On my watch, the great American road trip is going to be fully electrified.
And now, through a tax credit, you can get up to $7,500 on a new electric vehicle. pic.twitter.com/n3iZ9etL4A
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 30, 2023
.@SecBecerra, the first sitting HHS Secretary to visit a @PPFA clinic, is speaking to the group’s DC summit today about what more the Biden admin can do to protect and expand abortion access. pic.twitter.com/3l6kXlnmmZ
— Alice Miranda Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) January 30, 2023
This year, for the first time in history, the four leaders of the two congressional spending committees are women. https://t.co/Quas8lsh99 pic.twitter.com/xemyRJwpgN
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 30, 2023
Twenty years ago today, @PEPFAR was created. Since then, the American people have provided more than $100 billion to save more than 25 million lives. We remain deeply committed to ending HIV/AIDS by 2030. #PEPFAR20 https://t.co/Sx8Pardvca
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) January 28, 2023
NEW: A WH official says the administration is sending a group of officials to the funeral of Tyre Nichols funeral on Wednesday including Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mitch Landrieu, Tara Murray and Erica Loewe.
— Eugene Daniels (@EugeneDaniels2) January 30, 2023
Tyre Nichols' parents will attend President Joe Biden's State of the Union address to Congress next month.https://t.co/iuXPVXHMDc
— Laura Litvan (@LauraLitvan) January 30, 2023
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott greet Biden after his helicopter landed in Baltimore. Biden’s here to talk about replacing a 150-year-old rail tunnel that Amtrak says is oldest in its system, lacks fire safety systems, suffers from flooding. pic.twitter.com/PYSniwvPPB
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 30, 2023
Wes Moore waves when a passing train interrupts his speech in Baltimore.
Modernization of the rail tunnel, renamed Frederick Douglass Tunnel, will be finished in about a decade, @iamwesmoore says pic.twitter.com/Wb8SmEXfOP
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 30, 2023
As part of her visit to Fort Drum, @FLOTUS and @DepSecDef are meeting with military spouses and leaders in the military-connected community for a conversation on improving employment opportunities for military spouses — one of Joining Forces’ focus areas. pic.twitter.com/DuyMxoJExW
— Vanessa Valdivia (@vvaldivia46) January 30, 2023
In case you’re still blaming Biden for gas prices:
Qrop Non Sequitur
I’ve been hearing great things about Frederick Douglass these days. A real up-and-comer.
Could have sworn on a stack of whatever I remembered to toss this in at holiday time. But no. Just found the link had somehow been placed for possible future use by operator inattention into an obscure and rarely opened folder.
No matter, still amusing.
We got maybe 1/2″ of freezing rain and snow yester morn. I had to drive into STL at 5:30 to get the grandgirls for the day and the roads were not bad at all. Just take it easy and make no sudden lane changes. Some of the people driving on them however were complete idiots. I lost count of the # of cars in the ditch along I-44. Only had one traffic stoppage because of an accident and even that wasn’t too terribly long.
Whatever EV Biden is driving in that picture, it is ugly.
@Qrop Non Sequitur: Well, he’s done an amazing job!
F. Schubert — Scherzo, Piano Trio E-flat; Beaux Arts Trio
P. Glass — Closing, String Quartet No.3 “Mǐshima,” Catalyst Quartet
@Baud: Brexit sucks donkey d. Hoocudanode?
In other news, the chief editor of the New York Times said today that Hunter Biden may be at the centre of a bigger story than initially anticipated, and the newspaper has accordingly laid off most of its economics reporters. Bari Weiss and Matt Taibbi will be joining the op-ed page as regular columnists.
Regular reports on the country’s economic outlook will resume when the economy cools off a bit more.
I honestly don’t know if you’re being snarky.
@Spanky: It’s an electric Hummer.
And it is GM’s proof that you can make an environmentally crappy EV. (Inter alia, the batteries required would power three ordinary passenger cars.)
@Baud: It almost like Britain shot itself in the dick with leaving the EU.
@Splitting Image: Well that got my pulse racing. Well played.
I hope so. Otherwise I’m being prophetic.
Good morning, all. Dealing with the aftermath of insomnia. Always fun. Thankfully, it doesn’t hit me all that often. I’m definitely planning on being a zombie today.
Non sequitur: Why don’t Democrats have the equivalent of a NAFO online rapid response team? We know that Congressional Republicans will be pumping out an endless stream of bullshit for the next two years. Wouldn’t it be great to have a coordinated group jumping on all of those countless ridiculous stories, swarming on the paid provocateurs and idiots trying to make them take hold?
Oh good, I wasn’t the only one.
After all, we’re talking about a rag that took “Clinton Cash” seriously.
During one of the previous gas-price run-ups, I noted that the oil companies’ profits jumped, and guessed that the amount of petrol sold had not increased commensurately, which meant that the increased profits were due to price gouging, not “volume.”
Stunned I am that the pattern appears to be repeating itself.
Well, if Biden were really serious about driving an electric truck-like vehicle, why ain’t he shown in a Cybertruck? Hunh? Answer me that, you Melon-Husk-hating libtards!
Why the use of the past tense?
Some things you can’t fix by putting
anthree electric batter yies in them.
