Four North Carolina State Representatives Declare War On Free Public Charging Stations

Morning Dump Free Charging Stations

North Carolina state reps want to rip out public charging stations, Genesis may go bespoke, Ram readies a special TRX. All this and more on today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

This Sounds Like A Really Stupid Use Of Taxpayer Money

Ev Charging Stations Sign
Photo credit: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine

Forgive me for getting political for a second. While free EV charging likely isn’t sustainable in the long-run, North Carolina state representatives Kidwell, Moss, Brody, and Cleveland have introduced an anti-free charging bill that makes them sound like whiny little pricks.

House Bill 1049 consists of three main components. The first is to make stores with free EV charging stations print on the bottom of every receipt how much of a customer’s bill goes towards subsidizing charging. I mean really, who cares? At current EV take rates, you’re looking at a few cents on each bill, all of which comes out of the operating budget anyway. How is providing free EV charging any different from ad spend? It’s a hook to get consumers into stores.

Secondly, and this is where things get really insane, the bill wants to prohibit use of public funds for free EV charging stations on public land unless fossil fuels are also provided for free. One, electricity’s so much cheaper than fossil fuels that this is insane, two, public funds are drawn directly from constituents in the form of taxes. With the ever-increasing take rate of EVs, shouldn’t your taxes be spent on making your life better?

Third, and this is the most batshit part of all, $50,000 of taxpayer money from the DOT’s general fund will be spent ripping out free EV charging stations on public land effective July 1, and that measure is happening regardless of whether or not the bill becomes codified into law. I don’t know man, that sounds like a gross misappropriation of taxpayer dollars to me.

Look, I may not be a taxpayer in North Carolina, but when I pay my taxes, I really hate to see some of that money going towards stupid shit. This anti-EV bill falls well and truly in the territory of stupid shit. I reckon a lot of people regardless of political affiliation echo that general sentiment. While free charging definitely can’t last in the long run, ripping out charging stations just makes it harder for citizens to drive. Remember, it’s absolutely free to call up a representative’s office and kindly yet firmly let them know what you think about policy.

[Editor’s Note: I AM a taxpayer in NC, and I agree this is some industrial-grade dipshittery. – JT]

The Used Car Market Still Sucks

A Buy Here Pay Here Dealer
Photo credit: “Used car dealer in Miami” by ryantxr is marked with CC BY 2.0.

You know what weird used car market we’re experiencing right now? It’s most definitely staying weird. The Manheim Index of used car wholesale values rose again last month by 1.1 percent over April. While that figure alone seems to suggest pricing is holding, the nitty gritty is much more interesting.

Let’s start with the long run. Due in part to ridiculous gas prices, used pickup truck wholesale values have actually declined 2.7 percent year-over-year. Similarly, SUV values are up, but only by 9.9 percent. Conversely, compact car values are through the roof, up 14.7 percent year-over-year and nabbing the title of second fastest-gaining segment. The fastest? Well, people are ordering a whole lot more online, so van values are up by a whopping 27.6 percent year-over-year, an absolutely astronomical figure. As for Midsize cars and luxury cars, they land somewhere in the middle at 12.3 and 13.4 percent respectively. So what about the short term? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that full-size and luxury car values declined over April’s figures, the bad news is that everything else is up.

As for whether or not we’re truly past the peak of market values, it’s hard to say from figures alone. While an index number of 222.7 is lower than the 236.3 peak we saw in January, it’s still up from last month’s 221.2. While a normal sales year sees values run hotter in the summer, 2022 is shaping up to be anything but a normal year on the used car market. Best advice? Hold tight for now unless you’re absolutely sure you can comfortably afford cars at their current prices and aren’t afraid of potential future depreciation.

Genesis Might Go Bespoke

Genesis G90
Photo credit: Genesis

According to The Korea Economic Daily, Genesis is set to launch a personalization program called “One of One.” The plan is fairly simple – first allow customers to pay a bit more money for custom interiors, then expand into paints, powertrain selection, and other special options. It’s a move directly out of the playbook of German competition. BMW has its Individual Manufaktur program offering a whole rainbow of colors and leathers, Mercedes-Benz’s Manufaktur program offers special paints, leathers, and trims, while Audi’s Exclusive program also has special paints and interiors.

Not only will extra-cost paint and interiors promise to generate more revenue for Genesis, they also blend well with what we’re already seeing from the brand. In my home market of Canada, orders are pulled from national pools of vehicles, so it’s fairly common to see Genesis models out and about in some really interesting specs. The take rates for actual colors are high, which means that customers should support a detailed personalization program.

Ram’s Ultra-Potent TRX Dons Desert Camo

2022 Ram 1500 Trx Sandblast
Photo credit: Ram

Stellantis is a huge fan of special editions, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that the special edition treatment has made its way to the ridiculous 702-horsepower Ram TRX. This supercharged half-ton pickup truck has never been a shrinking violet, but this new Sandblast Edition promises to blend in better with desert surroundings. A subtle Ram TRX? Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron.

To create the Sandblast Edition, Ram first swiped a color from the Stellantis back catalog. Mojave Sand was previously available on the previous-generation JK Jeep Wrangler, so it only made sense to pop it on this special edition TRX. After all, why R&D a new color when something perfectly suitable is laying on the shelf? Speaking of stuff laying on the shelf, the TRX Sandblast Edition comes kitted out with the TRX Level 2 Equipment Package, a panoramic roof, a spray-in bedliner, cargo tie-downs, and a bed step from the Mopar accessory catalog. While the black beadlock-capable alloy wheels are new, those in the know will find a pleasing familiarity to the TRX Sandblast Edition’s exterior.

2022 Ram 1500 Trx Sandblast
Photo credit: Ram

Things heat up a bit on the inside with more unique touches. Ram claims that the carbon fiber trim is unique to this special edition, and it pairs nicely with the carbon fiber steering wheel accents. Light contrast stitching abounds, while Ram has taken the time to ensure that the little animation of a Ram TRX in the digital gauge cluster is shaded in the correct exterior-matching tan. As a bonus, each TRX Sandblast Edition comes with a belt buckle-sized plaque on the center armrest with key specs and the truck’s VIN. Nifty.

