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93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/27/22 11:09 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

It is a ponzi scheme in the sense that in order to pay for the infrastructure required for suburban sprawl constant growth is needed. If there is not continuing growth, the city can no longer pay for that growth.

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2020/8/28/the-growth-ponzi-scheme-a-crash-course

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2020/5/14/americas-growth-ponzi-scheme-md2020

Or if you prefer video form.

As far as bikes, I'd argue that we dedicate plenty of space and money to stuff that is used by far fewer people then the number of people that could ride bikes. Children certainly can ride bikes. The obese probably should ride bikes. I know people into their 70s and 80s that still ride bikes. I know disabled people that ride bikes. Toddlers can be pulled in trailers or put in seats on the back of cars. People can easily cycle in the winter. See below. I cycle frequently in the winter and with the right equipment it isn't bad at all.

Additional there are companies building covered e-bikes (or trikes or quads) that could protect from the rain.

 

You want a sub-15k effecient transport combined something like the Surly Big Easy and a covered e-bike shown below.

Plus add seperated bike lanes. None of this paint on the side of a main road "bicycle lane" garbage.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/27/22 11:20 a.m.

In reply to  

I'm sorry you are simply wrong  suburbs don't need growth. They have taxes to pay for costs and desires. With inflation property taxes go up. Plus if the community wants something extra they can simply vote to support it.  Democracy works at its best at the local level.  ( no party politics) 

  Nope people don't always get what they want. Some people want to control costs ( taxes)  some realize the benefits of various proposals.  They vote and decide.  
if you consistently  feel unheard, spend your $2 or $3  and run to be part of the decision making process.  Get supporters to help you buy signs and become Involved. 

 With regard to bikes etc.  make your case to your neighbors.  See if you have support.  That's how stuff you don't think is as important gets approved. 
  Just as an aside?   Even fit young people like yourself don't all agree with you. Those that don't are not all coal rolling dumb truck yahoo's.  They may prefer opera, or Tennis. 
    I live on a major lake near the metro center. On most days there is no use of bike paths at any time. On nice days there are a few in the evening and more on the weekend. But at their most dense they are less than 5% of auto traffic. Even very popular  long running bicycle races won't have 5% of the auto traffic that passes them.  
    

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/27/22 11:22 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

So you didn't bother looking at any of the stuff I posted then. Got it. Have fun in your own world.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/27/22 11:57 a.m.
STM317 said:
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:
STM317 said:

In reply to frenchyd :

I'd argue that people drive/buy what they want until it hurts. They're not going to give up the things they love unless they have to. And inertia basically dictates that small changes will occur before large changes like buying/selling vehicles for tens of thousands of dollars. Nobody actually wants super base economy cars (at least in North America) regardless of what's powering them. They might tolerate them if times are tough, but as soon as things get better, people will switch to something else they find more desirable. That's a big reason why most early EVs failed to make an impact, and it's what made Tesla so unique. EVs as status symbols can sell. EV's as penalty boxes don't (again talking about North America).

Marketing would be important. People loved their Volkswagen Beetles. That was a part of their marketing plan. You don't sell it as a "cheap car". You sell it as "The Simple Machine". You would market it to College Professors and young people who have a social conscious. You would sell it to people who want to be cool and have a smaller carbon footprint, not the guy who wants have a big truck and roll coal. Eventually people who just want cheap transportation will pick up on it, but not if they think it is just cheap transportation. Eventually guys who post on this board will buy them and race them, just like VW Bugs and Mini Coopers got raced. Not because they were fast, but because they were cool. 

If other, more luxurious EVs didn't exist, that might work. But as long as the premium EVs are out there, a super entry level EV would be seen as a penalty box for 'the poors'. It's the opposite of appealing to most people. The young, socially conscious buyer of the super cheap EV probably doesn't have a place to charge it. The people who want to be cool would want to own the fast EVs, or the sexy EVs, or the luxurious EVs, not the super cheap EVs.

And it also assumes that the OEMs would actually want to sell these super inexpensive vehicles, which we all know isn't the case. They'd much rather sell things with higher profit margins. That's why you see advertisements for trucks and SUVs all day, every day. When's the last time you saw an ad for a Leaf, or Bolt? How many people even knew things like the Fiat 500e, Ford Focus Electric, Chevy Spark EV, VW Golf Electric, etc existed when they were being sold? They only market what they want to sell, and what they want to sell are the vehicles that are most profitable.

The OEM's don't want to sell cheap transportation. That's why you would have to start your own company and locate it as far away from the OEMs as possible, ie NOT in Michigan. You need to get far away from that mentality.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/27/22 12:16 p.m.
93EXCivic said:

In reply to frenchyd :

 

As far as bikes, I'd argue that we dedicate plenty of space and money to stuff that is used by far fewer people then the number of people that could ride bikes. Children certainly can ride bikes. The obese probably should ride bikes. I know people into their 70s and 80s that still ride bikes. I know disabled people that ride bikes. Toddlers can be pulled in trailers or put in seats on the back of cars. People can easily cycle in the winter. See below. I cycle frequently in the winter and with the right equipment it isn't bad at all.

