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Car Talk (Page 36)
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subego  (op)
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Jan 4, 2024, 02:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brien View Post
That looks like Utah with tumors.
( Last edited by subego; Jan 4, 2024 at 02:35 PM. )
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 23, 2024, 04:51 PM
 


$4K per, and apparently make excellent grow-lights.
     
reader50
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Jan 23, 2024, 05:09 PM
 
Am I reading this right - they stole the headlights, while leaving the tires & whole car? Is the cat still there too?
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 23, 2024, 05:28 PM
 
AFAIK, just the headlights.

I get the impression this was done without power tools, so noise was probably a factor in leaving the cat. Maybe the same with the wheels? I don’t know much about parts burgling.

I assume it’s probably easier to fence the headlights.

I do hear cats getting stolen outside my window at 3AM, but I always imagine those to be Kias or Corollas.



As an aside, I remember some theft deterrent device commercial talking about your car having $25,000 worth of parts in it. No shit? I definitely need to steal my own car.
     
reader50
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Jan 23, 2024, 07:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I do hear cats getting stolen outside my window at 3AM ...
Man, you so need to move to a better neighborhood. That isn't normal. You should be hearing Garfield getting romantic at 3AM. Something to throw a shoe at.
     
Thorzdad
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Jan 24, 2024, 05:07 PM
 
How did the alarm not go off?
     
MacNNFamous
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Jan 24, 2024, 05:56 PM
 
No impacts. They were probably using power shears, which don't make a ton of noise or vibration.

Some luxury cars have incredibly expensive lighting assemblies, which is really obnoxious.

Example I know about is the caddy XLR (caddy corvette). Check out the taillight pricing:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/116041885988
     
Laminar
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Jan 24, 2024, 07:16 PM
 
That has nothing to do with luxury and everything to do with an extremely limited supply. That's a used OEM taillight, so it's going for market value, which is high. I assume because somehow the XLR has even older average owners than Corvettes and they can't help backing into shit and breaking lights.

F-150 taillights on the higher models have built-in blind spot sensors and MSRP on those is over $1200 each. Those don't just have $0.50 1156 bulbs that you can replace, if it burns out you're replacing the whole assembly. Big yikes on that one, I'll keep my old truck.
     
reader50
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Jan 24, 2024, 07:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
F-150 taillights on the higher models have built-in blind spot sensors and MSRP on those is over $1200 each. Those don't just have $0.50 1156 bulbs that you can replace, if it burns out you're replacing the whole assembly.
When the assembly price is that high, I'd think it would be worth component repair. If the failure is just some LED elements, those can be replaced by an electronics tech. Likewise the (sonic?) blind spot sensor. The higher the assembly price, the more affordable a repair gets.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 25, 2024, 02:54 AM
 
I saw dashcam video of LED array headlights that automatically adjusted not to shine directly at other cars. I want to say it was a Polestar.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 12, 2024, 03:03 PM
 
Street Guardian SGGCX2 dashcam started to flake out. Probably fixable, but 6½ years feels suspiciously like a duty cycle to me. I liked it. Only complaint is some glitch left the time zone permanently stuck on Australian Eastern time.

Settled on a Viofo A229 Pro, which nets me a newish sensor and a bump to 4K. Appears to use about half the compression of its competitors. Seems like a no-brainer.

I know it’s a huge additional expense, but I’m seriously considering not using the supplied 2K rear camera and instead getting an entire second unit dedicated to the rear. I’m not sure I buy into the idea it’s acceptable for a rear camera to be lower quality.
     
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Feb 12, 2024, 07:01 PM
 
Installing the rear cam is always a pain, especially on a pickup or other utility vehicle. But the dedicated-cam route is easy, as I have a couple old cams lying around. Mostly 1080p though.

