“The Twist of History:” Gasoline Is Very Useful
David Gelles, according to the NYT, is “a correspondent on the Climate desk,” suggesting, as James Freman writes in the WSJ, Gelles is at least open to the idea of inefficient transport.
Sure enough, Mr. Gelles reports in the Times’s Climate Forward newsletter that he’s had good experiences with Tesla and its charging network.
But he says his recent reservation for a Tesla rental wasn’t honored in Minneapolis and he got more than he bargained for when he accepted an all-electric Volvo C40 Recharge instead.
A Sad Tale
Mr. Gelles writes on how he found out the hard way that the nation’s EV infrastructure is “not ready for prime time.”
Mr Gelles’s destination was a farm 154 miles away near the South Dakota border, where he was researching a story on innovative farming practices.
Unlike my previous E.V. rentals, this would be a bit of a road trip, the kind of long drive through sparsely populated farmland that is a hallmark of American car culture.
The Volvo promised 200 miles in range. I figured I would find a charger along the way, then charge again on the way back. Wrong.
After two hours of driving, the Volvo’s battery was below 50 percent, so I used the car’s built-in software to find a Blink charging station not far ahead, in Clara City, Minn.
Upon arrival, I downloaded the Blink app on my iPhone and offered up my credit card details. Within moments, the Volvo told me it was charging.
A half an hour later, I glanced at the display to check the charging progress. I was dismayed to see that the battery had gained just 2 percent. The Blink charger not nearly as powerful as the Tesla Superchargers I had used previously, and the Volvo wouldn’t be fully charged until 1 a.m.
“That wouldn’t work,” reports Mr. Freeman, offering that the Timesman had an appointment to keep at the farm so he soon set off again but couldn’t find another charging station anywhere near his destination.
The frustrating experience ended with a tow truck and has inspired him to claim that the rental car company should warn people about the lack of charging stations.
But give Mr. Gelles credit for reporting on the limitations of electric vehicles and acknowledging:
I’m not blameless here. I should have considered the fact that I was driving deep into farm country before opting for an E.V., and I should have checked to make sure there were fast charging stations along the way.
For decades, numerous presidents have shoveled money at electric vehicles, continues Mr. Freeman.
But it seems that consumers who plan long journeys are still having trouble getting over that little twist of history.
This week Mike Colias reports for the Journal:
“General Motors is daelaaying the opening of a large electric-pickup-truck factory in Michigan, the latest sign that the auto industry’s enthusiasm around EVs is starting to wane as sales growth for these models slows…”
According to the Wall Street Journal: Ford is considering canceling a shift of factory production on its electric F-150 Lightning pickup as sales for that model wane.
Tesla’s vehicle deliveries are still growing, but at a slowing rate, despite steep price cuts across its lineup.