It’s (you should excuse the expression) a massive shell game.
Perhaps one giant concern should consider, with truth in advertising in mind, changing its name to E$$on.
Only because of lack of recent evidence of how they feel about that particular hit job. They’ve moved on to other hit jobs.
Good Morning Everyone 😊😊😊
Qrop Non Sequitur
Sounds like a GoFundMe waiting to happen. But whom could we trust to run it?
@Spanky: Most cars are ugly.
Or even E$$o.
I think that’s an electric Hummer, which is just a terrible idea. Electric cars solve just one of the problems of cars: they spew all kinds of nasty emissions. They don’t solve the bigger problem: cities built around cars are hostile to human beings.
I see electric cars as climate indulgences. They’re a way of spending money to absolve yourself of hurting the environment. That’s what Tesla is really selling.
That tunnel in Baltimore is long long long overdue to be replaced. It was built during the Grant administration…. It’s a major chokepoint for passenger trains on the NE Corridor run.
Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) tweeted at 3:13 PM on Mon, Jan 30, 2023:
Major scandal in Russia.
The TV presenter Olga Zenkova from NTV was sent to occupied Melitopol to record a propaganda piece.
While visiting a restaurant, Kadyrov’s nephew Hasan Ibrahimov and men from his unit walked up to her, beat up her camera man and then raped her. https://t.co/csNvw1kaEi
Deputinize Eurasia from the Kuriles to St Petersburg
Unlike Tesla, Ford is a healthy corporate entity and can afford to price match.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Spanky: it’s a Hummer, isn’t it? I think I would have brand resistance to a Hummer for a while, no matter what they look like or how efficient they get.
and the E-Mustang that @Baud: mentions is really fucking ugly. I cannot figure out why they used the Mustang name on that. Repurposing the name Maverick I thought was smart, but the Mav was always a shitty car (not really a car guy, but I’ve never seen a defense of the old Maverick)
@Baud: Me, either! is this true? And, if yes, how predictable is it, really?!
The day after the Brexit vote, I was in hospital for an unusual reason: The University of Malaya’s final-year medical students were having their last exam, and I’d volunteered to be one of the patients they were required to diagnose. One of the visiting examiners was English. I asked him how the vote had gone.
“They voted to leave,” he told me.
“Oh dear,” I said.
As he turned to go, he said,”That was my reaction too.”
The tweet from Sec. Blinken about commitment to ending HIV/AIDS made me remember- in December I won the ticket lottery to Phantom of the Opera (which I’d avoided seeing for over three decades, but now that it’s closing I suddenly had terrible FOMO). The Playbill’s back cover was an ad for PrEP and I thought about how far we’ve come on HIV/AIDS since when Phantom opened in 1988. It’s good for my well-being to be reminded every so often that things do get better. Maybe we won’t make the 2030 goal, but I have faith it’ll happen eventually.
(The show was fine; we had partial-view seats in the front and aaaaaalllll they way to the left, but it was fun being close enough to the stage to realize parts of it are pre-recorded and the actors are lip syncing.)
I remember back around the time Obama was trying to get the cooperation of states for high-speed rail, someone put out a detailed list of all the places on the Amtrak route between DC and Boston which required the trains to slow down substantially, and how much faster the Eastern Corridor trips would be with current trains – no HSR needed – if only these choke points were fixed.
ETA: For a couple of years now, I’ve thought that the perfect place for a HSR test would be from Wichita to Denver. They’re about 520 miles apart, but there’s essentially nothing in between but cropland and grazing land, and it’s all flat. No obstacles, no need for any in-between stops, just a straight shot across the plains.
Would be interesting to see the effect on Wichita if Denver and the Rockies were suddenly 2 hours and 40 minutes away by train, rather than 8 hours by car.
The basic problem is that at least in the short term demand for gas is very inelastic. A small change in supply can cause a big change in price. That means the oil companies benefit far more from a decrease in supply than an increase. An increase might mean they sell more, but prices crash and so does profitability. The opposite happens with a supply decrease; sales go down only a bit, but prices skyrocket and so does profit.
@Qrop Non Sequitur: We need more Dick Tucks.
@Qrop Non Sequitur: Frederick Douglass was a skilled ship caulker who worked in Maryland shipyards, so it is especially fitting that the more watertight tunnel will be named after him.
Patti Smith wrote about her friend Tom Verlaine for The New Yorker.
“Embattled Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) told House Republicans in a closed meeting today that he would recuse himself from sitting on committees, Punchbowl News reports.”
I don’t believe him.
Qrop Non Sequitur
@Layer8Problem: I went back and forth whether I could open that in a public building.
I’m happy with my choice.
@Qrop Non Sequitur:
NAFO doesn’t get paid. They are volenteers.
@Roger Moore: I think most electric car owners won’t buy the cars because they want to absolve themselves of guilt. They’ll buy them because they are more economical. UPS and Amazon will electrify their fleets for the same reason, feel-good ads about “environmental stewardship” notwithstand.
As for the notion that electric cars will perpetuate the housing patterns that grew up after the Second World War, this is repeated frequently but that does not make it true. Personally, I think it’s the reddest of herrings.
@Mimi haha: “You’re the reason our cars are ugly”…
Qrop Non Sequitur
@Jay: Oh, so we just need to redirect the trolls we already have on our side away from the Democrats and toward the Republicans.