Try mounting your old cam on the back. It may be more reliable out of sunlight. Also, change the memory card. A lot of cam problems trace to failing mem cards that can no longer keep up with the data stream. ie - shorter than usual video files, recording gaps due to file deletions taking too long, etc.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 12, 2024, 07:59 PM
 
I mentioned the glitch where it’s stuck on Australian Eastern Time. That’s where it was born. If the sun throws it the thing is broken on principle.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 13, 2024, 01:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Installing the rear cam is always a pain, especially on a pickup or other utility vehicle. But the dedicated-cam route is easy, as I have a couple old cams lying around. Mostly 1080p though.
This part of the pain can be somewhat mitigated. While I’m still having a bear of a time finding a mechanic I was able to successfully find a Pimp My Ride guy. It’s the type of project I’d enjoy doing myself, but my garage is very tight and poorly lit.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 14, 2024, 07:32 PM
 
Dashcam arrived. A duplicate unit in the back would require the window adhesive to cross a defroster wire.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 14, 2024, 08:53 PM
 
Quick Google search points towards this not being a big deal. I was concerned about the defroster affecting the adhesive or the camera, but apparently the bigger issue is damaging the wire when it’s time for removal.

Apparent solution there is a heat gun.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 15, 2024, 02:06 PM
 
Old cam used mini-USB. New one is C. Very tempted to leave the wiring in place and use an adaptor tip.
     
reader50
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Feb 15, 2024, 04:41 PM
 
If it's only used for power, it could be OK. Every extra connection is an extra point of failure. But millisecond power interruptions won't do any harm - the cam has onboard power for at least several seconds.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 15, 2024, 06:02 PM
 
Just power. If I don’t use the included rear cam it’ll be the only wire going into it. That’s a sidegrade. The Street Guardian had an outboard GPS I can now yank, but the integrated GPS might be adding to the Viofo’s (rather significant) chonk.
     
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Feb 16, 2024, 07:51 PM
 
I have a question unrelated to subego’s dashcam. I see this a lot - mostly on riced cars…what’s the deal with making the rear suspension tilt the wheels inward at the top? What does it do?

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Feb 16, 2024, 08:34 PM
 
     
ghporter
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Feb 16, 2024, 11:20 PM
 
But does a Civic that’s seriously lowered really benefit from negative rear wheel camber (and the last car I saw with this had only the rear wheels visibly angled)? As I said, I see this on vehicles that can frankly be called “riced”, and not necessarily in a complimentary manner. What I’ve seen is closer to the “stance car” in the Wiki article you linked, not nearly as extreme, but also on cars that aren’t nearly as well executed.

Not throwing shade here, just wondering if what I’d been seeing was more “it looks cool” than anything else.

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Brien
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Feb 17, 2024, 11:36 PM
 
It’s hella dub slammed bro
     
ghporter
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Feb 18, 2024, 08:08 PM
 
I fully recognize that some people’s hobbies are not things other people understand. I also recognize that some folks who substantially modify their vehicles do not do so well, nor with an eye on function.

The car that made me think of this is a very pretty Honda del Sol that’s slightly lowered, but its rear wheels have a very noticeable negative camber, and that triggered a bunch of visual memories, such as 1960s-era VW Beetles with swing axles and apparently zero springs or shocks. So I wanted to know why one might work at getting a look that I associate with a failed/worn out suspension.

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Laminar
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Feb 19, 2024, 10:16 AM
 
It started as a race car thing. More camber = more fast.



And with all trends that start as functional improvement, there's a subset of people that take it to the extreme as a style choice. That's how you get donks, trucks lifted to the sky on little rubber band mud tires, and stance bros.
     
MacNNFamous
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Feb 22, 2024, 02:51 AM
 
Yes and no. It's also just a function of the suspension design, if you lower a vehicle. On most cars, if you lower it, the wheels tilt inwards, due to where the wheel pivots. So if you want a 'really low car', you're going to get camber like that unless you start modifying/lengthening upper control arms and whatnot. Since lowered street cars are more to just 'look cool' than actual track performance, most people don't bother. Low is cool. Too much of anything is not good though.
     
