Electric Cars, Part 2, The Apo-car-lypse

I already wrote one blog about electric cars, but I am now inspired to write about what I’m calling the apo-car-lypse (as in apocalypse for electric cars). My first blog focused mainly on the self-driving electric car. Since that time, I’ve learned more about America’s plan for the electric cars, and it’s electrifying (and by that I mean terrifying). I’m now convinced that the future of the electric car is to be the backup for my bicycle. Allow me to explain. The Apo-car-lypse

First of all, I have a smart phone and a laptop. Both of these devices come with a constant flow of updates to correct so-called “software glitches”, to improve security from cyber hacking and provide new and better services. For example, the latest operating systems for my laptop appear to be focused more on video and graphics than on writing, which is supposed to be an improvement (and probably is for anyone who doesn’t like to read). Please note that I use my laptop almost exclusively for reading and writing, so not so new and improved for me. The Apo-car-lypse

I seem to spend more time updating the software on my phone and laptop than I actually do using them. My poor wi-fi must get really tired after all that updating. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to research each new update online before allowing it to download to learn all the new glitches that come with it (i.e. decreased battery life, new security issues, difficulties connecting to wi-fi, inability to make a phone call, and on and on). It’s often difficult to decide whether it’s better to keep the old problems or update to the new ones. Eventually all the glitches make my cell phone or laptop useless, at which time I need to buy a new one. Can you say “planned obsolescence”? The Apo-car-lypse 

Then there’s the software updates that simply crash your computer, because they are not compatible with some other piece of software. It seems like I spend a ridiculous amount of time on these updates. As an aside, I also have an Oculus Quest that requires updates for each VR game. When I sign on to play, I often spend more time on the updates than actually playing the games. Can you say “frustration”? The Apo-car-lypse

The charging times for electric cars are also a limiting factor. Granted, the car manufacturers are reducing the amount of time it takes to charge an electric car battery, but who wants to sit in a gas…I mean electric…station for a couple of hours charging your car? I guess you could pack a picnic, or sit and make out with your significant other. That’s assuming you can find a charging station before your battery dies. If not, it’s a call to AAA for a tow. They’ll probably come tow you with a large tow truck, that runs on gasoline. After fighting the frustrations associated with electric cars for a while, you might also need AA. The Apo-car-lypse

My point is that, based on my experience with my smart phone, computer and the known charging times for electric cars, I’m guessing my electric car will spend most of its time in my garage downloading, updating, charging, and software crashing (at least safer than crashing into a tree?). God forbid I’m out on the road somewhere and need a charge. I guess I could push the car to the nearest house and ask if I could plug in to one of their exterior outlets. Although, I don’t think it works that way. So much for efficient, dependable transportation. The Apo-car-lypse 

Another concern is the way that cell phone charging has evolved. Now there’s cordless charging. I can place my cell phone on a platform that is plugged into an outlet, and the phone charges without plugging it directly into the outlet. Is this the way my garage is going to evolve in the future? Is the floor of my garage going to mutate into a large cordless charger? I can just pull my car in, flip a switch, and my car will charge without plugging it in with a cord? This is terrifying. What if it’s raining and I step out of my car onto my cordless car charging garage floor? Or what if I spill liquid on the garage floor? If I step on my cordless car charging garage floor with wet feet, will I light up? It certainly wouldn’t be good for my pacemaker. The Apo-car-lypse

A current problem with gasoline and hybrid cars is the lack of enough computer chips due to Covid causing problems with manufacturing and distribution. Even these evil polluting gasoline machines more and more resemble rolling computers. They require computer chips to control gas intake, timing, all those nice new safety devices (backup camera, forward looking auto stop, blind side detectors, auto adjusting cruise control, etc.) and others. Electric cars truly are rolling computers, and my guess is they will require many more chips per vehicle. So, this dearth of computer chips is likely to dramatically curtail the production of electric cars in a timely manner. Who’s gonna buy an electric car that you have to push yourself to motorvate on down the road? The Apo-car-lypse

There’s also the limit on the number of miles an electric car can travel on a single charge. Some newer electric cars claim up to 400 miles. However, if I go 400 miles and my battery dies, how the hell do I get home since there aren’t any charging stations within that distance. Oh yeah, I guess that means I can only go 200 miles and then 200 miles back home. Good to know. The Apo-car-lypse 

I have no problem with the concept of electric cars, as they might be better for the environment. However, I am concerned about the way our federal government is moving in the direction of electric cars. The current approach appears to me to involve getting rid of gasoline and the gasoline powered cars first, before electric cars are a viable option. The price of gas just reached $5/gallon in California and continues to go up. This is in part due to blocking oil pipeline development, oil drilling and fracking in the US and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our government appears to be doing everything it can to make Putin and his gang one of the world leaders in oil production. (I thought he was our dreaded public enemy number 1, so I’m a little confused by this). The Apo-car-lypse 

Furthermore, Russia is currently invading Ukraine. Ukraine apparently provides much of the world’s supply of rare metals and gases for manufacturing these fancy lithium car batteries and computer chips so essential to electric cars. If they succeed in taking over Ukraine, they’ve got a two-fer…control of the world’s oil/gasoline for gas powered cars and control over the rare metals and gases required for electric cars. So, how does it work when one of your all-time greatest enemies on the world stage (remember the Cold War?) controls all the stuff required for gas and electric powered vehicles? Nothing to worry about there. The Apo-car-lypse 

