Home » America Doesn’t Have Enough Electricians For An EV Future: Report

America Doesn’t Have Enough Electricians For An EV Future: Report

Broken Charger Tmd
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In “The Graduate,” a family friend of Dustin Hoffman’s loafing, libidinous Ben Braddock informs him that the future is “Plastics.” Today, it might be fair to say that the future is “Electrons.” Specifically, it seems the world is going to need more electricians to help guide those electrons if we’re ever going to have a charging network robust enough to support all of these electric cars.

America may not suddenly be on the verge of swapping all of its cars for EVs, but more EVs are coming and it already feels, anecdotally, like there isn’t enough infrastructure for the ones we have now. Automakers suddenly bolting to Tesla’s NACS standard in the United States is proof of this, but a new report shows statistically that it’s as bad as people guessed.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Also on tap for today’s Morning Dump: Gigacasting is the word of the year in the automotive sector and two big players are once again looking at Tesla and thinking: If you can’t beat’em, copy’em. Today’s news dump will then detour into a bit of a union update before landing on a little bit of history.

Broken EV Chargers Need Electricians We Don’t Have

Tesla Supercharger Network

I was en route to Chicago in an electric car when I bumped into a technician for a large charging network (I won’t say which because I did not identify myself as a reporter). I’m glad he was there because, in fact, the first charger I attempted to use was out of service. Was he there to fix it?

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Nope! He was en route to a charger in another state and was just stopping to charge himself. I inquired as to why the stations I visit always seem to be broken and he explained that there weren’t enough technicians to work on them. In fact, he and fewer than a dozen technicians were responsible for a huge area that covered around 50,000 square miles. Was the pay bad? Nope. Pay and benefits were great but, as he explained, these are extremely high-voltage systems and not just anyone can work on them.

This was confirmed by a report today in Automotive News about the shortage of electricians:

Nearly 4,000 public charging stations with more than 7,000 ports were out of service as of early October, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s an outage rate of more than 6 percent.

The DOE estimate may be modest. Here Technologies, which pulls real-time data from connected chargers, says 4,673 chargers were out of order, but it expects many more “unconnected” charge points were inoperable.

Thousands of unusable chargers could hinder EV adoption as frustrated drivers complain about searching for working ports to keep their cars running. One in five charging attempts failed in the first half of the year, according to research firm J.D. Power.

Imagine if one-in-every-five trips to the gas station you couldn’t get a pump to work and the other pumps were full of cars that might be sitting there for another 20-30 minutes. It’s frustrating and it happens all the time.

What’s the cause? Again, from the report:

The U.S. will need at least 142,000 more certified electricians by 2030 to support the country’s electrification push, which includes EV charging, solar panels, battery storage, smart panels and more, according to Qmerit, a company that provides installation services for EV charging and other electrification technologies for homes and businesses.

“Public charging is competing for a scarcity of labor with these other demands,” said Eric Feinberg, chief work force officer at Qmerit. Improving the public charging infrastructure will require creative ways to find and train electricians, he said.

That’s a lot of electricians.

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In general, America has a shortage of skilled labor. Our sister company Galpin Motors is always keeping an eye out for talented automotive technicians, which is something we should probably touch on some other day. So, if you’re an aimless high schooler pondering what you should do, consider becoming an automotive tech or an electrician who can fix EV chargers.

Ford And Hyundai Make A Deal With Tesla’s Gigacasting Supplier

Gigacasting Machine
Photo: IDRA

I’ve already touched on how “gigacasting” is the hot new word in automotive. Here’s how I previously described it:

Gigacasting—which is technically a Tesla term catching on in the wider world—does away with the lots-of-small-castings part by, instead, casting one giant piece. In theory, this has a lot of advantages. If you can make one big cast and skip the labor and energy involved in making a lot of little parts and putting them together you can make cars a lot faster.

Yes, it’s a Tesla neologism, but it’s a good one! Tesla currently uses Italian company IDRA to supply its gigacasting machines. Guess who also now has a contract with IDRA?

From Reuters:

A ‘gigapress 6,100’, which produces a clamping force of over 6,000 tons, with the Ford brand printed on it, had been assembled and was being tested in IDRA’s plant in Travalgiato, near Brescia, northern Italy during an industry event organised by the company on Tuesday and Wednesday.

