The real reason why YOU shouldn’t buy an EV now

Late last year my husband and I bought a new battery electric car. Our beautiful Tesla Model Y, sporting the stunning midnight-cherry-red color only available in Europe, is one of 45,818 sold in Germany that year. Designed in California, manufactured in Grünheide, Germany, the best car (in my opinion) that one could buy in 2023. In fact a lot of people must have thought the same. The Tesla Model Y ended up being the one car – regardless of engine type – that was sold the most worldwide in 2023. 1,211,601 units of it, to be precise.

Friends, neighbors, colleagues, everybody asked: how do you like it? At first I was so excited about telling everybody what an awesome car that is. I even went to great lengths to debunk all the myths around EVs. I got frustrated when I realized,  that nobody wanted to hear my answers. People just wanted their prejudice confirmed. If you are one of the smart lucky ones who already own an electric car, preferably a Tesla, you’ve probably heard all the reasons, why EV isn’t a good choice.

One of our neighbors doesn’t want an electric vehicle, because his gasoline guzzling Audi can drive 300 km/h, and our Tesla only does 230 km/h max. I wonder where in Germany he finds a stretch of road that supports those 300 km/h.

Many people say they can go 1,000 km without refueling, while our extended range Tesla only gives us 450 km, on a full charge. I wonder why anybody would want to drive 1,000 km without having a break. Even 450 km is too long for me. I need a break every two hours or so, just to go to the bathroom and stretch my legs.

Somebody said he can refuel his car in 5 minutes, while our Tesla takes about half an hour at the super-charger to go from 30% to 90% charge. I highly doubt the statement – 5 minutes? Really? Even if the nearest pump is free, you’d have to open the tank, insert the nozzle, stand there and wait for your 40 l to run through, walk inside to pay (no pay-at-the-pump in Germany) and hope there’s no line at the register. Charging stops with the Tesla are way more relaxed. You plug in, and then walk around, go to the bathroom, get a coffee-to-go, do some stretches. Your app tells you when the charging is done.
at the Tesla super-charger
Driving in winter supposedly poses a totally different set of challenges with an electric car. The battery will lose capacity, your range will be cut in half, your door handles will freeze shut so you can’t get in or out. You won’t be able to run the heat, because that drains the battery even faster. I see. I just remember last winter, when we had that long cold spell and two feet of snow, we turned our climate control in the car on about 20 minutes before we wanted to leave the house. Tesla was fully defrosted by the time we left – while the neighbors where still scratching ice off of their windshield the engine running to warm it up (which is illegal in Germany).

Summer, by the way, is the same problem, sort of. You can’t run the AC in your car because it drains the battery too. We found out, stuck in stopped traffic on our way back from Italy for two hours, 32°C outside, music and air running inside, that our Tesla loses 2% of its charge per hour of sitting there. I really hope for you, that you don’t run out of gas or overheat your engine enduring that with a fossil fuel vehicle.

The list goes on: batteries don’t last very long, a new battery costs as much as the whole car, electric vehicles are expensive to do maintenance on, brakes in electric cars are a constant source of trouble, you can’t sell your used EV because nobody wants to buy it, electric cars are way too expensive…..

By now I realized, though, that I don’t want you – the 97.1% of car owners in Germany – to suddenly switch over to a full electric car. You would ruin the experience for the 2.9% of EV owners in Germany. Those 2,581 Tesla super-chargers in Germany would not be enough to support a much bigger fleet. I wouldn’t find free parking downtown easily, if more people were driving electric. The two charging stations at my favorite grocery store, where I can charge my car for free while I do my weekly shopping, wouldn’t be available all the time.

So, from now on, if somebody asks: “how do you like your electric car?” I’ll say: “oh, it’s OK. But I wouldn’t recommend you get one.”

Never say Never

I’ve been blogging since 1999. The goal was to learn how to navigate the web, tell people about myself, and practice my writing skills. I used different platforms, whatever the style was at the time. The oldest version of my blog is still out there: Karin’s Adventures

After a few years of happily blogging away, just for my own entertainment, I realized that this wealth of personal history, adorned with lots of pictures I had taken, was totally dependent on somebody else’s hardware for its existence. What if that platform seized to exist? All my posts would be gone!

