Bolt EUV is for losers, EVs fail upward to 5%, and the Kia EV6 takes a road trip

“The all-electric Chevy Bolt EUV with 247 miles of range on a full charge,” says the optimistic narrator of the “Mom” spot now airing on television. I saw it last Sunday during the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix (won by Will Power).

I thought of it again on Monday when driving from my desert hideaway to Hawthorne, near LAX. My mission was to pick up cargo for the 28th Palm Springs International ShortFest, which runs June 21-27. Specifically, the cargo was four large boxes with laptops and printers that will be used at the Camelot Theater and the Hilton Hotel, which are hosting the festival.

The distance from home to Smart Source Rentals was exactly 120 miles. Then I turned around and drove 121 miles to the film festival’s office in Palm Springs. And from there it was 14 miles north across the valley to home. So in all 255 miles.

I still had enough gas in the tank to turn around and go back to Hawthorne, if necessary, where I would have been down to the reserve but still with at least a gallon remaining.

The Bolt EUV would still have been on the charger when I got back to Hawthorne.

The drive to Hawthorne came at the end of a busy week for my trusty, dusty 2012 VW Jetta SportWagen S. Two days earlier, we had driven 125 miles in total in order to hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. We ended up shuttling some through-hikers from the road crossing on Route 74 into the town of Idyllwild, where they were going to enjoy Saturday night and hope their blistered feet healed up.

Earlier in week, on May 30 and 31, the car was used as support vehicle for DR’s filming in the Palm Springs area (410 miles covered in the scouting and shooting) as Karin Brøgger acted as unit director for key footage that will be used in “Danskere i verden” (“Danes in the World”). Finn Hageman Pedersen was the photographer.

Lots of cargo from a drone to backpacks, people in and out of the car, and even tailgating for a coffee break during the filming–the Jetta once again proved itself real-world perfect.

I should give it a wash.

Spectacular failure: electric cars top 5-percent mark in new-car sales

Autoline Daily reported June 3 about generally lousy car sales: “The EV segment was one of the few bright spots, with sales up 94% over a year ago. And battery-electric vehicles achieved a major milestone. Consumers bought 57,804 BEVs, which accounted for over 5% of all new car sales, which we believe is a record for market share for battery powered vehicles in the U.S. market.”

Compare this with the forecast of the Boston Consulting Group on Jan. 7, 2010:

“Under the most likely scenario of the industry’s evolution, BCG estimates that 26 percent of the new cars sold in 2020 in the major developed markets (China, Japan, the United States, and Western Europe)–or approximately 14 million cars–will have electric or hybrid power trains.”

Batteries for Electric Cars: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Outlook to 2020

By that standard–doesn’t 26 percent sounds ludicrous?–EVs are failing (again) in the marketplace.

Wall Street Journal reporter hits the road in EV

Just as I was wondering whether to renew my subscription to The Wall Street Journal, reporter Rachel Wolfe and a friend, Mack, hit the road in a rented Kia EV6. The story is titled: “2,013 Miles. No Gas. Many Hassles.”

Subhead: “She spent more time charging it than she did sleeping.”

It’s a chronicle of hard-to-locate charging stations, variable charging performance, missed dinner reservations, and midnight arrivals. One would hate to have been Kia spokesman James Bell trying to explain the under-performing car.

On the final leg from Chicago to New Orleans, they encountered a thunderstorm and the reserve of current plunging to just 30 miles. This brought on a recharging drama at a Nissan Mazda dealership in Matoon, Ill.

“How long could it possibly take to charge the 30 miles we need to make it to the next fast station? Wolfe wondered. “Three hours. It takes 3 hours.”

“What if we just risk it,” she asks. “Maybe we’ll make it there on electrical fumes.”

“That’s a terrible idea!” Mack says.

It got even worse after that. One of the themes of “The American Automobile from Flivver to Furious” is that, in the early days, wizards drove the cars, which were so complicated. During decades of refinement, less and less specialized knowledge was required of the driver.

Reactions to Wolfe’s story: Oh, she chose the wrong model of Kia EV6; she wouldn’t have had that problem with a Tesla; she should have planned more carefully.

If she had chosen even a crummy little Nissan Versa at the rental lot, she and Mack would have had a safer, quicker trip and no requirement for special knowledge or initiation into a cult.

When they finally made it home to New Orleans, Wolfe filled up her Jetta for $4.08 per gallon. “I inhale deeply. Fumes never smelled so sweet.”

One thought on “Bolt EUV is for losers, EVs fail upward to 5%, and the Kia EV6 takes a road trip

  1. In some applications, EV cars work well. In numerous other scenarios, they are terrible. Give the technology 10-15 years to mature. Until then, fill ‘er up.

Leave a Reply