An even bigger press, the 9,000, IDRA’s largest and newest model — the size of a small house or a tennis court — was being tested nearby but without the client’s name printed on it.

A source close to the matter, however, said it would be shipped to Hyundai group, adding both it and the one for Ford would initially be used only for R&D purposes.

The source said IDRA was also about to sign a supply contract for two 9,000 presses with a premium automaker in Europe, its first with a European group.

It’s a good time to be a gigapress maker.

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GM, Unifor Reach A Deal To End Strike

Canadian Unifor
Photo: Unifor/X

It seems like only yesterday I was writing about Unifor going on strike against GM in Canada. Because it was yesterday. The strike is over, according to The Detroit News:

In a Tuesday statement, Marissa West, GM Canada president and managing director, said: “This record agreement, subject to member ratification, recognizes the many contributions of our represented team members with significant increases in wages, benefits and job security while building on GM’s historic investments in Canadian manufacturing.”

Larry Savage, a labor studies professor at Brock University in Ontario, said in a statement: “GM realized Unifor had significant leverage and the union clearly demonstrated it was willing to use that leverage to preserve the pattern in Canada.”

Is this another excuse for me to run another photo from Unifor’s Twitter account of them doing that weird, meek solidarity gesture?

Yes.

Happy 40th Anniversary To Audi Sport

40 Jahre Audi Sport Gmbh
Photo: Audi

I’ll admit, Audi Sport doesn’t quite have the cachet that M or AMG have, but what Audi Sport does have is a history of building amazing cars and winning races. It’s also the 40th anniversary. Here’s a bit from their press release:

quattro GmbH has existed since 1983, and in 2016, it was renamed as Audi Sport GmbH: Today, the wholly owned subsidiary of AUDI AG is shaping the sporty and exclusive image of the premium brand with the four rings even stronger than ever. “We look back proudly on the past 40 years and want to be even stronger in the future. To this end, we will selectively expand our model portfolio and our other service offerings together with AUDI AG. The sales records of recent years clearly underline our ambitions,” says Rolf Michl, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH.

Happy Anniversary!

The Big Question

What’s your favorite Audi product of all time? [Ed Note: If you don’t answer Quattro or first-gen TT, then maybe just tell us your thoughts on technician/electrician/hands-on labor in the U.S., and the complicated way it’s portrayed in the context of college-degree-requiring office jobs. -DT]. 

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DONALD FOLEY
DONALD FOLEY
4 months ago

Audi 100, Fox, 5000, A6.

Myk El
Myk El
4 months ago

As someone who graduated high school in the early 1990s, I saw so many of my peers head off to college because it was what was expected but they had no interest or direction. Several ultimately ended up in skilled trades. We were in a primarily upper-middle class suburb and that sort of thing was frowned upon even though they paid well and were stable jobs. Guidance counselor’s would have been eviscerated for suggesting any skilled trade as a career path for 80% of the students in my school. This was a class and race thing both because the trades were where “those” people were.

I technically am in a skilled trade being on the fringes of IT. I have a college degree, unrelated to my current field. I have no loan debt but I went back to get a technical certificate in the late 1990s. Now what I am certified in is taught as a degree program in some places. It seems wrong.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
4 months ago

As a vocational teacher, my response to that headline is: No shit Sherlock! We also don’t have enough plumbers, enough carpenters, enough welders, enough machinists, enough sheet metal workers, enough mechanics … OH, BUT EVERYBODY NEEDS TO GO TO COLLEGE! And put a fucking mortgage worth of debt on your back that you can never get out of to do it, too.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
4 months ago

Favorite Audi? Easily the second generation 5000/100/200. We had two of them, and a first-gen 5000, when I was a kid. Drove one to senior prom. All of ours were automatics (two turbos, one non), but I always thought that a manual turbo quattro version of that car would be just about the perfect sedan.

David Fernandez
David Fernandez
4 months ago

Audi R8 or A1 Quattro

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
4 months ago

First gen A2 because it was like a little rolling laboratory. Unfortunately too many newer Audis are like a trip to the operating room.