I still think a couple key investments may help.
@Qrop Non Sequitur: Yeah, after I posted that I thought to myself “you know, that name demands a link, so people don’t get the wrong idea.” Then after I did that I wondered how comprehensive Wikipedia is regarding such terms, like if “dick tuck” has a disambiguation page on Wikipedia. Then I said screw it and got a second cup of coffee.
What it tells me is that the oil companies said “We’ll keep taking our 5 percent (or whatever) off the top” rather than “we’ll take NN cents per gallon as profit.” Which I pretty much already surmised. A non-vulture-capitalistic company might adopt the latter as a short-term policy.
But that would mean Exxon execs might have to forgo a few million $$$ in bonuses, so why would they ever consider that?
@lowtechcyclist: American passenger trains now run up to 160mph on some routes. I don’t know if that qualifies as “high speed rail” but it’s still pretty darn fast.
I think that would make the Wichita-Denver trip ~3hs 10 minutes, if you leave out intermediate stops.
Such as the 7 train going from Times Square to
Shea StadiumCiti Field.
Because if that electrohummer is ugly, the Cybertruck is a damn sight uglier.
And people think oil prices shot up because the libs won’t them start drilling all over Yellowstone or something. As if Exxon would want to bring down the price of oil. They don’t want price to stay so high people start looking for alternatives, but it’s pretty sweet when the world price of your commodity suddenly shoots up, but all your production costs stay the same.
I had a similar problem when I mentioned him last week (or maybe it was two weeks ago).
That’s a Hummer EV pickup, and yes it is.
You libtards, concerned about how “pretty” a truck is.
Plus, the Cybertruck boasts the ability to pull “near infinite mass.”
ETA: Yes, they really do say that.
Ghost of Joe Liebling’s Dog
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
And they misspelled “Mach-O”.
@jonas: Bumpy oil prices are an effective way to slow investment in alternative energy projects.
Seattle to Portland at 170 miles apart would be a better test case.
Ford makes a better EV truck. The F150 knockoff they list as https://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/f150-lightning/the Lightning. Has a 240 mile range.
I for one think the EV Mustang looks good. It’s a minisized SUV, not a coupe.
@Nicole: Christine’s high note?
@PaulB: The people with the skill set to do that are already too busy bashing the Dem Party and Merrick Garland. We have a hard enough time getting young, tech savvy people to vote consistently. And they already believe the myth that we are all just following DNC Talking Points!!1! I dunno, I love the idea in concept but I just don’t see how it could ever really be feasible.
I think the main hurdle remaining for fully electrifying our vehicle fleet is the availability of charging stations and the speed at which you can recharge a vehicle, particularly a large one. Tesla built out an impressive charging network, but it’s still just a drop in the bucket. Our fossil-fuel based transportation system rests on a massive network of thousands and thousands of gas stations, even in the remotest parts of the country. You’re never not within a few miles of one outside some *really* desolate areas of the desert SW, and it takes only 3 minutes to fill your tank. I think people still have this dread image of their battery running out somewhere in the middle of nowhere and having to spend two hours in some dark parking lot waiting to recharge. I think once people become convinced that charging is widely available and fairly quick, you’ll see a lot more ev adoption. We’ll get there.
I read this story and pursed my lips. She’s going to be sitting in jail…her old behind… and, the inmates are gonna ask her why she’s there…
” I stole chicken wings.”
Ex-school official allegedly embezzled $1.5 million worth of chicken wings
Story by CBSNews • 2h ago
A former official in a school district in the Chicago suburb of Harvey is accused in a bizarre scheme involving more than $1 million worth of stolen chicken wings, CBS Chicago reports.
Vera Liddell is the former director of food services at Harvey School District 152.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office alleges that Liddell launched an embezzlement scheme that resulted in the theft of wings that cost more than $1.5 million in taxpayer money.
The alleged scheme began during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools were closed on state order and replaced by virtual learning. Despite the fact that children were learning remotely, the school district was still providing meals for pickup, according to the State’s Attorney’s office.
From July 2020 until February 2022, Liddell placed hundreds of unauthorized orders for food items – including 11,000 cases of chicken wings for which the district was billed more than $1.5 million – through school district vendor Gordon Food Service, prosecutors said.
@jonas: My mountain car is a Ford F150. If the tank is empty the folks behind me in the Costco line get really antsy because that thing takes at least 5 minutes to fill.
Judging from appearances, Melon’s designers didn’t talk to one actual truck owner/driver before coming up with that four wheel monstrosity. But that’s Melon all over – “when I want your opinion I’ll give it to you”.
Yeah, that was pretty damn funny. We’ll see how that actually works, though. The electric trucks from Ford, Rivian and Hummer are pretty cool, but one of the main drawbacks is that their range goes down dramatically when you start towing. They *can* tow big loads, but it dramatically lowers the battery range. A lot of people in the market for full-size trucks do use them for pulling work trailers, campers, boats and stuff and probably won’t be interested in having to stop every 80-100 miles for a recharge. (OTOH I would much rather stop a couple of times to recharge for a few bucks than stop once, but have to spend $250 filling up the huge diesel tanks on my massive Ram Blunderbuss or whatever).
