In which I learn how really out of touch this TreeHugger is with the reality of what people want in a car.
To think that my big complaint about electric cars is that they are still cars and clog the road, or that Sami's hybrid Pacifica is too big and why does anyone with less than 12 kids need such a thing. And then I read in the Globe and Mail, self-described as Canada's national newspaper, that trucks are the dominant vehicle in the country.
As one who doesn't pay much attention to this subject, it is a rude shock to see that car magazines were evidently dominated by this F-250 MegaRaptor thing where people drop between $40 and $80K on a new Ford F-250 and then spend another $40K to make it Mega. Being short, I would probably not be comfortable in it.
For reasons not clear to those outside of it, truck culture is huge. Big trucks, tall trucks, loud trucks, chrome trucks, trucks that blow black smoke out their chimneys, trucks with nutz – it's all super popular. To call truck culture underground is incorrect. It's right there, out in the open. Trucks rule the road everywhere in Canada, with the exception of a few big cities where everyone drives baby SUVs and compact cars, if they drive at all.
Opening the door to the MegaRaptor, the first problem is obvious. The bottom of the seat is at eye-level. There is no step-stool or ladder that flips down to make getting in look cool and effortless. Climbing up involves some grunting. Once inside you can see clearly over the tops of all SUVs. Nothing directly in front of it is visible, thanks to the huge, wide hood.
That sounds safe for pedestrians! And it is not like these are just off-road vehicles. It makes no sense to me at all. In fact it makes no sense to Matt Bubbers, the author of the article.
Why spend money to make a truck faster, bigger and shinier? It will still drive like a truck, which means bad steering, bad ride and bad handling. I don't get it, but I'm on the outside. It can be easy if you're in a city to forget that pickup trucks are consistently the bestselling vehicles in Canada.
I am on the outside too, writing that they should make SUVs and pickups as safe as cars, or that they should require special commercial licenses for drivers. But it is totally clear that all of us writing about the boom in electric and autonomous cars are living in an urban bubble. Outside of the city, people just want bigger and badder and taller and wider trucks.