Additional there are companies building covered e-bikes (or trikes or quads) that could protect from the rain.

I'm pretty heavy and I still ride a nice cruiser bike from time to time. There are lots of trails here in Dallas for bikes that follow old railways and they have done a good job of connecting them, but none of them take me to work. When I want to ride I put it on the nice rack that I have on the back of the Mustang or the Miata and take it out to White Rock Lake. Riding anything with two wheels on Dallas roads makes you roadkill. A nice combination of aggressive drivers and six lane roads going everywhere. I sold my 1,000 cc Kawasaki last year because of the crazy drivers around here. No way I am going to face that traffic on my Electra Cruiser or any kind of e-bike. They need to do a lot of work on the infrastructure before biking would be safe around here. 

I have been to Finland. It doesn't surprise me that they ride bikes in the snow. They are crazy Vikings  who cross country ski everywhere when they aren't in their too hot saunas drinking aquavit.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/27/22 12:26 p.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

I did  then &  I just went back and rewatched in case I had missed something critical.
   As I pointed out to others be careful what numbers are used. 
  My 100+ year old city ( suburb) for example has this years expenses in the bank. As well as 2 more years plus another years is invested.  We are 23 minutes away from the Downtown  of Minneapolis.  Surround by other fully developed suburbs.  But within 30 minutes of real rural areas. 
     We grow very little.  Getting building permits are a hard fought battle often taking years ( in my case 2 decades) 

 Yes the politics of suburbs vary. Some are in the red, most are in the black.  Where they are typically most often in the red is during the growth era. When not only roads but schools, fire stations, police departments, public works, etc etc etc must be put in and paid for while new home owners are not able to sustain higher and higher taxes. 
 But around the 3 0 year period  suburbs get into the black and have a slight breathing period. ( assuming prudent conduct). 
    I know all this because some of my 22 years selling construction equipment included selling to municipalities 

 please note I have separated suburbs from Cities. Mpls StPaul are called the twin cities.  One is solidly in the red while the other flirts with the black on occasion.  
     Those are party run cities.  To avoid political discussions I'm going ignore them.  
   One suburb is currently running in the red due to complex issues regarding mass transit.  ( I'm a major supporter of mass transit ) but most  the western suburbs are solidly well run.  Typically in the black. 
 There are certainly exceptions to this. Many rust belt cities have lost their employment base.  And with it the suburbs are floundering. 
 Again be very careful what numbers are used.  And more important what cities.  As real estate says, Location, locationLocation. 
       

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/27/22 12:38 p.m.
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:
STM317 said:
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:
STM317 said:

In reply to frenchyd :

I'd argue that people drive/buy what they want until it hurts. They're not going to give up the things they love unless they have to. And inertia basically dictates that small changes will occur before large changes like buying/selling vehicles for tens of thousands of dollars. Nobody actually wants super base economy cars (at least in North America) regardless of what's powering them. They might tolerate them if times are tough, but as soon as things get better, people will switch to something else they find more desirable. That's a big reason why most early EVs failed to make an impact, and it's what made Tesla so unique. EVs as status symbols can sell. EV's as penalty boxes don't (again talking about North America).

Marketing would be important. People loved their Volkswagen Beetles. That was a part of their marketing plan. You don't sell it as a "cheap car". You sell it as "The Simple Machine". You would market it to College Professors and young people who have a social conscious. You would sell it to people who want to be cool and have a smaller carbon footprint, not the guy who wants have a big truck and roll coal. Eventually people who just want cheap transportation will pick up on it, but not if they think it is just cheap transportation. Eventually guys who post on this board will buy them and race them, just like VW Bugs and Mini Coopers got raced. Not because they were fast, but because they were cool. 

If other, more luxurious EVs didn't exist, that might work. But as long as the premium EVs are out there, a super entry level EV would be seen as a penalty box for 'the poors'. It's the opposite of appealing to most people. The young, socially conscious buyer of the super cheap EV probably doesn't have a place to charge it. The people who want to be cool would want to own the fast EVs, or the sexy EVs, or the luxurious EVs, not the super cheap EVs.

And it also assumes that the OEMs would actually want to sell these super inexpensive vehicles, which we all know isn't the case. They'd much rather sell things with higher profit margins. That's why you see advertisements for trucks and SUVs all day, every day. When's the last time you saw an ad for a Leaf, or Bolt? How many people even knew things like the Fiat 500e, Ford Focus Electric, Chevy Spark EV, VW Golf Electric, etc existed when they were being sold? They only market what they want to sell, and what they want to sell are the vehicles that are most profitable.

The OEM's don't want to sell cheap transportation. That's why you would have to start your own company and locate it as far away from the OEMs as possible, ie NOT in Michigan. You need to get far away from that mentality.

