The Last Auto Mechanic
Tom Price

When was the last blacksmith born? Oh, wait, he hasn’t been. There are still blacksmiths out there, shoeing horses, building carriages. Because what you fail to consider — completely — is that there are parts of this country where not only will EV’s just plain not work, there are people in this country who will refuse them. Or are you planning on forcing the Amish to give up their horses and buggies? Electric cars have been the next biggest thing in this country since they were invented in the late 1800’s — and always will be.

Why do I say that? Two reasons for that. The first is geography. It’s all well and good for France or Great Britain to say, hey, no more gas cars here. How big is France? The whole country is actually smaller than the state just south of me, Texas, with just over twice the population. (I’m in Oklahoma.) How big is Great Britain? A little smaller than Oregon. Their population density will allow that. Here in the U.S.? Don’t make me laugh. Other than high density areas, like LA, Chicago, New York, or Houston, it won’t work. Let’s just say I want to get up early, drive to Tulsa, visit a museum, do some shopping, maybe catch a play, and then come home. I’ll put 400 plus miles on my car in one day. That 300 mile range works if you’re only commuting 10 miles one way each day, and that presumes that your air conditioner and heater aren’t also draining your battery.

And the second is climate. Do you have any concept about what cold really is? In the upper Midwest, it can easily get to -40 actual temperature, and stay there for a month. That makes the battery life on your EV not 300 miles, but more like 30. So your automatic EV’s are going down the road, do they see the snowplow, which has to be manually controlled? Oh, you forgot about that in your wonderful society, right? The minor detail that all the road equipment simply won’t be EV’s, so you’ll still have dump trucks, cranes, road graders, paving machines, and steamrollers that will be at least diesel operated, and also not part of your EV panacea.

Through in the minor detail that as a driver, you can SEE the potholes on the road. Don’t forget that in any state that actually has freezing weather, the roads WILL deteriorate, and your EV’s will blindly just hit that pothole, and the one behind them will hit it as well, so that finally the tenth one that hits it makes it so large that the car ends up busting an axle.

And THAT’S what the last mechanic has NOT been born. Because even if all the vehicles on the road were somehow mysteriously owned by some fleet, there would STILL need to be someone to maintain them. Change out wheel bearings, replace bad motors, or do other maintenance.

Oh, and the market won’t force it, either. Because you also forget one minor detail. All those batteries that you just want to will into existence are dependent upon rare earth materials that don’t exist in the quantities needed to actually MAKE your dreams come true. So you all want to complain about drilling for oil and how the Internal Combustion Engine is on its way out, while ignoring the giant open pits that are needed to dig rare earths out that are used in batteries. And with the environmental laws that have been pushed in the U.S., we can’t dig for them here, which leaves us a single point source failure, because the only other place in the world with any kind of quantity is China. Yeah, that’ll work so well, won’t it?

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