Wednesday, 6 March 2019

A Drive in a E-car

So this morning, my wife and I did a 45-minute in a Audi E-Tron (their new battery car).....which is basically a Q-3 mid-size SUV.  I will make five observations over the experience.

1.  It is remarkably quiet.  In fact, other than a hum when you first take off, there is no noise inside of this vehicle.

For a guy who'd grown up on a farm, and driven a 1960s farm truck that produced enough noise that you couldn't hear anything within the cab itself.....this was a remarkable vehicle. 

2.  The E-Tron does not offer real side mirrors.  What you get on each side.....a camera-like device which brings an image to mini-TVs by the driver and passenger.  Just my guess, but each camera is probably in the range of 150 Euro ($200), and each TV set is probably near the same pricing.  This was NOT optional, and it was a major negative to me.  I could imagine keeping the car for ten years and having to replace the camera and TVs at least once each....maybe more.

3.  In front of you, there is no gas gauge.  There's a 'counter' which says you have 300 kms left, and as each minute goes are heavily focused on the counter.  In case you got down to 25 km's left?'d have to 'refill', and you could be talking about six hours (in a normal charge). 

4.  The vehicle has some kind of 'smart-package' which connects to the GPS, and basically tells you where battery charging stations are located.  But if you were three hours away from home, and needed to recharge could be talking about a four to six hour period, where you'd be mostly guzzling cocktails or sleeping.

5.  Finally, there is a setting menu within the vehicle where you could tell it to downsize the 'take-off' from high-intensity (using more battery power), to extremely low-intensity (meaning you added another bunch of kilometers to the potential), but you had slow take-off and go.  In essence, you gave up on 0-to-60 take-offs and were accepting a fairly slow pace.

Pricing?  Close to $90,000.  The curious thing for me....with a pretty solid body and quality could reach a point in 15 years where you replaced the two electric motors on the front wheels, and just continued.....meaning you could squeeze 30 years of life out of the vehicle (batteries would be a totally different case, you'd probably have to get new batteries every five years).   And here's the thing....if you had some mechanical skills.....each of these miniature electrical motors could be swapped out by you, in your probably 90 minutes.  You'd just take the old broke motor and toss it in the garbage can. 

Bloomberg Out

It wasn't a five star moment for the news media, but it's more or less wrapped up.  Bloomberg won't enter the Democratic Presidential primary. Chief reasons from him?  He says it's already a dense field (12-plus), and there's issue about the 'weight' of the party leaning to the left (something that he really doesn't admire or get into).  So he's out.

Personally, I think his big moment should have come up in 2004....where he could have entered the race and likely out-paced John Kerry (easily).  Given a race of Bush and Bloomberg, I think Bloomberg would have won. Age would have been in his favor at that point (he would have been 63 years old at that point).