5/18/2024

Used EV Market Dies Aborning?

Those of you reading this humble blog from time to time know of my dislike for EVs, both from an engineering viewpoint and due to the White House trying to force an inadequate and environmentally unfriendly replacement for the tried and true (and wildly popular) and ubiquitous ICE vehicles. I won’t delve into my reasons (yet again), but I am going to expand a bit one one aspect of EVs that I’ve mentioned in passing – the used EV market – and how it’s dead even as it has been coming into being.

One of the biggest reasons for the lack enthusiasm for used EVs is the ticking financial time bomb that comes with having to replace the battery packs at some point which could mean layout out an additional $10,000, $20,000, or more to replace something an ICE vehicle doesn’t have. Could it be a reason Hertz is having a tough time getting rid of its EV fleet now that they realize no one really wants to rent an EV?

When Hertz first announced it was selling off most of its EVs, it blamed lower demand among the traveling public than it had expected. “They have an oversupply” of Teslas, said John Plimpton Babcock, an analyst at Bank of America who covers the car-rental company. That lower turnover meant less profit, he added.

It makes sense Hertz would try to sell off its fleet now. Purchases of brand-new EVs are stalling out after a decade or so of stratospheric growth. Auto loans have interest rates starting at about 5 percent and go skyward from there. A shortage of reliable charging stations, and worries about batteries losing power in cold weather, have all hurt public interest in owning — and perhaps even renting — an EV.

One thing I hadn’t realized until recently is that many EVs drive differently than ICE vehicles, that difference being that some only have on pedal...and it isn’t the brake pedal. It takes a while to get used to that difference and a lot of people renting EVs have problems getting used to the difference. There have even been some customers who returned their rental EVs in favor of an ICE car.

To get back to the downside to used EVs, this one example from the same linked article illustrates it quite well:

At the start of the year, after Hertz announced it was selling off its fleet of Teslas — backtracking on a plan to buy up 100,000 of the electric vehicles — the news sounded good for Bijay Pandey, a 34-year-old self-employed data worker in Irving, Texas. “I have another vehicle, and I was trying to add one for my wife because gas prices were too high,” he said. When he found out that it came with a $4,000 tax credit — even better. “That’s what attracted me,” he added. So, the day after Valentine’s Day, he bought a red 2022 Long Range Model 3 with 70,000 miles on it. It ended up costing just about $25,000, not a bad deal for a car that can sell for about $47,000 new.

But almost immediately, there were problems. After getting a temporary title, he found the car wasn’t reading voltage correctly. Soon, a body shop found a quarter-size hole in the undercarriage he hadn’t seen before, which led to revelations of deeper issues inside. “The high-voltage battery pack is damaged and could cause extreme safety concerns,” a Tesla technician texted him. Because the hole was “exterior damage,” it wasn’t covered by the warranty, which meant a $13,078.58 repair bill. Hertz said that it would swap the car for Pandey, but for about two months he waited — making $500 payments on his auto loan — before getting a replacement. “I realized why they were trying to get rid of those Teslas,” he said. “If anything happens to a Tesla, then the bill is too high.”

I don’t know about you, but I know I wouldn’t want to be driving a rolling incendiary bomb that no fire department would be able to extinguish, or worse, burns down the house when it ignites while it’s in the garage.

5/12/2024

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a busy weekend, between getting the boat ready to go back into the water, dealing with new computer stuff, seemingly never-ending spring cleaning, and having family up to help celebrate Mother’s Day today. At least the weather has been cooperative, with only a few light showers popping up here and there which didn’t affect anything we were doing.

Hopefully the boating season will be much better than last year’s, meaning there will actually be one. Last year’s was almost non-existent, and what there was mostly took place after Labor Day weekend. With a small bit of work left over to complete before we launch, I’m hoping to get the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout into the water by Wednesday afternoon.

There’s also been last minute computer tweaking to make sure the two new Official Weekend Pundit miniPCs will work without any hiccups. There’s still data that needs to be moved from the old computers to the new ones, and then re-staging the old computers for new use. (The old computers are a little slow, but still serviceable.)

Winter stuff – linens (flannel sheets and quilts), clothing, hats, coats, and boots – have been packed away and put in the attic as the summer stuff has been pulled out to replace it.