Maybe we are saying the same thing.  But The best Fortlifts in the world used to be made in Battle Creek Michigan.  Major Union Town,  great company had as much as 80% market share.  
 Daddy died, kids didn't want to work just wanted money.  Turned it over to a management company. To lower ( labor) costs  they moved it to a right to work state. (Tenn.)  built a new factory and lost their market share and with it the business. 
   Henry Ford became the richest Man in America by doubling wages. As the market moved away from his Model T he tried to cut labor costs and things went downhill from there. 
Eventually Ford and Hitler became friends and well you know world history.  

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
5/27/22 1:59 p.m.

Hate to end this thread early after all of this good discussion but OP should have done a little googling.

https://electrek.co/2021/08/28/awesomely-weird-alibaba-ev-of-the-week-knockoff-ford-model-t-electric-car/

Moderators please close this thread. Kthanks.

 

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
5/27/22 7:45 p.m.
frenchyd said:
STM317 said:
frenchyd said:

In reply to STM317 :

Be careful what numbers you use.  Yes when Ford started building the model T  wages were .22 cents an hour. , but quickly as the popularity grew he needed more employees than the local labor pool could provide.  So he doubled wages  from an average of $2.50 a day ( 10 hour days)  to $5 a day so he could pay for the car in as little as 11 weeks of wages.  Ford also provide free homes to employees as a benefit. ( under his terms) 

    That abundance of workers not only allowed him all the workers needed but to select the best most eager to  work.  
     In turn they suggested improvements in the process which sped up production and  lowered costs.  
   That is similar  the inducements  used at Micro Soft. With similar results. 
  Sharing the wealth makes good employees and good employees are a major asset.  Management that treats employees as a cost and tries to reduce those costs  fail eventually. 

I don't disagree, but Ford's assembly workers weren't the working poor. They were middle class, which was my original point. The working poor, and those getting government benefits have never realistically been able to buy new vehicles.

Same holds today: Average UAW worker at Ford makes $31.13/hr, plus overtime, bonuses, benefits, etc. They're making more than double what the person earning $15/hr at McDonalds is making. Their base pay (without overtime, bonuses, etc) is $62k which is nearly the median household income, and I'm confident that when all the extras are accounted for, many of them earn more than the median household income all by themselves. They might be able to reasonably afford a somewhat basic new Ford car or truck (probably not the highest trim levels). That's not true for the McDonalds worker.

  That is exactly the market a low cost basic EV would be aimed at.   Plastic bodies like Saturn, made from recycled plastic.  Minimal options.  Say a top speed of 60mph?  Compact for easy parking. Progress is being made on tires as suspension.    Maybe with replaceable tread?  Wear yours down and glue new tread on.  
       Keep the price to the point where they can be leased for $150-200 a month.  Maybe slightly more than a months worth of bus fair?  Another $15-20 a month for electricity?  
   20% or more of the population is in that income group. That's 68 million here in the US alone. 
    The benefits to society are real and measurable. Greater labor pool. Eliminate older less properly maintained ICE with their attending pollution. Incidentally  increasing the market value the fewer remaining old ICE cars.  

There are only 144.3 million taxpayers (those with income) in the US. So, if you're talking about the lower 20% of earners, that is 28.8 million people, not 68 million. Of those 28.8 million people, at least a few live in locations where owning a car sucks. Of that smaller number, how many live in a place where they can easily charge while parked? Of that even smaller number, how many would actually want to spend the money on a super basic EV?

There are a lot of supporting costs that go into vehicle ownership besides the monthly payment. Lease payment of $150-200/mo + electricity for $20/mo (making the dubious assumption that they have a place to charge it) + full coverage insurance on a new vehicle + annual registration + $100 or more in extra EV fees annually to recover the lack of fuel taxes paid. There's also the possibility that they'd have to pay more to rent a parking space at home, or pay for daily parking near their work, which can get really stupid. All of a sudden, that poor person is spending an awful lot more than they were to take the bus. You're probably talking about $1k/yr or more outside of the monthly payment if they're not paying just to park places. That buys a lot of bus rides.

Society doesn't need more drivers in more vehicles using more resources and causing more traffic. Society needs more mass transit, more cyclists, and more people living in places where they don't have to drive as much. Taking people off of the bus, and putting them into their own personal vehicles makes the situation worse, not better. It's worse for the environment, and it's worse for the poor person financially. If you want to help poor people, get them out of their cars (if they own them) and into a place with public transit and a walkable/bike-able lifestyle.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
5/27/22 8:18 p.m.

I'm sorry, is this the five minute argument or the full half hour?