So, we’ve managed to move quickly to make gasoline powered vehicles a thing of the past, well before we’ve established the electric car as a viable option. And now, even the electric car is questionable if Russia holds all the cards for making lithium batteries and computer chips. Even more disconcerting is that we’re rapidly moving towards eliminating gas powered vehicles before we have the infrastructure in place to support electric vehicles. The Apo-car-lypse 

Apparently the only place you can drive any significant distance in an electric car is in California. This doesn’t do a helluva a lot for the rest of the country. I guess we’ll all have to move there. The weather is quite nice in Southern California, so there’s that. (Except for the pollution from the fact that everyone in LA insists on having their own gasoline powered vehicle). Are you getting a headache? I am. The Apo-car-lypse 

And, what about the US electrical grid? It’s apparently ancient and held together with duct tape and rubber bands. During the summer, there are already planned brown outs in California and some major cities throughout the country because the grid can’t handle all the air conditioners. According to one article I read on the internet (so it must be true), there are also locations in the grid that are critical to its continued function. For example, should one of these critical locations fail, you know, like a squirrel or bird shorting out a transformer, the entire East Coast could lose power. New York City, buy generators. (Oh God, my daughter lives there). The Apo-car-lypse 

So, how’s it gonna work when everyone plugs in their electric car at once to charge? I’m guessing we’re gonna see brown outs, black outs, lack of AC in summer and no electric heat in winter. (You think people are grouchy after two years of Covid? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet). My condo’s probably going to get mighty warm here in Florida. My car might (or might not) be charged with enough electricity to get me to the grocery store. I hope so, since there aren’t any charging stations between my condo and the local Publix. The Apo-car-lypse 

Come to think of it, I don’t have a garage or a charging station at home anyhow. So I guess it’s not a relevant concern. At least not until gas reaches $10/gallon and I can’t buy any more gasoline powered cars. Then I guess I’m screwed. At least I won’t get electrocuted by my garage floor that has been converted into a cordless car charger. (My headache is getting worse). The Apo-car-lypse

Some had suggested that this problem with the US electrical grid could be solved if everyone plugs their car in overnight, when there is less overall energy consumption in the country. However, the future is also supposed to include the majority of electricity being generated by solar power (and perhaps wind power). If everyone plugs in their car at night to charge, and all our electricity is made using solar power, not good. Last time I looked the sun isn’t out at night (except perhaps in some parts of Alaska). So how’s that gonna work? The Apo-car-lypse  

I know solar and wind power are up and coming, but they’re not completely up yet. There are those scientists who say we could never provide all the dependable power that we need with solar and wind alone. I’m gonna get a wood stove, so when there’s no power I can still cook something. I also need to learn how to preserve meat by salt curing and smoking if my refrigerator has no power because electric cars have fried the US grid. Kinda sounds like we’re headed back to the Stone Age. The Apo-car-lypse

I would also like to point out that gasoline, natural gas and coal (those dreaded fossil fuels) are currently used in the US to produce something like 60% of the electricity. So, how’s that gonna work with the price of gas at $10/gallon? Will electricity costs go up to $5/electron? I’ll have to take out a loan to plug in my TV. More confusion. The Apo-car-lypse 

Yesterday I read an article reporting that the US is going to start focusing on nuclear power to make electricity again. I thought we abandoned nuclear because we didn’t want to blow up the country and/or glow in the dark. Maybe glowing in the dark wouldn’t be so bad if there’s no electricity to power your lights, or flashlight batteries. Might be useful. Also, it’s my understanding that electric car batteries sometimes spontaneously burst into flames. So do you want to glow in the dark or get set on fire? It’s good to have choices. The Apo-car-lypse 

The most entertaining issue, even more entertaining than the potential failure of the electric car, is air transportation. Can you imagine flying in an electric jumbo jet, the pilot constantly monitoring the battery to make sure you don’t run out of charge? What do you do if the battery dies at 35,000 feet? Maybe I should buy stock in parachute manufacturing companies. Maybe I should just forget the idea of flying altogether. The Apo-car-lypse 

The moral of this story is that I am not confident the electric car will succeed any time soon. And, forget the idea of electric airplanes. So, I’m planning on using my future electric car as a backup for my bicycle. The Apo-car-lypse 

My electric car will serve as a backup during the few times that it is not updating, charging, suffering a computer hack or software glitch. That’s assuming I can find one with enough computer chips to make it go in the first place, and that the electric grid is still functional so that I can charge it, and that my garage floor cordless electric car charger hasn’t killed me. Electric cars have a limited range, when they work at all. I’m thinking that I’m going to be limited by my bicycling range, which for an old man ain’t all that far. Good thing they still deliver groceries. All I can say is…Happy pedaling! The Apo-car-lypse

If you like this blog, you’ll probably enjoy my newly released comedy murder mystery, THE REALTOR’S CURSE. The amateur sleuth in the book is a car guy. For more on the book, go to https://johnjjessop.com To buy the book go to https://amzn.to/3gCnCZ6