Of course, all this off-road speed doesn’t come cheap. The Ram TRX Sandblast Edition clocks in at a whopping $100,090 including a $1,795 freight charge. So, if you have six figures burning a hole in your pocket and want a really fast way to haul bulk mulch across the desert, expect the Ram TRX Sandblast Edition to make an interest-piquing arrival at Ram dealerships this summer.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Wednesday everyone, we made it to the middle of the week. To celebrate, let’s play a game. You can build a three-car garage using unlimited money, but there’s a catch. One has to be powered by gasoline, one must run on diesel, and one must have a battery pack you plug in to recharge. What three-car garage would you end up with?

Lead photo credit: Chargepoint

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112 Responses

  1. Gas: S1 Lotus Elise
    Diesel: Alfa Romeo 159 wagon or Benz E diesel wagon, diesel and wagons just go so well together!
    Electric: Unpopular choice, but I absolutely love the Chevy Bolt. Affordable, fun to drive, well proportioned, I love them.

  2. Actually, the proposal to publish the cost of free EV charging on store receipts is great…IF you pair it with my own proposals:

    1. Every year, when state and federal) tax returns come back, every taxpayer also gets a letter (from both the state and federal government) enumerating exactly how much of their money covered subsidies, indirect and direct, to the oil and gas industry. Screw it, let’s also include subsidies to the agriculture sector as another line item.

    2. The numbers fluctuate, but contemporary studies generally peg the cost to society of burning gasoline as about $1/gallon. That includes insurance write offs for increasing rates of cataclysmic weather, healthcare costs from air pollution and deaths from heat waves, and a whole bunch of other things. So if we’re putting externalities on receipts, let’s list those. Not only does your tank of gas cost $70 (which objectively sucks), here is the $13 your grandchildren effectively pay for your privelege of burning it. Still want to vote for the kind of Luddites who would prefer you stay shackled to ExxonMobil forever?

    tl;dr maybe once voters collectively scoop their jaws off the floor about the real costs of the status quo, we’ll get some reasonable policies instead of bad-faith arguments about how EV subsidies imbalance the only-notionally-free market.

    1. Free public charging is dead already and it just doesn’t know it. The fatal wound was dealt by V2G charging, and it’s just a matter of time before it finishes bleeding out.

      The only people you’re going to find that support allowing people to funnel tax dollars into their wallet by charging their car at the free public station and then driving home to sell the power to the grid are the people who are actually taking advantage of that particular scam. You might think that there would be plenty of EV owners willing to allow it to happen just so they can get some free power to use as intended, but that will only last right up until the moment they start suspecting that the reason every free charging station is in use when they need to top up is because somebody is selling the power.

      You might think nobody in their right mind would wear their EV battery out charging up then discharging at home repeatedly, because batteries are too expensive. But: A) People are stupid and will spend a dollar to save a nickel, B) A lot of EVs are going to be owned by somebody other than the driver. You think somebody driving a fleet F-150 cares whether the battery wears out faster if they can get their power bill to zero? and C) If you only go from 80-20% doing this it won’t put much wear on the battery anyway.

      So let these morons have their fun. It won’t matter in the long run. Free charging is dead.

      1. “So let these morons have their fun.”

        OK. My fantasy garage:

        Electric: Telsa Semi with superduper charger connector, V2H capability and a trailer full of powerwalls.

        Gasoline: Ford Maverick hybrid… with trailer hitched to a semi trailer full of powerwalls

        Diesel: Semi (preferably converted to NG) with with a trailer hitched to a trailer full of powerwalls

        I think you can see where this is going…

    2. This is precisely what i would expect from the mouth-breathers that run the right. “Lets write up a bunch of laws that do nothing but annoy the libs” “yeah, my uncle used to be able to park his dually right in front of the store and NOW there’s some libtard there chargin’ up his tesla, it ain’t right” was probably how the committee went on this mess. but this is also the same folks that are anti-abortion AND also anti mask mandate, because while it’s perfectly OK to have laws to tell women that they have to carry that child to term, requiring people to wear a mask at a store is an egregious violation of their basic human rights. the sad part is that they do not see the irony here, and when presented that, get really really angry with me.

        1. I don’t know how long your lifetime is, but Republicans haven’t been small government for any of my lifetime. Sure they’ll talk about how we can’t spend ourselves rich or how the people tell the government what to do not the other way around, but then they’ll institute the largest deficit in history and increase the number of peaceful, nonviolent people on prison by 800%.
          Nope, Republicans have never been small government.

  3. I’ll play the game.

    Gas – New Honda Africa Twin – Because motorcycles are cooler than cars…and this one can do it all. Touring, off roading, and fun in the twistys.

    Diesel – 2005 Dodge 3500 Dually – 5.9 Cummins – For hauling and towing and road tripping

    Electric – New Tesla Model S – Long range AWD – Maybe the Plaid…maybe not. Don’t really need that crazy speed/acceleration.

  4. I assume that they are getting rid of those big electric signs and customers need to bring their own flashlights?

    Can stores just put a jar with a “pay what you please because Kidwell, Moss, Brody, and Cleveland are a gasoline huffing circle of jerks” sign?

  5. The description of house bill 1049 sounded so absurd that I read it to see if it was misrepresented it in any way. It was not.

    While I drive an EV and consider myself an EV enthusiasts/evangelist, I understand why some people would not want public money used to offer free charging for private vehicles. Most EVs are luxury vehicles (i.e. any Tesla), so free charging is subsidizing fuel for wealthier individuals at the expense of all taxpayers. However, this could be addressed by requiring publicly-owned charging stations to sell electricity at a small markup. It would be reasonable to require electricity to be sold at a markup that is comparable to that charged on a typical gallon of gas (i.e. if gas stations make a 5% profit per gallon, EV stations should make a similar 5% profit per kw/h). That would ensure taxpayers aren’t favoring a wealthy subset of drivers while expanding charging infrastructure. Electricity would still be cheaper than gas, and the charging stations might pay for themselves over time or make a profit that is returned to taxpayers.

    Of course, these muppets also want to regulate privately owned charging stations (probably in the name of freedom, somehow), so this is obviously a political stunt and not an attempt at addressing a legitimate policy issue (I know that is not a shocking conclusion).

    1. >> I understand why some people would not want public money used to offer free charging for private vehicles.

      Let’s get rid of the mortgage deduction for personal residences. That’s public money going to home owners.