Ben
Ben
4 months ago

My experience trying to hire trades in the past few years is that they can basically charge what they want, if you can even get them to show up. I paid a plumber around $800 in labor to replace my hot water heater, which took them about half an hour, and that was the cheap option. The other place I talked to wanted another $1000 on top of that.

We also got a quote to install a new wall heater at a family cabin this fall and it came in at $6000 for a $1000 heater. Mind you, the gas lines were already there and working fine. We interpreted that quote as “we have better things to do”.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago
Reply to  Ben

We interpreted that quote as “we have better things to do”.

So do you. The best thing to ever happen to the Cheap Bastard handyman honeydo list has been the internet. There are amazing home appliance repair videos on Youtube that make replacing a bad pump motor in your dishwasher an easy 1 hr job costing just the expense of the parts to showing you how to replace the start/run capacitor ($12-20 on Amazon another win for the internet) in your central A/C all by yourself with a few basic tools in 20 minutes instead of spending a couple of hours just FINDING someone to come out sometime next week,leaving you and your family to sweat it out, then charge you $$$ just for showing up.

BTW that capacitor is the most common reason for A/C units to fail so if you have central A/C it’s worth looking at yours and ordering a replacement now so you’ll have it when you need it. You’ll be a hero to the family. You can thank me later.

Also if you do find yourself in need to fix an appliance be very careful of the crazy sharp metal edges of the internal sheet metal. I swear appliances are made out of old razor blades.

I don’t know your situation but I have replaced 40-50G gas water heaters (and other appliances) myself. It’s not at all difficult. There are good videos to show how. Make sure to use gas pipe tape on the gas connections, never directly connect copper pipe to galvanized (use a dielectric nipple in between), make sure the chimney is properly connected so you don’t put everyone to sleep and put a drain pan under the new heater. Also leave access to the zincs so you can replace those as needed. Those keep the water heater from corroding internally.

You DID replace the zincs as needed on your old heater didn’t you? 😉

That said there ARE jobs that absolutely need a professional. When those happen do yourself a favor and ask them if they mind whether you watch them work and ASK GOOD QUESTIONS. Any trades person worth their salt will be happy to show off as long as you aren’t a nuance (triggering the dreaded FU upcharge). That’s how I learned to properly braze copper piping.

Last edited 4 months ago by Cheap Bastard
David Smith
David Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Seconded. In 20 years of home ownership the only thing I’ve contracted out was the roof and siding replacement which insurance paid for most of. Every other replacement (washer, dryer, water heater, dishwasher, refrigerator etc), upgrade including outlets, replacing galvanized with copper pipes, or just repairing the broken whatever I figured out how to do and did it.

As far as being a nuisance to trades people when they are in your home, I found out that my gas meter communicates to the home office via the electric meter in my basement wirelessly. The tech was there to replace the battery pack in the gas meter and I asked him if the best time to break into tamper proof gas meter to roll back the usage would be during a power outage. He just kind of laughed and said yeah. Haven’t had a prolonged outage since then and I doubt if I’d remember to test this theory out if it did. It’s still nice to know how things work.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago
Reply to  David Smith

The tech was there to replace the battery pack in the gas meter and I asked him if the best time to break into tamper proof gas meter to roll back the usage would be during a power outage. He just kind of laughed and said yeah.

Oh really……

Hmmm….

Livinglavidadidas
Livinglavidadidas
4 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

On the topic of messing with capacitors, it is not enough to just cut power to the appliance, the capacitor needs to be discharged which takes time.

David Smith
David Smith
4 months ago

I’m guessing you’ve been down that road too. It will make your hair stand straight up but isn’t enough to do much harm from appliances. Mine was from a CRT monitor. Not many of those around anymore.

Ben
Ben
4 months ago
Reply to  David Smith

I don’t think that’s true for an AC unit. My understanding is those capacitors pack a punch and you do not want to touch one when it’s energized.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago
Reply to  Ben

They do, at least when they are not blown. Which it probably is if you are in there in the first place.

Even so its always a good idea to assume it’s not.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago

Normally yes. If however your A/C isn’t working because the capacitor blew its probably OK once the power is out.