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Feb 22, 2024, 08:56 PM
 
OK, that makes sense with a lot of the lowered cars I see around here. Some to a lot of negative camber, and probably the lower they go, the more camber they get.

A stock WRX is kinda low, but it can definitely be a street car too. Ditto the Civic Type R. But both models have suspensions built for that low ride height, and the wheels are visually upright.

So this “lots of camber” thing is (often?) an artifact of lowering a car without changing the suspension parts? Lots of stuff makes more sense now.

I’m still not throwing shade. I’ve seen some awesome vehicles that were so customized they screamed “LOOK AT ME!!!!”. But I’ve also seen McLarens, Ferraris and Lamborghinis on the same streets with Civics from three body style generations back and still sporting (different colors of) primer all over.

And that puzzles me. I don’t get something about how people have these project cars but don’t seem to finish them.

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Feb 22, 2024, 10:46 PM
 
Might have something to do with running out of money. This can happen if the wife opens the credit card bill first.
     
Laminar
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Feb 23, 2024, 09:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
OK, that makes sense with a lot of the lowered cars I see around here. Some to a lot of negative camber, and probably the lower they go, the more camber they get.
We're talking about two different things. If you go low, you end up with a couple extra degrees of negative camber. If you want to look "stanced," you install a kit to cause extreme levels of camber.

This car is lowered:


This is not just from lowering the car:
     
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Feb 23, 2024, 12:24 PM
 
I see. It’s not just lowering, it’s going for the look.

Serious question: what is the ride like in cars that are “stanced”? I’ve seen lowered cars go over bumps with a variety of impacts - some very literally impacts. Are these cars as uncomfortable to ride in as they seem?

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Feb 23, 2024, 02:05 PM
 
they look broken.
     
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Feb 23, 2024, 04:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Serious question: what is the ride like in cars that are “stanced”? I’ve seen lowered cars go over bumps with a variety of impacts - some very literally impacts. Are these cars as uncomfortable to ride in as they seem?
If you want a nice ride, drive your dad’s Buick

Looking at that pic, I’m reminded how grateful I am to live in a one-plate state. None of that fugly plate-on-the-front nonsense here.
     
subego  (op)
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Mar 5, 2024, 03:50 PM
 
Took another Uber in a Model 3. I’ve been in box trucks with better suspensions.
     
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Mar 5, 2024, 06:41 PM
 
I remember that one of the big selling points of the original Tesla Model B was that it was designed with input from Lotus (it had about 6% parts overlap with the Elise), and it should ride like a hot sports car. The Model 3, on the other hand, apparently has such a “not-good” suspension that there are scads of upgrade kits for it. Hmmm.

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Mar 6, 2024, 01:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Took another Uber in a Model 3. I’ve been in box trucks with better suspensions.
Yeah, a car that underwhelmed me in a few ways, too. To quote Perun, “All bling, no basics.”

A colleague has the base model and even that is super rapid. Easily more than enough. But even two average-sized adults are not very comfortable in the back. I agree with subego on the suspension, it felt unrefined, especially when the weight of the vehicle became a factor. The seats are not very comfortable and I am not sold on speed being on the center display. The “fun” and gimmicky bits are juvenile. Maybe I'm too old (43), but that's the opposite of attractive to me.
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I remember that one of the big selling points of the original Tesla Model B was that it was designed with input from Lotus (it had about 6% parts overlap with the Elise), and it should ride like a hot sports car.
My vague understanding is that Tesla thought they'd need less modifications, but ended up having to alter most parts.
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The Model 3, on the other hand, apparently has such a “not-good” suspension that there are scads of upgrade kits for it. Hmmm.
Usually, after market suspensions are for the sporty crowd. Do they offer comfy suspension upgrades for the Model 3, too?
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Laminar
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Mar 6, 2024, 09:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I remember that one of the big selling points of the original Tesla Model B
There's no Model B. You're talking about the Roadster?

was that it was designed with input from Lotus (it had about 6% parts overlap with the Elise), and it should ride like a hot sports car. The Model 3, on the other hand, apparently has such a “not-good” suspension that there are scads of upgrade kits for it. Hmmm.
It always makes me chuckle when the Model 3 gets classed as a luxury car. I guess it can be priced in that range and they're fast and they have some tech, but nothing about the fit and finish or experience is luxurious. It's all cost cutting and bottom of the barrel stuff.
     
