Managing Energy Contracts Strategically

O-M-G — Get Me Out Of This Gasmobile!

I’m renting a gas car for a few days. It’s one of the best-selling cars in the US. OMG I can’t wait to get out of this car!

Published on MAY 06, 2019

Gas Is So Last Century

Most people who drive a Tesla, a BMW i3, a Nissan LEAF, a Chevy Bolt EV, or any other electric car and switch back to a gas or diesel car will probably feel much like I am right now. Initially I thought, “Hey, it will be interesting to experience this car — maybe I’ll find some features I like about it.” Instead, I was quickly reminded of how “1910” gas car technology feels. The first sign was when I sat in the car and couldn’t find the “On” button. At least 30–60 seconds went by before I realized I had to insert the key into the ignition and turn it. The really annoying features emerged once the engine was running. It started rumbling and grumbling immediately. Like I said, it quickly feels like 1910 tech. Putting the most positive spin on it that I can, it’s like a mild chair massager.
Electric Mobility

Electric Mobility

Leading the global transformation in the way you move


But, yeah, it’s more annoying than relaxing. If the door or window is open, it can also stink. The reminder of the pollution being emitted slams you in the face and makes you think, “Gawd, how can people live with this in 2019?” Going to the gas station is absolutely disgusting, as I was reminded after filling up the REx tank of our i3 a week ago (story coming). I’m hoping I don’t have to go to a gas station before returning this car. The rental car lady explained the gas fill-up options to me, and apparently it costs less to have them do it. I asked why doesn’t everyone choose that option. She didn’t really know, except that: “some people like filling up the tank.” Lordy — in the 21st century?!?

Horses vs Gas-mobiles vs Electric Cars

The situation gets more extreme. Accelerating from a stop, the car doesn’t want to move. It feels stuck, broken. Feelings I had a couple of years ago when driving a Volvo after getting used to a Tesla were a perfect fit this week: “Our tractor has started shaking violently…and seems to have a sore throat. I didn’t really notice it at first, but now this strikes me as a disastrous concern. Okay, well, the ‘tractor’ I’m talking about is actually a Volvo S60, but it feels like a tractor now, so that’s what we’re calling it.” Granted, the Volvo does offer more comfort than riding a horse. 
Although… right after thinking this and in the middle of drafting the article you’re reading right now, I was driving the car again and realized that it does act somewhat like a wild and stubborn horse. When I want it to start moving it often just sits there — only to jerk forward in a sudden and jarring manner. More than ever, horsepower seems like the appropriate term for what’s under the hood. It was certainly cool in the 20th century, but going back to fossil-fueled horsepower is a super unpremium experience once you’ve enjoyed the smooth, silent, and powerful joy of fully electric instant torque.

A Game Changer

Woman driving
This is the thing that anyone who hasn’t driven an electric car can’t understand. You have to experience it. This is why a $28,000–37,000 Tesla Model 3 is a game-changer. There is no gas car within tens of thousands of dollars of that price range that has anywhere near the quality of a Tesla Model 3 (or a Nissan LEAF or Chevy Bolt EV for that matter — but a Model 3 is a step up from them). A gasoline car is just horrible to drive, a tragically low level of quality. This may seem harsh, but drive an electric car for a month, or even a week, and then go back and you can experience what I mean for yourself. I’d say it’s like living in a dark home full of smoke. Perhaps, if you are used to it, you think it’s fine. Get the smoke out and put in some bigger windows and it won’t take long before you realize you don’t want your house to be full of smoke.

The New Normal Is Here

Oh yeah, and then there’s the experience of sitting in the car while it’s parked but still running for the A/C. I’m doing that right now since I have a two-year-old in the back seat and we’re in Florida. In our i3, that would normally be fine and peaceful. In this gas-mobile, the engine has to keep running. It’s noisy, rumbly, stinky, and inefficient — I can feel the money being sucked out of my pocket. It’s hard to put myself in a normal gas-mobile driver’s head now — impossible actually. I can’t imagine being used to this, simply accepting it, considering it normal. It’s so not normal.
I honestly dread going back to this gas rental car every time I think about it. I’m eager to be back in our BMW i3, and at the same time I'm dreaming of the next level — a Tesla. The Model 3 is calling, and the ringing won’t stop. But the problem is obvious — it’s going to ruin every other car for me.