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/28/22 3:28 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

You make some interesting points.  Plus I'm sure your math is more valid my back of the envelope calculations. 
 Yes, society is gaining more people every year.  While we can have a discussion about that subject,  it's really not central to the basic precept either. 
    The fundamental question is if society is better if the poor have access to affordable transportation. The obvious answer is absolutely. People seldom can afford to live where good jobs are plentiful but must go to where the work is. 
      We can't afford all the needed buses or hire the required drivers. . Or Mass transit that works for everyone.   Walking or bicycling can be just as much of a time waster as Buses. Or other mass transit. 
   Most cities are set out with a crowded urban center and  decreasing population as you go further from that center. 
    Good transportation is available from the outer rings in. And from the center out. But to take a bus from one corner of the outer ring of suburbs to the next can take more than 2 hours each way. So 4 hours on the bus per day and then how long a walk?   In a car that same area can  be covered in 20-30 minutes.  Until we are all issued Jet packs. It's not going to get better. 
   Now the question is do you want those poor to do it in 20+ year old beaters belching  pollution or in EV's? 
  One final question regarding bicycles.  Pretend you're a 55 year old janitor. Get on that bicycle and ride 1/2 way around a major city like Minneapolis in the winter. How long did that take?  Or a 23 year old pregnant paralegal.  Across town.  
    How about Miami in July.  A 63 year old seamstress, don't forget to only take bike paths because we're talking about rush hour here. 
Let's just say for simplicity 4 hours a day  x 5 days a week x50 weeks a year  that's 1000 hours a year you won't be paid for.  To commute to and from a $15/hr job.  Rain or snow. Heat or wind. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
5/28/22 6:56 a.m.

I came here really hoping to see an EV Model T (or Model A). 
 

So disappointed. I haz sad. 

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/28/22 7:25 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Yes. Exactly Mass transit and good cycling and walking infrastructure need to be a major part of the crisis we face now. All those things are far more environmentally friendly then building a E36 M3 load of electric cars. They make cities more pleasant places to be both by reducing noise pollution and by making the city safer.

Zoning laws don't help this either as most of the US is zoned only for single family housing which only contributes to the suburban sprawl and the housing crisis we have now. Also it prevents little neighborhood stores/restaurants that people could easily walk or cycle so we end up driving down these silly 4 or 6 lane roads that are massively unsafe to anyone not in a car and go to these ugly places with massive parking lots. I am not saying people shouldn't be able to live in single family homes but there are plenty who would chose to live in more walkable/bikeable places if they could. Often some of the places that are like that are some of the most valuable real estate so obviously there is demand for it.

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
5/28/22 7:46 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to STM317 :

You make some interesting points.  Plus I'm sure your math is more valid my back of the envelope calculations. 
 Yes, society is gaining more people every year.  While we can have a discussion about that subject,  it's really not central to the basic precept either. 
    The fundamental question is if society is better if the poor have access to affordable transportation. The obvious answer is absolutely. People seldom can afford to live where good jobs are plentiful but must go to where the work is. 
      We can't afford all the needed buses or hire the required drivers. . Or Mass transit that works for everyone.   Walking or bicycling can be just as much of a time waster as Buses. Or other mass transit. 
   Most cities are set out with a crowded urban center and  decreasing population as you go further from that center. 
    Good transportation is available from the outer rings in. And from the center out. But to take a bus from one corner of the outer ring of suburbs to the next can take more than 2 hours each way. So 4 hours on the bus per day and then how long a walk?   In a car that same area can  be covered in 20-30 minutes.  Until we are all issued Jet packs. It's not going to get better. 
   Now the question is do you want those poor to do it in 20+ year old beaters belching  pollution or in EV's? 
  One final question regarding bicycles.  Pretend you're a 55 year old janitor. Get on that bicycle and ride 1/2 way around a major city like Minneapolis in the winter. How long did that take?  Or a 23 year old pregnant paralegal.  Across town.  
    How about Miami in July.  A 63 year old seamstress, don't forget to only take bike paths because we're talking about rush hour here. 
Let's just say for simplicity 4 hours a day  x 5 days a week x50 weeks a year  that's 1000 hours a year you won't be paid for.  To commute to and from a $15/hr job.  Rain or snow. Heat or wind. 

I'd ask why the Janitor or paralegal or seamstress are choosing to live so far from work that they have to drive to the opposite side of a city for a job that pays $15/hr. That time and money spent commuting could probably be better used for somebody that's struggling to make ends meet. I'd suggest that they might be better off either moving closer to their job, or finding work closer to home. $15/hr jobs are pretty common these days. Even if they still choose to own a vehicle, shortening the commute would have numerous benefits.

I'm not saying that these people shouldn't be able to choose to live and work wherever they want to, but they should do it fully knowing and understanding the costs of the commute, and vehicle ownership in general. A commute comes with 3 basic costs: Financial, Time, and environmental. The idea should be to minimize all three costs as much as possible, especially for those on the brink. We minimize costs in those three categories by driving less (or not at all), keeping $/mi as low as we can, and by traveling en masse when and where it's possible.