@OzarkHillbilly: Cars in the ditch, or SUVs in the ditch? Or both?
@Roger Moore: That’s true, but…
People have to get around with the physical geography we have now. IMHO, the response shouldn’t be dissing electric cars, but to see them as the stopgap while we remake our cities with the infrastructure needed to reduce the scope and use of cars. Can’t happen overnight.
In my town, Brookline, MA, tonight will see the first Select Board vote on the long process to get us in compliance with the transit-centered housing program for the state. Lots of NIMBY local opposition, masquerading as a “comprehensive planning” movement–which is in fact an attempt to veto by endless delay whilst the whole plan for the next fifty years is to be worked out to the last detail.
If the pro-housing side wins, by no means a guaranteed outcome, we will be on a ~10 year ride to up the number of homes by about 10%, all on transit corridors. That’s the kind of long, slow, and hard fought change that needs to happen to reduce the tyranny of the automobile.
Well, Brexit did achieve its main goal—to let the Russian oligarchs evade pesky E.U. financial regulations and continue to visit their money in London.
@OzarkHillbilly: Basically the same here, except all the schools shut down as well as the state university. It’s crazy, it used to be that the state university didn’t shut down unless we had 12″ or more of snow. The roads weren’t that bad, like you say just drive carefully. I think more and more people are deciding they shouldn’t have to deal with bad roads at all, just stay home until it warms up.
@OzarkHillbilly: Anyone who experienced the UK economy before they were fully integrated into the EU.
Oh my yes, some of those big heavy duty trucks and vans have *huge* tanks. So they can tow a big caravan trailer 350 miles at about 8 mpg.
“Lifted brodozers.” Perfect. 😹
@Geminid: I think you are right that electric cars will not perpetuate post-WWII housing patterns by themselves. Social inertia is an adequate explanation for that. But they don’t give anybody any reason to move away from that, either.
However, it takes several years of driving at average American driving levels for the savings in GHG emissions from electricity make up for the GHG emissions that come with manufacturing an electric car. For people who drive as infrequently as I do, the greenest car you can own is the one you already do own.
As for changes to post-war suburbia, the problem is that this infrastructure is very expensive to maintain, and in most areas the tax base is not enough to sustain this. Ultimately, the bottom line is going to force this change when municipalities cannot take on additional debt to maintain this infrastructure. The dominant costs of building and maintaining these roads and utilities is per linear distance, so eventually there will need to be more tax base in a smaller area to get to something fiscally sustainable.
@Deputinize Eurasia from the Kuriles to St Petersburg: Tesla as a business is not in any immediate trouble. Tesla as a stock, an investment, is much more of a gamble.
One of Tesla’s big advantages–production capacity. Much more than any other EV maker, and growing fast. If they accept lower margins, they can compete on price w. domestic makers and (with the EV credits now available) have a real edge on the near-luxury offerings of non-US makers like VW et al.
I wouldn’t buy one,* but a Model 3 at a net base price in MA of $34K is a pretty good deal. (That’s with the federal $7,500 subsidy that goes away or goes down at the end of March, and the MA state subsidy.)
Perversely, Musk’s Twitter obsession may be good for Tesla, if professional car company managers can finally get the kind of hold on operations that SpaceX seems to have achieved in their domain.
*Not just for the Musk factor: I don’t like the decontenting of its sensor suite, and other stuff too.
@jonas: The biggest dumbfuckery with the Tesla cybertruck is the bed shape. It is slanted backwards which makes it impossible to install any sort of camper, canopy, or toolbox. There are near infinite aftermarket bed attachments for real trucks and the other brands all keep standardized bed sizes so you can put a canopy, camper, toolbox, bike rack, fuel tank, ladder rack, ski rack etc. on the back or top. Tesla isn’t a big enough market for aftermarket manufacturers to try to build any of that stuff for the cybertruck and most of it won’t work well either if at all because of the slanting bed. They design is beyond stupid.
Take a look at it an imagine trying to attach any aftermarket accessory to that bed. They might sell a lot of them but they will be to suburban commuters, not actual truck users.
Completely off-topic, but I saw a new eggcorn this morning on a thread about snow removal issues. There was a problem on their cult and sack.
@jonas: My F150 STX has the 5.0 liter v8. It gets 16 miles to the gallon city. I own it because having a truck is very useful as a second vehicle. It has 4×4 ability which I need for skiing when the roads are snowed and icy. I don’t need chains. Also I mountain bike the logging roads up in the hills and in the spring they are really muddy. That 4×4 has saved my bacon several times.
Hate those giant electric SUVs, but Biden knows what he’s doing here with the optics.
When the space aliens of the Galactic Federation evaluate us for membership, the fact that “Butcher of the Balkans” has a disambiguation page will weigh heavily against our admission.
@jonas: Caught about 10 minutes of a Thom Hartmann show where he mentioned an EV with a 600 mile range and 10 minute charge time. Couldn’t find specific anything on the Goog but there are advances towards that 10 minute charge time coming.
Sadly, Operation Plowshare never caught on. But it’s impressive the amount of levelling that has been done for the highway and rail systems. Or when mining gold in California, where entire mountains were power-washed away.
