Macho Cars?

You might be tempted to think, in this day and age, that the love affair between men and cars isn’t what it once was—and you’d be wrong. While car ownership is down a bit, and men don’t make up the 90% of drivers they once did, the topic hasn’t disappeared until advertisers stop asking THE question, and they have not.

What is THE question? “what makes a car a ‘man’s’ car?”

The idea that every man want to drive a tank or a truck is misguided but it’s fair to say that men have a type. It’s not, statistically speaking, women who are buying long vehicles!

Driving still seems to be a male activity. According to a poll by Strategic Vision 31% of men say they love driving compared to 18% of women. But not all the time men spend with cars can be blamed on the love of the open road. Men also prefer tinkering with cars and washing their car when compared to women.

Reasons for the love affair:

Traditionally, at least according to car salesmen, a car is associated with wealth by men. Some men may even see their car as making them more attractive, even in these days. There must be some signals in the opposite sex, otherwise men would quit thinking this way. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that a man who believes women are attracted to status symbols will be able to attract some women who are attracted to status symbols. In other words, he may not notice the women who are repulsed by a fancy car.

Perhaps the real question isn’t do men buy cars to attract women? Is it possible that men buy cars to advertise their style, and thereby attract the kind of lady they’d like to date.

What are macho men looking for—in a car?

Although men’s cars seem to be about looking good and going at fast, something like a Lamborghini maybe impractical for day-to-day use. Now that we’ve said, “looking good and going fast,” we see where a car can vibe with a man’s thinking.

To represent an animal nature, automakers use big wheels pushed to the corners of the vehicle, suggesting high shoulder lines. They use taut lines resembling muscles. What doesn’t appeal is the overdone interior. The jury is still out on animal names like Jaguar.

Some cars are even known as muscle cars, known for their rumbling, deep sounding engine. This is a good chance to test our theory about men using a car to express style in a potential mate. It seems likely that a woman who finds a man in a muscle car is probably very different than a female who might prefer a male who drives an Aston Martin or Rolls Royce, should they have any preference at all. Even if it doesn’t exactly attract the women of your dreams you still have a mean machine in your possession.

The macho cars include the Ford Mustang, the big black 7 by Aston Martin, Range Rover and Dodge Vipers. Men seem to like boxy cars. The Hummer1 was driven by Arnold Schwarzenegger and this seem to increase its popularity. Certainly, taking the idea of muscle car literally.

So is that raw power a metaphor for something more primal?

There are a number of obvious innuendos to be seen in adverts such as a “hot hatch”(back) but in general, as the rest of the world has become more sexually overt, car innuendos have become more subtle.

Are their car designs aimed at women?

Absolutely! There are even cars aimed at the Metrosexual. Cars aimed at non-macho men seem to be VW Beetle, Mazda and Nissan Cube according to sales. For some reason convertibles are not liked by men. It’s not immediately obvious where these conventions come from.

When 47% of cars are purchased by women it is maybe time to go beyond lazy stereotyping but only time will tell.

Advertisements

Choosing a Car Tracker

There are so many different options for car trackers that it’s hard to obtain a complete picture of the technology and application. Some of them are useful, others might be charitably described as not fit for purpose. The smarter companies have decided to niche down to one market segment so they could better represent what they do for their customers.

Potential Purposes for Vehicle Tracking:

Why might you need a tracker? Well there are several reasons…

Assuring that a vehicle doesn’t get stolen.

  • The first thing that leaps to mind on the topic of car tracking, perhaps due to early offerings in the field like Lo-Jack.

Check that a troublesome teen is driving within the law.

  • Monitoring your teen sometimes means knowing where they are, but it can also mean monitoring how they’re driving. It’s possible to verify that your teen is driving within designated speed limits or using their vehicle within times you’ve allowed—like only during daylight on a school night. Teen

To keep tabs on an older relative.

  • Hopefully if your aging parents and grandparents aren’t able to safely operate a vehicle you or their doctor have already helped them stop driving. However, there are a number of seniors who can drive safely with a few accommodations. It could give you peace of mind to have a GPS tracking on their car so if they breakdown they can call you with their location. It’s possible that that they could suffer a heart attack or other life-threatening issue and not be able to tell you where they are. This service started with companies like OnStar, but have mostly transitioned to personal car tracking so that consumers don’t have to combine the expense of monitoring with the expense of roadside assistance.

