There is no doubt that electric vehicles are the future, as we transition away from fossil fuels, and towards cleaner and greener alternatives. However, they're not perfect, and they are faced with obstacles that are stopping them from becoming mainstream.

There is no doubt that electric vehicles are the future, as the way we get around and produce electricity is transitioning away from fossil fuels, and towards cleaner and greener alternatives. The entire transport sector accounts for 21% of total CO2 emissions and road travel alone accounts for 15% of total CO2 emissions so getting electric vehicles onto the roads is definitely a priority in tackling the climate crisis. However, they’re not perfect, and they are faced with obstacles that are stopping them from becoming mainstream.
102 urte

This may be an unpopular take, but I don’t think there are enough “unpractical” electric cars. Every single electric car I know of tries to be as easy and convenient as possible.

I’d really like to see a more “analog” (for lack of a better word) electric car. Something with a manual transmission, and the ability to disable TCS and ESC. Something with more of an emphasis on being fun, simple, and inexpensive, rather than as easy to drive as possible.

Of course, I’m not saying these unpractical cars should be the standard, just that there aren’t really any cars that fall into the category of ‘cheap weekend car’.

The privacy of electric cars is also something somewhat off-putting. Teslas constantly report back data to be fed into auto-pilot, which I find somewhat concerning. As cars become more and more reliant on software, I find it more and more important that that software be open source, or at least offline.

32 urte

Manual transmission doesn’t mean anything with electric. The only reason for it was to help fill in the gaps in the power on an ICE. The lower end cars don’t have TCS btw.
2 urte

As far as price goes I’m interested to see how these take off (in the USA) - and would love a similar priced small truck:

Driving impressions video if you’re interested.

I like your comments about “analog” option, that’s a good point.

It’s not just electric cars - it’s everything.

Manufacturers want to sell as many as possible, with the lower costs. That means making something that everyone can use. Have you notices how clothing and bicycles come in much fewer sizes than they used to? Matches are 5 times the size they used to be, to fit the clumsiest fingers? How cars have lane assist and roll bars and other features most people don’t want, but 1% of incompetent people need them to stay alive?

It’s a form of cartel, where the number of manufacturers decreases, so it’s easier to collude to reduce costs and quality. Especially, slightly niche things just disappear from the market.
62 urte

The lane-keep assist thing you brought up is the perfect example. It drives me crazy driving cars that have it. If you really need a computer to keep you within the lanes, you probably shouldn’t be driving. Contrarily, if you’re paying attention, it can actually work against you. A common situation I get into is when I want to give a bicyclist on the side of the road some extra space, and lane-keep assist pulls me towards them at the last second, forcing me to swerve relatively hard at the last second. It’s not a massive deal usually, but on gravel, ice, or even wet roads at high speeds, I’d imagine it could lead to some fairly dangerous situations.

I really hope in the future that are at least some manufacturers that combine the modern idea of electric cars and fuel efficient driving, with older ideas like analog driving. I love the idea of electric cars, but not the idea of having the car try to take control away from me in exchange for convenience.
2 urte

I can’t drive new cars. They fight me. They ignore my instructions, do do things i never instructed, and they are always wrong and dangerous.

Yes it’s terrible. And it’s getting worse.

Everywhere, manufacturing processes are getting more complex and more expensive (partly but not only due to regulation). Only big companies can afford to survive. Fewer players means fewer options, a worse deal for consumers.

The only reason niche cars ever existed in the past, was because there were hundreds of manufacturers, all competing, trying to find a unique selling point. That will never happen again - the trend is for more regulation requiring a bigger investment from bigger car companies.
42 urte

I drive a 2009 Highlander, and it’s honestly a great balance for me. It doesn’t have lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, or anything like that, but it does have traction control, stability control, and ABS, which I like. I think there’s a pretty distinct difference between assistive tech in cars that helps with subtle things in the background to help you maintain control, and assistive tech that tries to take over for you since it assumes it knows better.

Yes it’s completely different. ABS is like having better tyres.

You could categorise:

  • Better hardware: like ABS. Things which help you avoid an accident.
  • driver assistance: like low temperature / ice warning.
  • Robots which fight you for control, try to take over and drive the car themselves, while not being sentient enough to actually be able to drive the car: like lane assist.
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