      1. Not charging someone tax on an amount of dollars they spend on something they own is substantially different than not spending the tax dollars you collect from them and others on something they may or may not own. Unless you consider your personal income public money, your comparing apples and oranges.

      2. >> Let’s get rid of the mortgage deduction for personal residences. That’s public money going to home owners.

        I have heard similar arguments for eliminating the mortgage interest rate deduction. It is not something I personally support, but it is a perfectly rational opinion. For the record, I don’t object to free public charging, but I think there are rational arguments against it.

        1. The mortgage interest (not rate) reduction was effectively elliminated a few years ago. At least for me. Unless you have a McMansion, or the worst mortgage/loan on record, you’re not necessarily paying enough interest to deduct when coupled with other itemizations and compared to the “new” standard deduction.. Results vary, of course.

          And, if removing this deduction to prevent subsidy for homeowners, would removing the individual deductions work to prevent subsidizing people?

  6. I’m assuming new vehicles, so:

    Gas: Ford Bronco 2D 7MT base in Eruption Green.

    Diesel: GMC Sierra 1500 I-6 diesel 4×4 crew cab

    Electric: Ford E-Transit chassis cab, with an aluminum drop-side trey on it.

  7. Gas-1st Gen Mercury Cougar
    Diesel- Square Body 7th Gen Suburban
    EV- Ford F-150 Lightning with 12 in. screen (no iPad glued to the dash 15 in.)

    EV was a really hard choice because there is a lot that’s coming out, but relatively few really tested or even in production. I do like the look of the Rivian. Hope they can actually get it out there.

    Essentially, the list comes down to the EV being my daily puttering around town vehicle. The other two are fun cars. I’ve always like the Mustang, but that first gen Cougar really popped. Square body Suburbans are cool. If you’re going to get one, might as well get it with the Detroit Diesel V8.

  8. Gas: Bentley Bentayga EWB, preferably a metallic pine needle green with a deep brown leather interior. One part lux SUV, one part lux wagon, one part lux GT touring, one part lux limo. Second choice is a Porsche Panamera Turbo/S/GTS of some sort, in the same color.

    Diesel: Ram 1500. These pull and haul better than almost anything, and ride better than most luxury sedans and SUVs. Second choice is a used Cayenne, or the biggest, newest German diesel executive sedan available.

    Battery: Rimac Nevera. I don’t even know if it will ever be available in the US, but if it’s a fantasy garage, I’ll want something fun to drive in Europe anyway. Second choice (or first for US use) is tough: either a Porsche Panamera Plug-in Hybrid or a Tesla Model S Plaid. Probably the Tesla, even though I’ve grown to deeply dislike and distrust Elon Musk.

  9. Let’s see… My answer to “fantasy garage” questions like these fluctuate wildly with my mood, but today let’s go with:
    Electric – Hyundai Ioniq, because I actually love the styling.
    Diesel – W123 300CD. Gotta love a two-door hardtop.
    Gas – Only one? Crap. Umm… Lamborghini Miura, in that bright acid green color.

  10. My three car garage:

    Electric- Chevrolet Bolt (I would park it outside of the garage, though). Long range, low price, and a small footprint make this an ideal vehicle for city driving. I also like the Leaf (I currently drive one), but I wouldn’t pick a Leaf since the new ones still have that damn CHAdeMO port.

    Diesel- F250 Diesel (probably won’t fit in the garage, though). With 1,050 torques, this thing feels fast when unladen. I have owned 10 cars/trucks/SUVs and my F250 6.7 powerstroke is the fastest accelerating 4 wheeled vehicle I have ever owned. It is also surprisingly comfortable on road trips.

    Gas- Lamborghini Huracan. It is horribly impractical, but my hypothetical Bolt covers short distance trips and my F250 can handle road trips, hauling, and towing. My gas vehicle may as well be impractical, so I may as well get the Lambo.

        1. I love this answer more than I can say. It says all the right things about loving cars.

          You love performance, but an extra 3% on top of top-of-the-line isn’t going to make any real difference in your life, while being happier with the way it looks will.

          1. I say the same thing to someone quoting performance numbers to convince me a car is “better” with an automatic.

            And how is that related to the smile on my face when I’m doing ~45 mph on a twisty two lane with the gearshift in one hand and the fat leather wheel in the other?

            Maybe some people buy their cars for every inch they can squeeze out of them on the track, but not I. Driving enjoyment is 1000x more important to me than a 0.7 second difference in 0-60. You don’t have to be racing to enjoy a performance car.

            1. Re: the “bUt THe aUt0 Is fAstEr!” argument, I do track days regularly, and if I didn’t have 3 pedals I wouldn’t bother going.

              The only time the DSG’s faster shifts make sense is if you’re actually driving fast for a living, aka. a professional race-car driver.

  11. I’d also like a print out to know how much money is used to subsidize fossil fuels companies that are making record profits.

    Next time you hear them say small business is the backbone of the economy remember the BS they want to push on small business while bailing out stock buy backs.

    1. Is there anything in the bill preventing these small business from also printing out the political donors to North Carolina state representatives Kidwell, Moss, Brody, and Cleveland?


  12. “The plan is fairly simple – first allow customers to pay a bit more money for custom interiors, then expand into paints, powertrain selection, and other special options.”

    110% onboard with this. If you have never seen a G80 Copper in person, go fucking find one. Genesis’ colors and materials are WAY better than anything from Germany. And their execution of subtle is without equal. You literally can’t tell it’s a G80 Copper except for the specific colors that were offered. Which are just… LOOK at this blue.

    And that’s about the worst shot of it I could find. Genesis is where Hyundai stopped fucking around with shitboxes and said “we’re going to kick BMW and Daimler’s asses, at the same time.” Their cars are absolutely stunning, their colors are the best you’ll find anywhere, they offer interior colors OTHER THAN BLACK. Hell, they even have fantastic wheels and don’t just slap shitty black paint on them. Tasman Blue is just… yes. And Hallasan Green, you’ll need clean pants.

    But they still have to nuke their downright fucking criminal dealer network though. Seriously.

    “You can build a three-car garage using unlimited money, but there’s a catch. One has to be powered by gasoline, one must run on diesel, and one must have a battery pack you plug in to recharge.”