Mass transit and walk paths aren't perfect options either, but they are at least nice options to have. There are places where they can be just as fast, or faster than a commute during rush hour. With an E Bike, they're not even much of a struggle physically. They at least give people the option to reduce their car dependence, and maybe even eliminate it completely. I know that's not a popular thought here, but most people don't feel the same way about cars that we do. For lots of poor people, a car can be a millstone around their neck. For a lot of regular people, a car is just a necessary appliance.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/28/22 10:06 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

You do understand that rental leases are typically 1 year long while there is no such contract with hiring practices? Plus moving tends to have its own costs?  
 Besides it's a fools game to try to force others to live by your standards. Your decisions.
       My morning and afternoon route take me over 120 miles a day. For one school. Grades Kindergarten to 8th grade.   That's 5 hours of driving and I'm extremely efficient at it.  The best time my replacement driver was able to achieve going the same places was 6 :15.   The on board GPS makes sure about my speed and following the rules of the road.   Since the school and my company both monitor everything.  
     These parents send their children from all over and make serious sacrifices to do so.  Far from being rich there is a taxi driver and various other blue collar jobs involved. Along with a recent widow with 4 young children. 
    Yes some have solid middle class jobs and a couple are upper middle class.  But they pay tuition and transportation costs to do this instead of free public schools with free 30 minutes or less bus rides. 
     Do you really want to start making all the decisions for others?  
  Me? I choose to live 23 miles from work which because of its schedule  I could travel  to and from home 3 times a day.   Except I make the trip only once and spend hours just waiting ( without getting paid)   
 I do that for complex reasons.  First my home is beautiful, self designed, and self constructed. I live on a Lake which has its own rewards  of a clean pleasant extremely safe environment.  Plus the home I bought 38 years ago for slightly over $100,000 is today worth 1.5 million due mainly to appreciation.  

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/28/22 11:34 a.m.

Four pages and no one mentioned the Solo?

https://www.electrameccanica.com/solo/

I think this is the model T you are looking for. $18000 and change. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/28/22 12:28 p.m.
STM317 said:
frenchyd said:

In reply to STM317 :

You make some interesting points.  Plus I'm sure your math is more valid my back of the envelope calculations. 
 Yes, society is gaining more people every year.  While we can have a discussion about that subject,  it's really not central to the basic precept either. 
    The fundamental question is if society is better if the poor have access to affordable transportation. The obvious answer is absolutely. People seldom can afford to live where good jobs are plentiful but must go to where the work is. 
      We can't afford all the needed buses or hire the required drivers. . Or Mass transit that works for everyone.   Walking or bicycling can be just as much of a time waster as Buses. Or other mass transit. 
   Most cities are set out with a crowded urban center and  decreasing population as you go further from that center. 
    Good transportation is available from the outer rings in. And from the center out. But to take a bus from one corner of the outer ring of suburbs to the next can take more than 2 hours each way. So 4 hours on the bus per day and then how long a walk?   In a car that same area can  be covered in 20-30 minutes.  Until we are all issued Jet packs. It's not going to get better. 
   Now the question is do you want those poor to do it in 20+ year old beaters belching  pollution or in EV's? 
  One final question regarding bicycles.  Pretend you're a 55 year old janitor. Get on that bicycle and ride 1/2 way around a major city like Minneapolis in the winter. How long did that take?  Or a 23 year old pregnant paralegal.  Across town.  
    How about Miami in July.  A 63 year old seamstress, don't forget to only take bike paths because we're talking about rush hour here. 
Let's just say for simplicity 4 hours a day  x 5 days a week x50 weeks a year  that's 1000 hours a year you won't be paid for.  To commute to and from a $15/hr job.  Rain or snow. Heat or wind. 

I'd ask why the Janitor or paralegal or seamstress are choosing to live so far from work that they have to drive to the opposite side of a city for a job that pays $15/hr. That time and money spent commuting could probably be better used for somebody that's struggling to make ends meet. I'd suggest that they might be better off either moving closer to their job, or finding work closer to home. $15/hr jobs are pretty common these days. Even if they still choose to own a vehicle, shortening the commute would have numerous benefits.

I'm not saying that these people shouldn't be able to choose to live and work wherever they want to, but they should do it fully knowing and understanding the costs of the commute, and vehicle ownership in general. A commute comes with 3 basic costs: Financial, Time, and environmental. The idea should be to minimize all three costs as much as possible, especially for those on the brink. We minimize costs in those three categories by driving less (or not at all), keeping $/mi as low as we can, and by traveling en masse when and where it's possible.

Mass transit and walk paths aren't perfect options either, but they are at least nice options to have. There are places where they can be just as fast, or faster than a commute during rush hour. With an E Bike, they're not even much of a struggle physically. They at least give people the option to reduce their car dependence, and maybe even eliminate it completely. I know that's not a popular thought here, but most people don't feel the same way about cars that we do. For lots of poor people, a car can be a millstone around their neck. For a lot of regular people, a car is just a necessary appliance.

The urban  areas with high density caused by  tall high rise  still aren't cheap places to live and each building has its own electrical cars except they are called elevators.    
The poor tend to live in the decaying inner suburbs  with the tiny cracker box houses built right after WW2.    Not only do they not have access to walking and bicycle trails. They also tend to be food deserts where good healthy fruits and vegetables are scarce. 
  Getting across town is relatively easy using public transportation, it's getting a a few suburbs away that requires the long walks and multiple transfers. Plus time.  It may only be 20 miles as the crow flies but based on bus routes it can be many times that plus time to wait for the transferring bus to arrive.  Some of those waits can be longer than an hour, particularly in the non- rush hour times. 
   

