We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Musk’s act qualified as economic civil disobedience, especially since he expressly offered himself up for arrest and punishment. His ultimate success was a testament to the power of that peaceful strategy for political change. The government probably wanted to avoid the public controversy that would result from jailing someone like Musk.

Dan Sanchez

38 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • John B

    ‘… especially since he expressly offered himself up for arrest and punishment. His ultimate success was a testament to the power of that peaceful strategy for political change.’

    Oh? Not a testament to the power of having $$$ millions, high public profile and a flock of expensive lawyers on-call?

    Does the team think the outcome would have been the same for Joe Plumber?

  • llamas

    Regarding the Joe Plumber comment, Musk is merely the highest-profile actor who has taken this position. Plenty of Joe-the-Plumbers have taken the same public stance, in a variety of states, and dared the state to come after them. Reactions have been varied. In most places, they have been left alone to get on with it. A few have been warned, in an Irish- or Italian-type manner – Now you stop that right now. Stop it, I say! Right now! In most places, states are quietly ignoring such actions.

    Of course, the exception is in my own state of Michigan, where Governor Whitmer appears to be gradually losing her grip on reality and running the entire state as through it is all Detroit – which, admittedly, does have a serious problem. But some barber shop in outstate Owosso (229 cases in the entire county, with 20 total deaths) opens his doors and her reaction is to threaten him with the State Police and then to pull his occupational license – an action so unhinged that a judge promptly overturned it.

    I see a gradually-increasing climate of disobedience here – more and more people are saying, basically, f**k your lockdown, you can’t arrest us all. Traffic volumes are back up to normal, and the ‘requirement’ to wear a mask in public is being widely ignored. The real test will be this coming weekend, Memorial Day, which traditionally has great significance in Michigan as being the start of summer, when boats get put in and cottage are opened. I predict mass civil disobedience. I myself will be out and about on a very loud motorcycle, my tiny contribution to the general climate of ‘f**k you”. We need Dominic Frisby to write us a song.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Shlomo Maistre

    “Musk’s act qualified as economic civil disobedience, especially since he expressly offered himself up for arrest and punishment. His ultimate success was a testament to the power of that peaceful strategy for political change. The government probably wanted to avoid the public controversy that would result from jailing someone like Musk.”

    Showing civil disobedience when you are an actual billionaire isn’t impressive. At all.

    If a regular entrepreneur did what Musk did he could easily have been arrested (and much worse). Which is why most everyday entrepreneurs in places like Los Angeles and NYC are obeying the government’s oppressive “lockdowns” and other oppressive strictures.

    Musk is the exception that proves the rule. And the rule is that most people (not all by any means, but MOST) are not showing civil disobedience. This is just TSA at the airports after 9/11. Only worse. Much worse.

  • Fraser Orr

    In fairness to Musk, for sure the risk of his civil disobedience might be lower than the average guy, but he still put himself out there. He took advantage of his privileged position to benefit everyone else, and he definitely deserves respect for that, even if his risk is lower than Joe the Plumber.

    There is another side to that too. Because Musk is high profile he is a lot harder to ignore than Joe the Plumber. Sue the hairdresser might open, and the county can just ignore her, but Musk in a loud public way defies them, that they really cannot ignore. To be defied is one thing, to be seen to be defied is an entirely more serious matter, especially for these sorts of people. The fact that Alemeda County backed down on this is really a pretty major victory, and an embarrassment for the petty tyrants.

  • Indeed Fraser, Musk’s defiance can neither be hand-waved away by the people he defied nor kept out of the press, which not just encourages others but also sets awkward precedents legally 😉

  • Gene

    If Musk wants to use the benefits that his f**k-you money gives him to pop tyrants’ bubbles, all the better for the rest of us.

  • Jacob

    Musk is selling snake oil (electric cars). He is a man of great talent, still he is selling fashionable snake oil. He is making bad use of his talents.
    He is also awash in Government money (other people’s money).

