Why many of us may have already bought our last car, according to the BBC

danielravennest

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As long as electric cars only have a range of 300 miles ( measured under ideal laboratory circumstances) I don't see it happen on a large scale. Maybe for cars in and around cities, used only for commuting and shopping. But not for cars used for long distance tarveling.
In the US, 80% of the population live in urban areas, and 20% rural. So "in and around cities" covers most of us. In my case, I work from home these days, and am 20 miles from the center of Atlanta. Most of my driving is local, 8-12 miles round-trip for shopping and errands. A late model hybrid Chevy Volt, with the 53 mile battery range, would cover most of my driving, and the gas+ battery range of 420 miles is more than enough for long-distance drives.
 

Kara Spengler

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New York is 23rd on the list of best public transport systems in the world, and probably first in the US. I don't see it banning private cars outside of exceptional circumstances first, though, there's too many super-rich people... though come to think of it they'll probably just buy a Taxi medallion.
Buying a medallion might not be a good plan if they start doing that. The city might start insisting such vehicles be used as normal cabs at the going rate.
 

Kara Spengler

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/me points at mars ....

Ask any physicist about what measuring system we should use and why. Be ready for a list.

My physics courses hardly mentioned imperial units except for people being aware of them when talking to the masses. It was MUCH more convenient to be able to go up and down units of measure by adding and subtracting zeros. Assuming gravity on Earth was in the equation and you just wanted a rough answer, well, that is nearly 10 as well.
 

Argent Stonecutter

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What, don't you like the other cities... like Melbourne?
My parents moved from Melbourne to Sydney when I was two and that's all I need to know about it.

OK, when I visited my grandmother the tram tracks and the cobbled back alleys were pretty cool. But mostly I remember it being flat and cold.

Buying a medallion might not be a good plan if they start doing that. The city might start insisting such vehicles be used as normal cabs at the going rate.
The city will only do that after they come up with some other way for the super rich to register their private cars as commercial vehicles.

In the US, 80% of the population live in urban areas, and 20% rural.
Australia is actually more urban than the US. Almost 90% (86% CIA factbook, 89.5% World Bank).
 
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Sid

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There is an easy way to calculate measurements and a stubborn one.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Have you ever seen footage of the Black Saturdays during the vacation periods on the German and French highways? Completely over crowded roads, traffic jams up to 100 km. At the gas stations waiting times up to 10, 20 or even 30 minutes are quite normal. And then we are talking about a fill up time of maybe 5 minutes per car. I wonder how many supercharge stations would be needed to replace one gas station.
You cannot compare German with French highways, because those are totally different beasts.

German highways are toll free for normal cars; French highways are not, unless you are nearby one of the metropolitan areas. France as a country in Western Europe has borders with 6 countries; Germany in the middle of Europe has 9, and is really a very crowded country, while in France all ways lead to Paris.

And since Germany is exactly in the middle of Europe, and given the nature of how "just in time" production nowadays works, there's a myriad of trucks, coming from all Europe, driving day by day on those highways, crowding them.

German highways can be really nerve-stretching, while driving French highways, like let's say from Metz to Paris, are one of the most boring experiences you can have in your life as long as you are not nearby a metropolitan area.

This here is a French highway, the A4 from Paris to Strasbourg:


The speed is being doubled, not much traffic, normally you only see another cars every few minutes, because the toll can be quite expensive. I did so this year in spring, from Metz to Paris, boring as hell. To the real traffic starts after the last toll station near cities normally.

The scene radically changes though, when you are driving the so called Boulevard peripherique, which is the street around Paris, and one of its main arterial highways, normally 3-5 lanes, 90 km/h maximum speed:


Totally different beast, you must be either nuts or Parisian to drive this street voluntarily. It has got traffic jams all over every day, accidents and motorbikes driving with 80 km/h between cars, while there is a jam without shame, and drivers are normally quite aggressive.

And to put this into perspective: the city of Paris alone is quite small, its area is only 105,4 km² with 2,244 million inhabitants. In other words it has a population density (21000 / km2) and size roughly comparably to Manhattan (27500,3 / km2) in New York City, just without so much skyscrapers. The whole metropolitan area though is around 11 million.

Oh and by the way, the boulevard peripherique is officially no highway, but nothing more than a country road/route national.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Actually in the UK it is a weird mix of both measurements systems; speed and distances are measured in miles, lengths/width of flats and such are usually in meter/square meter.
 