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
5/28/22 5:27 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

I'm not trying to force anybody to do anything. I specifically said that, so I'm not sure why you wrote what you did. I just think that people should be making informed decisions about where they live and work and what the true costs of their chosen lifestyle might be. Then they're free to make the choice that's right for them. People are free to drive gas guzzlers, or have massive commutes if they want. But they better not complain about gas prices or how much time they spend getting to/from work if they've knowingly chosen that lifestyle. There are options besides lengthy commutes. It's possible to live a life and be very happy without even owning a car.

This is getting off topic of course. The original point, was that the poorest people have never really been able to afford new vehicles, even the Model T. The Model T was for middle class people, and it's present day analogs are probably the F150 Lightning and Model 3 if we're limiting the search to EVs.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/29/22 12:57 a.m.

We agree on that. People are free to do whatever foolish thing they want. Or can be forced into foolish choices by circumstances maybe not even circumstances of their own choosing. 
     However you are right and yet also wrong.   True the poorest cannot afford new cars.   But are you speaking of the poorest or just working poor?   
    Take the person who rides the bus an hour each way and walks an extra 15  over a 2080 hour work year that's an unpaid 650 hours of work.  So instead of earning that $15/hr.. it's now only $11 /hr.   It's conceivable  now that with driving the EV directly to and from work  commute time is reduced by 50% or more.   With the added free tie perhaps a second job is possible or a skill employed to start a small business - other possibilities?  
    
     OK, let's make the decision for that person.  
    Looking at that he's decided to spend  $20,000 to buy a vehicle for the next 20 years transportation.  Either ICE or EV 
bare with me I'm going to keep this simple. And skip, taxes, interest, insurance, license etc.  roughly they will be about the same. 
     Let's assume they are both decent cars and  decently reliable.  Separated only by well established maintenance areas.  
for example with regenerative braking brakes last a really long time needing only periodic flushing of contaminated fluid.  $50 OK every 2 years?  Compared to a brake overhaul every 5years at $750?   
  No oil changes for the EV  every 5000 miles. @$50 per? 
   Assume the batteries will last 20 years (240,000miles )  as will the engine and transmission  on the ICE.  
    Electricity costs vary around the country.  Here 1000 miles a month will cost you $18.75  Gas varies too and from year to year but let's freeze it at $4.50/ gallon. Not as high as some states or as low as others.  Let's assume  like my wife's Honda it gets 35 mpg.  That's $128.77 a month. 
gas. For 20 years.   $30, 857. Electricity for the same mileage. $4500. 
oil changes $2400

ICE  brake work  $3750 

 EV brake work    $500 

  Obviously fuel is the big killer  $27,356  more expensive than EV cost    But add $2400 for oil changes another $3250 for brake work   A ICE  over its life is  about $32,000 more  

  That much could do a pretty good job on solar panels and wind generators   Especially when you add back another $4500 from the electric bill    
   
  So now all I've got to do is prove a working poor person could afford  the $83.00 a month payment and operating costs to avoid ridding that diesel spewing bus   


        

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/29/22 9:54 a.m.

I think it's mostly consumer perspective and misinterpretation.  I'm helping a friend shop for cordless yard tools right now and her only experience is an old black and decker NiCad setup that lets her use things for about 5 minutes.  She has that fear of not getting the yard done.

90% of people (including myself) would be fine with 100 mile range in a tiny car, but people in the US tend to have that deluded notion of "what if I need to accidentally tow 13k lbs?" and "what if I have to haul a refrigerator?"  We are talking about a society that demands SUVs because they're perceived as safer and "what if I decide to go camping and it involves a dirt road with a bump?"

Perception.  That's why a bare-bones, limited range EV won't sell well.

I'm just as guilty.  I have an E-bike with an advertised 47 mile range.  I have delusions that I'll ride it to work 7 miles away, but (aside from heavy traffic on the roads I would use) I have that thing in the back of my head that the battery will die and I'll have to *gasp* actually pedal and use my legs.

My DD is a 1/2 ton gas van because of the twice a week I need to get lumber for work.  Having said that, I'm looking for a car to commute when I don't need the van, and EV is on the wish list but none of them are anywhere near my budget.  I have a $5000 wallet, so my best bet is a clapped-out Prius at this point.

Edit to add:  We are not the society that birthed the model T.  100 years ago, a model T would go about 20 miles before a tire blew, there were very few gas stations, and they were a maintenance nightmare, but Muricans didn't care.  It was a car.  It was the future.  These days asking someone to go from their leather seats and self-parking backup cameras to a bare bones car that they perceive might make them use their cell phone and be late because the battery died isn't really a demographic that exists in the mainstream... or at least outside of Roadkill TV shows

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/29/22 10:07 a.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Not sure why people think the Model T is a good example of a modern car- first of all, it was the ONLY realistic car people could even get.  There was hardly any competition, and there were almost no used cars to buy.  The whole mass production of cars was brand new.

