Smoke Gets In Your iPhone

What They Say:

Renault, the first car manufacturer to offer a range of four electric vehicles accessible to everybody, reconfirms its commitment by launching an advertising campaign combining humour and education.

What We See:

A perfect demonstration of electricity generated by coal-fired plants.

[via Daring Fireball]

The French get most of their electricity from nukes. What could go wrong?

Drought causing low water levels on rivers which are the main cooling water supply for French reactors.

The real advantage of the electric car is the vertical acceleration curve, 0-100 MPH in 2 seconds. That’s a fucking car. They should just run ads of these things pulling away from police cruiser Crown Vics and attack helicopters and the guy riding shot gun leaning out the window giving them the finger.

@FlyingChainSaw: Sideways threadjack, but ever driven a CrownVic? I took a defensive driving course, and that’s what we used for high speed/high threat road driving. Donuts take on a whole ‘nother meaning, especially when you have a retired statie teaching you how to drive through corners at 90 mph.

@Nabisco: You didn’t have a Crown Vic. You had a Crown Victoria with the Interceptor package. It’s a police fleet variation with monster suspension and escape-velocity drive-train package. You were able to drive through those corners because you had serous hardware underneath you. Try that with a Lada or even a 1960s muscle car. Why were they training you on hardware you’d never have under you in the field? Probably liability. I had to take the UN online safety test for a couple of ITU assignments but I never got to do evasive driving training. Sounds way ballsy.

@FlyingChainSaw: I have a lawyer friend who has a Tesla roadster. I asked her the other day if she had ever outrun the cops. She just smiled.

@FlyingChainSaw: Why were they training you on hardware you’d never have under you in the field? To learn an appreciation for “car as tool”, I think. A senior diplomat had her life saved by her driver in Pakistan because he knew how to hightail it in reverse and around a corner to escape an ambush.

The course was at a motor speedway, on paved track. Off-road driving was taught on some muddy track in West Virginia in Jeep fucking Cherokees. My instructor for that was a stunt driver, and said that although the Cherokee was a shit car, it was useful for showing us what you can do with what you have. The most fun? Up-armored Suburbans on the skid pad. Even the cop/trainer popped dramamine before that morning’s session.

@Dodgerblue: Straightaway in the short run, no sweat. If she’s going to go on a long run up 101, she’s toast. I see them around the Valley, never speeding though. I think for the sake of battery life and charge duration, the software really throttles how hard they can punch the accelerator. I’ve got to find this article from the Times about a university professor who works on electric cars. Drives near the campus in them as soon as he can get plates on them, often cars with no roofs. Guy’s theory is that no one will buy a car because it’s eco-friendly. They want the car that brings Kowalski back from the grave.

@FlyingChainSaw: She told me about “range anxiety.” Gets about 240 miles per charge, driving sensibly.

This is important. Cars in the last ten years or so are incredibly adroit compared to crap we had to drive in the 70s and 80s. Picked up an AWD Subaru ten years ago – still have it – and was just in awe at how hard you could push that thing on dry or wet pavement in the corners and it just fucking stuck like a brick. In the 74 Pontiac, 350/Turbo 300 tranny, Positraction, the works, you’d always have to skate and keep punching the accelerator and punching and hoping the fuck the sheer massive inertia of all that metal would get you through the turn, more like surfing than driving. Subie would get through those turns faster and you wouldn’t even spill your coffee.

@Nabisco: it was useful for showing us what you can do with what you have. The most fun? Up-armored Suburbans on the skid pad. Even the cop/trainer popped dramamine before that morning’s session.

@Dodgerblue: Yeah, I can imagine. The battery tech is still very primitive. Breakthroughs are coming and she can resurrect Kowalski.

@FlyingChainSaw: Got an ’05 Outback wagon. The thing scoots, plus I can haul all my amps and crap without throwing my back out, leaning into a car trunk.

@Nabisco: Friend of mine who is a foreign service officer said that the two weeks of car training was the highlight of his program, rivaling the week of learning to shoot guns. (This friend was going to a country where these skills would be needed, but he said all FSOs got a day or two of car training. Sounds like fun.)

@Dodgerblue: Yeah, that’s a big car. I was looking at the wagons in 2001 but it was much larger than I needed. I was really looking for another 1987 GL wagon to place the one this lady crushed while diddling her CD player but the closest thing they had was the Impreza at the time. The 2.2 is much more engine than I need. I was able to get everything I needed from the old GL’s 1.8. Given improvements in efficiency, that same engine should probably be 1.4. I have no idea why they just don’t accept the efficiencies and post better mileage. Instead, I have a fucking sports car I don’t need eating all kinds of gas it should not have to burn. It’s nice to punch it and be cruising smoothly at 100 MPH but who needs it?

@FlyingChainSaw: It’s fun to humiliate douchebags in BMWs, which LA ia full of.

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