    Unless you’re also going to solve the inability to actually repair any BEV, it’s going to be a fucking Power Wheels for the battery option. If you are, Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The Mitsu version, not the Peugeot. They’re still only useful as an in-town runabout.
    Gas, I’ll keep the C4GTS thanks.
    Diesel, WK2 Grand Cherokee with the CRD3.0.

    1. What do you mean that BEVs can’t be repaired?

      Battery packs can be replaced…so can inverters…so can motors. Hell, even only bad modules in battery packs can be replaced.

      There are plenty of shops now that take busted gen1 Leafs, and put in a 60kw gen2 battery pack giving it over 200 miles of range.

      Sure, it may require some specialized equipment, but doesn’t ICE repair require the same?

      1. No, they cannot. This is pure bullshit pushed by people who know nothing or profit off the ignorant, period.

        A Chevy Bolt’s battery pack costs more to replace than the car is worth. A Leaf’s battery pack costs more to replace than the car is worth. A Prius battery pack costs more to replace than the car is worth. IMA in your Insight fails, part NLA, send it to the scrapyard.
        Know how much a 2015 Nissan Leaf is worth? Less than $14k in today’s market. Know how much those 62kWh battery packs cost? $12,000+ with a used part that has no warranty and no guarantee, only that it ‘usually has 80-90% of capacity intact.’
        You would have to be a complete idiot to do that. An absolute moron. That’s $24k+ in trade and cash toward a brand new Leaf, which stickers at $27k before incentives and tax credits, and comes with an 8 year, 100k warranty.

        I know more about fixing DC and HVDC systems than any other mechanic you will ever find. If you can’t perform the mechanical tasks safely, you shouldn’t be working on cars period. I’ll stand by that all day every day.
        This does not change the fact that you cannot install a part that you cannot get, and that putting a $17,000 repair into a car worth $10,000 is stupid.

        1. I’ve talked to a few people with first generation Leafs that replaced the battery with a used one in good condition. A Leaf with a bad battery costs around $2500. Replacing the battery with a good one from a wrecked Leaf can be done for maybe $5,000. At that point, you have a first generation Leaf with 80+ percent of original range for under $8,000. Sure, the battery costs more than the car, but the end product often ends up cheaper than buying a comparable used Leaf with a good battery.

          Batteries in other EVs are expensive to replace (even with a used battery), since few used batteries are available. In the future, with advances in battery technology, possible standardization of batteries, and greater available of batteries from damaged vehicles, prices will go down dramatically.

          In the meantime, it is worth noting that catastrophic battery failures are still exceptionally rare. So even if it is extremely expensive to replace batteries, you almost certainly won’t have to.

        2. Yep, exactly the reason I unloaded my 7.5 year old Volt just before the 8 year warranty was up. I don’t want to drive a car that is was worth $10,000 but is totally bricked if the battery failed, and a used battery was $8,000-12,000 dollars. I hope someday the batteries are cheaper to replace, but it blows my mind to see people buying 2012-2014 Volts with over 100,000 miles for over $14,000 now because of the gas prices and used car prices. They could literally lose their investments anytime if the battery fails. So many of these crazy people are financing that amount too. I’ll get a BEV again, but it will probably be a lease or I’ll unload it before the battery warranty is up. I have a 13 year old and a 43 year old car that both run just fine with a gas engine. I’d wouldn’t have expected the battery in my Volt to get to either of those milestones. I hope we get to a point where a BEV isn’t almost disposable after 8-10 years, but I think they still are.

          1. I agree 8-10 year old EVs are regarded as disposable, but a lot of that is the progression of technology. The vast majority of 8-10 year old EVs are first generation Leafs. With fresh batteries, the typical Leaf has a maximum range of 90 miles or so. That is a radically different vehicle than a modern EV. I doubt a 2022 Model S or Taycan will be disposable after 10 years, unless EV technology continues to improve at such a rapid pace (if it does, I’m looking forward to buying a $10,000 Taycan).

            For ICE vehicles, anything post 1990 or so is going to be similarly capable to a modern vehicle. A 1995 Accord sucks compared to a 2022 Accord, but in terms of abilities to transport passengers and cargo, a 1995 Accord will function very similarly to a 2022 equivalent. The difference between a 2022 and a 2012 ICE vehicle isn’t much, but the difference between a 1952 and a 1962 was substantial, and even more so for a 1902 and 1912.

            Old EVs will stop being disposable when technology begins to advance incrementally instead of exponentially.

        3. Couldn’t you say the same thing about a 2015 Nissan Versa with a blown engine or transaxle? I guess with those you have a better chance of finding a junkyard replacement but at some point any car gets too expensive to fix. BEVs just hit that point quicker right now due to availability.

          1. Yeah, it seems like people point to the battery cost as if you’ll be replacing them all the time. Musk said that the lifespan of a Tesla battery is 300k-350k. Assuming he is grossly inflating that number, let’s call it 200k-250k. Plenty of engines that’ll need a rebuild or replacement by that time, never mind transmissions, transaxles, and whatever else.

          2. Only if you completely ignore logic, reason, and facts to push the bogus EV hypetrain further down the track.

            Know how much it costs me to do an entire engine and transmission swap in a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a good junkyard unit which will be just fine, no reduced range, no ‘might work might not’ bullshit?
            $5,000 out the door, INSTALLED. Value of the car? $10k+ even without the current market shenanigans. Or if it’s a more valuable one, an entire brand new, zero mile longblock is about $7k. A complete reman transmission is $1500.
            That’s on a 10+ year old Jeep.

            Nissan Versa engine? Good junkyard pulls run sub-$750. That’s it. Blew a head gasket, may as well swap the whole motor. Call it a 6 hour job, so about $2k all-in. 2012 Nissan Versa 1.8’s are going for about $5-6k.

            Know what a Toyota Prius with reduced range on the battery is worth? Less than $3k. And that’s a HEV, not a BEV. Honda Insights, literally every owner’s group says the fix for any battery problems is to completely disconnect and remove the battery system and convert to pure ICE. That’s certainly … a choice.