Possibly it is used as a business investment.

  • Knowing what your employees are doing when they are out “in the field” or on delivery has become a standard. Some systems even monitor how you drive—like the ones for parents of teenagers. This is far superior to the old system of installing a governor to prevent workers from speeding in you moving van. It also lets you know if they’re actually going about the delivery rout you hired them to.
  • It’s not just about how they drive or do their job though. These monitoring systems keep track of the locations of major assets your company owns. This could be reflected in a discount on your insurance bill.

Tracking your Spouse.

  • Then there are people who wish to spy on a partner who may be having an affair or secretly taking drugs or gambling. It’s a personal choice and a tough issue to even address in a post like this, but it’s one way in which people use the technology and therefore some companies market to that purpose.

Desirable qualities in a Tracker:

Many of these systems do have some tethering, or connectivity problems. A 24 hour helpline is vital in order to deal with any difficulties – but these are common problems when you purchase a new device these days. When checking reviews, listen to what other people stay about helplines. How hard was it to get through to a person? Do they have limited hours as in they’re out of office whenever you need to locate your teen at a party they were grounded from?

In choosing a tracker look for ones who work with programs such as Google Maps, so you have a clear view where each vehicle is, from any google enabled device.

If you fear your car will be stolen and the license plate changed, opt for global coverage, in case the car gets shipped abroad.

Another feature to look for is whether you must check it or if it gives you push notifications. Spy Tec. For example, can be programmed to send you periodic updates and can be placed anywhere in the car. Marketing from the company states that the strong battery can last up to four weeks, which to be honest is a big consideration if you’re not wiring into the cars power system.

The MotoSafety Teen GPS, and Spy Tec for that matter, require a monthly subscription. If you research you maybe able to find ones that don’t have further payments once they’re installed.

The Drawback to tracking?

Using a tracker does indicate a lack of trust though. If your relative/employee/whoever needs to be tracked in this complicated way is it time to just have a tough conversation.

It’s also less expensive to do your own detective work if we are talking about a relative or a partner. In these days of mobile phone it’s getting exceedingly harder to keep things private, you might do a bit of snooping and learn the same information.

Monitoring your partner’s movements probably shouldn’t be a way of life, only a way to eliminate concerns. In a similar way, your teen is likely to move on from borrowing your car to driving their own vehicles so…do you really want to invest in buying and installing a tracker.

The most lucrative market for trackers must surely be commercial fleets. To think of it, it would be hard to run a cab business or any enterprise involving delivery vehicles without a number of tracking devices.

If you have a fear that your car will be stolen then a tracker is definitely for you but ultimately it’s all dependent on the car you drive—frankly you can just buy a car that’s less likely to be stollen.

The other difficulty with a tracker is that many you have to pay to install. Although many try a tracking device on the cheap, the easier it is to find the easier is it to dismantle.

Still it’s a developing market and if you feel your vehicle or group of vehicles need it, go for it!

Cars and Smoking – A Bad Combo.

Op-Ed by P. Wimsett and A. Bunch

Imagine a cartoon scene that’s all too familiar for most of us. The picture is of a car lot complete with a dodgy car dealer in front of a number of dubious vehicles. In the cartoons he (it usually is a he in the cartoons) has a Clarke Gable mustache and a wide brim hat. You can almost smell his cologne and you know when he smiles a gold tooth will glint in the sun. As he sells you the car he smokes a cigar which produces smoke rings in the shape of dollar signs. And all is clear what is on the car dealer’s mind; fleecing the punter.

Would he really do that in the non-cartoon world? Only if he’s dumb. It’s not advisable to smoke near tires or engines not to mention smoking while showing a customer the interior, it’ll only mean trouble.

It’s common knowledge, unless you’re Kelley Bluebook, that bad smells, like cigarette smoke, reduces the value of a car. KBB.com doesn’t seem to have a category for bad smelling vehicle. Either they assume you have a magic wand that will erase the smell, or they lump it in with poor condition. It’s an unofficial reduction, but it’s a reduction all the same.

