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Comment: Re:Tesla needs just a few more things (Score 1) 307

by mark-t (#46789077) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"
That's an interesting approach to what was actually a very well-presented argument... discounting the argument by saying "that's not important", without actually saying *why* it's not important. Clearly it's not important to you, but equally clearly, it's important to the above poster... what makes your opinion more valid than the alternative? And personally, I'd dare say that it's actually also important to most people or else the notion of range anxiety wouldn't be a serious problem in the first place, as the poster stated.

Comment: Re:Tesla needs just a few more things (Score 1) 307

by mark-t (#46789039) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

C) 1000 miles on a charge? Show me any common car that gets anything like that range.

One can easily drive 1000 miles in a single day in a conventional vehicle. Of course, one will have to stop for gas along the way, of course, but a fill-up on gasoline only takes a few minutes, compared to several hours for a battery recharge.

Comment: Re:Tesla needs just a few more things (Score 1) 307

by mark-t (#46787915) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"
Perhaps you missed one of the points that I had mentioned, above, where I suggested that it would be most beneficial if an EV did *NOT* carry such a high premium. If a married couple is wanting to own two cars anyways, two vehicles that they can comfortably afford that both do everything that they need is going to make more sense than one vehicle that is so expensive that owning a second one, if they even still can, means having to settle for something that doesn't meet all of their needs at all, or buying a piece of crap car that they risk not even lasting until they finish paying it off.

Comment: Re:Tesla needs just a few more things (Score 1) 307

by mark-t (#46787703) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

You can't use a Tesla to travel 1200 km in one day... if you get an early start, you can do that quite easily in a conventional car, even including stops for gas, bathroom breaks, and meals (I do this every few years, in fact, whenever I travel across country to visit family). A great deal about owning your own car is about having the personal freedom to go anywhere you choose, and to do so entirely on your own schedule otherwise one may as well just rent a vehicle when they need one and spend a lot less money). I don't want to own two cars, so I will own one car that gets me absolutely everywhere that I might want to be, with the advantage that I don't have to rent a second car if I want to go anywhere outside of commuting range. If you think that this view puts me in the minority, well... let the figures for the number of electric vehicles on the road vs gasoline cars tell the real story.

I have no doubt that the E model will attract many more buyers.... but it's not going to put the final writing on the wall for gasoline cars. I'd expect it's not even going to make a statistically significant difference in the number of EV's vs gasoline cars on the road. I would love almost nothing more than to live to see the end of that hundred plus year era of the gasoline automobile, and Tesla, or any other current or future EV company accomplishing all of what I've mentioned above could probably achieve that.

Comment: Re:Heh (Score 1) 211

by mark-t (#46787483) Attached to: Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

As more info is discovered, exactly how earth-like the planet is might be determined over time, giving future generations something to shoot for. *THAT* is exciting.

We'll get there someday... barring some disaster wiping us all out here first before we become interplanetary. I'd give it no more than another millennium, which might sound like a really long time, but bear in mind that half of that time is how long it would take *light* to travel that distance.

Comment: Re:Shame this happened (Score 2) 105

by mrchaotica (#46787347) Attached to: Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

What really should have happened is that all his Monsanto-using neighbors should have gotten in trouble for allowing their seeds to escape. Since they were the ones who were parties to the agreement with Monsanto, they were the ones who broke that agreement.

Of course, Monsanto suing its own customers would be bad for business, so it went after the innocent third-party instead...

Comment: Re:Tesla needs just a few more things (Score 1) 307

by mark-t (#46785425) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"
That's all very well and good if you are never planning on taking any road trips... if you ever want to travel, you are going to need another car anyways, and unless one is hemoraging wealth, it is more prudent for an individual to have only one automobile. It might as well be one that you can use wherever you want to go.

Comment: Re:It's about spending, not income (Score 1) 192

by mrchaotica (#46785027) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

How long it takes you to retire is a function of only one variable under your control

You mean 2 variables: savings rate and asset allocation. If you want a 50% savings rate to get you retired in 7-8 years, [most of] that money needs to be in the stock market or a real estate portfolio, not under your mattress.

Comment: Re:For all the 20-somethings... (Score 1) 192

by mrchaotica (#46784979) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

What does "social security" have to do with anything? I'm a "20-something" and plan on retiring 10-15 years from now on just the assets I save myself. If I eventually get social security, well that's just a bonus.

(The hard part is not the lack of social security; the hard part is the shitty job market. Since my wife and I graduated college 5 years ago, at least one of us has been unemployed at almost any given time. We've learned to live on less than a third of our fully-employed income -- which is coincidentally why we'd be able to retire so quickly if we remain fully employed!)

Comment: Re:Too poor (Score 0) 192

by mrchaotica (#46784905) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

she gets $1600 before taxes.. After taxes, she is at $1100 a month

Bullshit. Even assuming the worst-case scenario (that all of her income is taxable, which if it's Social Security and a pension then it almost certainly isn't), an Adjusted Gross Income of $1600 * 12 = $19200 means her taxable income would be $19,200 - $6100 (standard deduction) - $3900 (one exemption) = $9200. The federal income tax on $9200 is $930, which means her real after-tax monthly income would be $1522. (And before you say "what about state income tax," remember the example is in Texas where there isn't any.)

As for the rest of it, $1522 - $600 - $400 = $522 for food, telephone and car which (given that she's not racking up a bunch of miles commuting) is plenty.

FYI, it's possible to live well surprisingly cheaply in the US. My average spending over the last year has been ~$1700/month, and that's for 2 people living in a 3-bedroom house in a nice, walkable neighborhood about 3 miles from the center of a major city.

Comment: Re:how many of these people don't want to retire? (Score 2) 192

by mrchaotica (#46784725) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

How much do you expect to spend per year in retirement? Take that number and multiply by 20 (assuming you think a 4% safe withdrawal rate is OK; or multiply by 33 for a 3% rate, etc.). Note that the safe withdrawal rate also depends strongly on your asset allocation.

See also: http://www.firecalc.com/, http://earlyretirementextreme.com/, and (my favorite) http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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