            The lifespan is orders of magnitude longer. There is not a single BEV that is repairable outside of warranty. Between dealer-only parts and exorbitant parts costs and deliberate manufacturer sabotage, it’s just not possible. No matter how much people insist otherwise.
            And manufacturers absolutely are not going to change this. They are going to keep making it worse. They are not in the business of selling you parts – they are in the business of selling you a car. Cars that last 10 years mean they are selling less cars. They are going to do absolutely everything they possibly can to make those cars last 10 miles or 10 days past warranty and not one millisecond longer. Their sole objective is to get you to buy a new car from them as often as they can force you to.

            1. So I should tell the guy sitting next to me right now who replaced his worked to death batteries in an OG IMA insight with a new pack that had double the original amp hours for $1800 he’s a liar? He daily drives it to work and sees 65MPG combined. Maybe you are wrong?

                1. I’ve been trying to research used hybrids because the out of warranty battery issue is scary, but there are plenty of places that advertise battery replacements for various Toyota hybrids and I think also Leafs for just a few grand. It seems like the breadth of models these services are available for is not wide, particularly if they’re replacing commodity cells in existing battery packs, but not nothing.

    2. Honest question: are they still chronically unable to design and manufacture a reliable GDI engine? My folks are in the market for some mid-level luxury, but I can’t in good conscience recommend an oil-chugging pain in the ass drivetrain when they’re coming from a Toyota V6.

      1. GDI doesn’t wash the valve faces and seats. Any oil leakdown around the intake valve stem is going to stay there, carbon up, and eventually cause issues.

        I’m not completely sure there is a good lasting solution that doesn’t involve periodic maintenance cleaning. The only question is how long maintenance interval should be.

      2. Toyota and Honda are the only ones who can’t not fuck up DI. Toyota’s DI is pretty much… I won’t even call it an engine, frankly. There’s a ’20 Corolla XLE in the driveway. It has more NVH, rattle, and buzz than a 1995 Kia. And believe me, I would know, as I’ve driven both. It is a fucking hateful “car.” (And the loudest tires ever known to man only make it worse.)

        Past that? DI only burns oil when people ignore maintenance. Wanna guess what people do even more than before? Uh-huh. Doesn’t help that manufacturers keep pushing bullshit like ‘lifetime fill’ (no such thing on any fluid,) extended oil change intervals, and the like. DI’s just require additional maintenance, because the valves are prone to coking up due to EGR and the lack of fuel wash. It’s why Ford’s multi-injector (MPFI + DI) engines are relatively okay in that regard (but have shitloads of other problems,) and GM’s tend to run like shit over time (SIDI is below the valves.)
        For any DI without fuel spray in the intake tract, every 30k or so you need to do a proper solvent cleaning of the entire intake tract above the valves. It’s a maintenance item, that’s all. If you’re in an area with shitty gas, it may be more frequent. Remember, EGR dumps all the unburnt hydrocarbons and exhaust particulates straight into the intake tract. On top of the valves. That’s why it’s called ‘coking.’ It’s basically a hard deposit of carbon with some fuel impurities. Which also likes to work it’s way into the oil, meaning that 10,000 mile interval? Ha, no.

        That’s what fucks up DI engines. Lack of proper maintenance and lack of educating customers about proper maintenance procedures. Unless you have wash spray, you have to de-carbon the intake and valves on a regular basis. Not like every oil change, but every 25-30k miles isn’t atypical. But because most people ignore it, you end up with a ton of videos on YouTube about having to pull the whole intake tract and do hours of media blasting.
        I’m out of the mechanic game, but yeah, that kind of fouling doesn’t happen without something else going on. The engine’s being fed improper fuel (excessive EGR cycle,) the fuel has too much corn-piss content (all corn-based Ethanol content is bad for engines, period,) the exhaust system or EGR has a problem, they’ve never changed an air filter in the life of the car, or it’s gone 70,000+ miles without the intake tract so much as being looked at.
        And no, the crap you pour in your tank has never, ever helped and never, ever will. DI systems operate at 875psi (Porsche 9A1) to 2200+psi (GM SIDI.) This is why I yell very loudly about ensuring the systems are depressurized and that shadetrees have no business going near the HP side. Anyway, the in-tank crap goes through the injectors. And there’s so much pressure in there, crap just gets blasted through.
        What you have to do is to feed an actual solvent above the intake manifold. This is an extremely dangerous procedure that should NEVER be attempted at home because it involves working with a highly flammable and toxic substance, in a confined space, in extremely close proximity to rotating assemblies, high temperatures, very high pressures, and innumerable ignition sources. Often it will also require manually rotating the engine to ensure valves are closed, which if they’re coked up, may not be the case even when you think they are. (Let the shop take the liability risk.) If it isn’t “FOR PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY,” “NOT FOR RETAIL SALE,” and many very scary warnings? Yeah. No. Not gonna work.

        Properly engineered and maintained DI engines will basically go as long as any other or longer. The Porsche 9A1’s are already well known to go over 100k so long as they’re properly maintained. (Thankfully they’re very clean burning with low EGR cycling, which helps a lot.) It’s not uncommon to see even abused GM LNFs, LHUs, and LTGs at 150k+.

  13. Free EV charging debate in N.C.:
    1. One quick solution for private businesses and “public lands” would be to make it NOT free but a nominal amount. Install a cheap parking meter at every space and make the car owner pay $.50 or some such amount. Then, that law just become obsolete. Everybody wins.
    2. Really??? I don’t know but strongly suspect that if any of the N.C. college campuses that provide free EV parking will allow state employees to come and rip up their parking lots. Sounds like a lot of pissed up college administrators/ board of regents, etc.

    1. Leave it to the GQP to waste time on garbage like this.

      If a business switched from a traditional neon sign to LED the energy savings would likely result in a wash with a free charging spot.

      It is funny to think what offering free fossil fuel would look like. “Here’s your 1/8th of a gallon”

      1. A grocery store near me has a rewards program that earns you cents-off per gallon at a nearby gas station the store partnered with. EV owners on the other hand get no perks unless maybe there’s a 120-volt outlet on the back of the store by the loading dock they could plug into for the 45 minutes they’re in the store.

  14. Hmm, 3 car garage.

    Ok so easy is the bev, Rivian R1t. Saw one the other day in Bethesda and Do Want! Practical diesel will have to be a 2015ish Mazda5 diesel 6spd. Gas fun car….Ferrari 456 6spd. Whole family fits in every option so happy home time too.