Smokers’ cars can be 7-9% cheaper than non-smokers, according to a survey from the year 2000. (20 years old but sentiment is not likely to have relaxed on the topic.) Cigarette smoke will form part of the dust in the car, not mention sticking to surfaces. You probably don’t need to be reminded that this dust contains nicotine and similar toxic ingredients.

But is it possible to remove the smell?

Not really, it would be like smoking in a closet and to expect the smell to vanish! Most methods you encounter online tend to temporary, the smell will come back a bit weaker in a few days.

The chief problem, which smokers don’t truly grasp, is just how detectible smoke is to a non-smoker. Smokers have a dulled sense of smell and often think they’ve taken precautions to remove the smell. The reality is quite different.

So, what do I use if I bought a great runner with a B.O Problem?

Something like furniture polish won’t cut it, you’ll need anti-bacterial or bleach wipes to remove the oils from the plastic surfaces like dashboards.

The seats, the carpets and the area underneath the carpets need to be steam cleaned. An ozone generator is another option, but again it can only be temporary. Steam cleaners and ozone generators are not cheap but if you got $700 bucks off the price…

Change the cabin filter!

Really Kicker, No Ninja tip to Fix this Oder Problem?!?!

OKAY! If you’ve tried everything else…you can take dryer sheets and put them all over the dashboard and rear window area (on the inside you…) on a hot day. You want heat to activate this little miracle. It’ll do a pretty great job of pulling the smell out.

Car Dealers aren’t the only ones who try to pull a fast one.

We hear stories of potential buyers “looking at the engine” and then you notice white smoke emitting from your car. You’ve not seen any smoke from the engine before, what should you do?

Well, don’t feel pressured into dropping your price. What it may be is the potential buyer surreptitiously applying a coolant on the vehicle in order to make it smoke—then asking for a discount. It’s a general rule that if you notice something strange when selling your car to take it to a mechanic as possible.

Also consider reporting the potential buyer to the police. If local police are alerted the scammer may move onto better hunting grounds.

(But don’t jump to the conclusion that your buyer is trying to pull a fast one. An engine overheating will cause irreversible damage. If there’s a fuel smell in addition to the smoke it’s could be something like faulty fuel injector or the valve timing?)

In summary, cars and smoke in any form is best avoided. If you smoke and have children under 18 please consider not smoking in your car. That’ll protect your resale value and preserve the other things you care about.

German Cars – Good Value for the Money?

When we refer to German car we’re specifically talking about a BMW, a Merc, an Audi or a VW.

The German auto makers enjoy a good reputation based on a uniform brand identity for quality. Basically, instead of getting a reputation for family cars or sports cars etc. they focus first on promoting German Engineering. This gives them the flexibility for each brand of German car maker to claim a specific application of German Engineering like, the best German family car, or the best German daily driver.

Clearly the German car reputation is effective for sales since 30% of all cars sold in 2019 were German cars.

So, what is the German Engineering Brand?

Germany is known for “performance machines” and “muscle cars”. The stereotype is that the cars are built with military precision. But is it really justified, or is it more accurate to say they’re constructed with pragmatic appeal?

What some classify as affordable luxury with a solid reputation, combining the best engineering and the best quality. Others would say, too expensive to be a daily driver, too expensive to maintain as a family car, and chalk full of impractical features. In other words, by prioritizing performance and speed before niche specific objectives, are German cars…over engineered?

Many BMW’s cost $200 dollars for an oil change, and don’t get us started on the tire prices.

Is the German Car Impractical?

Do you really need a German car, something like a Ford Focus is better suited for a daily driver when compared to a BMW. The Dodge Grand Caravan, which is rated as the top two minivans of 2020, sells for thousands less than the Mercedes Sprinter Van. Indeed, by calling German cars a muscle car, it sort of suggests a car only for a bachelor not a family at all. The status symbol of the car only goes so far, you don’t want to pay for the name alone.

However, the consumer needs to decide for themselves if they need a daily driver or a family van with a top speed over 150 that corners like it’s on rales. If money is no object, why not? Unless the reputation is hokum.

Is the German Car Reputation Misleading?

Let’s compare two models that are examples of this dual-design mishmash.

The VW Golf has four cylinders and a top speed of 155 mph. This might be a bit too much for a family hatchback, but it’s a lot of fun.