So, we taxpayers are paying for what? Will he spout a lie a day for our entertainment?
@UncleEbeneezer: HI. You mentioned a book a few days ago with Women in the title. Please give me the title again. Thanks!
@lowtechcyclist: Just putting an inland express line between Boston and New Haven would be a huge improvement. And the other problem we have in Boston is that the Northeast Corridor definitively ends there because of the gap between North Station and South Station–which also hobbles the commuter rail. But fixing these things is a huge lift, maybe harder than the Big Dig.
For all these reasons, when we want to go to New York City from our northern Massachusetts home, the least worst method for us is actually to ride a bus. There are nonstop coach services to Manhattan from local hotels, with free long-term parking in the hotel lot. The train is faster but when you add in the effort of getting to the train, it’s not really that much faster, and it’s less convenient and much more expensive.
@Taken4Granite: It will be the economic forces that you describe that will reorganize American living patterns. The debate over electric cars is a distraction, I think.
And like it or not, America’s personal and commercial transport will become mostly electrified over the next 20 years. Revising transportation patterns will be up to us and there will likely be no substantial curtailment of person transport options to accelerate that process. But I’ve seen numbers that suggest American car ownership is starting to decline, at least relative to population growth. Building out mass transit will help that trend increase. This is already being done, just more slowly than it could be.
The $60 billion allocated to AMTRAK in the Infrastructure bill could be increased 50% in the next Infrastructure bill. So could the funds for mass transit, which included $20 billion for New York City’s MTA alone.
@dnfree: It’s the same for all intensive purposes.
@Geminid: We could do so much just with some policy changes to existing systems (of course these cost money, but a lot of the infrastructure is already in place). My city already has fare-free local bus service, but I don’t even think to use it because it’s an hour between buses, which is particularly a problem if you need to transfer downtown. Get more buses, pay more staff and you could bring that system down to a point where it starts to become broadly practical, offering advantages over the pain in the ass of downtown parking. The small size of the downtown depot might be an issue.
Mustangs got pretty hideous in the 1980s, and they stayed unimpressive until they went for the retro look in the mid-aughts, IMO. The Mach-E design doesn’t say “Mustang” to me, but neither did the 80s versions.
Qrop Non Sequitur
At a minimum…
Elections have consequences, sometimes good ones.
@Stacib: These Women– noir, fiction set in Los Angeles by Ivy Pochoda (who I learned was a co-editor of a college news letter with one of my close buddies!)
Mothers Of Massive Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy (non-fiction)
Cheryl from Maryland
@jonas: This. I want my next car to be an EV, but I live in a town house community where I cannot get the HOA (of which I am a member) to agree to charging stations near pre-existing electric lines (community lamp posts) with fast chargers which one pays for and accesses with a credit card run by a company rather than the HOA. And no one wants each house to have its own charging station. All I get is from fellow members is we don’t need to do anything as we’ll be gone by the time it’s a concern. Idiots.
The other consideration is that as they have become bigger and less aerodynamic, successive generations of pickups and SUVs have gotten more efficient at killing pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers of small cars. I’m amazed that anyone drives a Miata in Texas.
Yup. Illinois already had a 2019 law protecting womens medical autonomy and agency – very proactive- and they added to it with a new protection for women who travel to Illinois to get modern standard-of-care health services that are unavailable in states that restricted womens rights.
New Mexico introduced a bill like Minnesota’s 2 weeks ago and it’s expected to pass.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
In the St Louis metro area, we have continued emptying of the city and ongoing sprawl. Electric cars are better than nothing for addressing air quality issues. With aging farmers, former farmland is still much, much cheaper to develop. Moving out, instead of moving in, to the cities is still more desirable to the public because of a blend of racism, city corruption, poor performing schools, expensive but crumbling housing, and crime. People can bemoan climate change and suburbs all they want, but until cities and density becomes attractive to most of the public, electric cars are basically the best we are going to do. As far as I can tell, the progressives in my city not only aren’t improving things, they are making some issues worse. For example, judges have stopped enforcing car registration and license plate requirements due to ‘hardship’. In some cases, that is legitimate. But the downside is that now its easier to get away with car theft. Unsurprisingly, car theft has increased sharply.
@Baud: Illinois enacted a program like this years ago for the poor and elderly. One would have thought the state had taken folks inheritance and gave it to “those people” there was so much complaining. Now, we still have it, but only for the elderly. Also, it’s not just the bus, but all passenger trains, too.
@Taken4Granite: Kind of drives me nuts how geared even our transit infrastructure is toward drivers. There’s a commuter-rail station with trains going into Boston and a platform that ends several hundred feet from my house. I should be able to pop over there and ride the train easily. But the walk there is about a mile long up and down steep hills, because the station is on the other side of the tracks from the housing and is built as a suburban park-and-ride. I have to go up to Main Street, walk about a half mile along there and back down toward the river to take the single underpass in the area leading to the station’s parking lot, then backtrack to the station platform.
@Kay: What ruling?
@UncleEbeneezer: These Women. Again, thanks. Will be getting the e-book from the library today.
IMHO, the best way to do it is universally.
@Matt McIrvin: Are those buses electric yet? They will be.
