Electric Vehicles

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chenda
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by chenda »

@alpaville - I would be interested to here more about your car free living, as I understand you live in a generally car dependent area. Any problems so far, did you need to relocate to make it work ?

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Alphaville
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Alphaville »

@chenda

well, we moved back to a city for better jobs with better organizational culture and more professional management. which has been mind-saving and life-saving. working with incompetents is murder :lol:

but in doing so we chose to move to a central, costlier [pedestrian & bike friendly] location near work, rather than to car suburbs where [cheaper housing + commuting] add up to roughly the same.

it was a trade-off in terms of money, but i think we come ahead in terms of time and stress--we have more free time, and we're spared the horrid commutes, which means also more energy and productvity.

before the pandemic we walked, bicycled, used mass transit, and supplemented with the occasional uber or car rentals including uhaul. there are also electric scooters for rental somewhere but meh.

then we ditched the truck, which was paid for, but still needed insurance, registration, inspection, gas, parking, etc. plus regular repairs because it was an old vehicle and some upcoming ones were big.

this was the original plan moving here, but we tested that car-free was workable before getting rid of it. because here, unlike in older cities, the pedestrian friendly part is small, and the rest is six lane avenues and infernal interstate highways and residential subdivisions.

but we proved it was easier and cheaper and more fun for us with no car. why go suffer at costco, when costco can deliver?

i also priced out smaller vehicle options to replace the truck but they were money losers and a headache.we're in a time of transition so it's hard to buy a car "for the next 20 years". so we ditched the car, made a bicycle budget, and we're pocketing the savings now. this includes also better clothes that perform better outside air-contitioned metal cages.

but with the pandemic surprise (oopsie) it's been a bit more difficult to have no car, because we don't want to get on vehicles with other people. so right now we're not going far. which is okay. but we can still human-power it, which limits our range. but we like the neighborhood. plus we save even more money.

however, we're working remotely now, and we're also near fresh groceries, plus medical care should we need it, so all the basic necessities are covered really. what's lacking is more of a psychological need to explore at this point. there's no real physical need to go anywhere though.

and i've been thinking about getting an "emergency car" to escape town in case of disaster, but if you look at something like the french blockade of past days i think disaster might be more easily escaped on foot or trail bicycle than stuck on a gridlocked highway :lol:

eta: this photo i think is from katrina:
http://www.retreatrealty.net/wp-content ... rina-2.jpg
i see a huge unused bike lane :D

chenda
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by chenda »

@Alphaville - Very interesting thanks! I agree that if you're well positioned to walk to amenities the only real value of having a car is the option value of driving off into the hills at 3 am if the feeling takes you.

But I've never driven off into the hills at 3 am, and even if I wanted to it's not worth the monthly insurance fee, let alone tax, insurance, servicing and cost of even a cheap car. And yes, in a mass evacuation you're probably better off on foot or bike :)

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Sclass
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Sclass »

I have had the unpleasant experience of evacuation during the Silverado and Bond Fires late October and late November. Two mandatory evacuations in a month.

We got out quick the first time. I saw the fire behind my neighbors and didn’t waste a minute. We were packed and on the road in ten minutes. It was like a car race down the mountain. My neighbor later asked me if I got caught in the jam caused by the multi car pileup. I just missed it and never knew better. I just remember telling my wife the road condition was dicey because people were driving like idiots. Too fast and too close on a 15% grade.

The second time around we all knew the drill and took it easy. The go bags were packed. However the wind shifted and damn near suffocated us in our car. The smoke was thick for ten minutes. Luckily we had our p100/organic vapor masks in the car and those saved us. We stopped coughing but our eyes burned. We also had a ton of supplies in the trunk like food, water and tech gear.

I ran our emergency lights to make us more visible in the whiteout.

My neighbor used to brag he’d ride over our cars on his dirtbike during an evacuation. In his dreams. I saw him leaving his driveway in his SUV on our Ring cam twice. Too many movies.

Two hours later I pulled in my driveway in LA sixty miles away. Imagine pulling in on my unlicensed dirt bike? Or worse, crossing numerous unsavory neighborhoods on a bicycle in the dark?

I’m sure every disaster will vary.

