Why I will never buy an electric car


Just in time to start over with newer, more efficient panels… :wink:

BTW- this also assumes they continue to support excess energy buyback incentives. These are in place to make solar is lucrative for homeowners to invest in and kickstart the industry. There’s no guarantee they will continue in the future. If that goes away, the payback will be much, much longer…


Well, there’s a certain degree of fairness to it as well. If I have to pay any time I take power from the power company, they should have to pay any time they take power from me.

You pay a shop to change your oil. The shop does not get to make you change other people’s oil for free.


In some states there are laws in place to ensure this.

This is one of those industries where it’s still changing drastically every year.

Tesla with it’s battery pack can really help cut costs in the long term. And looks like new battery technology could also be a game changer.

There are people today living on islands off the coast of Maine who are completely off the grid.


I’m not an expert here, but don’t you all agree that once electric cars and solar panels, etc make financial sense for people to own and operate, that they’ll be mainstream? Until then, not many people are going to throw up solar panels and drive electric cars just to save the planet (that may or may not need saving in my opinion).

As for millions of homes with zero insulation in the South…er…ok. My great grandmother lived in one…over 30 years ago. But I don’t think that’s too common anymore around my area.


I live in the southwest, for what it’s worth, and there are PLENTY of older homes here with zero insulation


Seems to me whether to add insulation in an older house is a matter of cost/benefit and comfort. Not everyone would benefit and then there is the issue of the vapor barrier. Different in the south than the north. We lived in an old house when I was a kid and seems to me when I was about 5 years old, there was a truck that added insulation to the house. I don’t know how they did it then. Maybe just blew the ceiling. But now they just drill holes on the outside or inside and blow the insulation into the cavities. There is some expense but a lot easier than ripping the plaster down. Or if you re-side the place they can add the foam board on the outside to add some R value. Still it’s a cost/benefit comfort thing. Of course on an old house you need wiring and plumbing so most people that are serious about updating, just demo the plaster, rewire, plumb, insulate, and sheetrock the place. Not that big a deal and can be DIY. In the old days on the prairie, they used to stuff newspaper in the walls so that can be a great find.


Well he said “down south” which makes me think of Dixie rather than the desert Southwest.

But that is interesting. Do these non insulated homes have central heat and AC?


I actually own 2

One I live in, the other’s occupied by a tenant

Many of them do now, because it was retrofitted. It really depends on the area. In a low-rent area, people might go with window ac units and space heaters inside. I can’t stand those things, though

Mine are retrofitted with proper central ac and I believe forced air heating


Are you an environment hating hummer driver or is the cost to insulate less than the payoff of electrical bill savings?

I’m kidding! Curious how you can get away with no insulation and stand it, though. What state?

What is “forced air heating”? A heat pump?


Actually, it’s like taking some bargain oil to the shop that does your oil changes and they have to pay you market price for it.

They are in the business of producing and selling power. Nothing normally would dictate they MUST buy your power. Laws and regulations have been put in place to make them buy it from you. No saying those subsidies to the solar industry will exist once they are self sufficient as a business. Same as electric cars. Once they hit something like 200k cars, the subsidy is dialed back…


I’ve never owned a Hummer in my life . . . I drive a Camry, but it’s not particularly fuel efficient, given the modest size of the vehicle

Relatively few people that live in these older homes pay to have insulation retrofitted, at least here


Fuel efficient in my mind is anything over 20 mpg :grimacing:.

Not much retrofitting going on here either. But, the wooden homes and log cabins of days gone by have rotted away (moisture), and anything built in the last several decades is insulated.

I do wonder which is more environmentally responsible-

Drive something into the ground that gets mediocre or even sub par mpg

Trade up to get something more fuel efficient, considering a lot of “carbon footprint” probably went into manufacturing a new vehicle. The power bill of a steel mill is overwhelming. How much of that was spent making a more fuel efficient vehicle (cash for clunkers)? I’m not sure.

I’m all for moving forward, though. As long is it isn’t at the expense of the human to promote the environment. I still think humans are more important. When solar power makes more practical sense than the grid, or electric cars make more sense than internal combustion engines, I think everyone would be on board. Why not?

I might still keep a V8 hobby car, though. As long as it isn’t outlawed to own one. Which sounds kind of communist to consider.