I don’t know if there will be money from the Infrastructure bill to upgrade Boston’s bus terminal but at least Charlotte’s and Kansas City’s bus terminals will be improved with Infrastructire bill money
A company called Thor has a concept e-RV (based, iirc, on a Ford Transit van platform) that combines batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and a rooftop solar panel to get (they claim) up to 300 miles on a single charge. That’s not bad — and much better than you can get currently with one of the full-sized trucks towing a trailer.
@NotMax: That Hummer is doing layers of destruction to the environment. Vehicles that can do 0-60 in 3 seconds but need 200 feet to then stop?
That’s why our 2000 Corolla is being sidelined. We’d be dead instantly if some dudebro can’t control the Watts to Freedumb mode. Or just barrels through a stoplight while swiping some app.
@Geminid: The MVRTA’s buses in Haverhill and Lawrence aren’t electric yet, but whether they’re electric or not, anything that gets people to use them when they would otherwise be driving (as opposed to thinking of them as a welfare service for people too poor to own a car) is a win in the long run.
In other parts of the region, they’re actually ripping out electric bus infrastructure: Cambridge and Watertown had trolleybus lines over the street but they’re taking them out to do street upgrades and not bothering them to put them back. The vague plan seems to be to go to battery electric buses, which are just worse than trolleybuses in many ways.
(Modern trolleybuses often have a smaller battery so they can drive short distances without the pantograph up–I saw that in Seattle and it solves a lot of connectivity problems; you don’t have to have a huge nest of wires over every intersection. This seems to me like the best way to do it.)
Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with this trend to have 3-foot high truck grills with 20-foot blind spots in front of them. This started back in the 90s with the Ram that was redesigned to resemble a semi and I guess it’s gone down, or rather up-, hill since then with each model trying to outdo the other in the grill-like-a-brick-wall department.
The first tweet was from last June, so presumably the Supreme Court overturning Roe V Wade.
@Matt McIrvin: There is a lot of innovation happening now in trasport, and it’s exciting to watch. I wish that some of the naysayers were more interested in this area. I see a lot of criticisms made as if our current situation is static and will not change, and they are wrong.
And some people are just stuck. I see them pooh-poohing hydrogen fuel cell power and saying it will likely never be practical. But Hyundai already has heavy trucks powered by fuel cell driving around Europe and contracts for hundreds more. There are hydrogen fuel cell powered passenger trains operating in Lower Saxony and more in the Frankfurt area. They are used on lines where running electric lines is not economical.
The EU intends to make hydrogen a major component of its future energy mix, both in transport and in heavy industry- steelmaking, glass making etc.
CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
@Stacib: You’re welcome. Enjoy! You’ll probably fly through it as it is only 200+ pages and a pretty quick read.
There are four headwinds for electric vehicles:
Range limitations, speed of recharging, relative initial price, and political ideology.
Three of the four are improving.
The last may be more problematic, but I have hopes that getting smoked by an EV a few times will change the minds of the more-cubic-inches gang.
Back in the early 70s, Pennsylvania Railroad Metroliner trains ran between NYC and DC at speeds up to 120 MPH. Non-stop trains made the trip in 2 hrs and 30 minutes. Now we have ultra high speed 160 MPH Amtrak Acela trains, fastest trip is 2 hrs and 45 minutes. Progress!
@JaneE: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said of the Ford Lightning F-150, “you’re going to see a lot of Republicans driving that truck.”
This was a few days before Kemp jetted off to Davos to pitch Georgia as the future electric mobility capital of America.
Seattle has had electric buses for 50+ years. They just use overhead wires.
@JaneE: The biggest problem is lack of charging infrastructure. If you live in a city, there is virtually nowhere to charge a car. This means that full EVs will be restricted to suburban commuters for the forseeable future.
I’ve always thought that, too, but after looking, I can’t find a lot of data to support that position any more. Can you point me to some? (N.B.: This is not snark; would genuinely like to see data.)
Jim, Foolish Literalist
what a cuck
When Ford introduced the Maverick pick-up, which I think is even small than an old school Ranger, and included a hybrid option, they were reported to be stunned by the demand for both. I can’t believe that all those fancy executives (at Ford and GM and Toyota and…) and their marketing studies never had a clue that there might be a market for smaller, more fuel efficient pick-ups.
Side note of media criticism: Pseudo-man-of-the-people Brian Williams loved to point out that the F-150 was the best-selling vehicle in the country and Dems were out touch with those good, doughty blue-collar folk. I’d bet a lot of quatloos that BriWi was familiar with the F-150 due to a King Ranch model he uses to tool around the weekend place in horse country, maybe even haul some hay around– the girls hardly ride anymore, but Chestnut and Prancer are like part of the family, he says to the neighbors with a faux-rueful chuckle– if he has time to get dirty before heading over to Lorne’s for cocktails
@Deputinize Eurasia from the Kuriles to St Petersburg: I do not think Ford can afford the price cuts more than Tesla. They are less profitable — particularly when it comes to electric vehicles — have more debt and less cash in hand, etc. This price war was started by Tesla and will hit hard a few companies, including Ford.
Musk is a total asshole and at least fascist curious if not the real thing –as Henry Ford was. But Tesla is a solid company and we should be thankful for its existence and rooting for its success as it is the only non-Chinese company leading in the sector.