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Alphaville
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Alphaville »

Sclass wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 2:11 pm
I’m sure every disaster will vary.
yes. so you live in a heavily wooded / suburban area?

my state has danger of wildfires, but i'm in an urban area that's not likely to burn. being able to lock down and breathe clean air would be more important for us i think.

then again, today's bomb might get copycats in other places. ugh.

the other thing i worry about a little bit is volcanos. we have a few scattered in various parts. and they're dormant--but who knows?

there's danger of flooding also in the rio grande valley but i'm not too worried about that one.

jacob
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by jacob »

A car (individual transportation) increases the solution space to areas that would otherwise not be viable for habitation. This introduces a [rather strongly coupled] dependence in one's system. No car = SOL. Tolerance varies but whenever my life directly depends on a specific piece of technology I feel rather vulnerable.

For many a vehicle is a band-aid covering a liability. I'd rather arrange my living such that a car becomes optional. For example, once I pass 60 years of age, living within a 10 minute walk from the nearest hospital will become part of my checklist.

In short, I don't see this as a question of what kind of vehicle it should be but what role the vehicle plays in the first place.

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Alphaville
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 3:02 pm
In short, I don't see this as a question of what kind of vehicle it should be but what role the vehicle plays in the first place.
ambulance rides are super cheap with my insurance. same as an uber, but you're allowed to bleed in them. plus it's safer to be transported by healthy & pain-free operators plus medical instruments.

so the only vital role i see for owning a car in my life would be to get out of dodge in a hurry.

which... i'm not sure how feasible, even with a car. rush hours with everyone trying to get on the highway are already a nightmare.

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Sclass
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Sclass »

Alphaville wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 2:55 pm
yes. so you live in a heavily wooded / suburban area?

the other thing i worry about a little bit is volcanos. we have a few scattered in various parts. and they're dormant--but who knows?

there's danger of flooding also in the rio grande valley but i'm not too worried about that one.
Yeah I live in the hills above Irvine, CA. My other place in the LA foothills is also prone to fire.

Volcanos depend on locale. I have a friend who refuses to ski in Mammoth Lakes. He says it’s just a disaster in waiting. One road in and out. The utility of the seismic network is to tell the residents “start saying your prayers.” Cars are useless in that situation.

That’s cool you’re from the Rio Grande Valley. Part of my family is from there. Love the place. Local cuisine rocks. I recall dust storms being a problem. I guess they don’t require evacuation. My recollection is you didn’t want to be caught out in the sticks with just a bike when one started.

J_
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by J_ »

jacob wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 3:02 pm
Tolerance varies but whenever my life directly depends on a specific piece of technology I feel rather vulnerable.
For example, once I pass 60 years of age, living within a 10 minute walk from the nearest hospital will become part of my checklist.
In short, I don't see this as a question of what kind of vehicle it should be but what role the vehicle plays in the first place.
Good observations I think.
I have a little sportscar which I only use for keeping my reactions in traffic adequate :) But now with the covid risks in public transportation I have used it to travel to (and in spring from) my winter quarters in the Alps. So I use it now as a back up travel-system.

When I selected my dutch living location it was a pre that the hospital is less than 10 minutes walk. That short distance came also useful when I accompanied a friend in his last two-months of life in hospital, so I could stay with him every day and the very last nights. Even more important is the Library on a 5 minutes walk and a variety of shops for food in the same short distance.

Another excape (e.g. for floodings) is my little motorboat (on short walking distance) which I keep always stocked up with clothing, food and water for some weeks.

rube
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by rube »

Walking is nice but slow. Sometimes it is difficult to have everything, shops, nature, train station, schools within a short walking distance.
Hence I love bicycles as they enable us to provide this all to us within a 5-15 min bike ride. And bikes are easy to maintain yourself with a standard set of tools. Electrical bicycles (talking electrical vehicles, right) can be in some circumstances a good option also (DW used to have one for commuting).

In some circumstances, visiting family with the 4 of us, commuting to work, soccer competition etc. a car is still the easiest/convienienced way of transportation and I don't foresee we will give it up in the next 5-10 years. I am aiming to last our current car long enough so we can switch (economically) to an electrical car.

With Covid-19 now, the mileage in 2020 was about half of that in 2019.

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Alphaville
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Alphaville »

rube wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:51 am
Walking is nice but slow.
for me walking is faster than driving because i'm already near and then i don't have to go around in circles looking for parking :D

(location, location, location)

in case of motor vehicle usage:

being dropped off/picked up by taxi also saves the parking hassle, plus the duty to keep the thing clean (can't wash the car at home in my state), the worries about theft and vandalism (because even with insurance there are premiums and deductibles), the cost of non-diy car repair, etc. etc.

ofc location is again an issue in these matters, which is why we chose ours in the most densely populated chunk of the city we could find.

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