The BMW Turbo meanwhile is designed to combine a light body with a powerful engine, although its mantra was always about supporting those who love performance. The 2002 model altered the functioning of the suspension.)

The question is, why does it needs the word “Turbo” written backwards on it. It works on an ambulance, so that you can easily identify it in your rearview mirror, but on a car…not so much. You’re really putting all your cards on the table calling it a Turbo. So, the Golf may be preferable for most uses and the turbo is for someone who sports car that looks like a luxury car???

To be fair, there are many other BMW’s to pick from if you require something specific. There are a number of innovative BMWs out there, not just the Turbo and something like a station wagon or a SUV might be preferred? Alternately, you check out a cross over or one of the later “Series” cars such as the Series 6 or 7.

On the topic of Variety and Customization:

If you decide on an Audi you can tailor the seats, upholstery, door finishes and even your dashboard? To play Devil’s Advocate is there a bit too much choice here for most buyers?

From https://www.audiusa.com/technology/design/interior-design

Most people are unsure what kind of seating they require, after all. They might be confused as to what twin leather is. (It’s a combo of both leather and artificial fabric). Twin leather is marketed by saying, “people cannot tell the difference,” but you be the judge. The advantages over cotton fabric is its premium feel and being much easier to clean. These options are not uncommon with German cars but the Audi is especially known for its stylish interior.

On the Bright Side:

The German car does hold its value. The sort of person who buys a BMW or a Merc is the type of person who will buy a new one every couple years, so it is not impossible to obtain an affordable German automobile second hand. This could be due to the high performance and the dependability of these models. Still, the price of the oil change is the same on a car you bought used as it was on the one you bought new.

There is a market out there, but it might not be the family market or the practical commuter vehicle.

Trump’s War on Clean Cars?

Op-Ed by Paul W

At this point where this is far less traffic on the road, it is good time to revisit what Trump said on electric cars.

You might think of some states as “truck-friendly” and some like California as “truck-unfriendly.”

During Obama’s presidency certain standards involving fuel efficiency were greatly increased. In economic terms this hits America where it hurts. Despite Trump’s protest, no state has supported a revocation.

The idea of the Clean Cars 4 All program was to replace a old polluting car and replace it with one with zero emissions or close to it. It was previously known as the Enhanced Flat Modernisation Plus-Up Program which is not exactly catchy. It worked with similar programs to reduce greenhouse gases.

One of these proposed plans was to replace a polluting car with an electric bike though presumably with a financial incentive. While this might fly in California where the weather is agreeable it’s not likely to work on a national level. It’s just possible that they were commuting from home and a bike was a suitable replacement, but it might just lead you to wonder if they missed the car after a few weeks.

Although it seems that California is creating ambitious and unreachable standards to remove carbon dioxide from the air but it’s not a new thing as far as the state is concerned. Is President Trump really at war with these new standards?

As to the question of President Trumps lobbying over fuel economy, there are two possible motives:
1) Either he is protecting Big Business (as some people contend). Or…
2) He’s allowing the buyers to decide for themselves what type of car they want to buy.

If the first is true, then why is big auto battling for higher fuel economy standards?

You would have thought the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers who represent the interests of General Motors, Toyota, Ford and others in America would have taken a stand on this but they might just be seeing where the winds are blowing.

Maybe the car companies did want the rules to relax so that cars do not keep becoming fuel efficient every few years, but they’ve been pretty disapproving of Trump’s concession to keep the standard at 29 miles per gallon until 2015, that seems to go too far even for automakers.

A recession, if it happens, will complicate things. American car makers will start fighting for a fuel economy standard they can produce without losing their dominance on trucks and larger cars—like they did in the 11970s. The consumer may show more interest in fuel efficient cars even if it means being cramped in their small accommodations. It’s hard to tell if that would swing the popularity of the standards one way or the other.

What was known as the final action was released last November which was a compromise between Trump’s proposals and Obama’s laws. It may be difficult to keep everyone happy. They still aren’t about zero emissions but about slowing down the rate that cars pollute. It won’t make the city air clear overnight though, but any change is a good thing.

