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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

    Garage:
    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

  7. 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…

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