Electric car? Or do you prefer to drive a classic car?

The year is slowly strolling towards its finale. And because the weeks fly by quickly, a topic that is more and more urgent comes up on the table. New company cars are pending, decisions have to be made now. A the subject it was already in the summer, but one that was successfully suppressed. It is now the end of October, my new building is almost finished, and at least the underground cable for the charging station has been laid. Is this indicator alone enough to conclude that an electric car is coming?

Saab 9-3 OG youngtimer
Saab 9-3 OG youngtimer

Subsidies and euphoria

Subsidies and tax advantages, that sounds good at first. Very superficially, then, the assumption that you could do something good for the world with an electric car. The euphoria lasts until you are familiar with the facts and have clarity that you put a bunch of electronics and a huge battery pack in front of your front door.

Is that helpful for the environment? Serious? Advertising says yes, and so does politics. Even the party that wants to be environmentally friendly is in favor of the electric car. Without reservation. We have a huge problem that is actually not CO₂. But the problem behind the CO₂ problem, its cause, so to speak.

It's called overconsumption.

We simply consume too much (Definition of overconsumption). Too many smartphones and tablets from China, cheap textiles from Southeast Asia. The world is building too much with concrete (which is why I chose wood as a building material). Almost every 10th ton of CO₂ is emitted in this way, but it would have been around for a long time Alternatives. The simplest would be if we would limit ourselves. Don't buy an electric car or a new smartphone. Instead, use up things that we own and that have already been produced. (More interesting Post on the subject on Heise)

Every new item that is produced requires resources. An electric car needs a particularly large number of them and the CO₂ savings compared to a combustion engine can only be achieved if you compare a new combustion engine with an electric car. The bill is different if you take an old car. One that has been driving for 10 or 15 years. It has already made a new car or two obsolete during its life.

If you were honest about what we are of course not and never will be, then it has a CO₂ balance.

If you compare this classic car with an electric car, it suddenly looks completely different. Because, whatever the item, using it up is almost always better than buying a new one.

There will be no new combustion engine

Meanwhile, thoughts are drifting in this direction. Despite the subsidies that have a bitter aftertaste of coercion in the background. In general, it is clear that there will certainly be no new combustion engine. Why also? The three-cylinder and miniature engines that the industry wants to serve us is almost always no fun. The burner is outside.

A 9-3 upper floor would be considered as a youngtimer
A 9-3 upper floor would be considered as a youngtimer

Plan A: Youngtimers are the better option

Playing the Youngtimer card is a very exciting option. Depending on your financial willingness, you can paint the desired classic car in the color you like. You can change the interior, other upholstery, leather and retrofit technical options. A rear view camera would be the easiest exercise, speakerphone and navigation could also be on the list.

But the best thing is, you decide for yourself what comes on board. Whether Alexa, Google, whether you want to put your data in the cloud and if so, then in which. You have the advantage that you keep the reins in your own hands and can make fundamental decisions on your own.

Youngtimers have the advantage that their technology is manageable. This also keeps the effort at an affordable level, as does the maintenance costs, if you take a few basic things to heart from the start.

The real highlight, however, is that no new car has to be produced. And you spend the money regionally, in the Saab workshop you trust, the painter in your own town and the saddler in the neighboring town.

In the meantime, and despite the existing underground cable for the charging station, our discussion is heading precisely in this direction. Of course, that's the problem, you have to find the right classic car first. The selection is not huge, unfortunately well-kept Saab are in short supply.

Fortunately, the 9-5 is pending in the hangar Spainwaiting for me. Which will replace my company car in March 2022. But we still need (at least) one more car. The search for an object is ongoing. The answer to the question of whether it will be possible to dispense with a new car also depends on its success.

The design of the youngtimer is typically Saab - the utility value is high
The design of the youngtimers is typically Saab - the utility is high

Plan B: If an electric car - then intelligent, please

Although everything is heading towards Plan A, the electric car is not yet completely off the table. But, there are certain parameters that have emerged. If electric, then intelligent, please. With a resource-saving battery, because the car should be light and consume little electricity. Instead of all-wheel drive, which is often taken, a driven axle would be sufficient.

Because it is not enough to just change the type of drive and then continue as before. Big, heavy and thirsty. Just with electricity instead of gasoline or diesel. You don't change anything like that.

The brand, which was a surprising finding in the course of the discussion, does not play a role at all. Electric is like buying a new smartphone. The cards are remixed.

We would very likely even give preference to a product from Asia. Why not? Quite provocatively speaking, the situation is like this: the battery packs, the electronics and the inevitable LCD display in the cockpit - the majority of the added value takes place in Asia. The software is written by Indians, Vietnamese, and sometimes it comes from Bulgaria. With a little bit of luck.