Then the comparison was from a horse and carriage to the T.  While the T was problematic and harsh compared to modern cars, it was light years better than the alternative at the time.

And in the last 100 years, reliability has gotten to the point that everyone could deal with having a car- you were not risking breaking down at all for 100,000 miles, compared to the T.

One more thing, think about this- you have $10,000.  Would you rather get a basic, no anything brand new car or a pretty darned nice used car?  THAT is a massive driver why cheap cars never have been a market darling- along with the fact that people almost never buy what they need as opposed to what they want.

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
5/29/22 10:14 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Fast food places pay $15/hr right now. Warehouses, manufacturing centers, etc are paying closer to $20 in my part of the world (low cost Midwest). These places cannot legally work people more than 40hrs without paying them overtime rates. If anybody is working in a job for less than that in the current market that's seems like a choice worth questioning.

Yes, EVs have lower cost per mile. That seems like something that would benefit any owner, especially those on limited budgets. No argument there. The problem is, that the person making $15/hr can't afford to buy them (or any $20k vehicle) and they aren't very likely to be able to charge them.

A person making $15/hr makes $31k per year before taxes ($2500/mo). They've got no business buying a $20k (plus interest) vehicle. Assuming little or no downpayment (because they won't have much if any savings) the monthly payment alone is around $375 with a good credit score, plus you'd have to carry full coverage insurance, MN charges $75/yr for all EVs, and the annual registration is likely higher because the vehicle is new and more valuable. It's probably going to work out to $500/mo plus fuel/electricity and any maintenance costs. The average rent for an apartment in Minneapolis is $1600 these days. Lets assume our low earner gets lucky and finds a 1bed/1bath place for $1000/mo. Then we add + $500/mo for utilities +$50/mo cell phone + $100/wk food.

$2500 income (before taxes) - $1k rent - $500 transportation - $500 utilities - $50 cell phone - $425 food = $25 remaining.

That $25 has to be divided among essentials like clothing, medical care, etc. Get a parking ticket, or a flat tire, or an unexpected medical expense and they're screwed. There's no way around it. They need to find cheaper transportation than something that costs $500/mo or more. They'd also be better off finding a job that either pays more, or is closer to where they live so they wouldn't have to spend as much on transportation. Ideally both.

That was just the financial math. Now we get to the charging ability part. People in these positions are extremely likely to be renters, and near the bottom of the rental market at that. They're not very likely to have a place to charge their EV. They're going to live in cheap apartments without parking. They might live off the ground floor too, so they'd have to hold out for a parking space right in front fo their building, and then run an extension cord across the sidewalk from the third floor or whatever to charge their EV at home. That's not super realistic. Public charging is often comparable to paying for gas, which hurts the low cost per mile benefit of the EV. If these people choose to own a vehicle, EVs aren't the most likely choice for this reason. They'd be better off with a used Prius really. If they really have their hearts set on an EV, then a used Leaf or Focus Electric that can be purchased for less than $20k is the better bet. There are also great PHEVs out there on the used market that offer flexibility. They can be charged and used like an EV for in town driving, but can be fueled with gas when charging isn't available or isn't timely.

Mass transit isnt' a bad thing, even when diesel powered. Diesel buses get cleaner and cleaner all the time. And less and less likely to be diesel too. Natural gas, hybrid, and electric buses are increasingly common. If there are 5 passengers on a city bus that travel 1 mile, that's taken the place of 5 separate vehicles being manufactured and operated for that same mile. That adds up.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/29/22 11:09 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

All of what you say is correct. As things stand.   But, and it's a massive but.  You are missing a couple of important things.  Partnerships such as marriage.    Suddenly the income doubles.  From the $2500 a month to $5000 a month.   And yes 2 can live almost as cheaply as one.  
 ( just a short diversion ; divorce hits  about 50%  of marriages.  But that does not mean 50% stay single)). 
   
  Most of my life I've earned a middle class income.  Some years upper, some years lower, a few lower class. 
       Yet I'm living comfortably in a  extremely expensive  home on a very prestigious lake,  with financial security.  
  Yes I've been fired, had difficulties, etc all the parts of life people experience. I'm actually very average.   Some of that is careful planning, ambition, hard work, sacrifice,  and yes maybe luck. 
     One thing I did early in my life to get here is look long term. 
if you only focus on paycheck to paycheck you won't ever get here.   Think carefully as long a term as possible.  ( it also helps with the issue of divorce) 

   Your example gave $25 a month leeway .  Then I added another $2500 w/ the partner.  Now multiply that times a year. That's $31,300 a year.  Now look at 5 years in the future. ( ignore inflation). $156,500.  
       If you live week to week that will all be wasted. But if you assume debt of a mortgage and a car  to provide opportunities of seeking higher paid jobs.  You slowly get on the income and asset elevator time provides for people.  
 

Plus and this is the big one.  You skip right past the traps of used cars and rent. 
  
