“With Medea-like intensity, this mass trauma began rising sharply four years ago reflecting new and unexpected ravages by the motor vehicle.”
When he wrote this line, was Ralph Nader thinking of terrible accidents like the May 12 Tesla crash in Newport Beach that killed three, including social-media influencer Crystal MacCallum and rock singer Andy Chaves?
No, he wasn’t. The statement comes in the preface of his 1965 book “Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile.”
Fifty-seven years later, Nader continues his crusade for auto safety, calling for NHTSA to demand that Tesla recall every model with Full Self-Driving and remove the technological feature.
“Our society’s obligation to protect the ‘body rights’ of its citizens with vigorous resolve and ample resources requires the precise, authoritative articulation and front-rank support which is being devoted to civil rights,” Nader wrote way back when.
He still packs a mighty punch, demanding in last week’s statement that “Americans must not be test dummies for a powerful, high-profile corporation and its celebrity CEO.”
One commentator is predicting “peak Musk” is in the offing with “peak Tesla” soon to follow.
A flivver makes it all easier to stomach
In 2011, I covered a hillclimb near San Bernardino for The New York Times, including photos. The hillclimb was sanctioned by Ford “A” Speed Technology, also known as FAST, an international group numbering about 1,100 members.
Given the average age of the competitors then, it figures that the group has fewer members today.
I’ve always remembered this hillclimb as just my kind of event. It was informal; everybody was having fun; and the each flivver had its own look and sound.
Roundup: Rivian loses big, F-150 Lightning up by $8,000-plus, Keeping watch on H-stocks
Rivian Automotive’s founder RJ Scaringe had earlier sounded the alert about rising commodities prices, and the latest quarterly report finds the maker of EV trucks losing $1.7 billion for the quarter.
Retail prices start at $67,500 for the R1T pickup and $72,500 for the R1S SUV.
“We’ve seen unprecedented levels of inflation, especially across our raw material inputs and lithium prices,” finance chief Claire McDonough told The Wall Street Journal.
Production is below target, but the cash-strapped company is interviewing for a second shift at its Illinois plant.
Blaming “significant material cost increases and other factors,” Ford announced price hikes of up to $8,500 for the F-150 Lightning pickup. Top price is for the Platinum model, starting at $98,669. And with the Inflation Reduction Act capping tax credits for trucks and SUVs above $80,000, it’s another $7,500 more expensive.
Standard F-150 Lightning strike-range is estimated at 240 miles. That’s a round-trip between my home and LAX . Looks like I’ll have to use my gas car instead … and garage it with one-third tank remaining and something in my pocket, too.
The cost of green hydrogen is coming down. By 2030 it could be competitive against blue hydrogen produced with natural gas and carbon capture and storage.
Ceres Power, which trades on the British exchange, looks like a good bet. The company’s chairman, Warren Finegold, says, “[Ceres] faces an enormous opportunity to provide fuel cell technology to many industrial and domestic sectors at a time when the need for clean energy has never been clearer to governments, industry and consumers.”