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Hmm. It seems the Fulton County, GA case against Trump may have suffered yet another blow. In this case it looks like allegations of fraud might be true as it was found that 3000 ballots were counted twice during the election recount in 2020.

And to top it off it has also been found that “380,761 ballot images from machine count were ‘not available’.”

Yeah, nothing suspicious there. Nothing at all.

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While some will say that Kristi Noem’s chances for the VP slot in the upcoming election are close to zero because of her hunting dog kerfuffle, others say she did nothing wrong. (Frankly, I would have shot that dog, too.) It doesn’t mean she’s out of the running, but I think it makes her less likeable as a VP candidate.

Another possible VP contender, Doug Burgum, governor of North Dakota, has been making the rounds, with his latest appearance at the Trump rally in New Jersey yesterday.

While he ran for the GOP nomination, dropping out before the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary, he did make an impression on a number of people, me included. While I thought he would be a good candidate taking into account his record, both as governor and a businessman, he wasn’t really all that well known, something that worked against him. However, others have a different view of his aborted Presidential run.

It's almost as if Burgum entered the presidential race to make a play for vice president. It's not unheard of, of course. He may have believed that even a failed run for the White House would raise his profile enough to be considered.

What Trump is looking for is someone who won't upstage him. And it helps Burgum immensely that he's a very rich man with a lot of rich friends to help with badly needed fundraising.

--snip--

Burgum told the 100,000 Trump supporters in attendance that working with Trump was "like having a beautiful breeze at your back."

"President Trump respects state’s rights. He cut regulation. He lowered taxes," Burgum said. "Working under the Biden regulatory regime is like having a gale-force wind in your face."

Burgum, a self-made multimillionaire, also understands how the economy works, how to run a business, and understands the burdens of heavy taxation and government overregulation.

I think he would make a good running mate for Trump. It would also help him if he decides to run for President in 2028 after Trump terms out.

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The Climate Change Cultists keep telling us we’re seeing the “hottest temperatures evah”! But it seems they’ve chosen to ignore what the climate was like 9,000 years ago.

Ice cores and sediment layers have told us that temperatures were higher 9,000 years ago than they are now, something that doesn’t fit the narrative, so must be ignored. If not possible, then it must be discredited.

But then how do they explain this?

Bones in a cave inside the Arctic circle show that the world was hotter, the climate is always changing, and life adapts very well.

A special cave in far northern Norway has a a trove of thousands of old bones. They are deposited in layers that stretch back from 5,800 years ago to 13,000 years ago. And it’s been a radical change: at the start, the cave was submerged under the ocean, so the bones are mostly marine species. But a few thousand years later the weather was warm, and birds and mammals had moved in. By 6,000 years ago the researchers estimate it was the hottest part of the Holocene and 1.5°–2.4°C warmer than the modern era of 1961–1990.

After that, the cave was blocked by scree, and the bone fragments sat there seemingly undisturbed for nearly 6,000 years while the ice sheets moved and the Vikings came and went and the world cooled. Then in 1993 someone happened to build a road nearby and found the cave. Now a team have analyzed the DNA in the layers and discovered that far from being an ecological disaster, when the Earth was hotter the Arctic must have been full of life. They found lemmings, shrews, voles, hares, geese, frogs, seals, and pheasants. They were also surprised to find dogs and cats there, even though there were no humans at the time (that we know of). The DNA test couldn’t distinguish whether these were our domesticated furry friends or their wild cousins. In any case, there were species that lived there then, that don’t live there now because it’s too cold.

I expect cultists’ heads will be exploding.

==++++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee where the weather has been cooperating, where we survived another Mother’s Day, and where Monday is returning yet again to ruin yet another weekend.

Oops!

It wasn't until just a few moments ago I realized I had never crafted or posted my usual Saturday post. I can claim all kinds of reasons why, with only three of them being true, all due to it being such a busy day:

1. Part of the day was set aside getting the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout ready to start the boating season, between paying the boatyard for winterizing, storing, and making a few repairs after removing it from storage, making sure the friend from whom I rent a boat slip was paid, and getting the boat to BeezleBub's so it could be detailed before loading all of the gear prior to outting it back into the water.