  15. Electric- This would be the primary do everything vehicle, something similar to the Bolt, but with a longer, more wagon like trunk, and basic offroad capabilities similar to a subaru. Functionally it would essentially be a mid 2000’s outback but electric. Since this doesn’t really exist yet (maybe the solterra, but blech), and money is no option, I’d probably have some custom shop figure out how to cobble this together from scratch, and end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for what would be a $40k production vehicle. Otherwise, just keep the Bolt we currently have.

    Gas- This would have to be a sports car/GT with a stick shift, and a high strung engine that preferably revs to 5 figures. I would also have to fit in it though, and I’m 6’5″, so that would probably rule out almost everything. The Murray T50 would be the obvious choice, if I would fit, and it was actually available to buy.

    Diesel- I’ve enjoyed the low end torque of the diesel Golf that my parents bought a decade ago on my recommendation, as well as various rentals in Europe, but now that electric motors have more low end torque, as well as up to 100+ mph from a single gear, no need for this. Just to check the diesel box, I would probably convert the old jeep XJ to a short range electric, with a small diesel range extender (I would prefer gas for simplicity, but have to check that box) for the few times a year I take it more than 50 miles from home. Or maybe get a bobcat to clear snow in the winter. Or get an old 5 ton army truck, that would only be used when some pickup truck blocks an EV charger, to use a tow strap to drag the offending truck off down the road on its roof.

  16. Guzzoline: Cord 810
    Diesel: If I’m restricted to landgoing vehicles, how about a FCCC Cascadia-based RV with a DD13? Or one of the GM motor coaches with the Detroit 2-stroke that I convert into an RV.
    Electric: Mustang Mach E GT

  17. I can understand not wanting taxpayer funds to pay for EV charging since right now most of the people utilizing it are probably better off financially than the average taxpayer. Instead of ripping out the existing public chargers, wouldn’t it be cheaper to just change them to a pay to charge model?

    I don’t see any reason to stop businesses from offering it if they feel it is a worthwhile expense to help bring in customers. That is no different than the old practice of McDonalds giving away toys in their Happy Meals to get kids to whine until their parents buy them one or a bank that gave away a toaster with new account openings. Let businesses control their customer acquisition costs however they see fit.

    Dream garage would consist of what I feel are the best combination of luxurious styling and powerful driveline in each category. Sticking with American brands simply because that’s what I know the most about working on and my last two import projects burned me pretty bad so I’m a little gunshy about them right now.

    Gas Powered – 2020 Cadillac CT6-V Blackwing

    Battery Powered – 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid

    Diesel Powered – Thor Motor Coach Tuscany 45MX Class A Diesel Motorhome

  18. Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura need to start doing that individualization shit

    cost to subsidize free charging: $.000000000000000000000000000000000001 LOL

    Gas: Mercedes B-Class
    Diesel: some kind of small pickup or something imported from overseas
    Electric: iMiev

  19. Money no object?
    Gas: the only factory Miura Roadster or the newly rediscovered original Bond DB5.
    Electric: while the Nevera is a great answer, I’d go for the OG Tesla Roadster.
    Diesel: speaking of OG, a diesel Landy.

  20. A little late to the party – I was out in the shop wrenching all day.

    I have a new 2 car garage and an one car workshop. 2 out of 3 of the cars are already in my possession:

    Gas: 1962 Volvo PV544, mildly customized. The avatar picture was taken on RT-66 in Shamrock, TX. It is currently in the workshop dealing with some issues (15 PSI compression on cylinder #3) and 5 speed overdrive transmission conversion (I “might” be beyond my skill level… ).

    Diesel: 1986 Ford F150, Cummins 4bt diesel engine conversion, and a 5 speed overdrive manual transmission. It has a 1952 Bell Telephone Systems service bed on it (we need pictures – nobody is going to believe that this happened…). It was driven to 37 states in the last 10 years. It is sitting outside – it does not require pampering.

    Electric: The new garage has a 40 Amp – 240 Volt circuit breaker in the breaker box. I just can not convince myself that I want to put up searching for a charging station that works…

  21. Not happy about the NC dumbass bill at ALL. I live in Va, but we do work down there occasionally. I think I’ve paid taxes in NC in 3 of the 5 years I’ve filed for at this company.
    I have a few more cell sites to hit down there-I’m going to make damn sure I do not spend a cent while I’m in the state: filling up before I hit the state line, and I’m packing lunch!

    Diesel would be a Unimog set up for meandering around the country checking out little sketchy museums & attractions. One of the radio trucks or ambulances would be perfect.
    Gas…at this very moment I think I would go for a Volvo 1800es
    Electric: the E-type electric restomod/conversion someone mentioned earlier because originally the gas was a choice between Volvo & Jaguar

  22. My 3-car dream garage is as follows,

    Gasoline: 1972 Ford Falcon xB Coupe, modified into the Mad Max Interceptor from the first Mad Maxfilm. Except it would have a functional supercharger, and very likely make a real 600 horsepower through the wheels, perhaps more depending upon what the engine and transmission could take.

    Diesel: custom-built streamliner with a drag coefficient of about 0.15, a frontal area around 17 square feet, with all wheel drive, powered by a 5.9L mechanical-injection Cummins tuned to about 1,000 horsepower. The idea would be to have a mid-engined car weighing under 3,000 lbs(I realize the engine is not much less than half the weight) that could rip off 9-second 1/4 mile drag times, top 270 mph, and get 70+ mpg on the highway when you keep your foot out of it. And it could run on all kinds of crap that isn’t diesel.

    Electric: already have the car, just need to finish it to the described spec below. 1969 Triumph GT6, painted dark British Racing Green, fitted with the light-weight drive motor from a Tesla Model S PLAID and a 40 kWh pack of Panasonic 21700s. Streamlined body panels would be added to get drag coefficient in the low 0.2X range and coupled with its low frontal area of 14.9 sq ft, it is liable to only need 120 Wh/mile to cruise 70 mph. Roll cage would be fitted. The idea would be to have the conversion weigh at or less than stock weight, and make about 250 horsepower. Would be capable of 1/4 mile times in the upper 10s with a top speed of over 200 mph. The roof would also have a 100W solar array.