    I appreciate his act of defiance, but have no general sympathy for him.
    Of course, Government does not need to arrest him, just reducing his funding and the regulations that favor him will finish him off.
    But Government is trapped in it’s absurdities – it cannot strangle him, as they believe in political correct nonsense than Masks skilfully promotes.

  • Eric

    Does the team think the outcome would have been the same for Joe Plumber?

    Might be. There’s lots of video floating around of cops refusing to arrest people for going about their business. In the US there’s no appetite for draconian quarantine measures by the state, and only the dumbest politicians will try to force the issue.

    Besides, what are they going to do? California is already letting felons out of jail because it doesn’t have any way to imprison them safely.

  • Eric

    Of course, Government does not need to arrest him, just reducing his funding and the regulations that favor him will finish him off.

    Different levels of government. Tesla isn’t subsidized by Alameda county. Even if it were, Musk holds the whip hand – he can leave the county and take thousands of jobs with him.

  • Arkus

    He shouldn’t have just threatened,… he should have just moved and pointed the finger at them. Make these maniacs in government hurt for their actions.. Don’t give them any easy escape. Might actually make all of them think of the consequences before they act next time.

  • Showing civil disobedience when you are an actual billionaire isn’t impressive. At all.

    Musk is selling snake oil (electric cars). He is a man of great talent, still he is selling fashionable snake oil. He is making bad use of his talents.

    The above two sentiments are all too common on Samizdata, which is otherwise an unending supply of oxygen to our boat-anchored media-driven submarine toxic environment. One would think the readership here would be more admiring of the most economically disruptive person of our lives. In one tweet, Elon: 1) gets his company working again, 2) cements his employee loyalty by publicly daring authorities to arrest only him, 3) mocks the county official who was thwarting him in petty fashion, 4) and shines a spotlight on the absurd current continuing lockdown policy that our coward ‘leaders’ continue to promote. Looks impressive to me. The fact that he is a billionaire and doesnt have to fear arrest is irrelevent; he has all the winning cards, in addition to being right.

    On the snake-oil salesman comment: have you actually ever driven a Tesla vehicle? Since they are the fastest, safest, smartest, most reliable, cheapest to operate, most innovative vehicles that are actually accruing value over time, rather than devaluing like regular cars, which feature resembles reptilian body fluid?

  • Jacob

    I have nothing against nice cars, but I hate when one falsely presents them as the Saviors of Humanity as Musk does. This is the snake oil part.
    And, nice cars don’t need the tons of subsidies that Tesla receives, under false pretense of their having any environmental value. Another snake oil sell.

    By the way, I heard some rumors about Buggatis and Masseratis also being very nice cars, lamentably I cannot afford to report first hand on them. They are above my pay grade.

  • llamas

    Eric wrote:

    ‘Different levels of government. Tesla isn’t subsidized by Alameda county.’

    I bet he was! I’m guessing that he got a sweetheart tax deal from the county – I bet they were desperate to re-open the ill-fated NUMMI facility. However, that’s likely a done deal that the county can’t un-do.

    Additionally, Tesla benefits from significant CA state tax subsidies, and I wouldn’t put it past the idiot governor to mess with those.

    Regarding this:

    “They are the fastest, safest, smartest, most reliable, cheapest to operate, most innovative vehicles that are actually accruing value over time, . . . .”

    Fastest? Patently untrue. Fastest-accelerating, maybe. But, in the big scheme of things, is that really important in a mass-market car – which is what Musk is trying to sell? Do we care how fast a Corolla accelerates?

    Safest? Not true. Teslas get high safety ratings, to be sure – Euro Ncap ratings are the best overall, and Teslas get 5 stars there, and their NHTSA ratings are also very good. But so are lots of other comparable cars. It should be noted that Musk has gotten into trouble multiple times with NHTSA for making unverifiable or unsupported claims about the safety of Teslas.

    Smartest? Debatable, at best.

    Most-reliable? It is to laugh. Tesla has suffered from an endless stream of quality and reliability issues. Consumer Reports has a long history of documenting these issues. Average – at best.

