On their Facebook account, Sylvain and Pierre, who usually entertain us from their Vilebrequin YouTube channel, have recapitulated a previous video dedicated to electric cars in general and Tesla in particular. The work around the American manufacturer is correct and interesting for newcomers. In contrast, complaints about electric vehicles in general are mostly 5-10 years old. However, a general message can be heard.
Pierre and Sylvain like cars that go crazy and regularly remind you of that. What is less known is that many of us at Automobile Propre drive mechanics and follow Vilebrequin’s crazy videos with more or less compression. Personally, if it weren’t for the CO2 leaks and pollutants in the atmosphere, I probably wouldn’t be driving electric today.
10 years ago I could be seen on the podium presenting classic cars and justifying the prizes awarded in a restoration challenge. I had a 2002 electric Renault Kangoo with a nickel cadmium battery (and no lead acid bro) and a 1973 Ford Taunus 1600 XL. In fact I bought my first plug in car in 2007 (1996 Clio already with a NiCd battery) , to compensate for the regular use of my old ones, which I used both for holidays and for commuting to the office.
Today, without the problems of pollution and climate change, I would happily use a Fiat 131 Abarth, a Ford Cortina Lotus Mk1, a Peugeot 205 CTI, a Nissan Cedric or a Citroën Ami 6 station wagon for my usual trips. But no gasoline or diesel of today. It would seem way too boring to me compared to the electric ones, which have made phenomenal progress in 10 years.
The speech on Tesla
Originally, Vilebrequin’s VE video focused on the question ” Tesla, the future? “. Posted on March 24, 2022, it was just over 24 minutes long. The general lecture on electric cars came last. On Facebook, the order is reversed and the duration of the film has been reduced to 7 minutes and 10 seconds. To Sylvains Talking about Tesla there is not much to say.
Personally, and just for fun, I would have added that the first Tesla roadster, actually based on the Lotus Elise, received a carbon fiber body made by Sotira 35 in Brittany at Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes. But also that the American manufacturer’s global charging network is still a role model. Simply because of the user-friendliness.
Tesla in a speculative bubble? In fact, many traders have taken on the business this way, with the risks it poses to all parties. The new Roadster, the Semi and the Cybertruck all have ignition delays, that’s true. If we leave the challenges of their development in the glove box, Tesla’s future was hanging in the balance, fueled by the influx of fresh funds from the sale of the Model 3. Hence a mobilization on this car.
And with regard to the autopilot, this over-reliance on the part of drivers and the manufacturer’s double language… Vilebrequin is not far off on these issues.
Tesla, the future?
Is Tesla the future? The American manufacturer isn’t the only one upgrading its cars. Others are doing very well, like the Chinese and Koreans. And generalist brands are doing better and better. So much progress has been made that the arguments put forward by Pierre are overtaken with great speed when he tells us that there have been no recent developments in the manufacture, recharging and recycling of batteries, but also in terms of autonomy .
Less than 10 years ago, the average range, apart from Tesla, was around 125-150 km. In the same conditions, we are now at the real 400 km with a good number of models. The DC charging power was often limited to 50 kW. Several brands including Porsche, Kia and Hyundai have gone beyond 200kW. Others will follow quickly.
Battery composition is constantly evolving to require less delicate materials and offer more performance. They are recycled as needed, at rates in excess of 90%. Cells with solid electrolyte and/or with other chemistries are now arriving. It only took a few years to fit twice the energy capacity in the same space.
The duty of a thermal car in the apartment
Thanks to early adopters of lithium-ion electric mobility, battery life estimates have increased from 5 to 10+ years before finally enjoying such an important second life as stationary storage elements of electricity. The ways of extracting lithium are becoming more diverse, for example by using thermal springs or seawater.
Initially, this material was even considered waste from the extraction of potassium for agriculture. Marc Muller and Jonas Schneiter have explored the subject for their famous documentary Against the direction.
” Anyone who buys an electric car is not their only car: they inevitably have a thermal vehicle ‘ says Peter. No, but are you serious!? With all the progress in terms of range, charging speed and terminal network, more and more households only own an electric car. Or one for monsieur and one for madame, both connected.
And where did this idea come from? added a car to the household ? I personally don’t know of any, even if I can well imagine individual cases. What is still often done, however, is for one to drive electrically and the other to remain thermal, without adding a vehicle to the family fleet.
Automatic ads should encourage walking and cycling
Switch all cars to electric?
And switching the entire fleet to electric in a short time, is that a good idea? Accelerating the scrapping of petrol and diesel cars in order to speed up the assembly lines of electric models, in a climate emergency that, on the contrary, requires slowing down CO2 emissions, especially from the industrial sector, is not necessarily a good thing.
The electromobile migration should have started much earlier and allowed for very flexible retrofitting. That means, for example, converting a Citroën C3 or a Renault Twingo, which is usually full of petrol. You don’t lose anything with models like these. There’s nothing melodic about their engines. So let’s go without hesitation.
We must not deprive ourselves of other solutions. With BioNGV, for example, petrol and diesel can be replaced, as the company Lyptech is demonstrating with Utilities. Ethanol, waste oil, synthetic fuels, etc.: In an urgent transition phase, no path should be neglected if it leads to sustainable mobility.
And Pierre is rightly concerned about the evolution towards a single techno. If he’s sincere, I’m on that ground. But not when it comes to gulping more oil.
Turn off the heat engine?
Turning off the heat engine isn’t necessarily a good idea. Overall, we should also drive less, much less, and not just switch energy. But is this compatible with the rhythm that society imposes on us? This is a supplementary question. Who is ready for this? And public transport? A massive shift seems very difficult when everything emphasizes individualism, with a demonization of closed spaces in times of ongoing pandemic.
I believe more in the development of smaller mobility for everyday life, like cycling, scooters and even walking if possible. The younger generations are interested in it, and that’s very good. My son, for example, has owned his youngtimer GTI for about 5 years. But he never drove. He didn’t even get his driver’s license. After enduring the public transport which caused him a lot of worries because of work, he just fell in love with a scooter.
It perfectly illustrates this transitional period of doubt, trial and error before finding its own paved path. Sustainable mobility must be pluralistic. If there’s one message to remember from Sylvain and Pierre’s shortened video, it’s this!