You will need transportation the rest of your life.  It's a simple fact that cars have a fixed life. Right now it's about 15-20 years. But buying a 10 year old car doesn't cut costs in half.  It's at least 1/2 worn out and closer to failure. So maintenance cost are higher. Not in a linear fashion but as a sharply upward curve.  

  Rent is the biggest trap of all.  No tax deductibility  no major appreciating asset. 
    No you don't need 20% down.  There are even ways of getting around the 3% requirement. 
 VA loan if qualified,  assuming loans  for divorced  or people facing foreclosure. 
 Family & Friends  loans. 

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
5/29/22 11:54 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to STM317 :

All of what you say is correct. As things stand.   But, and it's a massive but.  You are missing a couple of important things.  Partnerships such as marriage.    Suddenly the income doubles.  From the $2500 a month to $5000 a month.   And yes 2 can live almost as cheaply as one.  
 ( just a short diversion ; divorce hits  about 50%  of marriages.  But that does not mean 50% stay single)). 
   
  Most of my life I've earned a middle class income.  Some years upper, some years lower, a few lower class. 
       Yet I'm living comfortably in a  extremely expensive  home on a very prestigious lake,  with financial security.  
  Yes I've been fired, had difficulties, etc all the parts of life people experience. I'm actually very average.   Some of that is careful planning, ambition, hard work, sacrifice,  and yes maybe luck. 
     One thing I did early in my life to get here is look long term. 
if you only focus on paycheck to paycheck you won't ever get here.   Think carefully as long a term as possible.  ( it also helps with the issue of divorce) 

   Your example gave $25 a month leeway .  Then I added another $2500 w/ the partner.  Now multiply that times a year. That's $31,300 a year.  Now look at 5 years in the future. ( ignore inflation). $156,500.  
       If you live week to week that will all be wasted. But if you assume debt of a mortgage and a car  to provide opportunities of seeking higher paid jobs.  You slowly get on the income and asset elevator time provides for people.  
 

Plus and this is the big one.  You skip right past the traps of used cars and rent. 
  
You will need transportation the rest of your life.  It's a simple fact that cars have a fixed life. Right now it's about 15-20 years. But buying a 10 year old car doesn't cut costs in half.  It's at least 1/2 worn out and closer to failure. So maintenance cost are higher. Not in a linear fashion but as a sharply upward curve.  

  Rent is the biggest trap of all.  No tax deductibility  no major appreciating asset. 
    No you don't need 20% down.  There are even ways of getting around the 3% requirement. 
 VA loan if qualified,  assuming loans  for divorced  or people facing foreclosure. 
 Family & Friends  loans.

Sure, adding another earner can increase income. But do they need their own car now too?

You're thinking about this as someone that's lived in a car dependent life for 70 years. But cars have expenses, and those expenses can be a real hardship on people that don't make much money. Instead of focusing on the usable life in a vehicle, what if no vehicle was needed at all? Or what if a vehicle was only driven sparingly, adding up to 5k miles per year or less? That not only greatly reduces the costs, but also extends the life of the vehicle, and it means that buying new isn't really necessary or even advantageous. That's one of the big benefits of not living in a detached Single Family Home where you have to drive to get anywhere you want. *

As far as home ownership vs renting goes, the cheapest detached home that zillow shows in Minneapolis is $100k. A zero down mortgage with good credit would require an all in monthly payment of $921, which is $80/mo cheaper than the $1k rental I proposed. But the home now requires our low earner(s?) to buy and maintain lawn care equipment. And they have to allocate some money for upkeep and repairs. They're really no better off than they were renting, unless they get lucky with appreciation. And that only matters if they sell.

Life is hard with little income. It's always been that way, and it likely will remain that way. Making new $20k EVs isn't going to change that for people. Figuring out a way to offer them inexpensive housing in places that aren't entirely car dependent would probably go a lot further for our low earners while simultaneously being better for the environment and our infrastructure.

* I live in a detached single family home. I commute 45 miles per day. But I chose this lifestyle fully aware of the costs, do what I can to minimize those costs, and can afford it.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/29/22 2:37 p.m.

In reply to STM317 
it depends, ( 2nd car requirement)   I've done both in the early days, post Vietnam.   Drop her at bus stop pick her up afterwards. Latter with time  She got her own car.    Both new.  ( Back when$2000 bought a new car ).   It's all relative.  Inflation increases costs and income in direct proportion.  But high inflation is a winner for the young.  Assuming they get on the elevator.   
       All of what you are saying about added costs of home ownership is true but it is a massive win for the new owners.  
   Tax consideration.  99.9% of your payment ( at first ) is tax deductible.  
   Yes you can legally take additional dependents and offset your payments. 
    So you can either pay rent and taxes or make payments and reduce your tax obligation!    
      Your statement about life is hard when your young and poor is true.  But worse, far worse,  would go be old and poor.   

Single family homes just aren't going Happen.  Maybe a few really tough fixer uppers in bad neighborhoods. But that's not really the elevator.  So the suburbs will be the answer. 

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