    Cheapest to operate? Debatable, at best. If you’re fortunate-enough to have a charging installation that somebody else paid for, and even-more fortunate to get your charging for free – maybe.

    Actually accruing value? Not according to those that track the values of cars: https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/price-trends/Tesla-Model-S-d2039

    Now, don’t get me wrong – they’re not bad cars, as cars go. On a sunny day, side-by-side with comparable vehicles, they have some real attractions. But the bloom tends to go off the rose a bit when you factor in their higher real cost (once tax rebates and subsidies are factored in – why is Joe the Plumber contributing to the cost of your car?), their rather-iffy reliability, questions about real battery life and – above all – the inescapable fact that, every couple of hours, you have to stop and find some place to recharge the bloody thing.

    Snake oil may be pitching it a bit strong. But Teslas have some pretty-serious shortcomings, and Musk’s hucksterist approach to addressing them has not been good.

    I’ll take a simple example. The fabled ‘Cannonball Run’ challenge – the fastest drive from coast to coast of the US – has seen some amazing results in the last few weeks. The record now stands at under 26 hours. Let’s have somebody do this challenge in a top-of-the-line Tesla. The last time this was tried, it took more than 45 hours. By my simple math, that makes a Tesla about half-as-useful as a comparable IC-powered luxury sedan.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Fraser Orr

    @Darryl
    The above two sentiments are all too common on Samizdata, … One would think the readership here would be more admiring of the most economically disruptive person of our lives.

    I can’t speak for anyone else here, buy I am part of the readership here and I am a Musk fanboy. I admire a lot of things about him. I certainly don’t think electric cars are junk, on the contrary, I think they are awesome in the right context. Not that they aren’t without challenges. But it kind of reminds me of the feminist argument about “male patriarchy” how society is set up to the rhythms and flows of male life which intrinsically puts women at a disadvantage. I don’t know how much I buy the male patriarchy idea, but for sure when it comes to electric cars one thing that disadvantages them is the fact that the whole environment is set up for human directed gasoline engine cars. That isn’t the only challenge, but there are also many benefits to offset the challenges.

    Anyway, I got side tracked there. In regards to tax benefits, I think you all would be welcome to criticize Musk’s tax benefits if you like, assuming you aren’t doing the same thing yourself by, for example, taking a personal deduction or mortgage income tax relief, or 401k deposits. Personally, I think the less people pay in taxes the better.

    And in regards to Tesla, a publicly traded company, he has a fiduciary duty to take as many tax benefits he can get.

    Again, Elon Musk? Big fan. One of the most important humans in the 21st century.

  • Mark

    When I think of milk floats what always comes to mind is that cartoon of the dalek. Off to conquer the universe…..then it comes to the flight of stairs.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Mark
    When I think of milk floats what always comes to mind is that cartoon of the dalek. Off to conquer the universe…..then it comes to the flight of stairs.

    I presume by “milk floats” you mean electric cars. Well if you were a bit more up to date on your Dr Who, you would know that that problem had been solved by installing new technology that lets Daleks fly. A Tesla Model S resembles a milk float about as much as a an Aston Martin resembles a Model T Ford. They have had a considerable technology upgrade since their milk float days.

  • bobby b

    Musk has so many fanbois who treat him like a god that we need all of the people who disparage him just to maintain some balance in the universe.

    Definitely one of the most important people of the time.

    Now let’s talk about SolarCity. 😆

  • Mark

    Dearie me you have got it bad. Don’t tell me you’ve bought one!? RThrough your tears of rage let me explain.

    The battery, hundreds of kg of dead weight. Never mind the ridiculous and unsustainable demand for rare materials etc. It needs to be – well, charged.

    There is not, nor will there be, nor is there any intention to even try to build, a network remotely capable of charging anything like the number of milk floats visualised in brave new world.

    Daleks BTW aren’t real and they can’t fly. The “technology upgrade” required to float the milk float is not in the milk float itself which is what you seem to have difficulty grasping. It would be a massive increase in installed generating capacity and a serious upgrade to the power infrastructure.