Probably…

Most capacitors of that size discharge in a few minutes so even if it was in working order it might have discharged by the time you move from the fuse box to the compressor.

IIRC the videos say to bridge the terminals with an insulated screwdriver to be absolutely sure.

Last edited 4 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Ben
Ben
4 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Yeah, we actually ended up doing the heater replacement ourselves. I considered trying to do the water heater myself, but unfortunately my old one died in such a way that it was completely unusable and thus I did not want to take the time to figure it out myself. I consider the money well spent because it means I got a hot shower that day. 🙂

You DID replace the zincs as needed on your old heater didn’t you? ????

They’re literally not accessible without removing the inlet pipe on mine. According to the plumber that’s becoming more and more common these days because no one actually does it.

I have been meaning to pick up a capacitor for my AC though. It’s getting old enough that there is a non-trivial chance of it going out now.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
4 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Truly, we are in the golden age of the DIYer.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago

Amen!

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
4 months ago
Reply to  Ben

You got reamed on that heater. I got an emergency replacement for $1300 all in (heater + installation) on a Saturday during a long weekend, including pickup of the heater from the store. Just last year, in a very high CoL area.

Ben
Ben
4 months ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

We didn’t pay it, that was just the quote. We ended up DIYing it for just the cost of the heater itself.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
4 months ago
Reply to  Ben

Do check your city and county websites for permit requirements.

I found out I needed a permit (WTF?) to replace a water heater about five years after I did it. I’ll apply for a new permit when or if I replace it again, but as far as they know, I’m still rocking a 53 year old water heater.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
4 months ago

As a former automotive tech, don’t consider doing that. The industry is in a bad place and seriously needs to revamp basically everything about it works, how it pays, how it charges customers, and more. Being an electrician for the up and coming charging networks on the hand could be a great gig, no personal experience to speak on that.

Marlin May
Marlin May
4 months ago

Until now, we’ve focused almost exclusively on expanding our EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment (charging stations)) manufacturing and installation capacity and workforce. Even if we manage to greatly improve equipment reliability, charging equipment is heavily & harshly used and exists in harsh environments. We need people to maintain and repair EVSE.

We’ll need to greatly expand the EVSE maintenance and repair workforce in order to meet and then exceed a 97% uptime for our EV charging infrastructure. Money is starting to appear to expand the workforce, but we’re playing catch-up from way behind. In my opinion, shuttering the nation’s jr./sr. high school industrial arts classes has made the situation far worse that it need have been. Sigh, that’s spilt milk, water under the bridge.

Please see my post on LinkedIn – https://bit.ly/linkedin_mdm_evse_workforce_dev – for more of my thoughts on this subject.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
4 months ago
Reply to  Marlin May

97% uptime is embarrassing. It means every charger is down for 45 every minute every day on average.

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
4 months ago

A8L (W12). Just want to cosplay as Jason Statham and do some Transportn’

Óscar Morales Vivó
Óscar Morales Vivó
4 months ago

I’m going to say the 1st gen TTRS (based on the second gen TT) because I have one ????????‍♂️

Still bummed that they never sold the roadster version in the US though.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
4 months ago

If you don’t answer Quattro or first-gen TT, then maybe just tell us your thoughts on technician/electrician/hands-on labor in the U.S., and the complicated way it’s portrayed in the context of college-degree-requiring office jobs.

So, you think RS2 or RS6 Avant would not be perfectly acceptable answers?

SYKO Simmons
SYKO Simmons
4 months ago

LMAO….. Oh really? Like most didn’t already know the charging network was flawed from the onset…. And good luck finding electricians with all the young people getting bullshit degrees and haven’t even learned to drive let alone swap out a light switch…. It’s about time to grab my popcorn and pull up a chair and watch this shit show continue.

Citrus
Citrus
4 months ago
Reply to  SYKO Simmons

Whenever I see comments like this I wonder when the last time someone talked to a real life young person.

Whether or not a kid can drive they do hell of a lot more than “swap a light switch”. The ones doing hardware mods on electronics are doing work that would probably make you soil yourself it’s so elaborate and clever.

Besides, it has been the older generation that has typically downplayed trades, I’ve known a ton of kids who have had to fight parents to be allowed to take an apprenticeship program.