In Germany one assembles. Put together what was previously produced in China and stick a logo on the finished car. That is changing right now. At least in the area of ​​software and batteries. But it will take some time before the new insights take hold. But maybe Europe is too late if Germany has bet too much on the monopoly of globalization. The future will show.

So a car from Korea or China? Perhaps, we will approach the subject soon with a test drive. I may even be brave and dare to try a Chinese electric car. Despite everything concerns, that I have. Of the MG agent a few places further would be happy.

23 thoughts on "Electric car? Or do you prefer to drive a classic car?"

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    E-Fuel & E-Wood

    I register with amazement and horror how politics and business are reliably relying on increased technical effort and the use of energy and resources in the name of the environment and savings.

    E-fuel (longed for here in several comments) is a good example of how one can strive for the minimum benefit with maximum effort - driven by the misconception that the technically more complex solution is always the better and more complex industrial processes are more efficient than natural processes.

    One only has to read briefly on the subject of e-fuel. Production and use lead to an underground degree of efficiency. Why such a power and space-intensive process?

    Nature produces hydrocarbons everywhere. Oils, gases, alcohol - all without electricity. It does not make sense to me at which point in the production chain e-fuel should be superior to bio-fuel.

    Has the E before every noun become so sexy and so much a dogma that we can't help it?
    The only thing missing is E-Wood for furniture, chimneys and house building.

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    A wonderful discussion! I like that a lot.

    Basically, the choice is as good as taken from us. Someone decides for us or has already done it; and enforces this with generous funding (from everyone's taxpayers' money). Each of the much-cited cashiers pays wage tax through her for the fact that ... I don't need to say more about that, do I? I would have liked to have made my own choice. That would then be: Reduce CO85 emissions with E2 and synthetic gasoline. An electric car would be out of the question for me because of the driving profile.

    That also brings me to the subject of longevity. The mechanics may go along with it, but: future cars and especially electric cars are as durable as their control units and their software. If we take a look at the field of mobile communication, it should be clear where we are headed. If that's not enough for you, take a look at the field of photography. It's not just the image sensors and their software that are changing; there are always new lens connections being added for cameras with interchangeable lenses. Which of course are not backwards compatible, apart from the devices from Pentax.

    In theory, it would be possible to keep improving the software and adding new functions. But the automobile manufacturers see themselves as ... automobile manufacturers, not as mobility providers where the software is part of this package.

    There are too many unanswered questions for me, there are too many opportunities to become dependent, which I cannot assess enough. And with that comes the aspect that I don't like it when you have to "throw away" something just because the software is no longer supported. At least not after 15 years, when everything else is still good. I'm a bit conservative there. And to underline that: my television is from Metz, my stereo system with record player, amplifier, radio and speakers from DUAL from the years 1977 to 1979; refurbished by a specialist company, which – with the support of a carpenter – gave the turntable and speakers a new wooden housing that matched both the look and the acoustics. So it fits in with the line that I continue to drive the SAAB and eagerly await what will happen in the future.

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    Concrete & Wood - Real Estate & Automobiles

    I think it's good that the new building is made of wood. It stores CO2 in the material for decades instead of emitting it during the manufacture of building material and never saving it again. I'm curious to see how the decision to buy a car will be made. I sign every word in the article.

    Today in Germany we would have a different ecological footprint if environmental and climate protection had been understood at an early stage (we have been dealing with the issue for 50 years) as a question of sustainability and, therefore, had raised overall balances as the benchmark for political control.

    Instead, we encourage scrapping, demolition and consumption. We have plenty of bonuses, subsidies and fiscal controls. Finding just one that would make sense in terms of an overall balance is becoming more and more of a feat. Plus all these labels and professional greenwashing ...

    There have long been consumers who no longer buy a sack of onions because they are neither vegan nor vegetarian, nor do they have a Nutri-Score or an animal welfare label. They prefer to buy the lactose-free frozen pizza with soy palm oil cheese ...
    On their outer packaging there is space for all the labels that the “mature” consumer desires and whose frozen food home is A+++.

    The onion has something in common with an already produced incinerator (which would run on biofuel made from waste) and an existing building (which could be heated with green electricity, wood or a sensible mixture in a CO2-neutral manner). The label is missing.
    The new building made of concrete and styrofoam or the EV get it without prejudice to the production costs (meaning production at the expense of the environment). They are the vegan and lactose-free frozen pizza that can hardly be questioned anymore.

    I think we have reached a point where many voters, members and MPs from so-called environmental parties have an electric A +++ wine cabinet that regularly sends them temperature, humidity and high-resolution photos of the condition of the corks on their smartphones, for more environmentally friendly than the existing one Keep the earth cellar of your own yard. That's really smart. But something of ...