    And no, this simply cannot be delivered by windmills or, as Bobby B correctly points out “solarcity”.

    A Tossler and a milk float are exactly the same: a battery and an electric motor. An Aston martin and a model T are exactly the same: an internal combustion engine and a fuel tank.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Darryl,

    The fact that he is a billionaire and doesnt have to fear arrest is irrelevent

    Irrelevant? Hahahahahaha.

    You realize that the Korean man who owns the drycleaners a few blocks from me (and has been shut down by government lockdown edict for months and is gradually going broke) would love to do exactly what Musk has done but can’t. Do you know why? Hint: being a billionaire isn’t irrelevant.

    One would think the readership here would be more admiring of the most economically disruptive person of our lives.

    I’m not impressed by Musk’s civil disobedience, but I admire Musk enormously and I probably admire Musk much more than you do.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    “our boat-anchored media-driven submarine toxic environment”

    No idea what this is supposed to mean.

  • Fraser Orr

    Mark
    Dearie me you have got it bad. Don’t tell me you’ve bought one!?

    I’m not even a particularly big fan of electric vehicles, but your buffoonish answer makes me want to defend them.

    The battery, hundreds of kg of dead weight.

    That is like complaining than the internal combustion engine in a car is hundreds of kilos of dead weight. It isn’t dead. It is being used for something.

    Never mind the ridiculous and unsustainable demand for rare materials etc.

    You mean like digging up the whole of Alberta Province to extract a necessary material out of the ground? Oh, wait, that is oil.

    There is not, nor will there be, nor is there any intention to even try to build, a network remotely capable of charging anything like the number of milk floats visualised in brave new world.

    Yes, it is hard to imagine a world in which we can deliver large amounts of electricity to every population center in the country. If only that were possible.

    Daleks BTW aren’t real and they can’t fly. The “technology upgrade” required to float the milk float is not in the milk float itself which is what you seem to have difficulty grasping.

    You seem to be under the impression that internal combustion engines don’t need any infrastructure. They actually do. You know, things like the Suez canal for example.

    An Aston martin and a model T are exactly the same

    OK, now you are just taking the piss, right?

  • Mark

    Buffoonish answer, well you started it!

    A car engine is a lump of iron/aluminium, perhaps the two most plentiful and easily recyclable materials we have access to.

    The amount of lithium etc for batteries for a milk float to replace cars on this country alone (never mind the US, China etc) would be unsustainable and would, I believe, exceed the worlds available supply. Not sure why you picked on Alberta.

    Well you at least seem to realise that it won’t be possible to have milk floats everywhere (you know plenty of the country where proper cars are easily maintainable presently). But there is an official policy to ban petrol/diesel cars by 2040 (or is it 2035). What are those who live in these areas to do?

    What makes you think I believe ICE cars need no infrastructure (which clearly exists). And why on earth did you pick Suez canal, opened in 1869!? I’m sure battery powered ships could deliver lithium to Europe through it. Not a terribly relevant argument.

    In the context of my argument, an Aston martin and a model T are exactly the same. Go and read it again.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “The amount of lithium etc for batteries for a milk float to replace cars on this country alone (never mind the US, China etc) would be unsustainable and would, I believe, exceed the worlds available supply.”

    Heh! They said pretty much the same thing about oil. In fact, they’ve been saying the same thing about oil for the last 80 years, with no sense of irony or showing any sign of stopping.

    It’s a common fault among environmentalists to look at the technology and resources available today, to compare them against the needs of proposed future technologies, and conclude that those technologies are uneconomic and “unsustainable”. They believe resources are finite and today’s technology is not a mere temporary stepping stone to better things but fixed eternally, despite the history of the industrial revolution falsifying the assumption at every step.

    The price of electric car batteries per kWhr has dropped 87% in the last 10 years. That reminds me of the Simon-Ehrlich wager.

  • Mark

    @Nullius

    Yes, certainly concede that point and the given resource of anything is what is available for a given price with the available technology.