If the market is left to decide, one could argue that a tax incentive simply a way to level the playing field—since E-Cars are more expensive to produce in the short term. On the other hand, do we really have a bead on what the market wants when we spend tax dollars trying to sway their decisions.

It may essentially come down to whether the general public wish to pay the extra for these type of vehicles. And as said above, people are a bit edgy about travelling in general right now.

Regardless of President Trump’s motives should he lose the election things could change. It would be up to the new President to put their plans in place. Could they follow Obama era thinking or will they continue to let citizens decide the type of vehicle they want to buy and roll the dice with the environment?

This may be academic though because there may not even be an election this year.

What do you call Car Fans?

Op-Ed from the UK Desk

There is no real name for fans of cars, apart from simply drivers, fans of trucks are known as truckers, and fans of motorcycles are bikers. But there’s no overall name for fans of cars.

A chauffeur for one doesn’t sit quite right. It was one of the first names for a driver, derived from the French for “heater-up.” It was used as a term for those who stoked the engine in a train or on a ship.

Probably a better term might be motorhead, but due to the heavy metal group with the similar name it doesn’t sound quite right. Those with a need for speed might be known a speed freak. If you constantly rev up your engine but don’t necessarily go fast you might call yourself a “revhead.” But that might get confused with a Vicar with a penchant for cars? Who can say?

In the UK, a slang term for the fast, teenage speeder is a “boy racer” (there doesn’t seem to be that many girl racers). The dictionary points to “hoon” as an alternative, which is short for hooligan. But these are not names young speeders give themselves as much as derogatory names given to them by the older member of society (who may need to think twice before throwing stones as they have their own driving problems.)

Someone with a lack of consideration for other road users might be known as a “road hog”. Those who drive at you, “taking their half out of the middle,” might be called “line hogs”. Or you might look elsewhere in the Animal Kingdom and call them “Mr. Toad”, the character from the children’s classic The Wind in the Willows? If they cut you off you might just call them a rude word?

Apart from driving style we have what you like about cars:
… those who like to look under the hood–a “gear head”
…those who look for car parts online or junk yards–a “piston head”
…those who tinker with their cars– a grease monkey

No doubt they can also be called “greaseballs” or “greasers”; it depends on the amount of grease involved. Maybe tinkerer is better? Originally it meant someone who sold pots and pans but now it means someone who might not be that competent, but has a go, especially in the area of car repair.

Perhaps we should look to the noises and motions that mechanics make and call them tutters or head-shakers? Maybe “bangers” to describe the mystery sounds they make under your car when it should be ready now. There must be something to call someone with a strange sensation to see underneath – a dipper? A diver? Someone who runs amok with your beloved car?

What about fans of individual cars? Again, there’s no specific name. Fans of 4×4 might be known as “fourbys” and fans of Minis might name themselves after the recent film “Minions” (they could take refuge in an early film franchise and call themselves “Herbies.” Women who like vans could possibly call themselves “vanettes” and female lovers of BMW could be “Beemettes” but it’s not clear what the male version could be. Still it all comes down to your imagination, really.

In the end it’s all in fun. If you have a suggestion on what to call fans of cars leave a comment on this post.

Self-Isolation in a Covid-19 World

Op-Ed by Bunch & Wimsett

The idea of self-isolation, of not having contact with society may show how we’ve been spoilt by having a car to drive, to get us to a certain location by a certain time. We’re accustomed to being certain, more or less, we can go anyplace anytime. The car owner without the car feels a little bit, well, like a prisoner. (We know it’s not the same thing, but it feels like it.)

When your car goes in the shop for an extended repair and your insurance company won’t pay for a rental, you’re left bumming a ride from friends or public transport. If you have to rely on public transport, you are at the mercy of other travellers, which can be sketchy, especially during the darkest of nights. We also need to wait around for public transport to appear and have to deal with the cold. But these days, it’s the peril of crowds, and their germs.

Although a car seems safer than a bus it is still a harboring area for bacteria, so it is important to wash your hands after returning from car journeys. This is just the way we live now.

Self-isolation is more than just being unable to travel; it’s also about not being able to set forth outside your home, to use your car. It’s hard to see how a travel ban for a wide group of people can be implemented. (It’s easier in some ways with planes and trains.)