John from Ohio
John from Ohio
4 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

It wreaks of someone who doesn’t have kids or is too old to have been around them in any meaningful way.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
4 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

SYKO is so peak boomer, he defines the stereotype of an entitled white retiree that threatens to shoot up the McDonald’s because they put ketchup on his cheeseburger.

SYKO Simmons
SYKO Simmons
4 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

LMAO, I’m far from a boomer , and I get to see first hand how kids act. Watched my local trade college lose courses because no one would even sign up….and now tons of trade jobs available with zero applicants.

Toecutter
Toecutter
4 months ago

I have an electrical engineering degree with more than a decade of experience designing distribution circuits here. I remember applying to “work from home” jobs designing EV infrastructure, and being outright ignored. I’d even call these companies, and could never get ahold of a real person over the phone. I was washing dishes for minimum wage at the time with this experience and capability.

I’m currently working a boring but well paid engineering job again. Before I got this job, I was applying for positions nearly every day, but it only took me 3 years to get this current one. Something is wrong there, and judging by how overworked I am at my current job and all the assignments that my current employer keeps throwing my way, coupled with being rewarded with raises, it definitely isn’t me…

A number of former students I graduated college with ended up homeless, in spite of their skills and capabilities, and employers bitching they couldn’t find people with their skills and capabilities.

Make of that what you will. It is clear to me that we’re not being told the full story of what is actually going on in this economy, or else gaslighting wouldn’t be a thing.

Last edited 4 months ago by Toecutter
TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
4 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Having trouble finding an engineering job and being a homeless engineer are both abnormal accounts. I’m not casting judgement on your story, but I’ll emphatically state that it is not generally representative

Pit-Smoked Clutch
Pit-Smoked Clutch
4 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

I also had trouble finding an engineering job… in 2013. Different world now.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
4 months ago

Completely different. Everyone I know with a Linkedin account is hounded by recruiters

Pit-Smoked Clutch
Pit-Smoked Clutch
4 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Indeed… Though their “opportunities” are rarely desirable. Same goes for Indeed (HA!)

Toecutter
Toecutter
4 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

I didn’t get hounded until I was hired again. Now it never stops. But when I wasn’t employed in the field, it was as if I didn’t exist, in spite of having nearly a decade of experience at the time. Getting so much as a phone interview was about a 1 in 250, or 0.4% chance, per application, and I only applied to jobs I was actually qualified for.

Ben
Ben
4 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

When I got laid off I found out that a lot of companies will not even look at your resume unless you already have a job. I had one company outright reject my application one month, then a month later after I had started a new position somewhere else they cold called me saying they were looking for “top talent” and thought I would be a good fit. What changed in the intervening month? My employment status.

It’s stupid, but very in line with the terrible experience I had when dealing with most HR departments. It’s amazing anyone ever gets hired at all. I’ve been on the other side too, trying to hire a new team member. It took 9 months for us to get a single candidate, who turned out to be a bad fit but we hired him anyway because we were afraid we’d lose the hiring chit if we didn’t use it.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
4 months ago
Reply to  Ben

I have a friend who was a VP of HR for a large bank. She readily admitted they wasted the time of applicants. Their own job metrics were skewed to how many applications they collected and interviewed, as opposed to actually hired. When there were hiring freezes, they were still expected to continue the appearance of recruitment and collect resumes. After her maternity leave, she left and switched to professional and career development at another institution. It was a downgrade for her, but she says she is much happier helping people develop their skills than dicking people around who are trying to find work and feed themselves.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

But when I wasn’t employed in the field, it was as if I didn’t exist, in spite of having nearly a decade of experience at the time. Getting so much as a phone interview was about a 1 in 250, or 0.4% chance, per application, and I only applied to jobs I was actually qualified for.

Damn, you make me feel like a rock star! I got a 3% call rate. I estimate I was a 90-98% fit for the jobs as described.

3% is still fucking abysmal though.

Cyko9
Cyko9
4 months ago

The Audi R8 looks fun, but the vintage Quattro is more my speed.