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    again a thoughtful article written by Tom about our excessive consumption
    and the throwaway mentality. More and more startups are emerging, like in the “Cave of the
    Lions” throwing a lot of dispensable things into the market. You can see it from the bulky goods
    get lost when people put their cheap furniture on the street after a few weeks of use.
    Quality and durability over quantity and short life should be the motto.
    The commentary on “Der Fischkopf” also speaks to my soul.
    No support from authoritarian regimes such as Turkey or China.

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    I actually completely agree. Except, the small, high-revving engines with only 3 cylinders and 1 liter displacement (rental car from last week) are definitely fun. You just have to drive it very differently than a Saab. Namely, very, very high-speed. While I hardly ever let my 3 liter, 6 cylinder turn over 2500 revs.

    PS My convertible just cracked the 200 mark on the Maloyapass on Sunday! As a birthday present, there were also over 000 tours!

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    Recently, I actually thought about exactly this topic and considered a PLAN C. I definitely don't want to drive with a moving surveillance drone, much better with a youngtimer. However, this is exactly what we will be increasingly spoiled by excessive fuel costs. My plan C would be to convert one of my SAABs from gasoline to electric. That can be financed in a reasonable 5-digit range and is therefore cheaper than the new things and I continue to run SAAB (in principle at least).

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      There is also now a project by Porsche and Siemens that want to produce e-fuel.
      With this e-fuel one could continue to run completely CO2 neutral combustion engines.
      This means; Old timers, trucks, buses and planes can work with this e-fuel.
      And food should be around 1 to 2 euros / liter.
      So I want to give this a chance before I venture into electric cars.

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    Thank you for this “rear view mirror”.
    Less is more, could also be the title.
    My wife and I will continue to repair defective items (or have them repaired) and replace "worn out" items. No matter what the politicians say about it. We try to further reduce our CO2 footprint and remain cheerful :-)!

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    Well - these decisions ...
    I still have three Saabs in the stable ... the convertible and the 9-5ng are driven in summer, the 9-3 in winter ... thanks to a good office and home office mix and good care, this will be fine for some time ...
    Personally, I consider it a fatal wrong decision to focus fully on the topic of electric cars, which will have dire ecological and economic consequences ... Monocultures have always been difficult ...
    Technically there are many interesting alternatives - I hope for myself that hydrogen burners will establish themselves as an economical alternative ...
    Let's see ... until then the old Swedes, meanwhile strengthened by a pair of everyday kittens, will be cherished, cared for and enjoyed ...

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    Thank you for this article in the so beneficial blog......it makes you think when we talk about the "Yellow Peril" today like my grandfather did 50 years ago (is this statement actually racist?)......we see that Nice hint from the previous speakers that we are probably making the same mistake as we did a few years ago on the subject of biodiesel and ethanol....to rely too quickly on a "salvific technology". My request to you Tom……….can you shed some additional light on the status of alternative fuels? I really don't want to have to buy fuel in the pharmacy like Berta Benz did at the end of my (combustion car driver) life.

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    Since 2014, my beloved 9000 Anni has been allowed to "mature" in moderate rest, because this year a BMW i3 started its replacement every day. I would really recommend this model to you. In the project, BMW almost went SAABig, which is very likeable and the sustainability parameters such as carbon body, use of renewable raw materials, extreme lightweight construction etc. are also right. In addition, the SAAB-spoiled comfort factor also fits. When it comes to “nice and dignified equipment” you first have to find what you are looking for in Asia. In addition, the i3 does without the ubiquitous touch operation, which I consider to be a mistake in the sole operating form. ...at least as long as the boxes are not yet fully autonomous.

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    A quarter of a year ago I also faced the decision. I have parted with 1 company cars from my company and now drive a 4 2-2003.
    At the moment I don't want to have to make a decision about new mobility. Seldom has a topic annoyed me as much and at the same time annoyed the public / political handling of it. This alleged lack of alternatives is frightening - especially in Germany, the country of engineering.

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      "Seldom has a topic annoyed me so much and at the same time the public / political handling of it was bitterly disappointing!"
      Sorry for the mistake.

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    The contribution is very good, because it is precisely these quiet, thoughtful tones that no longer come to the general public in the public discussion.

    The link to Heise (very well written) struck me. I recognized my consumption behavior and felt caught. We are all manipulable and we continue to be manipulated, that's scary.

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    Dear Blogger,

    First of all, and always anew, I would like to thank you for this blog. Regarding the current article: Until I said that it might also be a car from China, I had nothing to add to it and read it gratefully. But please buy as little as possible from China. The country and its politics tramples on everything that means something to us: freedom, human rights, Uyghurs, Tibet and Taiwan, nature conservation, animal protection in particular, resource protection anyway. As far as I know, around a thousand new coal-fired power plants are currently being planned or under construction in China alone. Is that climate and environmental protection? No.

