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Do you really want to buy an electric car?

 elbil june 2023

Many people are now thinking about buying their first electric car. Is it a good idea for you? Not always - especially for older people who don't want to learn something new. Hmmm. If you don't want to learn the most important things about a new electric car, then of course you shouldn't get an electric car. Otherwise it won't be good. You must learn the most important things about the car and how to charge it in different ways. 

A further category of people who may have difficulties handling an electric car are those who dislike IT and abstract thinking. Note that many people say - an electric car is a computer on wheels. However, it differs between electric cars. I bought a Tesla Model S just over a year ago to find out the difference for myself and to contribute to a better environment.

Paradigm shifts

These kinds of changes have happened before. Since I am Rolf 7.6 (=76 years old), I have experienced several similar changes. It is not uncommon that people have underestimated the consequences of the paradigm shift because they often fail to recognise that people have different personalities. Everyone agrees that people are different, but they tend to forget that in their daily lives.

The first similar change I can think of was when computer operators gradually stopped handling punched cards. Then the job became more abstract, meaning you had to work more with your brain than your hands. You could only see what was happening on a screen. Very little was concrete. What remained were the printers, tape drives and disc drives, where there was some concrete handling. In this way, computer operator became another job, so the person who also wanted to do the most concrete work no longer enjoyed the job. Unfortunately, not everyone involved realised that this was what was happening.

Much the same thing happened to the typesetters in printing companies. Suddenly they had to sit at a computer screen and do their job. No concrete tasks at all. It became another job and many of them didn't like it or got another job.
So is it possible to train your ability to think abstractly? Yes, this is the case for anyone who has started working with IT. You can only see an IT system in drawings and models. Like everything else new, this is difficult for most people at first, so you must persevere until you get used to this way of seeing reality. Today, it is gradually becoming more and more important as the use of IT and digitalisation increases inexorably. In fact, being able to think abstractly and in models of reality is of enormous benefit. Those who do not want to overcome this obstacle will gradually find it more and more difficult in everyday life...

My own purchase of an electric car

I, like many others, wondered if my next car should be an electric car. I travelled around and looked at several. All had their pluses and minuses, of course. What was important to me?

I read reviews in the media about electric cars and noticed in particular that there were occasional complaints about the screen. Not the screen itself, it turned out, but the control system - the software. That's where Tesla got the most praise. After all, they were first, and Elon Musk is a programmer at heart. That was the deciding factor for me, so I decided to buy a Model Y. My wife protested, i.e. buying a car for about 700,000 and only using it for about 10,000 kilometres a year. Then I got the idea to look at second-hand cars. It turned out that I could buy a Tesla Model S for about SEK 500,000. It was from 2018, so still four years additional battery warranty, i.e. that it should be possible to charge to 70% of a new battery. At the same time, I read about a study where they had examined the batteries of Tesla cars. It showed that the charging capacity was still 90% for eight-year-old Teslas. The car had travelled 120,000 km. So it was a deal;-)

Probably my most rational car purchase - ever, as I judged that I would certainly manage the paradigm shift. I saw it as challenging to learn something new, while contributing to a better environment.

When buying second-hand electric cars, there is a big advantage. An electric motor is very simple compared to an internal combustion engine. This significantly reduces the risk of buying a second-hand electric car. In addition, there will probably be even better and cheaper (!) batteries when the time comes to change. If you buy a hybrid, you buy an unnecessary engine, but of course it can be a good transitional solution.

Now after just over a year of use (8000 km), I still think it was a good decision. I actually enjoy driving the car. I didn't always do that before. It has taken some time to come up with a good strategy for charging during longer journeys, but it is getting better and better. Learning the control system hasn't been easy either, but step by step that's getting better and better too. One problem, of course, is instructions. Here they have not yet reached Apple's level, which I am spoilt with as a Mac user. There are films that show different functions, but... What is mainly missing are instructions on how it works, for example

  • Here's what you need to learn before you start driving
  • Subtleties, which are very useful
  • Features, which some may appreciate
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