    But the projected demand (and the technology to exploit) to replace proper cars with milk floats would be massive and it’s not clear where the required amounts would come from in the timescales required to meet governmental expectations, given when they want to ban proper cars.

    There is plenty of lithium off earth of course, but exploiting that would be something else.

    If the expectation is that there will be far fewer private cars in 20 years, well that’s another argument.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “But the projected demand (and the technology to exploit) to replace proper cars with milk floats would be massive and it’s not clear where the required amounts would come from in the timescales required to meet governmental expectations, given when they want to ban proper cars.”

    I strongly suspect the timing is based on when they think the change will happen anyway, rather than the other way round. Electric cars are rapidly getting better, the technology is moving fast, and as with any technology, the infrastructure and technology always grows to match the demand.

    If Lithium gets rare and is still in demand, it gets expensive, and that makes it worthwhile to invent something better. (There are plenty more materials to make batteries out of.) The money they make from selling Lithium, and the demand for more, funds the development. Any given technology is only ever a brief stepping stone towards the next even better even cheaper technology. It doesn’t have to last any longer than the time to take the next step.

    There was a time when they declared it would be impossible to connect the entire world to the telephone system, because they would run out of copper. And it’s true! … if you stick with the technology they had then of copper wires strung across the landscape. But then someone invented fibre optic cables, and here we are.

    If it wasn’t for the fact that it played in to the Greenies’ agenda, I don’t think people would be nearly so negative about electric cars. It’s a new technology, like mobile phones in the early 1990s. It still needs work, it still needs more infrastructure building, but it has some positive points. And for a government under pressure to pander to the Green agenda, but not wanting to do the economic damage, it’s an easy win to look out for predictable upcoming technologies with vaguely Green credentials and try to claim credit for them. If you’re confident everyone is going to be buying them in 20 years time anyway, it does less harm to tell everyone you’re going to introduce them as policy.

  • Jacob

    Cars…
    We have good cars. Perfect cars… ICE cars. They provide GOOD service, answer our needs.
    Electric cars? Who needs them? I mean – if they provided better service – if they were a better product – then fine… we’ll gladly buy them.

    The fact is the provide worse service. They are more expensive, have shorter range and above all – take long to “refuel” (reload).
    So – do we need an inferior product to replace a perfectly functioning one? I don’t need. I don’t want to support one with my tax money.
    Those who likes electric cars – welcome – buy as many as you wish, with your own money.

    And, as a side note: given the total war of the greenies against reliable electricity – I don’t see that there will ever be enough electricity to charge EVs in great numbers (comparable to ICE cars).

  • Jacob

    There is one and ONLY one advantage EV have over ICE cars: they don’t pollute, which is an important feature in dense city centers.
    (Their corresponding pollution is done at the power plants, i.e. – removed from city centers).

  • Mark

    @Nullius

    There are other materials of course, but how much more can be wrung out of the chemistry of batteries? I wouldn’t imagine more efficient batteries chemistries would be hugely cheaper or easier to manufacture.

    Batteries are a major real world problem with milk floats, but even if 1MWh batteries the size of a matchbox could be materialized out of thin air with the click of a fingers, it wouldn’t address the fundamental real world problem: the need to charge the damned things!

    See comments about infrastructure above.

    Jacob is perfectly correct, particularly the green arse (“renewables”) not knowing or seemingly caring what the green elbow (milk floats) is doing.

    Am I contemptuous and disparaging of these things? Damned right! When this mis-selling scandal blows up (10 years?) who will get the bill?

  • Nullius in Verba

    “The fact is the provide worse service.”

    That depends on what service you require.

    I know somebody who has one, is not in any way ‘green’ or interested in environmentalism, but who loves it. It’s not particularly expensive. Almost all their journeys are short-range, less than 20 miles. Overnight charging at home means refuelling time is completely irrelevant (and is, in any case, still acceptably fast to do a 50-mile top-up with the high-capacity chargers). And they’re easier to drive, quieter, have much lower running costs, are easier to maintain, don’t drip oil everywhere, don’t emit toxic smoky exhaust gases, and they’re a novelty they can talk about with their friends.

