe it will be something like uber, maybe it will be like the Voi electric scooters being trialled in the UK but with cars or electric motorcycles.

Cars will stay though.

Nobody is going to bulldoze the M25, no matter how brilliant that would be.

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So you mean you don’t enjoy that sweet acceleration of a Tesla Model 3? :wink:

Actually the range is also a pretty big misconception. Electric vehicles can easily travel 800 miles (1287 km) in a single day, given there are charge stations available along the route.


Range: 250 miles at full battery
Drive/Charge pattern: Start full, drive to 20%, charge to 80%
Charge time 20-80: 30 min
Average speed: 65 mph

Driver schedule:

Timeslot Miles Comment
06:00-09:00 200 Start driving at full capacity after a light breakfast
09:00-09:30 200 First charge, a second breakfast and bathroom break
09:30-12:00 350 Onwards, into the unknown countryside!
12:00-12:30 350 Lunch break
12:30-15:00 500 Third stretch
15:00-15:30 500 Afternoon tea
15:30-18:00 650 Fourth stretch
18:00-18:30 650 Dinnertime
18:30-21:00 800 Final stretch
21:00-06:00 800 Motel stay, charge full during night

A gas car would be able to get a bit farther but at the cost of break time, though to be fair afternoon tea and second breakfast could be skipped (At wild protests from Merry and Pippin in the back! :laughing:). If the average speed is upped to 75 mph, you could comfortably go 1000 miles in a day with two more break stops, the other being only 10 minutes. And you will save a lot of money on gas that will instead go to fuel yourself, not bad. :slight_smile:

Of course, not everything is sunshine and roses, either. But for the occasional long trip electric is fine. If you are a courier transporting packages across the US on a daily basis, though, ICE is still your bread and butter.

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Both points apply equally, if not more so, to children. If you don’t mind me asking, do you plan on having any of those? If so, how do you imagine life turning out if you have a couple of kids and no way to transport the whole family?

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Pointing the finger doesen’t relieve from each and everyone of us to do our part. But also is much much easier for a company or a country to regulate their emission instead of asking billions of people to make significant changes in their lives all at once. A factory can reduce their carbon footprint in 5 years, but if someone is barely surviving on minimum wage they can’t afford an electric car, for example. What I’m trying to say is that the change from the masses, which makes 50% of the carbon footprint, requires 1000x more time than the time it’s required to reduce the other 50% of the carbon emission. So why not push for the fastest 50% to be shed?

Exactly, on the internet. I don’t think this point needs any further discussion.

Insurance companies sucks and are trying to fuck over everyone, I think I agreed on you on this.

I’m no psychologist, but I see that you’ve been very scarred by your experiences and I don’t fault you for being so afraid of getting into another car accident. I feel like your fears are speaking louder than reason here, and it’s still not your fault.
Have you ever been in a bike accident, for example? Once I almost knocked over a guy that just appeared from between cars to cross the road (had to slam on the brakes to avoid him and not swerve into cars so I almost did a front flip), another time a car just cut me off and when I was offroading once I feel into thorn bushes and almost broke a leg on a rock. We all react differently to accidents, but it’s not because of my inexperience or due to poor awareness from people that I say that bycicles are the most dangerous thing on earth. It’s all up to luck and some ability to react to the situation.

I do, but I also like the feel of a turbo rolling on at 2500rpm and the engagement I get from changing gears.

I’ve driven a Tesla roadster (the original) and a built turbo miata on the Angeles crest highway. The Tesla beats the pants off the miata up until 120mph-ish where the Tesla hits redline, but I much prefer the miata for the driving feel. That said, the roadster is quite a good car, especially for the first attempt.

Additionally, the model 3 is absolutely retarded as a driver’s car. Like was mentioned, no instrument panel or display in front of the driver is just about the worst decision you could make. I will never buy one for that reason alone.

I require 90+mph cruising speed, and less than 30 minutes of refill time. I know it’s not a typical requirement, but this is why I don’t see electrics as viable for me yet.

My E350 covers this perfectly. I get 26mpg at 90mph when I go to Arizona.

I much prefer a large travel mug of tea in the cupholder and as short a travel time as possible.

I feel like a well designed infrastructure for electrics would make couriers the ideal candidate for mass electric rollout. Low speed, frequent start stop, regular stops at the depot to replenish supplies.


I am not sure if I want children. I haven’t decided, but even if I don’t have children of my own I have considered adoption for some very personal reasons.

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Currently I am said “person who is barely surviving on minimum wage”, and the same can be said about gasoline cars. They’re just as bad for low-income citizens. That’s what I alluded to when I complained about paying for gas and vehicle maintenance. Those two things are almost all but eliminated by an EV. But ofc right now the price of EV’s are astronomical, though so are pretty much all new cars. The Tesla Model 3 is the same price as many new cars of the same caliber. One of the worst things too about Tesla, is that they are trying to be a fashion statement with most of their lineup and make them sports cars. Even most people don’t have the money for the Ferrari of EVs.

Sorry, I forgot to reply to this quote. Yes, I have been in a bike accident before. And the last time I used my bike I noticed that I am now terrified of going down hills on my bicycle. I still love my bike though and I still want to get an eBike. Though I think I want some elbow and knee pads (it was my elbow that I broke in the accident).

I do agree on the changing gears aspect. I would like a manual transmission, but I struggle balancing that with the desire for an emissionless EV. I think it would be cool if some of these “alternative fuels” for diesel engines were to be viable. Plus I could buy an older diesel and not worry about MemeCar phoning home to daddy Musk. (And Fords, GMs, Toyotas, and all the rest are doing the same now).

Yes and can I or should I commute 50 miles on a bike?

You are glossing over so much of the united states and Canada in your baseline scenario

The system is also built on commuting from the suburbs etc primary because cities suck. There’s a reason cars improved daily life

at the end of the day, I think the only guys doing EVs justice are the folks at EV West.

I’ve considered doing their Porsche 930 conversion, but I want to buy a house first.