2. I spent quite a bit of time finalizing the configuration of the new Official Weekend Pundit miniPCs. There were problems loading the Linux OS because I couldn't access the BIOS to allow booting from a USB drive. It took a lot of questions, searching online forums, and asking more knowledgable people how to deal with he problem and finally got it figured out. The WP Mom's new computer is all squared away in time for Mother's Day.The only thing left to do for her machine is transfer browser bookmarks and set up her e-mail.

3. I got too involved with watching the NBA Playoff game between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers...which didn't end until just before 11PM. By then all I was interested in was going to bed and any thoughts of crafting a brilliant post were nowhere to be found.

My bad.

5/05/2024

Thoughts On A Sunday

I was hoping we’d have decent weather over the weekend. At least we did for half of it as most of Sunday it has been raining. Ironically, Monday’s weather (and temperatures) will be much better than this weekend’s weather.

The weather hasn’t lessened the Spring cleaning, at least inside The Gulch, as the WP Mom and I have been slowly going through all of the stuff in one of our attics and trying to dispose of stuff we don’t want or need. Most of it has been ‘junk’ that should have been disposed of years ago, stuff the WP Parents brought with them from their move up from the WP Clan beach house in Connecticut 20 years ago, but once ensconced in the attic was promptly forgotten about. Of course I have had an ulterior motive for cleaning out the attic, that being making room for my stuff which is still being stored in a rental storage unit. (Not all that stuff is mine as my ex has stuff stored there as well. I am trying very hard to have it emptied before Labor Day weekend so I can stop paying to rent it, saving me $170 each month.)

Spring cleaning also means pulling up all of the rugs on the ground floor, getting them ‘cleaned’ (hanging them up and beating them to get rid of as much dust and dirt as possible), and vacuuming and washing the floors, something long overdue.

Oh, and next weekend I plan to launch the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout to start the boating season.

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It is “Computer Weekend” here at The Gulch as I have been spending time setting up and staging the two MicroPCs I bought last week.

One of the things I found out before I started on them was that the two units - an Ace Magician and Kamrui microPC - had factory-loaded malware installed, at least in the past. The units come with Windows 11 and for a stretch of time, one of the contractors employed to load the Solid State Drives slipped malware into the images used to install the Windows OS. Fortunately a number of YouTube channels, including the one linked above, warned about this and showed how to scan the drives to find and remove the malware. The malware would steal user names and passwords from browsers as well as cryptocurrency wallet information and forward it to a server overseas. Supposedly newer models from the manufacturer of these two brands have made sure no such malware is on their computers, something I confirmed when I scanned the drives on the two machines and they came up clean. (Two scanning programs were used – Sophos’ HitmanPro and Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool, both of which can be run from a USB key.)

Not that I am going to be using Windows 11 on either machine, something I mentioned in last week’s TOAS. Instead I will be loading Linux Mint as I have little faith on Windows 11, particularly after finding out just how intrusive it can be, and as more than a few people have mentioned, the embedded ads that keep popping when using various programs, something I find to be quite annoying. (I see this on the Windows 10 laptop I use for work, though I think the ads I see on that computer are due to the browser being used, selected by my company’s IT department, and not Windows itself. But it has given me a preview of what we can expect with Win 11.)

Hopefully I can get both machines up and running before next weekend. There is a lot of data to be copied from the old machines, e-mail accounts to set up, and needed programs installed including Thunderbird for e-mail, Brave for web browsing, and LibreOffice for an office suite. (I have been using OpenOffice and its derivative, LibreOffice, for some time and have found them to be a great alternative to Microsoft’s Office suite. So far I haven’t found anything that I can do on Office 365 than I can’t do on LibreOffice. But then again I am not using everything on Office 365, so I can only speak to those apps I am actually using.)

It will be interesting to see how all of this works out. At the moment I have high hopes, but only time will tell.

==++++==


As Glenn Reynolds put it, “Screaming campus garbage babies living up to their name.”

Unsurprisingly, the various protest groups on campuses around the nation left tons of trash behind, with over 8000 pounds of trash left behind at Humboldt University alone. It seems leftists expect others, meaning anyone who is not one of them, to pick up after them.

