Cooley On Cars
Are electric cars too electric?Most EVs suffer from limited range, so why are they wasting power on all those electronic gimmicks?
Hey folks Brian Cooley here with another one of your emails about high tech cars and modern driving. And this one comes in from Franco, he's in Hamilton, Ontario. He says first of all doesn't it make sense in electric cars to reduce electronics as much as possible? When that digital display runs the whole time the car's operating Doesn't that waste energy? Is it just there to make it cool and attractive? He says get rid of that digital display, and bring back the old analog gauges. He also points out I don't understand why people want a fast EV. I think he's talking largely about top speed, for example. He says manufacturers need to take control of people's mentality for speed. I can understand an expectation for an EV to be equal in its acceleration to a gas powered equivalent. But here in Canada, he says, the maximum speed limit's 100 kilometers per hour and you don't really need much more than that. Well, this is an interesting story. We did a talk about this on the show recently. About, why do cars have speedometers that go so high? And speeds that go nearly as high their speedos? And a lot of it is position and imaging. Nobody wants to be the first car maker to make a slower car, even if you never use That capability. But let's talk about the idea of electrical waste in electric cars because you see all these displays and such. I would say first and foremost, buyers want features. They want those displays, they want those electrical connections to their wireless devices to services in the cloud soon. This is something you have to do as part of the price of admission for a car that appears modern. And that's a big part of what sells EV's. They are not yet a brain dead cost decision. You have to be buying in to Something futuristic as well as well as something clean at the tail pipe and that's part of the whole mix. Now specifically in terms of instrument panels that are going LCD and that looks like it's spend a lot more like electricity doesn't it? But in fact LCD is essential especially in EVs because they have so many electrical displays of how power is being generated where power is being sent is the car in this mode or that mode. I happen to think a lot of that is info BS that no one really cares about. However, if you wanna show it, you gotta do it with LCD because it can reconfigure itself and show different things. Gauges are fixed. They kinda do one thing once they're made, and that just doesn't work for all these EV readouts. Now on top of that, even if you do have all these displays, whether they are valuable or not, know that those are not really a big deal in electrical draw on a car. Now, if you look at the display on your phone and look at the battery usage table, you're gonna find that the display is often number one or number two in terms of power drain on this guy. But that's a tiny battery. Compare the power drain of an LCD dash and the head unit in the center of the car to that giant battery in the vehicle? It's pretty trivial. And they optimize these to use as little power as possible, as you can imagine. And then there's this idea of top speed. Why are they building EVs that can go, what, 100-plus miles per hour? Doesn't that seem like a car that. Is able to waste its battery more easily. Well, a lot of this is just the formula of building a motor or an engine. Once you have a certain amount of torque and horsepower that makes it great around town, you've also inherited a certain amount of top speed ability as well. It just all comes from the same device So, unless you were to artificially put a cap on top speed on the [UNKNOWN], to put a governor on it. And say, that's it, this car does not go above 70 or 80 or something, there's no reason to block off that ability. Because some people will enjoy it whether it's legal or safe or not. Now, I'm not advocating you run around doing 100 miles an hour in your EV just cuz it can. However, no auto maker wants to be the first one out there to make the world's slowest car because they put some software in that made it so. [MUSIC] Keep those emails coming. I'm here to answer your questions about high tech cars and modern driving. It's email@example.com. [MUSIC]