Brave men often embark on ideas that, at the moment, seem doomed to fail. Ironically, stupid men also tend to begin their ventures with similar outside criticism. Former Lotus Executive Andrew Lam has announced that his company, Detroit Electric, will set out to build an all-electric sports car. An all-electric sports car named after the bankrupt city that was home to the internal combustion engine. I suppose he has a point: The market for Luxury electric cars is still pretty much wide open with Chevy Volts blowing up and Tesla failing the Top Gear test. But does the world really need one more toy designed to inflate the righteous attitudes of Hollywood Liberals? Doesn’t this seem to be more of a vanity project than an attempt to make a serious dent in the world’s carbon footprint?
Someone should applaud Lam and Detroit Electric for trying to fill the niche market of wealthy Liberal elite vanity purchases. (After all, I’m a capitalist. I would never condemn someone’s right to take advantage of propaganda fed liberals.) But that is all this is. A vanity project designed to induce a sense of worldly responsibility rather than a meaningful contribution. Much like the Tesla, or the Chevy Volt, this is not a vehicle to replace your 1971 Dodge Charger, or custom 1956 Chevy Corvette. Nor is it a vehicle to replace the Oldsmobile, Saturn, or 1986 VW Beetle. This is a vehicle that caters to the leftist tendencies of a few rich people with idle time – and large garages.
The name of the company, Detroit Electric, is that of an automaker from over 100 years ago who also embarked on the generally unpalatable business of creating electric vehicles. In fact, over 100 years ago there were a number of electric car manufacturers who died painful deaths inflicted by market competition. One of the best known is the Roberts electric which got an astounding 40 miles of travel from a single charge. (PS: That is the same as the Chevy Volt, without the risk of spontaneous combustion.) The automaker went bankrupt when the average consumer discovered the relatively cheap process of turning dinosaurs into fuel, and began looking for automobiles powered with the internal combustion engine.
And today’s venture may very well end up facing a similar demise. With Liquefied Natural Gas, more recoverable reserves, and new clean technology to retrieve the vast amounts of fossil fuels at our fingertips, it is unlikely the known and proven preference for sporting around town will go quickly out of style. Nor should it. Political pressure and trendy talking points are the only reason a technology that failed a century ago is still trying to make a comeback. This is akin to creating a sleek typewriter, and suggesting we should replace the IPad in the name of global warming.
Like the green vehicles of the past, their novelty is what will sell a handful to some rich (albeit: gullible) consumers. (After all, we know it won’t be the rumble under the hood.) I am sure it will be pleasant, comfortable, and overpriced. But, while liberal elites do their best to feel better about their unjustified purchase, I will continue to selfishly carry on my love affair with a 13-mile-to-the-gallon Jeep Rubicon.