With ever-increasing costs of attending college, I’m surprised how poorly trades are looked upon. Maybe an electrician is too “blue collar”? You’ve got to be pretty smart and damned careful on a daily basis. And like plumbers, when you need one, you NEED one!

Citrus
Citrus
4 months ago

Part of me, the one who is frustrated for his current job for complex reasons I won’t get into on the internet, thinks that maybe training to be an electrician (at nearly 40) is a swell idea.

The part of me that is well aware of my inherent clumsiness and lack of skill at most thinks mechanical thinks that maybe I shouldn’t be trusted around that much voltage.

Mike B
Mike B
4 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

I’ve gone through the same exact thought process, haha.

Ben
Ben
4 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

When I did some DIY remodelling of my house electrical was one thing I contracted out. Everything else I did would at worst result in a bad looking wall or whatever. Electrical could kill me or burn my house down.

David Smith
David Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

First thing to remember when working with electricity is that it’s the amperage that will kill you not the voltage.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
4 months ago

Sounds like becoming an electrician is a great career move – without incurring tens of thousands in school loans.

Angel "the Cobra" Martin
Angel "the Cobra" Martin
4 months ago

This first story is about the design of the chargers and the low priority charging companies give repair support. If there are less than a dozen techs for 50,000 square miles (approximately the size of Iowa) there is an issue. On the other hand, I drove from San Francisco to Riverside and stopped at a total of 8 Supercharger stations and there was a total of 1 not in service. Better stations? Better commitment to service? Don’t know, but there seems to be a weird separation between brands.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
4 months ago

Gigapress:
I’m confused. Hopefully someone can clarify. When I see “press” I think part stamping, not casting. How does a press play into the casting process?

Professor Chorls
Professor Chorls
4 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

I’m guessing it’s a marketing nickname because most people still envision automotive body panels and pieces being made in giant steam hammer looking devices by gruff looking, grease-covered union guys standing in a shower of sparks and metal pipe clanging sound clips… which we tend to call “presses”.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
4 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

As I understand, it is a hybrid where casting happens under pressure. Somewhere I read about the benefits of this, but I don’t recall the details.I wouldn’t be surprised if there was somebody here who actually has experience with one of these.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
4 months ago

It’s basically an espresso machine for sheet metal. No wonder the Italians are good at it.

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
4 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Its the extreme pressures that the liquid metal must be forced into these huge, relatively thin-walled casting voids, and thus the huge pressures that must be applied to the different slides and parts of the mold to keep them all together.

Livinglavidadidas
Livinglavidadidas
4 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

I think a lot of parts have to get pressed after being poured to make sure they take on the shape of the finer peripheral features and to beat the clock on the material not only cooling but cooling unevenly. I’m by no means educated in the field but I do remember reading this article that was interesting and informative
https://www.theautopian.com/i-made-a-huge-engineering-mistake-on-the-2005-ford-gt/

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
4 months ago

I remember that, too. Thanks for the reminder. Explains a lot!

MiniDave
MiniDave
4 months ago

My favorite is the one everyone loves to hate – our 2004 Allroad…..smooth, quiet, rode beautifully, turbo power, Tiptronic gearbox……and plenty of room because it’s a wagon!

My previous Audi love was my bought from new ’78 5000, 4 speed manual, roll up windows – about as base a car as you could by then and it was the most fun you could have with 100 hp there was. I lived in Colorado then so it did plenty of winter ski trips and runs back home to KC.

But my real faves were the turbo cars – turbo diesel 5000’s, turbo quattro coupes, I even had a factory test 79 turbo 5000S with a 5 speed stick and ABS for a while.

Parsko
Parsko
4 months ago

B5 S4 wagon in Blue. Pretty generic response.

My only other remark is about trade work vs. engineering. To me, it boils down to the body thing, as has been stated. Trades wear your body out. Plus, there is a good chance you will also work weekends. I am pro trade, but I would MUCH rather be an engineer with debt that can count on a steady paycheck and 5 days of work a week. Plus, typical tradesman (not all, for sursies), own their own businesses. Owning a small business is also extremely tough. So, you get the physical wear and the mental wear at the same time.

PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
4 months ago

RS2 and Sport Quattro obviously, and I wish I had the funds to build a B7 RS4 Avant. Biased (I own one) but I think the B8 S4 is pretty bonkers. Supercharged rear biased compact sedan available with a stick???

As far as motorsport the famous IMSA GTO racecar was insane and got both AWD and non-domestic engines banned from the series because it absolutely cleaned up.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
4 months ago

I have a love/hate relationship with Audi. My German car obsessed but proper maintenance averse parents (what a combo!) have owned FIVE of them. Two A6s (one was an 05, one was a 2018 I think) one 09 A4 convertible, one 2015 Allroad, and one SQ5 that my mom dailies. I’ve driven all of them.

The A6s were the most problem free, although the 05 was stolen and found clapped out beyond all recognition at about 50k miles, so who knows what it’s fate might have been. The 2018ish had the supercharged 6 and was surprisingly problem free. My dad ditched it at 70,000 miles because he knew pain was coming. The A4 drop top was totaled out by insurance because the roof failed catastrophically and left the interior FUBAR and the Allroad mechanically totaled itself around 60k miles. Fucking EA888….

Right now I don’t really see much appeal in the brand if we’re looking through enthusiast glasses unless you have a 6 figure budget. The RS6 Avant/RS7/etc. are all great sleepers and the RSQ8 is essentially a half priced version of the Lamborghini Urine, so there is that.

But current Audis that I could possibly afford? Blah. Their lineup is pretty dated across the board and they’re way behind BMW/Mercedes when it comes to powertrains. They have almost no hybrids in their entire lineup and both their EVs are reskinned versions of other cars built with last gen technology and charging. The RS3 is kind of cool but the front end is hideous and it’s unobtainium at MSRP. I wouldn’t touch any of the RS/S cars with that 2.9 liter overboosted V6 with a 10 foot pole.

That engine is a disaster on paper. Way too complex and it’s not really any more efficient than just going with a V8 or bigger, less boosted 6 would be. If I had to pick out of their current lineup I guess an S5 sportback would probably be my choice, but they’re overpriced at MSRP and again, that old 3 liter turbo 6 is a good engine but it’s no B58. My mom’s SQ5 averages fuel economy in the teens and she rarely lays into it.

Now ALL TIME is a bit different because in the 2000s (back when Audi was still cool) they had some truly iconic performance vehicles that captivated the minds of a lot of young folks like me. The B6 S4 will always be an icon to me because of its prevalence in racing games, the iconic blue (is it turbo blue? That’s what Audi calls it now) and the fact that it’s an NA V8 and manual transmission.

The first gen TT is a solid answer because it’s one of the best automotive designs of the last 30 years, but I struggle with the fact that it’s front wheel drive and exceedingly complex. I’ve seen several YouTubers buy old TTs and build them out and the consensus across the board is pretty much that they’re a nightmare. Great to look at, miserable to own.

So I must go with the first generation R8 with the V10 and gated manual. It’s hard to overstate how ubiquitous that car was. It was EVERYWHERE, and everyone knew what it was. It was one of the ultimate bedroom poster cars for 90s kids. The design has aged…fairly well all things considered, and it remains the ultimate case study in how to pull off a halo car. It’s not all that much of a stretch to suggest that that car essentially saved Audi…and unfortunately it looks like they’re in dire need of something like that again.

Last edited 4 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
4 months ago

2008 R8. Iron Man came out my freshman year of high school and it looked incredible. Actually thinking back on it, between Tony Stark being “cool” for working on his own cars and Transformers a few months earlier getting me to think a 1977 Camaro was the perfect affordable first car…that might have been the year I developed my love of cars.

ExAutoJourno
ExAutoJourno
4 months ago

I’ve been smitten by the RS2 ever since I saw Hans Stuck Jnr drive away in one after a DTM race in Germany. Thing was magnificent, and I still want one.

Of those I’ve driven, it’d be a close run between a TT Quattro (I kinda dug the baseball-glove interior) and S6 Avant. Both were really, really nice cars. But the OG V8 was pretty wonderful, too. 140mph felt like 70 in that one.

Audis have always been out of my league price-wise, and still are. But at least I don’t have to worry about charging stations and the problems thereof, as the E-Trons leave me absolutely cold.

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