Of course I also root for Ford and GM — but their transition to EVs will be extremely bumpy and scary.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Wow. How clueless could they be? For people who use their trucks to work, smaller and more fuel efficient is ideal. A lot of contractors have to work across a wide geographic area. Being able to save money on gas is really attractive.
@Burnspbesq: Yep. It’s why I stopped driving sportscars except for weekend runs on mountain roads.
I’d love it if nobody used pickups for regular old commuting and grocery runs, but those days are long, long gone. As for SUVs, well, at least some of the current trends are towards what I think of as big stationwagons or overgrown hot-hatches.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Kemp is a salesman, and right now he’s selling his state as a destination for major investments in the EV industry. That strategy is working too, and he’ll talk up EVs whether he believes what he says or not.
NBC also had a piece up a week ago staking out the Chamber of Concrete’s position that their investments in GOP politicians had soured. So sad!
“For decades, Wall Street and CEOs viewed Republicans as reliable allies. That sentiment has waned in recent years, with the debt limit standoff shining a spotlight on the tensions.” So, maybe the donor class has begun, slowly, to learn a lesson? The plain fact is, the 2/3rds of the GOP House that are radicals do not care about corporate donations any more, even as big biz has re-opened the taps after a brief post-insurrection pause.
The time for the Chamber morons to have figured out their purchases were bad money after good (was it ever good?) was really in 2016. But as I’ve argued for years, business leaders often suck at forward-looking decisions. Much of what they ‘accomplish’ is a combo of dumb luck, predation, and insider dealings. They ain’t wizards (see above about restarting donations to insurrectionists and election deniers).
@jonas: We travel about 360 miles multiple times per year, from Minneapolis to the family cabin in SE Wisconsin. I spent a lot of time gaming out trip options while considering an EV.
The big takeaway for us was that we’d have to change our habit, which is to drive with minimal stops. I usually fuel the car the day before, which yields 500 miles of range. Two interstate rest areas for 5-10 minute stops, and we’re there. And if I don’t fuel ahead, we swap one rest area for a Kwik Trip and get a few treats while we fill one tank and empty two :)
An EV means planning a longer (though at Level II, not that long) stop around the Dells or Mauston. There’s just not a ton of non-Tesla places, though.
Anyway, we also wanted AWD (which is possible with an EV, but it all gets spendy, fast). So, for now, we got a ICE Crosstrek and will hope for better options in 3-5 years when my Outback needs to be replaced.
@RaflW: The national Chamber did start to hedge its bets in 2020, when they endorsed 20 Democratic Representatives. Two of them were Sharice Davids (KS) and Abigail Spanberger (VA)
I wasn’t in Spanberger’s district then (I am now), but I did follow her race. It pitted Chamber-endorsed Spanberger against the Club for Growth’s guy. When they debated, the only thing the two could agree on was that rural broadband is a good thing.
That picture of Biden pisses me off. Kids are 8x more likely to be killed by truck/suv owners.
Here’s a comparison between the best selling vehicles in the US and EU.
The one in the back *should* be a commercial vehicle, requiring a special license. The President of the US should not be promoting vehicles that are even larger. The Hummer EV he’s smiling in is one Fiat Panda heavier than the F-150 in that photo. The battery in the F-150 weighs more than the Fiat in the comparison. If you want more EVs on the road, the current battery shortage could allow for five Fiats to be made for each Hummer EV. That takes 5x as many gas vehicles off the road. And the net carbon emissions from the Hummer is more than for a gas powered Fiat, because of the secondary emissions off of tires, etc. and the emissions from maintaining roads which the Hummer does 600 times more wear to than the Fiat.
Also consider that everyones love of driving has enabled the police’s most favorite way to murder black people – the traffic stop.
We should be spending $600B on transit, not EVs. Converting private vehicle lanes to dedicated bus/trolly lanes would be cheaper, better for the environment, and lower the 40,000 people who die to cars each year.
@RaflW: For fun and interest, I just put roughly that trip into Tesla’s route planner (Minneapolis MN to Lake Geneva WI) with a Model 3 SR+ (270 mile range) and it came up with a route like yours: 10min charge leaving Minneapolis (why?), then 15 mins at Mauston and 15 mins at Madison. 6 hours 9 minutes total trip.
So we’re not so far away now.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m familiar with the F-150 via the one that smashed in the back of my hybrid car. TBF the driver seemed really contrite about it.
@Kent: Yes, though I’m pretty sure the ones they use now in Seattle have some kind of battery in them that they can use for short stretches, because I’ve seen them lower their trolley pickups to drive between sections of catenary.
@Geminid: A lot of the criticisms of hydrogen power are about using it in individual passenger cars, where you have a big problem with fueling infrastructure. If it’s a commercial route where the vehicles can be fueled at fixed bases, that’s not as much of a problem.
@UncleEbeneezer: Back in the mid’70’s, ’twas an Elizabeth Pochoda, who write book reviews for on of the women’s magazines, lived across hall from me, near the Rocky Steps. Wonder if related ?
@Stacib: Seems to me like fare-free transit systems are becoming more popular–there’s a recognition that often the folderol associated with collecting and policing fares isn’t worth the revenue, and it’s better to just have the whole system be publicly supported.
