Electric Cars are Really Here

Woman charges her electric cars

Baby Boomers Didn’t Get Flying Cars, But EVs Will Do For Now

In a popular IBM commercial featuring Avery Brooks, he makes the statement, “…where are the flying cars, I was promised flying cars! Given that you now may need FAA certification just to operate a drone, I don’t anticipate driving a flying car anytime soon. Electric cars however, they are here now.

Yes, electric cars are really here. For baby boomers still on the fence about one of these, take a ride in a new Tesla and you’ll be changed forever. Roomy, clean, and bloody fast, you’ll willingly trade in your classic car for one of these. Boomers need to understand that we are well past the wait-and-see period here…EVs are here now, and they are for real.

Electric Cars Aren’t For Everyone

As great as they are, EVs are not for everyone. If you are a road warrior or tend to travel to remote areas, a hybrid might be a better option. For those in the larger metropolitan areas however, electric cars are fantastic. Obviously if you need a light duty truck, one of the new electric trucks is a great consideration.

You do need a way to charge your EV at home, so you’ll want that scouted out by an electrician first. You’ll also need to make sure your HOA doesn’t have some weird restriction about charging in your driveway, if you don’t have a garage.

A giant mine for mining metals for the batteries needed for electric cars.
Where will the raw materials for EV batteries come from?

The Knock Against Electric Cars

The biggest knock against electric cars right now is the that the power, and the battery materials have to come from somewhere. While nuclear power is still the cleanest option, the U.S. isn’t overly flush with nuclear power plants. This puts the additional electricity burden on current, more traditional (and dirtier) power plants.

It’s a guess, I suppose, as to whether or not the CO2 savings we get from electric vehicles are offset by the additional pollutants generated by the power plant. It seems we may be trading one evil for another. The U.S. abandoned growing our nuclear power infrastructure too easily and too quickly, bowing to political pressure. Electric cars may be the catalyst that pushes us back in the right direction.

Another concern are the raw materials needed for the EV batteries. Obtaining these materials from foreign sources is risky and dumb, as we’ve recently learned with the computer chip crisis. Will the U.S. be able to find enough materials locally to feed the battery appetite the electric cars and trucks will need over the next 10 or 20 years? This is certainly a concern.

Electeric Cars Are Really Amazing

The only electric cars I have been in were two different Tesla models. WOW. First off, the cars are clean and roomy. A giant iPad-like screen serves as the dashboard and performs a myriad of seemingly endless tasks. Everything is electronic of course, and there is no engine or drivetrain to consume any space within the vehicle. The result is a ton of space, even in the smallest Tesla Model 3.

Fast doesn’t even begin to describe the experience. As a passenger, even with advanced warning, I was simply shocked at how quick the car was. The baby boomer in me that can’t handle swift carnival rides anymore, particularly those with a lot of centrifugal force like the Himalaya, could barely tolerate the speed the driver gleefully inflicted on me. Some new model Teslas’s can have as much as 1100 horsepower. I.N.S.A.N.E.

EV Maintenance, or Lack Thereof

Another check in the plus column for electric cars is how little maintenace they require. The follow list represents the typical Tesla maintenance schedule.

  • Cabin Air Filter – Change every 2-3 years, depending on model.
  • Tire Rotation – Every 6,250 miles.
  • Brake fluid – Test every 2 years and replace as needed.
  • Air Conditioning – Replace the A/C desiccant bag every 3-6 years, depending on model.

For those of you stuck in cold weather climate areas, Tesla recommends cleaning and lubricating all brake calipers every 12 months or 12,500 mi for cars in cold weather regions.

That’s it! Compare that to the maintenance needed for one of the most well made gasoline vehicles, the Toyota Camry, or the ever popular Jeep Wrangler, a favorite of baby boomer with RVs.

What Does The Future Hold

There are of course, thousands of people more qualified to answer that question. From a baby boomer’s perspective however, I see the rapid growth into the EV realm continuing. Electric pickup trucks are emerging quickly. The Detroit Big-3 will all soon have trucks to offer, and there is the Rivian. While Toyota has waded into the EV waters more slowly, never discount their capacity for innovation. They could easily surpass all other manufacturers if they want to.

The RV boom hasn’t missed the EV craze either, with THOR recently announcing a partnership with German giant, ZF, to merge the world of electric cars with the needs of campers and RVs into a cohesive solution.

I can’t even imagine what we might see if/when Apple jumps into the world of electric cars, as rumors seem to indicate.

Conclusion

Love ’em or hate ’em, EVs are here to stay. No, they are not “newfangled”. They are modern, technological marvels. With the emission laws that California continues to pass, you left-coast folks may not even get a choice in a few years.

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