    When it comes to resource conservation and climate protection in connection with electromobility, please note that the raw materials for the batteries often come from regions in which there is valuable rainforest. It must first be cut down to extract the lithium and cobalt. Is that how you protect the climate? No.

    After the 9-3 Coupé landed in the Saab workshop for the annual inspection, I was just allowed to take an exclusively electric Kia Soul with me as a replacement car. Its only advantage when driving compared to the exactly 20-year-old Saab is the silence in the interior, whereby the Saab also has a high level of smoothness.

    Greetings from Hamburg from the Fischkopp.

    ps to "because it's not enough...": please please refrain from the "sending-with-the-mouse" German on this really good blog. What is meant is the use of the word “because” followed by the main clause. . Thanks.

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      I can stand the “send-with-the-mouse” thing. There must be permanent improvements. As far as China is concerned, everything you write is of course correct. But then the electric car per se is dead, because there is no such thing as one without components from the People's Republic.

      It is interesting that MG (SAIC and thus state-owned company) is very sensitive to the issue. SAIC expressly respects the GDPR and only stores European user data on European servers. In contrast to Tesla, where the data is stored in the USA and the group permanently and massively violates the GDPR. What appraisers keep reminding you, but nobody in the responsible authorities is interested in it.

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        Thanks for the answer - we are and will remain in agreement. The thing with the mouse is due to my affinity for language and should not be an affront - I apologize for any possible misunderstanding. With regard to data technology, I am a layperson and I look forward to your knowledgeable contributions.
        Warm regards
        the fish head.

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        Interesting reference to SAIC and Tesla. Perhaps should be remembered. It excites me that the data octopus Tesla is repeatedly pointed out, but nothing changes. The big brother in the USA must still not be upset. On the contrary. We just leaf Elon Musk the billions in taxes into his safely climate-neutral plant in Brandburg.

        Incidentally, Tesla mainly sells Chinese goods here. So what's the general difference?

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    I tend more towards the youngtimer, I have more fun.

    To go back to the electric car: important, that did not appear in the text, it is not possible to buy such a thing. Today's electric car is tomorrow's computer waste. Innovations come so quickly that you can only lease, rent, whatever.

    And I agree with Tom: no German electric car, unless you are into a Porsche 🙂 The innovations come from Asia, maybe that will change again. But right now it's just like that.

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    We played it through with my running partner and also did test drives. For him it was the ID3 in the smallest version with rear-wheel drive, but it also weighs 1,7 tons. With me everything stays the same, the 9-7x and 9-5xwd continue. Even if the 9-5 needs a new exhaust line and the 9-7x rust prevention. In my workhorse, the 9-7x, a 2DIN unit with carplay + dashcam + reversing cam works in conjunction with the iPhone is really great. The fact that politicians have made LPG more expensive should also increase the pressure to switch to e-gas. But still not as bad as the abolition of the E85 in Germany.
    I am not ruling out e-cars for myself, but I do not want to be a pioneer, the fear of a large pile of e-waste is pretty big!
    What annoys me is the all or nothing politics here in Germany, has anyone ever calculated how much electricity is needed if all fossil fuels are to be substituted? And here I mean not only for cars but also for heating, industry, aviation, ...
    With e-fuels, our combustion engines are also climate-neutral ... ok, the electricity for this also has to come from wherever.
    Anyway, I'm glad not to have to decide right now! 😉

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      All or nothing …

      That annoys me a lot too, it makes me tear my hair. In the wake of this electric full steam ahead ideology, sensible solutions drown as en masse as the passengers of the Titanic drowned in its sinking.

      And that's right, we have politically pulled the plug on ethanol and bio-diesel. So early and in time that we don't even talk about it anymore ...

      The majority are no longer aware that we all still have 5 to 10% of it in the tank. I would not be surprised if at least one member of the German Bundestag, firmly believing that there is e-fuel in it, would like to fill up with E10.

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      Yes, in Switzerland they calculated that and found out that there will be a shortage of electricity from 2025 and that industry should prepare for it early on.
      However, since large numbers of electric cars will be added by then, it will probably be earlier than 2025. Hopefully there won't be a super volcanic explosion by then, which could have a massive impact on solar energy for a long time to come. Let's see if we can drive our Saabs until 2030 or longer….

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        Drive longer, why not? So far I have not heard of an absolute ban on combustion.
        But probably not longer distances. If the electricity supply should really show bottlenecks, this will also have a negative impact on the production volume of refineries ...

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