Now for me personally, making the buses come by more frequently would be a much larger attraction than making them free. But that’s me–I’m a privileged guy.
@Kent: IIRC, there are still electric buses – ‘trackless trolleys’ in Philadelphia. One of the transit fan sites on ye web should have details.
@RaflW: this is why I didn’t go electric when I replaced my vehicle a couple of years ago. I have one car, and even a fairly simple trip to my sister’s in WI from MN gets messy if you don’t have a Tesla and their changing network, and adding hours to a reasonably lengthy trip was too much.
It would be amazing for my commute, though. For people like me, electric makes a ton of sense if you have 2 vehicles. But I’m one dude, so we’re not quite there for me yet. But I expect this is the last gas car I’ll ever own, and I’m fine with that. (I am loving the AWD on this little baby, though)
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
Which would enrage suburban voters and swing many of them back into the GOP camp. If people want to spend their money buying an EV Hummer, they will do it. If there is a market demand, companies will build it. People will drive less if they live closer to work, shopping, etc., like living in a city. People resist living in cities because of crime and expensive housing. That is something we should be addressing with better policy anyway.
@JAFD: Trolleybuses seem to attract a lot of NIMBY opposition from people who don’t want to look at the wires. It’s, shall we say, a very mature technology, but it does have that problem. It’s also more infrastructure to maintain.
There are people pushing battery electric buses but to my mind, it doesn’t make sense to use an entirely battery-powered system if you can run trolley wires, since the batteries are massive, expensive, not the greatest things environmentally if you’ve got an alternative, etc.
Modern trolleybuses often do have smaller batteries in them that they can use in a pinch, and can automatically disengage and re-engage the wires, which solves the problem of having to have a mess of wires going every which way to cover all cases of turning at an intersection.
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: I want to see massive expansion of transit, and would drive much less if transit were better around here, but I don’t believe for a moment that we’re going to raze and replace all of the transit-hostile sprawl development in America soon enough that we won’t need EVs.
Paul in KY
@Danielx: I actually think the cybertruck is a little better looking than the hummer thing. To me, it looks more futuristic. I still hate Musk and what he is/does.
Paul in KY
@Kent: It’s not a ‘real’ truck. More like an El Camino. The bed is not detached from the cab. All real trucks have that, cause a large load sometimes has to flex in the opposite way from the cab.
Paul in KY
@Betty Cracker: Always wondered about someone who bought a mustang in the last year before they went retro (which looked much better). I assume they were pissed.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@Matt McIrvin: Don’t get me wrong. I like transit too and use it when it is convenient. But, there is only political support for expanded transit when there is a lot of density and when a mix of people use the transit (not just poor people). That requires getting more people to move to cities. Those people will not move there or will not stay (as I have witnessed MANY times) if they don’t feel safe.
Paul in KY
@Matt McIrvin: I’ve always thought that a vehicle running on compressed air would be the best. The problem, would be the container with the compressed air would have to be hella strong to get enough compressed air in there to make it run OK. Also would need a special device to get it up to 500 psi or whatever was needed.
Paul in KY
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: The military buys a shitton of pickup trucks. Probably F-150s. Back when I was in, during the early 80s, a favorite pickup truck was a huge Dodge 4 wheel drive sixpack. God was it a beast!
J R in WV
Some years ago my brother lived and worked in Houston TX, and my dad moved there in winters to be with Bro and his kids, dad’s only grandkids. One winter my brother asked me to house sit his dog and our dad while his family went to Utah to ski. I was happy to spend time with dad and dog, who was swell.
So I flew down and used Bro’s
bighuge SUV to get around town… I was (foolishly) happy with the mileage I was getting, it was nearly a week and I still had gas. The day before Bro’s family returned I went to fill it up — OMG it took forever, the tank must have been for 55 gallons.
No longer happy with the mileage…
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@J R in WV: a couple years ago I rented a car at the Denver airport to drive up into the mountains. I had booked a mid-sized SUV (Ford Explorer) but when I checked in they didn’t have any. The clerk tried to pass me off with a Kia Soul, which I would, and did, call a hatchback, and the supervisor, acting like he was handing me a Golden Ticket, upgraded me to a Yukon. I hated that fucking thing.
@Paul in KY: No matter how you store energy, a whole lot of accessible energy stored in a small space is going to have some kind of potential safety issue with it all getting out at the same time. Gasoline, for all its problems, is actually safer than a lot of alternatives in that regard–cars don’t often explode like in the movies. But high energy density always involves some kind of hazard.
Paul in KY
@Matt McIrvin: Good points, Matt. Probably why they don’t do it.
EPA called the 2021 Mach-e a “small station wagon”. They may call it something else now.
The US needs more electric small station wagons.
@Paul in KY: You need a LOT of compressed air to run machinery. I remember trying to use an impact wrench to take off a harmonic balancer bolt. I had a hotdog compressor and an extra 10 gallon tank and lots of large ID hose. I just wanted to loosen the bolt… The impact wrench drained the air instantly and didn’t budge the bolt.
I ended up using a – literally – 6 foot long length of pipe as a ratchet handle extension. It loosened it up!
Air is convenient, but has low energy density so you need a LOT of it.