@Scrapyard_John. You make an interesting point about the carbon footprint about making a fuel efficient car in comparison with running a fuel guzzling car into the ground.
The same can be said for household appliances. Our washing machine is 27 years old and works perfectly. Should I replace it with a new energy efficient machine that I am told may only last 10 years? How much energy is needed to make a new machine as to what it will cost in energy to keep my present machine going?
Here is another dilemma. The church I attend.has two donated refrigerators in its kitchen and it was decided that we need new refrigerators that have more capacity. The electric company will give us $20 for each refrigerator and will scrap them. However, the refrigerators are still functional. I helped deliver Thanksgiving food baskets to houses where the Salvation Army indicated there was a need. At one house, they were scrimping to rent a refrigerator from one of these businesses that rent household appliances at a hefty charge. Should we take the $40 from the electric company for these energy inefficient refrigerators and help reduce the carbon footprint or should we donate the refrigerators to people who need a refrigerator, don’t have the cash to buy a refrigerator or even the credit to buy the refrigerator and are forced to go to these rental outfits?


A log house might seem energy efficient but if you check the R value of wood it’s not that great compared to fiberglass insulation. Of course there is some radiant heat from the logs after they warm up. My son has stone walls and I didn’t tell him but the R value is something like 3 compared to 19 for standard 2x6 walls with fiberglass.

Forced air is having a central furnace with a blower and duct work to each room. It is the most popular here with natural gas or LP if you are in the country. It also has the advantage of being able to add air conditioning to the same unit. Hot water heat can be cheaper but not if you also need to add AC.

If you were serious about what is forced air.


Now you are trying to get me to buy all sorts of technology, a cell phone, a smart one at that plus whatever I would need for a smart home (I have no idea)

Mike in NH, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use either CFL or LED bulbs- not very much difference in efficiency there so I don’t know where you get the 90% figure from. A new roof for my house is about $15000 right now.

I was getting quotes from Solar City because they have a huge new plant in Buffalo and emailed me a link to their online calculator and all I had to provide them is my address and they use google earth to do the calculations.

At my age I have no interest in going solar and even if the price was $20,000, I would be long dead before any possible payoff. I have gas heat, stove, and hot water tank and they cost a lot less to heat things than electricity.

The house I grew up in was completely insulated, had no furnace and A/C was unheard of back then. with no insulation, there was no need for storm windows or doors We had a Moore Gas heater in the living room that heated part by heated air from the vents on top but more by radiation from the glowing panels on the front. If you were cold, you moved your chair closer. A large piloy light kept the chill off the cooking and a small hot water tank in the bathroom kept it fairly comfortable. There was no insulation on the tank, just galvanized metal. The floor above was unheated bedrooms with thick blankets, I don’t recall being uncomfortable. The house is still in use today.

We had relatives with a house of similar vintage 1870-90s that cooked with a wood stove that was their only heat and pumped their water with a hand pump in the front yard. Obviously they had an outhouse,This was in Western NY near the PA border.

I have a three bedroom house, the heat is shut off in all three bedrooms unless we get company.


Vinyl siding would add a layer of insulation to the outside of a wood frame house, but so would replacing old deteriorated insulation inside the walls; my father used to do this every few years when we lived in Buffalo. A company would come in, cut holes in the walls between the studs, pump insulation into the holes, and then patch them up.

You can also add a layer of insulation on the inside of a house, but you don’t want to use too much or you’ll loose square footage. My father did that in our kitchen in Buffalo, installing paneling over the insulation.

There is only so much you can do if you don’t think outside the box, both literally and figuratively.


Yes, I was serious about “forced air”. I actually put in central heat and AC units when I was in college (part time job) and have never heard the term. “Heat pump, split gas unit, package unit” I’ve heard. Forced air must be a regional term or a term that isn’t used in my region much, at least.

I have a heat pump myself. I don’t think they’re great for extreme cold, though. I considered adding more insulation in the attic. I’m just not sure how to determine how much is enough. At some point more is just a waste, but I don’t know how to determine how much is enough vs too much (no return).


There is some heat pump use here but I don’t know how much. From what I have heard you also need supplemental heat like with electric panels for the colder days. Most of the time though electricity is more expensive than gas. At the cabin though we have Rural Electric and LP and electricity is more reasonable so the neighbor has a heat pump and we use electric water heater. Yeah maybe regional, I don’t know. Then in the old days it was a central furnace in the floor with with registers to distribute the hotter air. I wouldn’t exactly refer to that as central heat though. More like a stove in the middle of the house.


@Bing I think you are referring to what is called a gravity furnace. Typically there are one or two fairly large grated floor registers for the heated air to rise up into the house from the furnace without there being a blower like there is in a central heating system with smaller registers in each room.

The HVAC professional who has serviced our furnace and a/c for years has explained how natural gas furnaces are generally more effective and affordable to operate than electric, especially in climates that have hard winters.


Good morning, I had asked earlier to redirect this discussion to cars. Last night there was still some meager car content. Now, it’s back to houses. I’m going to close it.