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Mar 6, 2024, 10:29 AM
 
Our brains have not yet wrapped around the new EV pricing model. A basic EV costs around the same as an existing mid-luxury ICE vehicle, and we kind of just associate as equivalent. It feels like we’ll need a little time to figure out what’s what.
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Laminar
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Mar 6, 2024, 03:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Our brains have not yet wrapped around the new EV pricing model. A basic EV costs around the same as an existing mid-luxury ICE vehicle, and we kind of just associate as equivalent. It feels like we’ll need a little time to figure out what’s what.
It's the other way around - you cannot mix up price and cost. The two are NOT related. The cost is what an automaker spends to create a vehicle. The price is what the automaker charges an end user to buy it. They push the cost as low as possible and the price as high as possible, but the two numbers are, for the most part, unrelated.

Because we think of EVs as luxury vehicles, and because automakers position them as luxury vehicles through their marketing efforts, the automakers are able to price them as though they're mid-tier luxury vehicles. With sales growth slowing in the last year, Ford dropped prices on the Mach-E by $8k. That's $8k in margin they were previously capturing just because of demand and perception. Tesla is capturing the most margin per vehicle by a long shot, and they can capture these margins for several reasons - brand cachet, perceived value, performance, charging system availability, appeal to techies, etc.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/cha...rofit-margins/

These vehicles are priced where they are because people will pay that price for lots of different reasons. That has no bearing on the cost of producing the vehicle.
     
subego  (op)
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Mar 6, 2024, 04:28 PM
 
Don’t EVs actually cost more than an equivalent ICE because of the battery?
     
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Mar 6, 2024, 05:13 PM
 
It's estimated that when batteries hit $100 per KWh (at the pack level) then EVs will cost the same to manufacture as gas equivalents. IIRC Tesla reached $100 per KWh a few years ago, but only at the cell level. Last I heard, the industry avg is around $140-150 at the pack level, with industry leaders presumably lower. But I haven't heard anyone passing it yet.

The price of Lithium has fallen a bunch recently, but that's only part of the pack price. China does have very cheap EVs in their domestic market, but those are believed to be heavily subsidized. When those same models are exported, say to Australia, they cost significantly more. So it doesn't look like anyone has yet passed the magic $100 per KWh at the pack level.

It's going to happen. A matter of "when" rather than "if". Once they get below $100, EVs will cost less to manufacture than equivalent ICE vehicles. At that point, EVs will snowball.
     
subego  (op)
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Mar 6, 2024, 05:40 PM
 
     
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Mar 6, 2024, 10:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
There's no Model B. You're talking about the Roadster?
Yes. I conflated the “series B funding” mentioned some bit before the introduction of the Roadster in the Wikipedia article. I’d been looking for mention of the Lotus connection, and when I found it I didn’t read what I said about the actual model.

Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
It always makes me chuckle when the Model 3 gets classed as a luxury car. I guess it can be priced in that range and they're fast and they have some tech, but nothing about the fit and finish or experience is luxurious. It's all cost cutting and bottom of the barrel stuff.
I agree. They had a “show off storefront” here in San Antonio for a while in 2019, and the worker drones there kept wiping surfaces like potential customers might pollute the cars. But it was obvious that the sloppiness of some features in Model Y they were showing off wasn’t because too many curious visitors had touched it. This was when the Y was brand new, so I sort of expected the demo model to be extra-good…

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Mar 7, 2024, 12:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
It's estimated that when batteries hit $100 per KWh (at the pack level) then EVs will cost the same to manufacture as gas equivalents. IIRC Tesla reached $100 per KWh a few years ago, but only at the cell level. Last I heard, the industry avg is around $140-150 at the pack level, with industry leaders presumably lower. But I haven't heard anyone passing it yet.
Let me add to that: currently, the industry is, for the most part, trying to replicate ICE cars, which makes EVs even heavier, which hurts range. Power output is cranked up to the whazoo, which makes for a fun party trick, but is entirely unnecessary in everyday driving. I'd even say it is not a good idea as it is too much car for the average person to handle.

