New electric car (alas, not) to be made in Normal, IL
I’m pretty happy Mitsubishi is planning to build their futuristic little car right here in Normal. Couple days ago they were filming a commercial for it downtown:
Did I say “little”? Well not really. The passenger compartment is huge and it looks like there’s plenty of room for luggage.
If you ask anyone to draw a picture of “a car”, you will get a boxy shape with the wheels two feet (or more) from each end with a bigger box in the middle. Something like my old ’67 Dodge Coronet 4-door; eighteen feet of Detroit steel with an enormous cast-iron engine in the front and a heavy cast-iron differential axle in the back. It handled pretty well considering its bulk, thanks to torsion-bar suspension but this car will handle way better.
The major weight of the car is close to the ground and the wheels are as close to the corners of the car as possible. It will be super-easy to park and cheap to operate. Think it’s a little funny-looking? Imagine not caring enough about the price of gas to even look when you drive by a station. Imagine vastly simplified routine maintenance. We’re going to see a lot of cars like this from different manufacturers pretty soon.
One objection to electric cars is that they won’t pay gasoline taxes, which is the major revenue stream for road repair. But most road damage is done by heavy vehicles. Seems like an equitable multiplier could be worked out by the boffins.