Where you travel to:

However, you travel it is important to realize that it is not a good idea to move into an area which has a higher risk of exposure than the one where you live. You are also more at risk in crowded settings, especially places with limited air circulation. Also, it’s not a good idea to visit older adults.

It is likely the concert, parade, festival or sporting fixture you are visiting is cancelled, check to find out before you start your journey.

The Las Vegas strip, Broadway theaters and Disney theme parks have also closed. It is likely that similar venues will do likewise. Even the beaches, state parks, and tourist attractions are closed. Even though we need the fresh air, the risk of the crowd is too great.

The Auto Industry:

Car factories may also close, though in Detroit a Covid-19 Task Force has been set up in attempt to keep workers as safe as possible. No one is that sure whether the virus lives on cardboard, plastic and stainless steel and anyone touches any of substances risks exposure to the virus. A number of the office staff will be working from home, but it goes without saying that those who are building or repairing items on the factory floor haven’t got that luxury. Somehow the business needs to stay afloat.

A number of CEOs from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler will lead the task force.

With all the school closers you won’t need to use the car to take the children to school. It is affecting all areas of life.

There is a lockdown in states such as Washington, California and New Jersey. In the latter a curfew exists between 8pm and 5am.

As for the rest of us you may need to ask yourself, “Is my journey that necessary?”

In most quarantine states, restaurants are allowed to serve takeout or delivery—so far. As things stand now, Mike Pence said that restaurants have the potential to close. This is an ongoing situation, but things will snap back. We can only wait.

So, travel seems not that important right now. Might we suggest the solution to your need to get around is an ancient technology known as walking.

Stay safe,

Team Kicker Blog

The Problem with Flying Cars

It is 2020 right? So we should have flying cars? But it’s not as simple as that. As said before in these posts not all novelty works and a flying car would surely be one hell of a novelty.

It would cost $50 million to buy a flying car, though it is possible to get one from private hands at about $279,000. This sounds ruthlessly expensive, so let’s break it down.

Because a car is not built for flight it is better to start with a plane and work backwards, so getting a plane to drive on the road. Then you have the problem of where on the road you can land the plane, you can’t just land it in the middle of freeway. So really you’re talking about a plane you can fly one day and drive the next day.

There’s also the difficulty with fuel. Can’t you fill up a flying car at a gas pump? Don’t flying objects need something stronger, like kerosene?

As well as the flying car itself you’re going to run into a big insurance bill. As soon as you have a car which might plummet into the ground from a great height (not that I’m being pessimistic at all here…) the costs are going to skyrocket (especially as a crash could come from simply running out of fuel).

Manoeuvrability is also a stumbling block. Something which flies handles differently from an object on the ground (this is pretty self-explanatory stuff but when you’re exploring possibilities you do have to state the obvious). A car might be tested by a strong gust of wind, but unless its very strong the car will be able to continue on its journey. However a flying car is reliant on the air around it, so in a windy day it will be harder to handle and may just crash.

Another tricky day to fly in would be a foggy day; you might just collide with a building or hill. So this would be a good day not to take your googles out of the glove compartment? 

With the information stated above, it may shock you that people are creating drastic in-roads in coming up with a flying car. The Transition by Terrafugia’s selling point is that it is a plane that is stored in the garage. It can transform; James Bond-style from a car into a plane but again you have the difficulty of where it can take off and where it can land.

This vehicle require two types of engine- a hybrid motor for driving on the ground and a 4 cylinder engine for its plane mode. As well as a driver’s license you need a sports pilot certificate. It has an airframe parachute and airbags. How good are airbags in a plane crash? Maybe this should be looked into. They also need their own registration plate.

Uber meanwhile are looking into the concept of flying taxis, which may be available over the skies of Dubai, LA and Dallas as early as 2023.

Can all these promises be delivered on? It does seem a big ask, but if there is a market for it, there will be an answer…eventually.

Car thoughts from those with something to say.

“I replaced the headlamps in my car with strobe lights so it looks like I’m the only one moving” – Steven Wright.

A car is inspirational, but to continue to sell a car driving on the open road can be quite dull. So you need to look into how people treat their car and maybe see how they treat other people as a result, as everything relates to everything else.

It can be seen that the car is the source of a great deal of humor. This is understandable; it is something that most people can relate to. You have that quote from Steven Wright above and also here’s another one from Mitch Hedberg.