    Quite a few people actually prefer them over ICE. And even the ones who don’t don’t hate them. If you routinely drive very long distances and/or have nowhere at home to recharge it, it’s probably not for you, just yet. But otherwise, it’s just a car.

    It’s only the politics that makes them so controversial. Yes, I agree they shouldn’t be forced on people. Yes, I agree they shouldn’t be subsidised. But that in itself doesn’t make them bad cars, or technologically infeasible, let alone what they’ll be like in ten or twenty years time.

    “There are other materials of course, but how much more can be wrung out of the chemistry of batteries? I wouldn’t imagine more efficient batteries chemistries would be hugely cheaper or easier to manufacture.”

    That’s just lack of imagination. Who could have imagined today’s world 50 years ago?

  • Jacob

    “That depends on what service you require.”
    Suppose you have a product that provides service A and B, and another that provides only service A. You would buy the second product if you don’t need service B — AND — second product is much cheaper.
    If they are about the same price – you will buy the first product anyway.

    I think most EV buyers do it as a gimmick or status symbol (not for practical use), and have, beside the EV, some other nice ICEs in their stable, for when they really go on a trip.

    I don’t object to EVs or people buying them.
    I object to Musk (and others) selling them as Saviors of the Planet.
    This is BS.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I think most EV buyers do it as a gimmick or status symbol (not for practical use), and have, beside the EV, some other nice ICEs in their stable, for when they really go on a trip.”

    How many EV buyers do you know?

    I know three, and all three consider them entirely for practical use. A small sample size, I know, but it makes me dubious about such claims.

    It doesn’t matter – it’s a political shibboleth and I don’t think we’re going to agree. Time will tell.

    “I object to Musk (and others) selling them as Saviors of the Planet.”

    Businessmen will say whatever makes them the most money. All sorts of junk is sold to the public using all sorts of spurious and ill-founded claims. It’s nothing unusual. In Chaucer’s time they sold relics of the saints. Same thing.

    You have to win the public debate so people stop wanting to buy it.

  • Mark

    @Nullius

    “That’s a lack of imagination”

    You can look at it that way if you want but we are talking about a specific product here.
    A 1MWh matchbox sized battery that can be materialised out of thin air covers any possibility I would have thought.

    Some flying anti gravity powered personal transport could be around in 50 years of course. I hope so. I’d dump my car in a heartbeat for one.

  • I think it is appropriate to respond once to my initial post within this article… more seems like squabbling.

    @shlomo: My meaning is that our information channels are so corroded and corrupt with dross that it feels like one is always under the water, gasping for oxygen. The point I was trying to make is that Samizdata contributors are a very rational and thoughtful source of information… and that I notice they seem to have a couple recurring biases.

    @llamas: you make a fair point, that tesla cars are not in all the attributes I mentioned at the top of their class. What if I modified the statement to add ‘overall’ to the description? I get the impression you are nitpicking, as in ‘it is 550 miles, not 600 as you claim.’

    Perhaps ‘snake oil salesman’ has a different meaning in America. Yanks think the term means a fraudulent seller who makes completely false claims about his product. Each of the attributes I chose can be easily defended as an actual powerful feature of those vehicles, so I think snake oil is not what Elon is about.

    I am not a Musk fan boy, though I am dangerously close to being one, considering his accomplishments. And no, I do not own any tesla products… although i am strongly considering the Cybertruck, because the timing of when it will be available, my need for a new utility vehicle, and my means will align. I am not all green energy for green’s sake.

    The sneering that Musk’s companies are subsidized by government largess to me is not really significant, for two reasons. The subsidies are disappearing, and Tesla products still have intrinsic value, and also, if there is money to be had… people will have it. This seems to me to be an argument of tax avoidance vs evasion.

    We used to have perfectly good, self-replicating, motive power… but horses were eventually replaced by cars. The markets are transitioning.

