Wry & Dry

Plug her in: Apple to start selling the Apple car in 2019

W&D commutes using public transport and, as many readers know, doesn't understand the passion for fast or expensive cars.  And asks of a client who has a $120,000 Porsche, "it may be fast, but where is the tow-bar?"  If people wish to spend $120,000 on a vehicle that sits in a garage for 20 hours per day, that's their business.

But the intersection of three events has led W&D to investigate the trend in cars.  Especially electric vehicles.

Firstly, recently, in Amsterdam (very flat, Amsterdam) W&D rode in a Tesla, the world's first commercially produced electric car from a company that only makes electric cars.  It was an amazing ride.  The vehicle itself was delicious and the only noise was a distant sound of rubber on the road.

The Dutch provide considerable fiscal incentives for electric cars, including free charging outlets in public parking spaces.  And just look at the fuel consumption and driving range.

Electric cars 2Secondly, Apple Inc, the maker of iPhones, etc is accelerating efforts to build an electric car, designating it internally as a “committed project” and this week announced a target shipping date for 2019.  This could be a most interesting car, especially if, as announced, the later versions are driverless.  Imagine the integration with the iPhone, iWatch, iMac, etc.  The folk at Apple are not fools; and have a clearer picture of the future than many.

Thirdly, Volkswagen Group, the German-based global automaker of VW; Audi; Bentley and Lamborghini (among others) has massive egg-on-face with the announced recall of a mere 11,000,000 cars.  The reason?  Equipping diesel cars with software that could be used to cheat on emission tests.   The company has said it will set aside 6.5 billion euros to cover the cost of making the cars compliant.  But that won't touch the sides of the penalties likely to be imposed.  This has put the efficacy of diesel engines under the microscope, as these engines are having difficulty with cost-effectively meeting increasingly high global emission standards. 

So, W&D is pondering have we seen the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine?  W&D likes the look of the Tesla.  But at about 2.5 times the cost of the others ($120,000 v $40,000) W&D may wait.