As the Instaprof wrote:

I remember when Tea Party protesters left sites cleaner than they found them, and the press and our national deep thinkers called them barbarians.

What do you expect from spoiled children whose parents never told them “No”?

==++++==


How far has Biden fallen in the eyes of the voting public (at least the live voting public)?

This far.

It’s getting bad for the *Resident when both sides at a protest are chanting “F*ck Joe Biden”.

It’s getting bad for the *Resident when a reporter asks a union worker “What’s your message to Joe Biden?” and the union worker responds “Fuck You.”

It only gets worse from there.

==++++==


Any of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time know, I am not enamored of EVs or the Biden Administration’s push to force us out of our ICE cars and trucks and into EVs despite those same EVs not being the answer to climate change nor being what the motoring public either wants or needs. EVs aren’t green. They are more expensive to buy, repair, and insure. To show you just bad it can get, there’s this: Door Ding Causes EV SUV to be Totaled by Insurance Company:

Door dings and minor auto body damage occur frequently in daily driving. Typically, insurance companies manage the repairs without much fuss. However, when the vehicle in question is a Fisker Ocean, things can go very bad, very quickly, and that’s exactly what happened in this instance.

After someone hit Joy Wanner’s Ocean while the door was open, the damage appeared to be minor. But lo and behold, less than a month later, the insurance company deemed the electric SUV from the struggling startup teetering on the brink of bankruptcy a total loss.

It seems many EVs are totaled by insurance companies for damage that, had they occurred to an ICE vehicle, would have been repaired. Some of that has to do with how some EVs are built which increases the complexity and cost of repairs, and some to do with the possible damage to the battery pack which can turn an EV into a rolling incendiary device. Is it any wonder why insurance companies don’t want to risk something like this? It certainly explains why they’ll total an EV and charge much higher premiums for EVs.

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Gee, I wonder how much of an effect high gas prices will have on the election, particularly if those high gas prices are here at election time?

I had to get gasoline in my 2010 Ford F-150 yesterday evening, which worked out to $106.03 for 32.141 gallons; that was $3.299 per gallon, and that included 10¢ off per gallon with my Kroger points. Naturally, I took a picture of the numbers on the pump, and tweeted it out, saying that it was yet another reason to retire Joe Biden.

When I opened my Facebook account this morning, I saw that I had posted, on May 1, 2020, that 87 Octane regular unleaded gasoline was $1.479 per gallon in Estill County, Kentucky that day.

From a post I made a couple of weeks ago comes this suggestion: All voting should be held at gas stations.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where more boats are appearing at docks every day, mine will be one of them next weekend, and where Monday is returning...yet again.

5/04/2024

It's The 60's All Over Again...But Only Worse

Watching the pro-Hamas protests/rallies taking place on many college campuses across the use has been triggering flashbacks to the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and anti-Vietnam war protests taking place on many of these same college campuses. But the difference between then and now is that back then they were protesting against our involvement in Vietnam and today they’re protesting on behalf of an Islamic terrorist organization who wants to finish the job Nazi Germany started during World War II by destroying Israel and killing every Jew they can find.

Of course today’s protesters are woefully and willfully ignorant of what’s been going on in that area since 1948, ignorant of the genocidal efforts of some of it’s neighboring Arab nations and numerous Islamic terrorist organizations. Today’s protesters have no idea of their ideology of death, their willingness to kill men, women, and children, even their own, in order to get their way. They will sacrifice anyone and everyone to get their way, even if they have to destroy what it is they say they’re trying to save – their own people – to ‘win’.

Some of those same protesters, seen below, don’t understand that the very people on whose behalf they are protesting would, if given the chance, have no problem exterminating them because Hamas sees them as an abomination worthy only of death.


So I have to ask just what do all the pro-Hamas protesters think will happen if they get their way? Or even worse, do they really care?

Knowing how easily they are distracted by the cause du jour, I’d have to hazard a guess they really don’t care. They certainly don’t care that it wasn’t Israel that started this war or that Hamas has no intention of ending it...unless Israel is wiped off the map.

5/03/2024

Friday Funny - Communicating

I know I might get some pushback on this one, but that doesn't mean it's not true.