“I can look at any car’s headlights and tell you which way it’s going.”

Sometimes people are confused about our attachment with cars and how far it goes.

“I’ve always been into cars. Cars are part of our genetic makeup. It’s unavoidable.” – Matthew Fox.

The love of cars might be thought of some meme that once we get into our head is hard to get back out again. To say that we have something in our chromosomes that links us to cars might be going too far?

How does men’s obsession with cars effect how women see them? Here’s a quote from Rita Rudner.

“To attract men, I wear this cologne called ‘New Car Interior.’”

How exactly you maintain your cars might tell you what kind of person you are, according to those in the know.

“If you own a home with wheels on it and several cars without, it’s just possible you might be a redneck.” – Jeff Foxworthy.

Some people have thoughts that the car has become our personal shell protecting us from the bad stuff in the world:

“The car has become the carapace, the protective and aggressive shell of both urban and suburban man.” – Marshall McLuhan.

It can be scary the stuff people let slip about how they drive their cars.

“I would never kill a living thing, although I probably have inadvertently while driving automobiles.” – Captain Beefheart.

Please note the quotes above have been changed slightly so that they have their own originality. A note to who the people are.

Steven Wright (b 1955) is an American comic, actor and producer known for his one-liners.

Mitch Hedberg  (1968-2005) is also an American comic famed for his surreal humor.

Matthew Fox (b 1966) is an American actor most well-known for his part in Lost (2004-2010)

Rita Rudner (b  1953) is an American comedienne who started her career in New York.

Jeff Foxworthy (b 1958) is American comedian, radio personality and author.

Marshall McLuhan, born Herbert Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) was a Canadian philosopher and author with an interest in mass media.

Captain Beefheart was the stage name of Don Glen Vliet (1941-2010) a singer, instrumentalist and painter, who collaborated with Frank Zappa, amongst others.

To finish, here is another quote from Steven Wright.

“I have a quantum car. Every time I look at its speedometer I get lost.”

Hybrid Cars – Out of Favor?

Op-Ed by Wimsett and Bunch

Hybrid cars were advertised as the future and many car companies including Toyota, Lexus and Kia seem to be targeting the potential Hybrid buyers. But how green are Hybrids?

The problem seems to come to down CO2. Because of the extra battery weight they actually produce more CO2 than a gas or diesel car of the same engine size. The solution to this must surely be further research; after all, you can’t have a hybrid car or an electric car without some kind of battery. But some countries think otherwise.

The UK plans to stop the production of not only gas and diesel cars but also hybrids by 2035. They also seem to want to get rid of vans, which might be a bit tricky if you are running a delivery business for instance. You can’t just deliver in a normal car. And caravans are important to the tourism industry; it would be damaging to do without them, especially in North America where you need to do a great amount of traveling to get anywhere.

This coming ban is only be a UK thing as, so far, there is no update on what the USA or the EU plans on doing. As for Asia, Africa and South Africa it will be unlikely that these countries will ban any kind of vehicle for the foreseeable future, as they are routinely excluded from strict environmental regulations.

The problem with coming up with a date such as 2035 is that ultimately it is what it is, a date. There is no real incentive to stop car companies creating hybrids or indeed any car that pollutes. In order to make all cars electric at this point there must be a huge amount of investment and education of the public.

Even if you want to have the (current) inconvenience of owning an electric car you are still facing a waiting list to receive one. No car holds its value and because an electric version of a specific brand is more expensive than the gas/diesel alternative a number of families will not be able to afford it. Because electric cars are relatively new to the market it is difficult to get one second hand. EBay comes up with a mere seven results for an electric car, but 2,060 results for a gas car. So it’s no wonder those looking for a used car tend not to be buying electric.

It is not just the car industry, the fashion industry and the plane industry create great pressures on the environment and one may not move without the other. The ultimate tool in the government toolbox is taxing behaviour they believe harmful—which it is very unpopular right now.

The date of 2035 is ambitious, but it is doable? We can only wait and see. Will capitalism bend a knee to environmentalism? Perhaps, yes, but it’ll probably be after the people creating environmental solutions stop creating expensive solutions that are as bad as not taking any action at all.