    And since it isn’t a car, I’ll mention my dream “bicycle” to add to the stable. My dream would be to build a carbon-fiber/kevlar/innegra monocoque with its shape based on the new Bulk MkI velomobile, with a 5-6 lb switched reluctance hub motor in each 16″ DOT wheel with solar car tires for AWD, a 1.5 kWh LoneStar battery pack, a 96V FOC controller driving each motor, and titanium axles/calipers/subframes/steering/suspension components designed by AI. The body would be covered with about 250W of solar panels. The pedal drivetrain would be a 2×13 setup with a Schlumpf drive up front, giving a wide enough gearing range to climb a mountain at 2 mph with a 60 rpm pedal cadence with the motors shut off, or careen down the highway at 120 mph using the motors with a 140 rpm pedal cadence in top gear, and everything in-between. The entire completed vehicle would be around 100 lbs. Such a thing would be pedalable to 50 mph on flat ground with the motors disabled and a fit rider could cover 150+ miles on a 6 hour ride without using the motors. But when using the motors, it would make 150+ peak horsepower divided among each wheel, thus being capable of 0-60 mph in 2 seconds, 0-120 mph in 4.5 seconds, top speed of 120 mph(limited due to lack of downforce), and do a 1/4 mile drag race in around 8.5 seconds. Range at 70 mph with light pedaling in direct sunlight would be about 120 miles, although with light pedaling on a sunny day it might be able to cruise 45 mph without drawing down the battery at all.

  23. Gas – my 87 pirelli coupe done the way I hope to one day actually finish: turbo 4/5/6 depending on what I can shoehorn in, awd and widebody.

    Diesel – 90 f150 single cab long bed 4bt zf5 4×4

    Electric – since I am already in dream land I would hybrid electric and diesel swap my wife’s 18 gsw 4mo 6 speed. I personally can’t get over the EV lack of third pedals.

  24. Story 1: Since it’s unlikely any store offering this raised prices to offset the “cost” of this perk, just reprogram cash registers to add a line that says “No portion of your total was used to support our free public chargers”. Truth is since these are, I’m sure, either level 1 or 2 chargers the little bit of electricity a shopper would get during a typical visit amounts to literally pennies.

    The party of small government? Ya, right.

  25. Private businesses should be allowed to spend the portion of their money that the government allows them to keep however they want, if customers think they’re too expensive, they have the option of shopping somewhere else.

    What about stores that offer free coffee? Some people don’t like coffee, or can’t drink it due to religious rules, should stores have to print on everyone’s receipt how much went to the coffee? What about bathrooms? I rarely use the bathroom when I’m out shopping, but that’s a cost, should they have to tell me how much of my bill is going to subsidize paper towels, toilet paper, and hand soap?

    Hell, when I bought a car last year, the dealer gave me a glass of bourbon while I was checking the car out and doing the paperwork, should that have been itemized?

    Should Wanamaker’s have to include an itemized surcharge for what they spend on pipe organ maintenance?

    Stores can give free perks and conveniences to their customers and other niceties to make shopping more pleasant, always have, always will, if it doesn’t produce results for them, they’ll stop on their own, if it does, they’ll keep on it and more will copy

  26. Sounds like they need to itemize the cost of each of those free samples at sams club/costco now too. Or the cup of free coffee while you wait for an oil change. It’s a free benefit they’re choosing to give to their customers mind your own damn business.

  27. Gas – Alfa Romeo Stradale 33. I doubt I can fit in it, but I’d be happy just to have it parked where I can look at it. Maybe the living room.

    Diesel – one of those diesel Sprinter RV things. With a built in high pressure air compressor for scuba tank refills.

    Electric – Tesla Model S with unlimited Supercharger subscription.

    1. “Gas: Ferrari 550 Maranello”

      Based on my stepdad’s experience with his: Never own your heros.

      It was in the shop racking up $$$$ bills more often than in his garage, stupid stuff constantly going wrong. I don’t recall all of the issues, repeated A/C failures comes to mind, something about the cats, I do remember the dashboard cracking and curling something fierce which befuddled me as this car was not often parked outside. He absolutely babied that diva and it repaid his love with migraines.

      Whatever shitbox you might already have in your stable is going to be more reliable than that thing. Enjoy slow car fast life instead.

  28. Three car garage, money no object? Hmmmm…

    1) Electric: Porsche Taycan – this would also be my daily driver, but in truth I could go with a much cheaper BEV with reasonable (200+ mile) range. If they have the battery issues fixed a Chevy Bolt would do me just fine.
    2) Diesel: Time to go talk to the good folks at Icon about my dream build, a 60’s Dodge D200 Crew Cab with a modern 4×4 drivetrain dropped underneath it and one special feature – the bed is removed and it’s coachbuilt into a 3-row SUV Suburban replacement. Imagine the truck in the link as a 3-row SUV: . Although in reality I would probably do the build as a gasser in real life, for the purposes of this game it’s a diesel. (And now that I do some more research it looks like Dodge actually built 4-door Town Wagons on the truck frame with the right body style but only sold them internationally, so an import may work as the starting point without the need for a coachbuild).
    3) Gasoline: This would be a toy, so oddly enough it probably won’t be that expensive. For purposes of the game let’s go with a ’68 Dodge Dart convertible in basic spec with the 225 leaning tower of power. There’s one in my family that I have an option to buy if my cousin decides to let go of it. It’s a beautiful little cruiser.

  29. Limiting myself to current production:
    Electric: tempted by a Rivian, but I think a green Porsche Taycan, since I will cover a useful pickup with my diesel choice.
    Diesel: Maybe a Ram EcoDiesel. Honestly, diesel pickups are kind of interchangeable to me, so my big ask is a fun color and a reasonable size. A 1500 would serve my needs just fine.
    Gas: McLaren 720S Spider in orange.

  30. To the first part about NC Republicans being against free EV chargers at businesses: let the market decide! If free EV chargers are a net loser they’ll go away soon enough.

    For the parts about removing free chargers from public land: those public lands with “free” chargers usually require a user fee to access the charger. So it’s not free after all. If anything it may encourage more people to visit. But can’t have that, otherwise their mega-rich donor couldn’t eventually buy that pristine lake from the state for their fifth house.

