With apologies to Jim Kenzie…

The column by Jim Kenzie published on Saturday October 1st, 2016, needs a little editing. Jim’s words, my words.

************************************************

Is the time finally right for electrically fuelled cars?

It’s long past time.

There is little doubt that electric motors are a pretty good way to power a vehicle. Maximum torque at zero r.p.m., so excellent launch characteristics and strong acceleration. Low to no noise, compared to ‘infernal’ combustion. And zero emissions from the vehicle itself.

None of this is news. It was all true of the Baker electric, which went out of production in 1916.

The problem with the Baker Electric remains the problem with all modern battery-powered cars.

It’s called “energy density”, which is a measure of how much power you can get per kilogram of weight.

And, frankly, we are a heck of a lot farther advanced now than we were a century ago. Continue reading

I love Jim Kenzie, but…

I’ve read Jim Kenzie’s columns in the Wheels section of the Toronto Star for more years than I can remember.  He’s a great read: informed, enthusiastic, and not afraid to have a politically incorrect opinion about the vehicles he reviews.

I have to take exception to his column in the Saturday, March 12th edition of the Toronto Star.  In it, Mr. Kenzie goes to considerable lengths to declare electric cars a waste of time and taxpayer money.  Let’s take a look at each his arguments. Continue reading

Spied: Top Secret Telsa Model “T”

Much has been made of the soon-to-be-released Telsa Model X.  This will be Tesla’s foray into the sport utility market.  The Model Three, a more affordable sedan, is still on the drawing board.

Unknown until this past weekend, we discovered a new entry for Tesla.  With a more mainstream sedan, a luxury sedan and full-size sport utility on the market, Tesla will enter the light pickup truck market soon.

Spotted at the Buffalo Supercharger station, the heavily camouflaged truck is, as expected, not sale ready.  Further research reveals that it is almost identical to the previous generation Chevrolet Silverado, obviously trying to slot the new vehicle between the current mid-size (Chevrolet Colorado) and full-size (MY15 Silverado, F-150) truck offerings.  The truck will be charged at the front of the vehicle, rather than the hidden charge port on the left rear of the current
Model S.

Choosing to compete in the most brand loyal segment, pundits will ask if Tesla has bitten off more than it can chew.  But if Tesla can snag even a small sliver of the light truck market, the investment will be worthwhile.

Here’s a quickly grabbed shot of the new Tesla T. Continue reading

A Long Drive Alone Saved My Life – Road & Track

A Long Drive Alone Saved My Life – Highway K – Road & Track.

John Krewson wrote an excellent column on the solitude of driving in the April edition of Road & Track magazine.  Time was, we were tethered to the outside world by an AM radio; that was about as connected as we could get.  Sure, I like to be able to dictate (hands-free, of course and always) to Siri to create a reminder to, “Take in my son’s jacket to the dry cleaner at 10am tomorrow to be mended”.  She/He/It obediently records this to my calendar, syncs it across all of my devices, and will remind me at the appointed hour to get to the dry cleaner.

As Apple debuts ‘CarPlay’ (no ‘i’ in car, I suppose), Mr. Krewson writes about the therapeutic value of driving alone, and how the occupation of your mind with “constant, low-level thinking” while driving allows the rest of your brain to process other random thoughts. Continue reading

The Better Way?

Pity the Toronto Transit Commission.  The TTC has very dedicated managers and administrators, and the front-line staff of drivers, fare collectors and maintenance people do an incredible job with very limited resources.

I found this out first-hand during a trip downtown today.  I had a choice: I could take public transit to my downtown destination, or make the drive and fight rush-hour traffic all the way home.  I chose transit. Continue reading

Cringeworthy

Every once in a while, something doesn’t sound quite right to me.  A politician might engage in some newfangled baffle gab, or a technology expert could coin a new word or phrase that might die on the vine or go viral. I hear company executives working through explanations of a recent event or strategy, employing words like ‘granular’, having superseded the tried and true, ‘drill-down’.

Three instances struck my linguistic funny bone recently. Continue reading