I have had a look at all the electric cars on the market and they either leave me cold or I feel repulsed. The Cybertruck is literally taken from a dystopian genre, and seems to reflect the sensibilities of the company's owner perfectly (”You are bigger than everyone else.”, “You will win in each accident.”, “bulletproof*”). Most car manufacturers don't seem to even have to gonads to transition properly, e. g. it isn't the VW Golf (with an electric drivetrain), it is the i3, the Mercedes EQE instead of the E class. BMW breaks the mold, but their cars come with another tradeoff: they are made to accommodate both, ICE and electric drivetrains. The Rivian looks much better than the Cybertruck, but weighs about as much.

There are too few cars like the original BMW i3 and the Honda e, which try to break the mold. The i3 is actually quite spacious inside. The Honda e is gorgeous, no matter what it is powered by. The i3 is really nice inside and has fascinating engineering. (I know the design is marmite.)
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
China does have very cheap EVs in their domestic market, but those are believed to be heavily subsidized. When those same models are exported, say to Australia, they cost significantly more. So it doesn't look like anyone has yet passed the magic $100 per KWh at the pack level.
This matters less for smaller cars, though, I'd say. We are just one recession away from the Chinese taking over the American and European car market. They have forced electric vehicle makers to scale, in many big Chinese cities all taxis and buses are electric. They have already run 20 laps while we just got up and think about having a poo.
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Mar 7, 2024, 01:54 PM
 
The US has a tariff on car imports from China, 20% I believe. Europe has no such tariff. That's why China is making inroads in Europe, while very little is showing up in the US. BYD does sell electric busses in the US, but those are manufactured locally.

There is definitely a shortage of affordable EVs, including small EVs.
     
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Mar 7, 2024, 11:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
It's the other way around - you cannot mix up price and cost. The two are NOT related. The cost is what an automaker spends to create a vehicle. The price is what the automaker charges an end user to buy it. They push the cost as low as possible and the price as high as possible, but the two numbers are, for the most part, unrelated.

Because we think of EVs as luxury vehicles, and because automakers position them as luxury vehicles through their marketing efforts, the automakers are able to price them as though they're mid-tier luxury vehicles. With sales growth slowing in the last year, Ford dropped prices on the Mach-E by $8k. That's $8k in margin they were previously capturing just because of demand and perception. Tesla is capturing the most margin per vehicle by a long shot, and they can capture these margins for several reasons - brand cachet, perceived value, performance, charging system availability, appeal to techies, etc.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/cha...rofit-margins/

These vehicles are priced where they are because people will pay that price for lots of different reasons. That has no bearing on the cost of producing the vehicle.
Yeah. The best example of this is probably the blatant price increases once the EV rebates were announced. Manufacturers simply raised the price of their EVs to add the rebates as profit margin. It’s a win-win for everyone: manufacturers get more profit, gov’ts reach more EV sales mandates, and consumers think they got a big rebate even though it was mostly fake.

But EVs do cost more, at least for the time being. And that’s affecting the price, because for the most part auto is a high-volume, super-low-margin business.. Same basic vehicle, same quality: EV must be priced higher.
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Mar 8, 2024, 03:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The US has a tariff on car imports from China, 20% I believe. Europe has no such tariff. That's why China is making inroads in Europe, while very little is showing up in the US. BYD does sell electric busses in the US, but those are manufactured locally.