  • Paul Marks

    A good post.

    Contrary to J.S. Mill – running a peaceful business is (not is not) under the same “Principle of Liberty” as running a political office or a church.

    If I want to bake bread or or make electric cars that is a matter of LIBERTY not just “mere economics”.

    It is not different from me organising a church service or an atheist society meeting.

    It is (contra J.S. Mill) under the same “Principle of Liberty”.

    Yes Mr Musk did get the local government authorities to back down and GOOD – he has done a NOBLE DEED.

    However, I hope Mr Musk still moves his business OUT of California – to a State with lower taxes and less regulations.

  • Paul Marks

    As for “lcckdown” versus not “lockdown”.

    Well this was a legitimate debate back in March – there were good people on BOTH sides.

    Now it is clear that the “lockdown” policy is insane – but that was NOT clear in March.

    I am an intolerant man by nature – quick to order an execution without “wasting my time” with a trial (after all a trial might disturb my meal times). I must constantly remind myself that was is so clear NOW (that “lockdown” is insane) was NOT clear in March.

    I must make a serious effort to stop being so “judgemental” in relation to what people believed months ago – before the facts were clear.

    They are not all Collectivist spies – and having them all shot would be morally wrong.

  • llamas

    @ Darryl – fair enough. I will go out on a limb and guess that (American) English is not your primary language, so will cut you extra slack to make up for that.

    In this case, I am certainly not ‘nit-picking’ although I have a hard-earned reputation on this forum for doing exactly that. All your statements were absolutely definitive – the fastest, the safest, most-reliable – and I merely pointed out that these are objectively untrue statements, some of them perhaps open to interpretation, but some definitely not. That’s not ‘nit-picking’.

    In the US vernacular, the term ‘snake-oil salesman’ actually tends more to describe the person than the product he’s selling. After all, snake oil may actually work – for something. It’s more a description of the type of selling that Musk does – relentlessly positive, aggressive responses to any criticism, relentless downplaying of the negatives, and a ready resort to ad-hominem or off-topic retorts.

    I would not accept your modifier of ‘overall’ for your description, not at all. Trying to define an ‘overall’ best car is like trying to define an ‘overall’ most-beautiful woman or man – so much is in the eye of the beholder, and depends on what the user wants from the vehicle.

    What I would say is this – for a certain area of the Venn diagram of user needs from an automobile, a Tesla is a fine choice, and may be the best all-round choice for that family of users. But for many other users, it’s a very poor choice indeed. It’s main stumbling block is the simple fact of compromised range – there’s no way around it. The cheapest POC grocery-getter with an IC engine beats the pants off any Tesla in this area, simply because it has (effectively) unlimited range at no time penalty.

    I actually shopped Teslas, about 4 years ago, but I shopped them for one reason, and one reason only – the city fathers of the fine metropolis where I then worked had installed free charging stations in the parking lot of my place of work. So I could drive (effectively) for free. Mrs llamas has a vehicle big enough to haul me and the dogs, so we’re all set if we have to go long distances. But then we moved facilities, and now it’s a long way to any charging station, and if I charged it at home I’d have to pay for it, and the charging installation too. What seemed like a good choice in one situation turned into a much-poorer choice when the situation changed ever-so-slightly. IC cars do not suffer from this delicate risk balance.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Eric

    I think most EV buyers do it as a gimmick or status symbol (not for practical use), and have, beside the EV, some other nice ICEs in their stable, for when they really go on a trip.

    “Gimmick or status symbol” isn’t really fair. In the US, at least, most couples have more than one car. Electric cars are so much cheaper to operate and maintain they pencil out as a commuter, and even more so with subsidies. For family trips you take the IC powered vehicle.

  • Jacob

    llamas and Eric,
    Current buying of an electric car is totally dependent on the subsidies – subsidies to the purchase price, free loading, etc.

    Without subsidies Musk could sell maybe a couple of cars to rich aficionados.

    That is not to deny that in designing and producing the Telsa Musk achieved a big accomplishment.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>