So, in 2007 I decided to go through that entire blog and copy every single post with all the attached photos into a word document. I was going to just print that out, put it in a binder, and keep it on my bookshelf. But then I thought about the time that would take, and the ink it would need, and the not so impressive looking result that would sit on my shelf, collecting dust. After a little bit of online research I discovered the concept of self-published books. The one provider that I liked the best is Lulu.

Every time I posted a new entry to my blog I also added a page to my book. Once in a while I would order a printed copy of the blog-book and give it to somebody – mostly just family – for a present. I really didn’t think anybody outside of my immediate family would spend money on something they could read online for free. Especially for content that was just personal thoughts, or experiences, of mine. Who would be interested in that?

Book cover "Karin's Adventures" vol. 2Well, never say never……. today Lulu notified me of a payment they made to my Paypal account. On April 4th a person in the US bought a paperback copy of volume 2 of my adventures.

After production cost and tax had been deducted, I ended up earning $7.12 – way more than I had ever expected. I don’t know who the buyer was. I’m thinking it must have been someone who knows me personally from somewhere. Makes me feel special. Thank you, unknown reader.

Hairy Affair

three different haircutsI’ve been cutting my own hair since 1981. I like the convenience of being self-sufficient. During the COVID-19 pandemic my hairstyle was unaffected by mandatory lockdowns of all kinds of businesses, including hair salons. The comments I got from people about my haircut have varied over the years, depending on how “in style” or “out of style” my personal style was at the time. Some people loved it, some people were indifferent, some people hated it. That’s OK. At one point I even published an instructional video on YouTube, so that people could do their own haircut, if they wanted to. Karin cutting her own hair

While I am personally still very satisfied with my looks, I sometimes envision something a little more “eye-catching”. When I first mentioned my idea to my husband, he simply shook his head and said: “please, don’t”. I love my husband, and I respect his opinion. So, of course, I will not cut my hair into a mohawk, fauxhawk, fade, undercut, or whatever this style would be called.
Since I lately discovered the wonderful world of endless possibilities with A.I., I prompted to generate an image of my avatar sporting a mohawk. I am surprised at how well this computer generated image represents my vision!

As expected my husband still doesn’t like the idea, but I thought my daughter might. She is a tattoo artist and has an eye for art in any form or shape. When I showed Alejandra Heartist the mohawk style, she explained that she didn’t like it because it would accentuate my “high” upper head and make it look even higher. Hm? That was exactly my point, I want to show off this physical feature of mine.
When I asked her for suggestions my daughter said I should show off my thick, now almost completely white, hair with a long bob and straight bangs. A.I. can do that too, of course.

What do you think?

Imagine Yourself

Karin painting a portrait of herself
Artificial Intelligence applications are the currently most hyped new technology. People’s opinions range from fear to concern to anticipation to euphoria – depending on what they hope for or worry about.

So, to be able to form my own opinion, I decided to educate myself and play with A.I.
Here’s my take: A.I. is definitely very artificial, but there is no intelligence involved. Other than, maybe the intelligence of those people who developed it.

I used ChatGPT to generate text, articles, explanations, letters, educational material for myself. As long as you thoroughly fact-check the results, it may be an interesting way to help with writing simple texts faster. A skillful prompt engineer can probably generate some pretty useful material, but be aware that the A.I. behaves like a teenager: if it doesn’t find real facts, it just makes up stuff. Adult supervision is strongly advised.

I also used to create a model of myself that I can now insert into images. The results from it are rarely as impressive as the one up top here, which may also be due to my lack of skills as a prompter. Some of the pictures the A.I. rendered were hilarious. Like a version of me with three arms, or a neck two feet long, or fingers that look like rubber tentacles. In one picture I wanted to paint myself as a shepherd, with my sheepdog laying next to me in the grass. What I got was a funny looking animal with a sheep’s body and a dog’s head.

At the current stage in its existance A.I. is sorely lacking anything like logical thinking, the ability to check its own findings, or basic math skills. It is nothing to worry about – yet. Except, maybe, that too many stupid people fall for some A.I. generated story, or image, or video.

When Farmers hang up their Boots

farmer's boots hanging on the town signLately I’ve seen rubber boots hanging off of town signs in rural areas around my home. This is meant to be a message for our government from our farmers. Agriculture is the wrong place to save money or cut subsidies!

What would happen, if farmers were forced to hang up their boots all over the country? I prefer my food to be produced locally, not somewhere far away and trucked around all over the place. So, if that means local farmers need a break on fuel taxes, or whatever else financial help, I’m all in.