    1. This is why the two major parties disgust me. The Republicans are in favor of free market capitalism, right up to the point where they’re not, at all. And the Democrats are for the little guy and standing up to big corporations, right until they fall all over themselves to defend the likes of Disney and Twitter. Neither of them has any real principles or backbone, beyond what they think it takes to score points with the hard core members of their party that actually show up to vote in primaries

  31. I *despise* both political parties so don’t take this as an endorsement of the other tribe but…

    The republicans have completely lost it. They’re not only anti-capitalist in that they hand out corporate welfare to oil companies, but now they are trying to further distort markets by passing nonsense laws like this to artificially hamper renewables, electric cars, etc. The party’s platform is literally “whatever the opposite of the democrats is”. If democrats wanted to pass something like gun control laws, all they would have to do is change the party platform to support the second amendment. The republicans are so completely devoid of ideology they would have to change sides.

    It’s probably the most obvious example of how the decisions that our government makes are based solely on corruption and not on any principles, any desire to support constituents, etc. The democrats are no less corrupt, but they manage to put a better face on it. The republicans are just this miasma of hot garbage that flows in from whatever direction the wind is blowing.

      1. That’s a great way to put it – they have no solutions to anything. You’re totally right. That’s the difference between the republicans and democrats – the democrats may be doing a lot of the same things behind the scenes but they are at least willing to go on record with solutions and put in a token effort to push those solutions.

  32. Pulling out EV chargers… Just so dumb in every way.

    Anyway, my dream garage:
    Diesel: Diesel swapped Ford Econoline pickup with an airstream permanently hitched in the bed. Basically a funky boho semi.

    Gas: Jaguar E type convertible (hey, you said “dream”)

    Electric: this one’s hard. Electrics are so new I don’t even know what I think the perfect electric would be. However, I’ve failed to include an off road choice as my gas car. So… Let’s say a Jeep Magneto, whenever that actually comes out, and assuming they fixed the ridiculous transmission setup in the prototype.

  33. Im sure if I did the littlest bit of research, there’s something weirder that would be a better answer, but for all of the years that I owned a GTI and then a TDI golf, I was intensely jealous of the GTD offered in other countries, so we’ll go with that for the diesel. Dunno if the current one comes in a stick or not, but let’s assume they do. If we’re really fantasizing, manual GTD in a wagon body.

    For gas, it’s a toss-up between a new F-type and a rally-spec Lancia Fulvia

    Gut answer for electric is iD Buzz. I think that’d cover remaining bases best given the other two in the stable, although I’m sure there’s a more fun answer

  34. Gas: 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
    Diesel: 2008 Cadillac BLS Estate diesel with a manual. (look it up – it is a thing that existed)
    Plug-In: 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid

    And speaking of Cadillacs, the Genesis G90 is the Sedan I wish Cadillac was building. This bespoke direction further backs that up. Sigh.

  35. You know they decided on the receipt thing because they know it is just onerous enough that most will just charge for vehicle charging. Imagine trying to break down your percentage costs and profits to be able to say what portion of each purchase goes to which things. Especially when monthly revenue may vary significantly.

    “Your soda was $1.39 today. Of that:
    $0.12 labor costs
    $0.01 electric vehicle charging
    $0.03 electric refrigeration/lighting/AC
    $0.05 building maintenance
    $0.10 shipping
    $0.08 building lease
    $0.05 licensing
    $0.50 product
    $0.45 profit
    Unless we sell more than usual, in which case the profit is higher and the other expenses lower. Or less, in which case reverse those.”

  36. NC: What about Free Enterprise? Get government out of my personal business!

    3 car garage: As a VAG masochist, I have to go with…

    Gas: R8 Spyder with the gated manual — can I get it kitted out with those baseball glove seats from the first gen TT?

    Diesel: 2015 Q7 or Touareg TDI for towing and road trips

    EV: Taycan Cross Turismo because wagons!

  37. “Third, and this is the most batshit part of all, $50,000 of taxpayer money from the DOT’s general fund will be spent ripping out free EV charging stations on public land effective July 1, and that measure is happening regardless of whether or not the bill becomes codified into law.”

    I’m not sure if these electric officials know this but that isn’t how bills work. You can’t just say part of it becomes law even if the bill doesn’t pass. Do we need to make every elected official watch “Schoolhouse Rocks – How a bill becomes a law”?

    1. This should get the small government people united with the want-a-habitable-planet people in the streets with torches and pitchforks. Hateful and stupid political grandstanding is obviously nothing new, but like, cmon man

  38. Not exactly a fantasy garage since it exists, but I currently fulfill basically all of the requirements:

    Gas: 2001 Corvette
    Diesel: 2015 Ram 1500
    Electric: 2007 Prius (yeah, this particular one doesn’t plug in, but there are Prii that do so I feel like it fits the spirit of the game)

    Turns out this makes for a pretty damn good garage. Corvette for weekend fun, truck for towing and hauling, and Prius for dailying.

  39. The gas/diesel/BEV dream garage (as of right now–answers subject to strange whims):

    BEV: 2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo in Frozen Berry Metallic

    Diesel: Unimog camper/overlanding rig

    Gas: 2009 Ferrari F430 6MT

  40. Gas: McLaren F1
    Diesel: BMW M550d Touring
    Electric: a fully functional, no strings attached GM EV1.

    The 550d is the most realistic of these and it’s a six-figure Euro-only car.

  41. “You can build a three-car garage using unlimited money, but there’s a catch. One has to be powered by gasoline, one must run on diesel, and one must have a battery pack you plug in to recharge.”

    Gas: 1997 Mercedes SL600 or an SL73 AMG
    Diesel: 9th, 11th, or 12th generation Ford F-series truck. Nothing too huge or outrageous
    Plug-in: Fully optioned Lincoln Aviator Hybrid (2022) — 20 miles of electric-only range, which would cover about 80% of my driving

  42. How ’bout you make “Fantasy Garage” a regular feature instead?

    One week it’s gas, battery, electric. The next, 2 door, 3 door, 4 door, 5 door. After that, maybe by price class. Or tire size. Or whatever.

    Don’t just bury a fun game in the footer of the daily news article.

      1. Another thing I’d like is to be told in this week’s post what next week’s selection criteria are.

        That way those who REALLY want to play will have some time to research instead of just picking from memory, because every now and then, the selection criteria should be something odd, like “offered with sequential turn signals”.

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