Monday, August 22, 2016

With no humans or batteries, self-driving cars will hurt both economy, environment

No. That isn't the biggest, roof-mounted boom box you've ever seen. That's an autonomous Ford Fusion with a human back-up driver Uber will use to pick up passengers in Pittsburgh. Once the self-driving car is perfected, Uber likely will fire tens of thousands of drivers. This photo is from The Associated Press.


GM, Ford, Volvo, Uber, Google and other companies are investing billions of dollars in the race to develop self-driving cars.

But I've seen little discussion of whether they will be gasoline powered, hybrids or all-electric.

Only an all-electric self-driving car makes sense, given climate change and the 53,000 deaths each year from auto emissions.

And when Uber perfects a self-driving car, you can bet the unemployment lines will swell with tens of thousands of drivers let go by the anti-labor, ride-hailing monstrosity.

Only Google has said its self-driving cars will be "mainly electric."

BMW, Nissan lag

The media have been spending so much time reporting on the development of autonomous cars they've neglected to ask BMW and Nissan when they are going to market EVs with a range of at least 200 miles.

Only California-based Tesla Motors has achieved the magic combination of a minimum of 200 miles of range and free juice at the automaker's nationwide network of free Superchargers.

That's why Tesla outsells other EVs, even those that cost half the price.

The Model S and Model X SUV already have Autopilot and Autosteer for highway cruising, and the luxury four-door hatchbacks also park themselves and back out of your garage.

Chevrolet is expected to start selling the Bolt late this year with an MSRP of $37,500 and a range of 200 miles on a full charge, but has refused to say whether free charging will be available to owners on road trips.

And the Bolt will take a full 9 hours to charge at home with a 240-volt outlet, compared to less than 7 hours for a Tesla.

The Maybach 6 all-electric concept from Mercedes-Benz will have a range of only 200 miles on a full charge and an MSRP I'm guessing will easily top $200,000, if and when it is produced in four to five years.  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Automakers who can't compete with Tesla hone the art of blowing smoke at buyers

The BMW i8 has been called "jaw dropping," but if you're a woman, don't try getting in or out of the plug-in hybrid in a skirt. MSRP starts at $147,700.


The Olympics in Rio continue and so do all of those idiotic car ads.

As BMW struggles to build a car that can match the speed or 200-mile-plus range of a Tesla Model S, the German automaker tries to deceive consumers into settling for second-best gas-electric hybrids.

The i8 with "scissor doors" is the most advanced BMW ever built, the company's TV ad boasts.

Of course, it's also one of the noisiest. 

A car that uses gasoline isn't advanced at all. You'll still be poisoning the environment with almost every mile you drive.

You also can buy gas-electric hybrid sedans and SUVs from BMW. Big deal.

You want fancy-schmancy doors? Tesla's Model X has them and zero emissions, too. BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Porsche can't say that.

Tesla lowers prices

Meanwhile, Tesla now offers the purely electric Model S with a range of 210 miles from a 60kWh battery, starting at $66,000, a lower price than before.

The Model X SUV, which has falcon rear doors, starts at $74,000 with the 60kWh battery, a range of 200 miles and all-wheel drive.

You can buy his and her Teslas for the price of a single BMW i8.

And if you buy a Tesla, charging your car on the road is free for life, something no other automaker offers.