There is definitely a shortage of affordable EVs, including small EVs.
The Chinese already know the playbook and are simply skipping some steps. That’s smart. At the same time US automakers are squandering the chance: Tesla is distracted and instead of building a cheaper EV first, two of Elon‘s pet projects have taken priority (the Cyberytruck and the new Roadster). Ford has literally given up on making regular cars. European and Japanese car makers are not faring better. The market is ripe for disruption.

The German government has mollycoddled its precious car industry and prevented them from having to adapt in advance, for example. Now the bill is due.

I was thinking more about cars after moving to the countryside. Living here without a car introduces some pain points. As does having three kids. We were discussing getting a car, and I haven’t seen a car I really lust for. ICE cars seem old fashioned. Most EVs seem to be pseudo SUVs. In fact, most cars are. I would go something really small like a Smart, but with 3 kids this isn’t an option. Only very few like the Honda e excite me.

PS I hope I don't come across as “Old man angry at clouds”
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Mar 8, 2024 at 04:11 AM. )
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subego  (op)
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Mar 8, 2024, 07:10 AM
 
Just get a Sienna or an Outback.
     
Thorzdad
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Mar 8, 2024, 08:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Just get a Sienna or an Outback.
Heh. I really, really wanted to go electric or hybrid when we were looking for our latest used vehicle (to replace the old GTI,) but there just wasn’t anything in the market that worked for our usage. Ended up with our Forester. Easily the nicest car we’ve ever owned.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Mar 8, 2024, 09:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The Chinese already know the playbook and are simply skipping some steps. That’s smart. At the same time US automakers are squandering the chance: Tesla is distracted and instead of building a cheaper EV first, two of Elon‘s pet projects have taken priority (the Cyberytruck and the new Roadster). Ford has literally given up on making regular cars. European and Japanese car makers are not faring better. The market is ripe for disruption.

The German government has mollycoddled its precious car industry and prevented them from having to adapt in advance, for example. Now the bill is due.

I was thinking more about cars after moving to the countryside. Living here without a car introduces some pain points. As does having three kids. We were discussing getting a car, and I haven’t seen a car I really lust for. ICE cars seem old fashioned. Most EVs seem to be pseudo SUVs. In fact, most cars are. I would go something really small like a Smart, but with 3 kids this isn’t an option. Only very few like the Honda e excite me.

PS I hope I don't come across as “Old man angry at clouds”
I mean you do a little bit.

To paraphrase some old guy with bad vision: I guess I just don’t understand what you’re looking for. You have three kids and a family of five and live in the countryside. Why are you looking at the Honda e? It’s like the opposite of the vehicle that logically fits your life.

…which, by the way, is a wagon or SUV. Three kids + gear, multiple car seats, decent range? I’d be surprised if a rear-facing car seat even fits in the e ������, but if it does there’s definitely not more than two seats in the rear. How are you fitting your family in anything smaller than a compact SUV or Civic-size (assuming they’re kids — if they’re teenagers, forget it!)? The only reasonably priced EV I can think of would be the Chevrolet Bolt, which is now being replaced with their more upscale new Equinox EV.

So from my standpoint I guess it seems like the manufacturer has correctly assessed you as an average customer and they’re designed the right vehicle: the various compact SUV PHEVs available like Toyota/Honda RAV4/CR-V, or the various similar BEVs like Model 3, Kia/Hyundai Ionia/EV models, etc.

What special thing is it you’re looking for? It’s a car.
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Laminar
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Mar 8, 2024, 03:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The US has a tariff on car imports from China, 20% I believe. Europe has no such tariff. That's why China is making inroads in Europe, while very little is showing up in the US. BYD does sell electric busses in the US, but those are manufactured locally.
The new generation Lincoln Nautilus is 100% manufactured in China and Ford is eating that tariff on every sale. They used to make them in Ontario for the North American market and China for elsewhere, but now they're all from China. The Canadian plant is supposed to get a large retooling this year to start making electric vehicles and batteries.
     
 
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