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Tigger

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There is an easy way to calculate measurements and a stubborn one.
If you are 3km from home and travel 300m closer, you have 2.7km or 2700m to go.
if you move 10cm closer you are now 269990cm from home or 2699.9m or 2.6999km.

If you are 3 miles from home and travel 300 feet closer you have 2.945075758 miles to go or 15550 feet.
If you move 10 inches closer then, er, you are now 2.944917929 miles or 15549.166666667 feet or 186590 inches away.
I think. Someone check my maths!

One of these makes way more sense than the other.
 

Tigger

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Yeah. All four of 'em: US, UK, Burma, Liberia.

Four. Out of (at the moment) 195. Surely we're going to catch on sooner or later.
And remember not all imperial measurements are the same! US imperial is NOT the same as UK imperial in all measurements.
 

Sid

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It is hard to get rid of that what you have learned in school and have been using all your life.
I don't see the imperial countries switch to the world standard any time soon.
 
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Dillon Levenque

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I don' t really see why. Everyone in American schools has been taught the metric system since the fifties (more or less). Anyone who has worked on cars has had metric measurement tools since at least 1980. That takes care of small (less than 200 mm) measurements. A yard (three feet) is a little less than a meter. That takes care of room -sized measurement. For very rough purposes (as in translating road signs) you can figure about 0.6 km to the mile. There are 2.54 cm to the inch, as most people (surely, by now?) know, so (for instance) six inches is about 15 cm. From there it's pretty easy.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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It is hard to get rid of that what you have learned in school and have been using all your life.
I don't see the imperial countries switch to the world standard any time soon.
Even the Brits reformed their currency system back back then to a decimal standard. The thing is quite simple that the USA is a big country of the size of a small continent with one language, one country, where half of the people plus more will never leave their country once in a lifetime to visit a foreign country, and might it be just Mexico or Canada.

So there is quite simple not the need there, the pressure for this.
 
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Sid

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I don' t really see why. Everyone in American schools has been taught the metric system since the fifties (more or less). Anyone who has worked on cars has had metric measurement tools since at least 1980. That takes care of small (less than 200 mm) measurements. A yard (three feet) is a little less than a meter. That takes care of room -sized measurement. For very rough purposes (as in translating road signs) you can figure about 0.6 km to the mile. There are 2.54 cm to the inch, as most people (surely, by now?) know, so (for instance) six inches is about 15 cm. From there it's pretty easy.
Point is, if the country would switch, you have to forget the inch, foot, yard, mile completely.
First measuring in those and than recalculate them in metrics is not useful. Just like the other way around.

Here in the Netherlands we had the guilder as money until the introduction of the euro.
Now almost 20 years later, there are still some people that recalculate the amound in euros back into guilders to decide if something is expensive or not. :rolleyes:

Of course they find everything expensive because of inflation over the years.
 

Jopsy Pendragon

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Metric is too precise or too vague to for men to feel comfortable with when it comes to boasting about their endowment, it'll never catch on it the U.S. ;) ;) ;)

"Ooo baby, I'm packing almost 2 whole decimeters for ya!"
 

Jopsy Pendragon

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FFS, I know I proofread that before posting...
I swear, I'm getting worse with every post!
 
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Dillon Levenque

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Point is, if the country would switch, you have to forget the inch, foot, yard, mile completely.
First measuring in those and than recalculate them in metrics is not useful. Just like the other way around.

Here in the Netherlands we had the guilder as money until the introduction of the euro.
Now almost 20 years later, there are still some people that recalculate the amound in euros back into guilders to decide if something is expensive or not. :rolleyes:

Of course they find everything expensive because of inflation over the years.
You're right about having to forget the old imperial units rather than doing conversion calculations, but that will come later, won't it? Surely other countries, even France in the Revolution, didn't suddenly wake up one day and know what 20 centimeters looked like.
 

Tigger

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You're right about having to forget the old imperial units rather than doing conversion calculations, but that will come later, won't it? Surely other countries, even France in the Revolution, didn't suddenly wake up one day and know what 20 centimeters looked like.
The worst approach to turning metric is, of course, the way the UK did it. Half-arsed and incomplete, for example my local supermarket sells bottles of 1.13 litres of milk, which is of course 2 pints but it doesn't actually say anything about pints on the bottle. In the UK we kept some imperial, switched some to metric, kept both methods for some things and complain that it's all the EU's fault and we should never have switched to decimal money.